I Know You Are, But What Am I?

One of our mottos here at Pun Salad is based on an old Elvis Costello lyric: "I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused."

But recent denunciations of anti-Obamacare activism threaten to drag me back to "disgusted."

Here's Nancy Pelosi:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office sent out a fact sheet to reporters Tuesday afternoon, calling recent demonstrations at congressional town hall events "Astroturf," the Washington euphemism for a corporate public relations campaign disguised to look like a grass roots citizen movement.
Unsurprisingly, this appears to be a coordinated talking-point effort by Democrats:
The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out missives today arguing that groups such as Conservatives for Patients' Rights and FreedomWorks and are creating fake grassroots enthusiasm -- "astroturf" in political circles -- by stacking meetings with outside activists.
OK, fine. Here's an exercise:
  1. Look at this story from my local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, from last month ("Dover rally supports health care reform") describing a "band of locals" who demonstrated outside Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office in Dover NH. Here's a picture of attendee Ronald Schutz of Exeter:

    [Mr. Schutz]

    I like Mr. Schutz's t-shirt, which you can buy here. But note his signs.

  2. Here's a story from last month describing a Portland Oregon rally outside the office of Senator "Ron" Wyden. And the picture:


    You can click for a big version. Again, check the non-homemade signs. Same font, same color scheme as Mr. Schutz's! And one (partially obscured) sign in back has the same "PUBLIC OPTION SAVES $$$" wording.

  3. And then there's this story from Hartford, Connecticut covering the rally in front of Senator Christopher "Friend of Angelo" Dodd's office. Picture:


    The caption identifies this fine fellow as "Charles Walker Prewitt, Sr.", 90 years young. Anything look familiar, sign-wise?

  4. And then there's this story from St. George, Utah outside the office of Sen. Robert Bennett. Picture:

    [St. George]

It doesn't take sophisticated detective work to determine the source of those professional-looking signs mysteriously appearing thousands of miles apart. A little reading between the lines will do the trick: the demonstrations have been organized, populated, and decorated by MoveOn.org. (Sometimes this gets mentioned in the news stories, sometimes not.)

That's just one particular mover/shaker in this effort. It wouldn't have been hard to play the same game with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a pretty safe bet whenever you see purple.

Michelle will be happy to fill you in on just how grassroots these groups are. Unsurprisingly, George Soros makes an early appearance.

Democrat efforts to paint opposition to Obamacare as a nefarious plot funded by shadowy behind-the-scenes figures is very, very phony and hypocritical. For one thing, we'd almost certainly have nicer signs to wave. And—hey!—wouldn't you think that one of those nefarious villains might actually pay me for my anti-socialist screeds? I wish.

Last Modified 2012-10-05 4:19 PM EST

URLs du Jour


  • Jonah Goldberg notes a growing appreciation for the 161-year-old insights of Frédéric Bastiat in relation to the Clunker-Cash program.

    David Harsanyi doesn't credit Bastiat explicitly, but he's certainly in the same groove:

    Here's an idea: Let's give $50,000 to anyone looking to upgrade to a brand-spanking-new, environmentally friendly home. All we ask in return is that you burn your previous residence into a heap of smoldering cinder.
    I'm sure that would be wildly popular, and any number of idiots would declare it a major success.

  • At Cato@Liberty, Michael F. Cannon neatly demonstrates why I long ago stopped subscribing to the Boston Globe. Read the story of how they badly misrepresented a report from the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation and see if you can come up with a different conclusion:
    I submitted [a refuting] oped to The Boston Globe. They sat on it for a week, then rejected it. Which is fine. (FYI, the oped has been accepted at The Providence Journal.)

    But it also means that they were aware that what they were printing was disinformation before they printed it. I have a very high threshold of evidence before I'll accuse someone of lying. But this seems to fit the definition.

  • Neat Chicago Tribune article describing life at their local Netflix facility. Secrecy and calisthenics involved.

    After switching from Blockbuster to Netflix a few months back, I'm mostly satisfied except that I've had Gran Torino at the top of my queue since the DVD was released in early June. It's been marked "Very Long Wait" all that time. Guys, here's some advice: buy some more copies of Gran Torino, and maybe fewer of Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

    Not that you care. Just wanted to get that off my chest.