More Town Hall Violence: Will No One Condemn It?

In Virgina, a filled-to-capacity town hall meeting on health care, as widely reported, was marred by disruptions by the anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry and his small band of followers. Tuesday's meeting was convened by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and featured Howard Dean as a speaker.


Less well reported was the fisticuffs that took place outside the high school auditorium where the meeting took place. From the Washington Examiner:

Outside, a spillover crowd of protestors and counter-protesters shouted slogans at each other. A man in a Cato Institute T-shirt scuffled with a man wearing an Obama T-shirt, punched him in the face, and was shortly after kicked off the property by police officers.

Enough already. If congressional opponents of health-care reform are against the use of violence in their cause, then let them repudiate it, publicly. And note that disruptions like Terry's are just a subtler form a violence, a kind of bullying.

How 'bout a press conference, fellas, where you all stand shoulder to shoulder -- Grassley, Coburn, Ross and the rest -- where you condemn the violence, and all threats thereof, and issue a call to civility?

Never gonna happen, of course. This mess, this unleashed, misdirected rage, is working all too well for health-care reform opponents. So it falls to health-care reform advocates in Congress to call upon the opposition to take a stand.

That's right. Those in Congress who support health-care reform should come together and make a collective call to stem the violence and hatred that is permeating these town-hall meetings. Even more importantly, they need to call upon their anti-reform colleagues to condemn the violence and hatred themselves.

It's truth or dare time.

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