Grassroots vs. Astroturf – in pictures

Colorado-based photojournalist El Marco has a must-read detailed post loaded with photos, that describes Nancy Pelosi’s quick in/out visit to a public clinic in Denver, Colorado, where she was scheduled to view improvements made to the clinic with Stimulus funds. Upon hearing of her plans to visit Denver, around 200 protesters opposed to the current proposed government health care reforms quickly gathered outside the clinic. The event was also attended by a group of around 40 pro-health care reform protesters organized by the Democrat-affiliated ArapaHope Community Team (ACT).

Although El Marco’s post contains quite a bit of written detail about the event, the pictures are what tell the real story of the current grassroots protests against big government. The protesters opposed to a government takeover of health care showed up individually, in casual dress, carrying mostly home-made signs:

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In contrast, the protesters in support of the Obama Administration’s health care reforms were bussed in, carried professionally printed signs, and many of them wore t-shirts provided by political organizations:

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El Marco also tells the following anecdote about some of the pro-Obama protesters:

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This clinic is adjacent to Denver’s day laborer pickup street, Park Avenue. Being fluent in Spanish, El Marco asked these guys “¿hablan ingles?” “casi nada” was the reply from our amigo on the left. I asked him if he could tell me what the signs said. “¿Quien sabe?” (who knows?) was all he said to me, with a big grin. I’m kicking myself for not asking them how much they were getting paid to support the grassroots.

While it’s not exactly true to claim that conservative or “Tea Party” affiliated protests are “unorganized” (people do plan event dates and locations, maintain Facebook accounts and web pages, and send out emails and Tweets) there is nothing about conservative protests that compares with the top-down organization exhibited by pro-Obama supporters. Despite the crazed conspiracy theories oozing out of the moonbat fever swamp, there are no giant PAC’s (like Organizing For America), no huge member-driven organizations that can command compulsory attendance (like the SEIU or other labor unions), no direct political party command, and no widespread coordinated training for local organizers or attendees (like that provided by ACORN Community Organizations International) behind the “Tea Parties” and related conservative protests.

Tea Partiers show up voluntarily, and many of them take time off from work in order to attend rallies and protests. They make their own signs. None of them have been coached or trained. And virtually none of them have ever shown up at a political protest before. Opposition to the Obama Administration’s massive deficit spending and power grab schemes is truly grassroots. It is driven by the passion of ordinary Americans who demand accountability from their elected officials, and who expect their representatives to listen to them when they are ready to vote on major policy initiatives (like health care reform) that will literally have a life-or-death impact on the people living in this country.

I think there’s a word for this … oh yes, it’s democracy. We are supposed to have a bottom-up representative government in this country, not a top-down command system. Thanks to protests like this one, Washington DC may finally be getting the message — if not now, certainly by the time of next year’s midterm elections.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Shortlink:

Posted by on August 9, 2009.
Filed under Health Care, Tea Party Movement.
Tagged with: .


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  • GarandFan

    Well, ya see, when the Democrats do it, it’s not “astroturfing”. Nuance makes all the difference. It used to be called hypocrisy, but the Dems are way beyond that now.

    Remember when George Bush/Cheney/Haliburton was going to CANCEL the 2008 presidential elections? Well the guy in power right now shows more tendencies towards that then Bush ever did. For our liberal trolls, when did Bush ever condemn or castigate BY NAME, anyone who voiced opposition to his policies? ……..crickets chirping…………….

  • AJ

    If you want an astroturf laugh, go on craigslist and search under non-profit jobs “health care” and you’ll find liberal organizations recruiting and paying people to support Obamacare. (h/t Redstate)

  • GarandFan

    Here are some “mobsters” who don’t have a problem identifying themselves. IT’S LIKE THEY DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO HIDE! Unlike a certain President of the US.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2ZJGSzhnCI&feature=player_embedded

  • Adrian Browne

    Did you see where one guy that was protesting against health-care-reform was injured?

    Well, now it seems that he’s asking for donations to pay for the medical care he needs because he doesn’t have health insurance.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    GrandFan – “Remember when George Bush/Cheney/Haliburton was going to CANCEL the 2008 presidential elections?”

    Better question:

    Remember when the Organizer-in-Chief met with all those health insurance execs and health lobbyists back if Feb? [in secret BTW the list was only made public after a lawsuit was threatened and FOIA request filed]

    But now according to the WH and it’s many sycophants insurance execs and health lobbyists are bad evil things because they are infiltrating town halls.

    Not so funny how that works.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    Why no links AB, could it be because you’re full of BS, or is it because you’re not telling the whole story and if done would undercut whatever slim point your trying to make?

  • iwogisdead

    Did you see where one guy that was protesting against health-care-reform was injured?

    Well, now it seems that he’s asking for donations to pay for the medical care he needs because he doesn’t have health insurance.

    Wow, that does it for me. I’ve changed my mind. Hey everyone, let’s nationalize the healthcare system!!!

  • GarandFan

    Warning! This ISN’T astroturfing:

    http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/HC_OfficeVisits/OfficeVisit_CA.pdf

    Just more of that Democratic “nuance”, aka hypocrisy.

  • HughS

    Did you see where one guy that was protesting against health-care-reform was injured?

    Well, now it seems that he’s asking for donations to pay for the medical care he needs because he doesn’t have health insurance.

    Nope, I didn’t see that Adrian. But you did, so tell us. Why didn’t the guy have health insurance?

    And while you’re at it girl, we would appreciate an answer that didn’t include hearsay. Jusy the facts and links.

  • Flu-Bird

    Those obama healthcare supporters must all belong to that bunch of hoods from ACORN

  • Meiji_man

    Next Time you see a Pro-Obama Protest jump out of a SUV with a Border Patrol Cap on and Scream “La MIGRA!” and watch them run. Make sure you video tape it.

  • Adrian Browne

    6, 7, & 9:

    Mr. Kennth Gladney is one of the unfortunate victims of an SEIU goon squad. They mercilessly beat him for almost 2/10 of a second. Mr. David Brown is his attorney:

    “Supporters cheered. Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/7C2B91CFCB7B4D398625760D0008E6EA?OpenDocument#tp_newCommentAnchor

  • iwogisdead

    Mr. Kennth Gladney is one of the unfortunate victims of an SEIU goon squad. They mercilessly beat him for almost 2/10 of a second.

    Once Kathleen Sebelius hears about this, she’s going to get the SEIU to fire these guys and hire some real go-getters for the next town hall.

    Don’t worry about these guys, though, they’ll be able to use the time-honored “less than a second” defense to the assault charges they’re facing. They’ll get off.

  • DaveD

    So Adrian, any reason we can’t have a program that helps Mr Galdney until he has found a jog again that pays for health insurance. That program would include allowing those that have health insurance to keep it and not be penalized for switching polcies in the private market. Interesting that Mr Gladney was without insurance at the time and yet was protesting against ObamaCare. Even more, now that he could use it, he still seems to have not changed his mind. I think you could learn something there.

  • GarandFan

    I have a feeling that Gladney is going to come into a pile of money, courtesy of the SEIU.

  • HughS

    Adrian Browne

    You didn’t answer the question: why doesn’t he have health insurance?

    The fact that he is recently laid off doesn’t answer the question. That he doesn’t have have health insurance was central to your post #4. Can he not afford COBRA? Did he have health coverage as part of his employment package?

    Go find out why he does not have health insurance and report back.

  • CDR M

    Just go to Craigslist, pick any city (SF Bay Area has 83 such job listings), use “Obama” as your search time and click jobs and you’ll see many job openings paying $11-15 an hour to promote Obamacare. How’s that for astroturfing!!

  • JLawson

    Goes to show – Gladney should be wanting Obamacare… because you just never know when some SEIU goons are going to beat the shit out of you!

    Hey, would that be the ‘affordable anesthetic’ clause?

  • CDR M

    I meant search term not search time!! Who knew that hawking politican’s positions paid so well. I wonder how much of this being paid out can be traced back to stimulus funding from some of these “non-profit” organizations???

  • JLawson

    BTW, this just in…

    TheHill.com – Deficit grew by $181 billion in July

    Bailouts for financial firms and billions in tax revenue lost because of the recession drove the deficit to a record $1.3 trillion in July, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

    Tax receipts that have fallen due to the poor economy and increased spending to save car companies, banks and mortgage firms were major contributors to the federal deficit, according to CBO, which provides official budget numbers for Congress. The federal deficit grew by another $181 billion in July.

    And Pelosi&Company DOUBLED the private jet order.

    Opposition Emerges to House’s Jet Spree – WSJ.com

    Two Missouri senators, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Christopher Bond, said they would oppose funding for the jets when the legislation is taken up by the Senate in September.

    “The whole thing kind of makes me sick to my stomach,” said Mrs. McCaskill in an interview Sunday. “It is evidence that some of the cynicism about Washington is well placed — that people get out of touch and they spend money likes it’s Monopoly money.”

    Million, billion, trillion, what’s the difference? The folks in Washington know THEY’RE not going to be paying higher taxes to finance their spending spree!

    At the rate they’re going – we’re going to be back to early-20th century levels of ‘affordable’ health care – if not Civil War era!

    Can’t you just see it? In the aftermath of a bad accident.. “Sorry – we can’t afford reasonable anesthetics – but we DO have an SEIU member with a calibrated 5-lb rubber mallet to put you under while we saw off your broken leg and put boiling pitch on the stump!”

  • GarandFan

    JL – The Democrats never worry about higher taxes – given what came out during confirmation hearings – Democrats don’t even both declaring, much less PAYING income taxes.

    Income taxes are for peons, not the ruling elite. And here I thought that The One was going to Washington to ‘cast out the culture of corruption’.

  • JLawson

    “And here I thought that The One was going to Washington to ‘cast out the culture of corruption’.”

    Nah, that was Pelosi and the Dems in 2006 – it was printed in BOLD on the packaging. “Tastes great, less filling, ends corruption, enhances transparency.

    Someone ought to sue for misleading advertising. The ‘taste’ is really starting to turn a lot of people’s stomach, our wallets are emptying, the corruption’s increasing, and the promised transparency’s getting about as opaque as mud!

    But hey – they’re maintaining a perfect record!

  • http://albanymediabias.blogspot.com Falze

    So even people without health insurance are against Obamacare? This is an argument for it…how?

    MorOn.org’s latest email explains how they’ve “hired skilled grassroots organizers…(are) building new online tools to track events across the country…(making) sure MoveOn members turn out at each one.”

    If you see any liberals limping, don’t worry, it’s just Turf Toe.

    Might I make a suggestion for if you’re going to an event and making a sign? You know how these leftists try to get in front of all the cameras and flash their fancy, mass produced signs in front of legitimate grassroots protesters? I would suggest you have your sign and on the other side print in big letters something to the effect of ‘Paid Obamacare supporter’ with an arrow pointing to the side and down – so if they jump in front of you and there’s anyone taking pictures you can spin your sign around. If you know who’s paying them to be there, put that on there. Then make sure you get next to them for all the pictures. Just a take on “I’m with stupid”, really. Actually, that might work, also.

  • Madalyn

    Love reading all these comments. Just goes to show that a dem cannot face the fact that their fearsome leader is a joke. Unfortunately, I’m not laughing. He lied all thru his campaign, and he is still lying. He gets caught in a lie, then sends Gibbs out to defend his lies (i.e.: bowing to a foreign leader) (I wasn’t bowing, I was looking for some cajones). This is to GarandFan and JLawson – keep up the good work!

  • GarandFan

    The CBO numbers are out this morning. No wonder Barry wanted them hidden during last month’s health care ‘debate’. 1.3 TRILLION deficit, and that’s as of JULY! Tax revenues continue to plummet, yet government spending INCREASES. I should run my household that way!

  • http://albanymediabias.blogspot.com Falze

    “Kenneth and his lawyer told Dana Loesch on the radio last night that Kenneth is covered under his wife’s insurance.”

    Gateway Pundit site.

    Nice try, lefties.

  • hyperbolist

    So why is he raising money to cover the cost of his injuries?

    Maybe he’s actually raising money to pay his lawyer/spokesperson.

  • JLawson

    Might cost quite a bit to sue the SEIU goons that attacked him. Could be the lawyer wanted a retainer, or something he could use to hire a bodyguard with once the fireworks started…

  • hyperbolist

    Yeah, but why did his lawyer say that he needed the money to cover his medical expenses? Is he lying; is his lawyer lying; is he retarded; is his lawyer retarded; or a combination of any of these?

    (I’m sure his lawyer will take the money before he proceeds with any legal action, but still: why not be honest about it?)

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    So why is he raising money to cover the cost of his injuries?

    If you don’t think he deserves it, don’t give him anything. That’s the nice thing about private charity, as opposed to government welfare.

  • hyperbolist

    Isn’t it against the law to solicit donations under false pretenses, Jim? Or, at the very least, immoral and certainly unethical?

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Isn’t it against the law to solicit donations under false pretenses, Jim?

    Another thing that’s against the law: libel.

  • hyperbolist

    Jim, quit being a baby. The guy’s lawyer said he needs money to cover his medical expenses. Now, to repeat, one of the following must be the case:

    He is lying; his lawyer is lying; he is retarded; his lawyer is retarded; or a combination of any of these.

  • SCSIwuzzy

    I dunno Hyper, I have decent insurance, but when I went into the hospital a few years back, I still had to cover costs for the ambulance ride, hospital food, linen service, etc.
    Maybe to get a nicer wheelchair? Maybe to pay for the upcoming lawsuits against the SEIU…

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Jim, quit being a baby.

    Pointing out libel is being a baby? The only one getting frustrated is you.

  • hyperbolist

    Being litigious is being a baby. Sorry: it’s being a lawyerly baby.

    SCSI: it’s obviously about the legal fees. Why they made it about health insurance, though… Stupid lawyer, I’m guessing.

    Do you seriously have to pay for food, linens, and ambulance out of pocket? Zut alors!

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Being litigious is being a baby.

    Pointing out libel is not being litigious.

  • hyperbolist

    Fine: pointing out libel is not being a ruggedly individualistic Galtian superhero.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Fine: pointing out libel is not being a ruggedly individualistic Galtian superhero.

    Nor is building strawmen.