A protest rally planned by anti-health care reform forces in Michigan's 7th Congressional District was upstaged by a PRO-health care reform rally staged an hour earlier in front of the Jackson offices of freshman Representative Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek). Organizing for America staff report that 355 people signed in at the rally with many more in attendance who did not sign in. The anti-reform protest drew only about 50.
In other words: WE DID IT!!!
The Jackson Citizen Patriot is reporting Jackson County Commissioner Phil Duckham attended the rally carrying "a sign with a swastika on it, and compared Obama to Hitler". They also have a photo of him doing so.
You read that right.
Welcome to my hometown. [Sigh...]
"This is how Hitler started out," Duckham said. "First, Obama took over the auto industry, then the banking industry. We don't need him to take over the health care industry."
The Battle Creek Inquirer article on this event shows another anti-reform protester with a swastika sign as well.
So much for conservative radio/talk show hosts claiming nobody is doing this...
The large turnout to this event was a surprise to organizers after a similar town hall held in Romulus, Michigan last week by Rep. John Dingell (D-Detroit) brought in many more anti-health care reform protesters than it did supporters. Abigail Clark, a former staff person for President Obama's Campaign for Change in Michigan arrived at Schauer's office right as the rally was scheduled to begin.
"My friend was using her iPhone to figure out where we were going so we wouldn't miss it," Clark told me. "Then I looked up and just said 'I think we found it'. It was amazing. There were literally hundreds of people all up and down the streets and everywhere. There's no way we could have missed it!"
The key to this success was that Organizing for America staff learned about the protest rally that was to be held at 4:30 and then scheduled the pro-reform rally for one hour earlier.
I can only imagine the looks on all those poor teabaggers' faces as they shuffled up with their "Keep the Government out of Medicare!" signs and their swastika signs and saw over 400 Schauer supporters there chanting pro-health care reform chants and owning the entire corner.
There is some GREAT YouTube video and a hilarious story & photo at Kicking Ass Ann Arbor. HIGHLY recommended. Some especially hilarious interviews with some very low-information teabaggers.
(NOTE: If possible, please refrain from posting YouTube videos in the comments, just post links. YouTube videos prevent me from being able to edit/update the diary later due to a quirk in our corporate firewall which blocks YouTube. I'm hoping to be able to add some pictures later in the day.)
Schauer's rather gerrymandered district was formerly represented by far-right Tim Walberg who was defeated by Schauer in 2008 and is planning a rematch in 2010. Despite not currently holding office, Walberg is apparently holding "health care town hall meetings" of his own throughout Michigan, an unusual move for a defeated candidate.
Rep. Schauer's spokesperson, Zack Pohl, responded:
"It’s unfortunate that Mr. Walberg would rather turn this issue into a political football at a time when families and small businesses in Lenawee County are hurting. It’s also ironic that the same former congressman who once said those without health insurance can just go to the emergency room now wants to talk about health care reform. We are engaged in a serious debate about this critical issue, and now is not the time for political gamesmanship for personal gain."
And finally, unrelated to the Schauer event but the funniest damn teabagger picture I've seen yet, I present this:
Click on the pic to make it bigger. Pay particular attention the guy in the middle. Check out his sign. Does he define the phrase "shit eating grin" or what???!
I'm just sayin'...