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Tammy Baldwin came to town yesterday, and told me she has hope for single payer.  Stoughton, Wisconsin, is a very conservative city, but I was very pleased to see an equal mix of wingers and singers (Mine.  You can use it.) at the Fire Department.  Not one to usually speak at these things, I did this time to voice my support for single payer or public option.

The crowd had the predictable evil straw men trotted out, Acorn, government takeover, rationing, and one very clean cut "Independent" voter taking Tammy to task over our Constitution, and how anyone who doesn't act by it will be brought down by any means necessary.  (Scary.  I still think a lot of these self styled "Independents" at these town halls, are republicans embarrassed by their own name.)

In response to the wingers who were saying they weren't "town hollers", I gleefully mentioned how at the outset of the town hall meetings this August, Dick Armey's Freedom Works had put out Frank Luntz' talking points telling those attending town halls to "shout out, be disruptive", "Don't offer a rational dialog."  

I felt great for pointing this out, but not as great as the brave Latina woman from Boyle Heights, now living in Stoughton, who proudly proclaimed, in a room full of Norwegians, "I am the proud daughter of an Illegal Immigrant."  The snickering was deafening.  I grew up not far from Boyle Heights, a gang controlled corner of East LA, just off the Santa Ana Freeway, before it meets up with the Santa Monica, and I can tell you that no-one in that room has any idea what that means.  But I do.  And I applaud her courage to stand before those who would hate her no matter her story, and still offer her story of hope.  Viva la Raza!  Even in Stoughton.

Originally posted to jazzharp on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow (5+ / 0-)

    I used to manage the Country Kitchen in Stoughton.  Is it still there?

    Bravo to Tammy for braving the Norwegian hordes.  I frankly think they're all insane.  To be that close to Madison and still so backwards is mind-boggling.

    Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4330+ dead - Bring them home

    by Miss Blue on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:19:47 AM PDT

  •  thanks for going (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRA NY, lol chikinburd

    Do you know Buzz Davis? Was he there to speak?

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:26:01 AM PDT

  •  "Independent" (7+ / 0-)

    has been hilariously usurped by Lou Dobbs, who has himself announced as such at the beginning of each installment of his CNN show.

    If someone says they're an "Independent" and then goes on to gibber what the person you mentioned did, he's using the Dobbsian meaning.

  •  So did Tammy effectively stand her ground (4+ / 0-)

    against the wingnuts/teabaggers?  I live in Verona and noted that she would be in Stoughton today.  I have a co-worker at the UW who lives in Stoughton and is a rabid rightwinger.  I was wondering if he was going to show up at her townhall.  I wouldn't put it past him.

    •  I was there. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmsf, rgjdmls, plankbob

      Didn't speak, but took notes (my message on my sign-in form urged her to stand firm with the CPC to insist upon the strongest possible public health insurance option).

      Of the 29 people who spoke, I'd put 13 or 14 on our side, a maximum of 9 on the wingers', and the other six in the "other" category, meaning either with primarily nonpartisan concerns, or not-well-articulated ones, or just kind of crazy ones.

      On their side, the most odious talking-point regurgitator made reference to a previous town hall in Lake Mills, and so helpfully identified himself as a probable stalker.  That "independent" was a 24-year-old Libertarian from Fitchburg who had Young White Male Answer Syndrome and did not know when to fucking stop talking.  The true "Constitutional rights" comedy came from an immigrant from Poland, who gave as his examples of encroaching dictatorship...three interactions with state government.

      Probably of most interest to readers here would be the question from the young woman who wanted to know if Tammy would support final health reform legislation if it didn't contain a public option.  Tammy answered that she wasn't nearly so pessimistic about the fate of the PO as the questioner seemed to be, and noted that the Cantwell amendment, weak tea as it is, is an awesome portent nonetheless in that it moves the Senate's conference position that much further over to the good side.  Tammy vowed to "fight tooth and nail" for the public option, and while she didn't expect to be confronted with a final bill that didn't have it, asserted that her colleagues knew that the public option was "a bright line and a bottom line" for her.

  •  is there a list of these town halls? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lol chikinburd

    "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

    by superHappyInDC on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 10:24:27 AM PDT

    •  Monday town halls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lol chikinburd

      October 5, 2009 - Monday
      Portage Municipal Building
      Fire Dept. Training Room
      119 West Pleasant St.
      Portage, WI

      Sauk City
      Sauk City Public Library
      Downstairs Meeting Room
      515 Water St.
      Sauk City, WI

      Monticello High School
      Rehmstedt Gym
      334 South Main St.
      Monticello, WI

      Baldwin's Madison office: (608) 258-9800

      Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

      by plankbob on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 11:27:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dane County would be pretty much wingnut land if it were not for Madison and the UW and the cultural diversity it brings to otherwise rural southeast Wisconsin.

    I grew up in Madison (1953-1976).....and yes, have lived in Los Angeles - (but at the other end of the Santa Monica Freeway near West LA).

    Folks in rural (yes, Stoughton is rural) Wisconsin don't know people of color - or won't admit to it.  They see the world through their Germanic/Scandinavian white-dominant rural cultural eyes.  They don't know any different and won't take the time to find out what else is out there.  Complacent and complicit.

    Tammy has a hard row to hoe.  Represent both ends of the spectrum.  

    More power to her for simply showing up.

    But honestly, single payer will only happen when whatever is agreed upon fails miserably.  This is just my opinion.

    •  hi Mol (0+ / 0-)

      Where in Madison did you live?
      I grew up there too and graduated from La Follette in 68.  We only had a few non-white students in the whole student body.  None were in my class but my sister had a friend, Cal in her class who was black.

      •  I was a west-sider (0+ / 0-)

        Grew up just east of Midvale Boulevard (Hilldale area)...and graduated from West High a couple of years before Tammy Baldwin in 1971.  My younger sister was in Tammy's class.

        Not much diversity at West High either....unless you count those whose parents were faculty (and from somewhere else) at UW....and alot of Jewish kids....

  •  Stoughton's not all that conservative. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgjdmls, plankbob

    Unless "conservative" means going only 70-30 for Obama in November, and going 53-47 for Kathleen Falk for County Executive this spring while Nasty Mistele was carrying pretty much the rest of outlying Dane.

    Stoughton may have been considered "the conservative corner of Dane County" in the late '80s or early '90s, but it's hardly the case now.  You're a lot more likely to bump into a birther in Sun Prairie or Waunakee than anywhere in Norwegianland.

    •  Stoughton (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't know those numbers from Stoughton.  Impressive!  Verona seems to be pretty wacky these days.  Probably the Montague's.

      "The reason for time, is so everything doesn't happen at once." Buckaroo Banzai

      by jazzharp on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 01:30:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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