As the health care debate turns ugly at the local level, the anger and disorientation of Republican voters is a ready tool for corporate demagogues like Sean Hannity, who’s calling for grassroots Obama opponents to “Become a part of the mob” in opposition to health care reform.
The NYT account of the town-hall clashes around the country shows what happens when a sleepy, corporate, top-down democracy begins to shake its arms and feel the pins and needles (and apparently blows in some places) of local participation. Also makes me wonder if you can shove the elephant of a nationally mobilized mob into the parlor of local, handshake politicking.
And the vast and permanent influence of online media is evident throughout the story – from the emails exhorting and instructing disruption, to the LinkedIn page that outs a protestor who claims no party-based motive. The town halls themselves, of course, are also being heavily organized via the web.