Health care reform is a big fucking deal—for everyone. The Democrats are making a big push, holding town hall meetings to discuss their plan. Republicans are probably holding meetings about how to approach the problem, but the Dems are trying to pass their plan, and these meetings are political acts to aid in this.
But all political acts are not created equal. If a senator is giving a speech, shouting protesters are fighting speech with speech. In this case, the senator, if he feels his message didn’t get across, can simply make a TV speech or use any other venue—he has lots of ways of spreading his message.
But town hall meetings, even blatantly political ones (is there any other kind?) allow citizens to speak. It’s not the same political act as a speech. It is democracy.
Unless loud-mouthed thugs organized by the Republicans show up to shout down the meeting, silencing not just the politician but his constituents as well. This is an undemocratic act of High Goatfuckery. It is pure intimidation, designed not to enhance the discussion of how or whether to reform health care, but to shut it down and make sure no one but the Brownshirts gets to speak.
And the fact that these fascists are closely associated with gun nuts is not lost on anyone. This isn’t politics, this isn’t democracy. This is fascism. This is disgusting.