Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, and Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, are touring the Stout Street Clinic for the homeless Thursday afternoon. Following the tour, the Representatives are scheduled to speak to the press and public about how stimulus funds have cut costs at the Clinic and about the need to pass health-care reform. The event is shaping up to be a top-tier showdown. Digital networks lit up last night after the event was announced, sounding activist alarms on the right and the left.
Networks established earlier in the year to promote the Tax Day anti-stimulus Tea Parties have been re-ignited to protest health-care reform discussions lawmakers have planned around the country during the August Congressional recess.
Notice of the Stout Street event appeared at provocative conservative blogger Michelle Malkin’s site, a central hub among those planning to voice opposition and disrupt the town halls. Malkin has encouraged “angry protests” of the “massive government health-care takeover.”
Right and left activists and observers have questioned the legitimacy and tactics of health-care reform protesters and supporters.
Malkin is typically strident in her claims:
Obama’s architects of Kabuki town halls have packed public forums with partisan plants. Now, they accuse opponents gathering at impromptu rallies against the massive health care takeover legislation (which no one has read) of orchestrating “manufactured anger.”
She writes that pro-reform “ground troops” are being financed and directed by “unions, liberal philanthropists, the AARP, ACORN, and your tax dollars.”
In Colorado, anti-reform rally participants are being organized and bused around the state by the national “free-market” group Americans for Prosperity. On what it is calling a “Patients First Bus Tour,” AFP will transport protesters to 13 cities and towns across the state. The tour tomorrow includes stops in Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. There were no stops planned for downtown Denver when the schedule was released earlier this week. At the time of the Stout Street event, the tour is scheduled to be stopping in suburban Wheat Ridge and Highlands Ranch.