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.