It's August, and lawmakers are back in their home states talking to constituents. Liberals and conservatives alike will show up to town-hall meetings and other events to question their elected officials--sometimes loudly--about health care and the rest of Washington's business, as lawmakers make the case for their own agenda. When passions run high, debate can be spirited. We'll be watching.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the Democrat who represents Austin, Texas, has never won with less than 67 percent of the vote in his district. But that didn't stop conservatives from shouting him down as he tried to talk to constituents about health care over the weekend.
Sign-waving conservatives chant, very loudly, "Just Say No," making other conversations (including Doggett's) inaudible. One protester has a sign that show's Doggett with devil ears springing from his head. They follow Doggett from the event across a parking lot, where he tries to talk to some more people and then leaves. Politico, reporting on Doggett's experience and others, notes that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), a Blue Dog a former Army captain who served in Iraq, also had to deal with a shouting audience and urged them to "be respectful."