When Congress leaves Washington, DC at the end of the week for a month-long August recess, the push for health care reform will follow.
For months, President Obama and his Democratic supporters have lobbied for an overhaul; in August, Obama will continue his push, but he will be joined by liberal activists who are planning rallies, door-to-door canvasses, and events aimed at swing senators, all taking place out in the states and organized to apply pressure to senators as they connoiter with constituents and seek feedback on a range of issues.
August will usher in a barrage of organized grassroots (or Astroturfed--whatever you want to call it) activity both for and against Obama's reform push. The conservative group FreedomWorks, for instance--which had a hand in facilitating the April 15 tea parties--will encourage its members to visit Senate offices and show up at town-hall meetings held by Democratic lawmakers, armed with critical questions about Obama's health reform push.
Here's what the pro-reform side will be doing to garner support:
Organizing for America (OFA), the DNC-led former Obama campaign apparatus, plans to have staff in all 50 states by the end of the summer (right now, it has staff in 38); it also has volunteer summer organizers at its disposal. OFA has billed itself as a grassroots field program to support Obama's legislative agenda, and its staffers and volunteers will be organizing OFA's members (anyone who signed onto Obama's supporter list) to visit and call legislators' offices, and the group will hold press conferences and door-to-door canvasses in support of Obama's reform effort, according to a Democratic official.