For weeks now there has been concern that outside agitators have been attending townhall meetings, not to obtain information, but to disrupt and bully the individuals holding the meetings.   Other attendees who might want to learn more about healthcare proposals or various other plans being considered for legislation are also bullied and talked over top of and drowned out. 

Many folks have argued that this is not happening or have attempted to justify the conduct of various people who have been been captured on film by the media.  Randall Terry is a professional outside agitator who showed up at Congressman Jim Moran’s town hall meeting last night. 

Congressman Moran had a difficult time even talking with the crowd.  He insisted that those from the 8th Congressional district be let in first.  That seems fair enough.  About 3000 people got inside the meeting hall in Reston.  He had invited former DNC chair Howard Dean to his meeting as a special guest.  It is doubtful that he got a word in edgewise either.

Chief outside aggitator dissident was Randall Terry making a horse’s rear end out of himself as usual.  This guy shows up everywhere to shoot off his big mouth and to make a fool of himself.  He has been at the Terry Schivo nursing home, he followed President Obama to Notre Dame, and now he wants to stalk Jim Moran it seems.  His main theme still seems to be abortion but I think he chose the wrong venue for protest. 

According to

[W]hen Dean took the stage, he was met by a deafening din of boos and catcalls, which pushed Moran over the edge.

“I’m sorry but I can’t even hear the governor and I’m sitting next to him. There are hundreds of people in this gymnasium who can’t hear him because of a handful of people,” Moran said. “These folks are not from the 8th District, they don’t really belong here, and I’m going to ask them to leave.”

Protestor Randall Terry, the founder of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, who had warned local media he planned to make a ruckus, particularly infuriated the congressman with his screaming accusations that Dean was a “baby killer.”

Moran offered Terry five minutes of floor time to ask a question in exchange for quiet, but Terry refused and was muscled out of the meeting, as the crowd chanted, “Kick him out.”

Here is a brief video of the crowd behavior last night.

Finally Congressman Moran was able to hold a 45 minute session where he and Howard Dean tried to brief the crowd:

He also sought to explain what he called “myths” about the bill, including the rumor that the bill would fund death panels encouraging ailing elderly patients to consider assisted suicide.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Moran said.

“Liar, liar, liar,” a crowd member screamed.

This is not civilized behavior. How does anyone expect to find out about anything? How many would be comfortable attending a meeting with some of these thugs like Randall Terry?

firedoglake and notlarrysabato both have video of the Moran Townhall meeting.

73 Thoughts to “Outside Agitators at Townhall Meetings”

  1. Elena

    So, you must also really resent the republicans because the medicare prescription plan passed by 100 % republican support under Bush. It was the democrats, one after the other, that talked about medicare being able to bargain like the VA with drug companies to lower prices. It was the democrats that argued against making it ILLEGAL to buy drugs from Canada! Where was your outrage then and NOW, very strange, all this sudden anger.

    Rick Bentley :“It is therefore not unreasonable to pass legislation to require drug companies to sell prescription drugs to Americans at the same cost as those sold to foreign countries.”
    I want to stress that Obama is in the bag on this one. He took an 80 billion dollar pledge from the pharmaceutical companies in trade for any reimportation provisions. One of his advisors said “we won’t need reimportation” because in fantasy land, the cost savings from the rest of this “comprehensive” plan will save us so much money that we won’t even think of it.
    Meanwhile in the real world that 80 billion will be recouped pretty quickly off the backs of working Americans. As it is now we spend 200 billion a year on drugs. It’ll be up to 300 billion in no time. the sky’s the limit, as long as important people’s palms are greased. and it’ll help that nice Mr. Obama be a political success!
    So, on this basis, I am strongly against Obama and the Democrats on health care, regard them as dishonorable liars, and am sick to my stomach that after 8 years of one duplicitous lying President, America is stuck with more of the same.

  2. Elena

    Rick Bentley :I heard that circumcision will be mandated on all adult males under 75 years of age. And castration on all males 75 and over. I also heard that there is a provision to perform female circumcision at taxpayer’s expense on all US girls at age 14.

    Clearly you are pulling our chain on this Rick. but just as an FYI, there is not such thing as female circumcision, it is more accurately called female mutilation. I won’t get into the disgusting details, but there is no comparision between the two.

  3. Elena


    The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people’s medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

    In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

    This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we’ve blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

    Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has “the finest health care” in the world. We don’t. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

  4. Rick Bentley

    Elena – believe me, I didn’t mean to trivialize it. Some on this planet though do refer to the practice as female circumcision.

  5. Rick Bentley

    “So, you must also really resent the republicans because the medicare prescription plan passed by 100 % republican support under Bush.”

    YES! And I regard Bush’s performance on this as duplicitous, unpatriotic, etc, etc.

    “It was the democrats that argued against making it ILLEGAL to buy drugs from Canada! ”

    YES! They have no intellectual integrity! or honesty! or capability!

    “Where was your outrage then and NOW, very strange, all this sudden anger.”

    I was very angry THEN at Bush, believe me! I never voted for him and never would under any circumstances!

  6. kelly3406

    Elena :
    Did you express your outrage during the medicare prescription drug care plan debate?

    Outrage is not quite the right word. But yes, I was against the medicare prescription drug care plan. I wrote letters to Congressman Tom Davis and our two Senators to let them know about my opposition.

  7. kelly3406

    The spending by Bush on the prescription drug bill and the bailout particularly outrageous for a supposedly conservative administration, because it raised the ante so that trillion-dollar spending by Obama was no longer unthinkable.

  8. anon-100

    There were agitators on both sides at this event. Like the woman that put her America Organizing Project sign in peoples faces that had an opposing view point. Most of it was was loud but not antagonistic (sp?)

  9. Moon-howler

    Frankly, I wouldn’t care if the woman had shoved the sign up Randall Terry’s rear end or down his throat. No sympathy here. He did not belong there. He is a professional trouble-maker with a long track record of civil disobedience.

    I saw the woman with the sign and her T-shirt was a One Voice Can Change the World shirt. Obama supporter. I was unable to read the sign she had because it was covered. But what does it matter?

    He wanted negative attention and he had no business there.

    And finally, is a meeting productive when those kinds of behaviors are going on? My guess is that woman with the Change T-shirt on would have stayed in her seat if that horse’s ass Randall Terry hadn’t been yelling, screaming and calling people murderers. You ought to see him in person. He is an even bigger fool than on camera. I don’t know, when Randall Terry is there, antagonism is the order of the day. Calling people murderer just breeds antagonism.

  10. Elena

    Do you mean when the uncivilized people were chanting “murderer” etc. This was NOT an anti abortion rally, that was NOT the proper place to stage that type of protest. EXTRMEMElY inappropriate. I have yet to see the type of inconsiderate outrageous behavior exhibited by the people wanting health care reform, serious healthcare reform, and the people who rant and rave about issues that aren’t even REMOTELY true. There is a credible debate that we should all be having, but killing grandma and grandpa is NOT it and actually acts as a barrier to valid problem solving.

  11. Elena

    Furthermore, “anon-100”, a doctor was recently gunned down in his CHURCH, for G-d’s sake, because he provided a LEGAL service to women in need, it definately NOT rule of law behavior. I firmly believe that people who call physicians murders or any other person a murderer is “antagonistic” and inciting people to “punish” the “murderer”.

  12. Elena

    Health Care Paranoia opinion piece, written in the Financial Times, hardly a “liberal rag” !

  13. Second-Alamo

    I’ve got the full 13 hours on video DVD. The box set now goes for $59.95, but wait, that’s not all! We’ll throw in a free set of Ginsu knives for ordering in the next 10 minutes. You just pay shipping and handling ($135.50 of course). Some day that set may just be worth something. The entertainment value alone…………….

  14. Moon-howler

    Once is enough, SA. but thanks anyway.

  15. Elena

    Second-Alamo :I’ve got the full 13 hours on video DVD. The box set now goes for $59.95, but wait, that’s not all! We’ll throw in a free set of Ginsu knives for ordering in the next 10 minutes. You just pay shipping and handling ($135.50 of course). Some day that set may just be worth something. The entertainment value alone…………….


  16. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    So, I hear Howard Dean (HYAAAA!) told the truth about tort reform during this meeting!!

  17. Moon-howler

    Was that the Howard Dean howl I heard you making, Slowpoke?

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    You Betcha!!

  19. I wonder how many union thugs from Maryland were asked to leave?

  20. Moon-howler

    If they acted like Randall Terry, I hope all of them. It is all about behavior, not affiliation. James, you should know that by now.

  21. @Moon-howler
    And that’s so much BS, “Moon-howler.” I’ve no use for Terry and his tactics — even if he is correct on abortion — but then, I wasn’t the one who wrote the headline “Outside Agitators at Townhall Meetings,” and used the phrase three times in text. You did. If it were “about behavior,” the headline would read “Agitators at Townhall Meetings.” It’s clearly a cheap attempt to appeal to parochialism.

    And what is Howard Dean, but an “outside agitator”?

  22. Moon-howler

    Terry is an outside agitator. He was an outside agitator at Notre Dame. He has been an agitator wherever he goes for the most part.

    Howard Dean, like him or not, was an invited guest, was he not? It seems to me that inviting a person like Dean, who is both a doctor and has legislative experience is a smart idea. The cable news channels do it daily.

    James, you may call me M-H like others here do. It is not necessary to put my moniker in quotation marks.

    Anyone who misbehaves in a townhall meeting should get thrown out in my opinion. However, in this case, Randall Terry got to be the poster child.

    Word to the wise: I am not really here to fight with people. Don’t start up. Aggression with me will simply make me ignore you.

  23. Pagan Patty

    Mr. Young is an outside agitator of anti!

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