When you give over most of your private time to a cause, you need some feedback. We got some from former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan on Friday: The Summer of the Angry Mob
Ms. Noonan reflected on the Townhall Revolt which began in St. Louis one year ago. Writes Noonan:
When Rep. Russ Carnahan held a town hall meeting at a community college in Missouri on July 20, he tried patiently to explain that ObamaCare not only would be deficit-neutral, it would save money. They didn’t shout him down, they laughed. When Sen. Claire McCaskill appeared before a town hall meeting in Jefferson County, Mo., on Aug. 11, she responded to the crowd with words that sum up the moment: “I don’t get it. . . . I honestly don’t get it. . . . You don’t trust me?” “No!” the crowd roared.
Do you remember what last summer was like? I do. I remember being at work on July 20 and getting emails and tweets on my phone. I remember watching that video, then watching it go viral. It spread across the country. Suddenly, people in every city were flooding politicians’ formerly sleepy townhall events:
It was a largely self-generated uprising, and it was marked, wherever it happened, in San Diego or St. Louis, by certain common elements. The visiting senator or representative, gone home to visit the voters, always seemed shocked at the size of the audience and the depth of his constituents’ anger. There was usually a voter making a videotape in the back of the hall. There were almost always spirited speeches from voters. There was never, or not once that I saw, a strong and informed response from the congressman. In one way it was like the Iranian revolution: Most people got the earliest and fullest reports of what was happening on the Internet, through YouTube. Voters would take shaky videos on their cellphones and post them when they got home. Suddenly, over a matter of weeks, you could type in “town hall” and you’d get hundreds, and finally thousands, of choices.
Those grainy videos–and some not-so-grainy–came from you. Darin Morley, Michelle Moore, Adam Sharp, Patch Adams, Dana Loesch, and others. The video camera became the weapon of choice, and St. Louis became the viral video epicenter of the Tea Party movement. And we never stopped. Never.
In the heat of August 2009, the action heated up. The SEIU and Russ Carnahan sent thugs to beat us down and intimidate us. Now, the SEIU enforcers prepare for trial, their apologists accusing the victim of Uncle Tomism. Barack Obama is considered a Socialist by 55 percent of Americans, and his approval rating is in free fall. ACORN had been forced to change its name, and the President’s party is in danger of losing the House and Senate in November’s election. Strong conservative candidates have upset RINOs in numerous states and races. And the colors of the American flag seem a little deeper–stronger reds, more faithful blues, and blinding whites. As Ms. Noonan observes:
And yet his [Obama’s] poll numbers continue to float downward. He is not more loved with victory. To an unusual and maybe unprecedented degree his victories seem like victories for him, and for his party, and for his agenda, but they haven’t settled in as broad triumphs that illustrate power and competence.
Take a moment to reflect on the long, hot August of 2009. Many of us went toe-to-toe with the enemy, day after day. I was five confrontational protests in seven days at one point, and I saw many of the same faces at each of them. We were defiant yet friendly, confrontational yet civilized. Outspent $10,000,000 to $1, we forced the Socialist Obama to wait eight monts for his healthcare victory, and then it was watered down. And it will cost him if we make it.
It’s not quite morning in America, but the sun is on the rise. The left is on the run. We’re ready for the sprint to November and the party afterwards. Victory is in the air, and I love it. God help me, I love it so.