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Town Hall Talk: Peaceful Protests in the Palmetto State

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Republican Reps. Bob Inglis and Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.) all held town hall meetings on health-care reform in South Carolina yesterday. Unlike other town halls of late, these three lacked reports of intense backlash.

Opponents of DeMint's position on health-care reform held signs of protest but their efforts sharply contrasted "forums around the country that have degenerated into shouting matches," according to The Associated Press. DeMint advocates tort reform and competition as an alternative to President Obama's proposals for health-care reform.

Inglis, according to the SCHotline blog, said he believes people opposing Obama's plan must continue to be heard. "People are coming out to make their feelings known and voice their frustration or support. I hope we'll continue have large crowds who want to discuss health care and participate in the debate," he said.

His statement followed an editorial by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) that denounced any overly aggressive tactics in town halls. "Drowning out opposing views simply un-American," Pelosi and Hoyer wrote.

Here's a rundown of some of today's town hall meetings:

Citrus Heights, Calif. -- Rep. Dan Lungren (R) meets with constituents at Citrus Heights City Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Forest City and Cherryville, N.C. -- Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) holds town hall meetings at Rutherford County Schools Offices and at Cherryville Fire Department in the early evening. Times TBA.

Travelers Rest, S.C. -- Rep. Bob Inglis (R) meets with constituents at Travelers Rest Library at 7:00 p.m.

By Washington Post editors  |  August 18, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Of course town halls held by Republicans would be calmer. Democrats aren't the ones who generally scream, rant and rave, And why would Republicans bus protesters in to confront other Republicans?

Posted by: alysheba_3 | August 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

When my elected officials are doing what I want them to do, I usually don't attend their meetings, call, or write. I occasionally will write with an "attaboy". I firmly believe that they should poll the constituents to get the pulse, but, those opposed to their views should have their ears. The article doesn't mention whether those opposed to their probable votes asked questions, but, rather, says that they just carried signs. Hopefully the reps. asked that those who support their views remain silent and allow those with concerns to ask questions. Just holding signs at a public forum does nothing. They must ask their questions/voice their concerns.

Posted by: coffic | August 19, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

It is too bad the health care issue has become a partisan issue. It seems the
Republic party is protecting all of the
people who have come forward with objections to the current bill. Alot of the
people whose rights they are protecting are
democrats. Why? because it seems what I have seen of the Town Hall meetings etc
the president, and his followers are trying
to force some things down every bodies
throats regardless of the protesting. It does seem that there are just a few citizens that are opposed to the current bill it is a majority of the country.

The loudest protesters are the people who
are paying for their insurance either
through their employer, or out of their
own pocket while the majority of the help
is going to the people who are not going to
pay anything they are going on the backs of
those who put in all the money either through payroll deduction or taxes. If the
do not have a job but are on unemployment
funds they are paying on their own.

If they would start the meeting with words
meaning Obama wants to hear how many of you
want his bill and how many are against it, and what part of it you don't like they
may be able to get through in a civil, but
when they start talking like Barney, Nancy
and Sibileous who infer the people don't
know what is good for them, and the government does it gets out of hand. Nobody
with any sense would put Barney Frank out
to sell anything. I don't think he could
give away hundred dollar bills. Like would
you buy a used car from this man?

Treat the meetings like a referrendum. Report how many for and how many against.
The ayes, or the nays have it.


Posted by: retailer01 | August 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

It is really quite a shame that healthcare is in the limelight, while war continues overseas, and the US economy tanks. The healthcare issue is just a diversion, while this corrupt Congress does absolutely nothing about the economy, and the Federal Reserve continues giving away money to banks. What a shame!!

Posted by: sarasota1 | August 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have done what I thought was impossible, after having seen what they've done to this country since Reagan -they've sunk to a new low.

They have turned into a party that is so devoid of anything resembling what is good about our country that they aren't recognizable as anything but a bunch of thugs.

Could you imagine what would have happened to that clown with the guns in AZ if he had tried to get past one of Bush's 'free speech' zones, even though they were several blocks away from where he (Bush)was mangling the English language ? The guy would have been arrested and under the terms of the Patriot Act could be held forever without seeing a lawyer!!!

Yeah, the Republicans have the right idea. Oppose EVERYTHING that Obama wants to do. After all, the R's have done so much for us over the past 15 years.

Posted by: dennissuper | August 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

DeMint's meeting was not a town hall meeting. It was a businessmen's breakfast meeting. The cost was $12.50 to attend. The meeting was held on Daniels Island which is a very expensive section of Charleston. Everything was done to make it difficult for ordinary citizens of Charleston to attend and to ensure a friendly audience. This was a good old boys meeting. Not a town hall meeting. Lets call it what it is.

Posted by: Charleston1 | August 19, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I live in the Palmetto State. Poor advertising for the Town Hall Meeting, held at the most expensive restaurant in town, only one real protester was allowed into the Rioz (Myrtle Beach), the rest of the democrat protesters were kept way across the street where the folks entering the Rioz could not even read the signs. Talk about manipulating the data! Thanks, Jim Demint. Hope you get the Waterloo moment you deserve. I don't tolerate liars, and you are one of the worst. You do NOT represent me. Obama's health care reform bill outline is sound and honest. But you wouldn't know anything about that, it's not in your DNA. Sign me, Disgusted Democrat in SC, yes a blue dot in a sea of red.

Posted by: footloose2 | August 19, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

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