I guess Glenn Beck did his "oh please don't commit any of the violence I've been urging you to commit for the last year" ass-covering episode just in time.
What was intended to be a town hall discussion on President Barack Obama's health care reform proposal dissolved into a shouting match with shoving and scuffles in Ybor City tonight.
The event brought home to Tampa the recent phenomenon of angry opponents of Obama's proposal disrupting town hall meetings by Democratic members of Congress during the August recess.
This meeting was organized by Democratic state Rep. Betty Reed but was to include comments on the proposal by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a strong supporter.
Castor tried to speak for nearly 15 minutes but the crowd drowned her out, chanting, "You work for us,'' "Tyranny, tyranny,'' and "Read the bill." She ultimately left the meeting early, further angering some attendees.
The problems began when a crowd of around 500, many of them recruited to attend by interest groups both for and against the proposal, sought to enter the meeting room. The room, in the offices of the Hillsborough County Children's Board on East Palm Avenue, has a capacity of only about 250.
Several hundred people, mostly opponents, wound up outside or packing a hallway leading into the meeting room. Some scuffled with members of the sponsoring groups who manned the doorway.
The story is a bit misleading in that it blames both sides for the near riot. One group of people came there to discuss health policy and here from their elected representative, many at the behest of the their preferred political party or political action group. The other group was there strictly to shout slogans, disrupt the meeting and prevent reasonable discussion at the behest of those with a vested interest or for political advantage. There is no question as to which group is associated with which political party and blaming both sides is like blaming the bank and the bank robbers.
Not that Beck is the only one to blame, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Obviously the plutocrats are either worried or getting so overconfident that they cannot be touched, that they aren't even bothering to wipe the fingerprints off the weapons they are using to murder democracy in the United States.
This isn't the first time the right has used mob tactics in recent history, but this time it was regular people inspired by the same hatemongers and professional manipulators behind the "tea-bagger" movement, not a crowd of political aides and party operatives.
In encouraging people to come out and disrupt politcal meetings, a very dangerous line has been crossed here. Is American headed back to the pitched street battles of the early 20th century when the industrial barons of the day hired goons squads to attack and kill trade unionists, break up leftist demonstrations and nearly mounted a military coup?
Big darkness, soon come.