With all the work that went into the pre-production of David Vitter Presents A Town Hall on Health Care– pre-screening and selecting questions, refusing questions from the media, assembling a panel of like-minded conservatives- you’d think Mr. Vitter would have chosen a different jacket.

vitterwonkahefnerWe can all thank The Town Talk for this picture.

In all seriousness, something that has not been reported: According to a friend of mine who was there for the entire production, prior to meeting, outside of the Guinn Auditorium, a small group of protesters (?) chanted, “Kill Nancy Pelosi!” It sure would be nice to locate video footage of this.

Another memorable moment, I’m told, is when one of the panelists declared, “I don’t want someone to decide to end my life before I’m born,” which seems like a koan ripped from the pages of a book of Zen poetry.

You know, the reason why Democratic Town Halls have made news is because they’re actually open to dissenting voices. David Vitter’s version of a Town Hall is exactly like George Bush’s: pre-scripted, pre-selected, and designed to minimize any opposition. Quoting from The Town Talk (bold mine):

The Louisiana Republican spoke at what was billed as a town hall meeting at Louisiana College’s Guinn Auditorium. It was a friendly audience but there was little chance for disagreement to be expressed. The panel of speakers all joined Vitter in opposing the reform package being debated in Congress. Questions from audience members were screened and selected in advance of the event.

Update: ThinkProgress says it better than I can: At Town Hall Meeting With Pre-Screened Questions, Vitter Mocks Democratic Concerns Over Protesters, which includes this video:

Update II: Actually, Greg Peters says it best.

5 thoughts

  1. it doesnt get more scripted than pres. obama’s “town hall meeting” today. next time he should just start with “ladies and gentleman, i’m not a president, but i play one on t.v!”

  2. Dan Cook:

    Check your facts. Vitter’s questions were screened and pre-selected. Obama’s questions were not pre-screened. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/08/11/live-blogging-obamas-town-hall-meeting-2/.

    The difference is that (like Bush) Vitter’s town hall meeting questions are screened to make sure that he doesn’t have to answer objective questions, only those that feed into his talking points. The president did a good job today sincerely answering thoughtful questions from a variety of different points of view.

  3. if you think there were no planted questions at that meeting, then you are either naive or a fool, possibly both.

  4. Dan, what’s with the hostility?

    Michael was just pointing out that the conservative Wall Street Journal, owned by none other than Rupert Murdoch, reported President Obama was NOT “pre-screening” any of his questions, and if you watched his town hall, it certainly seemed like it was unscripted.

    As the White House said today, it’s almost as if conservatives are upset that no one yelled at the President.

    There is a huge difference between the ways in which Vitter (and Bush) conducted his town hall meetings and the ways in which Obama and many of the Democrats have conducted theirs. You know, allowing dissent, encouraging the free exchange of ideas, etc.

    The problem, as I see it, is how some conservatives are using these town halls to perpetuate obvious lies about Obama’s health care plan, and when corrected or challenged, the only thing they know how to do is shout “Liar!”

    It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare (which Mrs. Newton at Alexandria Senior High forced us to memorize):

    “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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