10. And then in opening remarks, I blew the Tea Baggers' cover. Roughly, it went like this:Meetings like this one continue a democratic tradition more than 2500 years old, that of the ancient Greek "Ecclesia." The term means "those called out"—called out to discuss and decide civic matters, and to defend their ancient Greek city-states, to defend their democracy. And you all were called out by notices in the local papers, radio stations, by e-mail and internet, to discuss Health Care Reform and Clean Energy with our Representative tonight.
So know this: efforts to disrupt and thwart public discourse on civic matters are profoundly anti-democratic. But, that's an obstacle we face tonight. It's public knowledge that groups known as Tea Baggers intend to disrupt and thwart the public discourse on Health Care Reform in meetings like this during this month's Congressional Recess. They want Democracy to fail. So, let's face this obstacle together.
The Tea Baggers' instructions are also public knowledge. If some people stand up, shout out and sit down; if some try to rattle us and the Congressman; if some pretend numeric superiority; if some try to stifle intelligent debate; then we can compare that behavior to the Tea Baggers' instructions and draw our own conclusions.
I can only hope that other Democratic Congresspersons pass the word about how to handle this situation going forward.