First there was news earlier this morning that the WhiteHouse is going to start fact checking some of the smears and lies flying around about health care reform and pushback forcefully on them.
Now here comes several bits of encouraging news over the course of the day.
The DNC's Brad Woodhouse responds to Republican backed teabaggers disrupting townhalls.
Statement from DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse on the Republican Party and Allied Groups’ Mob Rule:The Republicans and their allied groups – desperate after losing two consecutive elections and every major policy fight on Capitol Hill – are inciting angry mobs of a small number of rabid right wing extremists funded by K Street Lobbyists to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America taking place in Congressional Districts across the country.
However, much like we saw at the McCain-Palin rallies last year where crowds were baited with cries of 'socialist,' 'communist,' and where the birthers movement was born – these mobs of extremists are not interested in having a thoughtful discussion about the issues – but like some Republican leaders have said – they are interested in ‘breaking’ the President and destroying his Presidency.
These mobs are bussed in by well funded, highly organized groups run by Republican operatives and funded by the special interests who are desperately trying to stop the agenda for change the President was elected to bring to Washington. Despite the headline grabbing nature of these angry mobs and their disruptions of events, they are not reflective of where the American people are on the issues – or the hundreds of thousands of thoughtful discussions taking place around kitchen tables, water coolers and in homes.
The right wing extremists’ use of things like devil horns on pictures of our elected officials, hanging members of Congress in effigy, breathlessly questioning the President's citizenship and the use of Nazi SS symbols and the like just shows how outside of the mainstream the Republican Party and their allies are. This type of anger and discord did not serve Republicans well in 2008 – and it is bound to backfire again.
Then you have 13 experts including members of the CBO advisory committee come out in a letter to Peter Orzag to back the IMAC plan as a cost saving measure in health care reform.
A group of prominent health care experts, including members of a Congressional Budget Office advisory panel, are taking the Obama White House's side in a dispute it is having with the CBO over how much money could be saved by reforming a key aspect of the Medicare system.
In a letter to the president that was made public on Tuesday, 13 academics and experts, including eight members of the CBO's own Panel of Health Advisers said that significant reductions in health care costs could be achieved by creating an independent council to moderate Medicare costs.
"A properly structure Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC), with a congressional mandate and authority to do so, can reduce the rate of growth of health expenditures substantially," the author's wrote.
The letter, which went on to favorably cite the CBO, is nevertheless a rebuke of sorts for the office whose director, Douglas Elmendorf, wrote in late July that an independent panel to monitor Medicare spending would achieve little savings over a ten-year period.
And now Robert Gibbs and several Democratic members of Congress have come out and also called out the GOP and special interests for subsidizing the people who are interrupting the town halls of Democratic members of Congress.
The White House has now gone on the offensive over the town halls, with press sec Robert Gibbs blasting Conservatives for Patients Rights, the anti-reform group, for publicly claiming credit for helping organize the sometimes-rowdy meetings.
“You’ve had groups today, the Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, that have bragged about organizing and manufacturing that anger,” Gibbs said during today’s briefing, in what I hope was a reference to our story, adding that CPR is heavily invested in the “status quo.”
Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer, in an interview with HuffPo, blasted the protestors as a “small fringe group” who want to “monopolize the conversation.”
I’m told that DCCC chief Chris Van Hollen is going on Keith Olbermann’s show tonight to keep up the attacks. DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer blasted the GOP for being in thrall to “angry fringe voices on the extreme right wing of their party.”
Don't get me wrong, they took their sweet ass time, but at least now it looks like the big dogs are finally coming out with guns blazing to get health care reform passed this year.