Outside of Al Franken's Health Care Rally

Written by Nancy LaRoche.

Today I joined other government-run healthcare opponents outside of the Labor Center in Minneapolis. Sen. Al Franken hosted a health care rally and discussed reconciliation as the nuclear option to pass the bill. It appears that protests were just as animated inside the center as outside. There was a push to oust a protester inside, but others started objecting to corporate lobbyists. Even Senator Franken got some boos. While Franken spoke inside, 5th Congressional candidate Barb Davis White was stopped at a light and honked her horn enough times to disrupt his speech as curious observers looked out the window.

I was again an eyewitness to the "angry" mob. No, not the tea partiers but union members. We watched as one member called us names, bullied and stood in front of protesters covering up their signs.  Another walked around with a spinal cord with testicles hanging below, calling us teabaggers and telling government to "grow a spine and balls." Away from the pack of sign wavers stood a lone Teamster with a a sign reading "No Obamacare" on one side and "Teamster for Conservatism" on the other. I spoke with him and asked if he knew about a union member being hit by a car earlier. He said, "Yeah, that was me." Apparently the driver didn't like his sign, intentionally gunned his engine and hit the brakes just before the man, and he hit him. The Teamster was unharmed and said it was "another example of peaceful, tolerant liberals."

As the rally ended, supporters walked past me and I got the sense that some were not feeling energized. I'll update with more on what happened inside when I get details. Reconciliation is the newest way to get the healthcare bill passed, needing only 51 votes. Whether it's legal and constitutional is another matter.

What should be disturbing is that our President is usurping the majority of American's wishes and attempting to "Rahm it" down our throats anyway. The White House staff is drafting up a bill that no congressional Democrats have seen yet, but they promised to post it on their website within a couple of days and before the televised summit with some congressional Republicans.

Mitch Berg joined us and will have much more to say at Shot In The Dark later tonight.