From Al Giordano

Want Health Care? Go Door to Door or You Won’t Get It
Posted by Al Giordano – September 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

On May 26 I wrote The Summer of Shove Begins, at a time when pundits and bloggers alike were gnashing teeth over whether US President Barack Obama was overreaching in his now successful agenda to have Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed by early August and to have a health care bill ready in September.

I suggested, as I pretty much always do, that readers ignore the chattering up above and watch the ground game down below and that will decide how the story goes: “the real history will be made, this summer – as during the last two – by the unsung heroes and heroines: the organizers.”

It was a reference to Organizing for America – Obama’s grassroots political arm – and its organizers (you know who you are) who would spend the summer setting up the battle to be waged in this month of September over the problem that has eluded solution for decades in the United States: the now 46 million Americans who don’t have access to health insurance.

Labor Day weekend is here, so let’s bring the patient in for a seasonal check up.

Two days ago, Organizing for America field marshal Mitch Stewart blasted out an email titled The Real Story of August, (a title that resonates with my own May declaration of where “the real history” of the summer would be made). He wrote:

At the beginning of August, President Obama wrote to the OFA community to challenge us to work hard, break through the noise and give the American people a voice in the fight for health insurance reform.

It wasn’t easy: With Congress back home, special interests and partisan attack groups went into overdrive spreading lies, and the media seemed to broadcast any story of conflict or division they could find.

But you accepted the President’s challenge — and delivered.

See it for yourself: Check out the latest photos and stories from around the country.

Our strategy for the month was simple: engage the millions of individuals who know we need change to fight the lies and tell the truth, build support for reform, and ensure that support is highly visible while members of Congress are home gauging public opinion. We continued our methodical, battle-tested approach of volunteers reaching out online and offline in every part of the country. We offered the facts, answered questions and engaged those who were ready to get involved.

Stewart provided the following numbers, as any decent community organizer does: 350 town hall meetings were held over the summer across the country with 70,000 attendees. More than 5,000 group visits to local Congressional offices were organized, along with more than 100,000 phone calls to Congress members in support of the President’s health care proposals.

Mass meetings like those held in Missouri by Senator Claire McCaskill and in Ohio by Senator Sherrod Brown have drawn thousands of health care supporters, always with a screaming but small minority of health care opponents just to keep it lively. A similar dynamic was at play last Monday in Skokie, Illinois, when US Rep. Jan Shakowsky held such a session in a 1,300 seat auditorium. A Field Hand who was there reports there were still 500 left outside waiting in line, including a few screwballs chanting “No public health care!” Various shouting matches ensued. Sounds like democracy to me.

Rest of article at link above.

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