Pelosi rejects anti-health reform protests: ‘I think they’re Astroturf.’

Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs” around the country. These town halls on health care have been marked by “incomprehensible” yelling from angry conservatives, many of whom don’t even live in the district of the meeting they’re attending. Yesterday, a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whether they were a “sign of genuine grass roots opposition to the Obama health care plan”:

“I think they’re Astroturf,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “You be the judge.

“There is no question that people want to know what’s in the legislation, want to know how it is paid for and know what it means to them. And that is why we have town meetings, either electronically or personally.

“Just because someone opposes their understanding of what this health care is, that’s not a bad thing. But some of what is orchestrated to prevent the opportunity of presenting the plan, that’s a different story,” the Speaker said.

Indeed, as ThinkProgress has reported, a leaked memo from a volunteer with Tea Party Patriots, a website sponsored by lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, details how members should be disrupting town halls and “rattling” Democratic members of Congress. The health insurance lobby recently announced that it too will be sending staff to “confront” lawmakers at town halls.