Many town hall protesters enjoy boasting to federal lawmakers about how knowledgeable they are about public policy. For example, at a town hall meeting with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) yesterday, an attendee stood up and declared, “I have taken the time to look at certain provisions of a bill on the Internet and I can quote…the sections and the page.” But the Omaha City Weekly went to a recent town hall hosted by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and found that the health care protesters actually aren’t all that informed about public policy. They asked 40 pro-reform and 40 anti-reform attendees to locate Iraq on a map. The results:
A full 75%, 30 of 40 pro-reform attendees, could identify Iraq in its rather eye-catching, dead center position on the map. Only 52.5 %, 21 of 40 anti-reformers could do so. […]
More telling was the startling reactions I got while conducting the test. Pro-reform people, even those geographically challenged few who laughed out loud at the futility of the task before them, portrayed a uniformly agreeable front. Most gave a knowing, touch_-like nod and smile. I received no negative comments, none at all, from that group.
The same could not be said of the other camp. Far from it.
One gentleman practically knocked the clipboard out of my hand in jabbing — angrily and correctly — at the country that (John Kerry was right) represented the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place.
Many sneered. Most at least glowered. Four accused the test itself of being somehow biased.
One anti-reform Vietnam veteran also responded, “Why the hell should I care where Iraq is?”