There could be a showdown between liberals and the tea party faction tomorrow at Rep. Greg Walden's Bend office - or maybe not.
Last week Walden cast a vote in the House against the Democrats' health care reform bill, which includes a form of the "public option" - government-supported health insurance that people could choose instead of a private insurance policy. He also voted for the Stupka-Pitts amendment, which prohibits any federal money from going to any insurance plan, public or private, that pays for abortion except under very limited circumstances.
The liberal MoveOn organization sent out a mass e-mail on Monday urging people to show up at Walden's office at 1051 NW Bond St. at noon Friday to protest Walden's votes in the House and express support for passage of a similar bill by the Senate.
"The House bill isn't flawless," the e-mail said. "It includes a compromise version of the public option and an ugly anti-choice amendment. But it's a huge step forward: it would expand coverage to 96% of Americans, offer more choice through a national public option, and help end Big Insurance's stranglehold on our health care system. And the only way we'll get anything like it through the Senate is if we all come out right now and demand it."
Rather belatedly, the right-wingers apparently decided to attempt a counter-demonstration.
"A liberal rally has been planned at Congressman Greg Walden's office at noon on Friday, November 13th to support the Obama government take-over of our health system and more regulations in our lives and in our doctor's office," the Oregon Catalyst blog wrote yesterday in the usual hysterical fashion. "This has prompted some to call for a counter-rally at Congressman Greg Walden's office at 11:45 as a show of support for Walden and the free-market [sic]. Expect to see a converging of people this Friday at [Walden's office]. This could be interesting."
One thing that's already interesting is that the right-wingers are telling their troops to muster at Walden's office 15 minutes before noon. Are they hoping to get there before the liberals do and cram the office so they can't get in?
I'm thinking MoveOn should have researched the voter registration rolls of the Bend area before calling for this thing. There are still a hell of a lot more conservatives than liberals in this neck of the woods - as evidenced by the fact that John McCain carried Deschutes County over Obama (narrowly) in 2008.