Most have heard about Kenneth Gladney by now. The so-called Black Conservative from St. Louis who got into a little scuffle with idiots from the SEIU at a recent Town Hall event on Healthcare, hosted by Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO).
Keeping up with the protests over the past few weeks, and seeing the way things were escalating, it came as no surprise that scuffles were beginning to break out. I lay a lot of the blame on Obama for his lack of leadership, because he failed to calm the fears of those who have been brainwashed over the past few weeks.... and for his Administrations lack of action to change the strategy once it became clear that their Healthcare initiative was a train wreck. Obama lost the propaganda war long before any real debate had a chance to begin....which means the Town Hall meetings are a bit of a joke. Yet, even today, these idiot Democrats continue to hold these meetings...despite the fact that these events are useless at this point and are in fact only making matters worse.
What Obama should do is instruct Democrats in the House and Senate to cancel any future Town Halls. Instead, there should be a series of nationally televised Town Halls (just like the Presidential Debates) where the shouters are not allowed in to disrupt the event....and where a real debate and discussion could take place. There could also be a panel of experts at these events, and debunkers (like Fact Check and Politifact). This would be a chance for Obama to clear up much of the propaganda that has been allowed to go unchallenged by his Administration over the past few months.
But the Dems continue to have these meetings as if they are making a difference in the PR battle. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri held one just today and she was lucky to have gotten out alive. The Town Halls are nothing more than platforms for Right Wing Protests and video snippets; there is no vigorous debate or discussion taking place. It's a farce. Right wingers, who have no real information and therefore can't debate...and have no interest in debating the issues are doing the only thing they can do - shouting at the other side...and creating chaos. Nothing meaningful is going to come out of continuing what have become Right wing propaganda events.
And the SEIU should stay home if their people are not smart enough not to be suckered by the Right. By getting involved in a scuffle (and I don't know who started what.... the video does not show the beginning of the incident) they are giving the Republican media machine exactly what it wants. That's what the Right Wing was hoping for by attending these events hosted mostly by Democrats. Thus the Republicans now have their newest Joe the Plumber... and he's just as phony as can be IMO. He's playing up his "brutal beating" as much as possible, and he's allowing himself to be used by the Republican spin machine.
The biggest irony is that he's reportedly asking for help with medical bills. Why? Because he's unemployed and whatever Health coverage he has apparently isn't enough (the whole purpose of the Healthcare Reform that he was protesting against). Or could it be that someone is just looking for a payday? Read on and see...
There are also some things fishy about this entire incident. I don't doubt it happened...but the more I look into the situation....the more fishy it smells. I won't go as far as some bloggers who suggest that the entire incident was staged.... I believe it happened.... I just believe that the SEIU idiots fell for something that the Right Wing groups wanted to happen in the first place. Apparently Gladney, who was selling Right Wing shirts, flags and buttons for someone, became the bait that the Right Wing needed. And the dummies from the SEIU fell right into the trap.
The SEIU shouldn't have been there if they don't know how to stay out of trouble. And they certainly should not have been at the event to antagonize the Teabaggers, knowing tensions were exceptionally high. Just stupidity all around. And yes... I know wearing Union T-shirts has been the norm for decades, but common sense has to come into play at some point. If you are wearing clothes identifying your Union affiliation....be on your best behavior. They really shouldn't have their T-shirts on at all in my opinion.... it's unnecessary at an event that is supposed to be a discussion about Healthcare.
But regarding Gladney in particular, it gets worse... I found an even more interesting tidbit about Mr. Gladney... and when I read it I was reminded of one of the TV commercials where you are told about criminals who engage in insurance fraud by staging phony car accidents and by having their own eye witnesses conveniently placed to tell Police exactly what happened so that everyone can get paid. Again, I don't think the incident at the St. Louis Town Hall was staged...but the circumstances are a little fishy. So much surrounding this seems to have been placed in a way that conveniently benefits the Republican Party. Why else would part of Gladney's legal representation just happen to be at the Town Hall incident as a witness? Convenient. Yep, his attorney just happened to have been at the Town Hall. And seeing the video of his attorney at a protest a few days later, he seemed more like an activist than a personal injury lawyer. Those who are pushing this story don't seem to be making any bones about the fact that Gladney and Republican interests want to milk this incident to get all they can out of it.
It just seems to me that Republicans are taking advantage of this unemployed guy (remember how phony "Joe The Plumber" had odd jobs...and now he's making big money for the Republican propaganda machine?). It annoys me that they (the Republican Right) are probably partly responsible for this man being without a job, thanks to Bush's recession.... but then they turn around and recruit him to protest against his own best interests on Health care. Amazing! But there's a sucker born every minute.