When is astroturf not astroturf? 

When people are supporting Democrats, of course!

In August 2009, as Americans across the country took to townhalls to protest the overwhelmingly unpopular national health care legislation moving through Congress, Democrats and the Obama administration dismissed the backlash as mere "astroturf" organized by Republicans and large corporations.

Then what should we call this, as reported by Suzy Khimm of Mother Jones:

In their crusade to hit the GOP on Medicare, the Democratic Party is urging supporters to attend Republican town halls, bring protest signs, and report back to the party about what they see. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a campaign called "Don't End Medicare" that directs supporters to local meet-ups with Republican Congressman, suggesting that they bring signs that read "Vote Republican—End Medicare" and prepare themselves with Democratic talking points about the GOP’s "reckless privatization scheme."

Notably, the DCCC also urges supporters to "bring your camera and report back to us on what you see"—effectively asking them to turn themselves into citizen journalists who can catch potentially inflammatory or otherwise damning remarks by Republicans at their Medicare town halls. 

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Philip Klein

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