The wildly misinformed, angry-about-they’re-not-sure-what bullies who have been trying to shout down democracy at congressional health-care town hall meetings all across the country met their match Wednesday evening on the corner of Euclid and Adelbert on the Case Western Reserve campus.

Eleventh District Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was holding what she billed as her First Annual Congressional District Address. The "over my dead body will you give me affordable health care" brigade showed up, although their numbers were straggly compared to the dozens of health care reform supporters also standing outside with signs. A lone woman stood in front of a car on Adelbert Road, holding a sign that said “Kill the bill, not the patient.” Across the street in front of Severance Hall, a camouflage-clad, flag-waving demonstrator brandished a sign that said “Govt. is sick.” He and a handful of compatriots were surrounded and outnumbered by supporters of single-payer health care.

But when Fudge’s meeting let out, they’d been replaced by a team of LaRouchies passing out pictures of President Obama sporting a tiny Hitler moustache and dense, wordy pamphlets titled “Act Now to Stop Obama’s Nazi Health Care Plan!” The cult of former fringe presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche takes a backseat to no one when it comes to The Crazy. Even the right-wingers yelling about socialism and euthanizing the elderly steer clear.

What had originally been planned as a “state of the district” speech turned into a de facto health-care forum; all but one of the dozens of questions asked concerned health care. CWRU’s 500-capacity Ford Auditorium was packed, and it was clear from the start that the crowd was supportive of the congresswoman, who is a strong advocate of health-care reform. She said that that “will be the most important thing this congress will do,” earning a round of cheers and a handful of boos. She got the same response when she said of the wilted economy, “We didn’t get this way overnight; we won’t fix it overnight — it took eight years of destruction.”

As she spoke, she was interrupted by someone yelling about “passing a bill to kill old people.” Fudge responded, “Anyone who would believe that anyone in this country would euthanize old people has really got a problem." But the screamer kept screaming and was hauled out by a couple of cops. That pretty much put the lid on disruptive shouting.

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