Die-in struggles to come to life

DIE-IN STRUGGLES TO COME TO LIFE…. The Teabagging crowd came up with another protest idea recently: a “die-in” protest.

As Tea Party organizer Mark Meckler put it, “The intention is to go inside the Senate offices and hallways, and play out the role of patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities. As the day goes on some of us will pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor.”

Now, as a substantive matter, this is unusually dumb. The only “government-controlled medical facilities” in the country are V.A. hospitals, and they offer some of the best medical care in the country. Health care reform doesn’t create “government-controlled medical facilities” where people will suffer from “untreated illnesses”; it will address the problem that tens of thousands of Americans die every year because they lack insurance.

But reality has never been part of the Tea Party agenda, so the right-wing crowd organized its “die-in” anyway, and hit the Capitol yesterday. How’d it go? Dave Weigel reports:

“Is this it?” some asked.

The few dozen Tea Party activists who made it to upper Senate Park in Washington this morning were confused at the size of the crowd. The night before, some of them had attended a FreedomWorks-sponsored workshop about the day’s events — a “die-in” during which activists would pretend to experience the effects of government health care in Senate offices, and a 1:30 p.m. “red alert” rally outside the Capitol. Either everyone was waiting on the latter event or they were lost.

Eventually, the crowd grew to about 60 people, several of whom were journalists covering the protest.

The participants visited Senate offices, but no one “pretended to die from our untreated illnesses and collapsed on the floor.”

Confused, ill-informed Teabaggers can only organize so many Capitol Hill events before diminishing returns kick in.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.