An Open Letter to Bob MacGuffie

Dear Bob,

I was listening to NPR on my way home from work just like every other day. I heard a story about hooligans disrupting a town hall meeting regarding health care reform. Basically, they just start yelling like drunk teenagers, and disrupting an event that others turned out for, no doubt, because they actually wanted to hear what the representatives had to say. I found the whole thing rather ridiculous, but I was downright appalled when I heard that you, a fellow Nutmegger, were behind these shenanigans.

Here is how NPR put it:

Many of the events this week appear to have been organized by conservative groups. A new Web site is called “Operation Embarrass Your Congressman.” A widely circulated memo tells right-wing protesters how to treat their representative: “Make him uneasy … stand up and shout out, and sit right back down … rattle him.”

The memo concludes, “Just imagine what we can achieve if we see to it that every representative in the nation who has supported the socialist agenda has a similar experience!”

I reached the man who wrote this memo by phone. His name is Bob MacGuffie. He lives in Fairfield, Conn., and belongs to the conservative group Tea Party Patriots. He told me he is sick of writing letters to Congress and getting form letters in return, and that he just wants to be heard.

It seems to me that the next logical step after letter-writing would be to go to one of these town halls and ask a question…not shout like rowdy soccer fans. Not only does it completely invalidate your point of view, but it’s just plain rude…and if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s bad manners. Just think about all the people who took the time–possibly a day off from work–to attend one of these functions to get some answers and then had to sit through the obnoxious rabble rousing of one of your cohorts. Even that guy who threw a shoe at W. had the decency to make his opinion known and then get dragged off by secret service rather than derail the whole press conference.

I doubt I’ll be able to convince you or your pals to stop acting like hoodlums, but I’m wondering if you could do the rest of us Connecticut residents a favor: stop telling people where you’re from. We’ve got a bad enough reputation for being cold, unfriendly, rich snobs. We don’t need to add completely tactless heathens to the list.





  1. Yep – that’s the important part. We want people to love us. Make love not war. We’re guilty enough as it is. Oh how he embarrasses the Connecticut gentry. Unfortunately, if an opinion is not being heard, or not being listened to, one might have to speak a little louder. As a former Connecticut resident, I’d have been ashamed of my representatives, and would be thankful that someone is standing up demanding to be heard. Of course, when a Conservative shouts, it’s “hooliganism”; when a liberal shouts, he’s “standing up for his rights”. A Town Hall is a good place to shout. If both sides shout, that’s good too. At least it adds some life to the community. (our Founding Fathers used to tar and feather Tories – never heard a bad word said about that.)


  2. There are plenty of ways to get attention without disrupting a forum where people have gone to get information. There were certainly people there with legitimate questions–some of whom may have even agreed with the hooligans–whose voices weren’t heard, and whose questions weren’t answered. A protest outside, would have been one way to go about things. Signs, would have been another. Asking a question would have been yet another still. This wreaks of scare tactics, and stifling the opposition. Why engage in a dialogue when you can just shout at someone until they give up and go home, right? It’s a lot easier to be a bully than it is to put together a coherent argument.


  3. The NPR story called it “a widely circulated memo” — nothing secret about that.

    The article you linked to doesn’t really address any of my concerns which are exactly what I’ve already stated, but will do so again, since you seem to be ignoring them:

    Shouting down a public representative in a public forum, where other citizens have come to ask questions, get answers, and express their own concerns is not only rude, and anti-productive, but in many ways anti-democratic. You’re preventing elected officials from speaking with their constituency — many of whom may even agree with you — and other opinions from being heard. It in no way furthers your own argument, but simply makes it look as though…well…that you have no argument, but simply want to embarrass people you don’t agree with.

    It’s obviously gotten you media coverage but probably hasn’t won anyone’s heart or mind. Here’s an idea: maybe you guys should get together a few candidates and let the American public vote on whether or not they care to listen to you… And I promise not to come to any of your meetings and simply scream until you go home–no matter how much I disagree.


  4. 1. You were “listening to the radio” and you’re quoting the words? Wow. What a memory. Google “MacGuffie leaked”.

    2. The article had a video. Why didn’t you mention the content of the video? Are you being deceptive in that you didn’t get that far down, and thus, didn’t really read it, or are you evading the fact that the meeting was quite civil?

    3. The remainder of your response is just an entanglement of self rewarding comments. So, pat yourself on the back. But watch out that Daddy doesn’t lose his job. You might start yelling yourself.


  5. 1)Wow. you’re dense. If you scroll back you’ll see a link above the quote –which I took from the transcript of the article, readily available to the public on NPR’s.

    2) If you were to follow that link, you’d find other links to a video of the incident actually being referred to in the NPR story (and therefore, me). But since that seems too much work to ask, here’s the link:

    or you could try this one,

    While it’s very nice that The Standard seems to have found a video that paints these tactics in a good light, it hardly seems to have gone out of its way to have showed the way many of the other meetings are going. I’d also like to point out that if you follow the Himes video back to it’s YouTube origins, you’ll see that this video was taken at a meeting held on May 28. It’s over 2 months old, which doesn’t exactly qualify it as representative of the more recent shouting matches that have forced lawmakers — in NPR’s words — to have “switched to phone conferences or what they call tele-town halls to try to connect with their constituents in a more controlled environment.”

    3) I don’t know what nonsense this is you’re spewing about my “daddy” and “self-serving” but frankly it’s creepy. But since you seem intent on coming back here, rather than defending these ridiculous tactics, your time might be better spent actually defending the actual stance that these guys are taking. Because one of the downfalls of shouting is that no one can understand what it is that you’re saying.


  6. Look – I’m not going to argue with a intellectually dishonest, illogical and scatterbrained woman. You’re an irresponsible little rich girl and the economic downturn hasn’t hit you yet. So if you can’t help people out, just stay out of it.


  7. Who says The Cut can’t or isn’t helping people?! John Smith, the Gay Guru is here to help…and happy to extend his sage advice to you! For instance, I am getting that you’re harboring a lot of anger and bitterness. So I might advise you to immediately seek out one of Connecticut’s plentiful “day spas” specializing in the art of massages of the “full release” variety.

    If you find yourself, like many of us, in the economic constraints of our troubled economy, check out Craigslist. Though widely considered the “pennysaver” of erotic services, I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone to give you a long overdue hand job. Especially so if your conservative values are stereotypically on the low end of the morality scale.

    So John Smith, you see The CuT is willing and happy to help people. Follow my advice and your post tug-session outlook may just turn up a little bit more rosey.

    If you or anyone else needs any further help from the Gay Guru write to ….and remember, sometimes it just takes a fairy! All the best to you! ~Gay Guru


  8. Dear John,

    That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said yet–and frankly, I hadn’t thought it could get any worse. By “intellectually dishonest” and “scatterbrained woman” I’m going to assume you mean “beautiful, intelligent female who has clearly outclassed you in this discussion by means of providing ample evidence to back up her argument while you made baseless statement after baseless statement.” And by “irresponsible little rich girl” and “the economic downturn hasn’t hit you yet” I assume you mean, “the daughter of a single mother, who is still paying off her student loans and every other bill she’s had since she was 18–completely on her own–even while her company hands out furlough days and pay cuts like candy.” If that’s what you meant, then yes, you’re right.

    But since you have chosen not to take me up on my invite to use this as a platform to make an actual well-reasoned argument to show your point of view–or listen to reason–and have, instead, thrown out insults and acted like a (surprise, surprise) belligerent, chauvinist hooligan, I am going to use my power as the editor of this blog…and block your ass.


    P.S. Take the guru up on his advice…my guess is your hatred of women leads to you to lead a celibate life.


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