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GOP watch: Mob wars

Sarah Palin isn't the only Republican with a book. Mitt Romney is coming out with another one. The title: "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness." Romney has criticized President Obama for what he says is apologizing for America around the world. The Boston Globe: "[I]t seems to outline a campaign manifesto for a possible 2012 presidential bid."

Video: Msnbc political analyst Eugene Robinson joins Countdown's Keith Olbermann to talk about the rough tactics being employed by town hall meeting agitators opposed to health care reform.

The AP has a nice wrap of the back-and-forth between Republicans and the White House over the activists who have showed for many congressional town halls. "Conservative activists are vowing to keep up their fight against President Barack Obama's health care plans, even as the Democratic Party pushes back hard, accusing Republicans of organizing angry mobs… 'To sit back and say that this is some Republican cabal is a bunch of baloney,' Steele said."
 
More: "The protests have echoes not just of the Tea Parties held around tax day this year, but also of protests during the Florida election recount in 2000 and in the early- to mid-1990s, when Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled the country to promote then-President Bill Clinton's health overhaul plan, which ultimately failed. There's no doubt government attempts to change health care can incite real anger. In 1989, a pack of screaming senior citizens angry about a planned change to Medicare surrounded the car of then-House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois. They shouted 'Liar!' and 'Recall!' and hit Rostenkowski's car with picket signs. Congress subsequently undid the Medicare change. One thing that's different this time around is the Internet, which allows groups to communicate and mobilize on a large scale." 
 
The Boston Globe: "Repeated heckling and shouted interruptions - 'Answer the question!' 'We're your employers!' 'You don't get it!' - overtook a town hall-style meeting in rural Maryland this week, as US Representative Frank M. Kratovil Jr. withstood a verbal beating from a partisan crowd airing its displeasure with the healthcare overhaul working its way through Congress. The freshman Democrat fielded question after question about rationing, euthanasia, and abortion, as two state troopers stood guard and Kratovil's staffers looked on nervously. But at least Kratovil was not hung in effigy, as he had been at a recent protest outside his district office."
 
And: "This summer, the Rockwellian ideal of neighbors gathering to discuss community issues in a neighborly way is gone, replaced by quarrelsome masses hollering questions downloaded from activist websites, as video cameras record every word of the squirming lawmaker's response. Many seem to be following advice laid out in a memo circulating on the Internet advising activists to 'watch for an opportunity to yell out' early in the presentation and 'have someone else follow up with a shout-out.'" (Here's the memo.)