This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 1, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight in "Your America" now, Democrats have accused town hall protesters of being trained by Republican operatives but there is more evidence tonight that liberal groups are the creating an Astroturf movement.
An organizer from the left-wing group Health Care for America Now was recently caught on tape training town hall attendees on how to silence anybody speaking out against reform. You'll love this. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they stand up and start asking questions and you're in that area, simply stand up, and start — no. Start yelling, "health care now, health care now, health care now." Yes. You people, why won't you — then simply stand up, "health care now, health care now" until they get frustrated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then go take their cookies and go home. So not confront, but it's your meeting. Hold on to your meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right. Here now to weigh in on that unbelievable video is the editor-at-large for National Review Online, FOX News contributor, Jonah Goldberg.
I guess there is an Astroturf movement. In that sense, they're right. Where's the criticism from Nancy Pelosi?
JONAH GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTER: Yes, look. Why have me on? Just play the video over and over again. It kind of speaks for itself. At some point you get kind of exhausted with the hypocrisy of all of this. Everyone who knows anything about politics knows that the Democratic Party has been the master of Astroturfing, of creating like some sort of Castroite regime, where it can't make a flushable toilet but they can get 10,000 protesters into Red Square at a moment's notice.
These guys have been masters of this their entire lives. David Axelrod became a millionaire as an Astroturfing, consultant and political guru. Barack Obama, you know, taught Astroturfing, taught community organizing.
HANNITY: He did.
GOLDBERG: This is what they do. And to a certain extent, fine. You know, OK, creating protests, getting good images, that's a big part of what democracy is about. But I'm not going to go around and call these people un-American or say that they're fascists.
GOLDBERG: Or say that they're Hitler, or any kind of that stuff. I think they're metaphysical, logic-defying hypocrites, but, you know, they're allowed to do it.
HANNITY: Let me ask you. No, no, no, no one is questioning their ability. But the very thing that they accuse Republicans of, we now have on tape, they're responsible for. Here's what I see happening.
HANNITY: Jonah, I — first of all. A lot of these congressmen, they're scared to death. They don't want to have town halls so they're doing teleconference town halls. We know that. We know that, for example, that they're often doing them, you know, in conjunction with the different unions that support them. They are now stacking the deck at these particular town halls. They're hand-picking the audience. They have outside groups that are purposely there to disrupt.
So if anything, the town halls aren't honest now, right?
HANNITY: I don't see these as honest town halls anymore.
GOLDBERG: No, I think you're right. I think what the Democratic Party is doing is they're rolling out infomercials, you know, led by Barack Obama. His town hall.
And, look, again, a lot of these political town halls — you know when — the second you get the president involved, they're usually infomercially. Some of Bush's weren't all that authentic either.
But now that sort of practice is trickling down to the congressional candidates themselves and they're just staging these things as a way of sort of ginning up support for their health campaign, which is bombing.
HANNITY: For the first time in Barack Obama's presidency — this has now been his worst month, and it's because of the American people that have been showing up at these town halls. His approval rating now is down to 42 percent according to Zogby. 42, lowest number he's had. And when I look at this White House — when they lashed out at the town hallers, and there seems to be a pattern that this president is used to praise, used to adulation.
It seems that instinctively, Chicago, Rahm Emanuel way, Chicago way, comes out and they lash out. If their numbers continue to slip, are we going to expect more of them lashing out, more attacks against any critic?
GOLDBERG: Oh, I think it's unavoidable. My message to most conservative audiences is, you know, cheer up, for the worst is yet to come.
GOLDBERG: I think that people are going to be getting called racist left, right and center. The Obama administration is going to feed that narrative. You know, the whole point of the Obama campaign for a lot of liberals was that he was going to help us transcend race.
And what that's really turning out to mean is that if you disagree with Obama, you're against transcending race, therefore, you must be a racist, and that argument, as the Democrats get more and more desperate, that argument, which they already used against the tea party folks, which they've used against a lot of these town hall things, Paul Krugman bangs his spoon on his high chair every week about this, it's just going to get worse and worse before it gets better.
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you — it seems to really come down to one question — will Blue Dog Democrats be willing to risk their careers and go against President Obama, or do you think the arm-twisting, the promises of campaign covers being filled, do you think — and pork barrel spending, will that be sufficient enough to get them onboard, or do they say, you know what, I'm not supporting this? What do you think happens?
GOLDBERG: I think that what we're probably going to see — and I could be completely wrong about this — is that there's this growing consensus that Obama needs to start over. I don't think he's going to do that, but I do think he's going to do something that gives him the plausible claim that he is starting over and they're going to try to twist some arms of some Blue Dogs, particularly ones who could be bought off with in ambassadorship to Malta or something. But it's going to be very tough going.
HANNITY: All right. Thanks a lot, Jonah. Appreciate your being with us.
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