These are "Tea Party" folks. Following the advice they have received on the Internet, they are finding their voices in public forums like this. I would guess that Congressmen are not used to being laughed at and challenged by members of the audience in these forums. Right now they are trying to determine if these are few malcontents or if it's more than that.
The point is that it does not take a majority to make a movement. The majority in any society is always going to be busy with other things. But they may well be sympathetic ... the sea in which the activists swim.
There are a few predictions that I would make:
(1) Congressmen will try to get their supporters out to these meetings to drown out the dissenters; to clap and cheer at the right time.
(2) There may well be fewer "town hall" type meetings as government officials try to figure out how to cope.
(3) There will be more "tea party" types getting going to these meetings with video equipment as the word spreads.
(4) There will be attempts by the Left to reclaim their role as leaders in "street theater" leading to verbal and perhaps physical clashes.
I will say that it's refreshing to learn that the Right can do activism. Success will feed on itself.
Here's one reaction from a congressman that's being repeated all over the country: calling the cops. Perriello’s office calls police to halt health care rally
More than sixty concerned United States citizens and residents of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District gathered in the parking lot immediately outside Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello’s Charlottesville office today. Organized by Bill Hay and the Jefferson Area Tea Party, the rally’s purpose was to allow attendees a forum in which to express their concerns over the prospect of nationalized/socialized medicine directly to Congressman Perriello (who chose not to attend), or in close proximity to his office.
Approximately forty minutes into the event, Charlottesville police were called to the parking lot area. Unconfirmed reports from the scene tie at least one of the complaining phone calls directly to Congressman Tom Perriello’s office staff. While the attending police officers (professionally and politely) compelled the gathered crowd to disperse, rally attendees grumbled at the prospect of their own congressman’s office terminating their first amendment, free speech protest. A protest that was peaceful and non-invasive in contrast to prior leftist assaults on the office of former 5th District Congressman, Virgil Goode.
Thanks for the links.