Want to pile on the backlash Republicans are feeling at town hall events for their vote to privatize and slash Medicare? MoveOn has created a page where members of the Daily Kos community can search for Republican town hall events near them, and RSVP to attend. The number of events on the list is growing, so keep checking back to see if there are any near you.
Remember those town hall events in August of 2009 where tea party activists created extremely hostile atmospheres, scaring the bejesus out of Democratic members of Congress on health reform? Well, after voting to privatize and slash Medicare, there are stirrings of a similar backlash against Republicans in Congress.
Paul Ryan has been booed:
Pennsylvania Freshman Lou Barletta is having a rough time:
At Barletta’s town hall, there were indications that the spending votes could become the defining debate for his first term in Congress. Early in the meeting, a man critical of the tax cuts in Ryan’s plan had to be escorted from the smokey, faded banquet hall by police. A woman interrupted the congressman’s presentation several times to question or criticize him. One retired veteran repeatedly demanded to know why Barletta had voted to cut veteran’s benefits, despite his repeated insistence that he hadn’t taken any such vote.
Rep. Charlie Bass knew he was in for a rough night. The first question out of the gate during his Wednesday town hall in Hillsborough, NH was about his vote for Paul Ryan's budget. And the second. And the third and the fourth, fifth and sixth questions.
But Dold couldn’t even get to the end of the presentation before audience members began peppering him with questions about the Ryan budget, named after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin. It began with audience members telling Dold they don’t believe chopping 10 percentage points off the highest corporate tax rate will create jobs. A handful of people in the audience identified themselves as business owners and accountants who said their effective corporate income tax rate is already lower than the lowest rates proposed in the Ryan plan. They pointed to companies such as GE that pay almost no taxes despite billions in profits as evidence.
In Wisconsin, freshman Sean Duffy got so flustered he told dissenters they could have their own town hall:
CONSTITUENT: This is about fraud and abuse. You see these things happen all over the country. They’re talking about money into Medicare fraud enforcement. 60 minutes did a huge story, billions into Medicare fraud annually.
DUFFY: Let me tell you what. When you have your town hall you can stand up and give your presentation.
Here's the video of Duffy:
Overall, House Republicans are spooked enough that they are regrouping to try and come up with new strategies tomorrow:
Anxiety is rising among some Republicans over the party’s embrace of a plan to overhaul Medicare, with GOP lawmakers already starting to face tough questions on the issue at town hall meetings back in their districts.
House leaders have scheduled a Tuesday conference call in which members are expected in part to discuss strategies for defending the vote they took this month on a budget that would transform the popular entitlement program as part of a plan to cut trillions in federal spending.
As Republicans are trying to regroup, let's pile on. Go check out the page MoveOn created where members of the Daily Kos community can search for Republican town hall events near them, and RSVP to attend. If there are no events near you yet, conduct a search wider than 30 miles and keep checking back in as the list of events grows.