For those who watched with concern when Congressional Town Hall meetings in the summer of 2009 were disrupted by angry protests about health care reform and other Obama initiatives, the turnabout this year has been satisfying. We often forget that every movement provokes a counter-movement, and that backlash is one of the most powerful forces in politics. After Obama swept into power in 2009, along with Democratic control of Congress, the Tea Party Movement was born. And after Republicans took control of the House at the beginning of this year, and began calling for spending cuts and other changes, their agenda is re-energizing traditional Democratic constituencies.
So here is Congressman Ryan being booed for his unwillingness to tax the rich:
And here is Representative Duffy catching hell for supporting the Republican plan to kill Medicare:
And here is Representative Barletta also being challenged on the Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program:
These Republican Congressmen made the mistake of thinking that because a bunch of Republicans were elected to Congress last fall, the public suddenly wholeheartedly supports the whole Republican agenda. They forget that a large part of the reason for Republicans' success last fall was that Republican candidates scared voters into thinking that Democrats were going to harm the health care system. Republican candidates scored points in the last campaign by talking about death panels and Medicare cutbacks. How did they think voters were going to react when they started proposing massive cuts to the Medicare program themselves?