Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Voters' Remorse

For some reason I just can't get enough of these clips of angry voters confronting Republican Congressmen at town halls last week. Thanks to Think Progress, a truly fair and balanced news source, for collecting a lot of these.

Here's Congressman Dan Webster from Florida facing some angry and skeptical constituents:

And Representative Charles Bass of New Hampshire being grilled on Republican plans for Medicare:

Here's a funny clip of Congressman Gibson in New York trying to blame high taxes on illegals not paying their fair share. A woman in the audience shouts out, "you mean like GE?"

Finally, here's a clip of Congressman Meehan from Pennsylvania being challenged on his vote to abolish Medicare:


  1. From Nov 2009:

    "Why do we need instinctively to greet every proposal with criticism, rather than to welcome new ideas and discuss them in an open way? If we really believe in our own principles and ideas, we should not feel so threatened by the ideas of others, that we need to attack them reflexively."

  2. I'm inclined to agree with KP on this one. Nothing gets done because all people do is crap allover each other's ideas.

    Also, everyone has this notion that their ideas are so perfect, so infallible, that their ideas will definitely work. If everyone approached this with an FDR mentality, i.e. bold, persistent experimentation, then I think a lot of egoes would be left at the door, and more constructive criticism would prevail.

  3. In general I agree 100% with Kevin's comment. I started this blog in a spirit of relentless positivity, and I'm an Obama supporter because I think he stands for exactly what Kevin is talking about.

    And yet, after the experience of the past couple of years, there is a part of me that thinks that turnabout is fair play, and that is cheered by seeing some truly terrible ideas from the right being greeted with the derision those ideas deserve. I want these people to know that their plans are deeply unpopular with a lot of people. I also like seeing people who do not always get a voice, getting the opportunity to express their feelings especially about an issue as important as Medicare.

    Had the Republicans reacted in the spirit that Kevin is suggesting to the ideas that Obama administration has proposed for the last two years, instead of in a spirit of unrelenting negativity, then I would say it's only fair to listen to the other side's ideas in a respectful tone. Since they did not do that, since the right wing financed and encouraged protesters in 2009 to shout down any discussion of health care reform, they really can't complain when their plans are being shouted down.

    But I would also say, based on the evidence of these video clips, that these audiences are in fact being more polite, and are giving their representatives more chance to explain themselves, than what we saw a couple of years ago with disruptive tea party protests.

  4. Think Progress is one of the biggest hack orgs out there.

  5. I might not agree with every statement by the Heritage Foundation or any other reputable conservative think tank. But I would not call them hacks. It's not fair to call the Center for American Progress a hack organization either. These are very highly-credentialed, well-respected people. You can disagree with them without besmirching them. (I recognize that I've just been besmirching and name-calling Donald Trump, but that's different. He deserves it.)

  6. I noticed your names for Trump :-)

    On the 2009 town halls, you seem to forget those were a backlash to A democratic house, a democratic senate and a democratic president who ignored popular sentiment on health care and other issues. They followed a president who ran as a uniter saying "we won the election now deal with it". As well, the 2009 town halls followed years of the most hateful speach any president in my lifetime has endured (Bush). Then we thrown in the rediculous actions of Pelosi that were gloating and hurtful to the right and the center. It would be more accurate to say that 2009 was turnabout and fair play. 2011 should be "get over it already" :-)

  7. I agree that the 2009 town halls represented a backlash. Big time.

    But we're going to have to agree to disagree on whether the Democrats ignored popular sentiment on health care and other issues. Those are Republican talking points. In fact all of the administration's proposals were fairly moderate -- say center left -- and much of the left felt that they were sellouts. And the process for drafting the health care reform legislation was unprecedented in the number of hearings and attempts to reach accommodation with all factions. Then the Republicans made a strategic decision to oppose whatever came out of the committees and portray it as Democrats cramming a partisan bill down their throats. That doesn't change the fact that if you look at the health care bill objectively, it is a fairly conservative approach not too different from what Mitt Romney put through in Massachusetts.

  8. If you recall the reaction to the preposed bill before it's passage and reaction to the bill after passage it would be defend the position that democrats went with popular opinion. They got their butts handed to them for not listening.