While Senate Republicans like Scott Brown are taking a pounding for embracing Paul Ryan’s crazy budget plan to gut Medicare, their counterparts on the House side are once again facing intense scrutiny at the local town halls. Actually, they are just facing heat from angry constituents who are upset over realizing that their community interests are being sold out to big corporations in the new GOP controlled Congress.
Think Progress reported earlier today that Representative Ben Quayle (R-AZ) was laughed at for denying existence of billions in special oil subsidies. Now comes the word that Republican representative Jaime Herrera Beutler faced a “boisterous” crowd at her first Vancouver town hall event in Washington where she got ripped apart for defending Ryan’s plan to gut Medicare (emphasis added):
Saying she wanted to “share with you what I walked into” when she entered Congress, she spent the first 40 minutes of the 75-minute session on a power-point presentation with graphs and pie charts that showed the projected increase in Medicare spending by 2020, the breakdown of discretionary and nondiscretionary federal spending, and the increase in the amount of U.S. debt owed to foreign governments.
“My first priority is to preserve and protect Medicare for the present generation and for future generations,” she said. But when she insisted that the Republican budget blueprint for 2012 “protects Medicare,” a chorus of boos and catcalls and shouts of “liar” erupted in the auditorium.
Unfazed, she repeated her argument that the budget blueprint written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would convert Medicare to a voucher program and let seniors use the vouchers to buy insurance on the private market, actually ensures that Medicare will be there for future generations.
She compared the Ryan plan to the health care coverage members of Congress receive. ‘You get to choose your plan. It’s really that simple,” she said.
But the audience was openly skeptical.
The note about Ryan’s plan being comparable to health-care coverage that congressional members will receive is nothing short of a preposterous lie. As has been covered by bloggers such as Ezra Klein, Ryan’s plan will “end Medicare as we know it.”
It’s clear that these Republicans are getting desperate and flustered. They used to be smooth liars all larded up with Frank Luntz’s talking points. The pressure is getting so intense that they are stumbling, bumbling and fumbling away, looking not just crazy but petty amateurs in the process.
The pressure needs to remain on these guys including “Leaders” such as Boehner who have embraced the Ryan plan, but are still shying away from directly appealing to their Senate colleagues to support the craziness. No wonder number of Senate GOPers are either being shy about touching the Ryan plan or publicly staying away from it. They do not want to risk taking heat in their own states, thereby looking like clumsy and crazy liars in the process -- as the Herrera Beutlers of the world are doing.