Barletta Town Hall Verbal Brawl Over Medicare Vote

This is what happens when a district with more Democrats than Republicans elects a Republican Congressman who doesn't campaign on changes to Medicare but then votes to end Medicare as a social contract and hand out vouchers. Constituents get angry.

Of all the town hall videos I've seen, this one is definitely the most confrontational so far, with one speaker being forcibly ejected from the meeting after calling Barletta a Republican fascist. It's unclear from the video whether the cheers at the end are coming from the conservative side of the room or not, but the repeated calls for anyone disagreeing to sit down and shut up seem to indicate they are.

Linda Chrisman, the first speaker, is chairman of the Carbon County Democrats for Change, and also a constituent. When she asked Barletta why he voted for Medicare to be changed to a voucher program, he responded with a hostile BS answer that reeks of the current GOP talking point about "saving Medicare, not ending it."

This isn't the first time Barletta has been met with hostility at town hall meetings. In February, he had an equally difficult time:

Though Barletta tried to answer questions in an evenhanded and clear manner about what he's been doing in Congress, the people, for the most part, said they were upset about what they believe are flawed practices and policies.

"How can you sit there and say that corporate taxes are too high when all those corporations are shipping American jobs overseas. Why are you going to bat for these corporations?" asked Will Landstrom, of Effort, who works as a manager for AT&T.

Right on cue, of course, Barletta charges that the town hall meeting disruptions are orchestrated, as if a voter who is also a Democrat and leader of grassroots efforts is somehow being yanked like a puppet instead of righteously angry over something her counterparts in the Republican party were furious over back in July, 2009. Furious enough, in fact, to climb onto Americans for Prosperity-funded buses and head out to town halls across the country.

I haven't found a senior citizen yet who thinks the Paul Ryan plan is a good idea from a social or political standpoint. This includes very conservative seniors living in my neighborhood, people I've "talked with" online, and others. Those seniors at the tea party gatherings with "Hands off my Medicare" signs were not faking their outrage about losing benefits they've come to rely upon. I wonder whether they'll lend them to me for this round.

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