Republicans Just Voted To End Medicare — So Where’s The Outrage?

From Talking Points Memo:—-so-wheres-the-outrage.php?ref=fpb

Brian Beutler
April 22, 2011

Members of Congress are back in their districts, attending town hall events, explaining to their constituents why, exactly, they want to make such major changes to the health care system.

If that sounds familiar, you might be wondering if we’re in for August 2009 redux. That was when conservatives and tea party activists caused mayhem at Democratic town hall events and sowed doubt in the minds of members and the media about whether the push for health care reform was really viable. Now, Republicans have their sites set on Medicare and Medicaid, and just voted, almost to a person, to basically zap both programs.

So are we in for a repeat?

Don’t bet on it. So far this week, we’ve seen a handful of video clips showing Republicans being interrogated by constituents — experiencing mild discomfort, but nothing like the genuinely frightening scenes two years ago, when large groups of coordinated, angry activists forced members to call off and cancel events. This is frustrating for progressives — but don’t be too quick to pin the blame entirely on Democratic and liberal ineptitude. It turns out there are plenty of non-obvious differences between then and now.

“I don’t think it’s possible to do that over again,” said Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn. “It’s like SwiftBoats in 2004. Interesting things happened in August, but it’s hard to repeat.”

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