Four years ago town hall meetings became the summer entertainment as teabaggers ganged up on Democratic congresscritters to rail against Obamacare and demand their country back. Well, that was then. Now it’s the Republicans who are facing the heat.
It began with Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican from North Carolina who has sponsored at least a dozen bills that would repeal Obamacare in one way or another. But that wasn’t enough for conservatives in his district. A Tea Party group posted a video in which a town hall attendee asks if Pittenger will vote against Obamacare funding. Pittenger replies, “No.” The attendees were not pleased.
“While I support efforts to defund Obamacare,” his office said in a subsequent statement, the Washington Post reports, ”the political reality is that goal is not currently achievable. Senator Harry Reid would never let it pass the Senate, and President Obama would never sign it into law.”
Pittenger was just the beginning. According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry on Monday argued that there would be “very significant consequences” to a shutdown, and “there has to be a better way.” An audience member replied, “We elected Republicans to fight for more conservative policies.”
In Oklahoma, Rep. Tom Cole faced an angry constituent who paid in cash for a procedure for her son, “the price I paid for the liberty of my children,” she said, according to BuzzFeed. “Even if you do not believe in your heart, number one, that it will pass, or number two, it’s appropriate. You need to represent us.”
Greg Sargent flags that Patrick McHenry, another North Carolina Republican, got an earful from Obamacare supporter Skip Edwards, 63, who took McHenry to task for repeatedly casting votes to defund or repeal the law, which Edwards believes is better than nothing.
The tough part for them is that they’re getting it from both sides: conservatives are pissed that the law hasn’t been repealed, and then there are those who may not like the law but like that they’re getting insurance and don’t want it taken away.
Not that it will change their tactics, but the GOP now has to take on the angry mobs they once riled up. Karma on Line 1.