Republicans are getting an unexpected jolt from both the left and their own anxious base at these town halls — and it’s a moment that looks like a mirror image of the national mood almost a decade ago. The common thread between then and now: One party in control of Washington undertaking a massive change to Americans’ health care. When Democrats were in Republicans’ situation in 2010, they lost control of Congress and haven’t regained it since.
Let’s back up. In 2009, Democrats had large majorities in Congress and controlled the White House. They quickly drew on their political capital to pursue one of the biggest changes to the American health-care system in decades.
That summer, before Obamacare became law, Democrats across the nation went home to their districts and were caught off guard by passionately angry constituents — mostly conservative — at town halls, fearful of how Obamacare might take away their rights.
Here are some major differences for everyone in this room who is an idiot.
- The Republican concerns about the ACA were completely baseless and in some cases outright falsehoods: death panels murdering people in their beds and so on.
- Those concerns came from Republican politicians and Republican-controlled media pushing scare stories nonstop.
- The current protests and pushback on GOP legislators are coming from no one in office since most Democratic senators can’t find their asses with both hands and a posse right now.
- That pushback is occurring not on one issue but on many: climate change denial, cabinet appointees either unqualified or evil or both, ethical violations that would give Richard Nixon multiple orgasms, and an immigration “policy” as incoherent as it is racist. Oh, yeah, and proposing to repeal the only health insurance option many people have.
- With the exception of the latter, these are not hypotheticals. The constituents who are so rudely confronting their GOP reps are reacting to actual things that are happening right now or have already happened: Legal immigrants getting harassed and detained at the border, ICE going door to door asking for people’s papers, journalists being threatened and charged with felonies, and oh yeah, that really bitchin’ torture ban (weaksauce though it was) getting thrown out the window. Plus actual votes on repealing Obamacare.
So please do not come at me with this:
In 2017, the initial script appears to be the same, only the players are flipped.
Only the players. Sure.
Only the players, their intentions, the consequences of their actions, the relative power of the people their actions will affect, and OH YEAH IF THEIR ACTIONS HAPPEN TO BE IN ANY WAY REAL OR JUST SOME MADE UP TALK RADIO BULLSHIT DESIGNED TO GET PEOPLE TO VOTE REPUBLICAN. For fuck’s sake, it’s no wonder everybody just gives up on politics when the journalism is this goddamn dumb.
Are Thursday’s town halls early warning signs of a historically major loss to come for Republicans in the 2018 midterms? (Not likely in the Senate, given the map is so favorable for Republicans.) Is this a movement that will give rise to new liberal leaders in a party that many believe desperately needs them? Or will moments like Thursday’s events pull the Democratic Party further to the left in a way that hurts its electoral chances? Will these people even vote in 2018, given they expressed their frustration after the election?
THREE MILLION MORE OF US EXPRESSED OUR OPINION ON ELECTION DAY BUT YOU CONFEDERATE-ENABLING GOATFUCKERS HELD A THERAPY SESSION FOR THE WINNERS INSTEAD OF TALKING TO US.
I’M SORRY I’M YELLING SO MUCH.
But this whole “politics is a big giant game of pieces moving and none of it really affects people” genre needs to die a fiery death. Instead of comparing how people are mad today versus how people were mad eight years ago, maybe figure out what they’re mad about and if that anger is based on reality or crap, and adjust your editorial agenda thusly.