Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, continues to be confronted with tough questions on his listening-session tour of southeastern Wisconsin communities. He’s been forced to move several of the events to bigger venues to accommodate the crowds—after things got tight and tense in places such at Milton, Wisconsin, where the crowd in a small venue was challenging him at every turn.
One of Ryan’s Republican colleagues, Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, shut down a town hall meeting in a suburban Milwaukee community when he was challenged on economic issues in March.
This sounds a lot like the Tea Party invasion of town halls in 2009, only these folks have serious questions. The Tea Partiers intent was to disrupt, and get a lot of media attention. These folks are voters who have been suffering in this economy, and know very well when they're being trickled down on.
The core issues that are bringing people out to the GOP town meetings are opposition to Medicare and Medicaid cuts (a real hot-button issue) and support for tax hikes for the rich. This fits with those national polls shows that show Americans are very opposed to developing voucher programs to replace traditional Medicare and Medicaid and would prefer tax hikes for the wealthy.
There is no solid, factual rationale for the proposed destruction of Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security for that matter. No wonder these guys are having such a hard time. How do you explain that you want to destroy essential social programs because of your political ideology without actually saying that's the reason?
One guy has an idea for how to deal with this:
Newly elected Illinois Senator Mark Kirk has an idea. Instead of hearing what the people have to say, the Republican senator is suggesting that members of Congress should hunker down in DC.
Brilliant! If you don't go home, you won't have to answer any pesky questions.
Here’s an example of a new Congressman handling hostility on the home front. Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin may not be winning the hearts and minds of voters in his district:
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org