Hoping to replicate what tea party activists and generally fed up constituents did at Democratic lawmakers’ 2009 summer townhall meetings, liberals are coordinating disruptions at Republican townhall meetings. Hecklers have been reported at townhalls hosted by Florida Republicans Rep. Allen West and Daniel Webster as well as at a townhall hosted by Congressman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, Congressman Rick Berg, North Dakota Republican, and Congressman Michael Grimm, New York Republican. And while liberal activists tout these instances as a “backlash” from the American people towards the GOP’s support of Mr. Ryan’s budget bill, the actual stories behind the townhalls just do not seem to illustrate that.
National Review’s Andrew Stiles writes:
Now they are trying to make hay out of a handful of YouTube clips that simply don’t measure up to the headlines they are posted under — for example: “Republicans Get Grilled at Town Hall Meetings…” or “GOP Congressmen Get Eaten Alive at Town Halls” — especially when you find out a few paragraphs into a story that Congressman X was “was interrupted at every turn by shouts from his critics, including members of progressive groups such as Moveon.org and Organize Now.”
Take this clip of freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), who easily makes the list of top five Democratic targets in 2012 — “Duffy Gets Grilled Over Data.” Perhaps I have a different idea of what constitutes a “grilling,” but I don’t think this quite measures up.
In fact, the highlight of clip is the part where the “griller” dismisses the Ryan budget on the grounds that “a Nobel Prize–winning economist labeled it ’a fraud.’”
“Who’s that?” Duffy asks.
(Uproarious laughter ensues.)
In fact, what has been described by liberals as tantamount to chaos and rage at Republican townhalls are reported differently in news clips.
The local Indiana newspaper The Republic reports:
[Rep. Todd] Young — who along with U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., voted for the budget plan — did not need the police officers and sheriff’s deputies providing security for his event at the Learning Center. His experience contrasted with that of some Republican congressmen who have faced hostile town hall meetings because of their votes on the House Republican’s budget bill, which calls for significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid.