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The Backlash That Wasn’t


A freshman GOP congressman, Rep. Todd Young (R., Ind.), holds a town hall meeting. Chaos does not ensue.

Another GOP freshman, Rep. James Lankford (R., Okla.), says he isn’t “spooked” by the so-called “outrage” against the Ryan budget. In fact, most of his constituents think it’s a reasonable plan:

“I haven’t had any second thoughts on passing the Ryan budget at all,” Lankford, R-Okla., told us. “What’s funny is people are throwing out statements, questions like, ‘It’s radical,’ ‘It’s extreme. It’s all this crazy stuff. You’re throwing the elderly out on the street.’ If they actually stopped and read it rather than listening to all the hype, they would look at it and go, ‘Well, that’s not all that radical.’ ”

“I don’t have any second thoughts,” Lankford continued. “And there are some organized efforts that are here in Oklahoma just like there are all around the country. There are and multiple groups have been sending out e-mails here saying, show up at the town hall meetings and raise Cain and ‘protect’ signs and all those things…”

“In reality, the majority of people that I’ve talked to have said that this looks like a very reasonable plan for a program that is going insolvent in the days to come.”

Dog bites man, etc.

Meanwhile, the Easter recess is almost over. How did things go for Republicans in their initial defense of the Ryan budget? Well, consider the intensity of the Left’s desire for an anti-GOP, anti-Ryan, “Town Hall Backlash” narrative. And then consider the relatively small number of “incidents” reported in the news, the sensational headlines that were never written. Consider the recent polls (See: here and here). It might be too soon to say Republicans are winning the budget debate, but they definitely aren’t losing it, and that’s a real slap in the face for liberals who were absolutely convinced that Americans would never accept a plan as bold as Ryan’s.

Still, Greg Sargent wonders: “Can we call this [anti-GOP anger] a national phenomenon yet?”

This is the second time Barletta has taken heat over Ryan’s plan, and at least eight other House GOPers have also found themselves taking criticism from angry constituents. Meanwhile, voters in three GOP-controlled districts in Arkansas have voiced concerns that Ryan’s plan would either end Medicare or transform its mission so fundamentally that it will no longer be recognizable — echoing the Dem message.

Yep. “Voters” (i.e., a lot of liberal activists), are echoing the “Dem message” like it’s because it’s their job. “At least eight” you say? People are “voicing concerns?” Good heavens. It’s an epidemic!


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