Central Florida voters voted out Democrat Alan Grayson last year for conservative Republican and tea party favorite Daniel Webster, so why are they now revolting against the right-wing legislator?
Apparently, voters are experiencing buyer's remorse with Webster since his vote in favor of the controversial budget plan that aims to privatize government programs like Medicare or Medicaid.
Republicans believe those upset with Webster were former Rep. Alan Grayson's "plants", as Blas Padrino insisted in his Examiner article. "The anti-Webster group became more restrained after a police officer asked them to act like adults and quit interrupting."
But, as The Orlando Sentinel pointed out, the police officers addressed the entire room after a pro-Webster man yelled at Vietnam veteran Ron Parsell for asking why his benefits were going to be cut.
"We can't afford it, you moron!" the man yelled at Parsell.
"When the Grayson plants in the audience heckled, Webster shot back that it is under Obamacare that Medicare recipients would lose benefits, since the President’s plan removes $500 million from Medicare," wrote Padrino. Padrino seems to take the conservative narrative from months ago - the one that painted the GOP as the defenders of Medicare, but we know any decreases in Medicare were to come mostly from efficiency measures and cuts to Medicare Advantage - a program that uses private insurers, such as Humana and UnitedHealth Group, to deliver Medicare benefits
From an article by Scott Keyes from Think Progress:
During a town hall in Orlando earlier today, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) faced a barrage of questions from outraged constituents about the Republican budget. The Orlando Sentinel accurately described the scene as “bedlam.”Webster also defended the extension of the Bush tax cuts, stating that even if they were taxed at 100 percent of gross income, it wouldn't make a dent in the deficit, which is a big lie, and if extending the Bush tax cuts weren't enough, the Ryan plan proposed tax reforms that lower corporate and upper-income tax rates.
For nearly an hour, Webster was peppered with one question after another about his support for ending Medicare, his desire to see tax breaks for the wealthy extended, and his vote to repeal health care reform, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions. For his part, Webster didn’t just avoid the questions by resorting to talking points, as most politicians commonly do. On numerous occasions, Webster simply declined to give an answer to contentious questions altogether, moving on to take a new question instead.
Questions critical of the Ryan budget were met by applause from nearly the entire audience.
Webster is the latest congressman to face a town hall backlash after his vote in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan. Provisions of the Republican budget, which ends Medicare, slashes Medicaid, and extends tax breaks for the wealthy, is opposed by strong majorities of Americans, including over 7 in 10 Republican voters as well.
While voters should have expected this kind of action from Webster, this is very telling as to what will happen in the coming months - especially during next year's campaigns. Of course, this wouldn't have been an issue had the Democrats elliminated the Bush tax cuts in the first place. It would have been difficult for Republicans to complain about reducing the deficit when the Democrats already had.