The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack has a fantastic report on Rep.Paul Ryan’s town hall meetings with his constituents over the congressional recess. He calls it “How Paul Ryan won the recess.” The whole thing is must reading, right to the end. Here is one good passage:
On April 28, Ryan faced one of the more hostile crowds of the week in the city of Greenfield, just outside of Milwaukee. About 600 people packed into a high school auditorium, and hecklers tried to interrupt him every five to ten minutes. Toward the end of the Q&A session, a woman began her question by thanking Ryan for producing his budget. Then the previously silent super-majority in the crowd began to applaud and rose to their feet.
Ryan received another standing ovation in Racine on Friday, but that detail was left out of Politico’s story. “Rep. Paul Ryan had local police remove a man from his town hall meeting Friday after he kept yelling about how Ryan’s budget plan would impact Medicare,” Politico reported from Racine. “It was the most dramatic moment yet in Ryan’s weeklong series of town halls, and it happened in one of the most Democratic areas of his district.”
Well, that’s a matter of opinion.
Was one man being escorted from a town hall meeting the “most dramatic moment” of the week? Or was it more dramatic when hundreds of senior citizens gave not one but two standing ovations to a politician proposing a bold Medicare reform? Again, it’s a matter of opinion. But the latter moment is a far more accurate depiction of what Ryan actually faced in his swing district these last two weeks.
The reason why Ryan won the recess isn’t just because more supporters than opponents showed up to town hall meetings. The fact that Ryan was both cheered and jeered at is about as newsworthy as a story titled: “BREAKING: Democrats, Republicans Live in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, Show Up to Political Events.”