Politico begins its story about the rough reception two New Hampshire Democrats who voted for Obamacare have received from their constituents this way:
If the experience of this state’s two Democratic House members is any indication, the raw emotion and mistrust emanating from last summer’s congressional town halls never really went away.
I’m not sure why anyone thought it might have. All that has changed since last summer’s town hall is (1) the Democrats enacted legislation disfavored by a clear majority of Americans and (2) they did so with the help of a series of unsavory back room deals. Under these circumstances, one would expect that, if anything, voters would be more angry and mistrustful now.
Politico reporter David Catanese may have allowed Obama/Pelosi talking points to override common sense. If so, following New Hampshire Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes around the state has disabused him of the idea that, once Obamacare was enacted, voters would magically forget their objections and swallow the dog food.
Says Catanese, the public events attended by Shea-Porter and Hodes “provided a bracing reminder to Democrats that the political pivot from health care to economic and financial issues is going to be much more arduous than they expected.” Indeed, “voters expressed profound cynicism and suspicion not just about the legislation, but about Washington, government and virtually everything that came out of their legislators’ mouths.”
But Catanese hasn’t abandoned Democratic talking altogether. He gives his story about Shea-Porter and Hodes’ travails the fretful title, “Spring forecast: Incivility with a chance of rage.”