There were some subtle ironies surrounding Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) anti-healthcare event in Dallas last night. For one thing, it was held in a city where local officials are eager to help citizens participate in "Obamacare" and use the law to get coverage for themselves and their families. For another, the event was hosted by the Heritage Foundation's activist arm -- and the Heritage Foundation helped write the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act just 20 years ago.
Regardless, how did last night's event go? It was probably a little rowdier than organizers expected.
For those who can't watch clips online, this video shows only a brief excerpt from DeMint's speech, which was interrupted several times by protesters, some of whom chanted, "You have health care, we should too!"
The right-wing senator responded by mocking Organizing for America for relying on "fake grassroots" activists to show up at events like this one.
And with this, the flipping of the script is complete. In 2009, Democrats hosted raucous town-hall meetings on health care; in 2013, Republicans are hosting raucous town-hall meetings on health care. In 2009, conservative activists shouted at politicians, demanding that policymakers make it harder for Americans to get affordable coverage; in 2013, progressive activists are shouting at politicians, demanding that policymakers not take Americans' affordable coverage away.
In 2009, the left was outraged that protesters would interrupt public meetings on an important issue; in 2013, the right is outraged that protesters would interrupt public meetings on an important issue. In 2009, Democrats condemned conservatives for using "fake grassroots" to exaggerate their political prowess; in 2013, Republicans are condemning progressives for using "fake grassroots" to exaggerate their political prowess.
As for Cruz, after one of the interruptions, the Texan told the audience, "I agree with them. They should have health care and Obamacare is causing more and more people struggling to climb the economic ladder to lose their health care."
I suppose that's the one remaining difference between this August and the one four years ago: in 2009, Democratic talking points were rooted in reality; in 2013, Cruz is spouting gibberish.