In their crusade to hit the GOP on Medicare, the Democratic Party is urging supporters to attend Republican town halls, bring protest signs, and report back to the party about what they see. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a campaign called “Don’t End Medicare” that directs supporters to local meet-ups with Republican Congressman, suggesting that they bring signs that read “Vote Republican—End Medicare” and prepare themselves with Democratic talking points about the GOP’s “reckless privatization scheme.”
Notably, the DCCC also urges supporters to “bring your camera and report back to us on what you see”—effectively asking them to turn themselves into citizen journalists who can catch potentially inflammatory or otherwise damning remarks by Republicans at their Medicare town halls.
The DCCC’s efforts build on a push by their liberal allies in recent weeks to hit the House GOP for passing Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s drastic plan to overhaul Medicare. Republicans, perhaps responding to some of the blowback, have backed away from that proposal, but Democrats are unlikely to let the issue go anytime before the 2012 elections.
Joining the Democrats are not only traditional party stalwarts like labor unions, but also groups like the AARP which have launched ads that criticize—if obliquely—Washington Republicans for wanting to “make harmful cuts to Medicare” as well as Social Security. But like the labor unions who rallied supporters to attend recent town halls, national Democrats will likely face questions about how much grassroots support their Medicare crusade is really attracting, as the pushback seems to be coming from national groups rather than local organizers.