A letter posted at STLtoday.com asks, “Why won’t Akin meet with constituents?” The question references the unwillingness of Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) or his staff to allow a group of senior constituents to even enter his office – a disgraceful episode that Hotflash described in two earlier posts (here and here). The real point of my bringing up this letter and that incident, though, is that the writer hasn’t had to wait too long for her answer.
According to the Columbia Tribune, at a meeting with a few (according to the report, a very few) Tea Party members, Akin said “he has doubts about the constitutionality of Medicare.” Couple that with his hostile remarks last March about Social Security and you can imagine that he might not want to face a group of articulate older folks like the group that traveled to his office to ask him what he means by such statements.
The attack on Medicare is not new for Akin. Consider his effort to defend his vote for Ryan’s plan to defund Medicare –pure, classic Akin:
This thing is really two visions of what America should be. Do we really want to become a sniveling entitlement state, or do we want freedom? That’s the choice that’s before the voters.
In remarks he made subsequent to yesterday’s Tea Party meeting, he seems to be trying to be more careful and qualify his belief by saying that since Medicare has been established for some time, we will have to tolerate it for the older folks who now depend on it – a qualified comment that doesn’t bode well for the future of the program should enough ideologues of Akin’s ilk make it into the Senate.
Of course a video of Akin’s question and answer session at a meeting with some 7th District Tea Partiers offers another answer to the question posed by the letter cited above. At about one hour into the video, after one of the stranger participants in the session gives Rep. Akin a “heads-up” that the Democrats are going to shut down the government during “days of rage” in early October so that Obama can declare martial law and, I guess, thwart the electoral hopes of the law-abiding Tea Partiers, Akin, who does not disavow this hilarious scenario although he does seem somewhat amused, makes a telling statement. He notes that even he is subject to Democratic harassment since his St. Louis County office is near a union hall – folks have been coming over and “going after him.” He adds something to the effect that he justs laughs it off.
Is Akin referring to the group of seniors who approached his office last week? Does this mean he thinks these senior constituents – all over fifty and many over seventy, at least one in a wheel chair – were union “thugs” or doing the union’s bidding? We often accuse the GOP and their fellow travelers of being singularly divorced from reality – but really isn’t this going a little too far? If he is indeed refering to this group, his cavalier response – laughing at a group of elderly constituents suffering in near 100 degree heat – says all that needs to be said about Todd Akin’s fitness to represent senior citizens’ interests fairly and honestly.