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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blue Dog Admits "People Are Scared" and Anger Is Real

Despite the left's attempts to categorize the massive turnouts at townhalls where people have expressed their anger at their representatives over Obamacare and the economy, one Blue Dog, Allen Boyd (D-Fla., admits the anger is real and that people are "scared" and he admits that because of that anger and fear he "may face a real threat next year at the polls."

But as he fended off gnats buzzing through the August humidity after a morning fending off angry constituents at a town hall meeting here, Boyd confided that the depth of the unease spurred by the health care debate had caught him by surprise.

“They may be in a minority, but they are a larger minority than we’ve seen in the 20-plus years that I’ve been doing this,” said Boyd of the standing-room-only crowds who have been showing up to shout, boo, mutter and, in one case, hand him an actual stack of pink slips since he returned home for recess. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The overhyped and in many cases fraudulent sense of grass-roots fervor during an August Democrats would like to forget is easy to minimize. But for all the cries of Astroturf fakery and ginned-up crowds, a ground zero view in a district like Boyd’s underlines that a very real sense of anger and frustration is bubbling over as summer wanes.

A visit to Florida’s 2nd District also is a bracing case study in the mounting political peril some Blue Dogs like Boyd may be facing. Boyd acknowledged that after coasting to victory in a string of elections, including when a popular President George W. Bush was on top of the ticket in 2004 and national Republicans actively plotted his ouster, he may face a real threat next year at the polls.

And his candor is borne out of his own up-close view from the past three weeks. While some of his colleagues took refuge in constituent-free codels and undisclosed private meetings, Boyd plunged headlong into a series of public forums throughout his district and discovered the sort of public unrest that doesn’t come around very often.

“People are scared,” Boyd said twice, trying to explain what would drive his constituents away from home and work and out into the broiling Florida sun in the middle of the week to see their congressman.

Just think, that was before the latest bombshell that the Obama White House has just raised their deficit projections by over $2 trillion.

People are angry. People are making their voices heard. Blue Dogs understand they are walking a thin line coming into the 2010 elections, where most of them were voted into conservative districts that would have no problem voting them right back out again if they do not listen to their constituents.