A MoveOn protest formed Downtown yesterday, and I was there for it. People were angry about what just happened, and they had questions for Dean Heller. Unfortunately, Heller's office in Las Vegas didn't really do anything but provide a printed statement on his vote yesterday.
Oh yes, that's right. It was all just a word salad full of regurgitated teabagger talking points that equate eliminating Social Security and Medicare to "protecting" them. And yes, his statement actually went there.
So that's why we weren't happy yesterday.
Most of the group stayed downstairs as Heller's office agreed to only "two at a time", then directed security to politely guide everyone holding signs down to the "free speech zone" below the stairs. So the rest of us stayed downstairs as passersby along Las Vegas Boulevard were honking in support. A local attorney walked by, and he was flabbergasted as soon as he realized what happened. A local homeless person also came over and tried to argue with the group, but I just felt sorry for him.
And then, things got far more interesting. A staffer from Harry Reid's office came down to join us, and he proceeded to explain what's actually in the debt bill and how to move forward. He discussed Reid's disappointment in the lack of new revenues in the final bill, how he worked to build a firewall around Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid benefits in the final bill, and what to do now to prepare for the fight ahead on the "Super Congress" commission.
So what can we do now? Well, start by encouraging Reid to stay strong and ensure his appointees to the commission do the right thing on it. And looking further ahead, we need to make sure we no longer have to worry about Dean Heller and Joe Heck encouraging the teabaggers to continue with their irresponsible and dangerous behavior. We're already seeing Heller's poll numbers drop. If we want to avoid this kind of preventable drama in 2013, we can start by changing Congress.