Mike Needham

Conservatives not only see the light, but also they brought the heat last November. They understood big-government policies have brought our country to the edge. Against the wishes of the Obama administration, Standard & Poor’s downgraded our future debt outlook. The Federal Reserve predicts long-term unemployment will remain far above pre-recession levels. Inflationary fears are growing, and the housing market is nearing another dip.

According to a Rasmussen poll, just 31% of likely voters believe America’s best days are still to come. Just one in four Americans believes our country is heading in the right direction. Consumer confidence took a big step back in large part due to rising gasoline prices. And, perhaps most importantly, a Washington Post/Pew poll reveals that 81% of Americans believe we must address our national budget crisis now.

Those concerns come as no surprise for the Members of Congress who came face-to-face with their constituents during the two-week recess. When their constituents talked about reforming our unsustainable entitlement system, most Members relished the chance to discuss the challenges we face and the path we can choose.

Rather than embrace the necessity of bold reforms or offer their own plan, liberals continue to embrace hateful rhetoric and misleading claims. Unfortunately, responding to an angry political hack with a colorful chart and intellectually sound argument doesn’t make for a great YouTube video, but it is the kind of adult conversation we need to be having.

There have been plenty of inside-the-beltway articles written about the heat – or lack thereof – Republican lawmakers have gotten at their townhall meetings. But where is that heat coming from?

"Strengthen Social Security," the group attacking Congressman Hanna, is a front for various liberal labor unions with its steering committee populated by groups like the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the American Federation of Teachers.

And the protesters at Congressman West's townhall? Grassroots outrage at a principled conservative trying to tackle our nation's problems? Nope. One of the two protesters arrested was a professional leftist, a former Air America radio host.

Right now, the real grassroots outrage is at those who are trying to cut off an adult conversation about our nation's future before it even gets started.

Mike Needham

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Action for America, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legislation that promotes freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.