Town Hall Avoidance- How The GOP Runs From Constituents

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The last half of February has been a congressional break, ostensibly a time for locally elected federal politicians to check in with their home district, hob know with local big wigs, shake a few hands, stage a few very public photo ops of one’s careful choosing, and then maybe even meet up with an unfiltered segment of voters from the district in the time honored tradition of a town hall….basically a time to appear to be concerned and available to the voters.

Except in the age of fake news and empty leadership, the GOP is doing everything they can think of to avoid meeting with actual voters in their actual districts, instead staging  phony town halls or sidestepping them altogether. There is a palpable fear in the GOP whenever they veer too far from “The Swamp” or out of sight of their carefully vetted group of friendlies that they will actually have to be answerable for the votes they cast, the incredulous actions coming from the White House,  or any number of accountability issues. The voters are rightly expecting to get some answers, but instead are being cast aside as mere partisan activists, paid performers, or liberal crybabies. Hardly the words or tone you’d expect from a group of officials who promise to work for “all Americans.”

Perhaps it’s that they can’t actually defend their actions and lack of action or have no real agenda to share. For all their talk about “fixing healthcare” there don’t seem to be a lot of credible options coming from this crew.

One such case is California Congressman Darrell Issa, an 8-term republican who narrowly won a new term last election, but by his slimmest margin to date, and in a district that turned blue for the presidential vote. Issa’s constituents have been asking for an in person town hall for months, only to get the run around from the congressman’s staff. So they took out a full page ad, rented a hall, and invited Issa to attend.Instead, Issa staged his own “impromptu town hall” earlier in the same day, inviting the press to make sure he had coverage. It could have worked if only over 2000 constituents still turned out for the planned town hall. Now Issa’s been in spin mode trying to portray himself as someone who takes the time to meet his voters and using his photo op town hall as proof while ignoring the other.

It’s not just Issa. Getting “creative” about avoidance techniques has led some to create “virtual tele-town halls” or bring in more popular local officials to provide some cover.

At the end of the day they aren’t fooling their detractors even as they continue to weave a web of deceit over the rest of the voters- both supporters and those who only partly pay attention to politics in the media. But the detractors aren’t sitting by quietly and letting them get away with it. And neither should you.

Keep organizing and asking your elected officials to host or attend a town hall. Here’s a starting list of GOP officials who are refusing to meet with you. Keep calling their offices, sending email, asking via social media accounts, and don’t let them off easily. Make sure you publicize their denials, and if the accept, act like a reasonable and responsible person. It’s our democracy folks, it’s our government. Make them be accountable and hold them responsible. And if they don’t seem to care, start searching together for their replacements and be ready to vote them out.

 

#townhalls #GOPcowardice #politics #darrellissatownhall  #redbluepurpleus

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