Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–January 21, 2017
It was a really rough week for Republicans, notwithstanding the inauguration of popular vote loser Donald Trump. The vote they took the week before to repeal Obamacare, even though they don’t have a whisper of an agreed upon replacement plan, has enraged their constituents. On top of that, the popularity of the program has jumped, making it more popular than Trump, not to mention way more popular than the Republican congress. That anger was expressed out in public, which has got plenty of Republicans panicked.
It all started with House Speaker Paul Ryan being shamed by a fellow Republican, a cancer survivor, on national television.
The bad optics that began Paul Ryan's town hall: Ex-Reagan campaign worker thanks Obamacare for saving his life. pic.twitter.com/bacg2Qk3TL
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 13, 2017
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here today alive,” said Jeff Jeans, a cancer survior. “I rely on the Affordable Care Act to be able to purchase my own insurance. Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?” Ryan stood there with his sociopathic grin on his face and lied to this man about how they really were going to fix everything, but the damage—and national headlines—were done.
And the floodgates for more protests were opened.
Next up was Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) who literally ran away from constituents when he found out all they wanted to talk about was what he intended to do to protect their healthcare.
— Nelson Garcia (@9Storytellers) January 14, 2017
Coffman answered them later, from the safety of Twitter where he said they were just a bunch of “activists” who were “making a show,” saying their “antics” didn’t change his mind. Maybe their votes will.
Next up was Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), part of Ryan’s leadership team, who was shouted off the stage when she tried to tell her red district constituents that she was advocating for them.
Then House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) invited his constituents to meet with him to “share their experiences with rising costs and loss of coverage and choice.” That’s not what happened.
“Don’t lie!” shouted Emily Hoppel, a 39-year-old with her 2-year-old son perched on her hip, when Brady moved from one goal of dismantling ACA to another of defunding Planned Parenthood, which he said used taxpayer money for abortion.
“The Hyde Amendment,” she sputtered, incredulously, as Brady continued to talk over her. Hoppel referred to the legislative provision that already prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion.
“Well, we disagree on that,” Brady said, his smile tightening but composure intact. […]
“Where are the plans?” came a call from the increasingly feisty gathering, many scowling and unmoved by Brady’s assurance that better solutions are on the horizon. He chided the most vocal of the group to be more respectful.
The same thing happened to Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) even though he voted against the repeal last week.
Judging by the about 250 packing the auditorium, it was to aggressively question the Michigan Republican about his stance on issues ranging from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to climate change to immigration. […]
“Do you or do you not support the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act with or without a replacement?” one attendee asked.
Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA) decided not to meet with folks, but that didn’t stop them from showing up at his office.
All of which has led plenty of cowardly Republicans to decide the safest course is Facebook live video talks or telephone town halls, where calls can be screened and vetted and criticism ignored. That’s the route Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) took, and he ran away early from even that, participating for just 11 minutes of what was supposed to be a 30-minute event. He answered eight questions.
Others aren’t even pretending. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) just refuse to meet with constituents at all. Some are even turning off their phone lines.
That's why Sen. Pat Toomey isn't answering his phones. https://t.co/EAPB3adQDD
— Suburban Guerrilla Ω (@SusieMadrak) January 19, 2017
Cowardly Republicans decide hiding from angry constituents is better than running away from them https://t.co/AlmIG2JTwg
— Andrew S. Ginsburg (@GinsburgJobs) January 19, 2017
@joanmccarter Tried calling McConnell & got due to high volume call cannot be answered. Called Paul & got answering machine.
— Dr. Vicki Hayes (@WonderfulwomanK) January 20, 2017
You can’t get through to House Speaker Paul Ryan on the phone, either. Ignorance of the disaster they’re about to create is bliss, I guess. But it doesn’t seem particularly sustainable.