Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert has decided that he’s not holding any more town hall events, and Former Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has told him, basically, to deal with it.
By the standards that matter, Republicans largely won the November elections and control the White House and Congress. However, there’s no honeymoon to be found, especially when it comes to recent GOP town halls. Last night, Senator Tom Cotton had the worst party experience when a 7-year-old boy went in hard over PBS funding, and folks yelled at him over Trump’s groping and healhcare. Angry voters are now jeering and booting at town halls across the nation, which is causing stage fright among lawmakers.
Giffords, fortunately, survived a 2011 assassination attempt after a gunman shot her in the head during a “Congress On Your Corner” event at a supermarket. And Gohmert invoked her case while explaining why he doesn’t want to meet with constituents any longer:
“Unfortunately, at this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety. Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge. However, the House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed — just as happened there”
Well, Giffords — who resigned due to her traumatic brain injuries sustained in the shooting — thinks that Gohmert and any other lawmakers who want to avoid town halls need to grab “some courage.” She believes that these in-person meetings in group settings are a “hallmark” of public service, and she told Gohmert and friends what they need to do:
“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls. I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber — at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead — held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.”
Giffords added that she has attended over 50 public meetings in the past year while campaigning for gun safety. She’s not afraid, so she believes that active lawmakers need to put on their superhero pants, too. Hard to argue with that, right?