Democrats urged to avoid meeting with constituents this summer

Congressional Democrats are being urged by leadership to avoid town hall meetings and other public events that offer the ability for voters to ask questions in uncontrolled settings. Last summer’s finger waving and YouTube video accounts seems just too much to handle for faltering Democrats.

Sorry I have not had too much time to write lately, but I will try to get back into things. Anyway…

This story from the New York Times caught my eye the other day. Since last summer did not go so well, Congressional leadership is strongly suggesting incumbents running for re-election this November keep a low profile. I guess you could call it another symptom of the disease, the all-powerful can now simply place a barricade between themselves and voters.

If the time-honored tradition of the political meeting is not quite dead, it seems to be teetering closer to extinction. Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts.

It was no scheduling accident.

With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects.

And to reach thousands of constituents at a time, without the worry of being snared in an angry confrontation with voters, more lawmakers are also taking part in a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.

These are the people who have been elected to serve as our representatives inside the beltway, and they are refusing to meet with us because they don’t like the bad press. Why are they afraid? Sure, TEA Party members can be boisterous and seem bit angry on occasion, but so what? Man up and deal with it. You’re not a leader if you can’t calm people down and have a discussion with them.

You best be able to explain your position in a way that makes sense to your constituents. You’re elected to represent everyone in your district, not just those who blindly vote for you. You must lead, teach and mentor. Is that too much to ask?

The big problem is Congress’ continued path towards a soft tyranny, and people don’t like it so much. As the federal government continues to steal property from future generations to fund federal busy-work projects, people notice. I’ve said Feb. 2009 was a tipping point for many voters … an awakening if you will … and hiding with friends won’t help you much come election day.

22 replies
  1. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    Well, people being bussed in by Dick Armey and others and coached to disrupt the town hall meetings is the reason.

    It was disturbing to constituents who had legitimate questions and were unable to ask them because of the "out of control"  attendees disrupting the meetings.

    Watching on television, I wanted to yell: "Stifle for one minute and let him/her answer!"

    I watched several of these town hall gatherings and the legislators were unable to speak, unable to answer questions, it was total chaos. it would be foolish to walk into the same trap.

    • Steve McGough
      Steve McGough says:

      Can we agree that the unions and groups like ACORN are the experts at bringing in outside "support" for Democrats all across the country? They astroturf to the extreme! Compared to the unions and ACORN, Dick Armey's group is amateur hour.

      My mom has gone to a few TEA parties across the country, she was not bussed or provided with a matching sign or T-shirt.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        My point exactly!  When Dems fabricate and accuse Republicans of some heinous activity , it is always to cover the fact that that is what they are actually doing.

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      A town hall meeting is for the elected official to listen.  They spend precious little time doing that even to their own party constituents.  Folks are legitimately upset: Bipartisan bickering and overspending,  spin, deal making.  Then the lack of true journalist integrity.  These town hall meetings offer a rare chance to experess one's self.  These folks are passionate about their family's future and their country.   

      For these politicians to avoid their constituents an insult and is like avoiding the truth. 

      Give me the ugly truth over the beautiful lie any time.  For with truth comes a better decision. 

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Meanwhile, in another story, hardware stores are unable to explain huge increases in sales of tar and feathers….

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    If they are too cowardly to meet with their constituents, or worse, listen to them (which we have already determined they do not do), then why should they have these prolonged recesses?  Maybe we should just make them part time (with part time benefits, of course), since the purported purpose of these "recesses" are to meet with constituents, not a vacation.


    I thought people stopped getting out for recess in grade school….

  4. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    Hide, hide, hide!  Don't listen to those pesky voters. 

    Maybe if our elected officials keep a low profile we will forget about TARP, health care and the still horrible unemployment figures?  I don't think so and I don't think I'm alone.  They can hide all summer…I'm still going to remember to vote in the fall.   

  5. djt
    djt says:

    how nice of you to downplay the tea party contribution to last summers meetings, describing them as people who "can be boisterous and seem a bit angry on occasion." Have  you forgotten that Arlen Spector meeting? there seemed to be very few identified tea partiers that went to meetings to listen, they went to speak their piece. There's nothing wrong with that, but to describe them as you do seems rather inaccurate, as well as purposefully downplaying their anger and amount of disruption.

    Having said that though, its still wrong for any rep to come home and stick their head in the sand, only to raise it to speak to people with whom they agree. To do that is to do a disservice to their electorate. But I dont' think in a civilized society it is our "leaders" job at a meeting to "calm people down and have a discussion with them."  They are government reps (albeit not very good ones), not anger management counselors.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      "…there seemed to be very few identified tea partiers that went to meetings to listen, they went to speak their piece."


      Sadly, the real problem is that very few (if any) politicians go to these meetings to listen, but to speak their piece (spin).  If they were honest and represented their constituency as they are paid to do, they would not fear them at townhall meetings, and there would be little for tea partiers or anyone else to object to.   There would be no need to "calm down" anyone when you haven't ticked them off by being a slobbering lapdog of the Øbama/Reid/Pelosi triumverate instead of a true "representative".


      The word "representative", like "fair", has been fully bastardized by the politicians, particularly the Democrats.

  6. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    Let's just undress ourselves, Steve.

    If the Dems rallied the troops to behave like that in the 90's when the Reps controlled congress, you would have video clips all over this blog with the epitaphs : "Thugs!", Boorish behavior!", etc.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Outspoken, and yes, even boorish might apply, but thugs?  No, thuggery is the sole domain of the Democrats.  When violence occurs, it is the Democrats and their allies that are responsible.  Heck, you can't even get the Tea Partiers to litter, much less assault!  I believe that Steve and Jim have made sufficient reference to the antics of the lefties to back this assertion.

  7. Wind
    Wind says:

    This is the summer to make others aware of what is happening. I don't mean people who already know..they are good for an energy boost and a cone of power..but I mean the independents who are disillusioned and wondering what they just did this last election. I myself have taken the message to the younger generation that are my own kids age and explaining how their grandkids are going to be burdened and how THEY are involved whether they like it or not…at least in their wallets. I also let them know just how safe they are and what is coming down the pike. I explain that their vote does count.  They are listening and I believe awakening…but many have already been brainwashed in socialism and those are the tough nuts to crack. Don't give up!!!!

  8. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Both of the town hall meetings I attended in the last year with representative Smurphy were controlled and orchestrated events where the largely hostel crowd remained in control if pointed in their opposition to the Obamacare legislation.  The only boorish and organized show of muscle came from those with the professionally printed signs and who were evidently union members.  Mr. Smurphy was obviously uncomfortable at both meetings.  My guess is he will be too cowardly to schedule town hall meetings this summer.



  9. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    Do not be surprised if we see during the upcoming summer recess for the politicos a "repeat" of what we had seen last summer at a number of town hall meet ups, because people are not just angry, they are fearful for themselves and their families about their economic situations.

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      I agree.  And when they see thiw trend developing I bet (unfortunately) they speed up their agenda before November.

  10. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    The Dems might as well have said, "Let them eat cake."

    ALL Americans are waking up to the fact the Washington elite, (D) and (R),

    are blind in their arrogance.  They MIGHT figure it out when the hand picked

    choir they preach to dwindles with each union thug patrolled, town hall, snake oil side show.

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