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.
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.
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.
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