FIRST Whether bought and paid for, or just given marching orders by far left organizations and former Obama minions, activists are storming Republican town halls and the media are eating this up. CNN must run a story every hour on this, though we can’t honestly verify it because we would never watch that channel live in a million years.
As these Republicans head back home for meet and greets and town halls, they really should be thankful, after all, that it is only far left activists and angry Hillary Clinton voters who are the ones showing up and creating havoc.
Think for a minute about Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s recent town hall. Utah’s 3rd Congressional District congressman won reelection in 2016 by defeating his Democratic challenger by a whopping 47% (73%-26%) in this deep-red district. So who exactly is showing up at his town halls to excoriate him for repealing Obamacare and implementing much-needed tax reform? The mere 26% of his constituents? If the majority of the people in this district wanted Rep. Chaffetz to keep Obamacare intact, raise taxes on both businesses and individuals, pass a carbon tax to tackle the climate change epidemic, while taking on President Trump at every turn, all positions advocated for on the left, then why wasn’t he defeated this past November?
Simple. His constituents, or at least a vast majority of them, wanted a new course of direction to fix what ails our country, especially economically. They wanted their representative in Washington to represent them and he has an obligation to do so, not to pander to the 1/4 of the voters who understood his platform and the platform of the party he represents and voted against him.
Why is this so hard to figure out? If you don’t like the principles and ideals that your congressman or woman espouses, then mobilize your district around an individual who will steer a different course from the one you publicly denounce at these town halls.
“But the Republicans have gerrymandered the district and makes it impossible for anyone to realistically defeat an incumbent!”
Oh, you mean like the situation a conservative small businesswoman in San Francisco faces when she wants to defeat Nancy Pelosi?
Take any district, minus a few, in California. Or all of Massachusetts, or the vast majority of districts in New York state. They are all gerrymandered. That’s the game folks. Only 80 districts or so out of 435 total in the U.S. House of Representatives are competitive.
Having said that, we offer Republican lawmakers a guide on how to deal with “constituents” at their town halls.
1. Be Thankful
Getting hammered by leftists activists yelling “Do your job” at these town halls really cracks us up. Perhaps conservatives should join the chorus. The GOP is in disarray with implementing the change the majority of the people who went to the ballot box this past November voted for.
The congressional GOP members should be lucky that it is not conservative activists showing up and shouting them down. After all, where is the bill to repeal Obamacare? How about authorizing the funds to build the wall? Oh about that tax reform bill, we assume it’s headed for the president’s desk to sign soon, right?
No? What’s taking so long? You have had seven years to craft a bill with consensus to repeal and replace Obamacare. It would be much harder for Rep. Jason Chaffetz to stand on stage with hundreds of conservatives and right-leaning constituents asking the tough questions on when he and his fellow members in Congress plan to get serious about a host of issues that were promised on the campaign trail. If these activists showed up en force like in 2010, instead of fundraising for reelection in 2018 against a Democrat, he just might have to worry that he may face a “Dave Brat” situation during the upcoming primary season next year.
2. Stand firm with your beliefs
We understand. It’s probably not much fun to be screamed at or heckled for just simply being a Republican or a conservative. But these activists are out of power and will lash out at anyone who disagrees with them or threatens to rollback the policies that they have enjoyed the last eight years. Ask your constituents who voted for you. We are quite sure some of them will tell you that they have had friends and family who voted for Hillary de-friend them on social media or pick a verbal fight at a dinner engagement. We know. It’s happened to us.
In many ways, the reason you are still in office is to help President Trump carve out a different path from the previous eight years. Work with him when it’s good for the country and don’t be afraid to stand up to him when it’s not conservative and/or part of your belief system.
3. Listen to those who elected you
Getting into heated arguments with these organized/paid protestors will yield little positive benefits for you. Appeasing their concerns and giving into their demands will not lead to their support, both monetarily and at the polls, while also doing nothing at all to enhance your reelection chances.
But listening to the concerns of the 50% and more of those who put you into office will certainly help your fundraising efforts while also avoiding having to spend those funds fending off an unnecessary primary challenge from a conservative activist.
4. Articulate conservatism
The agenda from President Trump, which we believe is populist in nature, does have some strong elements of conservatism in it. Fight for those conservative ideals and help move along the agenda that will improve our schools (school choice), make us more safe from drugs and terrorism (a strong border), put more money back into the pockets of hardworking Americans (tax reform), and will create jobs and unleash the economy (regulation reforms). It can be done with your willpower. You must combat your opposition unequivocally with ideas and strong principles. Conservative ones.
Take a page from Ronald Reagan. He dealt with deep rooted opposition from a trifecta of opposition during his two terms: the media, members of Congress, and the people who didn’t vote for him. He was able to succeed in advancing his conservative agenda by speaking to the people directly, bypassing those who did not want him to succeed. It worked masterfully.
5. Avoid town halls if necessary
Like we have said, holding these town halls is becoming delightful for the media who are eager to see you and the president fail. Google “GOP town halls” and instantly 5 million hits appear. It’s all the news media wants to talk about and not in any positive nature towards you. Very little credit is given, if at all, for you doing your job and meeting with these people. If you avoid these meetings, you are slammed as well. You are damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a town hall meeting this week in his home state of Kentucky and was confronted by an angry constituent who railed against him for attempting to strip away health insurance for coal miners. McConnell replied, “Do you feel better now?” He then followed up with, “Winners make policy, losers go home.”
Clever but what he should have said was, “It was President Obama and his administration that destroyed the coal industry and took the livelihood away from these coal miners.” It was an opportunity to point out the constituent’s hypocrisy of her argument: defending Obamacare while not understanding that it was the president she obviously loves and adores and for which the health insurance law is named after who ultimately destroyed the very industry she and others depend on to survive. The government can provide you with some health insurance, but if you do not have a job to survive and put food on the table for your family, what good is that subsidy for health insurance? You can’t buy food with Obamacare. Consequently, the government must then also provide subsidies for food and shelter as well.
Mitch McConnell ultimately failed.
If you can’t use these meetings as an opportunity to articulate conservative principles, then don’t bother to show up.
And no we aren’t talking about the late great Johnny Carson.
This guy is much worse. Think Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
We are talking about former Speaker of the House John Boehner who is back in the news this week.
Speaking at a healthcare conference in Florida on Thursday, Boehner let the cat out of the GOP establishment bag: Obamacare is not going to be repealed. It will be fixed.
We elected the Republicans into the U.S. House majority in 2010 in a massive wave, then overwhelmingly voted to give them control of the U.S. Senate in 2014 while also expanding the number in the House to historic figures. Finally, we voted to keep those GOP majorities in both chambers in 2016. And all that for what?
Perhaps members of Congress would like their town halls flooded with conservative activists? The GOP should be thankful we aren’t showing up. After all, without grassroots conservatives, it would be a majority of Democrats who would be hosting these meetings.
John Boehner, the worst Speaker of the House in our republic’s history.