Protesters Around the US Have Started Speaking Out Against Local Representatives
The day before that, Representative ’s words were drowned out by taunts from a raucous crowd in Utah.
On Tuesday, over 100 protesters showed up at the congressional office of Arizona Representative Martha McSally.
And last weekend, California Representative Tom McClintock’s town hall speech was met with such hostility that he had to be escorted from the premises by police.
There may have been others. There certainly will be more in the days to come. We know that for certain because last week the Washington Post told us so.
“What’s organizing people is that they’re fearing for the country they grew up in,” Neera Tanden, Hillary Clinton advisor and president of the Center for American Progress, told the Post. “People are definitely seeing the purpose of working through the political process to oppose him.”
The him, of course, is Donald Trump. There could be no other him in a Democrat’s mind. But the “process” being referred to by Tanden is, as we speak, going through a metamorphosis — one the Clinton aide seems not to notice.
The Post’s article on Sunday opened with the following:
“A super PAC formed to reelect Barack Obama in 2012 is driving activists to congressional town halls.”
It doesn’t seem like much. Innocuous, even. But upon reflection, it’s actually a game changer.
The Post, after noting that Neera Tanden’s Center for American Progress (CAP) was “founded by Clinton administration exiles,” went on to detail the trend that’s taking shape:
“CAP Action, the political arm of Tanden’s think tank, is one of several progressive and center-left groups urging activists to attend congressional town halls.”
How many of the protesters are showing up at Republican doorsteps at the behest of progressive super PACs, and how many are there of their own volition, is an unknown. But the effect has been the same — and immediate. From a February 7 report by Politico:
“House Republicans during a closed-door meeting Tuesday discussed how to protect themselves and their staffs from protesters storming town halls and offices in opposition to repealing Obamacare, sources in the room told Politico.”
Citing those sources, the news outlet continues:
“Among the suggestions: having a physical exit strategy at town halls, or a backdoor at congressional offices to slip out of, in case demonstrations turn violent; having local police monitor town halls; replacing any glass office-door entrances with heavy doors and deadbolts; and setting up intercoms to ensure those entering congressional offices are there for appoints, not to cause chaos.”
The effect has been so great, in fact, that some Republicans are now declining speaking engagements in fear of what Martha McSally — the Arizona representative who was confronted by over 100 protesters at her office last Tuesday — called a “political ambush.”
Stating that “the Democratic Party and progressive establishment have almost entirely adopted the demands of a restive, active and aggressive base,” the Washington Post, in last week’s article, said the Democrats are “hopeful that the new activism” embraces the idea of electoral politics — new activism that apparently condones super PACs spending funds on protests at enemy lines. And it’s a form of activism the Post just gave credibility to:
“Yet even now, at every level of national Democratic politics, the discussion of how the party can win back voters it lost is subsumed by the argument about how to oppose Trump,” wrote the newspaper. “The answer is always: as much as possible. And for the moment, that does seem to be engaging a broad, new population of activists.”
And it’s a form of “activism” the conservative super PACs are certain to make use of, now that the precedent has been set — and, again, sanctified by the Washington Post itself.
So it’ll be interesting, to say the least, to read the comments from Democrats when it’s their turn to worry about escape routes. And heavy doors. And deadbolts.