As reported here and elsewhere, progressive activists and others wishing to voice their concerns about Congress’s unwillingness to challenge the Trump administration have flooded town halls hosted by Republican members of Congress. Such protesters are demanding that Congress do its job as a check on Trump’s extreme agenda, and also to voice support for the Affordable Care Act, compassionate immigration policy, the public school system, and other programs under attack by conservatives in office.
Some Republicans have attended the town halls, fulfilling the basic duty of an elected official to hear the voice of their constituents. Others have cowardly avoided these meetings, preferring to live in a bubble where they never have to confront anyone who disagrees with them, even people in their own districts.
Now, a Republican congressman has sunk to a new low, invoking the 2011 shooting of then congresswoman Gabbrille Giffords to justify his cowardice in hiding from his constituents. Reported the Washington Post: “Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), in a statement released this week, blamed his decision not to hold [town hall] events in person on ‘the threat of violence at town hall meetings.’ He also pointed to a specific violent event to bolster his case, invoking the 2011 shooting that severely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed six others.”
Giffords issued an immediate smack down of Gohmert’s cowardice, saying in a statement, “To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”