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.
[…] In New Hampshire, where open political meetings are deeply ingrained in the state’s traditions, Representative Carol Shea-Porter’s campaign Web site had this message for visitors: “No upcoming events scheduled. Please visit us again soon!” Ms. Shea-Porter, a Democrat, attended a state convention of letter carriers on Saturday, but she did not hold a town-hall-style meeting during the Congressional recess. In 2006, when she was an underdog candidate for the House, she often showed up at the meetings of her Republican rival, Representative Jeb Bradley, to question him about Iraq.
In Iowa, where voters also are accustomed to coming face to face with elected officials, Representative Leonard L. Boswell, a Democrat, provided few opportunities for voters to see him last week. His itinerary included a groundbreaking for a new law enforcement center and a renaming ceremony for a Des Moines post office.
In Maryland, where Mr. Kratovil endured considerable heckling last year over the health care legislation, which he ultimately opposed, he did not hold any large gatherings with voters. After returning from a visit to Afghanistan, he held two events with veterans before arriving at an evening discussion here at the credit union in Bel Air, north of Baltimore.
[…] An examination of public schedules for dozens of members of Congress last week showed that more House Republicans held open meetings, including several in a series of forums called America Speaking Out, which is intended to help write the party’s agenda if it wins control of Congress in November.
[…] Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat who has represented a wide part of southwestern Virginia for 28 years, has often encountered fierce criticism during his sessions with voters. But he said it was worth listening to the critiques, which often sound nearly identical as he travels across the 23 counties of his district. “Obviously the town meetings are magnets for people who have a political agenda, but it’s worth putting up with the talking-point-induced political dialogue to get good ideas,” said Mr. Boucher, who was one of the few Democrats last week who did hold a wide-open meeting, which took place Saturday at the high school in Floyd, Va.
“I guess I’m old-fashioned,” said Mr. Boucher, adding that he preferred visiting with voters in person, rather than communicating with them through “tele-town-hall” meetings, a sort of conference call that can include thousands of homes that has been on the rise since the technology was first used in 2006. “I have no plans of changing my approach to this.”
Representative Tom Perriello, a first-term Virginia Democrat, held 21 open meetings last August during the heat of the health care debate. He said that each of the sessions lasted an average of five hours, often ending well after midnight. “We thought that the best strategy was to let people talk,” Mr. Perriello said. “It was important to stay until people had everything off of their minds.”
- Pope Francis says we should obey the United Nations
- Ignore her own carbon footprint: Diane Von Furstenberg unveils “ScrapWrap” dresses made of trash to save the environment
- This is rich: WA state Gov. Inslee calls for oversight of private psychiatric hospitals while state hospital is decertified and defunded
- Fake MAGA Crime: Former NFL player charged for spraying the “N” word and MAGA on walls to make it look like a hate crime
- Senate Democrats introduce new gun-control bill: federal license, registration, red flag & gun confiscation
- Michelle Obama charging up to $4,200 for tickets to new tour
- Media, demorats promised no one wanted to take your guns
- Evil new sexual fetish: Couples repeatedly get pregnant, then abort
- Seattle/King County finally have a plan to address repeat offenders: Will cost just an additional $5M taxpayer dollars
- Sunday Devotional: The lost sheep
- Ignore her own carbon footprint: Diane Von Furstenberg unveils “ScrapWrap” dresses made of trash to save the environment on
- Pope Francis says we should obey the United Nations on
- Senate Democrats introduce new gun-control bill: federal license, registration, red flag & gun confiscation on
- Fake MAGA Crime: Former NFL player charged for spraying the “N” word and MAGA on walls to make it look like a hate crime on
- Wayne Madsen: Snopes.com is a CIA operation on
- Christine Blasey Ford’s body language on
- This is rich: WA state Gov. Inslee calls for oversight of private psychiatric hospitals while state hospital is decertified and defunded on
Most read posts
- Michelle Obama is a man: See the junk moving in his pants 341 views
- Despicable: Watch human predators prey on elderly woman 243 views
- Senate Democrats introduce new gun-control bill: federal license, registration, red flag & gun confiscation 234 views
- Pope Francis says we should obey the United Nations 151 views
- Michelle Obama charging up to $4,200 for tickets to new tour 112 views
Founded 12-23-2009. Burned down by WordPress 8-15-2018 with 63M hits. Resurrected 8-23-2018. DDOS attacks began 11-10-2018. Massive Spam attacks on 12-3-2018.