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We live in the world the republicans have created. Unfortuntely for them, so do they.

Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) [2016 file photo].

Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) [2016 file photo].

Columbia Daily Tribune
Protesters urge Hartzler to meet with local groups
U.S. representative says town halls would not be a good use of time
Rudi Keller

Meeting with constituents opposed to Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act would not be a good use of time, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler said Wednesday.

[….]

“I want to hear their ideas but town hall forums have not been a good forum to get that accomplished, to have a productive dialogue,” Hartzler said. “So I invite their ideas, they can call my office, they can write, they can email me and I will listen.”

[….]

Hartzler has not scheduled any events to meet with the general public during the recess. Two members of Hartzler’s staff spent more than two hours answering constituent questions Friday in Ashland.

“You know, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience for them and I think there’s better ways to communicate,” Hartzler said.

[….]

In response to Hartzler criticizing how her staff was treated, Wiggs said she attended the Ashland session and disagreed with Hartzler’s description.

“That’s not true,” she said. “We were very fair minded and very upfront.”

Hartzler is trying to divert attention by saying a town hall meeting would not be productive, Wiggs said.

“I don’t buy into that,” she said. “I think she’s just a big chicken.”

That would pretty much describe most republicans in Congress right now.

This is now, that was then:

In August 2009 we covered a number of Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D) health care town halls in Missouri. The most dissonant ones were in Hillsboro and Jefferson City.

Across the country right wingnut astroturf organizations like Americans for Prosperity promoted their opposition to the health care bill.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking at a town hall in Hillsboro, Missouri - August 11, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking at a town hall in Hillsboro, Missouri – August 11, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking with the press in Hillsboro after a town hall -  August 11, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking with the press in Hillsboro after a town hall – August 11, 2009.

“…I just hope that the word goes out that every member of Congress can and should have these kinds of meetings. I don’t think we should shy away from public discourse just because it gets a little rocky…”

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): open forum in Hillsboro – photos (August 12, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): open forum in Hillsboro – press conference (August 12, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking at a town hall in Kansas City, Missouri - August 24, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking at a town hall in Kansas City, Missouri – August 24, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking with the press in Kansas City after a town hall -  August 24, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking with the press in Kansas City after a town hall – August 24, 2009.

“…No, I mean I’m hearing many of the same questions. I mean there’s a lot of misinformation out there about, you know, what’s in the bill, what isn’t in the bill. A lot of distrust about government being further involved in people’s  health care. So, no, there wasn’t anything that I heard today at this particular forum that, there, there’s some common themes that are coming up. There are people that are frustrated that want, feel like that Barrack Obama won the election and the Democrats control Congress. Get it done already. And then there’s other people who feel very strongly that Congress needs to back away and do absolutely nothing. And everything in between…”

A healthcare town hall done right (August 25, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): health care town hall in Kansas City – press conference, part 1 (August 25, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): health care town hall in Kansas City – press conference, part 2 (August 26, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking at a town hall in Warrensburg, Missouri - August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking at a town hall in Warrensburg, Missouri – August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking with the press in Warrensburg after a town hall -  August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking with the press in Warrensburg after a town hall – August 26, 2009.

“…I think, by and large, most Missourians are pretty well mannered. I think, by and large, the proponents of health care reform had been sitting on the sidelines. And then all of a sudden, you know, because it was raucous and conflict and the last time I looked you guys liked that stuff, it got a lot of coverage because it was good visuals and it was different and it was big crowds. So all of a sudden everybody sittin’ at home who wanted health care reform go wait a minute, we, we want health care reform. And I think they’ve woken up now. I think they’re showing up. I think they’re getting more engaged. And I think it, it, I will be surprised if we don’t continue to see, I think there’ll be town halls that’ll be pretty rough, depending on where we are. But, it was interesting to me here in Warrensburg, I wasn’t shocked in Kansas City where you have a, it’s generally a more Democratic area of the state. But, today was, I thought was interesting that, that the proponents outweighed the opponents…”

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – health care town hall – Warrensburg (August 26, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): health care town hall in Warrensburg – press conference (August 28, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking at a town hall in Jefferson City, Missouri - August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking at a town hall in Jefferson City, Missouri – August 26, 2009.

The town hall in Jefferson City - August 26, 2009.

The town hall in Jefferson City – August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) - speaking with the press in Jefferson City after a town hall -  August 26, 2009.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) – speaking with the press in Jefferson City after a town hall – August 26, 2009.

Gee, Steven Walsh, who else is in that picture. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

“…You know, they, there were clearly a lot of people here that were more interested in disrupting and showing their anger than listening or having any kind of discourse. But that’s okay. You know, this is, we have this great big giant healthy First Amendment in this country. I just, I feel for the people who come that want to listen. They can’t when people start screaming out and, it is bad manners. And by the way, I don’t think it’s particularly persuasive. I don’t think, being the loudest doesn’t make you right. And it generally doesn’t work very well in terms of convincing other people. So, but they have a right to do it, and I respect their right to do it, and, you know, there were moments of very, did you notice, there were times it was very quiet? I got the sense that maybe people actually were learning some things they didn’t know and even if there are just a couple of those it certainly makes it worth it…”

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): health care town hall in Jefferson City – press conference (August 29, 2009)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): health care town hall in Jefferson City – prayer and first Q and A (August 30, 2009)

That listening to and directly engaging constituents thing is so old school. Apparently it’s not in the republican political play book.

Yep, we’re pretty certain Claire’s been smiling a lot this week. And maybe taking a happy dance step or two.