Town Hall Venting: 'What Kind of Insurance Do You Have'

Trump's view of the anger is similar to that of Obama's
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2017 7:18 AM CST
Elizabeth Lewandowski holds a sign that reads "disagree" as New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance holds a town hall meeting in Branchburg, N.J.   (Tanya Breen/The Asbury Park Press via AP)

(Newser) – Angry constituents confronting Republican lawmakers at town hall meetings continue to make headlines. Here's a look at what both sides are saying:

  • It's one thing President Trump has in common with former President Obama: The latter's White House also shrugged off town hall chaos as the work of organized agitators, writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. Will any of this matter? That's a definite maybe. "It's just so difficult to know where to draw the line between flashy protests at town halls and legitimate, game-changing shifts in the political zeitgeist." Read his assessment here.
  • On Wednesday, conservative Tom Cotton of Arkansas faced one of the rowdiest town halls, with the audience erupting in applause when a woman asked, "What kind of insurance do you have?" See this video clip via CNN. At another point, a kid worried he'd lose his PBS shows because of the Mexican border wall. CNN also has that.

  • Virginia's Dave Brat also faced a hostile crowd, and his strategy was to have the local mayor read the questions instead getting them directly from participants. Politico thinks it could be a blueprint for Republicans as these continue.
  • Michael Moore thinks this is a legit movement, one that "makes the Tea Party look like pre-school." Read his comments at NBC News.
  • A Fox News contributor, however, says the movement "exposes the left for who they are. They're intolerantly tolerant." Read the exchange here.
  • See examples from across the country as rounded up by USA Today.
  • As Buzzfeed points out, politicians have a tough choice: Face hours of angry questions or skip the town halls and be accused of cowardice. (An example of the latter is this editorial in the Kansas City Star.)
  • Marco Rubio just missed one in Florida—he had complained of the "hostile atmosphere"—and was mocked with cardboard cutouts, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
  • The activists are following a how-to manual of sorts, reports the New York Post. The story cites this Facebook post by the group Organizing for Action.

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