Republican representatives are having a hard time dealing with the consequences of their actions. Angry constituents are demanding that their elected officials hold town halls so they can express their anger at Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and for enabling Donald Trump’s un-American agenda.
However, cowardly Republicans are refusing to face the music – and they have the worst excuses for it. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that he was too scared to face his constituents because he might get shot like Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head by a right-wing extremist in 2011 but miraculously survived. Gohmert weakly explained that:
“Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge. However, the House sergeant at arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at Congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed — just as happened there,”
Rep. Giffords was not happy to hear her attack being used as an excuse for Republicans to try to dodge their duties to the people they ostensibly represent. In a scathing statement, Giffords called out Gohmert and all the Republicans too timid to face the wrath of the public:
“I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber — at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead — held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.
To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”
Republicans have long made it clear that they serve the interests of corporate America and Wall Street instead of the American people – and now they’re learning the hard way that their plans to gut the social safety net and deprive twenty million people of their healthcare aren’t quite as popular with the people as they’ve been telling themselves it is.
For Gohmert to invoke the shooting of Giffords as a reason to not hold town halls after spending his entire career supporting the reckless proliferation of firearms to an irresponsible civilian population is the height of hypocrisy. His cowardice in the face of his voters is just insult to injury.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.