After finally agreeing to an in-person town hall, Congressman Tom Garrett has now restricted who can come to it and how they shall behave. Indivisible Charlottesville took a page out of Garrett’s Tea Party election playbook to hold a town hall without him last Sunday (He was invited. And was back from Europe) and they ended up with 1,300 who showed up even though they knew he wouldn’t be there. Thoughtful, insightful, respectful questions were asked on subjects like health care and immigration. Was the crowd sometimes boisterous? Yes. Were they rowdy or did they boo or call him names? No! But the tape he was sent of his constituents asking respectful questions seems to have scared him to death and he has scheduled a tickets-only event for no more than 135 people who are being told to “behave”. No signs. No shouting. No clapping.
So I can only gather from this that Congressman Garrett does not care about this constituent’s concerns. He might do better to take a page out of [former disgraced South Carolina Congressman and Governor] Mark Sanford’s book. Congressman Sanford stood for hours and took questions and answered them, sometimes straying from party orthodoxy. And he came off looking pretty good to both sides of the audience. That is the kind of bravery I’m looking for from MY congressman.