Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert and other GOP lawmakers refused to meet with their constituents at recent town hall meetings because they didn’t want to face their constituents’ wrath about GOP plans to repeal Obamacare.
Gohmert, in particular, said he based his decision on “the threat of violence at town hall meetings.” He said he feared the same thing happening to him that happened to Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, who was shot and critically injured while meeting with constituents in a grocery store parking lot in 2011.
Giffords, however, told Gohmert to quit acting like a coward and to do his job.
“To the politicians who have abandoned their civil obligations,” Giffords said. “I say this: `Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.’ ”
Other GOP lawmakers, such as U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have refused to attend town halls. Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado slipped out through a door and escaped from a meeting with constituents when he realized they wanted to discuss Obamacare and not name a highway or bridge for him.
Sen. Jodi Ernst of Iowa, who bragged about her military experience on the campaign trail, left a town hall after 45 minutes after hearing boos and chants of “Do you job!”
Elbert Hubbard summarized such legislators more than a century ago.
“A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run,” Hubbard said.
It’s possible that these legislators are not shirking their duties because they’re sniveling cowards. They might be shirking their duties because they don’t think they’re paid enough to meet with the people who pay their salaries, benefits, and pensions.
Whatever the case, if lawmakers do not want to meet with constituents, there’s a simple solution:
Such lawmakers should immediately resign and let someone take their place who understands that being a public servant sometimes requires doing disagreeable things like serving the public.
Do your job or stand aside and let someone else do it.