February 27, 2017
There's one thing members of Congress didn't have to worry about heading into last week's townhalls: attendance! Thanks to the Left, most local meetings were packed -- and not necessarily with people from the community. After the adventures of Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), and others, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) knew what he was up against heading into Wednesday's event. As usual, the extremists didn't disappoint.
The commotion got off to a fast start when Chaplain Michael Sprague took a turn at the podium. Now, as one who has traveled and campaigned across the state of Louisiana many times, it's not unusual to open a meeting of this sort with prayer. But this was no ordinary meeting. Immediately, the crowd erupted in anger, yelling things like "Pray on your own time!" and "Separation of church and state!" The whole thing was caught on video, including one woman shouting "Lucifer!" when Sprague spoke Jesus's name. And God wasn't the only target. Showing their true colors, a portion of the protesters refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, while others took it a step farther by booing the veteran and hollering "Do your job!" and "Get on with it!"
Of course, like most of these incidents, they reflected more on the Left than on the Republicans they were targeting. As Senator Cassidy said on Fox News, the idea of prayer is nothing new. "Every session of Congress is opened with prayer, and that has happened since the beginning Congress... But there were enough that were there just to disrupt that whether it was Pastor Sprague speaking or someone doing the pledge, they were going to protest." In photos, some wagged their fingers in the face of the senator, others were just content interrupting and harassing him while he tried to talk about issues like immigration, health care, and the economy. As someone from Louisiana, I can tell you that the city of Metairie, where the event was held, is probably in the most Republican district in the state. Obviously, this response wasn't the reflective of the area, but of the broad Leftist campaign to ship people in to these local meetings to create a distraction.
In the end, Cassidy says, it's hardly having the effect liberals intended. "They look terrible, because those who say they want tolerance look incredibly intolerant. And those who say they want dialogue only wanted to shout. Now I will [say], there are some there who disagreed but just wanted to listen. There were some Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, but there were also some there just to make a scene to try to define perceptions." Well, they're defining perceptions all right -- about the desperation of the Left!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.