Republicans and Tea Partiers in Michigan can’t exactly be accused of throwing their grandmothers under the bus, but only because there was no bus coming at that moment.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, scheduled a meeting with Tea Party supporters last Saturday. When senior citizens showed up, apparently fearing they would raise some questions about the Republican budget plan with figuratively throws grandma under the bus with drastic cuts to Medicare, organizers called police, claiming the post-65 group had started physical violence.
You couldn’t make this stuff up, could you? If it were fiction, who would believe it?
One way Republicans have found of dealing with the bad press and hostility they’ve faced in public meetings over their highly unpopular budget plan has been what’s actually a pretty typical Republican response: censorship. They’ve clamped down on reporters and citizen journalists, barring them from recording the events.
In Michigan, they’ve taken it up a notch, courtesy of Tea Party control freaks who not only banned a group of senior citizens and reporters, but called security on them at an event with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).
Rep. Justin Amash held a townhall meeting sponsored by a Tea Party group on Saturday
sponsored by a Tea Party group, but a group of senior citizens and two reporters — including this one — were denied entry to the event.The traditional purpose of a townhall meeting is for an elected official to meet with his constituents in public, giving the people a chance to ask questions and engage in dialogue with their representatives. But neither the organizers nor Amash apparently wanted to hear from or speak to a group of concerned senior citizens — even at a time when the fate of Medicare is being debated in Congress.
About eight senior citizens arrived at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus for a chance to question Amash concerning his voting record in regards to eliminating Medicare.
Once barred from attending the event, the seniors stood out in the parking lot where they were taking questions from this reporter and Tanya Somanader of Think Progress, the two members of the media who were denied access. Eventually, six security guards arrived on the scene and said that both the seniors and the reporters had to leave.
Amash, and the Michigan Republicans, appear to be too embarrassed to talk about the GOP budget approved by the House of Representatives. Those senior citizens kicked out of the meeting had been invited to attend by the Tea Party, apparently unaware that their ideas are unpopular among their own nominal supporters. Invited, then kicked out.
Amash and Republicans should be embarrassed.
At least the security guys who responded also saw the humor in the ridiculous situation