Marco Rubio is not doing town halls at this time.
The Republican U.S. senator from Florida and candidate for the 2016 Republican Party nomination for president has seen what is going on at other town halls across the country, and is simply not bothering with one of his own.
Chatting with CBS Miami on Sunday, Rubio laid it out there.
“They are not town halls anymore,” Rubio said. “What these groups really want is for me to schedule a public forum, they then organize three, four, five, six hundred liberal activists in the two counties or wherever I am in the state.”
According to the senator, he recently became familiar with what is essentially a “how-to” manual for protesters put out by the “Indivisible” movement that appears to be behind all of the upheaval at recent town hall events. What he quickly learned is that no one hosting any of these town halls has a chance. As Rubio put it on Sunday, there is just no useful reason for him to put on a town hall that will be targeted by leftists whose whole purpose for showing up is to “heckle and scream at me in front of cameras.”
As the senator puts it, the tactics of the group include arriving at the designated location early, and in enough numbers, to take up the lion’s share of available seats. “They spread themselves out. They ask questions,” said Rubio. “They all cheer when the questions are asked. They are instructed to boo no matter what answer I give. They are instructed to interrupt me if I go too long and start chanting things. Then, at the end, they are also told not to give up their microphone when they ask questions.”
Rubio, is, of course, absolutely right. They are no longer town halls; just demonstrations in anarchy by a bunch of petulant children. Naturally, it is the earnest constituent who suffers, but until enough of those folks band together to ensure the anarchists will not be able to continue hijacking the proceedings, then there will either be no town halls whatsoever, or free-for-alls.
In either case, the democratic process remains the loser.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large