My wife and I went to Joe Courtney’s Town Hall last night. A few reaction:
First, I was a bit surprised that the crowd was, so far as I could see, universally supportive of Joe. If there were Trumpies there, they kept their mouths shut.
A lot of the questions were about Obamacare, and it must be said that Joe has incredible command of the details of the program, and he’s quite frank about acknowledging some of its shortcomings. As a bit of digression, it’s beginning to look like the Republicans may, due to public pressure and an inability to come up with a reasonable alternative, leave the program unscathed. If that does happen, there will be a delicious irony. There may come a day when they regret christening it “Obamacare”. The guy is already missed, and attaching his name to a program that only grows more popular the more it is threatened will only make people miss him more. He wasn’t perfect, but he looks like a giant next to the man with the small hands and his fascistic puppet master. Might it not be a good idea for the Democrats to embrace the “repair” part of the present Republican mantra and start talking about “Medicare for all”, something, I will say yet again, everyone can understand and no one can misrepresent.
I have one small criticism of Joe’s performance, and I think it highlights a problem with national Democrats generally. It was clear to me that most people in the crowd appreciated the danger we face. It’s not just a question of policy differences. We face an existential threat, and that’s what has gotten people riled up. One questioner asked Joe what national Democrats were going to do to oppose Trump, and Joe drifted off to talk about policy successes. That’s not what people are looking for; they are looking for full throated opposition, done in an effective way. That means coordinated responses and a unified strategy. Unless the Democrats appreciate the need to do that, whether out of patriotism or fear for their own political survival, there’s not much chance the republic can survive.
Anyway, it’s to be hoped that this energy won’t dissipate. Our local Town Committee had a meeting Wednesday night, and we had more non-members in attendance than members. We see it as a golden opportunity to bring in some fresh and much younger blood. I’ve been on the Town Committee for about 30 years. When I joined, I was one of the younger people on the committee. 30 years later, I’m still probably south of the median. If the party, locally and nationally, can coordinate with the various resistance groups springing up, we just might be able to preserve the republic.