Last night at a very hostile meeting in Midlothian, Dave Brat made every effort to explain why he voted for the American Health Care Act. The 700 people at the event were roughly 80% Democrat members of Resist and Indivisible. Congressman Brat established that at the beginning of the Town Hall when he asked questions of the audience such as “How many here voted for Clinton”? The majority of the crowd had supported either Clinton or Bernie Sanders. State Senator Amanda Chase was the host of the meeting and Clerk of the Circuit Court Wendy Hughes was asking the questions the audience had provided. But the people in the audience constantly booed and shouted down the Congressman. From the Washington Post:
“Everybody asks for town halls so we can have civil discourse,” a frustrated Brat told more than 700 people at a suburban Richmond church on Tuesday night. “That’s what I’m trying to do. If we go this route, it’s going to be very hard to have rational civil discourse. I’m trying.”
Senator Amanda Chase tried to control the crowd:
“You may do this at other people’s town halls, but you’re not doing it at mine,” she said at one point. “This is my town hall now.”
The audience never stopped jeering.
More from CNN.com:
The situation grew so tense at points that obscenities were shouted both at Brat and at other members of the crowd. One man jutted out his middle finger at some Brat supporters when they tried urging others to be quiet. A few people held up red signs of disapproval when the opening prayer was being delivered at the beginning.
For an hour and a half, Brat tried to address 35 questions that were submitted on yellow index cards and read on stage by a moderator.
The congressman voted for last week’s health care bill and defended it with lengthy, in-depth policy arguments, but he hardly expressed any enthusiasm for the legislation, which is now making its way through the Senate.
The most passionate sat in the front, right in front of Brat. One man repeatedly called him a “liar.” Some jumped to their feet over and over, yelling and gesticulating with their whole bodies at the congressman.
For Brat’s part, he occasionally expressed frustration with the near-constant interruptions. “Sir, enough on the volume level. I got it,” he said to one man in the front row.
But he largely stuck to his tone of knowing confidence, using professorial mannerisms.
Take a look at the whole video and decide for yourself if this passes as civil discourse.