This weekend some GOP lawmakers, but fewer than in the past, are conducting town halls. There they face angry, energized voters who are out to defend Obamacare or implore lawmakers to investigate President Donald Trump. Some Republicans are choosing to hide from voters, while others claim these are paid protesters.
If you, your family, friends or colleagues are turning out to “greet” your representative or senator, it is best to be specific in your question and not to interrupt with chants or outbursts. If you don’t get an answer say so, and if the preceding questioner did not get a response point that out.
Most of all, make the most of the opportunity. To that end, here are some suggested inquiries, grouped by topic.
▪ Sen. Diane Feinstein pointed out that China awarded Trump a valuable trademark just days after he confirmed the one-China policy. What are you prepared to do about a blatant violation of the emoluments clause, and if nothing, how can you claim to be a defender of the Constitution?
▪ Why have you not demanded Trump release his tax returns? How do you know if he is indebted to or profiting from foreign interests?
▪ Republicans said they would act as a check on the executive, when it comes to ethics and conflicts of interest. Does this apply only to a Democratic president?
▪ Did killing off the Trans-Pacific Partnership hurt our alliances in Asia? Did this just empower China?
▪ Are you prepared to vote for more defense spending even if it means the end of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (from which we got the sequester)?
▪ Trump has gotten into fights with Australia and Mexico. He’s scared our European allies. What are you doing to counteract his errors?
▪ Trump’s travel ban has nothing to do with lone wolves or Westerners who are radicalized. What are you doing about that?
▪ How are you paying for an Obamacare replacement?
▪ How are you paying for a tax plan that gives huge tax cuts to rich people?
▪ There is no plan to address our $20 trillion debt. Republicans complained about the deficit during the Obama presidency, so why are you quiet now?
▪ Where is your plan to balance the budget, provide tax cuts and increase defense spending?
▪ Will you promise my out-of-pocket costs will be equal to or less than they are now?
▪ Will you promise my deductibles will go down and not up?
▪ If high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions run out of money, what will you do?
▪ Are you going to kick off Medicaid people who received benefits from Medicaid extension under the ACA?
▪ You support health-savings accounts, but those help richer people with money available to contribute. What about people who live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to contribute?
▪ Will I get to keep my doctor?
▪ Will you stick up for a free press? Have you denounced Trump’s attack on the First Amendment?
▪ You said you’d work to curtail executive power. Why then are you cheering his executive orders?
▪ Is the White House operating like a “fine-tuned machine”?
▪ Given his track record, is the president a reliable source of information? Do you trust what he says?
▪ If his campaign did have contacts with Russia and Trump lied about it, what are you prepared to do?
▪ If Trump has Russian investments and/or debts with Russian interests, what are you prepared to do?
▪ Do you feel comfortable with Trump’s ongoing attacks on the intelligence community? Will you speak out?
Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. Follow her: @JRubinBlogger