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Congressman MacArthur Partners With Gun Nuts In Tame Town Hall


As the world burns, progressives appear worn down in Waretown, NJ

Out in the cold - herded like sheep - NO SIGNS ALLOWED! (3/6/17, Watertown NJ Town Hall)

Out in the cold – herded like sheep – NO SIGNS ALLOWED! (3/6/17, Watertown NJ Town Hall)

After scorching public criticism for failing to hold a face to face Town Hall meeting and accusing his constituents of being paid protesters seeking to “hijack” the process, Congressman MacArthur (R – NJ 3rd) was forced to concede. But note how the Congressman announced his Town Hall last night in Waretown:

Please note that no bags or signs will be permitted into the building and seating will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Due to safety requirements, law enforcement officers will be in attendance and all personal items are subject to search. It should also be noted that your RSVP does not guarantee you entrance to the building.

Could that “no signs” be why the protesters were invisible? (if they were even there).

The “Indivisibles” were invisible.

But, since MacArthur is emphasizing chaos, disruption, hijackings, personal searches, and a police presence, are you scared yet?

Well if you’re not, consider how the Congressman’s partners – the NJ Second Amendment Society, who held their own meeting prior to the MacArthur Town Hall, so they got there early to get an unfair and over-representative share of the limited seating, which was allocated “on a first come, first serve (sic) basis” – organized for the meeting:

Congressman Tom MacArthur, the first and only NJ Congressman to support the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (HR38) so far, will be holding a town hall event on Monday, March 6th 2017 in Waretown NJ and we need as many NJ2AS members and supporters there as possible. Especially if you’re in the 3rd Congressional District. He supported us when no one else would. Now it’s our turn to support him. As you may have seen on the news, town halls across the country have been raucous events full of bussed in members of the opposition sent there to harass their Congressman. We’re not going to let them outnumber us though. NJ2AS leadership will be there and we’re asking that hundreds of our supporters arrive to the townhall to be there inside and outside the event to let Tom AND the media know, that we support him and thank him for the actions he’s taken as member of the House of Representatives.

Now you should be terrified.

A national gun nut group has captured your Blue State Congressman and as a result we may soon have virtually unregulated concealed weapons in NJ (is stand your ground next?).

The White House has been captured by white supremacist, nationalists (Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions), Wall Street billionaires, former lying Exxon CEO (Tillerson), climate deniers, EPA dismantlers (Pruitt), and religious fundamentalists (DeVos) hell bent on privatizing and destroying public schools and using taxpayer money to promote a religious Agenda and “restore” a white “Christian America“.

And we now know that President Trump gets his alternative facts for his Tweets – e.g. the “last night in Sweden” and “Obama tapped Trump Tower phones” tweets – from right wing “alt-news” sites (NY Times):

The White House has not officially said what led Mr. Trump to make the claims. But administration officials have acknowledged that they were primarily prompted by unverified claims by Breitbart News and conservative talk radio hosts that secret warrants were issued.

Does Congressman MacArthur’s get his “alt-facts” from the Second Amendment Society?  That “bussed members” sent to harass their Congressman” sounds an awful lot like MacArthur’s original “hijack” claim:

Rep. Tom MacArthur says his town hall schedule is on hold because he doesn’t “want to be baited into having an event that some outside group can just make a spectacle out of.’’ …

MacArthur alleged that colleagues had their events disrupted as “hundreds of people have been bused in and have been organized and in some cases have even been paid to disrupt and to steal your voice.‘

“I think you have to realize what’s going on all over the country. Public town hall events are being hijacked by groups that are outside of the district that (the) member represents. You’ve seen them on TV.’’ he said.

Despite the fact that MacArthur’s claims were proven false, he still would not let go completely of that lie last night, when he said:

“I know there are not paid protestors here,” MacArthur said. “That doesn’t mean there are not paid organizers out there.” His statement was met with some groans from the crowd

 I was out there, as in outside in the cold. And not paid. I saw no organizers – period – paid or unpaid. I saw no protesters either.

Denouncing virtually everything I saw, here is my frustrated -and unattributed – “voice” (unattributed despite the fact that an * [Correction – it was an AP reporter. Apologies to APP] Asbury Park Press reporter approached me, knew my name (“you’re the former DEP official, right?“), and spoke with me):

Some of the people who stood by the front door for more than an hour in the cold eventually were let in. Before they were let in, at least one shouting match outside between a Trump supporter and a critic of the president could be heard from inside the fire hall.

The country is in crisis, as President Trump and the Republicans seek to dismantle virtually every progressive public policy victory over the last 100 years – even reversing Enlightenment reason and the Open Society – reforms in labor, environment, women, science, civil rights, gay rights, diversity, tolerance, immigration, the New Deal social safety net and “administrative state” etcetera – and the progressive community WAS INVISIBLE! (not “Indivisible”, invisible.)

They didn’t even show up! No protest signs (there were maybe 5 or 6), no protests, no buses, no singing, no marches, no disruptions – NOTHING.

And that is fucking pathetic.

(I know the Democrats – who talk a big “50 state strategy” but can’t seem to manage to organize opposition to a vulnerable freshman Republican Congressman in a predominant Blue State – avoid gun control debates like the plague, so I guess the Second Amendment folks scared them away.

But what about the rest of the “progressive coalition”?

I guess all those Foundation funded corporate environmental groups that flood my email inbox every day are just too busy to protest and lobby at a Town hall meeting – they’re just too busy promoting email, partnerships, sustainability, and golf outings, and pub crawls, and flower plantings, and safe Saturday afternoon permitted Washington DC marches.)

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