by Max Brantley
Still, the relative scarceness of the senators — more of them joined a delegation to Afghanistan this week than scheduled town halls — challenged the busy liberal “resistance” movement. Since the repeal debate began, protesters have made direct confrontations with elected officials a central part of their opposition to the Republican bill — copying what worked for tea party activists, who packed Democratic town halls during the lengthy 2009-2010 Affordable Care Act debate.They can run, but they can't hide forever.
In the run-up to July 4, activists shared details of Republican appearances on sites created by the progressive group Indivisible (“Red, White, and You”) and the crowd-sourced Town Hall Project. Democratic senators who spoke at a June 28 rally outside the Capitol repeatedly urged activists to make noise wherever they saw Republicans. It was the protesters, they said, who had repeatedly spoiled Republicans’ plans to pass a bill and move on to tax restructuring. A president who had once floated a special session of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act had become distracted by feuds with the media. The “resistance,” Democrats said, had not become distracted by anything.