Senator Grassley gets an earful at town hall meeting

Senator Chuck Grassley held a town hall event in Iowa Falls on Tuesday morning. The event was packed to capacity with progressives who wanted to challenge him on everything from Russia to Supreme Court vacancies to Obamacare. The New York Times reports Chris Petersen, a progressive Democrat, brought a prop, a bottle of Tums:

“You’re going to need ‘em the next few years,” Mr. Petersen told the senator, drawing laughter from the crowd that packed into a room at a firehouse in Iowa Falls, north of Des Moines…

It was a spirited meeting, considering it was scheduled for 7:45 a.m. in rural county that voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump. At times, the mantra of “Iowa Nice” was put to the test.

“Shut your hole!” a man yelled at a woman at one point.

Petersen’s plea repair rather than repeal Obamacare was aired by MSNBC:

Another progressive constituent asked Sen. Grassley how he would handle a Supreme Court vacancy in the last year of Trump’s first term, i.e. would he delay it until after the election as he did in Obama’s final year. The unidentified woman asked, “Why shouldn’t the Democrats filibuster, obstruct and delay the current president’s nominee to the Supreme Court for a year or even four years given that you’ve set this precedent?” This brought applause from the crowd. Grassley replied that he would have to treat a vacancy the same way, which the people in the room didn’t seem to believe.

One moment that got some media attention involved a man who said he had served with the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan and now needed support in a claim for asylum. Someone in the crowd barked at Grassley to answer the question, but Grassley refused to allow the man to buck the line when he spoke out of turn. He did address him at the end of the meeting and offer to try and help him. Here’s a local news report on the meeting:

The Democrats really are running with the Tea Party playbook. Back in 2009 Democrats like Nancy Pelosi referred to people who flocked to town hall events in 2009 as “astroturf” (fake grass roots) gatherings of extremists. I’m willing to be they feel differently about raucous town hall events now.