There it was blazing across Page One in bold type: “A Changing approach to town-hall events,” with the sub header Amid Trump backlash, Republicans aim to avoid going viral. The oversized accompanying photo shows John McCain at a Scottsdale town hall meeting — in 2015.
The reporters who crafted this multi-page contrivance passing as news must regard their remaining readership as dolts suffering from amnesia.
McCain and Flake are not hiding from those who pay their salaries as a reaction to a “Trump backlash.” They are doing what they have done before Trump’s name was ever mentioned in political circles — tightly controlling the interaction.
In the article, Flake claims he’s too busy to schedule town halls, but is described as leaning toward a telephone conference call — a device where participants can be screened. McCain prefers to meet with employees of private businesses such as Raytheon who benefit from his position as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
We posted this exposé in Aug. 2013, when the duo held a restricted, so-called “Conversation on Immigration” in Flake’s hometown of Mesa, hoping for a more amiable audience. The actual intent of the “conversation” was to limit conversation. The announcement indicated that due to “limited seating” tickets will not available to the public. Instead, they invited concerned citizens to Twitter questions in advance and said they may be used during the mid-morning event, timed to keep taxpaying citizens with jobs at bay.
The newspaper is partially correct on one count. Frustrated citizens are lashing out, but it’s definitely not a “Trump backlash.” They are overwhelmingly Republicans, not Democrats, understandably furious at John McCain for his continual sabotaging of the Republican president who’s been in office exactly one month. Appearing on “Meet the Press” over the weekend, McCain compared Trump to a dictator. CNN, the Washington Post, and other left-of-center news outlets were all too happy to give full coverage to the still angry 2008 presidential loser.
Arizona Republicans are incensed that Jeff Flake not only refused to endorse the GOP presidential nominee, but actually sought out leftist networks on which to appear and announce he would not vote for Donald Trump. McCain, for his part, withdrew his flimsy endorsement and then said he would withhold his vote from now-President Trump.
Republicans and conservative activists expect such actions from Democrats. Their reasonable ire is directed at the two Hillary supporting, interchangeable Republicrat Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake conveniently masquerading as Republicans whenever elections near. This 2011 disappointment in Flake expressed in an Arizona Republic editorial speaks volumes.
The senators know they are the target of Republican resentment. We know it and the newspaper’s reporters Dan Nowicki and Ronald Hansen, regardless of their attempts to configure the situation otherwise, certainly know it.