The G.O.P. and Fear of Crowds

In How We Behave On
- Updated

Republican members of Congress have a haunted look about them. Ordinarily, this is the time of year when they are in the best mood — the April recess is here, meaning a few friendly, sparsely attended town hall meetings, and then home early for family dinner.

Not this year. Many are facing large, well-organized crowds who are out for blood. Even in deep red states like Utah and South Carolina, progressive groups are making these events a living hell for the Republicans, just as the Tea Partyers did to Democrats early in President Barack Obama’s first term. Knowing what they’ll face, many Republicans are bailing out of town halls altogether.

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