On March 18, Vern Buchanan finally held a town hall. The Van Wezel was packed and there were many who could not get in and had to listen on speakers outside the theater. Most of the questions came from constituents who were concerned about the direction of the current administration and wanted to get clear answers from Rep. Buchanan.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with politicians, there were few clear answers. On several questions that required only a “yes” or “no” response, Mr. Buchanan was vague. One example is when asked whether he would support a proposal from Rep. Carlos Carbelo, from Florida’s 26th District, and other Republicans to commit to working on climate change. This is a very simple question, but it did not get an answer. This was one of the times that the crowd chanted, “Yes or No!”
My biggest concern leaving the town hall was that Rep. Buchanan said many times that we should give the current administration and GOP leadership a chance — wait a year. I don’t recall the Tea Party and other opponents to President Obama waiting a year before working to block his agenda. And given the speed with which this administration is moving, in a year the damage could be enormous. Given the choices for Cabinet, the plans for health care, and the White House’s budget proposal, waiting a year is not an option. The voices of opposition will continue.