The morning event, a "Legislative Cracker Barrel" session Saturday at the
Interrupted throughout his soliloquy, Tomes struggled to get out the words.
Then the veteran state legislator said the magic word, a word indelibly associated with similar scenes that have played out at rowdy town hall meetings across the country. There was a time, Tomes said, when people "didn't go out and disrupt meetings like this."
That sparked an explosion of shouts and hoots from the room of more than 100 people.
It was that kind of morning. The legislative session, hosted by the
It also included five uniformed
The cacophony of dissent wasn't unexpected.
Supporters of Indivisible Evansville -- affiliated with what Bucshon called a "national liberal organization" -- said they would show up to put tough questions to the Republican congressman. Bucshon, in turn, pointed to a guide issued by Indivisible that advises supporters around the country to record their interactions with lawmakers because, "unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating for (members of
The group is fiercely opposed to Republican President
It was a point Washburne, a Republican, made to one man who intimated that the Legislature's
Issues-wide, it was health care that divided Bucshon from the crowd.
But members of Saturday's audience called for single-payer national health insurance and the "
Critics have likened the proposal to socialism. Bucshon said Saturday that it would create "an almost unsustainable financial situation."
"My concern with the single-payer system is, you're putting all the entire payment system on a federal bureaucracy," he said.
Bucshon posed a series of questions to his audience.
"Does anyone in here think the federal government runs all their programs well?" he said.
"Big business don't either," one man shot back. A woman in the crowd answered Bucshon's concern about costs with one word: "taxes."
But Bucshon asked if audience members had thought it through.
"Does everyone in this room who goes to work want to have their
"If it gives health care for everybody, absolutely," one man shot back.
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