Or, more precisely, it looks like they never really went away:
MANCHESTER, N.H. – If the experience of this state’s two Democratic House members is any indication, the raw emotion and mistrust emanating from last summer’s congressional town halls never really went away.
Instead, the unrest simmered over the ensuing months only to return to a boil when Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for U.S. Senate, returned home to meet with their constituents here during the first week of the Easter recess.
Their public events provided a bracing reminder to Democrats that the political pivot from health care to economic and financial issues is going to be much more arduous than they expected.
At a senior center in Manchester Wednesday, one woman turned away when Hodes offered his outstretched hand for an introduction.
“I don’t want to shake your hand. You voted for health care, so just go,” snapped Carmen Guimond, as she refocused on her lunch of roast beef and mashed potatoes and waved him on.
Of course, not everyone out there, is quite so rational:
A man who did not want to be identified said he pulled Hodes aside at the Manchester event to ask him why he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. The congressman told him he’s allergic to gold. His constituent remained skeptical.
“It’s a satisfactory answer, but I don’t know if it’s true,” the man said afterward, citing “all the improprieties out there” as the reason he inquired.
Back to the town hall protests, though, its hard to understand why anyone would think they’d go away:
I’m not sure why anyone thought it might have. All that has changed since last summer’s town hall is (1) the Democrats enacted legislation disfavored by a clear majority of Americans and (2) they did so with the help of a series of unsavory back room deals. Under these circumstances, one would expect that, if anything, voters would be more angry and mistrustful now.