Vulnerable Virginia Democrat Gets Dragged By Constituents During an Open House Over Her Impeachment Stance

Seventh District Congressional candidate Abigail Spanberger speaks during a rally in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

 

During the 2018 election when the House flipped to Democrat control, it did so on the backs of “moderate” Democrats running in Red or Purple districts on a platform of, well, “moderation.” One of those was Abigail Spanberger. Spanberger ran in VA-7, Eric Cantor’s old district. As you recall, he was turfed out in 2014 by newcomer David Brat. Brat, in turn, lost to Spanberger by just two percentage points.

Spanberger hasn’t had an easy time. Early on she tried to position herself as a fierce independent. She voted against Pelosi to be Speaker. Then she got a clue that fierce independents were tolerated only so long as the toed the line. She was declared a member of the “Child Abuse Caucus” by House progressives for voting for emergency aid for migrants in detention and her victory in 2018 was directly due to heavy support from liberal women’s groups. Perhaps to shore up her progressive cred, she has come out in favor of impeaching President Trump:

“The president of the United States may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent, and he sought to use U.S. taxpayer dollars as leverage to do it. He allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain. These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. We also know that on Sept. 9, the inspector general for the intelligence community notified Congress of a “credible” and “urgent” whistleblower complaint related to national security and potentially involving these allegations. Despite federal law requiring the disclosure of this complaint to Congress, the administration has blocked its release to Congress.

This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand. To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election. If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.”

So when she went home, she was in for something of a cultural shock at what awaited her at a townhall meeting in Fredericksburg, VA on Sunday when the subject turned to impeachment.

…She was discussing her record and instances when she voted against House Democratic leadership when a few audience members interrupted and told her to move on to impeachment.

“My opinion of our inquiry is mine and mine alone. No one has pressured me to vote in any particular way from within the party. And I will not be pressured to vote in any particular way,” she said. “The allegations against the President are incredibly, incredibly serious.”

“They’re bulls***,” one attendee said as another shouted that “it’s crap.”

“It’s a lie, it’s all a lie,” an attendee said, a remark Spanberger responded to by highlighting the various House hearings held as part of the inquiry.

“Those witnesses have all affirmed and all agreed on what happened,” she said. “That the President sought to use military assistance … as leverage to get a foreign government to do what he wanted.”

“It’s all lies, it’s all lies,” an attendee yelled, cutting off the congresswoman, who is visibly frustrated with the crosstalk.

Later during Sunday’s event, Spanberger said “no one has dispelled or attempted to dispel or provide evidence that would exonerate the President,” prompting a number of audience members to harshly criticize her comments.

“Did you really say that? You have to prove you’re innocent?” one person sarcastically asked.

“He’s been proven guilty,” another shot back, referring to Trump.

Following more back and forth between audience members and Spanberger, the congresswoman noted that impeachment is “a constitutional remedy that is outlined in the Constitution.”

“But if it’s such a polarizing issue, let’s put it to the voters next fall,” another said, cutting off Spanberger. A loud exchange then occurs between attendees, with people on both sides of the issue talking back and forth as the congresswoman attempts to retake control of the floor.

“This isn’t about this election. This isn’t about this President. It is about the presidency,” she said. “It is about what behavior is deemed to be appropriate. It is about the security of our 2020 election.”

But at least one attendee didn’t buy her take, calling the impeachment proceedings “silly,” a remark that gained a few “thank yous” and an “amen” from attendees.

Her sham pro-gun stance was also torn apart:

“Do you side more with [Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi and your party than with your constituency?” asked Keith Marshall, a dairy farmer from Orange County. “If more with the party, how do you justify that? Do you really honestly feel impeachment is going to be in the best interest of this country?”

Some in the crowd were already worked up by then, especially when Spanberger asked Berry how he used his assault rifle and if he hunted with it.

“What does that have to do with anything?” someone shouted.

“It’s none of your business what I do with it, it’s my right,” added another.

All in all, not an auspicious showing by Spanberger. She is clearly out of step with her district and without another massive infusion of progressive cash, she looks like it may be a short election night for her as she’s facing a real firebrand in Nick Freitas.

streiff
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