Over the weekend, a Republican congressman held a town hall—a scary proposition for Republicans these days—for his constituents in Texas, according to Dallas News. At one point, a man pointed out Rep. Joe Barton's shoddy voting record on protecting women from violence.
For background, Joe Barton voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. So Joe Barton's constituent wanted a promise that his congressman would work with Congresswoman Jackie Speier—presumably to pass her bill that would "require transcript notation for students who violate [their] school's policy concerning sexual assault."
But if you've been watching the news lately, you know what happened next. Town halls don't make the news for their well-crafted signage.
"That's a true statement," said Joe Barton, regarding his voting record. "I voted against it because I think that's a state issue, not a federal issue."
The crowd reacted with a smattering of applause and boos, but for now Joe Barton still had his supporters. Then a man raised his voice and said, "It's violence against women—that's a national issue!"
At this, Joe Barton lost his cool. "You!" he said, pointing. "You, sir, shut up." A stunned silence followed, and then nearly unanimous shouting. "What is this?" yelled one attendee. "You don't tell anyone to shut up! You work for us!"
The clip has made its way across social media, where Rep. Joe Barton's facing similar scorn.
Here's Joe Barton's response to the controversy, via a statement to the Huffington Post:
"All town halls begin with ground rules, which include that you must be recognized in order to speak,” Barton said. “These are unscripted live meetings. Over the weekend in Frost, one gentlemen continued to speak over myself and many others who were seeking recognition in orderly fashion. I did, however, return to him for the last question of the meeting and allow him the opportunity to voice his concerns.”