As it has been widely reported in the national media, skittish Republican pols have been ducking town halls to avoid the shouts and boos of their constituents who show up to protest. Back in their districts, congressmen have tried to develop other ways to pretend that they really give a damn to respond directly in their pretense of an open society. Some, like Trump surrogate Jim Renacci, 58, the Wadsworth, Oh. conservative Republican who just announced his candidacy for the Ohio governor’s office, added a new wrinkle, replacing eyeballing with whirlwind earballing. In an email, a reader of this blog explains his failed attempt to get the inventive congressman’s attention:

“Our boy Renacci is conducting telephone town halls in what appears to be an attempt to skip any face to face meetings. Funny thing about it is that the recording is set at light speed and to participate becomes nearly impossible. His camp called last night and I tried and failed to participate. Slick on his part, he can claim he is engaged while controlling the interaction.”

I would say my source probably didn’t miss a thing. I’ve been reading Renacci’s weekly feel-good reports and snooze while scanning his…um… fail-safe pledges to cut taxes, a Republican standby . Nice, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Renacci, 58, the former Wadsworth mayor , has widespread business interests and is one of the richest congressmen on Capitol hIll. He whizzed into his gubernatorial announcement in a TV ad that show him racing down some road on a motorcycle. Rich optics. I’m a little surprised that he wasn’t accompanied by a fly-over.

Oh, the Plain Dealer introduced him to a wider audience in its report of his entry in the race by describing him as “the Ohio version of Donald Trump”. AAUGHHH!!!

For now, I’ll leave it at that.