These GOP town hall crowds are pretty remarkable. Anger works.

When I worked for a Republican US Senator, a lifetime ago, the most effective way for a constituent to get the boss’s attention was to yell at him in public. It drove him crazy.

Invariably, after a trip back home, the Senator would come up to me and bark about how someone back home had yelled at him in the airport about one of my issues.

The other thing he hated were critical letters to the editor in the local papers. We’d have to find the home address of each person and write them a response from the boss.

Anger in politics works.

Which brings us to the remarkable and angry protests happening at town hall meetings being held by Republican members of Congress across the country. People are showing up en masse, and they’re not taking prisoners. (The Washington Post has gathered a number of videos of the protests.)

Now, what does all of this mean? First of all, as most observers have noted, this stuff can’t be faked. It is extremely difficult to turn people out for events like this. You cannot get them to show up unless they’re seriously motivated. And just as important, anger is hard to fake as well. These people are clearly ticked off. Thus the reason Michigan Republican congressman Justin Amash took Donald Trump to task for his tweet claiming the protests were somehow less than legit:

The anger is real, widespread, growing and manifest. None of that is good news for Republicans who may have worried that they’d eventually pay some price for Trump’s excesses, but not in the first month of his presidency.

I’ve always believed that the best way to best Trump and Republicans in Congress is to keep pressuring Trump to be as crazy as possible, thus tanking his approval ratings, and eventually taking the GOP Congress’ polls down with him. Why? Because other than a few patriots, only their own survival will motivate Republicans in Congress to stand up to Trump.

But with these protests, there now is another way to scare members of Congress about their own survival: protest. And it’s working.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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