Congress on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Watching our political class fumble with the hot potato of ObamaCare has proven to make for a highly entertaining August. We assume that elected officials must have considerable people skills. Yet many Democrats have been ham handed in the extreme when faced with voters who want to be heard on one hand and party leaders who will not tolerate dissent on the other.
- Senator Boxer has no time for Town Hall meetings because she’s busy hawking her novel, Blind Trust, which currently ranks number 21,525 in sales at Amazon.com. Contrary to what some media pundits on both left and right might think, the health care protesters do read the arts section of their local papers. There have been protests outside every bookstore At which Madam Boxer has appeared.
- Senator Dick Durbin finds meeting with constituents “not productive”. On the other hand, meeting with lobbyists for the health care industry is a constructive use of his time.
- New York Senator Chuck Shumer, who is not known to be shy about being the center of attention, plans to hold no town halls at all. The junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand will be holding informal meet and greet “Senator at the Supermarket” events instead.
- Even though he is against Obamacare, Republican Senator Bob Corker heard an earful from his constituents at a town hall meeting in Bradley County. It seems people in Eastern Tennessee not only want government to leave them alone, they are sick and tired of being called racists by the Democrats and the media every time they criticize the Obama administration
- The entire New Hampshire Delegation seems to have gone into hiding in what seems a highly counterproductive move for people who represent a state with the motto “Live Free or Die”. The rhetorical pitchforks have come out in the form of photoshopped images of the missing Congressmen and women on milk cartoons.
- Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) informed constituents of a “live telephone town hall” less than half an hour before it was to begin.
- Alan Grayson (D-FL) announced his town hall meeting a day in advance. It was held at a union hall. The hall, which only seats 120, was home to a previously scheduled regular meeting of local Democrats that ended shortly before the town hall began. Many of them stayed in their seats, preventing those opposed to Obamacare from attending.
- Minnesota Blue Dog, Collin Peterson, already in hot water because he told Politico the voters in his district were too into 9/11 conspiracy theories to make Town Hall meetings productive, had a change of heart. He announced he will be holding two “forums” on health care. He also announced before they were held that he is likely to vote against the Health Care bill.
- Rep, Allen Boyd, a Florida Blue Dog, thinks it might be a good idea to scrap the current bills and start over from scratch.
- Senator Kent Conrad did more than inform Americans that he sees no chance of the public option passing the Senate. The image he chose to convey this message was less than flattering to the intelligence of its supporters.
“Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the U.S. Senate for the public option, there never have been,” Conrad said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”
“So to continue to chase that rabbit is, I think, a wasted effort,” Conrad said.
- Upon this making the news, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) doubled down on the public option, telling the administration in a letter that if the public plan was not included in the final bill, at least 60 Democrats would vote against it.
- The gasoline on the fire, or the barbiturates in the big pitcher of gazpacho to go with Pedro Almodovar’s plot device, may have come from CPC member Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). He seems to have done the protesters work for them, announcing on MSNBC that “health care is not a commodity,” Weiner went on to state that his aim is to eliminate all private insurance because
- Finally, in a rare display of honesty there is Representative Eric Massa (D-NY), a member of the CPC, who has told his Republican leaning district, that frankly he doesn’t give a damn what his constiuents think.
MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.(inaudible participants’ comments regarding the “interests” of the district statement from Mr. Massa)MASSA: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them
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