Town Halls

A Facebook friend recently ‘liked’ a post about a friend of theirs who was lamenting the fact that recent Greg Walden town halls in The Dalles and Hood River were difficult to listen to because there was so much shouting.  I was tempted to chime in but it wasn’t a Facebook friend of mine so I decided to keep my mouth shut (yes, every once in a blue moon this happens).  But I really wanted to chime in.   I deserve some credit for resisting the temptation.  Seriously.

I have no sympathy for Greg Walden.  Zero.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  He deserved every ticked off constituent he had to face.  To his credit he faced them – unlike Marco Rubio who begs out of town halls altogether because they are too contentious.

His constituents are trying to send a message to him that if he goes back to Washington D.C. and gets behind Healthcare legislation that screws the common man in favor of yet another tax cut for the 1%, stands up there smugly with Paul Ryan on the national stage and pretends the bill is a ‘good deal’ for the average American, he’d better think twice because he’s not representing the interests of the people who put him in office.

The Affordable Healthcare act of 2009 turned out to be not as affordable as everyone had hoped.  Yet more Americans are covered than ever before and many literally depend on keeping their coverage to stay alive.  It’s recognized by both parties that there are obvious ‘fixes’ that can make it better.

Are the Republicans interested in fixing The Affordable Healthcare Act?  No.  Their primary intent is first and foremost to destroy any positive legacy from the Obama Administration.   As an example, selling across state lines has been proffered by both parties as a way to improve competition and lower prices.  Do you think this idea could possibly get any traction for the good of the American people?  With the Republicans governing, not a chance. To me it’s laughable that the bill failed the House because it wasn’t abhorrent enough for the so-called “Freedom Caucus.”

The primary thing that crossed my mind when I read “Why can’t we just listen to each other better” were scenes from my own childhood.  Remember a few times when you got in trouble with your mom?  Like, really in trouble.  You were getting a what-for for a reason.  To prevent future what-fors.

Walden’s support of Ryan’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) – which benefited the top 1% and kicked 24 million people off of covering under the canard of ‘choice is better’, was worthy of a tongue lashing from Mom.  His constituents gave him an earful and he deserved every rude interruption he received.

Normally I would be supportive of civil discourse.  If it were just a disagreement over a policy issue, sure.  Be polite.  Listen.  Wait your turn and voice your opinion.  But this is different.  Walden sold out.  He chose party over Country and he was getting called out for it.  I couldn’t be happier about that.  I only wish I could have been there.  I would have participated in making him as uncomfortable as possible.

I’m sad to say we’ve reached the point where civil disobedience is a reasonable option.  When the sins are so egregious that lives are at stake, courtesy can go out the window and I’m fine with it.  Sleep tight Congressman.  And welcome back to Oregon.

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