(Paul Jacob) – Here’s a surprise. Congressional Democrats who faced angry voters in town halls last summer have scrupulously skipped the pleasure during more recent visits home.
The New York Times suggests that although the open town-hall style political meeting may not be quite dead yet, it’s “teetering closer to extinction,” inasmuch as only a few of 255 House Democrats held such meetings during a recent week-long recess. Instead they arranged invitation-only, scripted meetings with that portion of the electorate who believe that super-sizing the nanny state and burying the country in an Everest of debt are the best things that could ever have happened to us.
These congressmen evade communicating with unhappy constituents to “avoid rage.” And to prevent video clips of their fatuous non-answers to highly pertinent questions about mega-billion-dollar bailouts and pork barrel projects and socialized health care, etc., from showing up on YouTube.
One politician explains that town hall attendees last summer didn’t want to “get answers” so much as pursue a political agenda. I can’t help but remember the YouTube video in which a congresswoman “leading” a town hall forum seemed more interested in her cell phone than in a constituent’s explanation of why she didn’t want a government solution to medicine’s current institutional problems. Anyway, who really expects to escape “political agendas” at political forums convened to discuss politics?
Hopefully, the brilliant campaign strategy of ignoring voters and their legitimate concerns won’t pay off on election day.