Clown Hall Meetings
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Hypocrisy: Rep. Gene Green has voted against bills that require people to present a photo ID before they vote. But don’t show up at one of his public gatherings without a driver’s license. You won’t get in.
On his Web site, Green, a Democrat who represents working-class Houstonians, says that “due to a coordinated effort to disrupt our town hall meetings, we will be restricting further attendance to residents of the 29th congressional district and verifying residency by requiring photo identification.”
Green’s position isn’t wholly unreasonable, particularly when crowds are too big for the venues in which meetings are held. In that case, constituents should be given priority. But by requiring attendees to produce a photo ID, he has exposed himself as inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst.
Thanks to Tom Blumer, from whose Newsbusters.org blog we learned about Green’s plan, we know that in 2005 and 2006 the congressman opposed legislation requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Now, what’s more important to the current and future health of our republic? Trying to hold clean elections or excluding “outsiders” from public meetings?
Green isn’t the only lawmaker trying to duck the hard questions about health care revision bills from voters fed up with an imperial federal government. Some congressmen are holding telephone town halls, while others have canceled public meetings altogether.
And at least one, Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., has been charged with packing a town hall meeting with union members — his real constituency? — and locking out more than 1,000 voters.
Perhaps the most creative dodge was the one by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who, like Green, represents Houston. While Tracy Miller was voicing her concern at a town hall meeting Tuesday that government-run health care “cannot happen without encroaching on someone else’s civil liberty,” Jackson Lee decided to take a call on her cell phone. Miller said Jackson Lee also answered her phone while two others were asking questions.
The Democrats have only themselves to blame for the grilling they’re getting at these town halls. They’re the ones who exaggerated the problems and cooked up a national health care scheme to solve them. They’re the ones who tried to ram it through Congress. All of them should have the courage to come out of hiding and get the verbal flogging they deserve.