In today’s Washington Post, Harold Meyerson blasts those who have been protesting their Representatives at townhall meetings around the country, dismissing them as “white conservatives,” part of a radical fringe, who are undermining the basic concept of democracy.
Isn’t part of the process, especially during recess, that Members are supposed to hear from people who actually elected them?
I have family in Arkansas who are involved in the health care field. They sought to meet with their Congressman (Marion Barry) while he was home in the district. They were rebuffed saying that his schedule was full, and there would be no public appearances. In other words, he is avoiding hearing from his constituents.
I used to work for a Member and, of course, I know that their schedules can be tough, but this is the type of thing that they are supposed to do when they go home. They are supposed to set up venues so that people have an outlet to voice their opinions, and it shouldn’t just be to staff.
While Meyerson may wish it were so, it’s not a tiny fringe of the country who is frustrated with the way things are going in Washington and with the potential “reform” of health care. Indeed, polls show that less than a majority think that healthcare will address the coverage problem, improve quality, and lower costs.
Meyerson also wants to abolish the filibuster which he sees as undermining the concept of majority rule. It’s hard to imagine that he would be writing this if it were the Democrats who were blocking a Republican majority’s efforts to, say, pass a flat tax.
But regardless of who is in the majority, it seems like a good thing that radical changes to the country should have to have more than the vote of 50 plus one. It encourages stability and helps prevent big changes that might do damage, and that would be tough to reverse. Yes, that even applies to changes that I support. If our side forever fails to muster 60 votes to pass fundamental tax reform or reform Social Security, then it probably shouldn’t happen either.