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Tags: Dan Webster

Constituents Complain to GOP Congressman, Life Goes On



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One eight hour, door-to-door journey ends, another begins… but fear not: the Jolt continues. Today, a nominee for the best column about Obama ever, Patty Murray’s bipolar attitude toward violent metaphors, and then this news item, which feels like a rerun from about two years ago…

Maybe the Crowd Was Angry Because They Expected Emmanuel Lewis

This phenomenon sounds familiar, only the parties have flipped: “A town hall meeting held in Orlando by U.S. Rep. Dan Webster degenerated into bedlam Tuesday, with members of the crowd shouting down the freshman Republican congressman and yelling at one another. It was the last of a series of town hall meetings Webster has hosted during Congress’ spring recess, which ends Monday. While the others were civil and largely uneventful, the 300 people at Tuesday’s meeting were so raucous they were scolded by a police officer to act “like grown people.”  Webster tried to go over a series of charts showing growing levels of federal spending and debt, and the reason he supports the federal budget plan put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. But he was interrupted at every turn by shouts from his critics, including members of progressive groups such as Moveon.org and Organize Now. Boos and shouts of “liar” were mixed with angry accusations that Ryan’s plan to change Medicare would leave those now under 55 without health insurance in their retirement, calls to eliminate the tax cuts first put in place by former President Bush and the need to raise corporate taxes rather than cut entitlement programs.”

I suppose this reflects the MoveOn.org crowd feeling turn-about is fair play. And if we thought the people ought to be able to express their opinions to their representatives two summers ago, there’s no reason to change.

(At Hot Air, Allahpundit wonders how the Orlando Sentinel can be so certain of the affiliations of those jeering: “How do they know there were people there from MoveOn? I expect Democrats to astroturf these crowds with progressive groups and union members — they’ve doneit before, after all, while luminaries like Pelosi and Reid falsely accused conservatives of the same tactic — but they’d have to be awfully stupid to wear t-shirts or other paraphernalia identifying them as ‘turfers. How’d the Sentinel figure it out? Did the attendees actually admit to reporters afterwards that they were there to express America’s alleged grassroots rage as part of a MoveOn group? Smart.”)

But note Webster’s reaction: “Webster beat Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson last year. But the 8th Congressional District has a Democrat majority, and the party hopes to take the seat back in 2012. He appeared flustered at times, but remained calm and never raised his voice. “This is the most competitive part of the district and I expected it to be a competitive crowd,” Webster said when the dust had settled. “There’s nothing wrong with that….There’s nothing wrong with the clash of debate at all, nothing.’”

Notice that Webster did not compare the crowd to Timothy McVeigh. No talk of abandoning the town hall meeting format. No claim that the folks who showed up with opposing views are not actual constituents. No demand that everyone turn in their cameras first, lest something embarrassing end up on YouTube. No bizarre claim that constituent meetings not be considered ‘political events.’

Seeing dozens of people show up to tell you that you stink is no fun. But this is why they pay members of Congress the big bucks ($174,000 per year, plus benefits). Little League umpires get it almost as bad for a couple of bucks a game.

Tags: Dan Webster , Town Hall Meetings

Alan Grayson Turns Against... MSNBC?!?



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Alan Grayson appears to have done the impossible with his “Taliban Dan” ad. He’s gotten MSNBC to turn on him; the result is a strikingly hostile interview with Contessa Brewer:

MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer tells Grayson:  ”The Taliban is so far beyond [not] wanting their women to work outside the home. There are acid attacks on young girls, and there are killings and murders based on what happens with women there. And your opponent has never been accused that. PolitiFact… have actually fact-checked your ad.”

She plays the full tape of Dan Webster, saying, “Don’t pick the verse, she’s supposed to submit to me.’ Brewer says, “He’s basically encouraging men to focus on Bible verses other than ‘submit to me.’ Your ad was rated false by PolitiFact; why not just use his stands on women’s issues? Why twist his words?”

Grayson smugly responds, “We didn’t twist his words. We could argue in context, out of context, whatever… When a career politician is tagged with his own words, which we quoted in the ad, of course he’s going to say it’s out of context.”

Brewer won’t quit: “Your people cut that, ‘submit to me, submit to me.’ And they put that in. His stand on the issues should stand alone, shouldn’t it?”

Grayson concludes that Brewer and MSNBC are part of the problem: “Contessa, look what you just did. When you ran the ad, you only ran the parts that you wanted to talk about. You didn’t run the parts that I just discussed. You’re doing it. We want to discuss women’s issues, and you’re preventing that from happening.”

She quotes Sandy Webster, Dan Webster’s wife, and asks whether this negative attack ad could backfire on him.

“Contessa, I invited you just now to go into what the issues were and you completely avoided them,” he lectured. “Instead, you gave time to my opponent’s wife to express her indignation without addressing those issues.” He discusses Webster’s opposition to abortion in cases of rape, and declares, “I don’t think you should get us off track, or anyone else, including Dan Webster and his wife.”

When Alan Grayson is attacking MSNBC, he’s turned on his last ally.

Tags: Alan Grayson , Dan Webster

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