The Campaign Spot

Democratic House Members to Constituents: Go Away

It’s Monday, so another five consecutive days of the Jolt begin:

Funny, We Don’t Want to See You in Office, Either, Congressman

Somehow, this item in the New York Times was predictable: “If the time-honored tradition of the political meeting is not quite dead, it seems to be teetering closer to extinction. Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts. It was no scheduling accident. With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects. And to reach thousands of constituents at a time, without the worry of being snared in an angry confrontation with voters, more lawmakers are also taking part in a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.”

The story begins by describing the chilled wine and crudités at an invitation-only Bel Air, Maryland, event for Rep. Frank Kratovil, D-Not For Long. He has time for crudités, but not the crudity of the peons who he supposedly represents in Congress.

Don’t tell me that this anti-constituent blockade is necessary for security reasons, because they’re fearful some Obamacare opponent will go postal; as the article says, “[Carol] Shea-Porter, a Democrat, attended a state convention of letter carriers on Saturday, but she did not hold a town-hall-style meeting during the Congressional recess” and Leonard Boswell of Iowa attended a ceremony to rename a post office. I think they just recognizes who she really represents; the government workers who enjoy greater federal spending, not the taxpayers who have to dig deeper to fund it.

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