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View Diary: Don't Let The Deathers Ask Stupid Questions At Townhalls! (245 comments)

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  •  Last night at Congressman Rothman's meeting (0+ / 0-)

    I went to Congressman Rothman's "Listening Session" last night in Elmwood Park, NJ.

    I live in Congressman Rothman's district (in fact, he used to live in my town) and I've been to many of these before.  Last night was the 155th one he has done since he was first elected.  I have not been to all 155 :-)

    He conducts them all in the same fashion, and I know the drill.  I was a little apprehensive about going last night, but I felt I had to do what I could to counter act the crazed and ill-informed.  And boy, were they there in force, last night.

    The Congressman starts every session with the Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence for the troops fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a brief opening statement.  Those, who were not regulars (or not even from the district) did not know this.  They didn't give him a chance to open his mouth before there were angry shouts from the back of the room, "How about the Pledge of Allegiance!"  Like he was ignorant of the proper protocols.

    I have to give him a HUGE dose of credit.  

    One, for continuing his tradition when he knew what he would be facing this go-around (and this was the second one of the day.)  

    Two, for the respectful way he kept the meeting under control (his staff deserves a big credit for this as well).

    Three, for the patience he displayed as he explained, for what seemed like the 100th time, that there is NOTHING in the bill about "death panels," letting old people die without medical care, or worse, euthanasia.

    Congressman Rothman is a good guy.  He's not as liberal as I'd like.  He's made some boneheaded votes, IMHO, on occasion, but I think he represents the district well.  He's thoughtful, knowledgeble, articulate, and I think he genuinely wants to be doing what he's doing.  He's the real deal.

    When you come in, you are given a sign up sheet.  If you don't fill one out, you don't get to speak. He took questions from constituents first, and never got around to those who were not from the district

    The room was almost full when I got there about 45 minutes before the start.  Normally, the rooms, where he holds these, are not even full.  Not last night.  It was standing room only and there were many outside in the hall.

    99% of the questions had a negative tone.  When he went to answer, people rudely shouted out, but he persisted and did his very best to answer the same questions over and over and over again.  All of them sounding like recordings of Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck.

    Someone suggested that the Congressman should watch Fox news more often.  The Congressman suggested that the speaker should watch Keith Olbermann more often!  Way to go Steve!  I loved it!

    After many, many people made comments referring to "Socialized Medicine," some one, with some sense, got to ask a question (you can also make a comment).  He asked the crowd if they had any objections to "socialized" education, "socialized" fire departments, "socialized" police forces or Medicare.  He was loudly booed.

    Four people stood, in an area they opened up behind where the microphone was, they held up signs that OFA had sent around in an email.  The signs read, simply, "Health insurance reform, now."

    Some other people objected to the signs, even though some of them had signs as well.  Congressman Rothman turned around, read the signs and said, "I don't mind signs.  They're not shouting."  That wasn't well received either.

    One obnoxious jerk, stood on the side of the room, yelling, loudly, "Obama's going down!" and other similar sentiments.  I am glad to report that he was shouted down by most of the crowd.

    I left at 9:30 (the session was supposed to end at 9:00.  I had come directly from work and I was starving.)

    As I left, I saw a group of about 10-12 people standing outside the door.  One person was handing out sheets of what looked like talking points, and giving everyone directions to the 2 sessions being held today.  Looked like organization to me.

    It made me mad, because these people had already had their chance, and now they were going to take away the chance that someone else might have to express a different viewpoint.

    They don't want to hear it.  They all have their fingers in their ears and are shouting "Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah I can't hear you."

    At one point, the Congressman did tell one of the right wingers that their opinions did not reflect our district.  I'm hopeful that he is hearing from other sources, and that he will vote for a strong public option, at the very least.

    He did say that he supports Single Payer, but that there weren't the vote for it.  Boy, do I hate that answer!  My question, which I didn't get to ask, was why the Democrats who support single payer weren't banding together behind Bernie Sanders and fighting for it.  I wanted to pass along a bit of advice, my father gave me.  If you want a mouse, ask for an elephant - it gives lots of room to negotiate.

    Dear conservatives, Please explain how my 40 year marriage will be damaged if gay couples are allowed to marry, 'cause I don't get that argument.

    by Cyber Kat on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 01:20:02 PM PDT

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