I live in Watauga County, North Carolina. My US House Representative is Republican nutjob Virginia Foxx. Here is a picture I took of Virginia back in 2006 when she hosted a "listening tour" in Watauga County. Now I know looks aren't everything, but I think this picture is really quite amazing in that I have never before seen a picture where the way a person looks on the outside so accurately portrays the way she is on the inside.
Now I know we all have lots of action afoot these days - chasing down Blue Cross Democrats to pin the Public Plan on their suit collars; taking on rowdy Tea Baggers at town halls; and signing a dozen virtual petitions a day. And I know that my Representative is a screwball Republican, but HECK I still want to talk to Representative Foxx about her views on health care reform. I mean, Foxx is, afterall, "representing" me in Washington, and I hoped she might take a few minutes to shed light on these comments.
"There are no Americans who don’t have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare."
So I suited up, saddled up, and went in search of Virginia Foxx.
First I checked out town hall schedules. No Foxx town halls. Then I looked up her online schedule. Nothing there but fundraisers. So the only thing that made sense to me was to call her office and make an appointment.
I started calling before the August recess. I called for weeks on end--her local office, her Washington office. I left messages on her Scheduler's voice mail. Weeks went by, but I kept calling. Sometimes someone would promise to call or have Ms. Foxx call me. But that's as far as I could get.
Now I'm a patient person, but I have other windmills to swing at, so I called once more and told Foxx's office I expected a call with a meeting day and time, or I was going to go all tea bagger on them.
Well, today, Virginia Foxx called me! Yes, the Queen of the Wingnuts on Capitol Hill called me personally today at 2:35pm.
It was obvious she had chewed nails for lunch. And she began to spit them out at me one by one, raw metal hitting the phone's mouthpiece. She told me if I had materials I wanted her to see, I could drop them off at her office and she would get back to me. I told her while I appreciated the offer, I preferred a face-to-face meeting because I had questions to ask her directly.
Foxx insisted I needed to ask my questions right now or drop my questions off at her office.
So I gave it a shot. I told her I had read what was available on line about her health care plan, and I did not necessarily disagree about allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, but I did want to know how that would work with differing state regulations.
"For instance," I said, "North Carolina requires that insurance companies pay for mammograms. Other states do not. How would that work?" She said she did not believe there should be any state regulations. I said, "So are you telling me you do not think the state of North Carolina should require that insurance companies pay for mammograms?" She said she did not think the state should have any requirements.
I told her it was this kind of issue I wanted to discuss with her and that I could meet at any time. I then told her the only reason I could think of that she wouldn't meet with me was that she was afraid of me. I told her not to be afraid--I would come alone and without the press.
Nails bounced against her teeth. She responded, "I do not owe you a meeting." I repeated that sentence out loud and slowly and word-for-word so she would know I was writing it down. I said, "If you are not afraid of me, then why won’t you meet with me?" She said: "I don’t want to be pinned down."
Then she hung up on me.
Now, folks, I have to tell you. My feelings are really hurt. Ms Foxx doesn't want "to be pinned down"? Heck, all I want to do is personally hand this pledge to Representative Foxx and ask her to sign it in my presence:
I, Virginia Foxx, Congressional Representative for District 5 of the State of North Carolina, acknowledge that I am the beneficiary of a health care plan and policy that is primarily paid for by American taxpayers and administered by the Federal government.
For this reason, I hereby pledge I will forgo my Federal insurance until all Americans have full access to the same or better health insurance opportunities with the same or lower out-of-pocket costs for their personal and family health care needs.
All is not lost, I thought. Tonight is the Cove Creek Ruritan Fish Fry. Everybody goes to this once a month fish and chicken fry, especially all the local politicians. And Virginia Foxx, who has a local reputation for stuffing her coat pockets full of buffet table savories and sweets, never misses it.
I waited and watched, eager to hand Ms. Foxx the pledge, but she never showed up.
Fear not! I shall not be deterred! I am sure Ms. Foxx wants to meet with and thank the constituents who are paying for her socialist, government health care, and I'm sure she can find five minutes to meet with little old me. Don't ya think?