Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's Profile in Cowardice

Seems we may have stumbled upon a daily theme. Cowardly Democrat Congressthings so afraid to face their constituents they're lamely reduced to holding town halls over the phone.

In today's installment, we have Democrat John Tierney of Massachusetts, who's apparently so deathly afraid of the folks in his overwhelmingly Democrat district he'll be hiding behind Ma Bell on August 31.
Congressman John Tierney has set the dates for his two "telephone town hall" meetings on health care.

Earlier this month, Tierney announced he would discuss health care reform over the phone instead of at a town hall meeting, a forum that has drawn rowdy and disruptive crowds elsewhere in the country.

Tierney is opting for a "telephone" meeting to reach as large an audience as possible, not to avoid vocal opponents of proposed changes to the nation's health care system, he has said. While a "town meeting" reaches 50 to 200 attendees, a conference call set up so people can ask questions and hear responses over the phone can involve upward of 30,000 constituents, according to Tierney.

The first town meeting conference call will take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and is open to residents of 16 communities, including Rockport. Registration closes for the first meeting on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

A second conference call is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m. The second call is open to residents of 20 communities including Gloucester, Manchester and Essex. Registration to participate in that call closes at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28.

Participation in the call is free. All registered participants should receive a call inviting them to participate, according to a release sent by Tierney to a North Shore Democrats' group.

"I welcome the opportunity to use this innovative technology to facilitate a broader dialogue regarding the health insurance reform legislation currently debated by Congress," Tierney said.
A telephone is innovative technology? Wow, I never realized how out of touch these Congress critters were.

Well, this cowardice certainly serves as fodder for the GOP.
The Salem Democrat's choice has created an early line of attack for his Republican challenger in 2010.

"(Tierney) is a representative of the people in this district," lawyer Bill Hudak of Boxford said earlier this month. "Why he is choosing not to speak with his constituents directly is a mystery to me."
To his credit, Hudak has called his own town hall and is actually man enough to face the people.

Elsewhere, Minnesota's Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar also took the easy way out this weekend.
Klobuchar's goal was to hear from "all areas of the state and all viewpoints," Zakula said. Her staff was told not to screen callers to prevent critics from expressing their views, he said. They were to ask callers their names, where they were calling from and what subject they wanted to address so the same questions wouldn't be repeated.

But he turned down a request from the Pioneer Press to observe how the senator's staffers selected callers who got through to Klobuchar.

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