Friday, August 7, 2009

Town Hall Protests

With the failure by Congress to pass legislation regarding changes to health care in the US, the congressional summer break has allowed for time for members of Congress to return to their respective districts and talk with their constituents about the proposed legislation. However, there has been an outbreak of dissension at various town halls conducted by some of the Democratic members of Congress. Perhaps dissension is putting it euphemistically. There has been vociferous opposition at those meetings to the proposed health care proposals being put forth by the Congress.

But it is not the health care debate that has generated headlines at these meetings but the turmoil resulting from them - and the possible causes of the turmoil. Namely, the charge by Democrats that the opposition is being organized and possibly even bused in by conservative lobbyists and other supporters. The charge itself is almost amusing in how it seems reminiscent of similar charges made against authoritarian regimes who claim popular support through similar measures of busing in supporters to demonstrations in their favor - except now it is the regime in power that is complaining about it from the opposition. The Republicans, in defense of the tactics being used by their supporters, claim that the opposition is to the administration's support and almost-unilateral push for changes to the health-care system and is entirely home-grown.

The end result is yet to be determined. In all likelihood, the Democrats will push through a package of changes (one man's "reform" is another man's unwanted or unnecessary change) for the health-care system. But the Republicans may have won the battle here by shifting the conversation away from a rational discussion of the issues to coverage of the meetings and the turmoil resulting from them. Whatever changes go through will please neither side (though it could be argued that the whole point of a good compromise is that both sides are equally unhappy) and likely will not resolve the issues relating to the problems in the health care system. But, so long as it is used as a political football that can be used to benefit a given party, expect nothing more.

1 comment:

  1. I wouyld like to say with the average IQ/Intelligance of an American that the town halls seem to be a little low. The hosting seems to draw more people that have no idea what is going on, they only base what they say on what the media and constitutes of their respected parties say. It is a sad day when you realize that a majority of people in this land of the free are nothing more than sheep.