Ah. You see I didn’t understand why teabaggers felt justified in disrupting town halls. But Dana Loesch explained that Congress has forced them into a corner by not allowing Republicans any input into the health insurance reform process.
“Congress set the tone for this, folks. They are the ones that decided to bar discourse on this health care legislation. They are the ones who decided to shut out debate in the House of Representatives. First time in the history of the country (inaudible) that a party has been shut out of the House of Representatives from amending any legislation. (inaudible) That is why people are angry!”
I should say so! It’s unconscionable for Democrats to prevent Republicans from offering amendments. Please excuse my confusion, though, because admittedly I don’t read right wing blogs often, so I must have missed something. But when I tried to verify Loesch’s claim, the first site I came across, a Republican site, listed five amendments that House Republicans offered in July to the health care legislation. True, they were all defeated, but that tends to happen to minority parties. Ask Democrats who were in Congress four years ago.
And I seem to remember something about efforts in the Senate to include Republicans in the decision making process. Wait, it’s coming back to me:
Senate Democrats have already grown frustrated with the cloud of secrecy surrounding Baucus’ [Finance Committee] negotiations. Republicans receive regular briefings on the discussions, but Democrats have been largely left out in the cold ….
Oh, and yeah, wait, wait, wait. I remember. Republicans asked Senator Dodd for a CBO estimate of the cost of health insurance reform without factoring in a public option or employer contributions. Of course, that figure was hugely inflated because it left out two of the biggest cost control mechanisms, but the Republicans very publicly sandbagged Dodd with the study, thereby punishing him for doing them a favor.
Well, whatever. I’m sure Dana Loesch wouldn’t claim to be such a victim without good cause. And besides, Republicans have other reasons to be angry. Loesch lays out why the teabaggers have to disrupt meetings:
“They’re tired of calling their representative and ‘leaving a message.’ They’re tired of going to their representative’s website and pouring their hearts into an e-mail form, only, several days later, to get a form canned response back.”
I’m shocked. I had no idea they were being subjected to such indignities. Because when I call my rep, they put me right through to him. Of course, I live in a Democratic rep’s district. Those of you who live in Akin’s or Blunt’s or Graves’ districts might not get through quite so promptly.
Anyway, you can see what listening to the other side can accomplish. It can work wonders. In fact, let me offer heartfelt apologies to my brethren on the other side of the aisle for implying that they are spoiled loudmouths who think they should always get their way. Loesch said in yesterday’s video “We’re here to make friends.” Back at you, sister. Thanks for the explanation.