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Congressional Contempt for Constituents

Tuesday, August 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Here’s a list of scheduled Townhall meetings between Members of Congress and their constituents. (HT: Jim Geraghty.)

What’s amazing is how few of them there are.

What is predictable is the attempt by the sponsors of Obamacare to delegitimize the growing public dissatisfaction with the attempt to radically rewrite the rules of American medicine. This drumbeat of criticism of the critics of Congress will increase even as the backlash against Obamacare spreads. It is the only tool the president and his allies have to quell the growing fear among Democrats that the health care bill is a political suicide note.

“Pay no attention to those people at your Townhall meetings,” is the message from Obamacare pushers. “They aren’t real. They are professional disrupters. Like ACORN, don’t you know.” From the Huffington Post:

As detailed by White House officials and aides at allied groups, the goal going into the August recess is not to be intimidated by the angry protesters laying siege to town hall meetings or the information pushed by unfriendly websites, but rather to turn that anger and material into a rallying point for proponents of reform.

This is of course absurd as even cursory reporting on the people in the townhalls would underscore. Other conservative commentators have joined me in making the point that outsiders should not go to the meetings conducted by Congressmen who don’t represent them. That plays right into the hands of the MSM and their effort to shore up their hero’s faltering legislative agenda.

Those who do go to the meetings in their own district should be careful to express their dismay in responsible and concise terms, aware that Team Obama will no doubt be filming everything to find the one nutter who explodes in anger. An occasional boo is not a problem, but opponents of Obamacare will be helping its passage if they melt down in public and give cover to Democrats attempting to argue that voter anger is limited to the far right or even the center-right.

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Schumer Threatens Jam Down On Obamacare

Tuesday, August 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The GOP should walk away from these negotiations given Chuck Schumer’s threat to use “reconciliation” if the Republicans refuse to cave.

By ever-growing margins, the public doesn’t want what Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Schumer are pushing, and Schumer’s attempt to railroad Republicans into drinking the poison is a signal of increasing desperation on Democrats’ part. Break off the negotiations until Democrats agree that the end-run of reconciliation is off the table.

Toomey v. Sestak v. Specter

Tuesday, August 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

When Congressman Joe Sestak announced this morning that he would challenge not-a-Republican Arlen Specter, liberal hearts across the Keystone State soared. They have a candidate who didn’t vote for Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito.

What’s Arlen going to do now? Run to the left of Sestak? If he votes for Obamacare or card check or any of the left’s priorities, does he pick up any votes at all? Seniors especially are growing worried over the Obama-Pelosi plan to ration medical care, and Specter will need them if he has any chance of beating back Sestak. Does Arlen become the senior statesman against the president’s plan to bring Canadian-style lines for doctor visits to America?

2010 is going to be a fascinating year for many reasons, but watching Senator Specter attempt to persuade Democrats that he is better than the real thing will be one of the main attractions.

Likely GOP nominee Pat Toomey will be a guest on today’s show. You can add to Toomey’s campaign chest here even as both Sestak and Specter spend their dollars clobbering each other.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reviews some of the PA primary’s dynamics. Specter is the “Goliath” in the race according to “The Fix,” but what are the rules of the PA primary? Can miffed GOPers cross-over to vote for Sestak as a payback for Specter’s sudden abandonment of the party that stuck with him for more than two decades?

The Competence Question: Who’s Got A Clue In The Obama Administration

Tuesday, August 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

A week after “cash for clunkers” cratered, and months into the un-stimulus, Americans are beginning to question the competence of the Obama administration.

Now the “czar” if cybersecurity is heading off into an early retirement, and Treasury Secretary Geithner is exploding in anger and expletives. Only the hard left loves the Canada-style makeover proposed for healthcare, and the president’s outreach to Iran and other fascist regimes is stalled out.

A little more than six months into a four year term and voters have begun to wonder whether the new president is up to the job.

August is the typically toughest month of the year for presidents, but it is also an opportunity for course corrections. President Obama would be well served by some quick moves to rein in his hard left allies in the House and Senate, and by some down time away from the center stage where his nearly constant appearances began to annoy rather than inspire weeks ago.

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