Another Blue Dog faces his constituents on health care

posted at 10:35 am on August 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Democracy can be a dangerous thing … for incumbents who pass bad policy, or even attempt to defend it.  Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit and Doug Ross have the latest evidence of this, a town-hall meeting on ObamaCare in Ohio’s 1st CD, represented by Democrat Steve Dreihaus.  In this case, Dreihaus has even more to explain after winning his seat on a claim of fiscal conservatism, as Dreihaus also voted for cap-and-trade, which will make Ohio’s coal industry vanish along with hiking energy costs on his constituents.  Yesterday, though, ObamaCare made them angry enough:

Driehaus did his best to maintain a facade of support. His town-hall organizers took only written questions and started off the meeting warning about “Teabaggers,” a term that they apparently didn’t know or care was a sexual slur intended to insult the very fiscal conservatives Dreihaus claims to represent. That strategy didn’t last long, however, as Doug’s correspondent Amalaur reported from the meeting:

Driehaus began with a canned statement of the typical Obama talking points and the crowd grew increasingly angry. A guy behind me yelled “Stop filibustering!” at about 7:15, at which point Driehaus gave in. He then started answering the written questions, mostly softball, that were picked out for him. The crowd started to get really rambunctious. One guy kept yelling out, “That was lie number (whatever)” when Driehaus repeated some nonsensical talking point like that there are 47 million uninsured.

You could hear a bunch of Tea Partiers outside yelling. Finally, enough attendees were sufficiently disruptive that Driehaus began taking real questions. There were a lot of good ones, about illegal immigrants covered under the bill… how the government couldn’t run cash-for-clunkers, how could it run health care… etc.

I would say the ratio of those opposed to ObamaCare and single-payer ran about 8-to-1 (maybe more). In fact, when the “public option” was raised and people yelled that would destroy competition, one of the Obamatons screamed, “the public option is competition!”. The guy next to me erupted, “No, it’s MARXISM!”

The good news is that people are educated about what the public option is, which basically is a disaster for private insurance. One questioner noted that you could go on the Internet and get access to about 14,000 different health insurance quotes with reviews and so on. She wanted state portability. Driehaus, of course, ignored that part.

You know how to tell that your town-hall meeting was a flop? Your constituents start chanting to vote for … the guy you beat in the last election. Former Rep. Steve Chabot lost OH-01 by 15,000 votes last November, but at least some of those voters may be feeling nostalgic for Chabot about now.

Update: Rep. Steve Kagan (D-WI) discovers that his constituents aren’t terribly happy, either, and the local news covers it pretty well (via Michelle):

Kagen called this a “listening session,” and he has more planned, including one this morning. Let’s hope he’s listening closely.


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