Milk Carton Democrats in Congress still avoiding constituents

posted at 10:12 am on June 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When opposition to ObamaCare reached a fever pitch last summer, a number of Democrats in Congress went home to angry constituents — or at least those who had enough guts to hold town-hall events.  Many Democrats simply chose not to hold them at all, or to hold staged “virtual” town halls in conference calls.  Now with ObamaCare behind them and a tough midterm election approaching, one might expect these incumbents to reconnect with their constituents, but the New York Times reports that even more of them have gone into hiding:

The sentiment that fueled the rage during those Congressional forums is still alive in the electorate. But the opportunities for voters to openly express their displeasure, or angrily vent as video cameras roll, have been harder to come by in this election year.

If the time-honored tradition of the political meeting is not quite dead, it seems to be teetering closer to extinction. Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts.

It was no scheduling accident.

With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects.

And to reach thousands of constituents at a time, without the worry of being snared in an angry confrontation with voters, more lawmakers are also taking part in a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.

Nancy Pelosi assured America that we would love ObamaCare as soon as it became law.  Why then are Democrats putting themselves on milk cartons in their districts during recesses?   If ObamaCare is such a great deal, wouldn’t these supporters be rushing to hold open forums to accept the love and gratitude of their constituents?

Speaking of Milk Carton Democrats, the Times notices that an original MCD has gone back into hiding, and points out her hypocrisy:

In New Hampshire, where open political meetings are deeply ingrained in the state’s traditions, Representative Carol Shea-Porter’s campaign Web site had this message for visitors: “No upcoming events scheduled. Please visit us again soon!”

Ms. Shea-Porter, a Democrat, attended a state convention of letter carriers on Saturday, but she did not hold a town-hall-style meeting during the Congressional recess. In 2006, when she was an underdog candidate for the House, she often showed up at the meetings of her Republican rival, Representative Jeb Bradley, to question him about Iraq.

Shea-Porter would not be in Congress at all if it weren’t for her histrionics at Bradley’s public meetings.  She owes her position to openness and accountability, more than most of her colleagues.  Shea-Porter’s repaying her constituents by hiding out and stonewalling.

For a bunch of class warriors, the majority party sure seems intent on setting themselves up as an American nobility.  They want to exercise their power without having to account for themselves to the people they rule who send them to represent their interests, as if mixing with commoners has become somehow beneath them.  The “commoners” need to send them a big reminder in November about who works for whom in the American political system, and Shea-Porter needs to be the first to go.


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This is gonna backfire on the Dems come November.

Johnnyreb on June 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Cowards.

Snivelling cowards.

pilamaye on June 7, 2010 at 10:16 AM

MCD

Nice one Ed

cmsinaz on June 7, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Bin hidin

blatantblue on June 7, 2010 at 10:20 AM

They can’t avoid the most important “town hall”– election day!

cartooner on June 7, 2010 at 10:20 AM

The comments to the article are pure distilled crazy. Most of these limo-libs actually think opponents to the health control law are in the minority and should be silenced. It’s beyond the hypocritical progressive reversal on the issue of “dissent being patriotic”, because it’s not really even dissent – it’s a majority objecting to rulers ignoring them.

And when is the NYT going to start filtering the word “teabaggers”? Pretty sure they know what it means by now.

forest on June 7, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Brilliant strategy, Dems! After all, it worked out so well for Marie Antoinette.

kingsjester on June 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Once they have to go out to look for votes they will find out just how smart and appreciated they are!

tim c on June 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Anyone who doesn’t think the house will flip and the senate will be close isn’t paying attention or is lying to themselves.

I mean…the state motto of NH is “Live Free or Die”. It’s on every license plate in the state. Few people in this country actually want DC to micromanage their lives the way the Dems are planning to and they are slowly starting to wake up to that fact.

Mord on June 7, 2010 at 10:23 AM

The Emperor and his Court of Sycophants are ruling as if the November elections will be of no consequence. Could that attitude be somehow tied in to the current attempts of the FCC to make the entire media the Official (White)House Organ, while silencing, outlawing, and/or taxing any opposing voices out of existence?

oldleprechaun on June 7, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Now, why would these nice, transparent Democrats want to have any more townhalls infiltrated by the tea parties and astroturfers who only disrupt the honest discourse of the electorate…an electorate obviously behind the Dems?

/lib

JetBoy on June 7, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I still want to know how the milk carton Dems figure they’re going to be able to campaign this fall if they refuse to make any public appearances? Take no questions from any constituents outside of invitation-only events where only true believers are allowed in for 3 1/2 months? Not a real smart strategy to only hang out with the people who already are going to vote for you if you’re tied or trailing in the polls right now.

jon1979 on June 7, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Run Away!

Mr. Joe on June 7, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Living in Texas, New Hampshire might as well be on the moon, but that Carol Shea-Porter on her webpage looks like the biggest liberal b-…………….

Marcus on June 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM

This kind of reminds me of the second to final scene in “Edge of Darkness” when Jedburgh is about to kill the corrupt U.S. Senator. The senator, scared, but still self-righteous and indignant says, “I…am a United States Senator!” To which, Jedburgh replies, “By what standard?” before putting a bullet in him.

I’m not advocating assasination here by any means, just using the movie’s scene and placing it into context. Many of these people (Senators and U.S. Reps) are literally powerhungry, egotistical, and sanctimonious. It is going to require a big kick in the a$$ to get these people out or change their attitudes and behaviors.

ICBMMan on June 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM

If this is true we should be rid of these clowns by 2013.

Vince on June 7, 2010 at 10:16 AM

If this is true, then I doubt we’ll even have elections in 2012. Instead, expect martial law and widespread anarchy, chaos, brownshirts and storm troopers. Hell, we might even have all that before 2011 if we get a hot, nuclear middle east war, which appears quite likely at this point.

Fishoutofwater on June 7, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Well so far every public appearance, from town halls to public statements about Arizona and immigration laws (the law that no one has read), have been a disaster to the dems.
I don’t blame them for hiding, I would too…best they just keep hiding, make whatever money they can until election, then just walk away.
Important that Republicans hold meetings, lots of meeting to show contrast of who is reaching the people.
The only hope for dems is that enough true blue libs will vote nothing but dems.
They have lost, all but totally lost, the independent vote.

right2bright on June 7, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Here in blue-state Delaware, I don’t think Tom Carper is up for re-election until 2012 and he is NOWHERE to be seen. E-mail, conference calls that were not publicized until the literal last minute, that is what he’s doing.

DaydreamBeliever on June 7, 2010 at 10:31 AM

“Milk Carton Democrats”

There’s an expiration date on those cartons too…

JetBoy on June 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Right now the only constituents that incumbent Demoncrates have are their immediate family and close friends.

MSGTAS on June 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM

For some reason we have begun to treat politicians as if they are rock stars. They provide themselves privileges that none of us will ever enjoy.

This is absurd because they are, in fact, our employees. They are civil servants, not gods.

It’s really time for Americans to think of themselves as employers. When we vote we are employing candidates – not elevating them to positions of superiority.

No employer would tolerate the arrogance politicians display. No employer would tolerate an employee refusing to listen to directives, going out on their own and telling the employer that they will find out later what has been done. Never.

The best thing we can do is alter our thinking about the proper role of civil servants who serve at our discretion.

Cody1991 on June 7, 2010 at 10:36 AM

This is exactly why Blanche Lincoln is going to get her @ss handed to her in November. Arkansans don’t appreciate being ignored and that’s just what she did during the Obamacare debates.

NoLeftTurn on June 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Brilliant strategy, Dems! After all, it worked out so well for Marie Antoinette.

kingsjester on June 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Milk Carton Dems is pretty witty but Kingsjester gave me an idea. How about we call it the Marie Antoinette Defense or simply “MAD” for short. It certainly would describe how we all feel about the temple monkeys in congress hiding under their desks.

JohnnyD on June 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Over the weekend I was gardening, and in some areas weeds were popping up, and I sprayed them with “Round-Up”…I consider dems as weeds, and the Tea Party as Round-Up. Each time a weed sprouts up, Round-Up comes around and takes care of those invasive weeds.
Now some “weeds” are good, a weed in one location, is not one somewhere else…and I get that, but the destructive weeds have to be removed.

right2bright on June 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Saw two folk driving a mid-’80′s sedan the other day. The car had more corrosion than paint on it. The people looked haggard.

On the bumper…”Had enough? Vote democratic”

RIGHT!

Inanemergencydial on June 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Absolutely; brilliant indeed. Now that the constituents are mad as hell, the best thing for Dems to do is put their hands over their ears and close their eyes. That’ll show us voters!

MTF on June 7, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Congressional Democrats: “Maybe if we keep our heads in the sand, our constituent’s anger over the healthcare vote will go away!”

(oh happy day)

olesparkie on June 7, 2010 at 10:52 AM

That is why it is widely refered to as the “Democrat” party rather than the “Democratic” party.

“Democracy”, as the root word for the party’s name, just no longer seems appropriate.

kurtzz3 on June 7, 2010 at 10:54 AM

do we get any cake with our milk?

ted c on June 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Actually, I think this would be a great ad campaign for someone challenging an incumbent.

Have milk cartons printed up with the incumbent on it with a list of thier voting record and the dates of both candidates town hall appearence schedule. With question marks for the incumbents dates.

Dozens of good tag lines.

barnone on June 7, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Hey, remember all the town halls Obama did with McCain during the election? Gee, Democrats have changed so much.

LibTired on June 7, 2010 at 11:09 AM

The Emperor and his Court of Sycophants are ruling as if the November elections will be of no consequence.

I wouldn’t put it past this corrupt regime fabricate a claim of terrorism. To keep the population safe, all polling places would be closed “until the emergency is over”.

SeniorD on June 7, 2010 at 11:13 AM

temple monkeys in congress hiding under their desks.

Hahaha

scalleywag on June 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Cody1991 on June 7, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Well said!

The “Milk Carton Dems” have forgotten that they were elected as representatives of constituents, Thus, they are accountable to those constituents. They are not empowered to foist their own agendas on the public.

onlineanalyst on June 7, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I am tired of these dems. How about we do what THEY did in the 60′s when things were not going their way. They organized a sit-in. I think we as the American people should decide that since they will not come to us, we will go to them. And let’s fill their offices nationwide and sit and wait until they decide to speak with us

ConservativePartyNow on June 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Let them eat organic gluten-free cake-like substances!

Irritable Pundit on June 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The “Milk Carton Dems” have forgotten that they were elected as representatives of constituents, Thus, they are accountable to those constituents. They are not empowered to foist their own agendas on the public.

onlineanalyst on June 7, 2010 at 11:19 AM

The entire ‘health care’ debacle sent me right off the cliff when I thought about it in this context.

Imagine this….. I ignore my employer, tell him he’s too stupid to understand that what I’m doing is brilliant, and, of course, in his best interests. He’s too dumb to know that, though. Only I do.

Then I run a gigantic bill for him which he will only understand once my report is written up for his review. It takes weeks and months for me to complete my plan, but cleverly I include a clause that stipulates severe penalties and possible incarceration if he doesn’t comply and pay.

Then, I realize I’m going to be fired, so I resign.

Nifty, eh?

Cody1991 on June 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I live in NH. ALL of our Democratic Reps are “Milk Carton Democrats,” not just CSP. I’m thankful that she’s not MY particular representative (that would be Paul Hodes, who NEVER held a town hall meeting last year on Obamacare, and is running — and so far losing — for Senate this year), but I’m embarrassed that she’s from my state and is helping the rest of the NHDP run it to the ground.

ScoopPC11 on June 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I wonder how it would go over if a few groups held the Town Hall meetings without their representative present? Just put up a cardboard cutout and let people ask the question their representative is afraid to answer. Then put that on Youtube.

taznar on June 7, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I wouldn’t put it past this corrupt regime fabricate a claim of terrorism. To keep the population safe, all polling places would be closed “until the emergency is over”.

So? You thinking maybe what Rahm Emanuel needs is roaring Reichstag Fire?

“On the night of Feb. 27, 1933 the Reichstag building was set on fire. At the urging of Hitler, Hindenburg responded the next day by issuing an emergency decree “for the Protection of the people and the State,” which stated: “Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”” It was, I believe, referred to as, “The Enabling Act”.

Lifted from the site: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2007/03/the-reichstag-fire-and-the-enabling-act/

The article is bylined: William L. Hosch – March 23rd, 2007

PS I do believe that under the new regulations coming from the FCC concerning restrictions on the internet, my quoting the above referenced article would be elevated to the level of a Federal crime, because I do not have prior, written authorization. That’s for those of you wondering about November.

oldleprechaun on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

The Dems can ignore the electorate all they want. And the electorate will respond in kind this November.

GarandFan on June 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Living in Texas, New Hampshire might as well be on the moon, but that Carol Shea-Porter on her webpage looks like the biggest liberal b-…………….

Marcus on June 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Yep, as a NH resident, I can assure you she’s a Big One.

We call her Che-Porter, BTW. And we hope she fails.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Enough with the Reichstag fire bit. This is the same thing whacked out dems were saying in 2004.

WitchDoctor on June 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM

We don’t want to “discuss” the issues”?

Or, we refuse to be lectured to, to have our intelligence insulted by the same old Democrat spin?

Why are these people in office if they are afraid of their constituents?

Wusses all of them.

NoDonkey on June 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I guess it’s time for Brad Miller (D-bag NC) to fake some more death threats.

Monica on June 7, 2010 at 1:26 PM

about who works for whom in the American political system

A message that needs to be driven home and made to last.

jeanie on June 7, 2010 at 1:44 PM

WitchDoctor on June 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM

You’re probably right. My wife still reminds me how upset I was on election night in ’76. I’d forgotten how well the Carter administration turned out. And having just read Fred Barnes piece, I think I’ll go finish painting. I was really starting to relax with the paint fumes and all…

oldleprechaun on June 7, 2010 at 2:15 PM

My response on the NYT article has been awarded a “Highlights” spot. I’m bragging because I’ve never had that happen before.

It’s comment #161 if anyone is interested in voting it up. :) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/us/politics/07townhall.html?hp

Greyledge Gal on June 7, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Happiness is waking in the morning and finding your liberal Congressman or Senator on the milk carton.

Wade on June 7, 2010 at 2:24 PM