Friday, March 19, 2010

Congressman Phil Gingrey

It is very disappointing that our Congressman, Phil Gingrey of Cobb County, has taken such a narrowly partisan approach to the current health care reform effort.

Yesterday I received a campaign -style “robocall” from the Congressman asking me to stay on the line to participate in a “live town hall” discussion of health care issues. “OK!” I thought, I’ll listen, maybe he is serious about hearing from the people". I put the phone on speaker and my wife and I listened, waiting our turn to speak or participate in the feedback promised. I listened as a couple of poorly informed local folk ranted about “government takeover” and such eliciting pompous agreement by our Congressman. Rep. Gingrey then interrupted the “town hall” to offer an opportunity for his constituents to let him know where they stand on the issue!

“Great!” I may be outvoted, I thought, but at least I can let the Congressman know that some Northwest Georgians want reform.

No. Instead the Congressman, again in a tone that can only be described as condescending, offered his constituents four choices: “What concerns you MOST about this legislation?” The first three “concerns” were blatant push-polling questions that could have been written by Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. And the fourth choice? “All of the above”. To paraphrase: “Are you most concerned about this bill because of this scary issue (press one), that terrible expense (press two), or the other disastrous possible outcome (press three), or all three abominable things this awful measure would force on our nation? (press four)”

Classic propaganda.

One must grant him the assumption of reasonable intelligence. He managed to obtain a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He knew exactly what he was doing last night.

There was no opportunity to express approval of the reform. If you disagree with Congressman Gingrey he has no interest in hearing from you.

To treat the voters in this way has become standard operating procedure during campaigns. I have received push-poll calls from politicians from State Representative candidates to Presidential candidates during election campaigns. That is insulting to voters. It shows an incredible disrespect of democracy. For a Congressman to do this under the guise of a “town hall” -- that great tradition of American political life where, supposedly, all viewpoints can be aired -- takes crass partisanship to another level. I do not know to what extent my taxes helped pay for this travesty.

Shame on you, Congressman Gingrey.

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