Friday, August 07, 2009

Town halls come home to roost

The 'town hall' meeting became a staple of American politics just as the original Town Meeting was dying out in New Hampshire communities, including my own. It seems that there are truths that politicians, including the local variety, don't want to hear. It's much easier to govern the rabble when you don't have to listen to them vent on the second Tuesday in March.

Now US Congressmen (and the president) are discovering this unpalatable fact. Their response has been illuminating: they're attacking the citizens! Nancy Pelosi says that the protestors are 'carrying swastikas and symbols like that'. Barbara Boxer says that that they're 'storming these town hall meetings', they're 'well dressed' (imagine that!), that they're 'all organized' (imagine that!), so clearly they're operatives of the Republican National Committee.

In my recollection, it was Bill Clinton (recent star of Pyongyang) who if he didn't actually invent the format, was the one who shone in it. Somehow I think he would have managed the health-care kerfluffle with more grace, probably by appointing a special commission to study it until after the next election. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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