So Where Are Our Town Halls?

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - August 26, 2009

It was not surprising to hear that our Congressional delegation will not hold a town hall meeting on healthcare reform in the month of August. I mean, really. Why should they? Rep. Mazie Hirono said, “My purpose is to have the kind of meetings that are really fruitful as opposed to somebody just coming in and disrupting and yelling.”

The hubris of this statement is more deafening than any protester’s voice.

In all fairness, Rep. Neil Abercrombie reportedly did hold town hall meetings back in May and July. I live in his 1st Congressional District and don’t recall receiving any notice of a town hall meeting. I try to keep up on such things. There was no mailer, phone call, e-mail, tweet, Facebook, smoke signal, carrier pigeons… I’m not saying I need a personal invitation, but a head’s-up would be nice.


That said, the healthcare debate is top of mind and front and center right now. Holding a town hall meeting on health-care in May is like giving your wife an anniversary present two weeks late. Yeah, you did it. But it just doesn’t mean as much.

How about the two Dans?

Sens. Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka will not be holding a town hall meeting with their constituents in August either. Again, why should they?

Do you honestly think either gentleman believes he is accountable to the citizens of this state?

Seriously. Inouye is up for election in 2010. Is there anybody in this town who actually believes he will not be reelected? Akaka had a slight bit of election discomfort when Rep. Ed Case launched a primary campaign against him in 2006. Apart from that, both he and Sen. Inouye are in power as long as they want. Why would they want to wallow into the deep end of a live question-and-answer session about the most controversial and emotional issue in the nation? Oh, I understand the idealism of a representative democracy. I guess our senators missed the memo.

“... as opposed to somebody just coming in and disrupting and yelling.”

Hirono is quite Marie Antoinette-esque with her disdain for Hawaii’s citizens. I suppose the interpretation of her comments would be she only represents people who act and conduct themselves the way she wants them to. I suppose the people of Hawaii must show proper deference and subservience to our much vaunted and elevated elected officials. Geesh.

At what point did our public servants forget whom they serve? I guess there have been too many Washington cocktail parties and Wagyu beef dinners with the president. They forget that for each publicly paid banquet, there are families struggling to put a plate lunch on the dinner table.

Yes, the healthcare debate is emotional. But it’s this president and his supportive Democrats who are promoting this fast-tracked reformation of healthcare.

Why is there a selective strategy that ignores tort reform, true competition via interstate insurance coverage and the recalibration of healthcare tax policy?

It is this president and his congressional sycophants who are creating an environment of anxiety and unease.

The “take it or leave it” attitude coupled with statements the Democrats will unilaterally pass healthcare reform is the real culprit, not the heartfelt and passionate concerns of the American citizen.

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