As a former member of Congress, I have read with some disappointment the indignant wailing of predominantly Democratic members of the House and Senate as voters, unhappy with the actions of the 111th Congress, have shown up at town hall meetings to express their displeasure with the state of national affairs, particularly the reworking of the nation’s health care system.
It is reminiscent of the 1994 incident in which then-longtime Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) literally ran down a street to get away from a group of unhappy seniors in his Chicago district who were mad about his and his party’s performance in Congress. That anger led to Rosty’s defeat and a big changeover in the House to Republican control after the 1994 elections.
What the Democrats are missing here is the level of national unrest felt by people of all points of view and party affiliations over the accumulation of massive national debt in only six months of Democratic Party and Obama administration leadership. There is something unsettling to the national psyche, with overnight takeovers of car companies, banking interests and private health care, and an un-stimulating stimulus programs costing hundreds of billions being passed in a flash, all in the name of good government.
Citizens are particularly unhappy that these measures sometimes reach 1,000 pages and are admittedly unread by their elected representatives. Insult is added to injury when President Barack Obama dismisses legitimate grass-roots concerns about his health care plan as “Astroturf.” It’s certainly not helpful for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to call such questioning “un-American.” No wonder the most recent (July 24-27, 2009) NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Congress’s approval rating at 24 percent, with 63 percent of respondents disapproving. Don’t be surprised to see the approval number drop further this month.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
George Nethercutt in the Poitico article The Whining Class does a nice job of explaining people's frustration with government's massive growth/spending, along with some politician's whiney reaction to that anger...