Members of Congress are increasingly turning to virtual townhall meetings–conducted by telephone–in an effort to reach more constituents while avoiding the potential that informational meetings might be disrupted by angry and persistent questioners or protesters.
One advantage to these telephone townhalls, whether any particular member of Congress actually has this intention, is that the Member of Congress can control the audience and the questioning.
As lawmakers head home for the August recess to meet with constituents, the contentious health care issue awaits them, and many are opting to conduct their townhall meetings over a telephone line rather than in an actual hall where their constituents can see them, speak directly to them, ask repeated followup questions–and shout unsolicited commentary from the back of the room.
They’re following Obama’s example of stocking the audience with supporters and pre-arranged questions. The chickenshits are too scared to face the wrath of the people who elected them so they’re resorting to staged ‘teletownhalls’.
In some cases, they simply cancel meetings because it’s too much of a strain to answer hard questions from the American people.
I understand fully, the anger and frustration of the protesters. I’m trapped in a Democratic stronghold, and whenever I email asshats like Betty Sutton and Sherrod Brown, I get a tapdance that makes Fred Astaire look like an amateur.
Newsflash for politicians, Democrats in particular: You serve, work for, and represent us, not the other way around.
If you don’t have the guts to explain your actions and answer to the electorate, get the hell out of office…or better yet, come the primaries, we’ll kick you out.