And I’m calling to invite you as my constituent to join my virtual town hall meeting concerning the health care bill currently moving through Congress. Stay on the line to learn how this bill could raise taxes, destroy small business, and cause people to lose their insurance.”
That is, almost verbatim, what Darryl Issa called to tell me this evening. I actually stayed on the line, hoping to participate in the town hall debate. But I couldn’t find my tongue. I couldn’t think, in time, of how to say this (plus, I’ve been sick):
“Mr. Issa, in your message inviting me to join this town hall debate–which I appreciate as your voting constituent–you attempted to prejudice me against the pending health care legislation by listing the possible negative effects of this legislation. I did not appreciate this. You did not list any of the possible positive effects of this legislation: decreased health care costs or improved, comprehensive, and affordable coverage. Surely there must be some benefit to this health care legislation!”
I would then wait for a response. In the event I was able to speak again:
“Mr. Issa, I did not appreciate your sense of timing. The health care legislation passed the House last weekend. Doesn’t that mean that it’s been removed from your jurisdiction, for the time being?”
“Mr. Issa, why are you holding a town hall meeting/discussion/debate on health care reform? When you received the bill, you said you would vote ‘No’ on it. I don’t know if you read it. If this was your default reaction when the legislation was introduced why do you care how we feel about it?”
Mr. Issa, no one wants to increase taxes, just for the hell of it. No one wants to destroy small business on a lark. No one wants people to lose their hard-earned health insurance. And I’m not quite sure that these were the only goals of the new health care legislation.
Mr. Issa, while I appreciate your open hand toward your constituents, perhaps you could leave your hands unadorned and unstained when doing so?