Two of the eight “Obama Republicans,” that is, members of the GOP delegation in the House whose districts went for Barack Obama in November, are in the news of late, and I think we can draw some conclusions about their behavior.
First of all, Dan Lungren held a “town hall meeting” in his district last week. I put “town hall meeting” in quotes because unlike actual town hall meetings, attendees weren’t allowed to ask questions:
After a brief introduction by Elk Grove Mayor Patrick Hume, Lungren made it clear that the format of this ‘townhall’ meeting would not include direct questioning from the audience. Rather constituents were to fill out a questionnaire and submit for indirect questioning by Hume.
Lungren’s reasoning was that he had received several constituent complaints that other district meetings were “so rambunctious” that they were afraid to come. To make the meeting open, Lungren said questions would be answered only by those filling out the questionnaires.
During the course of the meeting there were 15 questionnaires read covering a variety of topics, none of them pointed or very relative, in our opinion, to the staggering recession we find ourselves in. Lungren talked about his favorite topics of immigration, deficit spending and judiciary matters.
Hume, who had a table full of submitted questionnaires in front of him, never seemed to ask the questions as written. Hume was either being overly polite, or didn’t want to incur the wrath of a congressman […]
“If this is a townhall meeting, we should be allowed to be allowed to make comments,” said Elk Grove resident Mike Monasky. Immediately Monasky was loudly told by city charter commission member Christopher Orrock to be quiet.
Now there’s someone who doesn’t want to be held accountable by his constituents. That makes the Bush “town hall meetings” look like free-for-alls.
Then there’s Buck McKeon. His home in Santa Clarita was burglarized. We’re sorry for him and his wife. But we did not expect McKeon to push a political angle.
A thief, who has since been arrested, broke into the McKeons’ home on the morning of March 4 and stole jewelry from the master bedroom, said Bob Haueter, McKeon’s 2010 campaign manager. The rest of the home was not disturbed, he said […]
The burglary was mentioned in a McKeon fundraising letter, dated March 25, that discussed McKeon’s opposition to the Employee Free-Choice Act – a bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The legislation is backed by President Barack Obama, whose political roots are in Chicago.
The letter says the labor legislation is “right out of Stalin’s playbook” and part of the president’s “socialist agenda.” A note at the bottom of the letter, written by Patricia McKeon, read:
“As if things couldn’t get any worse, our home was just broken into while we were in D.C. Some observant neighbors were able to identify the thieves and get the license plate number of the car they used.
“You won’t believe this; the car is registered to a person in Chicago! Just know this, no matter what happens to us, Buck and I won’t back down.”
Are you kidding me? Apparently we’re to believe that President Obama has a cadre of thieves he’s dispatching across the country to Republican homes. While I admit that would be a simply ingenious strategy (note to Patricia McKeon: I’m joking), I simply don’t think he’s concerning himself with an underworld network.
Can we conclude that these two are maybe just a little bit scared, as they see their stranglehold on their districts slipping away?