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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It Takes A Crazy to Hang Out with a Crazy 

Virginia Foxx can't meet the voters of the 5th District face-to-face, but she has time to spend on the line with the second battiest loose cannon in the U.S. House, Michelle Bachmann.

What's with this new Republican "townhall" habit of bringing additional reinforcements on the telephone line with you, like Foxx brought that obscure east Tennessee Congressman (Phil Roe) on with her last week, who promptly took up half the hour himself.

Shades of George W. Bush taking Dick Cheney along to hold his hand while he testified to the 9/11 Commission. Or, more accurately perhaps, shades of this.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Foxx: "Americans Have No Constitutional Right to Health Care" 

The moment came on a question from her seventh caller in the Rep. Foxx telephone townhall Thursday night: "Has anyone asked whether health care is a right or a privilege?" asked "Mr. Spivey from Kernersville." Turned out to be the right question.

Foxx: "The Constitution doesn't grant a right to health care or grant the federal government rights to deal with health care, and I'm trying to live by the Constitution."

Well, okay then. Conversation over. One wonders, therefore, why go through these motions, even to the point of propagandizing for the first 15 caller-less minutes of this piece of low political theater about the mythical Republican rival plan to reform insurance and health care delivery, when our Congresswoman professedly doesn't believe that the federal government, let alone the likes of her sorry self, have any rights whatsoever to even be dealing in such topics?

The little-over-an-hour of this particular townhall charade was actually a bit pitiful, since the same Congresswoman who has made national headlines with outrageous claims about Democrats' itching to put old people to death was studiously non-confrontational. And her callers were all marvelously polite and respectful (though several asked excellent questions or made smashingly logical comments), but The Madam did not engage in the manner of her Washington persona, the person we're all so familiar with. When "Charles from Fleetwood" made a heart-felt and eloquent point that a public option for health insurance would offer competition and thus lower costs, Madam Foxx said in response, "There was no question there, so we'll just move on." Might as well have chanted, "La la la, I can't hear you!"

Plus she obviously felt so severely insecure on the topic of health care generally that she brought a ringer in to help her ... Rep. Phil Roe from Johnson City, elected to represent the 1st Dist. of Tennessee. How puzzling it was to have this other congressman taking up literally half the hour, a congressman we don’t know and who doesn't represent us. He was her mouthpiece, took most of the hard partisan lines (like bashing European systems, which one caller astutely contradicted), and actually lectured callers on why their viewpoints were sorely misinformed. And why would he be making so bold on The Madam's dime? Because he's also a medical doctor. Pay no attention to me, Madam Foxx seemed to be admitting. Listen to him instead. He's a doctor. (And a partisan hack, but let that go.)

Having a ringer on the show with her just made her look weak and uninformed.

There were two guffaw moments during the hour, the first when "Lloyd of Statesville" said he was a retired federal employee, "one of the privileged ones" (he said) who has the federal employee insurance just like Madam Foxx's, who declared himself totally against socialized medicine. That never gets old.

And then at the end, the laugh-out-loud pronouncement by our Congresswoman, judged by independent observers to be an accomplished partisan battle axe and the second loosest cannon in all of Congress, who summed everything up: "Health care is not a partisan issue."

Laugh? I thought I'd cry.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Republican Incumbent Kicked Out 

Just over the line in Tennessee's 1st congressional district, which includes Johnson City, a Republican moderate, Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe, defeated the one-term Republican incumbent David Davis in yesterday's primary. That's Roe on the left, Davis on the right, with the queasy shit-eating grin.

It was a close vote and an earthquake in the Tennessee Republican Party. According to the N&O, "Roe ran a TV ad accusing Davis of selling out to 'Big Oil' by accepting money from industry PACs and backing legislation supporting offshore drilling."

Wait! You mean a Republican won in east Tennessee by running AGAINST offshore drilling?! Hear that, Madam Foxx? Roe's platform emphasized "people not politics." Most interesting, because Foxx's challenger Roy Carter's platform is "People Above Politics."

According to the Johnson City Press, Davis had refused to debate Roe. Though both candidates live in Johnson City, Roe beat Davis in Washington County by 1,000 votes.

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