Those 'Town Hells'
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, August 04, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Representative Government: Some of the Democrats who want to hijack American health care are not exactly getting a warm welcome from voters back home. It's inspiring to watch our system in action.
IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure
Congress tried to ram more than 1,000 pages of health care legislation down the country's throat last month, but was unable to vote on a bill before the House left for its August recess. Lawmakers might yet get away with passing what they are calling reform, but not before some members are verbally blistered by their constituents.
Which is exactly the way it should be.
In one of the sharper exchanges, an angry crowd in Philadelphia hooted down Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter on Sunday when he explained "that we have to make judgments very fast" when considering large pieces of legislation such as the health care bill.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who shared the stage with Specter, also heard it from the group, which was obviously fed up with Washington's arrogance, from its habit of writing unmanageably lengthy legislation to its plans to force an ostensibly free people into a communal health care system.
On the same day Specter and Sebelius were challenged, Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus "was heckled on several occasions by those opposed to the reform plans proposed by Democrats and President Barack Obama" during a town hall meeting in Cincinnati, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Also on Sunday, Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin endured "roaring chants," as the local media put it, at a meeting at a Green Bay library.
A day earlier, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat from Texas, deserved the hostile reception given him at a town hall meeting in Austin. He has said that he will still support the Democrats' nationalized health care plans even if his constituents don't.
Other Democratic lawmakers who have been inconvenienced by voters exasperated over the health care bill include Rep. Tim Bishop of New York, Rep. Russ Carnahan of Missouri and Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania.
Those who haven't yet heard from their constituents should expect to. Encounters similar to what we have seen will only become more frequent as public irritation festers as the congressional holiday moves through August and into September.
The media can refer to the citizens as mobs, and Democrats can blame all the animosity on lobbyists, as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., did when he said Specter and Sebelius fell for a "sucker punch" from the health insurance industry that had set up the clash.
But the industry doesn't need to whip up the crowds. The public on its own is deeply frustrated not only by elitists' attempt to take over their health care decisions, but fed up with a Congress that legislates as if it has a divine right to rule.
Lawmakers need to face the revolution they've fueled with their bailouts and takeovers. Washington has acted like King George III and "erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass" Americans "and eat out their substance."
It is meddling in people's lives and has no business going into the private places it is invading. Americans have both the right and the duty to stand up to forces that want to subjugate them.
Polite discourse is always preferred, but when liberty is threatened by an aggressive government, civil dialogue is not enough. Voters need to exercise their right to press their representatives and influence legislation.
Lawmakers should not be allowed to hide behind claims that they are being accosted by rabble. If they're going to put a boot on people's necks, the people have the right to confront their oppressors.