Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Polite Debate at Grassley's Iowa Town Halls

As Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) travels to town halls in his state, it seems conservative Iowans are either too polite to shout at him or really like their longtime senator, even as he has remains one of the few Republicans negotiating with President Obama and congressional Democrats on health care.

Maybe there are such a things as respect, listening, and consideration.

the questions suggest many of the people in attendance are conservatives, as several attacked President Obama for looking to increase vastly the role of the federal government in American lives, with one woman likening the new administration to Nazi Germany. They made charges that illegal immigrants could get health insurance, that the bill will raise taxes and that Obama's intention is to create a socialist country.

I just don't get these references to Nazism. My ancestors were killed by Nazis for being Jews, and I resent people bandying about the label to oppose legislation.

At the start of event, he gives a brief speech that carefully distances himself from Obama and puts him on the side of many of the conservatives in room, saying he opposes a government health insurance option because "I see government not as a competitor, but a predator." He notes he opposes any health insurance plan that will lead to "rationing" and says he will not back a bill other Republicans cannot embrace.

Smart; gain control of the pace and tone of the meeting.

He avoids mentioning his potential backing of so-called health-care cooperatives that some Republicans in Washington say would be akin to a government option.

Spin control.

"I trust him; he's an honest man," said Margaret Turk, a Republican who attended the town hall in Afton and applauded him at the end, even though she opposes the health-care reform effort.

At the same time, Iowans just might be less eager to yell and be rude. When one man in Afton asked Grassley why he was eager to change a health-care system that many Americans like, the senator started referring to a private conservation he had with a Democratic senator on Capitol Hill.

"Which one?" the man shouted.

"I can't tell you that," Grassley said.

"Why not?" the man snapped back.

"Because it was a private conservation," Grassley responded.

"Oh, okay," the man said, and let the senator finish.

No comments:

Post a Comment