Pelosi Says Town Halls “Very Healthy,” Listening is “Essential”

August 12, 2009

Pelosi Says Town Halls “Very Healthy,” Listening is “Essential”

San Francisco Speaker Reverses Herself and Sends Democrats into Full Retreat Mode, Just Two Days After Interview from Martha’s Vineyard is Aired


Washington- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can’t seem to get her position straight when it comes to town hall meetings with constituents. Just a few days ago, Pelosi declared war on voters by calling town hall attendees ‘un-American’ in a widely-read piece in USA Today. But in a newly-released video, Pelosi praised the town hall process as “healthy,” “wholesome,” and “essential to any success” that Democrats might have with their healthcare agenda:


Click to Watch:


PELOSI: During the break, [members] go home and are invigorated by the ideas and the issues brought forth by their constituents, so that’s very healthy. I think it will only serve to advance the cause of healthcare reform, which we will pass in the Congress…What’s important about the break is that it gives you a chance to your constituents, and the outside mobilization is really essential to any success we can have with our inside maneuvering in Washington, D.C. It’s the most wholesome part of what we do. Our job titles and our job descriptions are one and the same: Representative. So we listen to our constituents, we have to inform them of what is happening in Washington, listen to their comments on that, and come back enriched by that dialogue.


As Pelosi continues her two-faced campaign for and against town hall meetings, it seems that only one message is actually reaching her caucus. Unfortunately for constituents across the country who are concerned about Pelosi’s healthcare takeover, rank-and-file Democrats are regularly refusing to “come back enriched” by any sort of dialogue with the people they claim to represent:


“Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, is also steering clear of town-hall-style meetings. He stumped for reform with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer at a Poughkeepsie hospital on Monday and plans to continue the push this month in various ways, none of which involve the type of gatherings that have proved perilous for fellow Democrats.” (Chris Mckenna, “Local reps say no health-care forums planned,” Times Herald-Record, 08/08/09)


Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) stopped holding town-hall meetings after a June event.” (Janet Adamy and Naftali Bendavid, “Lawmakers Rethink Town Halls”, The Wall Street Journal, 8/08/2009)


“Representative Alan Grayson’s spokesperson told FOX 35 that his boss will not host a traditional town hall meeting because he wants to keep things ‘civilized.’” (Holly Bristow, “Health care war,” WOFL-TV, 8/10/09)


“Meanwhile, you can smell the fear under the Capitol dome. From College Station to Cleburne, District 17 constituents of Rep. Chet Edwards are waiting for a health care town hall. They should not hold their collective breath. His Washington office told me Tuesday that they don’t have one on the calendar. He knows the crowd that would surely flood such an event could jeopardize his precarious grip on the district for Democrats.”  (Mark Davis, Fight Obamacare hard, but smart, Dallas Morning News, 08/04/09)


“All hail Nancy Pelosi, the queen of contradictions,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “As she praises the August recess as a way to connect with the public and resurrect her dying healthcare takeover she demonizes Americans for exercising their first amendment rights and has clearly sent a message to loyal rank-and-file members to turn a deaf ear on their constituents. Unfortunately for Pelosi and her party, they can’t have it both ways. While Pelosi and her fellow Democrats might try to shy from the spotlight now, they are only further ensuring that they will be hearing from shunned voters on election day.”