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Vail Valley Voices: Dem congressmen don’t represent us

Dick Gustafson
Vail, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

With the political events moving and changing so quickly, it’s difficult to capture any single image of a moving target. But looking back, one comes to mind.

Sen. Bennet and Rep. Polis, underanticipating the turnout, held town hall meetings in overflowing venues. The meetings were reasonably orderly, with no Nazis, no unpatriotic Americans, no busloads of protesters and only a few vocal disrupters. Attendees were concerned, grassroots American citizens, exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

The anger and frustration was centered around the government health care takeover. Even though no one knows what will be in the final bill, it remained the dominating focus, obscuring the real problem.



Bennet’s meeting was mostly polite. One jerk yelled, “Sit down, and shut up!” whenever opponents spoke, apparently believing the First Amendment applies only to him.

The senator controlled the diligent crowd, but his knowledge appeared shallow compared with those asking questions.



The press advertised Bennet’s meeting at 10:30 a.m. The Democratic Party’s Web site, however, said 9:30 a.m. Was it a careless typo or a transparent attempt to stack the seating with party’s faithful? Your call.

At Polis’ meeting, I was outside the building, several rows back. It was difficult to hear because he had a poor sound system and no traveling microphones for questioners – another example of poor planning.

Polis allowed more folks to speak. Health care was again the focus of discussion. Some individuals’ anecdotal stories about negative experiences with insurance companies were offered, but problems with government lack of management skills were overlooked.



Tort reform, border enforcement, Medicare and Medicaid corruption were mentioned as prudent first steps, but our representative was clearly not interested. Polis is a Boulder liberal and gained office as a result of Democratic district gerrymandering.

One theme was “slow down.” After all, it took our founders years to write and confirm a one-page Constitution, currently being ignored. It’s interesting how a one-party Congress can produced four 1,000- page bills controlling one-fifth of our economy in just weeks. Who wrote those bills? Anyone elected to office?

Polis said he voted for “cap and trade,” another huge tax increase for every household. He endorsed Gore’s global warming theory supporting a bill based upon questionable science, while ignoring his constituents’ opinions.

Polis represents Pelosi, not you. Independent thinking isn’t encouraged in this Congress. You must go along to get along.

A House’s unwritten rule: Any member of Congress who votes against the leadership is punished with no important committee assignments, no chairmanships, a party primary and no congressional fundraising support.

While your 401K has tanked, jobs are lost and fees and prices are increasing, Polis votes for taxes increases and threatens your medical care, breaking the economy while spending us into Third World oblivion.

If you believe these congressmen will vote according to public input, you’re naive. “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” was only a movie, a lovely fairy tale.

Obama held town hall meetings, too. Web letters are now appearing from angry Montana and Grand Junction residents denied admission, even with issued tickets. It’s just another attempt to cleanse the room for TV?

Here are a few observations.

• The health care debate is based on the false concept that the health care system is broken. Yes, it needs adjustments, not a government takeover.

• Tort reform, abuse enforcement and border control are logical first steps. Until the government proves it won’t mishandle that, should we consider new proposals?

• Health care diverted us while “cap and trade” was passed by the House. Will the Senate control this huge tax increase? Or cave?

• Health care supporters should remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The underlying problem: “President” Pelosi, Obama and Congress’ rush to take over our lives, our economy, our industries, our faiths and our health care system is alarming. They continue to ignore our Constitution, destroying our traditions while spending us into bankruptcy.

They have violated our trust with the ultimate power grab. They have engineered a direct assault on capitalism. Citizens are rightfully scared. They want government out of their business.

Your freedom, your rights and your property are safe only when Congress is on vacation and Obama is out of the country, criticizing America.

Note: I received a notorious Axelrod e-mail. I’m proud to be on this White House’s hit list. I requested a copy of the list, under the Freedom of Information Act, but there’s been no response.

Republican Dick Gustafson is a former Eagle County commissioner who lives in Vail.


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