There were only a handful of people protesting outside – one person for reform, and a couple that were opposed to ObamaCare and socialism/communism. Very peaceful. I did not see anyone carrying, and unless I am wrong, they couldn’t carry concealed anyway, as this took place on a public school campus (if I am incorrect in this, someone please let me know. I don’t know the carry laws as well as I used to since I don’t own a gun or have a valid permit anymore).
Inside, it was crowded – VERY crowded. The room was large and seated several hundred. I was conveniently located right behind the “question” mike, thanks to Ash-Lee, who kindly let me sit with her. Roe spent a fair amount of time running for re-election, which can only be expected from a house rep, and I am not knocking him for that. I just didn’t particularly enjoy it and couldn’t help but think how very different it would have been if it were my husband up there (well, there would have been a lot more guns, for one). There was a lot of patting on the conservative back, again, expected. And a lot of talk about how DC is politics as usual. Some comments about “clean” coal, about how Roe did not take any special interest money, his pro-life stance, etc.
It seemed pretty clear to me that Roe knows he is going to face a battle in the primary and that he knows that if he is going to win that primary, he is going to have to spend the next 18 months catering to the tea-party folks and the Davis supporters – notably NOT the people that got him elected this time. I think he understands that he wrested the nomination away from Davis by somehow convincing democrats that he was a better choice. You may feel free to disagree with me on this, but I think the voting results very clearly show that if no democrats had crossed party lines to vote for Roe, then Davis would have won. I am not bitter about this, I get the frustration, but I just don’t believe folks thought this through. Certainly they should have known that they were just being courted to win the primary, and that as soon as he was elected, Roe would then be forced to spend his time currying favor with the bitter Davis supporters. An east TN republican might be able to win a primary with some Dem support, but you can’t win a general election that way. Just ask the Democratic candidates. At any rate, I hope the Dems are paying attention right now. Come 2010, it is going to be another battle royale in the Republican primary, reportedly again between Davis and Roe. So, where is our 2010 candidate? NOW is the time to get her visible. It would be very smart for all Dems to get behind a candidate NOW. Just sayin’…
But I digress – the meeting. The overwhelming majority of the signs were anti-abortion, though many were apparently anti-grammar, as well. See supra. Yes, I judge people when they use poor grammar. See ‘Things you should know before reading this blog.’ The first questioner has received an unnecessary and undeserved amount of negative attention for being shouty. She was loud, yes, but she was clearly nervous. She was not insulting, she was not rude. She was impassioned and nervous. And she did NOT start screaming until people started booing her – a lot of very loud booing and rude heckles from the crowd. And Dr. Roe’s rather rude treatment of her did not help. There were some good questions, a lot of non-questions, some rambling nervous people, and, as always an American expert or two on ‘how things are done in Europe/Canada.’ Overall, it seemed that there were markedly more pro-reform questions than anti.
And then there were Roe’s “answers.” This was rough. Especially when he insinuated that HR3200 would allow free state on-demand abortions. And that HR3200 raises valid concerns of ‘death panels.’ Come ON – I know you have to pander, but really? This seemed especially shameful and unnecessary, especially since every third sentence he spoke was ‘This is not about Democrat or Republican’ and every time there was a pro-reform question he kept insisting that it was not a partisan issue and/or it was the liberals who were making it about parties. And then the policy stuff. Particularly listening to him try to sell folks on the HSA farce. You can CONTROL your own care! And by ‘control’ he means ‘pay for.’ So, yep, you can ‘control’ your care, but only if you can afford it. Kind of like one can “control” their debt by filing bankruptcy. Or ‘control’ your kids by not having them. And then to try to sell the uninsured and underinsured on the tax credit and voucher option? First, if you can’t afford health insurance, how on earth are you going to pay for it, then wait 14 months for a credit on your income tax returns? If you are among the working poor, this isn’t going to help you anyway. You need the money and the care; a tax credit doesn’t help people in the lower brackets – if you are low income enough to receive earned income credit, then a “credit” for paid health care does NOTHING for you.
But none of this matters, apparently, for as Roe made clear, of the 48 million uninsured, 11 million of those are illegals and don’t “deserve” insurance and a “large number” of the rest have all chosen to be uninsured for some reason, probably as a patriotic protest against socialism, I don’t know. And of course, as I know from watching the interwebs and whatnot, all the rest of the uninsured are lazy drug addicts. So really, as Dr. Roe’s own handout stated, he is mainly concerned with “Preventing the destruction of a system that works for 80 percent of Americans to extend coverage to the remaining Americans.” Some People Not Politics.