Doolittle’s visit provokes readers’ reactions
I commend you for your editorial re: Congressman Doolittle’s Social Security Town Hall meeting. You hit the nail on the head. In a representative form of government, public input should be considered in the development of social policy. If the politicians fail to heed the people, there are remedies: voices can be raised; demonstrations can be held. The public will find a way to be heard. Ultimately, there is the ballot box. We can show the unresponsive the door.
I don’t believe Wal-Mart, Citibank, or the Petroleum Industry has any more right to influence government policy than you or I do. After all, “… Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” (Declaration of Independence) We the governed must be informed and active. If we don’t want our representative coming here to sell us some “Snake oil” prepackaged at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, we must say so… and loudly! If it takes “… bad behavior aimed at an elected official …” to be heard, more power. I imagine a lot of that took place at the Constitutional Convention (1787), the birthplace of every Congressional Representative.
Congressman John Doolittle presented the problems facing Social Security in a meeting in Grass Valley. Those opposed to their congressman’s presentation very rudely interrupted him with boos. In Truckee, Sen.Barbara Boxer presented her version of the Social Security issues, quite opposite to Doolittle’s version, and none of the opposition in her audience was rudely booing her. Do we in Grass Valley need some lessons in politeness?
Your article on Congressman Doolittle’s town hall meeting was very misleading. The statement, “Most of those in attendance came to voice their displeasure with the plan floated by President Bush’s administration,” couldn’t be further from the truth. The public voice was shouted down by organized disrupters wearing AARP T-shirts.
Shame on you for your blatant omission of this important fact.
I attended Rep. Doolittle’s Social Security Workshop in Grass Valley. It is hard to put into words how disappointed I was with the outcome. The workshop began with a slide show and a handout clearly intended to alarm and confuse the attendees. As such, it was a complete failure. Without question, the vast majority were not buying into the premise as presented. Additionally, it was clear from the remarks of Rep. Doolittle that the leadership of his party had directed these meetings be held to sell the program.
I was thunder-struck by how unprepared the congressman was in his presentation and his often empty replies to questions from the audience. He was plainly confused about facts and figures, retirement age requirements and other important details. He found assistance necessary from aids to answer pertinent questions. At best, a mediocre performance. He was certainly surprised by the hostility of the audience and appears to not understand why so many question the sincerity and integrity of Congress.
I am pleased to see that The Union covered the event and chose to put the story on the front page. Congratulations to you.
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When looking at any writing as significant as the U.S. Constitution, in order to truly understand it, examination of the documentation of the process reasonably demands scrutiny.