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Where in the world are Reps. Gordon, Cooper?
Aug 07, 2009 12:00 am
Nearly a week into Congress' annual August recess, U.S. Reps. Bart Gordon and Jim Cooper, both of whom represent parts of Wilson County, have yet to release an appearance schedule – or even schedule when they are going to release a schedule.
This is inexcusable.
While we recognize that Congressmen have the right to unwind – especially after the numerous legislative battles of the current session. We also hope they recognize that their constituents have the right to discuss their concerns with their elected representatives.
In the time since the House adjourned, a number of representatives from around the country have held town hall meetings that have become shouting matches. Protesters have followed from the Tea Parties of earlier this summer expressing their concern over the health-care reforms currently making their way through Congress and other big-government intrusions. A number of congressmen have been shouted down, portrayed as Satan and faced with angry constituents, which seems to have scared off their colleagues from holding that quintessential American event – the town-hall meeting.
Americans of all stripes – from the left and right – have opinions on the future of our country. Strong opinions that should be expressed, for that is the bedrock of America. And elected officials should listen – we do, after all, send them to Washington to represent our concerns.
We implore Rep. Cooper and Rep. Gordon to meet with their constituents and when they do, to follow the example of their fellow Blue Dog Democrat, Rep. Lincoln Davis. Davis traditionally holds a seminar on federal funding during the August recess and after a recent session, was met with a group of protesters. Rather than running, rather than engaging in shouting matches – which run the risk of being all sound and fury, signifying nothing – Davis sat down with those who disagreed with him. By all reports, he engaged them civilly and they him. Davis spent more than hour in an impromptu Q-and-A session and later acknowledged that the dissenters deserve to be heard.
“There are areas where we agree and some where we strongly disagree, but many of these folks came long distances to voice their opinions. In the end, we are all Americans and are working towards a common goal of a more perfect union,” Davis said.
Kudos to you, Congressman. Please ask your colleagues, Reps. Cooper and Gordon, to follow your lead.