Congress Is Home For Recess And That Means YELLING AT REPUBLICANS TIME YEEHAW!
Jeff Flake gets the traditional Guy In A Chicken Suit
The Town Hall crazy train rolled on this week, as Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake got an earful from constituents who would really like to keep their health insurance and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin patiently explained that no, his constituents don't pay his salary because they are paupers, and he only talks to them out of the goodness of his heart, so shut up.
At a raucous town hall in Mesa, Arizona ("raucous" will soon be part of the official title, much like "embattled senator"), Senator Jeff Flake heard again and again from constituents who oppose the not-dead-yet Republican efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act in the name of replacing it. The meeting ran an hour long as Flake, to his credit, stayed around to address the crowd, which was fired up with troublemaking liberal fervor and egged on by a high school kid in a chicken costume who stood in the front row. For all the yelling and chants ("Do your job!" and "shame!" -- we need some new ones), there were even some pretty cogent questions, too:
Cindy Harrison, a Democrat who works as a high-school guidance counselor in the East Valley, said she wanted to ask Flake about the "Trump effect" among students. Since last year's election, white students have become emboldened to bully and harass minority students, she said, making comments such as "go back to Mexico" and "build the wall."
"I don't agree with him on policies, but help us build a community rather than destroying it," Harrison said earlier in the evening of her hopes for Flake.
You know, Arizona Republic, you could have included something about Flake's attempt to answer that, if any.
Another woman asked about President Trump's near-weekly trips to Florida to go golfing and chill at Mar-a-Lago, asking if Flake had approved the budget for all that travel (short answer: presidential travel isn't a single discrete budget line), and wanted to know whether Flake would take steps to control either Trump's travel, or his profiting off that travel, since he owns the resort where he's doing all that part-time presidenting.
The audience erupted. Flake answered: "As I mentioned, I wasn't critical of the last president or the president before that for what they do on their time off."
"That's something we'll deal with when we deal with the budget," Flake said, "but I'm not going to tell the president where he can and cannot spend his weekends."
On another question about Republicans' refusal to even hold hearings for Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Flake said the move was "not without precedent," which it damn well was. Someone in the audience shouted "Bullshit!" and the crowd erupted in a chant of "Shame on you!" We'll get right back to you whenever Flake explains what that "precedent" was. On healthcare, he claimed he didn't believe America's health care is actually ranked lower than any other country's, and that "I have never heard of anyone needing an operation going to Canada, or Great Britain, or Germany."
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) faces rowdy town hall; woman tells him Germany has had universal health care since 1871 pic.twitter.com/YQ1ffGAJ5T— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 14, 2017
Darn video doesn't quite get to his answer (we skimmed through the full video and didn't find it; if someone does, let us know!). We're guessing he's not big on universal health insurance, and for all we know, that question may have prompted his claim that nobody goes to other countries for operations, which, by the by, is also not true.
GOP congressman tells constituents “bullcrap,” they don't pay his salary; also tells a woman she's had too much coffee during health care Q pic.twitter.com/d8fnTVa6ws— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 14, 2017
You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go [...]
I’m just saying this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.
When a woman asked him about why it's supposedly tyrannical for people to be required to purchase health insurance, noting that all drivers are required to have accident insurance that they're less likely to use than health insurance, Mullin got downright snippy, pointing out that no one's required to drive after all, for Pete's sake, so it's totally different. When the woman began to object (we'll guess she was going to point out that uncovered ER visits make everyone's insurance go up, but who knows), he cut her off, saying "Ma'am, please, I know you had a lot of coffee this morning, but please, give me a second." Stupid hysterical lady!
Hmm... seems to us that if he's that contemptuous of his constituents, in 2018 they could relieve him of the burden of having to deal with all the idiots who come to his town hall and send him back to being a plumber. Seems like a good idea to us.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.