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A new notion of "constituent outreach"

Over the weekend, one of New Hampshire's two new Congresscritters (not mine) got herself in a bit of hot water. It seems that Carol Shea-Porter, who rode the Moonbat anti-war movement into office, has been getting a lot of calls and letters from constituents who have loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of those constituents don't agree with her positions and statements on the war.

Well, Ms. Shea-Porter has been taking those messages seriously -- and answering them.

Her notion isn't sitting well with some people. And that one quote from one voter -- "And she told me, well, that's too bad because she was elected by her constituents that were anti-war and that they were the ones that were voting her into office and she did not consider me a constituent ... because I do support the war in Iraq and her door was closed to me as a constituent," is troubling.

If Shea-Porter is telling voters that, then she is seriously out of line and needs to be smacked down -- hard. In 2008, when she comes up for re-election, if not sooner.

But otherwise, I don't really have a problem with what she's doing. In fact, I think it's a good thing.

Our representatives are just that -- REPRESENTATIVES. They are there to represent us. And we, as their constituents, are ultimately responsible for their actions, because we put them there.

So one of them decides to personally explain their position on an issue to a voter who has contacted them. I think that's great. In fact, I'd like to see more of it.

And if in the process, Representative Shea-Porter should alienate enough of her constituents to imperil her re-election, then so be it. (Personally, I hope she does, but that's my own political biases speaking.) But I have to give her credit for actually answering her constituents personally, not getting away with a form letter -- or just blowing them off entirely.


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Comments (14)

Yesterday:"I have re... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Yesterday:
"I have respect for those who oppose the war on principles. I disagree with them, but I respect both their right to do so. I also grant them sincerity in their beliefs."

Today:
"It seems that Carol Shea-Porter, who rode the Moonbat anti-war movement into office..."

What a difference a day makes...24 little hours...

I don't see the difference.... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

I don't see the difference. He can respect their right to hold their own views. How does that prevent him from calling them moonbats? That too is HIS right.

This is a story about Linco... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

This is a story about Lincoln which comes to mind. I don't know about Carol Shea-Porter, but I like this story...

Lincoln was criticized by someone who thought he was being too soft. "You must destroy your opponents", he said.

"Isn't that what I do when I make them my friends?" was Lincoln's response.

Once someone is elected to ... (Below threshold)

Once someone is elected to represent a certain district EVERYONE IN IT is his/her constituent! So Representative Shea-Porter is dead wrong in saying that someone living in her district is not "her" constituent! And to ALL her constituents she owes basic good manners and respect. She is a bad mannered moonbat!

End of discussion!

Although our Occupation of ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Although our Occupation of Iraq effects so much else..there are other issues. The first step is a simple e-mail. Remember those who respond. Another is to visit the office of your representative. They have staff. Talk to one of them. How responsive are they..
Finally..at some point in time..some here are going to have to accept the fact that the majority of American consider our current situation in Iraq..and what brought us here as a disaster. Our reasons for our belief are varied. To imply all those who share this belief as "moonbats" ...diminishes that term..

For those of you that have Representatives supporting by their votes our President in his Iraq policy. Contact them, each time their vote reflects it. Let them know they speak for you..So many times we fail to do that. (Regardless of the issue.)

By the way Australia steps up...take that Obama
"Australia will bolster its commitment to Iraq by sending up to 70 extra non-combat troops to help train local forces to deal with growing sectarian violence in the war-torn nation."

Well, I don't know anything... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, I don't know anything about Shea-Porter, so this is just speculation, but this story smells funny. If she was not interested in hearing from her detractors, why would she call them back? If she believed they were not her constituents and she had no reason to listen to them, why would she make a personal phone call? It sounds to me that these women are bitter because their candidate lost the election to an anti-war candidate and their intention is to stir up trouble for her.

Consider their comments:

"I discussed the war with her and I said that every time she speaks out about the war, she's causing the terrorists to help break the will of the American people and violence increases in Iraq and she's putting my sister in harm's way,"

This is someone who doesn't want an elected official to speak about her stance on what was arguably the most important issue during the campaign. I'm guessing she interprets the fact the Congresswoman is unwilling to be silent about the war to mean that she ignores her constituents who believe otherwise. Why she doesn't just actively try to unseat her with another candidate I---oh wait, that is what she's doing, isn't it? Don't you find it interesting that both of those who complained, and no doubt contacted the media, know each other? Coincidence?

I'm afraid without the text of an email or the recording of a phone call, I'm not buying it. If she didn't care what these women had to say, she would never have called them back, just like the rest of Congress.

Yes it does kind of sound l... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Yes it does kind of sound like sour grapes from a constituent.

But, if the quote is true--

"And she told me, well, that's too bad because she was elected by her constituents that were anti-war and that they were the ones that were voting her into office and she did not consider me a constituent ... because I do support the war in Iraq and her door was closed to me as a constituent,"
-- then maybe she should hear from a fellow LEFTY group called the ACLU for failing to represent equally, and discriminating against that constituent based on her political beliefs.

*** Side note ***
Of course the ACLU would laugh at this particular case, but if it was a conservative representative, and an ARAB constituent..WHOA stop the press...MSM would have a pissy fit.

"just(a)putz2"-and your poi... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"just(a)putz2"-and your point is?

The shoe is on the other fo... (Below threshold)
Brad:

The shoe is on the other foot. Remember those that declare[d] "he is not MY president?" Or those that threaten to leave the country?

After the election our elected officials serve everyone. That is democracy.

If you stay home to "send a message" expect your point of view to be dimmished in strength for the term that the opposing view holds office.

Hey...how about contacting ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Hey...how about contacting your Representative and DEMAND they support our troops~!

- "Concerns Mount Over Waiting Lists at Veterans Affairs Mental Health Centers: Marine Jonathan Schulze, who hanged himself Jan 16. His family says four days earlier, Schulze had called doctors at the veteran's hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., and told them he was suicidal. They told The Associated Press that he was turned away on account of a waiting list for beds at the hospital. As a rule, the VA does not put off veterans with suicidal tendencies, say VA officials." - FOX News, 2/13/07

- "Veterans Have Reduced Access to Mental Health Care at Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities, Investigation Finds: Veterans with mental illnesses on average had almost one-third fewer visits with mental health professionals in 2005 than they did in 1995, according to an investigation conducted by McClatchy Newspapers, McClatchy/Miami Herald reports.... almost 100 VA clinics 'provided virtually no mental health care in 2005,' McClatchy/Herald reports." - Kaiser, 2/12/07

- "There are two troubling reports, one out today, that point to serious problems affecting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' ability to treat military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.... Our veterans' mental and physical health is not something to play games with. They have served their country, and their country has an absolute obligation to return the favor." - Macon Telegraph, 2/14/07

- "Bush budget cuts veterans health care in 2009: The Bush administration's budget assumes cuts to veterans' health care two years from now -- even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system." - AP, 2/13/07

- [I]t is the invisible psychological harm - primarily post-traumatic stress disorder - that is the most pervasive and pernicious injury from this war and that is emerging as its signature disability. Veterans' advocates say it is the number-one issue facing soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP)

Screw your yellow ribbon magnetic decals...volunteer at you local V.A. Hospital ....Support the TROOPS!

Off topic: Are you guys eve... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Off topic: Are you guys ever going to notice how the VA Hospitals are treated our wounded war veterans? Do you care what happens to the troops when they come home?

Publicus -There's ... (Below threshold)

Publicus -

There's always Blogspot.com - you can start up a simple blog on your own since you seem to be disappointed with the choices around here.

Or if you want to fiddle with your own blog software, Moveable Type works pretty well. (Some like MT, some like WordPress.) 1and1.com has some pretty sweet hosting packages, too. I've been pleased with them for my hosting needs.

There's options abounding - you just have to pick and choose what you want to do.

I've been on both sides of ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I've been on both sides of the VA for years. It's great that there is SOMETHING for veterans to fall back on, but believe me, the system is a huge mess. The recent recurrent breaches of security are popular knowledge, but the stench of government bureaucracy fills the atmosphere of every VA hospital. That doesn't mean there aren't great examples within the system on individual or group levels of great service, but they are at odds with folks with very self-serving views as their career in the system outweighing other considerations.

Yet the VA is only a reflection of our health care system in general. Mental health care for vets and non vets is sadly inadequate in many ways in many places. Using this problem as a way to pick on one party and not the other is ridiculous.

I've noted this VA fixation lately in troll related attempts to derail threads. A despicable politization of the situation.

Using this problem... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Using this problem as a way to pick on one party and not the other is ridiculous.

Maybe both parties can get together and fix this. This may be an area with little disagreement. I'd rather the problem be fixed than pick on either political party over it.




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