Last night, August 28, 2013, Congressman Chris Stewart entertained several hundred St. George residents at a Town Hall Meeting.
The meeting was described as, and promoted as, an opportunity to present questions to the Congressman. People were encouraged to ask many questions.
What happened was somewhat different. Congressman Stewart opened with the standard welcome and the greeting he was trained to give by the National Republican Congressional Committee: Attack Washington, attack the president, attack democrats in Congress, and pontificate about what you will do in the future. Then lastly, obfuscate. The accidental congressman learned his training well.
He opened with explaining how Washington was such a terrible place and he was happy to be home to spend fifteen minutes in “more town hall meetings” than every other existing congressman, and every congressman that ever lived, combined. Thus, he is better than them and we are served magnanimously better than anyone else in America. Ahhh, if only that were true.
Of course that was followed by the requisite applause-getting criticism of Barack Obama. He also gave a warm little derogatory comment about how dumb his fellow democratic House members were using examples of how they didn’t understand how to operate their businesses.
When asked about supporting Senator Lee’s efforts to defund Obamacare he naturally cheered for our senator, but explained he had a wiser response in the works. For several decades I have listened to how congressional members always have some better regulation… in the works. It was obscure, but it did indeed follow the NRCC script. (By the way, the National Democratic Congressional Committee has the same script.)
When asked about the middle east he again obfuscated any serious answer with the appropriate cheering points that are loved by political war-mongers and those politically sympathetic anti-war-mongers at the same time.
Most telling about him was when he was asked about impeaching Obama he indicated that nobody in Congress is talking about impeachment. Really? Perhaps he should pay slightly more attention to his colleagues in both the House and Senate. Why? Because there have been numerous articles across the internet and print media where his fellow congress members discuss impeachment openly. That does not even take into account that a blind rat in maze could find numerous paths to impeachment for Obama.
But setting aside the fact that he either is not listening to his compatriots or sits quietly in the corner of the maze afraid to move because of his blindness, there is a more serious issue at play. When asked about impeachment his response was basically that the President was following the Constitution. His lack of understanding was actually quite astonishing. Impeachment has nothing to do with adhering t the Constitution. The Constitution defines the causes for impeachment. Those are (summarized) high crimes and misdemeanors. To this congressman the Constitution appears to be a catch phrase for political opportunism.
Now, lastly I come to the issue of the “druggie frat house” being developed in a Bloomington neighborhood, not far from my home. After watching the behavior of some of the people at the meeting last night I am convinced that their neighborhood may be the best place to put such a facility. Why? Because the people there want the undesirables to be isolated to an undesirable’s neighborhood. Given the shouting, name-calling, rudeness, and disorganization of the neighborhood’s actions last night their street is a perfect location. It was amazing when the owner of the property stood to refute an accusation made about himself and he was shouted at as being a liar.
The lady sitting directly in front of me was shouting “We don’t care about the future, we want this dealt with now.” Gee, isn’t that just nice. She also was chattering about how Obamacare would place a burden on future generation. Ah, yes, inconsistency at its best.
In the midst of all of this the congressman reiterated it was a local issue. And, when people barked about the American’s With Disabilities Act imposing rules on local communities Congressman Stewart championed the cause that the federal government should not be imposing local regulation (see an earlier paragraph about blaming Washington). Yet, when the squalling continued he repeatedly said that people should keep in touch with his office because they would do everything they could. WHAT? Either it is a local issue or it is national. I refuse to go so far as to say that is schizophrenic behavior, but “Congressman playing the hero for successes and then also playing the victim for failures is a cop-out”.
When a gentleman three rows back from me asked the question what specifically the Congressman would do the answer was interesting. Because the man had no microphone the congressman supposedly couldn’t hear the question. That may have been accurate, but it wasn’t from a lack of microphone. It was because of the mob noise being generated by a neighborhood opposed to …a mob of druggies moving in next door.
The Mayor politely attempted to get the congressman off the hook by explaining what was happening with the entire issue. He attempted to explain the power of the Federal government. All the neighborhood wanted to hear was that the city should violate federal law, so they rudely shouted him down also. What I find even more curious is that one news photographer was able to post the only video picture of the evening as being a blurry rendition of the mayor. Not that I would ever suggest some form of media bias was still at play.
But, it should be taken into account that this neighborhood is represented religiously by the mayor’s opponent, being touted as the savior of animal shelter currently on the city counsel. One can logically expect there to be some strong sentiment in opposition to the mayor from that neighborhood. Yes, that suggestion by me will be denied by several in the “shout-them-down” neighborhood folks, but it is still a logical conclusion regarding some sentiments expressed.
Now, having transitioned into local issues and the mayor’s race I will add a slight diversion.
I begin with a boast. I have managed two similar issues to this treatment facility being proposed for the neighborhood. I was fortunate in that the neighborhood interests in both cases was preserved. That may be possible in this case as well. But leadership is needed. I have seen none on this issue that deserves at least some investigation, more than a second investigation into the animal shelter.
There are hundreds of homeless children in this area. Maybe you all were unaware of that. There are thousands of individuals with addiction challenges which they are seriously trying to conquer. There is an inadequacy of affordable medical facilities for many people in this community. These are people that are suffering, but our resources should go toward another animal shelter study, dance halls, and beer gardens; both of the latter two lead to the problems these people are facing.
Thousand of unbudgeted dollars have gone to the improve an animal care facility that was already one of better quality than an majority in the state. Because fear, anger, and tantrums have been thrown the animal shelter now has a crowding issue at the facility. The entire operation has become more costly to operate in terms of both soft and hard costs. Now, I love animals. I truly do. They deserve special treatment and care. But, the difficulties faced by people should come first.
Two candidate for public office in St. George have had prominence on the animal care issue. One local special interest “newspaper” suggests that a candidate wants a new private investigation into the animal control shelter. With due deference to the former Democrat Attorney General, but the police department IS capable of conducting a satisfactory investigation into the grievances. No new investigation is needed to support the local democrat agenda.
My question is “where are these candidates that are worried about dogs, but remaining virtually silent on the more relevant issues of the community?” The neighborhood is aggrieved because they don’t want public addiction on display should demand answers and equal effort from those candidates apparently running for “dog-catcher” under the guise of city council and mayor candidate.
Back to the main point.
Congressman Stewart is already demonstrating that we will get more of the same from him as America has gotten from Congress for the past 75 years. Regulation without rational reason. Has local office become , not an opportunity to serve, but a breeding ground for those with a similar mentality and desire to move up the political ladder. Maybe that is why the animal shelter has become a lightening rod issue for a couple candidates. It is a breeding ground for frivolous issues in the face of serious matters.
As former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich told me personally back in the mid-1980s, “The duty of a congressman is not to explain Washington to his district. His duty is to represent his district in Washington DC.” Perhaps that viewpoint needs to be emphasize to both our Congressman and our local candidates.