Why No Town Hall Meetings in the Bay Area?

One congressman is hung in effigy; swastikas spray-painted on the office door of another. And outside community venues where President Obama is speaking, people roam the streets with six shooters and AK-47s. All this in response to the notion that the government has a role to play in ensuring that every American has adequate health care.

Town Hall meetings to discuss health care reform. It sounded like such a good idea; so, well, democratic. Sadly, many of these well-intentioned gatherings are being disrupted by the few who seem bent on scaring the many—and stopping debate in its tracks.

The intimidation tactics are having the desired effect, with the Obama administration now signaling a willingness to jettison the public option. That news sent me racing to find out when the Town Halls are scheduled for the Bay Area, so that I can bring my calm, rational self to the proceedings.

Imagine my shock to discover that between Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, and Speaker Pelosi, exactly ZERO town hall meetings are planned. It’s arguably the most important piece of domestic legislation in a generation; it’s being hijacked by industry behind closed doors and mob rule in the public square; and neither senator from the most populous state in the nation, nor the Speaker of the House, can carve out a few hours to meet with constituents in a public forum.

What could possibly be more important? Ground-breaking ceremonies to officiate? Speeches to make? Babies to kiss? I checked in with each legislator’s office to find out. And guess what? Neither Speaker Pelosi nor Senator Feinstein have ANY public events scheduled during the August recess. And Senator Boxer? Well, she’s been doing whatever it takes—to sell her latest novel. On a book tour.

I guess some things really are more important than health care for everyone.