With all these town hall meetings going on, I thought Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) would have conducted several in the 6th District of Virginia. After all, across the mountain in the 5th District, Rep. Tom Perriello (D) has already held eight "Tom in Your Town" meetings and has about a dozen more in the works. Most of those have seen high turnout and each has attracted groups more intent on disruption than discussion. But, at the "Tom in Your Town" in Charlottesville, residents supporting reform equaled the shouters and a good exchange of ideas took place. I suspect the same is true at many other forums around the country, except you'd never know it from our sensationalized main stream media.
So far, Rep. Goodlatte seems to have taken the word "recess" seriously (skipping rope?) and I'm unaware of any town hall meetings conducted in the 6th District. Now comes word that he'll hold some "tele-town halls" and will announce a series of face-to-face town hall meetings soon. But, don't count Goodlatte among those congressmen really seeking honest input and discussion. He's already called the America's Affordable Health Choices Act "misguided" and has repeated the Republican talking points about eliminating waste and fraud in the current system and medical liability reform. My bet is that the congressman's office is already working with extremists like tea party and Americans for Prosperity to make sure he is surrounded by friendly faces and loud shouting to try and drown out supporters of healthcare reform.
So, keep your eyes open for one of Rep. Goodlatte's town hall meetings near your where healthcare will be "discussed." In the meantime, you can call his D.C. office at 202.225.5431 and tell him you want genuine and meaningful healthcare reform. For email and regional office contact info, click here. It only takes a quick read at his website to see Goodlatte's mind is already slammed shut and he'll hop in lockstep with Republican marching orders. But, that doesn't mean rational and thoughtful voices shouldn't be raised in the 6th District.