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There Are No Unbiased Town Halls

August 31st, 2009 by admin · 15 Comments

We love our radio gal Francene, but we’re sorry that she thought she could actually participate in an intelligent exchange of ideas about health care without the entire event being hijacked by extremists on both sides.

She’s hosting this Town Hall meeting on Health Care on Wednesday, with Rep. John Yarmuth hoping to have a rational discussion about the pros and cons of the health care legislation being proposed by Pres. Obama.

Francene thought the event might attract some unbiased people who sincerely want to learn the facts about the plan from their Congressman. After all, for most of us regular folks, it’s really difficult to understand what the plan’s really about. All we hear is the shouting and the anger.

She didn’t think that the extremists on both sides would hijack her event in an effort to out-shout the opposition. But that’s what’s going to happen.

Today on her show, she talked about how upset she was that Obama’s Organizing for America group is publicizing a rally right down the street from 4:00 until 5:30, when the Town Hall Meeting is supposed to start at Central High School.

Of course, local Republicans are just as un-interested in a free flow of ideas. That’s why the local party is encouraging its members to show up in t-shirts (that they’re selling, of course) with a Ghostbusters-like logo indicating they want nothing to do with Obama’s health reform plan. The e-mail suggests arriving early to make sure you get in.

Fortunately, Francene gets to ask the questions. And she won’t put up with a bunch of idiots shouting down Yarmuth.

The Meeting, however, is unlikely to dispel any myths or change anyone’s mind about the plan. Health care shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but it is.  The polarization of people has created an atmosphere in which genuine debate simply can’t occur in public.

Tags: Democrats · Health Care · John Yarmuth · Republican Party

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 syvyn11 // Aug 31, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Things republicans are intersted in:

    Portability (so you’re not stuck in a job just for the health insurance)
    ability to buy a policy across state lines (like life and health insureance)
    Tax credits

    And the biggie!

    TORT REFORM (which is always DOA because of the plantiff’s lawyers funding the democrats).

    We are willing to discuss, but single payer/public-governement option is a non starter.

  • 2 RICHB // Aug 31, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Who proclaimed Francene watchdog for Louisville? Is it because there’s not another local run radio show? Because I don’t get it. WHAS 84 is in a nut shell a Conservative Republican station.
    Unfortunately there’s not a choice locally for Yarmuth to get his message out so we’re stuck with Francene acting like she’ll keep people in check at town halls. She should stick with telling us how cool and awesome her weekend outings are.

  • 3 Novena // Aug 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    “Death Comes for Rational Democracy?”

    On health care, lobbying groups surely distort the facts. But it is even more reprehensible when elected officials do it (and we have seen a lot of it). We have a right (if not a certain expectation) to get straight talk from them. If they do not share accurate information, even in the context of ideological debate, American democracy is given over to those who shout lies the loudest. Good luck, Rep. Yarmouth and Francene. I trust you will speak the truth. May you overcome the shouters who come with their handpicked lies.

  • 4 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Aug 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    This should be the most open meeting about the subject that will be available in our community.

    I just hope that reasonable people are not scared away by potential hooliganism. This is a time for good citizens to stand up, be counted, and participate faithfully in what should be a lively discussion.

  • 5 DB // Aug 31, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    “I just hope that reasonable people are not scared away by potential hooliganism. This is a time for good citizens to stand up, be counted, and participate faithfully in what should be a lively discussion.”

    As long as Obama dosen’t send his union thugs out there, you should get your wish.

  • 6 Cantinflas // Aug 31, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Disagree w the Party line – and you’re branded a racist. No, thanks – I’ll watch it on TV.

  • 7 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Aug 31, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    DB, as long as people don’t come with an anti-democratic (small ‘d’) mean-spiritedness and try to shout down participants or the Congressman, everything should be fine. I’m not in a union, but I will support whatever “thugs” bounce out disruptors.

  • 8 MetroHack // Aug 31, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Francene, unbiased, that’s a laugh.

  • 9 Marty // Aug 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    What exactly is wrong with the OFA having a rally down the street before the meeting?

  • 10 David Harpe // Aug 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Francene is an entertainer. She is not a savior any more than anyone else who makes a living chasing ratings.

  • 11 bill // Aug 31, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Francene totally kills me! On one hand she thinks she is the voice of the conservatives in Louisville, while on the other hand totally having her head so far up Yarmuths ass, all she sees is brown!

  • 12 Native Observer // Aug 31, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I thought a Republican and Democrat co-hosting an event was bi-partisan. I think everyonne shoulod be able to participate and ask questions

  • 13 KYGuy // Sep 1, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Why even have a physical event? This could be done on the 50,000 watt station and augmented with internet chat. Much more effective at reaching people and at controlling the extremists on both sides so an actual conversation can take place. After the actual informative show two hours could be reserved for people to rant and shout slogans and talking points. Hour one pro-reform, hour two everyone else. Townhalls are a media hype and an invitation for nut cases to strut their stuff.

  • 14 daking // Sep 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    This whole town hall idea is a joke. Yarmuth is going to stick with Reid, Pelosi and all of the other liberal dems in congress. You could provide him with incontrovertible proof that the dems are barking up the wrong tree and he’d no more change his tune than he’d vote republican. The purpose of the town hall is to sell a bill that he hasn’t read, doesn’t know how to fund and doesn’t comprehend the unintended consequences of its passage. He, along with all of the other elected representatives would do well to remember that we elected them to do our bidding, not the other way around.

  • 15 Laura Ellis // Sep 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Congressman Yarmuth was on another locally-produced radio show last week; he joined us on State of Affairs for an hour on August 25th. I believe Rick was nice enough to post about it the day before, here on the Ville Voice. Predictably, the phones were busy and the email inbox was full!

    An mp3 is available here:
    http://www.wfpl.org/2009/08/25/health-care-reform-with-congressman-yarmuth/

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