Tensions are running so high at town hall meetings that Rep. David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, yelled at a local doctor concerned about health care after mistaking him for an "astroturf" political operative looking for a fight.I know that tensions are running high, and this episode and the Pelosi/Hoyer Op-ed (see last post) are not smoothing things out. Yelling at constituents, telling them they are un-American is not going to help.
Mr. Scott became visibly agitated when one of his constituents, a practicing doctor, asked a few questions about health care reform during a town hall meeting. The meeting was held to discuss a road project, but was opened up for questions near the end. That's when Dr. Brian Hill stood up to speak.
Dr. Hill asked Mr. Scott why he was going to vote for a health care plan similar to that implemented in Massachusetts "that is shown not to work" and if he supported a government-provided health care insurance option.
The congressman replied by accusing the doctor of "hijacking" his event.
"I'm listening to my constituents, OK?" Scott said, "These are people who live in the 13th Congressional district, who vote in this district. That’s who I’ve got to respond to … So what you’ve got to understand, those of you who are here, who have taken and came and hijacked this event we dealing with here, this is not a health care event."
"You chose to come and to do it on your own," he yelled. "Not a single one of you had the decency to call my office and set up for a meeting." He went on, in a threatening voice, "You want a meeting with me on health care, I'll give it to you!"
Monday, August 10, 2009
This one in Georgia: