Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Billy Long is afraid to hold a town hall meeting

This from Blue Dog Arkansas, Rick Crawford's Town Hall Disaster:

Earlier tonight, Rick Crawford held a “town hall” in Jonesboro, and of course I went with my handy video camera. I say “town hall” because Crawford was attempting to keep everything under control by reading questions from cards rather than let the audience get up and ask him directly. On top of that, Crawford had sent out lots of invites so the crowd that gathered there was overwhelmingly Republican and kept asking friendly questions about “Obamacare”, “czars”, NPR, the EPA and so on, going so far as to applaud at every word that came out of his mouth. You’d think that with such a friendly atmosphere the event would have run smoothly for Crawford. And you’d be mistaken. The whole thing seemed a total disaster, and Crawford found several of his constituents standing up to him.

Namely, Crawford got raked across the coals on Medicare, and at one point he not only admitted to having voted “to end Medicare as we know it”, but when the questioner objected that he was “mortgaging our children’s future” Crawford’s response was, and you can’t make this up:


Watch for yourself!
How tone deaf can you be? The exchange collapsed from there, with one member even throwing his “class warfare” argument back in his face as his supporters tried to drown her out by clapping.

But it got better.

At another point, Crawford was asked which he would rather do-cut Medicare or raise taxes on the rich. He couldn’t answer!
At the end of the video, you hear someone ask the questioner if Crawford answered his question and he snaps back, “No.”

What had to be the most jaw dropping moment of the whole thing though was the exchange Crawford had with several folks over whether he would vote to raise the debt ceiling or default on the national debt. Crawford said he would vote against raising the debt ceiling and immediately someone asked him “So you would vote to default…” Crawford’s response made my jaw hit the floor. He said he wouldn’t vote to do either! I’m usually pretty good about keeping my mouth shut when I’m behind the camera, but I couldn’t help but jump in with the group of flabbergasted people trying to convey to him that this is an either/or scenario. The guy just didn’t get it!
This man is playing Russian roulette with the global economy and doesn’t even understand it. It was a really frightening exchange when you think about the implications, made more so when he rattled out something about the Federal Reserve owning GM stock we don’t need that could keep us out of debt. I still have no idea what he was talking about there. I’ve heard the Paulbots spout out some wild stuff, but this was really insane.

Then he answered my question about his votes against protecting troop pay in the event of a government shutdown while voting to protect his own pay. Crawford said that was false and when I told him I had the record of the votes on the blog he got a little snippy with me and basically called me a liar.

Here’s the original Think Progress article that recorded the near unanimous House Republican votes on the matter. Crawford’s name is recorded voting twice (here and here. Billy Long voted the same as Crawford) against protecting the pay of soldiers serving overseas. And yes, he voted to protect his own pay(as did Billy Long).Who’s the liar here Rick?

Now again, Crawford was on friendly turf with an audience full of Republicans and only a small number of folks willing to argue with him rather than clap like a robot. One of his supporters even commented “We were way worse to Blanche Lincoln then you guys were tonight.” (To which I replied that that’s because Democrats have manners.) But apparently Crawford couldn’t take it. He was visibly upset at several points. The event was scheduled to go to 8:00 pm, but Crawford cut it short at 7:23 on the dot, saying he didn’t have time for anymore questions and then he high tailed it out of there. Wouldn’t even look at me or any of his other critics as he shot out the door. Talk about not having congressional temperament.

(Oh and FYI, this won’t be the last video I’ll be posting from Crawford’s “town hall.”)


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of zeros these Republicans are.

You know, if the people don't finally rise up we're doomed. These guys don't have enough sense to tie their own shoes.

Anonymous said...

"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."
by Henry Hazlitt "Economics In One Lesson" first published in July 1946 by The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., Pocket Books, Inc., Rockefeller Center, N.Y.

3:52, You really don't have a clue what the above means, do you?

Anonymous said...

"You know, if the people don't finally rise up we're doomed"3:52PM

I agree. And I believe part of the rising up will ultimately necessitate passive resistance en mass. It has just about come to that point.

Look at our history and what brought about the success of major social movements.


Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on the best way to apply pressure on Billy Long to force a town hall?


Anonymous said...

Billy is being coached by former State Representative, B.J. Marsh (R-Springfield). Marsh spend 13 years in the General Assembly and never had one single public meeting to get suggestions, recommendations, etc. from the people in his district. Not one. Hey, if it worked for Marsh......... Come to think of it, did the former Senator (R-Joplin)have any meetings?

Anonymous said...

Here is another reason Billy won't face us. He does not understand the magnitude of the debt we are passing on to future generations. He just recites the talking points.

Timeshare Jake said...


One of the Nodler people called me up after Long won the primary. They told me Billy Long's plan after the primary was to keep a low profile and avoid debates. Of course the mistake the Long campaign made was agreeing to Scott Eckersley's debate challenge, which became the Billy Long soap opera of backing out of it. Long never intended on debating and his plan was to string Eckersley out until it was too late. Fortunately, the debate question was driven by blogs and eventually picked up on radio and TV. I think the new media has to keep raising awareness and we might be successful in forcing Long to do townhall meetings.

Timeshare Jake said...

Here's another reason why Long won't do a town hall meeting. How to keep a free market free.