Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Town Hall

Senator Wyden's Tuesday town hall meeting was supposed to focus on Iraq. In fact, any guests wishing to address the Senator were instructed in writing to limit their questions/comments to the topic of Iraq and this admonishment was read out loud before Wyden entered the hall. Comment cards were available for "off-topic" issues.

There is little dispute that Ron Wyden has stood with a lonely minority in the Senate in opposing the invasion and occupation of Iraq. So perhaps he was taken by surprise with the people's insistent push for impeachment. Up close and personal, it looked like Wyden was spinning. On the one hand, he had no choice but to acknowledge the red meat laying at the feet of this blue crowd. Bush has broken the law. But he was reluctant to openly admit what one constituent after another was preaching to this, an angry choir. His "Community Conversation" got sidetracked.

The conversation turned controversy made its way to one of my daily blogs, One unlucky young guy (one of the few students in the audience) got his comment reprinted as a blog post.

Unfortunately things started getting fairly nasty, which in my opinion was uncalled for. [...] Obviously people are angry, but using the Bill O'Rielly code of conduct is not conducive to progress. [...] I encourage you to move outside of liberal comfort zones and engage the community at large. Point your anger where it'll be effective, and help keep people like Gordon Smith's feet to the fire.

Ever the bi-partisan, Sen. Wyden ended his town hall community conversation saying, "We may differ on one issue or another." What a tremendous understatement wrapped in naive, perhaps desperate hope.

Whereas those leery of impeachment may be willing to agree to disagree, there's a fire in the belly of impeachment advocates that no amount of skepticism or cynicism can piss on and extinguish.

[Part one: Wyden No Wimp.]

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