From our perspective, the town hall was an enormous success. Even though printed signs and recording devices were banned, we made signs in line at the event and ensured that the voices of those who do not want the government to take over our healthcare system were heard. The questioning was carried out fairly and honestly; by our count, of the twenty questions asked, 13 were explicitly against the H.R. 3200 bill, 5 were for it, and two were undecided or asked questions that were not directly related to the bill.
Congressman Edwards himself showed up right on time but was not greeted by a standing ovation as has been reported elsewhere. It is true that many supporters stood to greet him, but they were the minority of those attending. In the minutes leading up to the event, our group and other concerned citizens held up signs and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. These signs ranged from criticisms of “Chedwards” to criticisms of the reform package in general (“Obamacare is assisted SEIU-icide”). Edwards answered most of the questions as we expected: he dodged many, twisted some statements into things they were not, and used the entire thing as a campaign event. He must have mentioned the VA clinic in Bryan that he has “saved” after every election about ten times. When asked whether he saw himself as a delegate or a trustee, he answered that he was a “representative.” He kept his cool until near the end, when he was visibly angered at the accusation that he was “allowed” by Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to vote against Cap & Trade. While we would like to take him at his word, it is very suspicious that he was the second to last person to vote on the bill. Had the bill’s passage rested on his vote, would he have voted differently?
Chet Edwards insists that he has not yet decided how he will vote on this bill. He also made it clear that he had not yet read it during the town hall. Now is the time to make calls and pressure him to vote now. You can call his Brazos Valley office at (979) 691-8797. Make it clear that if he votes for this monstrosity, you will not vote for him in November of 2010.