Perpetual congressman and occasional pastor Emanuel Cleaver dropped by the metro area this weekend to hear from the people who put him in office. Except, you know, not really. Cleaver hosts these little kaffeeklatsches from time to time, when he feels the need to get a good photo op for a future campaign. This one had special significance, though, due to the professionally funded and amazingly disingenuous totally spontaneous and definitely grassroots protests that seem to be emerging at every town hall across this land. So how did Cleaver address this issue? Easy: he didn’t.
Hundreds of people for or against health care reform filled a Lee’s Summit coffee shop this morning and lined up for blocks to get in.
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, did not take questions from the crowd. Instead, he met privately with about 75 people in what was to be a small monthly private chat session.
But the crowd stayed. People milled on the streets and sidewalks, holding competing signs, arguing or chanting.
Well, that’s certainly one way to address the nation’s most pressing legislative issue. Luckily, the forces of democracy stuck around to engage in one of the wittiest shout-offs ever witnessed:
“Just say no,” shot one side. “Just say yes,” fired the other.
Huh. Hard to believe neither side’s persuading the other.
So here we have Cleaver — already lacking, shall we say, the street cred of an indomitable representative of the people — shutting down debate before it begins. I suppose this is what you get with such high incumbency rates. By the way, what’s he doing in this photo? Selling cure-all elixirs at the county fair? Nice of him to break out the Tommy Bahama knockoff for the occasion.