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Eric Cantor calls Bob Etheridge a potential vote switcher on health reform

imagesHouse Republican whip Eric Cantor released a memo outlining how the right can derail the expansion of health care to more than 30 million Americans.

In the letter he lists many Dems who he thinks might switch their votes on reform. He includes Etheridge in his tally.

I respectfully disagree with Cantor’s assessment. I participated in a health care town hall with Etheridge in August that was packed with angry tea partiers. There were plenty of Glenn Beck shirts in the audience that night.

Etheridge was impressive. He was disarmingly funny, engaging, and spoke movingly of the people suffering in his district from a lack of affordable health care. As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means he was well versed in the details of the legislation and was able to correct myths and address concerns. I’ve seen some politicians shoot down the tea party crowd. Not Etheridge. He listened patiently and responded appropriately.

Speaking to anti-health reform protesters the next week — the same group of protesters traveled around the state from forum to forum — many told me that while they disagreed with Etheridge on some points they appreciated his style. On that we could agree.

5 Comments

  1. Jo

    January 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Legislators are not graded on style, in my book. This legislation is too important for this nation and it has not even been read by most legislators. The public is being kept in the dark about the contents of the bills and it is being rammed down our throats. The people we elect have deserted us and no longer care what we think or want. For a group who are so poll driven, I am stunned that they pay no attention to what the polls say, that the majority of citizens don’t want this legislation but they continue to vote for it. If it is so good for us, why doesn’t the executive branch and both houses sign on for it? Our elected reps now consider themselves royalty and taxpayers are serfs. I am thoroughly disgusted with the lot of them. And for the first time in my seven decades of life, I am afraid of my government.

  2. north state politics

    January 7, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Congressman Etheridge should be congratulated for his leadership on the Ways and Means Committee for addressing the problems in our health care system head-on.

    He has not tried to take political cover, but has been outspoken in working to make the legislation as good as possible. And he has been all over his district talking to constituents about this issue.

    Thanks Congressman! We are proud of you!

  3. north state politics

    January 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

    And by the way, Eric Canter is an empty suit, looking to be the next Glen Beck.

  4. IBXer

    January 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Every Democrat in America should hang their head in shame over this government.

  5. Adam Linker

    January 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    And obviously Jo and IBXer think we should spend more on public investments while taxing the rich to pay for it — just what the polls tell us to do.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=awkrRPMONDW8