House 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.