Where have our congress members gone?

February 14th, 2012 by Ken

I saw my senator Maria Cantwell on television recently, at Sea Tac, talking about some new funding she obtained for the airport. It was a great photo opt for the senator, although she’s starting to look old. It’s been that long since I’ve seen her.

But, more to the point, when was the last time you saw your senator or your congress member, in person?

It’s been a long time hasn’t it? And, chances are fairly good that you won’t see your elected congressional representative in person unless you’re personally invited to a meeting or belong to a Rotary Club.

You see, since 2008 and the rise of the Tea Party, your elected representative has been reluctant to venture out in public and rub shoulders with the masses. The last time they tried it, they were jostled and shouted down.

Then last year, Arizona representative Gabrielle Gifford was shot while holding an open public meeting with her constituents.

There haven’t been any public meetings between federal elected officials and the general public in Washington state, since.

When our congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler comes to town, as she will this week, she only comes to organized semi-private events. She’s never held a public open house here, nor do I suspect in Vancouver, her home area.

The last time I went to a open house for a congress member was three years ago for Congressman Adam Smith. It was packed with people wanting to complain and almost shouting the congressman down. Smith did a good job of keeping it under control, but I don’t think he’s held another one since.

With congress’s approval rate at 10 percent you can’t expect that people are going to tell our senators and congress members that they’re doing a good job.

But, we can expect some civility. We can expect people to act responsibly and we can respect the office if not the person.

However, we’re not going to get the chance. Unless you are the member of a privileged group, or have a great deal of money to contribute, you’re probably not going to see your congress member or senator.

They’ve just disappeared from public view.

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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