Monday, January 25, 2010

An Evening with Rush Holt

You can now read my follow up, with news clips, video and photos.

Tonight I attended Congressman's Rush Holt townhall in Marlboro. I was really wondering whether people are still sensitive to these liberals and the policies they're forcing on us, and yes, they are. When I got there 45 minutes in advance, there were just a handful of people in the room (all friendlies), but eventually there were about a 100 and I should say no more than 5 were Holt supporters. I have to admit it must be depressing for a guy like Rush Holt to keep facing the electorate only to find out that a large majority of his constituents don't like him.

The "uniqueness" of Rush Holt so far has been that he doesn't like dialogue. At all his townhalls last year, he'd have people write questions on pieces of paper, put them in a box, he'd pick them "at random", and if he'd like them he'd read them and give a response. No matter if he wasn't even responding to the question, there was no kind of dialogue. And they choose this format for today too.

At the start, Rush Holt came to me, as I was standing in the front row, and asked if he can sit next to me. Well, next to me was Rhoda's seat, and there were all kind of anti-Holt signs. So he mvoed one seat over. Pictures of him next to "Fire Holt" signs will be posted later. After a short introduction by Marlboro's Democratic Mayor Jon Hornik, Holt began his ultra-boring speech. He kept reading from his folder, and people got irritated, start shouting at him, asking questions, trying to get him to justify his positions, but Holt was totally unphased. No emotion, no reaction, just like a radio show you can ignore. At one point, someone shouted that it's like a "breathing robocall", to which even the Mayor (who was very cool through the evening) couldn't help laughing.

And then, the Q&A started. Meaning, Hornik would pick a question, would "evaluate" it, pass it to Holt, he'd read it, and give a lecture. People were getting angrier and angrier because he was avoiding direct answers, would say lots of lies, and again, would refuse to clarify his answers or stay on point. There was a lot of shouting back and forth. And then it was Rebel Rhoda's turn. She's Canadian-born, so her question was related to Canadian healthcare. Besides saying that "Canadian healthcare is not good", Holt avoided a clear answer. Rhoda got up, went to him, grabbed his microphone, and Holt wrestled it back from her. Holt whined that there's not a civil climate for discussion, and people yelled that HE doesn't want a discussion. Mayhem erupted, Holt's goons came in, and finally Mayor Hornik found a compromise solution: The writer of that question would come forward, read his question, and be allowed to follow up. Which meant, turning this into a real town hall! Something Holt has never done before! Following this change, spirits calmed, and it was a real dialogue with Holt.

So here are a few brief comments from the townhall:
One real gem from Rush Holt, answering a question on illegal immigration:
"How do you distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants?"
(You can check for their ID's. Or ask them something in English, to break the ice)

Asked how to fix the bankrupt Social Security system, he said:
"Social security... err... needs a... err... financial tune-up"
(Really? Just a tune-up?)

Someone asked how does he feel about Scott Brown's victory. Holt was confused, then smiled and said:
"I'm glad I live in New Jersey"
Of course, people shouted "not for long" at him.

Then the mayor picked my question... Actually one of my 5 questions, because I filled up multiple forms, and it was the worst of them (last one I wrote). I was asking him if he'd vote for the healthcare bill in the version that passed the Senate. I was curious, because unless the House votes for the Senate bill without modifications, it would have to go back to the Senate where the Dems don't have enough votes to pass it. Holt said he wouldn't vote for it because it doesn't go far enough, and it needs to be amended.

Holt repeatedly said that he's not worried about the way the Administration's spending is increasing deficits. He even said:
"Sometimes, it's not bad to borrow."
But then, a constituent questioned his votes in 2001-2002 against tax breaks and tax incentives. Holt's response was that it would've increased the deficit. The Bush 3-400 billions deficit bad. Obama 2 trillion deficit good.

And finally, another memorable Rush Holt gem:
"America is such a great and rich country because of Government spending!"
Might I comment that if that were true, then the Weimar Republic would've become the greatest nation on Earth, and wouldn't have resulted in hyperinflation and the rise of Adolf Hitler.

The conclusion is that Rush Holt remains the same unapologetic ultra-leftist liberal. He might have a niche in his district, but recent elections are showing that people are getting tired with that. And in the two of his townhalls that I attended, I didn't really see who's supporting him. And by the way, the meeting ended with Brian getting to the microphone and saying "Let's get rid of this loser. Vote Mike Halfacre!"


  1. Sometimes spending is much better than at other times. But it has to be focused on the right objectives. Now, the focus should be on job creation. If people are working, they can afford healthcare, especially if we take action to make it more affordable (e.g., tort reform).

  2. I think the main concern is capital investment, vs. deficit spending - e.g. a deficit that = investment is good, but spending more than you make isn't.

    Healthcare I think it's not clear if it belongs in the capital category. Education - probably (to a point), infrastructure, probably, healthcare (to a point)?