12 September 2005

- Mr. Smith Comes Home from Washington -

So we went to meet our house representive on Saturday. It was a fascinating experience. First of all there were more people than I expected—about 200 people.

Second, the natives were extremely restless—not just the liberals, which was expected, but many of the conservatives as well, particularly the libertarians and paleoconservatives, whom I learned absolutely disdain the neo- and theocons. It was actually the paleos who went ballistic.

Third, most of the questions were not about Katrina, but rather "how are we going to pay for this?" "Are we going spend more on poverty and education?" and so forth. Our representative was clearly not prepared for this line of questioning, and if it was characteristic of the concerns of others across the country it will be interesting to see what Congress makes of it.

Fourth, the meeting itself was extremely contentious, with ire directed less at the representative than internally within the audience. I was very much surprised at how members of the audience yelled at and attempted to interrupt and shout down each other. Emotions are clearly simmering right near a boil. You also have to remember that this was happening in a conservative distric, with more than 60% voting for the president.

If this keeps up, the next election may prove very interesting.