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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Congressman Grijalva, Immigration, and What the "American People" Believe

A couple of days ago, Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva was on the PBS NewsHour, being interviewed about how he and other members of the House Progressive Caucus (You don’t hear much about THEM, do you?) liked the immigration bill passed by the Senate.  He very succinctly and pointedly said “not very much.”  He went on to summarize the following deficiencies – almost NEVER mentioned in most news accounts, even on PBS:

1.       Vastly more expensive than needed;

2.       Fortifying the border is an expression of paranoid fantasy; economic development on both sides of the border is what’s really needed (so people don't HAVE to cross); and

3.       It's a serious problem that the bill provides (as usual) for waiving all environmental impact requirements (NEPA, NHPA, etc.) in order to get that wall built and keep out the awful awful aliens.
I was so charmed to see a Member of Congress – a certified, card-carrying Fool on the Hill (albeit a democrat) – speaking (gad, is it possible?) TRUTH that I stumbled right up to my computer to send him an “attaboy” email.

And found that I couldn’t.  Representative Grijalva’s web site won’t accept emails from anyone whose zip code doesn’t show that they reside in his district.
It occurred to me that I’d run into this with other congressional web sites, and of course there’s some sense to it; a congressperson is primarily responsible to his or her constituents, so those constituents ought to have firsties in the email queue.  But on the other hand, the limitation deprives the member of the views and opinions of a broader range of citizens, who just might have something worth sharing. 

And it occurred to me that hearing only from one’s constituents helps account for the absurd drivel we’re constantly hearing from conservatives on the hill.  If you're from a conservative district, and your office accepts mail only from your constituents, I suppose you can come to believe that the “American People” insist on an assault rifle under every bed,  a Maginot Line along the border,  billions for prisons but nothing for education or food stamps,  no abortions and liberal (sic) application of the death penalty. 

Congressman Grijalva, I can understand letting your constituents go to the head of the email queue, but should you maybe have SOME easy way for other citizens to contact you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom, Look up the address for a local supermarket in the Congressman's District and you won't have a problem. The congressman doesn't know if your homeless or not? You could be soliciting spare change at the entrance for all he knows.