Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tom Petri! Live in Omro!

We had a very lengthy (and drunken) conversation last night with someone who went to Rep. Tom Petri's town hall meeting in Omro on Thursday. Said person had a lot to say about the substance of the meeting and the atmosphere ("passionate, but not heated"). Here were a few take away points from the conversation:

  • Although Petri was explicitly asked if he would be supporting the health care reform bill, he demurred by noting that the final version of the bill hadn't been locked down yet.
  • At one point Petri did volunteer how he believed health insurance should operate. Essentially, Petri believes that individuals should be in charge of their own routine care and insurance companies should pick up health care catastrophes. When asked to elaborate what qualified as "routine care," our Town Haller (THer) said that they were under the impression that this meant things like annual check-ups. Petri provided no further details and no one pressed the congressman further on this.
  • One person did ask Petri about the "death panels" and the Congressman replied with what can only be described as a stupefying answer. Instead of saying, "No, that's the craziest fucking thing in the world" (or some variant thereof) Petri responded by saying that the language in the bill gave the administrator of the hypothetical health care program the option to euthanize old folks. In other words: it could happen because the bill doesn't explicitly say that it won't. The THer was stunned, noting that the answer was clearly designed to use a rhetorical technicality to reinforce the erroneous belief that Uncle Sam is out to smoother Grandma in her bed. "I thought Petri was better than that," the THer said.

Take the above for what's it worth: a third-hand account via an extended lay-over in the drunk tank. If anything above doesn't sound true to you, feel free to correct us in the comments. We had a ton of questions that the THer simply couldn't answer because they were not discussed at the meeting. Nevertheless, that's not going to stop us from making an ill-informed judgment based on a single person's version of the story.

But, hey, it's more than I've read in the Northwestern! (No, seriously -- was anyone from the paper even there? We noticed they printed an editorial on town hall behavior the morning of the event, but haven't read a report on the meeting yet.)

Notice how we have declined to talk about the crowd and atmosphere of the meeting and have instead focused on the policy issues? Well the policy part of our discussion with our THer lasted maybe 10 minutes, while the rest of the hour was devoted to some rather perceptive (and often hilarious) observations made on the assembled crowd and experience in general. We're not even going to try and do them justice here, but we have asked THer to email us with a written version suitable for sharing ... If anyone's interested in that sort of thing I'd suggest leaving some words of encouragement in comments below.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear. Good show. More, more.

random n00b said...

Chief,I still love you <3 <3 <3
my computer died so I'm on limited time here on this machine - but as a general rule for your blog, just say anything. Drunken observations are delightful of course, but when those aren't available just, whatever, and try to avoid those prolonged "hiatuses" please.
Well...Except sports, no sports :/ People all over the world hate sports, rly.

netfarah5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
netfarah5 said...

Mr Tom Petri Congressman Of Sixth District Wisconsin held a town-hall meeting in Omro.It was a meeting to acknowledge and get information about the unemployment benefits and health care reforms.There were some of the veterans who discussed about the upcoming elections and congress.
Everybody had their own topics to discuss like the reforms of legal immigration.Mr Tom Petri is a respectable congressman and he cares about the people of Wisconsin specially for those who don't have much resources to accomplish their financial needs.
Mr Petri discussed about the economy and the health care bill.A young man discussed openly about the legal Asian Americans they they do hard work and should be given decent jobs.He is a hero and made his point clear about the people who are jobless and seeking employment for better jobs.
Mr Tom Petri you have added a mark of excellence in your attribute to the health care reforms and employment services for the low paid workers who are jobless.The meeting in town hall in Omro was worth it to attend.
Farah