Paul Hodes Isn't Listening

President Obama has decided  that Americans are going to get a big government, nationalized takeover of health care — whether they like it or not.  The President, who had previously pledged to govern as a “post-partisan” leader, is now working in concert with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to ram his one-party measure through the Senate under the back-room process of reconciliation with no Republican support. 

Reconciliation may sound benign, but in truth, it is a way for the Democrats to ignore the will of the people.  Where is New Hampshire’s own Paul Hodes in all this? He stands with Obama, Pelosi and Reid and against the people.

How many different ways can the American people tell Washington they don’t want the President’s government-run health care plan?  It came into focus as early as June of 2009, when every major public survey showed support for the President’s health care plan nose-diving. It became crystal clear when Americans in town hall meetings around the country last August vented their frustration at out-of-touch Democrats.  The November elections, with sizeable Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey – states that President Obama had won handily only one year earlier – were another red flag.  Then we had Scott Brown’s truly historic victory in January.   And only this week, surveys conducted in eleven contested Congressional districts held by Democrats showed that significant majorities of American voters oppose the President’s proposed takeover of health care.

And yet each and every time the American people send Washington a clear message, the elite and establishment there ignores them and continues on its merry way.  This is so typical of Washington politicians who claim to know what’s best for you, whether you like it or not. 

The truth is this:  The American people don’t want the federal government forcing them to buy health insurance, and regulating every aspect of how they receive health care.   Under the Obamacare proposal, supported by Pelosi, Reid, and Hodes, people will be forced to buy health insurance under threat of criminal penalty.  The American people rightfully reject this statist approach.  

The people of New Hampshire and Americans everywhere recognize that Obamacare is wrong at all levels from a policy perspective, but further, the debate over health care demonstrates how broken the culture in Washington is.   When was the last time the politicians in Washington actually stopped lecturing and began  listening to their constituents?  

Career politicians are too busy trading favors through earmarks and, in the case of health care, cutting sweetheart deals like the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ and ‘Louisiana Purchase.’  All behind closed doors, out of the view of average citizens. 

Why is Paul Hodes supporting Pelosi, Reid and other Washington elites that assume they have a mandate to act with reckless abandon?  He and others think that they are protected by the power of incumbency; insulated from the will of the American people. 

Voters are rightly infuriated by Washington’s attitude of lecturing instead of listening, and this frustration has boiled over during the debate over health care.  President Obama has suggested that the American people don’t support his plan because they don’t understand it. 

This week, Paul Hodes echoed these sentiments in a public appearance with Howard Dean. This insults Americans everywhere who have been treated to dozens of speeches and hundreds of media appearances on the topic from our ubiquitous President. 

It’s not that Americans don’t understand.  They understand all too well, and they are rejecting the President’s proposal in large numbers.  So it is no surprise that voters are rightly frustrated by the insistence of President Obama and liberals like Paul Hodes that their way is the only way, demonizing those who dare to suggest a different approach.

Senator Jim DeMint astutely said several months ago that the debate over health care would be President Obama’s Waterloo.  President Obama apparently is willing to risk that, as he is prepared to foist nationalized health care on a resisting, unyielding American people.  In New Hampshire, voters are concerned first and foremost with jobs and the economy and putting the federal government on a crash diet.  Yet Paul Hodes and Washington insiders continue to focus on a mandatory health care plan that will eliminate competition, increase costs and deficits, and reduce freedom. 

This is wrong.  We need to start over and get this right.  I stand with New Hampshire voters, who are energized and ready to stand up to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Paul Hodes, it’s time to listen to the people.


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