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Congress does what we ask, without compromise

June 28, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
Part of my whole process of reconnecting with the world I used to roam included sitting in, for the first time in about two years, on a townhall held by U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta.

Unlike previous ones I sat in on, this one didn’t involve messy phone connections while I tried to hear and type on a laptop at the same time. Instead, Rep. Johnson holds his periodic townhalls on his Facebook page.

I know. It’s Internet, which means there’s no way to be absolutely sure it really is Bill Johnson on the other end, except he talks in person about these events, and the responses to constituent questions were written in what I’d consider pretty good Bill Johnson-ese. Or is it that the answers were Johnson-esque?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was my Congressman on there for an hour last night. I know I give a lot of commentary about Congress being worthless, accomplishing nothing, etc., but whenever I consider my own representative, hey, he’s not out of touch with me. Indeed, Bill Johnson could have been me in there, sounding off about not being willing to vote for the immigration bill that passed the Senate Thursday but looking for one with greater guarantees of border safety and no amnesty at all.

In favor of the Keystone XL pipeline? Check.

Against Obamacare, hoping still to find a way to repeal? Check.

Still looking for answers on Bengazi? Check.

Opposed to the NSA program of spying on us all? Check.

Opposed to the war on coal? Check.

On point after point, and even in the way he handled folks who were asking about some far out-there viewpoints (every Congressman always gets asked these kinds of things), Johnson was still the guy I met for the first time a couple years ago on a hot day at the Jefferson County Air Park. He doesn’t seem to have gone all Washington on me.

But, and this is one aimed across the board, not just at my guy.

But how does the nation get the best out of the 535 representatives and senators in Congress? All of them must be clicking on most cylinders with their constituents most of the time.

Yet nothing gets done.

And maybe that is our fault.

Because in the commentary on Facebook, in the written tone of the questions and even the thank-yous to Mr. Johnson there was -- and is -- a take-no-prisoners tone. We all want our congressman to do exactly what our viewpoint holds, with no bending, no wavering, no explanation.

And when his or her viewpoint comes up against the other 534 representatives and senators, they all have people expecting the exact same thing. And when the viewpoints are polar opposites about so much of what is going on in this country, with all-or-nothing-at-all what is demanded, we get a lot of nothing-at-all.

Maybe if we, the constituents, gave kind of some bending room a little, just once in awhile, then Congress would be heroes and the president wouldn’t be so imperial. Bending a little on either side, just once in awhile, at the same time, might lead to actual progress on a point or two that our side wants over the other side, and vice versa maybe all at the same time.

And that’s a hard point to swallow when our guy is checking the right boxes on our personal list of stuff.


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