The People Are Angry? You Don't Say

The word has come down from the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have sent a message: “We are not amused.”

Or was it “let them eat cake”?

Lots of ink and bandwidth have been expended on those rowdy town hall protesters. As PJTV’s Steven Crowder illustrated, most aren’t that angry. But those whose tempers are flaring are igniting the type of faux outrage that distracts from the real issues underlying the ObamaCare boondoggle.

Relatively little press has focused on angry Democrats like Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Rep. David Scott (D-GA) losing their cool and shouting at constituents. Nor is the media debating whether the many Democrats dodging town halls can take the heat.

The focus is on the citizens, who are mostly amateurs in the area of public dialogue.

I don’t condone incivility of tone, but neither will I join in this media-induced hand-wringing over it. Most of the people who attend town halls aren’t reading this column. They don’t view themselves as part of a cause. They’re speaking for themselves, for perhaps the first time.

No one can control them and it’s foolhardy to try.

Speaker Pelosi calls those who are rude at town halls un-American. Her statement ignores how ordinary Americans typically behave. Those of us who have worked customer service know well that many Americans get quite nasty when things go wrong. Those who are getting out of hand at town halls have likely gotten out of hand over not getting tomatoes on their salad.

But it never occurred to me to tell a customer irate about his computer warranty that he was being un-American.

Most customers kept it under control and often said: “I’m not mad at you. You didn’t create this problem.”

At town hall meetings, however, voters are talking to some of the people who helped create the problem. Yet our members of Congress think they are the public’s masters, not their servants. Customer service representatives from every industry in this country may have to field the wrath of people dissatisfied with the product, the service, or the company policies, but members of Congress apparently should be immune from such wrath by virtue of them being members of Congress.

At least according to Speaker Pelosi.