This past weekend had many activities beyond the big march on Saturday. One of which was the grassroots lobbyist activity. So I figured what the heck, and went ahead.
To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting much as far as having conversations with my representatives. My question was going to be the same for all three of them. I want them to sign a pledge that they will read all bills before voting on them. In my opinion, not to much to ask.
My first stop was to the offices of my congressman. The receptionist told me he was busy, and that she would get back to me. I wrote down my name and email address. But she didn't write down my question. So I am not holding my breath on getting an answer.
I then walked the few blocks to the Senate offices to get an answer from them. I had about the same experience with Senator Webb. The only difference between the two was that Senator Webb's office didn't even ask my name. I was just told that he does read all bills. Sen. Webb was rumored to be on the short list of VP for the President. He and the president are cut from the same far left cloth, and asking him to represent or care about my views is really just a complete waste of time.
I then walked down to my other Senator's office. Senator Warner seemed like reasonable man at his town hall. I was not able to ask questions at the town hall as my number was not picked. His receptionist asked me what I wanted, and told me to take a seat. A few minutes later his Chief Counsel and Policy Director came out to speak to me. We went into another office and had a conversation.
I was told that the senator will not sign the pledge and his explanation does seem reasonable. They are asked to sign many pledges and how do they decide which they sign and which they won't? OK, I can buy that. If one thinks about it, they would end up spending all this time answering questions about which pledges he signs and which he doesn't. The staff's time should be used for more useful things than that. I didn't really like the comparison he used though. Which color canaries does he like best and reading all bills before signing them. Not really comparable in my opinion. A better analogy should be used.
I did mention that I had been calling the office in DC and the phone goes directly into voice mail. He told me that "my side" was doing a good job, and their phones are ringing off the hook. This all reminds me of the movie Postcards from the Edge when Meryl Streep's character tells Dennis Quaid that she doesn't have sides, she is one side fits all. I didn't realize that I had a side. But I digress here.
We did get to talking about the town hall. Which as I have told you before was handled very well. His staff did a good job at keeping it as civil as possible, when it is a very emotional topic on both sides. We were talking about the mis-information that is out there. I pointed out that it is on both sides and I mentioned to him that he lied at the town hall. He didn't take too kindly to me saying that, so I re-worded and said he was mistaken.
As things stand right now with the bills that are floating out there abortions will be paid for with tax payer dollars. As much as the democrats want to deny that. One of the problems is that "we the people" are becoming more educated. At least, conservative girl is. You all may be much more understanding of how these work than I. One of the things that I have done some research on is the fact that the courts have ruled almost 100% of the time is that if the bill does not specifically require or specifically disallow something all one must do is take it to court and they will get a ruling in their favor. So, unless the bills have the language that abortion cannot be paid for with tax payer dollars it will become part of health care. That is a plain and simple fact.
The explanation that I got about this is that they realize that this is red meat (again) for "our side". Regular readers of my blog may remember that on more social issues I am pretty moderate and I am a little on the fence about Roe. I am one of the few people in the country that doesn't have a strong opinion on this either way; until you start talking about tax payer funds. My money should not pay for it; easy enough. I did ask why then wouldn't the senator put up an amendment to put the language in the bill? His committee assignments means that he is not working on the writing of the bills. So, we will see if and when it ever makes it to the floor that he would then stand up and put it in.
I was given his business card with his personal email address on it. I was warned that if I spammed him that he would be forced to change it; which I have no intention in doing. Not my style. All and all, the only thing that I got out of it is getting over the fear of going. I now know where all three of their offices are. So, I can start doing some of conservative girl adventures right on sight. I am sure they are going to be thrilled.