OUR VIEW: After a year of wailing like a gaggle of gigged heifers about the horrors of coronating “Congressmen for Life”, it will be interesting to see if any Democrat in Denver has the courage to stand up to Miz DeGette…the exemplar of a “Congress(wo)man for life” if ever there was one.
The Denver Post had an excellent piece this weekend about the invisibility of Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette during the August Congressional recess. In an entire month back in Denver, Congresswoman DeGette has held not a single public townhall. But that's not what she conveyed to a nonpartisan group called No Labels in Washington, DC. Her office told No Labels that, in fact, she has held a public townhall.
Why should she care if that’s not true? Responding to your constituents is only really important if you need their votes. Her seat is so safe, if she were Anthony Weiner she wouldn’t have to step down — so she can hide from the public without threat of political repercussions.
And the hiding continues.
The AP's Kristen Wyatt reported today via Twitter that DeGette's business roundtable tomorrow, with the Wicked Witch of the West herself, Nancy Pelosi, won't be open to the public either.
The reason for not holding a single public event all month? Urban districts make public meetings hard.
"The congresswoman has been representing the Denver area for 15 years, and over time she's figured out how to talk to constituents," said her spokeswoman Juliet Johnson. "Not a lot of people show up to a lot of the town halls…With an urban district, those typical formats weren't working."
DeGette is likely to claim she did hold a townhall this month — over the phone. Dropping a single call into your district, while in town, is a clear mark of someone who stopped caring about doing her job correctly a long time ago.
Unfortunately, DeGette is unlikely to feel the political blowback from hiding, like former Congressman John Salazar did.
So while voters in Colorado have little to no chance to dump DeGette come November 2012, is it too much to expect that she is at least honest in DC about what she does, or doesn't do, back in Denver?
More interestingly will be to see if any Democrats have the moxy to confront the Congresswoman over her less-than-full-effort performance.
After a year of wailing like a gaggle of gigged heifers about the horrors of coronating “Congressmen for Life”, it will be interesting to see if any Democrat in Denver has the courage to stand up to Miz DeGette…the exemplar of a “Congress(wo)man for life” if ever there was one.