August 25, 2009


Applause, boos greet lawmaker (Patricia C. McCarter, 8/25/09, Huntsville Times)

The union man was angry.

He loudly reminded U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Huntsville, of a promise he made to U.S. Steel Workers Local 193 in Courtland last spring that if they helped him get elected, he'd do everything he could to get health insurance for all Americans.

While surrounded by many more conservatives than liberals in the Monday night town hall meeting at the University of North Alabama, union President Phil Everett wanted to know: "Are you a Democrat or are you a Republican?"

The Democratic congressman took a negative stance on the Democratic-proposed economic stimulus package and the cap-and-trade pollution bill, and has offered conservative-leaning answers to dozens of questions on health care reform.

In fact, applause nearly drowned him out as he walked over to shake the unhappy union man's hand and said, "I'm an American, and a good one." [...]

Griffith was asked why, if he believed what he said he believed, did he align himself with the party of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.

"Conservatives could not have stopped this (health care reform) bill (from coming to the floor for a vote)," he said, adding that only the conservative arm of the Democratic Party - the Blue Dogs, of which he is a member - could.

Another speaker commended him for his stance, but said he was concerned that if Pelosi was privy to everything he was saying, "she might not let you back in chambers."

Griffith laughed and said, "If she doesn't like it, I've got a gift certificate to the mental health center."

Christie Carden, the 25-year-old organizer of the Huntsville Tea Party Movement, asked if he would vote for Pelosi for speaker again. Griffith said that if matter came up for a vote today, "I would not vote for her. Someone that divisive and that polarizing cannot bring us together."

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 25, 2009 12:44 PM
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