Editorials

Incurious George Holding unworried about town halls

Rep. George Holding during the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary debate at WRAL studio in Raleigh Thursday, May 19, 2016. Holding currently represents the 13th Congressional District but opted to run in the 2nd district after state lawmakers redrew maps and changed the makeup of his home district drastically.
Rep. George Holding during the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary debate at WRAL studio in Raleigh Thursday, May 19, 2016. Holding currently represents the 13th Congressional District but opted to run in the 2nd district after state lawmakers redrew maps and changed the makeup of his home district drastically. tlong@newsobserver.com

George Holding, 2nd District congressman from North Carolina (his district includes parts of the Triangle), pronounces the Affordable Care Act a failure, saying it’s in “full collapse” in North Carolina. But he didn’t hear that from constituents served by the ACA. Because, while other members of Congress were enduring some pretty aggressive treatment on the part of their constituents about the ACA in town hall meetings around the country, Holding was spending his congressional recess traveling to India and Sri Lanka on government business.

Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, also Republicans firm against the ACA, also didn’t hear from constituents on the subject because they also were traveling. Likewise Democrat David Price of the liberal 4th District, though Price supports the ACA and improving it while fixing what is not working.

Holding said he talks to constituents, but town halls are a waste and have become “opportunities to protest.” So why bother meeting the people he represents, who may have serious concerns about the future of their health care and other issues, right? What a congressman needs is to talk with people who admire and respect him, from his own district to, say, India and Sri Lanka.

A public servant has an obligation to serve the public, and that means in large part hearing what they have to say, particularly those who disagree with the party line Holding so obediently follows. But, Holding is a classy guy who doesn’t want to be ruffled by protest. By golly, if he’d been around all that tea wouldn’t have been wasted in Boston.

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