Timing is everything in politics, and for U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, the timing of Monday's town hall meeting couldn't be better.
As more of the details of President Barack Obama's disastrous health care plan continue to dribble out, support for the plan continues to plummet. Support is dropping for Obama, too; his approval rating has fallen below 50 percent.
Because the nation still has a deliberative system of government and not a dictatorship, at least for now, Obama failed to quickly ram the plan through as he'd hoped. He and his supporters have been forced to try to win converts by holding what they hoped would be friendly town hall meetings and aiming MoveOn.org-financed attack ads on wavering congressmen.
What they've found, though, is that the town hall meetings haven't been friendly to their cause. As a result, the former professional "community organizer" has been fatuously complaining that insurance companies and other "big business" interests have been busing in supporters.
I guess his folks are the only ones allowed to do that.
In any event, this hullabaloo has started to reach a crescendo. And right at the apex, one of the few actual physicians in Congress is holding a meeting right here in Evans to give citizens a chance to sound off.
"Dr. Broun has received countless calls, e-mails and letters from constituents, many in Columbia County, who are ... concerned about the proposals coming out of Washington for a government takeover of health care," says Jessica Morris, Broun's press secretary.
So have I. Look for your neighbors to be among those turning out in droves Monday at 6 p.m. at the Columbia County Board of Education auditorium on Hereford Farm Road.
The timing couldn't be better to make your voice heard and help kill this latest step on the road to socialism.
(Oh, and for those who don't like to hear a government takeover of health care described as socialism? I've got two words for you: Boo hoo.)
While we're talking politics, Columbia County's Republican Party is once again loading the guns for its circular firing squad. This time, party chairman Lawrence Hammond is in the crosshairs.
This all started when members of the party agreed wholeheartedly with a recent News-Times editorial critical of county commissioners for voting to spend taxpayer money to hire a lobbyist.
In fact, they liked it so much that they drafted a tough resolution condemning the commissioners for their vote. Rather than pull the trigger, though, the party decided to table the document.
In what he then described as an effort to "gather more details" on the lobbyist hiring, Hammond then distributed copies of the tabled resolution - including sending it to county commissioners and the lobbyists themselves.
The executive committee of the party this past week then agreed on yet another resolution, rebuking Hammond for including "incorrect" information in his cover letter attached to the resolution and apologizing for any "confusion" it caused.
What's next? Expect an effort to oust Hammond as chairman. Local Democrats aren't putting up a fight, so Republicans might as well tussle amongst themselves.
Lincoln County Library Director Shirley Dawkins says she's had great response from my request for donations for her struggling library. If it's anything like the response I've had, she's going to need more room.
Our lobby is filling up with books from kind readers who've dropped them off by the boxfull. I'm still planning to haul them to Lincolnton Aug. 19, but at this rate I might need a bigger truck!
That's a great problem to have. Keep the donations coming! (You can also mail a check to P.O. Box 310, Lincolnton, GA, 30817.)
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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