The speaker was Nancy Pelosi. The date was January 17, 2006. The setting was a town hall meeting in San Francisco, captured on video and available at a Breitbart TV near you. The subject was the Iraq War. The president was George W. Bush. The surgery was Botox.
The authors are Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. The date is August 10, 2009. The context is an editorial in USA Today. The subject is protestors at health care townhall meetings across the country. The president is Barack Obama. The surgery is still Botox.
Pelosi passionately spoke of free speech rights and the necessity of hearing all viewpoints: “I say to the President, ‘Mr. President [Bush], if you think that our troops in Iraq are there to fight for democracy, do not destroy it at home by cutting off our freedom of speech.’”
She highlighted the critical, historical role of townhall meetings and the importance of face-to-face confrontations between congressmen and the voters they represent: “Democrats and Republicans… are starting to speak out [about the war]. And you know why? Because they’re hearing from home. There’s nothing more articulate, more eloquent to a member of Congress than the voice of his or her own constituent.”
Most importantly, she reminded listeners of the strengths of our uniquely American system of representative democracy, and advised them that there is no higher patriotic calling than standing up for what you believe in: “So I thank all of you who have spoken out for your courage, your point of view, all of it—your advocacy is very American and very important… So let’s not question each other’s patriotism when we have this very honest debate that our country expects and deserves.” read more »