The scene of a Metro Atlanta town hall meeting quickly deteriorated when Democratic Congressman David Scott (GA-13) suddenly became enraged, and, in a breathtaking display of congressional machismo, began berating constituents.
Scott displayed his temper during a question-and-answer period when David Hill, a local resident and doctor, questioned the congressman over his support of President Barack Obama’s proposed single-payer health care system.
“Why are you voting for a health care plan that is shown not to work in Massachusetts and why are you going to institute that in a nation-wide manner?”
With a look of confusion on his face, the congressman first quietly asked an aide, “Is that the type of bill they got going on?” Then, reassured by staff that the bill Hill referenced was, in fact, the bill before Congress, Scott proceeded to respond, insomuch as the Congressman’s angry tirade may be called a response.
“I’m listening to my constituents, OK,” Scott said, with a heavy and awkward emphasis on “my.” “These are people who live in the 13th Congressional district, who vote in this district. That’s who I’ve got to respond to, OK. Right, alright.”
Grimacing and sternly brandishing his finger at Dr. Hill, Scott’s anger intensified, as did his rhetoric.
“So what you’ve got to understand, those of you who are here, who have taken and came and hijacked this event we dealing with here, this is not a health care event. You made the choice to come here and take advantage of this meeting that these people in Douglasville worked hard to put together to deal with this road,” Scott said, referencing the relocation of a local highway in Douglassville, GA.
“You chose to come and to do it on your own. Not a single one of you had the decency to call my office and set up for a meeting, OK. Do that. Do that!”
Local Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA-TV reports that Hill, a verified resident of Georgia’s 13th district, has attempted, on multiple occasions and all in vain, to secure sit-downs with the incensed Congressman, however.
Before yielding the microphone to a staffer, Scott gave an austere warning to Dr. Hill and others present: “Don’t, don’t come and take advantage of what these individuals have done. You want a meeting with me on health care, I’ll give it to you. You come on August 24th. On August 28th.”
Scott’s aide told the crowd to pay close attention to the website for details on the health care town hall, but no such details have been made public on the Congressman’s website and emails to the Congressman’s staff have not been returned.
Scott’s veiled suggestion that the concerned doctor was not a “resident of Georgia’s 13th district”—ostensibly rooted in the fact that Hill is white, while Scott represents a district with a large African American population—and the contention that Hill had somehow “hijacked” the town hall is another matter altogether.
As a voter of the neighboring district in Atlanta, Congressman Scott, I must say, white voters like Hill and myself are not out to hijack your health care events, and we are certainly not out to hijack substantive health care reform – for which the same can be said of doctors. Voters are, however, out to prevent the creation of a single-payer health care system, a system you support, albeit a system you supported only after aides reminded you.