Yesterday, Sen. David Vitter held a town hall meeting in Port Allen. His reception was mixed.
The detractors at the meeting appear to have been some of the same people who attempted to stage a demonstration at the Baton Rouge office of Rep. Bill Cassidy on Friday. They were union members, they held day-glo orange signs, they wanted to gripe about Medicare and they didn’t exactly distinguish themselves with rhetorical flourishes or win the debate.
A taste, courtesy of the Baton Rouge Advocate’s article on the meeting…
Greg Lavergne, wearing a T-shirt for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, wasn’t having it. The difference of opinions led to a testy exchange.
“Did you support Obamacare?” Vitter interrupted.
“Yes,” responded Lavergne, sparking some boos.
“You supported a bill that actually cut a half trillion from Medicare, and you’re criticizing me?” Vitter asked. “I’m sorry; I think you’re completely off base.”
“You’re not cutting Medicare,” Lavergne responded. “You’re getting rid of Medicare.”
“Let me put it in simple terms. That is a lie,” Vitter said, his voice rising, “and I’m tired of getting lied about.”
The Advocate’s piece also had this delicious morsel…
Outside the West Baton Rouge Parish governmental building, a dozen Vitter opponents, many of them members of local construction unions, protested, focusing on the proposed Medicare changes.
Michael Day, a member of a member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 198, said he called a bunch of his friends to come out and protest, describing it as “a haphazard deal” similar to one lodged Saturday outside the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.
Charles Lussier must be commended for having packed so much good stuff into one paragraph.
First, Lussier is likely to catch hell – because the individual in question insists on being called Michael D. Day. Oscar found that out earlier this week.
Second, Mr. Day needs to attend a seminar or two. Because this is the second time in less than a week that he and his buddies wasted their time standing in a parking lot holding signs nobody was going to see rather than actually seeking to engage an elected official. On Friday, I’m told that Day’s group didn’t even knock on Cassidy’s office door before going to the parking lot – the receptionist was out on an errand at the time and some of the staff was in a meeting; someone would have come out to meet them if they’d actually rang the bell.
Then yesterday, while Vitter was inside holding a town hall meeting and debating other unionites, Day’s gaggle was out sweating in the parking lot, unnoticed by practically anyone other than the Advocate reporters who seem to find him anywhere he goes.
And third – a “haphazard deal?” How rich is that? Day seems a pretty determined protestor, but he himself admits he does shoddy work in that regard. What does that say about the quality of the work he does to earn a living? One imagines that non-union tradesmen would be more than a little nervous about haphazard performance; if you’re a member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 198 you describe yourself that way to the local paper.
Earlier this week we noted that unions are waning quickly in their importance in Louisiana. Other than serving as a minor irritant and an occasional impediment to parking, it seems we might have been more right than we knew.