FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Cowardly Congressman

Larry Buschon, Indiana’s 8th District Congressman considers the health of residents of SW Indiana expendable. In twenty-five votes he cast in his first two months in office he voted against environmental and health protections in all but one, and that was a bill that concerned the area of northern California and southern Oregon.

Five of those votes had direct negative impact on the health of citizens in his district. He voted to strip the EPA of their regulatory authority to set standards on toxic air pollution like mercury, setting stronger standards for fine particles, clean water protections, coal ash and protections of streams from coal mining.

Thus, I looked forward to confronting him with his dismal record at his Town Hall meeting where he ostensibly proclaimed with a huge projected sign, “We want to hear from You.”

I went to the meeting planning to use the same style tactics that were so successful when used by the Tea Party in 2009 when they confronted members of congress about their healthcare positions: be loud, be angry and hold them accountable.

There was only one difference. Buschon had me removed from the meeting while the Tea Partiers were free to do their thing.

In a TV interview after the Town Hall, Buschon claimed that he was threatened by my actions and that is why he had me removed. Threatened by what? A loud mouthed, angry citizen, expressing his views? If he felt threatened in any way, I am sure that it was due to his understanding that his record on protecting the health of his constituents was being called out and that the decorum he had desired for the meeting was interrupted. After all, the people who had reputations for that sort of behavior were the people who propelled him into office, not the passive left that previously had been the objects of such vitriol.

I did not threaten Buschon in any way and if I had, I am sure that I would have spent some time in the pokey.

I find the hypocrisy very telling.

Funny thing though about someone who chooses to exercise their free speech like I have done-I get arrested in 2002 for passively standing across from a fund raiser for Dick Cheney doing nothing more than holding a sign while I have seen news coverage of people armed with AK15s protesting at appearances by Barack Obama.

And now, I am escorted from a supposed Town Hall meeting for employing the same tactics used by the Tea Party.

Yes, I am angry with Buschon.

His votes so far could result in untold human suffering and as a physician, he should be more concerned for human health and support the stronger protections EPA is seeking to implement. But instead, he has chosen to cast his lot with the polluters using some sort of convoluted right wing, anti-regulatory ideology that will only serve to increase his business as a heart surgeon when he returns to private life-a time that, hopefully for his constituents, will not be too far in the future.

JOHN BLAIR is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who serves as president of the environmental health advocacy group Valley Watch in Evansville, IN. He is a contributor to Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance from the Heartland, edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank. (AK Press) His email address is ecoserve1@aol.com

 

 

More articles by:

JOHN BLAIR is president of the environment health advocacy group, Valley Watch and earned a Pulitzer Prize for news Photography in 1978. He can be reached at: Ecoserve1@aol.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 09, 2020
John Davis
Freedom Virus
Vincent Emanuele
The New Normal: Cascading and Multilayered Crises
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie’s Last Tape
John O'Kane
Remove the Boomer Virus and What Virus Remains?
Kevin Bixby – Daryl T. Smith
The Border Wall Risks Us All
Nick Pemberton
Could COVID-19 Count Fox News Among Its Victims?
Howard Lisnoff
American Exceptionalism in the Face of Covid-19
Charles Pierson
We Are Living (And Dying) in Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”
Sam Husseini
Sanders Suspends: What Happened? What Now?
Binoy Kampmark
Banal Terrors: Pandemics and the Ordinary Business of War
Ted Rall
Why We Need a New Progressive Party and How We Can Create It
Walden Bello
Martin Khor: the Making of a Global Activist
Ariel Dorfman
COVID-19 and the Lessons of Life in Exile
Merriam Ansara
John Lennon in Quarantine: a Letter From Havana
George Wuerthner
Politics and Corruption at Grand Canyon
Eugene Schulman
Lost in the Pandemic: the Forever Wars
Dean Baker
Basic Economics for Economic Columnists: a Depression is a Process, Not an Event
George Ochenski
The Dishonest Mr. Daines
Mike Ferner
Love in a Dangerous Time
Brian Horejsi
Beware Government Secrecy in Times of Pandemic
Sam Pizzigati
No Fennel in the Sausage, No $600 for the Jobless
Jason Christensen – John Carter
Conservation Groups Oppose the Nature Conservancy’s Cattle Grazing Development Project on the Border of Canyonlands National Park
April 08, 2020
Melvin Goodman
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Body Politic
Eve Ottenberg
Amid Plague, Sanctions are Genocide
Vijay Prashad, Du Xiaojun – Weiyan Zhu
How China Learned About SARS-CoV-2 in the Weeks Before the Global Pandemic
Bill Quigley
Seven Disturbing Facts About COVID-19 in Louisiana
Joyce Nelson
BlackRock Takes Command
Geoff Dutton
Coronavirus as Metaphor: It’s Not Peanuts
Richard Moser
From Strike Wave to General Strike
Gary Leupp
Could COVID-19 Kill Capitalism?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Corona, Capital and Class in Germany
Tom Crofton
Aspirational vs Pragmatic: Why My Radicalness is Getting More Radical
Steve Kelly
Montana Ballot Access Decision Suppresses Green Party Voters
Jacob Hornberger
Muhammad Ali’s Fight Against the Pentagon
Phil Mattera
The Rap Sheets of the Big Ventilator Producers
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19?
Rick Baum
When “Moderate” Democrats Lead the Ticket and Win, Down-Ballot Candidates Soon Suffer Losses
Jake Johnston
Tens of Millions Will Be Pushed into Poverty Amid COVID-Induced Recession
Kim C. Domenico
Healthy and Unhealthy Fear in the Age of Coronavirus
John W. Whitehead
Draconian Lockdown Powers and Civil Liberties
Binoy Kampmark
University Bailouts, Funding and Coronavirus
Luke Ruediger
BLM Timber Sale Increases Fire Risk, Reduces Climate Resilience and Harms Recreation
John Kendall Hawkins
Slavoj Žižek’s Virulent Polemic Against Covid-19, and Stuff!
Nyla Ali Khan
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Adversity
April 07, 2020
Joel McCleary – Mark Medish
Paradigm Shift by Pandemic
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail