Her hair alone is a crime, but I can’t stand U.S. Representative Doris Matsui because she represents the very worst of entrenched “Democratic” politics. In lieu of a real town hall on health-care reform, Matsui has opted for a fucking conference call – because she can.
There will be no raucous town-hall meeting on health-care reform in my Congressional district, because my U.S. representative, DINO (Democrat in name only) Doris Matsui, is a princess and a wuss.
Matsui came to office in 2005 under questionable circumstances. Her husband, Robert Matsui, was a career politician, having been in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 25 years, from 1979 to his death on Jan. 1, 2005.
He had won re-election to the U.S. House for his Sacramento-area district yet once again in November 2004, and then, just the next month, in late December 2004, he was hospitalized. And then he died on Jan. 1, 2005.
Now, in his 2004 re-election campaign, Robert Matsui had never let his constituents know that he was ill. Not a word about it. According to Wikipedia, Robert Matsui died of a rare blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (of which astronomer Carl Sagan and children’s author Roald Dahl also died; there is some trivia for you).
My reading of Wikipedia’s article on the syndrome (which I linked to above) indicates to me that it’s unlikely that Robert Matsui had had no idea on Election Day 2004 that he had the disease or at least some serious health problem or problems; few diseases kill you within two months without your having had serious, usually long-term symptoms to alert you to the disease.
My guess is that Robert Matsui was aware of his terminal illness on Election Day in 2004 but that he and his family and his closest associates kept it quiet because they all wanted his wife, Doris, to succeed him in the U.S. House of Representatives. My guess is that it was the couple’s plan, well before Election Day 2004, that after his death, Doris would succeed him in the House. Of course Doris has denied that there was any such plan (I heard her deny this myself at a rare [for her] public forum) – but of course she would deny that whether it were the case or not.
In any event, a special election was held on March 8, 2005 to fill the deceased Robert Matsui’s seat, and even though it was a longshot to prevent Doris Matsui, with the Matsui Dynasty brand name behind her, from getting her greedy grubbies on the Congressional seat vacated by her late husband, I actively supported one of the many others running for the seat in the special election, progressive (that is, real) Democrat Julie Padilla. I knew that once Doris Matsui got in, ever getting her out would be like pulling teeth.
In the special election Padilla came in at a distant No. 2 to Doris Matsui, with 9 percent of the vote to Matsui’s 68 percent. (A Repugnican candidate came in at No. 3, with 8 percent.) Of course, Matsui, who had been a Washington lobbyist and who had worked in the Clinton White House, had the entire Democratic Establishment Machine (DEM) behind her, and Padilla had those of us with consciences who don’t march in lockstep with the DEM. The Matsui camp had all of the money and all of the political might; we of the Padilla camp had only right on our side.
Matsui was roundly criticized for skipping out on appearances at debates and other public forums in the short campaign period for the March 2005 special election. But why should she have bothered? She had the Matsui Dynasty brand name and the DEM behind her. It was going to be a cakewalk — and it was.
So now, it is unsurprising that Doris Matsui has chosen a “telephone town hall” on health-care reform instead of an actual town hall. Um, isn’t a “telephone town hall” just a fucking conference call?
I got an automated call on my voice mail from Doris herself on Thursday. She says in the message that she’ll have her “telephone town hall” on Sept. 3, this coming Thursday. To be able to participate, she says, I should press ”1,” but since it’s a voice mail, I don’t know how I would participate in the conference call even if I wanted to (which I don’t, since Doris nauseates me with her pretense of being so sweet and meek and delicate even though she has been part of a powerful political dynasty for decades).
The Sacramento Bee has criticized Doris Matsui for once again skipping out on facing the people face to face. Here is the Bee’s editorial from yesterday:
Back home for the August recess, members of Congress in our region are meeting with constituents. They’re conducting telephone and face-to-face town hall meetings to present updates and hear concerns on health care legislation.
With one major exception.
Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, has planned no face-to-face town hall meetings to date.
She will hold one telephone town hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, calling all registered voters with phone numbers on record – others can sign up for the call. She has said telephone forums allow her to reach more people. That’s true.
But it’s no substitute for a member of Congress having face-to-face contact with constituents. Matsui seems to think that her recent “health care tour” – meetings with patients, doctors, nurses and medical staff at local clinics, hospitals and labs – is enough face-to-face engagement.
It’s not. Matsui is on a key committee that is drafting health care legislation. She needs to stand before a skeptical public and show that she understands the issues, can explain them in plain language and can make a strong case for reform now.
She needs to show that she is not afraid of dissent – and can set a civil, respectful tone in addressing those who disagree. She needs to experience firsthand the passion, the anxieties and the compelling stories that people bring to the debate.
To date, the face-to-face town halls in our region have been filled with vociferous, exuberant individuals – but no shouting matches or shoving. People applaud and boo. They make their views known. That’s democracy, and Matsui should embrace it.
Unfortunately, her refusal to hold face-to-face town hall meetings is all too reminiscent of her refusal in the 2005 special election campaign to debate rival candidates. Matsui finally reversed her position and participated in two forums in 2005 – something she should do today.
Matsui still has time before Congress reconvenes Sept. 8 to schedule at least one face-to-face town hall meeting.
Doris Matsui most likely won’t do that, of course.
Doris Matsui is yet another baby-boomer asshole (that’s pretty much redundant, of course…) with a sense of entitlement. Why should she work when she doesn’t have to, when she can coast on her Mastui Dynasty brand name and the political connections that she and her dead husband developed over decades? After all, didn’t that strategy of coasting on the family name and the family’s political connections work well enough for her fellow baby-boomer asshole George W. Bush?
Embrace democracy? Oh, I’m not holding my breath that Doris Matsui ever will do that.
Hopefully, this corrupt brand of politics, and all political dynasties (Bush, Clinton, even Kennedy, et. al.), will die with Doris Matsui and her ilk.
And heads up, my fellow Sacramentans: Although I expect Doris Matsui to try to hold onto her seat until she dies, like her husband did, Robert and Doris Matsui had a son together…