2011 August

Bad Day for Pete Olson

Texas’ 22nd District Congressman had an unexpected surprise at his town hall Saturday morning in Pearland, when his 90-minute monologue dubbed a town hall meeting was overrun with angry Texans, shouting things like,

“The Bush tax cuts doubled the unemployment rate! Trickle-down isn’t working!”
“Why did you vote to cut NASA jobs from your own district?”
“We want jobs, not cuts!”
“End corporate welfare!”
“Tax the rich!”

Olson’s Q&A session was done by requiring all questions to be written out on paper and delivered beforehand, and not answered until after he prefaced the town hall with a 15-question multiple-choice quiz, full of loaded questions and misleading answers, all carefully arranged in a specific order. At the end of the questionnaire, the implication was heavy that the rich are being taxed too much because poor and middle class moochers want more government. His staff sifted through the questions before handing them to Olson.

It wasn’t long before the crowd had had enough of Olson’s platitudes and trite answers.

Olson attempted to control the crowd several times, shushing the crowd over the microphone, comparing those in the crowd with questions to his 14 year-old daughter, and shouting bumper-sticker slogans at the end of sentences in hopes of drowning the dissenters out. The tea partiers had all but dissipated by the end of the town hall, as Olson stood away from the microphone, reading hurriedly and incoherently through constituents’ questions he didn’t agree with.

The crowd grew bolder as the town hall continued on. Some of the questions they submitted included-

“Why is it the harder I work and put in, the harder it is to get by in this country?”

“Why are you for raising the payroll tax, while protecting trillions in tax handouts to billionaires, big oil and corporate jet owners?”

“When are you going to tax corporations?”

“Did you vote for Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system?”

Olson danced around each question after reading it haphazardly, spouting off one-liner platitudes like “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” or the classic “We can’t raise taxes on our job creators in a recession.” With each new falsehood he uttered, the crowd corrected his facts from the audience. He shushed the crowd, and the crowd in return, booed him. By the end of the town hall, the noise in the high school auditorium was deafening. Olson couldn’t wait to leave.