Just how out of touch is Congress? The above video clip is now famous. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) talks on her cell phone while cancer survivor Tracy Miller tries to ask her a question at a health care Town Hall meeting.
Rep. Jackson Lee was one of five members of Congress who took part in a Citigroup-funded junket to the sunny Caribbean island of St. Maartens shortly after all five voted for TARP. The trip was led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), the tax cheat who has proposed tax increases to fund health care.
I crashed the event as an uninvited observer to document violations of House Rules. The House Ethics Committee is investigating. It has requested my photographs, audio recordings and other materials.
True to form, however, the Pelosi-controlled Ethics Committee appointed Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), to head up the probe, just days after the CBC objected to the investigation taking place at all. Expect a slap on the wrist, or for Jackson Lee to be able to ballyhoo her “exoneration.”
Jackson Lee says she was calling a hotline to get answers about health care, but the oddness of the mid-question call, and the fact that she was in no position to take notes, raises the question of to whom she was actually talking. She should release her cell phone records to clarify this point, although it doesn’t really matter. The image is already a metaphor for how Congress as a whole views the American people.