Americans United for Change has just released this ad thanking Tom Perriello for his courageous vote in favor of health care reform. As many Virginians know, Perriello won an upset victory in the conservative 5th District. Throughout August there were countless teabagger protests at his district offices and protesters disrupted his town hall meetings. Perriello met with the protesters numerous times, earning a reputation for grace under pressure as he listened respectfully to their objections and engaged them in civil conversation.
In the end, he voted his conscience, kept his promises to his constituents, and voted for the best interests of his district and the country.
I will admit that I have a sharp disagreement with Mr. Perriello over the Stupak amendment, which would prevent women from purchasing coverage for abortions, even with their own money, from private insurance companies, which will be on the new exchange. But Perriello promised his constituents that he would never vote for funding of abortions. Again, I disagree with him on this, but I respect him and the fact that he is keeping his word in a district where that is the majority view. If we don't like it, let's try to change hearts and minds with civil and well reasoned arguments rather than blaming a congressman for doing his job and keeping his promise. Anyway, here is the video from Americans United for Change.
Thank you, indeed, Representative Perriello. Everybody knows you have had a target on your back from the national Republican Party from day one. Congratulations for your grace and courage.
And on another note, my own congressman, Gerry Connolly, is also under siege from teabaggers. I received a robocall tonight from Americans for Prosperity inviting me to attend a protest at Connolly's district offices in Woodbridge and Annandale tomorrow afternoon.
Let's not forget that most of those in Congress who voted for health care reform have spent months under siege from extremist groups who have exhibited rude and insulting behavior, comparing those with whom they differ to communists and Nazis (I believe you can either be a communist or Nazi but not both since they are diametrically opposite groups - one being extreme left and the other extreme right - but let's not apply logic here).
So, please show your support for those in Congress who stood up and supported us. Once again, in Virginia that includes Gerry Connolly, Jim Moran, Bobby Scott, and Tom Perriello. We need to remember and see that their courage is rewarded in the midterm elections.
In any case, all those who voted to make health care reform possible have my profound appreciation.