Who's the boss?

The SE Texas Record Aug. 22, 2009, 3:22am

"I don't do windows." That's what the magisterial maid says to the hapless homeowners in a madcap comedy.

"I don't iron, I don't dust, I don't do dishes, I don't do the shopping, and I don't babysit. I don't do this, I don't do that, and I don't do the other thing."

The hapless homeowners wonder: "What exactly does she do? Who's working for whom here? And why did we hire this woman?"

The constituents of U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) must have had a similar reaction when they attended a now infamous town hall meeting to give their views about proposed legislation to dramatically increase the role of government in our health care system.

She listened carefully to one "constituent"--an Obama delegate planted in the audience and posing as a doctor who sang the praises of health care reform. But when another rose to speak, a cancer survivor who's happy with the health care she's received, Rep. Lee tuned her out. She took a call on her cell phone and ignored the comments she apparently didn't care to hear.

What did her behavior say? She had better things to do. She didn't have time for town hall meetings. She didn't need to listen to any constituents.

Are her constituents left wondering: What exactly does she do? Who's working for whom here? And why'd we hire this woman?

If Rep. Lee doesn't listen to her constituents, whom does she represent? Special interests? Herself alone? When she votes for or against proposed legislation, on whose behalf is she voting?

Rep. Lee has the employee-employer relationship mixed up. She seems to think that the people work for her, and not vice versa.

When public servants start demanding they be served, it's time to rethink choices.

At election time next year, Houston may want to send Ms. Lee packing, with this advice: Don't ask for references.

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