At least there was a little good news at the August 31st healthcare town hall meeting in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. No death panels under the proposed Obama healthcare reform. But the good news ended quickly. Town hall meetings are supposed to offer people a voice , a chance to participate in the often distant democratic process. No such luck at Congresswoman Yvette Clark’s (D) town hall. Index cards were substituted for democratic debate. Attendees were asked to write their comments on cards and turn them in to ushers. This allowed the Congresswoman to avoid the kinds of antics being reported from town halls across the country, but more importantly, allowed her to dodge uncomfortable questions. Democratic process was flushed, but order maintained. Barely.

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