The first week of February was an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy for Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. All it took was a game of connect-the-dots.
Dot 1: Remember when Congresswoman Barbara Comstock crowed on social media about helping to kick off the first bipartisan Cancer Prevention Caucus for the 115th Congress? She was quoted in her own press release as saying “It is critical to advance new preventive technologies, but also improve existing medical practices so we can fight this battle on all fronts.”
Dot 2: The Huffington Post was at that Caucus, and they fortuitously reported on a key speech by Less Cancer’s founder Bill Couzens who spoke on the importance of preventing cancer by protecting the nation’s drinking water supply. It is worth quoting him, at length keeping in mind that Comstock heard it:
“It has become increasingly and exceedingly clear that the focus for Cancer Prevention must call immediate attention, an urgent 911, to our polluted and sometimes cancer-causing drinking water. We as citizens need all resources shifted to this purpose—- to guarantee that (at the very least) our drinking water is safe. Having safe, clean water speaks to the most basic of human needs. It’s a no-brainer. And yet, this isn’t fully understood or appreciated in its urgency. If we are to prioritize preventing any cancers, we must at the very least address the carcinogens in drinking water. This also requires we remain stealthily focused. It involves information, details, and action. While policy, legislation or regulation may not be a solution for every problem —-for the case of safe drinking water, it is the pressing priority.”
This was on February 1st. How many constituents know what she had done only hours before kicking off this anti-Cancer Caucus? The answer to this question is Dot 3: She voted Aye on H J Res 38 “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule,” which effectively killed the Rule that would have held coal mining companies responsible for testing and fixing the nearby streams and waterways that their operations pollute. I wonder if Rep. Comstock felt ashamed of what she had done, at that moment.
In any case, she didn’t act sheepish when conducting a phone call town hall just one week later, which brings us to Dot 4. On February 8th, she participated in a call with 6,000 constituents where she told everyone that one of the most important cost-saving measures that could be taken to make the Affordable Care Act repairable and more affordable was to put more effort into disease prevention. When questioned by a constituent about how Comstock’s plan would make the ACA more affordable, her answer was prevention of disease and technological advances in cures, saying, “We’d be able to save millions and improve the quality of life. We’re trying to inform women about heart disease and inform everyone of cancer.” tele-town-hall-2-8-2017
These events took place over the course of one short week. The amount of shameless politicking and obfuscating is nothing short of mind-boggling. With Comstock’s continued refusal to hold a face-to-face Town Hall, we are stuck playing dot-to-dot games with our Representative, instead. Unfortunately, the picture revealed by this particular exercise is the very portrait of hypocrisy.