In its March 22 editorial "Vote of Weakness," the Post-Gazette excoriates Rep. Jason Altmire for his "no" vote on the health care bill. This letter is both a public response to that editorial and also a wholehearted endorsement of Rep. Altmire's actions.
According to the PG, Mr. Altmire "turned away when history came calling." He did not. Not only did Mr. Altmire vote his conscience, but also his decision reflected the will of his constituents, an overwhelming majority of whom want no part of this bill. Contrary to the PG's view, Mr. Altmire displayed extraordinary courage in defying the president and the House speaker.
Mr. Altmire, like the lone figure who faced down the tank at Tiananmen Square, stood strong as he looked down the barrel of Barack Obama's and Nancy Pelosi's 2,400-page health care monstrosity and (as Thomas Jefferson would say), with manly firmness, said "No."
Soon enough Rep. Altmire, along with every member of this Congress, will be scrutinized by history. Through his actions, both firm and resolute, he will, contrary to the PG, be adjudged to be on the right side of it. Because of the certitude of Mr. Altmire and 33 of his Democratic colleagues, future generations will indeed say, in the words of Winston Churchill, "this was their finest hour."