Welchie in the Lions' Den | Freyne Land

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bernie Sanders
Welchie in the Lions' Den

Posted By on Sun, Nov 11, 2007 at 8:24 PM

Rather it was the packed, standing-room-only basement of the public library in the heart of downtown Barre, Vermont. Democratic Congressman Peter Welch faced down the Vermont lions of the anti-Iraq War left and walked away unscathed.

Oh, sure, he had to take getting yelled at by a few baby boomers who needed to get it off their chests or wherever, but he in no way, shape, or form gave an inch to their macho-bullying tactics.

Under the original format - unrevealed to Welchie - he was going to have had to keep his mouth basically shut - just answer "yes" or "no" to the 15 questions they had prepared for him.

Unusual to see a United States Congressman have to fight for and win his 1st Amendment rights at a public meeting, but he did!

The meeting between the congressman and 100 of his constituents lasted from 1:30 pm until 4 pm.

Afterward, Vermont's only member of the U.S. House told Freyne Land:

It’s my job. These are good Vermont folks who care passionately about the Constitution and the War in Iraq. And I feel it was important that I listen to them.  I was glad to participate and listen to the conviction, the passion, the sense of urgency that they have.

My goal was to convey that I’m doing everything that I can to bring this war to an end.

Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and I all have an extraordinary record. That’s why Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), singled me out me for providing leadership to end the war.  And I’m doing absolutely everything that I can to take practical steps to end this as soon as it possibly can be ended.

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

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