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Becoming aware of diversity of thought

Associated Press

Like Robert Schlesinger, I'm surprised by what Rep Tom Price (R-Ga.) finds surprising.

Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, who holds Newt Gingrich's old congressional seat and is seen as a leader of the most conservative House Republicans, said that, during a recent debate over taxes, "we talked past each other oftentimes as much as Republicans and Democrats talk past each other."

He explained how surprised he was when one of his colleagues from a Northern state told him that he favored a tax increase on millionaires. "It hit me that what he was hearing when he's going home to a Republican district in a blue state is completely different than what I'm hearing when I go home to a Republican district in a red state," he said. "My folks are livid about this stuff. His folks clearly weren't. And so we weren't even starting from the same premise."

Hmm. Tom Price has been in Congress for nearly a decade, and he's just now realizing that his constituents in a far-right Southern district have different priorities and beliefs than Americans in other districts.

It took a conversation with a Northern lawmaker, eight years after Price became a lawmaker, for him to realize that some of his colleagues hear "completely different" messages. Apparently, since 2004, he's proceeded under the assumption that every Republican lawmaker heard exactly the same sentiments from the folks back home.

I suppose it's better late than never, but perhaps this should have "hit" Price a little sooner?