Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin held a town hall meeting in Winnabago County this last Thursday. The hall was filled to capacity. People were lined up against the walls and sitting in the aisles, patiently waiting to vent their frustrations to an apathetic, paternalistic politician.
The session lasted only an hour and a half. All topics were on the table, but it was health care that dominated the night. Senator Feingold was besieged by outraged citizens who were not happy with congresses secrecy, and utilization of closed door sessions. Feingold agreed on this point, but little else. One man asked how the bill complied with the constitution. Feingold dismissed the inquiry with an off-handed remark that he didn't know; and that the courts would have to decide.
There was once a time that our politicians -- statesman at the time -- debated the constitutionality of bills that was put forth on the floor of congress; not anymore.
I will give Senator Feingold credit for at least facing his constituents. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina is no where to be found.
I and thousands of other North Carolinians called and wrote Senator Hagan as to when and where she was going to hold a town hall meeting. We got no replies or were dismissed out of hand. She did not hold one meeting that I am aware of.
Wilmington, North Carolina held a mock town hall meeting using a cardboard-cutout effigy of Senator Hagan. This did not even persuade the cowardly Hagan to come out from underneath her desk. It seems that she is content to rule from afar, and keep her distance from the unwashed masses.
Senator Russ Feingold may be a statist and condescending socialist; but at least he has the decency to face the "angry mob".