One would think it vital for Foster to attend this long-planned townhall, especially when recent events made it obvious that many of his constituents would be so eager to speak to him. Unfortunately, Foster was on a junket to Israel, and left it to one of his trusty aides to sit in the tiger cage with steaks strapped to his body.
The Chronicle — "Serving the Tri-Cities and Kaneland" — took the typical MSM line, depicting those gathered as part of some mob that "hijacked" the meeting. The lead mobster, according to The Chronicle? My man, Ron!
Ronald Lau of North Aurora criticized Foster for being in Israel this week instead of meeting with constituents for a town hall meeting.
"The most important issue to come around and a U.S. congressman does not have the authority to say, 'No, I'm not going. I'm going to talk to the people I work for.' He went to Israel and left us all in the dark," Lau said.
Lau's comments prompted a standing ovation from most of those attending.
Lau criticized Foster's message that he wants people with pre-existing conditions to be covered by insurance, saying federal law already protects them from insurance companies denying them coverage.
"Does he support forcing insurance companies to take on people with pre-existing conditions – without conditions?" Lau asked. "How does any insurance company survive if somebody just waits until they get sick to buy it, and once they're well, just drop it?"
Lau said the only way to have insurance companies to cover everyone is if everyone has insurance – whether they like it or not.
That last bit makes it seem like Ron wants everyone to be forced by the government to buy insurance — "whether they like it or not." I'm certain that's not the point he was trying to make and as you can see in the video below, he doesn't make it. But is sure is some great patriotic theater my old friend helped create (Ron comes in about half-way through, and pretty much dominates the rest of the video — all of which is worth watching ... and he is, in his own words, "silent no more").
By my eyes, that was hardly a "mob scene"— at least by YouTube Townhall Greatest Hits standards. It seemed to me a rather healthy debate, among citizens, about how we should be governed. That said ... those Foster aides have earned a political combat pay bonus from their boss.
What's also interesting about this whole story is that Foster replaced the retired former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert with 52 percent of the vote in special election 2008. I think, therefore, it's safe to say this is a still a swing district — which was reflected in the fact that both supporters and opponents of ObamaCare were present and made their views known.
I don't know if any Republican plans to challenge Foster in 2010, but this is almost a certainty: A clip Ron Lau's spirited criticism of government-run health care and Foster's junket-fused absence from his townhall meeting should be featured in any ad aimed at his defeat.
Way to go, buddy!
At Montour High School, our mascot is the Spartans. So put some stylish facial hair on Ron, get him in the gym with a maniacal personal trainer for about a year ... and this is him — saying the only line missing from his righteous speech.