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View Diary: UPDATED: The Case for Russ Feingold (282 comments)

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  •  edwards isn't a populist (none)
    he's a liberal, and his message on poverty is couched primarily in terms of middle class empathy for the plight of the poor, and fear of falling into poverty themselves. a populist would be speaking directly to the poor, stoking their anger at being disposessed and calling on them to stand up and punish the moneyed interests who are keeping them down, usually by challenging the whole structure of the economy in a radical manner. edwards is a solid speaker on the subject, and has done yeoman's duty in reminding white america of the outrageous way in which poor people are treated in this country, but his approach to poverty is rooted in the current system, and is much more of a liberal, reformist, alleviating the excesses of the problem approach than anything that could be considered populist in any mkeaningful historical sense.

    i wouldn't put feingold as a populist either FWIW, nor dean. bernie sanders is about the only one that comes to mind. unsurprising, seeing as politics is by and large pretty well dominated by exceptionally rich folks, especially at the senate and statewide level.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 03:22:59 PM PST

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    •  I disagree... (none)
      When I think of populism I think of man wanting to fight for the people. Edwards has joined the picket lines down in California to aid group of people trying to create a security workers union. Edwards has been traveling to many college campuses all over the country encouraging young people to take on fighting poverty as the moral cause of their generation. He's been traveling around the country encouraging state legislators to put minimum wage increase initiatives on their state ballots. Edwards has visited with Blair and Brown to talk about domestic policies that alleviate poverty like babybonds. Edwards has given speeches to the ultra rich in the UAE encouraging them to invest in poor areas of the middle east. He fought major corporations for the interest of the little people. IMHO, he'd be a Pres. who would govern for the people and by the people.
      •  it is clear that you don't get populism (none)
        edwards is a champion of worthy causes, and increasingly solid on labor issues. his rhetoric and his intended audience is still in the liberal rather than populist form, however.

        every dem running for national office says they're "for the people." that isn't populist, that's standard boilerplate rhetoric. populism isn't telling college kids and suburbanites to care about the poor, populism is inciting the poor to soak the rich, and take control of their destinies by going after the banks themselves. huey long was a populist; FDR was a liberal. edwards is a great guy, but he's not encouraging anyone to "raise less corn and more hell."

        crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

        by wu ming on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:55:29 PM PST

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    •  bingo (none)
      Feingold is for the median guy. And I'll tell you what you won't get from Feingold.

      You won't get a running mate. You won't won't see him holding hands with some plutocrat from Massacusetts, and you won't see him voting for wars because it's the politically expedient thing to do.

      You'll get a guy with rolled up sleeves in the trenches fighting oppression and working to redirect our security toward goals that make sense; busting his hump to develop medical care for everyone, again and again and not the "oh, well I tried", Bill and Hillary show.

      Take some tapes of Edwards and Feingold and run them. Decide who means business.

      The country never had a Catholic President, and then it did.

      not the least advantage to "flyover" country is that y'all continue to do that

      by le sequoit on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:29:22 PM PST

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      •  I've seen Feingold... (none)
        While I may be impressed by many things he's voted for and against, he reminds me of Bayh when he speaks...bla. I know it seems very shallow but there are many candidates that don't have the "it" factor, when they speak their words just melt together and most people don't even want to pay attention after one sentence. For instance, Conyers, Kucinich, Feingold, Bayh, Clark, Richardson...need I go on?? When they speak I'm not inspired, even if the substance is inspiring if they can't voice it the right way it doesn't hit...do you know what I mean?
        •  Yeah, I do. (none)
          I liked Foghorn Leghorn , too. And I liked Preston in "The Music Man".

          But as we tossed kicking and screaming into the global fire by the upper and upper middle classes classes, I grow a little more aware of the candidates' appeal to my survival instincts.

          And the war thing, that's big for me. You skipped that part.

          not the least advantage to "flyover" country is that y'all continue to do that

          by le sequoit on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:00:27 PM PST

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      •  That;s a great line (none)
        The country never had a Catholic President, and then it did.

        If you don't mind, I may use that myself.

        "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
        (-8.63), (-7.03)

        by Perdition on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 07:34:39 PM PST

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