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Earlier this year, I said some comments about Wes Clark and his chances in 2008. I got a lot of shit for it, and came to the conclusion that what I did was wrong. We're not going to build a stronger Democratic party by tearing each other apart years before the presidential primaries in 2008. Instead, I suggested that we try and stay positive, focusing on why are our preffered candidates are a good choice.

In response to another diary today, I'd like to re-introduce Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

If, you have any questions to ask of the Senator himself, you can head over here and leave them in the comments. As many as possible will be answered and posted next week.

So, without any further ado, the case for Russ Feingold.

Russ Feingold was first elected to the United States Senate in 1992 based on a series of promises he made to the people of Wisconsin. He promised not to accept any pay raises during his term, to hold a listening session in each county every year, and to spend the majority of his time in Wisconsin. Relected in 1998 and 2004, he has never broken any of these promises.

In his Senate career, Russ Feingold has led on reform issues and worked with John McCain to pass the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation. He was also the ONLY Senator to vote against the USAPatriot Act because it took away civil liberties. Now, he is fighting to make sure the renewal of the act includes these protections. Senator Feingold opposed the war in Iraq and voted against it in OCtober 2002. But, he voted for the 87 billion dollars in equipment for our troops. This summer, Russ Feingold became the 1st Senator to call for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. He has called for a flexible withdrawal timeline ending around Dec 31, 2006. (Extensions are possible if extremely necessary).

Some other highlights:

100% Rating from the NAACP, NARAL, League of Coservation Voters, NAACP, and National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

The Senator is a "Deficit Hawk" according to the Concord Coalition and has pushed for balanced budgets. He is completely pro-choice and believes that there must be universal health care in this country - with every state having flexibility in its implementation.

As for electablity? I'll let this speak for itself.

Results from 2004 (Thanks to the Washington Post)

 John F. Kerry   (D)     1,488,935      50  
 George W. Bush * (R)     1,477,122      49  

 Russ D. Feingold *  (D) 1,632,562      55  
 Tim Michels (R)     1,301,305      44  

So head over to http://www.RussForPresident.com and join effort to draft the Senator in 2008, or at least ask him a question.

UPDATE

Just to clarify, RussForPresident.com will be having a Q and A session with Senator Feingold this week, so if you head over and submit a question, we'll get as many as possible asked of him

Originally posted to peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:04 PM PST.

Poll

Do you support Russ in 2008?

49%290 votes
33%195 votes
8%49 votes
6%40 votes
2%13 votes

| 587 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone who writes this (4.00)
    Earlier this year, I said some comments about Wes Clark and his chances in 2008. I got a lot of shit for it, and came to the conclusion that what I did was wrong. We're not going to build a stronger Democratic party by tearing each other apart years before the presidential primaries in 2008. Instead, I suggested that we try and stay positive, focusing on why are our preffered candidates are a good choice.
    gets a recommend from me.

    Daily Kos: turning unanimity into discord since...well...I frickin got here

    by AnnArborBlue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:00:36 PM PST

  •  Totally unnecessary... (4.00)
    ...to repond to that repulsive diary. But thanks anyway.

    Here's a link to a diary I did sometime ago that people may find useful.

    The Feingold FAQ

    •  Here are Feingold's weak points (4.00)
      1. Feingold's opposition to 1991 Gulf and 1998 Kosovo wars do make him too much of peace advocate (peacenik, if you will) for most Americans. It'll be easy to derail his candidacy in the general election on these grounds.

      2. Progressive rankings: You may have seen this in this kos diary. Accorging to ProgressivePunch.org, Feingold ranks only 19th among all the democrats ranked by their "progressiveness" scale. Here is the list, including Jeffords(I):


         1. Jack Reed (D-RI) 96.88%
         2. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) 96.86
         3. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) 95.55
         4. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 95.27
         5. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) 94.39

         9. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 91.71
        16. Barrack Obama (D-IL) 90.51

        19. Russ Feingold (D-WI) 89.16

        24. Kerry, John (D-MA) 85.91

        33. Harry Reid (D-NV) 80.90
        38. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) 75.77
        43. Max Baucus (D-MT) 72.37
        44. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) 56.25
        45. Ben Nelson (D-NE) 49.37


      Yes, he ranks well behind Hillary (who is quite progressive except for her war support, ladies and gentleman).

      But the man to watch is the one ranked at the top of that list: Jack Reed, who not only has the top-rated progressive credentials, but also 14 years of active duty experience to boot. Reed also edges out Feingold on the ADA rankings, which are by far less thorough than progressivepunch.org's ratings.

      Do you now know why that pathetic guy called Kerry jumped Reed last week on the announcement of iraq courses of action?

      A Gore/Reed ticket would be a stunning one, come 2008, but I also like: Dean, Feingold, Clark, Conyers, Boxer, Obama, among others for the VP slot.

      •  great (none)
        Great. Thanks for the resource. So I guess the Republicans can't get away with calling him too liberal.

        You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

        by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:15:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure they can (none)
          and they will. Other than death and taxes, the one certainty is that Republicans will call any and every Democrat a liberal.

          The question is not how to avoid the tag in the first place, it's what to do with it. And this is where people make a rather large mistake in dismissing Feingold too quickly as "unelectable because he's (fill-in-the-blank)."

          The guy's been "unelectable" from Day One, from the time he first ran for the State Senate in Wisconsin. He's already been called every name in the book (and Wisconsin is not quite as progressive as we'd like to believe). Yet he's never lost an election. That should say something.

          Keep spreading the word.

        •  but they'll call him (none)
          a peacenik based on his opposition to the 1991 gulf war alone.
          •  Why did he oppose the '91 war ? (none)
            I don't think there were too many compelling arguments against driving Saddam out of Kuwait.
            •  Nation building (none)
              Totally opposed to nation building.  As Bush claimed to be while campaigning, so that's a popular item with Republicans.  Unfortunately, Bush is a liar.

              "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

              by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:21:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  why (none)
              isn't invading a neighbor a compelling enough reason?
              •  World Policeman? (none)
                It's not clear that it's this country's job to step in every time a country invades a neighbor. There are plenty of conflicts where the US does not get involved.  Each case should depend on considerations of treaty obligations and national interest, and reasonable people could probably differ on our national interest in the case of Kuwait.  If Bush Sr. had decided to prosecute the war into Iraq and overthrow Saddam, we might have a different view of that war today.
                •  World is it's own policeman (none)
                  "It's not clear that it's this country's job to step in every time a country invades a neighbor."

                  But it IS the job of the world community to try and counter territorial aggression, whenever there is a clear cut case of breach of sovereignty of another nation. The US could lead a multinational push for doing that, being the world's most powerful nation/democracy.

                  Let me remind you that US's costs and casualties in the 1991 war were less than 10% of the totals thereof.

                  "If Bush Sr. had decided to prosecute the war into Iraq and overthrow Saddam, we might have a different view of that war today."

                  They should've asked for Saddam's peaceful surrender in return for some cushy exile. That would've worked, and with most of the world nations on our side, we would've been able to amass the necessary troops (500K+) in no time, and defeat the insurgency in a short duration. And insituting a democracy would've had a better chance of panning out then.

                •  Bush Sr. did what he should do, IMO.... (none)
                  ... i.e. build an international coalition, one that included not just nations eager to curry favor (I'm not scoffing at the Polands and Mongolias, because they do help us) but also those serving their own interests, and then do only what was required. To me, that is a model of how the US should behave. As much as people may claim oil is no justification for war, we do need it, and when international law is trampled on and it threatens our supply, it's worth fighting for.
          •  Sweet Jesus.. (4.00)
            Iraq I is so far in the past and blurred by the current debacle that no one is going to care how he voted on that.

            Why is being a warhawk equated with strong foreign policy in this country?

            It's quite possible to accomplish foreign policy goals without going to war.  In fact making a war an "option of last resort" (Bush's words) requires that you do so.  

            Using Iraq, and Bush's lies, Feingold is in a perfect position to explain why he supports a more reasonable foreign policy.

            (It would be nice if other Dems followed his lead.)

            •  see (none)
              "It's quite possible to accomplish foreign policy goals without going to war"

              diplomacy wouldn't have worked in 1991. Any measure such as sanctions would've also made kuwaitis pay the price. In fact, going by the events as they panned out, even a threat of war didn't make Saddam back down (he had several months to withdraw from Kuwait) before the hostilities began.

              As for Feingold, he will have a tough time explaining the 1991 war position, because waging a multilateral war to evict Saddam from Kuwait was the  justified position. Only they should've followed up with a smarter "end game" as I outlined in this comment.

              "Iraq I is so far in the past and blurred by the current debacle that no one is going to care how he voted on that."

              Quite to the contrary, the 1991 iraq war is intimately related to the current war, and his position will be called to question. If not by us in the primary and earlier, definitely by the republicans in the general election campaign.

              •  There seem to have been good reasons ... (none)
                for opposing it. I believe there were solutions involving Arab states intervention that were on the table (I heard Jim McDermott speak to this recently. I wish I could remember what he said. It was interesting but it zipped by too quickly.) And there was also that little matter of Bush1's ambassador giving the go-ahead to Saddam. I think, in light of that, the least we could have done is try to stop it without the horrid consequences of a war that, for all intents and purposes, seems to have been ongoing since then.

                Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                by NYCee on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 05:00:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think (none)
                  I'd still disagree with your conclusion, but what drew my attention was:

                  "And there was also that little matter of Bush1's ambassador giving the go-ahead to Saddam"

                  Do you know what the definitive last word on this matter was (or is)?

                  We first heard something like US saying "we'll look the other way" should Saddam invade Kuwait. Then for some time, the records were sealed I think. Then what happened? Exactly what words were exchanged between the then Amby and Saddam? If it is known, it  should be looked at.

      •  Blah (4.00)
        Yes, he ranks well behind Hillary

        Yeah, he gets a 89.16 instead of Hillary's 91.71. That doesn't mean anything.

      •  Well behind Hillary? (none)
        not exactly. in fact, probably not even significantly, statistically speaking.

        Although I consider myself a radical leftist progressive, I do not consider myself politically correct. It is hard to say without seeing the actual record of votes, but I suspect that some of Feingold's minus points come from voting against "progressive" bills that were, in fact, stupid. Just because a bill favors progressive outcomes, doesn't necessarily mean it is a good bill. And Russ is less likely than most to go along with something that at face value is progressive, but underneath is ... well, stupid. That is one of his most particular virtues.

        The mere fact that Feingold and Clinton come in at a statistical dead heat reveals the ineffectiveness of such a blunt statistical instrument. Hillary may be progressive when it comes to creating and funding miscellaneous government programs with progressive objectives, but those programs would be mostly unnecessary if not for the ill effects of the corporatist economy she supports.

        Elsewhere in dailykos, Ben Masel has noted that Feingold has "let him down" exactly SIXTEEN times in 13 years. Having met Masel a few times, and observed his career, primarily as a marijuana-legalization activist, I'm happy to say that:

        a) I expect that a candidate's "Masel Percentage" is a better indicator of intelligent progressivism than is the ranking from Progressive Punch.
        b) Hillary has probably let Masel down more times in her brief Senate career than has Russ in his 13 years.

        Still, Reed sounds interesting, and I'll be happy to give him a closer look, assuming he expresses any interest in running. And assuming he didn't vote for the PATRIOT Act. How long has he been in the Senate?

        But remember this: whether you like Feingold, or Reed, or Clinton, they are ALL SENATORS. And Senators don't win Presidential elections, unless they are named John F. Kennedy, or they are running against another Senator. So if you want to win with a Senator, you'd better pray the Republicans nominate one too. (Zell Miller in 08!)

        Senator winners:
        JFK, LBJ (incumbent running against a Senator).

        Senator losers:
        Goldwater.
        Humphrey.
        McGovern.
        Mondale.
        Dole.
        Gore.
        Kerry.

        •  Gore didn't lose in 2000 (none)
          Gore won the popular vote and most likely won Florida too. You should take Gore out from your list or at least put him in a separate category in all honesty.

          I agree that my saying that Feingold came well behind Hillary is not correct, but the fact that there were 10 senators separating HRC from RF on this scale means that RF is packed in the middle of the progressiveness scale along with Hillary.

          I think I'd rather work with a well-defined and objective scale of "progressiveness" (and possibly refine it) than the opinion of a single individual, however liberal/progressive that individual may be.

        •  yes, but ... (none)
          my problem with the well-defined scale of progressiveness is that it almost certainly doesn't properly take into account bad legislation that suits progressive tastes. and it probably doesn't take into account leadership on progressive legislation. and, without having gone to investigate, i'd be astonished if it took into account the non-legislative but still relevant progressive actions of the candidate -- such as Feingold's rejection of soft money, rejection of raises, "naive" ethics requirements for his staffers (when he started, they were not allowed to accept so much as a cup of coffee from a lobbyist -- don't know whether he's managed to maintain this standard, as nobody discusses it anymore.).

          I understand why you want such a thing as some sort of useful benchmark, but my point is that it is really just a starting point. The mere fact that Feingold placed in the middle of the pack is, to me, prima facie evidence that the benchmark has some big flaws. Feingold is far more progressive than Hillary Clinton. Period. If this benchmark indicates otherwise, it is seriously broken. Period.

          •  progressivepunch.org ratings (none)
            "The mere fact that Feingold placed in the middle of the pack is, to me, prima facie evidence that the benchmark has some big flaws. Feingold is far more progressive than Hillary Clinton. Period. If this benchmark indicates otherwise, it is seriously broken. Period."

            The word for this part of what you said is Faith.

            You'd need a proper, and then a more rigorous and thorough argument when repudiating what could be the most extensive congressional record database and analysis tool that there ever existed.

          •  It would be faith for you to take my word ... (none)
            I agree that it would be Faith on your part, because (and here I'm making an assumption) you are not a Wisconsinite, and so have less familiarity with Feingold's political history and philosophy.

            It isn't faith for me, because I know enough about Feingold and Clinton to compare them qualitatively, without resort to a blunt statistical measure. For example, does the PP rating weight the votes? How much is a vote against the PATRIOT act worth? The same as a vote to support some porkbarrel social program that soothes the progressive conscience while throwing dollars in the wastebasket?

            I voted for Nader in 2000, not because of his "lies" that Bush and Gore weren't much different, but because B and G weren't much different on the issue that mattered most to me: American corporatism and imperialism. Were you surprised when the planes hit the towers? Were you outraged when people suggested that the event might have been tied to American economic policies abroad? Did you wonder, however briefly, as did the Atlantic, "Must we torture"? Did you think the hijackers were "cowards"? If you (this now being a rhetorical "you", not necessarily you, NeuvoLiberal) answered yes to 2 or more of those three questions, then congratulations: You are not a progressive. You're a neoliberal american imperialist. Okay, I admit it, I'm just making that up to get your goat, I have no idea what you are. Don't take it too seriously. But the point is this:

            a. By the late 80s, I had begun to believe this nation was headed for a terrible accounting -- I could not contemplate the state of the world without considering Jefferson's famous, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

            b. Neither Clinton nor Gore ever said or did one thing to suggest to me that they recognized either that American international political and economic policy was morally wrong, or that it was going to bring down on our heads a grievous reckoning.

            c. The only hope I had was to drag the Democrats back to some reasonably leftward place before that grievous reckoning ensued. As it turned out, it was too late. Although I admit, one thing (among many) I did not anticipate was the shocking incompetence of the Bush Administration.

            But all that said, there isn't one reason Al Gore failed to become President. His failure required a complex set of interwoven factors, including:

            a. his essential conservatism, which alienated people like me.
            b. his personal stiffness.
            c. the BJ.
            d. the distortions of his senate voting record
            e. the lies about his lies
            f. his refusal to fight back, hard and ugly.

            I've heard it suggested that (f.) is a common problem for candidates from the Senate -- they've learned a culture of "comity" (whatever).

            But here's an  observation. You and I are simultaneously arguing different ends of the same principle.

            Me: Senators don't win. The statistics make that clear.
            You: The statistic is a blunt, oversimplification that doesn't get at the important factors that decided these elections.

            You: Feingold is not all that progressive, and in particular, no more progressive than Hillary. The statistic makes that clear.
            Me: The statistic is a blunt, oversimplification that doesn't get at the important factors that drove this vote or that vote.

            In any case, if the party chooses Hillary in 2008, I won't be lending a hand or a dollar, and I'll be casting yet another "wasted" protest vote.

        •  define winning and losing (none)
          The election was possibly stolen from Gore, and even if it wasn't stolen, it's true that, had it not been for that stupid butterfly ballot, he would have won.

          Nonetheless, he ran for President, and he did not become President. As far as I'm concerned, that's the end of the discussion about winning versus losing. Your mileage may differ. Gore should have beaten Bush with an electoral landslide. One reason he didn't was that the opposition was able to beat him up with his own Senate record. They lied, of course, but so what? They will always lie.

          •  t'was the BJ (none)
            "The election was possibly stolen from Gore, and even if it wasn't stolen, it's true that, had it not been for that stupid butterfly ballot, he would have won."

            "Gore should have beaten Bush with an electoral landslide."

            -----

            Nope. These are the reasons Gore didn't assume office:

            1. Clinton's BJ. Rove was able to spin this 2000 a vote against clinton's scandal and impeachment (remember the "restoring honor and integrity to the WH" theme of Bush'00 campaign?)

            2. Nader's lies that there wasn't much difference b/w bush and gore. Plus some Nader supporters' secondary endorsement of Bush over Gore.

            3. MSM spins and smears (and seen for the first time, so hard to respond unlike in 2004)

            forget butterfly etc. The first and foremost reason Gore lost was because of Clinton's blowjob.

            -----

            Yes, I think that Gore will win a landslide victory in 2008, should he decide to run.

      •  In what capacity did he oppose (none)
        the '91 Gulf War, if he wasn't elected to the Senate until 1992?  Wouldn't have been much of a campaign trail issue at that late date, '92 being about the economy and all.
        •  response (none)
          My information came from this comment at myDD.

          It looks like he sponsored a resolution in WI-Sen after the war commenced in 1991, asking for unilateral withdrawal. The resolution apparently called to resolve that "U.S. forces begin to withdraw from the Persian Gulf area immediately until their strength and numbers reach their level in the region prior to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait."

          I quote (and double-quote) from that comment.

          • ""State Senator Russ Feingold was not only a co-sponsor, but was also characterized as a "prime mover" behind the Resolution. "In 1991, when he [Feingold] served in the Wisconsin Legislature, he was a co-sponsor and prime mover behind Assembly Joint Resolution 6.""
          • ""Feingold stated that had he been in the U.S. Senate he would have voted against authorizing war in Iraq." (no source is cited)"
  •  And,,,, (4.00)
    Russ voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, NCLB, and the pathetic bankruptcy bill.

    He is pro-choice, describes himself as a Progressive rather than liberal.  He has one of the best attendance and voting records in the Senate.

    Russ is not an Israel-puppet.  He is not a fan of Sharon, is in favor of a Palestinian state, and does not auto-vote for Israeli interests.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:15:13 PM PST

    •  His votes against.... (4.00)
      ....NAFTA and CAFTA, I think, will do a lot to help him with working class voters across the country. Pundits will dismiss it, but if he's smart and publicizies it, I think he can get a lot of mileage for his support of fair trade. Kerry sort of just nibbled at the edges of criticizing unbalanced trade deals and that didn't help him in places like Ohio and West Virginia.
    •  Anti Death Penalty TOO, fer cryin out loud. (4.00)
      Fucking enlightenment and guts all in one. What a gem.

      He introduced a bill to abolish it nationwide and then sponsored a federal moratorium.

      He is on target on so many issues. Even the "unpopular" ones. However, IF our pols would just stop running and start earning their paygrade by taking the ethical and practical position (so often they go hand in hand, dont they?) to the people, eg, antideath penalty, I dont think we would have a majority in favor. American people are lazy thinkers, in the main. Just listen to Cspan callers a few mornings. They need to be fucking sold ... and frankly, shamed (in a finessed way) into changing their backward, ignorant thinking on the DP.

      EXCERPT from Feingold's statement

      The Death Penalty

      ABOLISHING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

      "I oppose the death penalty in all cases. I am proud that the great state of Wisconsin was the first in the country to abolish the death penalty, when it did so in 1853.

      In 1999, I introduced a bill to abolish the death penalty and called on all states to end the practice. It is time for America to leave the death penalty behind and take a hard look at its justice system, one that adds to a culture of violence and killing.

      We cannot allow the spectacle of constant executions to be swept under the rug. We know that already one hundred individuals who were on death row have been released. And we should shudder to think how many people have been sent to their deaths that were innocent. I fear if we don't keep the focus on the death penalty, many more mistakes will be made.

      At the minimum, we must enact legislation to pass a national moratorium on the death penalty in all states in this country and at the federal level as well. In 2000, I introduced the Federal Death Penalty Moratorium Act. [...]

      Continued here

      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:29:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  some links (4.00)
    heres another great diary about Feingold in 08

    http://www.swingstateproject.com/...

    Also check out some of his great ads here:

    http://www.russfeingold.org/...

    You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

    by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:17:16 PM PST

    •  note (4.00)
      Note how he even ran an ad explaining his vote against the Patriot Act. He didn't run away from his vote or cave in. Instead he stood up and justified his actions forcefully.

      You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

      by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:19:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I loved that Patriot Act ad (4.00)
        Didnt really know a lot about Russ before last year, I'll admit. But that ad was very good for the reasons you said.

        A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward- Franklin Roosevelt.

        by jj32 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:15:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for that link to his ads (4.00)
      I got to see the old '92 campaign ad of Russ showing us around his house. I remember the first -- and only -- time I saw that ad on TV. It was my first year of undergrad and I was back home in northern WI visiting my folks. I was up late with my mom watching TV -- well, she would say she was reading. I'd never even heard of Feingold. The ad cracked us both up, and I fell a little bit in love with Russ. I made sure to get an absentee ballot so I could vote for him while away at school.

      I was so thrilled when he won, and so hopeful about sending him and Clinton to Washington. A lot has changed since then, but I'm still hopeful. And still a little bit in love with Russ. He's got my vote.

      •  C-SPAN crush (4.00)
        Russ is on the tops of my list of c-span crushes--A completely different type of crush than the I-think-he's-cute-and-wonder-what-he-would-be- like-to-kiss-crush that you had when you were in jr. high. John Conyers is a close second.

        I like Russ because he makes me want to be smarter, stronger, kinder and with a better attitude.  He appeals to the best in my nature.  For that, I think I fell a little bit in love with him too.(not in a make-out way though) :)

        Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

        by strengthof10kmen on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:44:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Really good ads (none)
      Note also how he didn't raise tons of soft money from huge corporate donors but still managed to (a) produce really good commercials (I love the "morph" one, bringing home his understanding that he speaks for others when he speaks at the senate) and (b) win.

      And that "in your face" commercial - here's where these fat cats live, and here's who I am - one of you.

      Really nice.

  •  Mehlman says Feingold agrees with Bush on Iraq (4.00)
    Feingold responded to that with a letter to Bush.  I found this paragraph of the letter especially compelling and spirited:
    I introduced a resolution in June calling for such a flexible timetable and have spent much of the past six months, along with an increasing number of members of Congress, military and intelligence experts, and members of the public, repeating that call. I am therefore surprised and disappointed that the head of the Republican National Committee yesterday suggested that I actually agree with your Iraq plan. Allow me to set the record straight: your "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" is not a strategy for success and is not a substitute for a well thought-out plan to defeat the global terrorist networks that threaten the United States
  •  ratings (none)
    The ratings are a little misleading. I'm sure there was some session where Feingold did have 100% ratings from those organizations. But if you go to the LCV website, for example, you'll see that they give him a 92% rating. Not that that means much. 92 is still pretty damn good.

    Feingold is my choice too for president in 2008, so don't misunderstand me.

    It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain

    by Bundy on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:19:13 PM PST

  •  Yes!!! (4.00)
    I support him. He is the only contender for prez I have yet heard of who gets my seal of approval.

    Here's why.

    In a nutshell: His positions, his intelligence, his work ethic, his integrity and his expressed disdain for "Republican-Lite" demfoolery. Yes, he comes out and says it, and he points the finger at the DLC.

    Feingold is the REAL real deal for progressives. Any Dem who calls him/herself a progressive who doesnt grab this opportunity and RUN with it is nuts.

    Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:19:47 PM PST

    •  PS - I support Feingold because Im PRO-Life (4.00)
      More about that in a sec, but first, a slogan of sorts struck me this morning, regarding what we need in our leaders.

      I want a real deal progressive as our leader. Wanted: strong, fine NEW blood OR a strong, fine, proven vintage.

      As for prolife, hell, I dont mean antichoice. Hell no. I mean prolife as in ANTIwar except as a last resort and  ANTIdeath penalty. I am not a single or double issue person, but I choose these two to make my case for Feingold because he has never wavered in his opposition to the Iraq war and against the death penalty (proposed a moratorium). My god, isnt that refreshing in a man so capable and smart! He didnt need polls to take those stances, he needed COMPASSION, ethics, knowledge and integrity.  

      I am so tired of the death culture of our nation, so tired of the nature of the debate where the actual human suffering brought so callously onto others here and abroad by our govt, whether by bomb, torture or a gurney and a needle is increasingly normalized, muffled, missing the essential core that is basic human compassion behind humane behavior. It is because we are withering this core away that the rest will not hold.

      Russ Feingold understands this in a way that is rare to find in our pols. He is proven vintage, and yet, perhaps new blood in that he isnt a silver-haired multi-decade Hillster nor does he flash name recognition like Hillary or Edwards.

      The problem with Hillary or any other pol who adds to the coarsening of our nation, by supporting foul positions backed by bad ethical underpinnings, like preventive war and the death penalty (Edwards. Kerry - he's antiDP, I know, but he doesnt DO much about it and he was horrible on the war) is that, once they ride that coarse horse, it is hard to get them to make a real 160 degree turn. Imagine even if they want to become more Feingoldish - they will probably forever keep pieces of who they were that we didnt like in their bag of tricks, their make-up, or they must forever keep pieces of it in self defense, so as not to look like huge flip floppers or former lightweight dummies or they must disavow the entire case upon which they based their former opposite positions. If the latter, they must then do grand scale explanations, humility and mea culpas for their former foolish, harmful positions. This is too far a bridge to ask most pols to cross. And those who will do it often do it only to get to the other side, ie, to achieve the goals of their ambitions -- with our help. This is not integrity. We need integrity.

      We need someone who IS what we want. Not someone who will awkwardly try to paper over or muddle their former grave mistakes or tendencies, and who will be likely to exhibiting them again in future. We need someone fresh and/or someone who has proven to be what we would want in that fresh new face.

      I think we have the latter in Russ.

      Things are too seriously wrong to play around with leadership at this point in our nation. Far too serious. Feingold is a serious progressive. He doesnt flinch, he doesnt run, he doesnt go which way the wind blows. What more could we ask for? Go for the proven, I say ... unless someone far better materializes, and I dont see it. Go for Feingold.

      (Hmm ... Fine Gold ... Hmm ...)

      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:58:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More Russ and the Death Penalty (none)
        Russ Feingold was the only Senate Democrat to vote against the 1994 Clinton crime bill, primarily because it reinstated the federal death penalty.  Russ Feingold was so troubled by this that he voted against the entire bill, even though he supported most of the other parts of the bill.  That was a courageous - and some called it controversial - vote, especially for a then first-term Senator.  My already high opinion of Senator Feingold increased immensely after his courageous stance on this issue.  
        •  Fantastic. Thanks for the info (none)
          That is yet another big plus in the Feingold values column.

          Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 04:49:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  In Terms of "Electability"... (4.00)
    ...a Senator's homestate numbers don't mean anything.  I'll bet you could use similar numbers to argue for the supposed electability of all kinds of people you wouldn't want heading up a national ticket, like Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, etc.  You could also say that proves Daniel Inyoue should be our candidate because he ran 22 points ahead of Kerry, or that Sam Brownback doesn't have any electability issues even though he's a rightwing nut, because he ran ahead of Bush.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:21:03 PM PST

    •  not unelectable (4.00)
      It doesn't prove he's electable. You can't prove that one way or another. I think it does show that in a state thats nearly 50/50 Russ Feingold won by over 10% by running on his record. It shows that he can appeal to Dems, Reps, and Independents without running away from his votes. This isn't California and it's not Nebraska, it's a midwestern state. I think it suggests something about how he might do in Iowa and Ohio, but hey, at the very least we won't have to pump millions into Ohio :-)

      You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

      by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:24:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  whoops (none)
        won't have to pump millions into wisconsin

        You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

        by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:25:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then Why Not Evan Bayh? (none)
          And whose to say that he could beat Chuck Grassley or Richard Lugar?

          You seem to be missing the fact that what someone got in one race doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of national implications, especially when one doesn't consider the strength of the opponent.  Sometimes winning by 2 points is a hell of a lot more impressive than winning by 20.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:31:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about winning, it's about progress (none)
          If the Dems can't see that this a the only 21st Century man in their stable, he should run
          Progressive.

          Elsewhere in the post it is said Wisconsin is a "multi-ideolgical state."

          It is. We don't want another Clintonesque faux Democrat. we want progress.

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

          by le sequoit on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:28:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's also the fact (4.00)
        that Feingold is electable in a state that is ideologically diverse.  This means that his straight talking, his principled stances on issues, and his careful listening to voters have perhaps prompted some independent and Republican voters to look beyond their particular biases to embrace Feingold as a candidate.  (I also realize that Wisconsin isn't the South, isn't Ohio, isn't even Montana, really, and that it remains to be seen how well that appeal translates into the national situation.)

        It was this same stance of principled opposition that led me to believe that Dean would have done very well in the general election.  Dean wasn't an ideologue, no matter what Judy Woodruff or Wolf Blitzer might have said:  he was a moderate with a principled determination to take a stand and distinguish himself from his opponents.  You can't look at Dean's stump speeches, or at Feingold's rebuttal to Bush's Iraq speech in his TV appearence this week, and conclude that they don't know where they stand.  You'd be surprised how many people are willing to overlook their particular pet issues to embrace a candidate that looks like that.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:42:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No offense but... (none)
          Dean could have never won nationally, no matter how refreshing his straight talk was. As for Feingold, no matter how much I like him when I hear him speak he doesn't seem like the kind of guy that can appeal to the whole country. I could see why he'd win Winconsin, but he has no chance in the south.
          •  i think he could put florida into play (none)
            and flipping iowa, ohio and a couple of western states like nevada, new mexico or arizona would make the south's electoral votes irrelevant to the presidency anyways. we need a candidate willing to camapign in the south for downticket races and presenting ourselves as a national party, but the road to the white house need not pass through dixie.

            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 01:13:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't write off the south! (4.00)
              I don't want to hear if we take this one and that one we won't need the south. We need our candidate to campaign all over the country. We need our candidate to be able to connect with all kinds of people. We need a populist, someone who makes it clear that he'll fight for the whole country. We need someone like Edwards who is viewed favorably by a majority of repubs, indies and dems. Has everybody forgotton that states like MS have an entire voting population that has never been tapped?
              •  agrees (4.00)
                Russ agrees with you and the 50 state strategy. That's why he's already visited Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee to talk to voters and give them a choice. Democrats will never win if they're afraid to go down South.

                You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

                by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:39:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  read a little more closely (4.00)
                i agree that we cannot and should not write off the south, even when we expect that we will loese it. all i'm saying is that our electoral math does not depend on the south, and that it is entiorely possible to win the presidency as a democrat without a single southern state. any democratic candidate should pledge not to ignore a single region of the country, no argument there, but that is a dfifferent thing from saying that we need the south to win the presidency. the senate and the house, OTOH, do depend on the south.

                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 01:43:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The South (none)
                  Only two non-Southern Democrats were elected President in the 20th century.  The last time a non-Southern Democrat was elected President was 45 years ago.  I would advise the Democrats against nominating anyone but a moderate Southerner for the Presidency.  Although its technically possible for a democrat to win the Presidency without at least a good portion of the South, the fact is that it has never happened before.  Democrats should be wary of running northerners on a national ticket.
                  •  most of the 20th century (4.00)
                    had radically different political dynamics than today. the dixiecrat solid south of pre-civil rights movement america is now the base of the republican party. historical comparisons then do not point the way towards future electoral coalitions.

                    we own the coasts and the great lakes. the republicans own the non-florida south, the mountain west (although i think it's soft) and the lower midwest. by going after the midwest and the southwest, we can win without touching the old democratic southern base.

                    the republicans have no chanceof winning the west coast or  new england, but you do not see them seriously campaigning there or limiting themselves to california or new york republicans, because it isn 't an appropriate strategy for their strengths. we need to accept that the country has shifted from where it was, and adapt to it. we can win in the south eventually, but it will take about a decade's worrth of local organizing to push the dynamics back in our favor IMO.

                    the real question is, who is most likely to turn the midwest, florida and a couple southwestern states? i'm not sure southerners are the silver bullet the way they were a decade or two ago. the south has its regional drawbacks as well as its advantages, and there is a lot more to this country than new england and the south.

                    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 02:21:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  South reply (none)
                      "most of the 20th century
                      had radically different political dynamics than today. the dixiecrat solid south of pre-civil rights movement america is now the base of the republican party"

                      The problem with this argument is that no non-Southern democrat had been elected president in the past 45 years, which means that post-civil rights movement America has NOT elected a non-Southern Democrat President.  Moreover, your observations about the dixiecrats now voting republican actually works against your larger point.  When the South was controlled by Democrats, Southerners would gladly support liberal northern democrats (FDR, JFK) in exchange for being left alone on the civil rights issue.  Now that no such agreement exists between the South and the national Democratic party in a post-civil rights America, Southerners will actually be LESS likely to vote for non-southern liberal democrats.  So yes, dynamics have changed, but in a way that increases the Democrats' need to nominate a Southern liberal.  Without picking off some upper South states, no democrat is going to win a national election.  No democrat ever has in the history of the part, including in the years since the civil rights movement.  Remember Gore ran a lost closer even in Florida than did Kerry.

                      •  the south drifted inexoribly away from clinton (none)
                        and then gore, from 1992-1996-2000. i think we are reaching the point where the south is as out of play as new england is for the republicans. at any rate, you do not need those states to get a majority, regardless of whether those electoral votes were critical in a different political reality.

                        supporters of edwards and gore said that they would carry the south as southerners, and yet they did nothign of the sort. if we want to eb competitive in the south again, a southern accent isn't going to be enough to swing it. it will take sustained local action, and it won't be ready by 2008.

                        besides, are you claiming that post-civil rights america begins in 1960? the civil rights act wasn't even passed then.

                        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 02:52:05 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Edwards is the one who can win over... (none)
                      the  midwesterners and the south. He is one of the only dems who is viewed favorably by 60% of repubs. I think his message on fighting poverty and creating a working soicety as a means to end poverty is a message that will carry across the country.  
                      •  the same argument was made in 2004 (none)
                        and yet we didn't pick up anything in the midwest or the south, losing iowa and new mexico while picking up new hampshire (although i will concede that it is possible that we did actually win ohio). at any rate, edward's strength is not his southernness so much as his having taken up the banner of poverty and fair trade. i'd bet feingold and edwards will be fightuing over the same group of voters in the primaries, especially now that edwards has tacked left smartly to catch up with the antiwar majority sentiment. smartest political move of the bunch so far.

                        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 02:59:01 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I didn't know Edwards was our pres candidate.... (none)
                          Kerry was at the top of the ticket and that's who people voted for. They didn't vote for the Kerry/Edwards ticket because Edwards was vp. Although I've heard many repubs say on Air America that if Edwards was at the top of the ticket instead of Kerry they would have voted for him instead of Bush.
                          •  that wasn't what the edwards people were saying (none)
                            when the question was who would be the best veep, as i recall. regional home state advantage is increasingly unimportant, as our political parties become more ideologically consistent. the point being, neither gore nor edwards had much of an effect on their home states, because the south and the north are in the process of settling out ideologically. clinton presided over a democratic decline in the south too for the same reason, even as he helped to turn the west coast permanently democratic. edwards was a good choice IMO, but the claims that he could carry the south were always erroneous, for the simpler reason that the votes weren't there for democrats, and they're moving in the wrong direction outside of northern virginia.

                            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 07:05:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  South needs to get over itself. (none)
                    I decline to be held hostage by the south. If they want me to vote for a Southern Democrat, they'll need to nominate one who shares my values. (Hint: Bill Clinton did not.)
          •  So? (none)
            Russ has a chance to take FL, and as far as the rest of the south, the Democratic party doesn't have a candidate that would win LA, MS, AL etal.  

            We aren't going to win the south.  Period.  I don't care who runs.  Our best hope is to take FL and forget the rest.  

            It looks like NV, NM, VA might all be in play next election, and possibly NC.  But I don't see any Dem having an advantage over any other.  Oops, I'll change that.  Russ is rated VERY high by hispanics.  Very high.  Might translate into votes in NM, AZ, TX.  

            "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

            by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:23:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hey (none)
              do you have those numbers on hispanics, and perhaps comparable numbers for other candidates? i didn't know about that, and it would reinforce my hunch that russ'd play exceptionall well out west.

              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 03:09:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Project Vote Smart (none)
                Civil Rights
                (Back to top)

                2004  Senator Feingold supported the interests of the Arab American Institute 60 percent in 2004.

                2003-2004  Senator Feingold supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 88 percent in 2003-2004.

                2003-2004  Senator Feingold supported the interests of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 97 percent in 2003-2004.

                2003-2004  Senator Feingold supported the interests of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights 96 percent in 2003-2004.

                2003-2004  Senator Feingold supported the interests of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda 100 percent in 2003-2004.

                From their PVS site.  I can't do links - way too blond, but here are the most recent statistics.  If you go to their site,,,you'll see records back to 2000 I believe, plus issue statements, voting record, etc.  Pretty good site.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

                by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:38:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Supported? (none)
                  Where are the real polls? He gets a 60% for supporting Arab Americans, why is that? He only gets 88% supporting human rights, does that mean for the majority he supports human rights but falls short of supporting  human rights fully? Not the best statistics to show. Since you're a Feingold woman how are his environmental standings? It seemed like every lib loved Dean but ignored that he didn't have the best environmental record as gov. How is Feingold on the environment?
                  •  Environment (none)
                    Clean Water: Russ Feingold has opposed numerous efforts to roll back or eliminate the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act and cosponsored legislation requiring the establishment of a national drinking water standard and treatment techniques for harmful bacteria.

                    Preserving Wetlands: Senator Feingold fought provisions in the 1996 Clean Water Act that threatened the classification and protection of wetlands, and authored a clean water bill that would clarify that streams, ponds, and lakes are subject to Clean Water Act protections.

                    Air Quality: Senator Feingold has fought efforts by the Administration and some Republicans to undermine federal enforcement of Clean Air Act protections. In April 2004, Feingold joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues to ask the Administration to re-evaluate its proposed federal mercury emissions plan.

                    Defending Wilderness: Senator Feingold is the founder of the Senate Wilderness and Public Land Caucus. This 10 member bipartisan caucus defends existing wilderness areas, and provides a forum for Senate members seeking to designate new areas as wilderness. One such area that Russ Feingold has shown national leadership in Congress was by helping designate a 9 million acre area of redrock wilderness in Utah.

                    Drilling in ANWR: Russ Feingold has always stood against drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Drilling there sidesteps the energy concerns that our nation faces and also destroys wildlife habitats needlessly.

                    Drilling in the Great Lakes: Senator Feingold cosponsored the Great Lakes Amendment, passed by the Senate in July 2000. This will prevent both onshore and offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes until Congress has clear information about dangers that drilling could pose to the Lakes. In 2004, Senator Feingold has urged ths US Senate to extend this moratorium.

                    Toxic Waste Clean-up: Since Senator Feingold took office in 1993, he has worked with the EPA to complete toxic waste cleanups in 16 Wisconsin communities. This is five times as many sites as were cleaned up in the previous 12 years combined.

                    Saving Taxpayers Money: Senator Feingold believes that by protecting the environment, we do not have to hurt the nation's budget. In fact, he believes that we can help the situation by practicing sound conservation. Senator Feingold has proposed reform of the Corps of Engineers, which would remove 54 billion in proposed projects. This bill would also make sure that water projects are subject to sound economic analysis, and also that the government meet the same standards that private developers meet regarding wetlands. Senator Feingold has also worked to require that large agribusiness interests payback taxpayers for costly irrigation subsidies. Senator Feingold has also introduced legislation to eliminate tax breaks for mining companies who mine on public lands. This legislation would save the taxpayers $478 million over five years.

                    Awards:

                    The League of Conservation Voters recognizes Senator Feingold as having one of the highest lifetime voting records of any seated U.S. Senator.

                    The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, which consists of 84 hunting and trapping organizations in Wisconsin and the National Wildlife Federation presented Senator Feingold the 2004 Conservation Service Citation for his efforts to protect water quality and fight for wetlands protections.

                    The National Parks and Conservation Association has recognized Senator Feingold's perfect 100% voting record for supporting legislation to protect and conserve our national parks and given him the Friends of the National Parks Award (2000, 2002): .

                    Taxpayers for Commonsense recognized Senator Feingold for his work reducing the deficit through environmental protection by giving him the "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Award (2000).

                    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

                    by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:21:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Please,,,,, (none)
                    read the entire post.  I am not technically astute enough to post links, as hard as I have tried to learn.  Check the site - the records are there for his entire Senate career.  In years past, he has scored 100% on Civil Rights.  

                    These scores are based on voting records.  They are partisan in nature, obviously.  That must be taken into consideration.  

                    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

                    by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:23:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  asdf (none)
                      i'm sorry, what i was initially asking was did you have his approval ratings by latino/hispanic voters, not organizations. i know feingold is...uh...gold when it comes to his voting record. i was curious if everyday latino voters were aware of it.

                      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 06:58:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Personally (4.00)
            I think anyone who can come off as a straight shooter who isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in.  Remember Bill's "It's better to be strong and wrong than weak and right"? - Well I think that even in the south where people might disagree with Feingold, if they see that he votes his conscience, that they know where he stands on the issues, that he has thoughtful reasons for his positions that he can articulate well , they will support him.

            I'm thinking our biggest obstacles have nothing to do with the candidate we choose:

            A) Voting machines

            B) Finding campaign managers that don't suck

            C) Overcoming the anti-dem sheeple media - cultivating good press

    •  damn straight! (none)
      Inyoue/Bayh '08!

      Daily Kos: turning unanimity into discord since...well...I frickin got here

      by AnnArborBlue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:25:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's Make It... (none)
      ...Barbara Mikulski for the Dems vs. Kit Bond.  Or maybe Patty Murray vs. Johnny Isakson.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:28:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right on for Barbara Mikulski! (none)
        I'll vote for her any time I can. She is 100% the real deal. Exceptionally clean, politically and financially, and a real progressive.
        She has gotten where she is, politically, one voter at a time. She is NObody's tool.
        A true blue, greatest good Democrat.

        I'm the plowman in the valley with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:27:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What you're ignoring.... (none)
      ....is the fact that Feingold was well to Kerry's left on a number of major issues, but performed better with more conservative voters. Inyoue is a fixture in the Senate, so of course he's going to outdraw Kerry.
      •  So Are Mikulski and Murray (none)
        By this reasoning, Barbara Mikulski is much more electable than Russ Feingold, because Feingold only ran four points better than Kerry and only beat his opponent by 11, whereas Mikulski ran 9 points better than Kerry and beat her opponent by 31 points.  

        So are you going to argue that Mikulski is more electable than Feingold, or that this measure/estimate of electability is pretty useless?

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:55:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not the only standard (none)
          I think that Feingold is more electible (though I hate that term) for a number of reasons. That said, Mikulski would make a fine President.
        •  yeah, but Mikulski and Murray (none)
          are both from state that pretty solidy to Kerry. Wisconsin is a very diverse state in terms of politics, and Russ was able to appeal to lots of different types of people.

          A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward- Franklin Roosevelt.

          by jj32 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:22:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then We're Back to Bayh and Nelson (none)
            My point is that any way you look at it, arguing that Feingold is electable because he got 55% in a state that has gone Democratic in five straight presidential elections and has Dems in the other major statewide offices isn't a very compelling argument.  I think Kohl has gotten higher numbers than Feingold.  I know that in Michigan, which has been less Democratic than Wisconsin, Carl Levin has racked up bigger wins than Feingold, including in 2002, which was a generally crappy year.  

            My point is that saying he's electable nationally based on running a few points better than Kerry, especially since he was running as an incumbent against an underfunded and non-targeted challenger, is not in the least convincing.  In fact, the more I think about it, Feingold's performance is actually pretty damn underwhelming for someone who's supposedly a strong national candidate.

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:10:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  but did mikulski (none)
          do better with maryland conservatives than kerry? that's feingold's selling point in WI, especially up in the libertarian northern part of the state.

          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 03:11:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re northern Wisconsin (none)
            Ben Masel's analysis points to more factors -- just so it's known that far more important in the deep woods than deep thoughts and libertarian principles are some factors that may not be so progressive . . . such as hunting:

            "The biggest differential between Feingold's and Kerry's totals in 2004 came in the Northwods counties which resemble the West more than the Corn Belt or Rust Belt.

            "Timber and Tourism economies, libertarian culture. Kerry's vote for renewing the Assault Weapons Ban hurt him there."

            And Feingold is against gun control. . . .

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 09:38:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the gun thing (none)
              is part of what makes him a strong contendah in the west IMO. you are correct that i was paraphrasing ben's argument. i decided to accept the political wisdom of the state-level gun control argument back when i decided on dean in 2002.

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

              by wu ming on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 12:27:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  hey! i like inyoue! (none)
      And he's from Hawai'i, not California.
  •  Yeah, Russ... (4.00)
    Every time I see him talk he just impresses me even more.  Last Sunday on, uh, whatever show he was on he answered every question without dodging, lying or waffling.  He just said what he felt and supported it with clear rational reasons

    I feel Russ is the kind of guy who not only won't ignore dissenting voices, but will listen and learn from them for the betterment of the country.

  •  asdf (4.00)
    Somebody is going to tell us this guy is not electable. They might have a point, if the "electable" candidates we've been stuck with had been elected.

    Seems to me as if Feingold is the potential candidate for progressives in the pack -- though we may be forced once again to work for the practical, not the desirable.

  •  If nothing else (none)
    it's refreshing to see a candidate whose supporters talk more about issues than electability. Which is exactly why WI voters chose Feingold in the 1992 Senatorial primary in the first place.

    We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

    by badger on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:27:28 PM PST

    •  Why Russ won in the '92 primary (none)
      was primarily because it was a three-way race, and the other two went negative.  And he didn't.  It's a classic case study in when and when not to go negative (yes, there is a time to do it -- and that time never, ever is in a three-way race. . . .).

      That's the main reason he won the '92 primary -- and he won the '92 election because the GOP incumbent was by then widely recognized as, well, a fool.

      Since then, Russ has won in part because incumbents win who aren't fools . . . and because the GOP has run fools -- but, yes, because he is respected as more principled, i.e., more focused on the issues than on the campaign, than most politicians.

      All this background needs to be out there for those who would back him in a national race.  We need to be truth-based about the past as well as in the future.  There is nothing wrong with saying that Russ was not only principled but campaign-savvy in '92 in refusing to get dragged into the much of that awful, negative mess!

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:27:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Feingold did go negative (none)
        There's no way the primary ad with cardboard cutouts of Moody and Checota getting splattered with mud wasn't a negative ad. It just didn't have the ominous music, carefully selected nasty pictures, wild,overblown claims and insinuating narrator that most negative advertising has.

        But Feingold also produced one of the worst pieces of campaign literature I've ever seen. Wish I'd saved it. It was a single sheet with (as I recall) 100 simple statements (both sides of paper) listing every major Feingold position. Many of them were fairly daring for 1992 (a strong position on balanced budgets, for example, which was far ahead of other Dems adoption of the issue). Without that, I still might have been uncomfortable voting for an unknown state legislator over a Congressman and a former state party chair.

        I can't speak for other people - maybe the ads were more significant, but Feingold as an unknown beat two strong Democrats (getting 2/3s of the vote in a 3-way race) and went on to unseat the incumbent Republican in the general.

        Most people I know from WI know pretty well where Feingold stands, and aren't that surprised when he does something like being the lone vote against the PARTIOT Act, or the vote confirming Ashcroft. Somehow he's managed to communicate his positions effectively.

        Kasten beat Nelson (who was an incumbent, but no fool) and Russ barely beat Neumann (who is a fool, but a pretty tough campaigner).

        We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

        by badger on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:22:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wait (none)
          It was the worst piece of campaign literature you've ever seen, but it is what got you to vote for him.

          So maybe it had its intended effect....

          lib-er-al: Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not limited to or by established, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes.

          by DCescapee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:37:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (none)
            It was truly ugly - something like a third generation Xerox of something typed on a manual typewriter. I don't know where I picked it up or how it got distributed, but I remember discussing it with a few other people who also had copies - the more liberal among those were seriously concerned about some of Feingold's positions.

            It was flat out honest and blunt, and written in a way that groups of statements on one issue kind of segued into the next issue.

            I don't know if was just something someone threw together a passed around to a few friends, or it was some faux grassroots piece of strategy, but in the end it was probably what convinced me to vote for an underdog I'd never heard of before.

            We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

            by badger on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:17:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Now first (none)
          you say he was about issues, and then you say he went negative -- which is not about issues but about personalities.

          And past the primary, yes, I said he beat the incumbent -- but the incumbent was Kasten, who was the fool in deep trouble and was going to be beat by whichever Dem won the primary.  It was Kasten who beat Nelson, the late great Gaylord Nelson -- who, yes, was the incumbent but got smeared by Kasten.

          That was '80.  Now, back to '92, Feingold was hardly an unknown -- he was well-known as a legislator, having served for a decade, as I recall, or close to it.  He was well-known because he ws the maverick, even then -- and well-connected through his father, well-known and respected in Dem circles for decades before. . . .

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 09:31:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Campaigns (none)
            have a lot of parts - Feingold ran ads which weren't issue oriented, particularly in the primary when he needed to differentiate himself and boost name recognition. 10 years in the Legislature doesn't do much in that direction, IMO, and Feingold certainly wasn't as well-known as some other legislators. In WI (back then anyway) it's rare to see legislators on TV or in the papers, and even the political programming I used to listen to on WHA every morning rarely (if ever) had legislators on.

            Beyond the "garage door" ads (which are marginally issue ads), most of his advertising wasn't that strongly issue-oriented, but even during the primary I recall him being quite strong on issues like deficits, taxes, health care and other things. I think the ads made Feingold visible, but his issue positions and things like integrity and independence have won him elections.

            It's basically the same here - when people discuss Feingold, it tends to be because they like what he stands for - with other Presidential candidates (Warner, Clinton, even Kerry, Clark somewhat), it tends to be electability, demographics, or something other than issues.

            We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

            by badger on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 10:54:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, his stand against gun control (none)
              is a principle that has played well in Wisconsin for him.  Whether it will do so with urban eastern progressives would be interesting.  

              As for the rest, we analyze his campaign strategies and tactics a bit differently.  Going nowhere on that, so -- so it goes.

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 05:45:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  plus he isn't a "moderate" southerner (none)
    'nuff said.

    "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
    -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

    by Leggy Starlitz on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:30:22 PM PST

  •  Lots of fine positions, (none)
    but I believe he needs to re-think his position on Iraq. Our troops must not be targets until for another year. If he'd stand with Murtha, maybe. But as long as he's in I'll stay with Clark since urgently needed diplomatic and military experience.

    Capitalism is not a form of government.

    by cotterperson on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:31:19 PM PST

    •  Excuse me, (none)
      Murtha's plan didn't call for an imedeate pull-out either, in fact, I think his time-table was comparable to Feingold's.

      So the, how exactly is Feingold not standing with Murtha in your estimation?

      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:31:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Murtha: as soon as 'practicable', 6 months max (none)

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:38:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Having different numbers (none)
          Is hardly not standing with him.

          I really don't like the "with us or against us" mentality that's surfaced over Murtha's plan. We're not at a consensus of what the time table shold be, Hell, we're just bearly at a consensus that there should be a time table.

          Accusing legislators who don't agree 100% with Murtha of disloyalty is (to whom exactly, anyway?) is not a good way to move the debate forward.

          Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

          Feingold for President

          by Goldfish on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 03:11:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  For me, it's loyalty to troops and innocents (none)
            Murtha would have the troops out six months earlier. They're targets, and the results of that are growing worse at increasing rates. We're not certain about Iraqi deaths, but I've seen estimates ranging from 25,000 to 100,000. I hope those estimates are wrong.

            For any more details, see diaries by RubDMC.

            Capitalism is not a form of government.

            by cotterperson on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:12:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't who you think (none)
              The loyalty is due. In point of fact, notice I didn't specificy that. Having a disagreement over what the best timetable for a pull out is is not an act of disloyalty. As I said before, it's a bad way to move the debate forward.

              Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

              Feingold for President

              by Goldfish on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:24:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't believe Feinstein is disloyal (none)
                to anyone. Many Dems seem to share his position, so there must be reasons. I read quite a lot yesterday about Democrats's reactions to Murtha's resolution, but came away unenlightened.

                I just don't understand why we should stay longer when we've been asked to leave by Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds alike. They have a right to self-determination, in my view, and I haven't heard a convincing argument for drawing down more slowly. It seems clear that would involve more of war's horrors.

                There's a  lot to like about Feingold, and I don't mean to put him down. I simply haven't found a clear explication of the reason behind his view that we should stay through calendar 2006. That is my only issue of disagreement that I know of.

                Capitalism is not a form of government.

                by cotterperson on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 07:21:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Some concerns (none)
    Sen. Feingold is a Senator. Not a good starting position, for well-known reasons.

    More importantly, he has zero executive at-bats, lifetime. It's common misconception around here that a politicians job begins and ends with making speeched -- and therefore we should elect the ones whose speeches we like best. Feingold makes good speeches, in his role as Senator and as public intellectual. Not much of a qual for the job of POTUS (the biggest executive gig in the world) ... or for that matter, the job of Nominee (one of the more challenging).

    Moreover, Feingold has no network to speak of. He's a political isolate. As Nominee, you need a substantial network. As President, you need to bring about 20,000 allies to town with you -- most of them competent.

    Feingold has kept promises. Obscure, unimportant, process-oriented promises. (Much like WI's earlier Sen. Proxmire.)

    Feingold has embraced issues dear to the hearts of Kostown. Issues most voters would see as obscure process stuff (CFR, PATRIOT) if they were aware of them at all. No significant legislative (or other) presence on issues most voters would name when they name "the issues".

    Vocal opponent of the war. Props for that, but limited foreign policy chops ... and that won't be a differentiating position in 2008.

    Profile: An attractive, well-spoken, process-oriented, corner-case eccentric with limited gifts in the teamwork department. A fine Senator, a Wisconsin Original, a dubious Nominee, and a poor prospect for effectiveness in office.

    None Dare Call It Stupid!

    by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:35:52 PM PST

    •  Frankly, Wellstone or Even Bernie Sanders... (none)
      ...come across to me as more viable candidates.

      I respect and appreciate the positive tone of this diary, and decry the idiotic screed that prompted it.  But really, this may piss people off, but I see this "Feingold is electable" stuff as somewhat akin to angels and heads of pins arguments, because I don't see any way he comes close to getting the nomination.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:39:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  getting the nomination (none)
        "because I don't see any way he comes close to getting the nomination."

        There's a very clear way for him to get the nomination. We go out into our communities and spend the next 2 years talking to people about him. Then, when the time comes we go out and vote. A person is only electable if you vote for him.

        And, we don't do it by running a negative campaign. We let his opponents smear each other like they did in 1992. Let's stay about the fray, talk about issues that matter to people, and i think the Senator will come out on top.

        You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

        by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:43:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry (none)
          I'm speaking as someone who works in politics, not someone hoping for something.  Feingold won't put together the team, he won't raise the money, he won't get the endorsements, and he won't generate the positive press and excitement he would need to be a viable candidate.  And it's not because of his distance or proximity to the other candidate on the political spectrum, it's because he's a process liberal, not a red meat liberal.  And process leaves people cold.  

          He's a fine Senator, and he has some unorthodox views and isn't so calculating that he's afraid of his shadow.  I think he really is his own man.  But his version of his own man just isn't one that's conducive toward winning the nomination.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:02:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right.... (none)
            Fiengold could hope for a large grassroots prganization like Dean's back in 04. Even if that happens he'll be the Dean candidate, the one that won't get all the way there. My prediction is Clinton, Edwards and Warner will be the frontrunners during the primaries. Bayh, Feingold, and Clark are all missing presidential qualities like money and charsima to get them the nomination.
          •  Actually (none)
            Feingold is known for assembling a top notch staff in DC. He has been able to hire some of the most sought-after Senate staffers because people desperately want to work for him since they think he is the "Real Deal" - despite the fact I'm told he actually pays less than everyone else because he likes to have a bigger staff.

            However, you are right that he is at a major disadvantage compared to Clinton and some others in terms of connections to the major Democratic consultants, fundraisers, and endorsers, and at the moment he is largely ignored by the press.  There is no question that he faces a huge uphill battle.

            But I think you can tell by many of the comments and polls on this site that he has a very strong base of grassroot/netroot support.  People have already launched several different "Draft Feingold" style websites and are now setting up state-specific sites.  He has already spurred a very devoted, active following.

            I think there is a very real chance that he could become the Dean of the 2008 campaign - and Dean was certainly able to generate a ton of press coverage and raise money from the netroots.  While Dean obviously came up short, the dynamics will be somewhat different in 2008, and in my opinion, Russ is a less divisive figure than Dean among primary voters (I think there were a lot more people who were "anti-Dean" across all Democratic constituencies than there will be for Feingold).

            lib-er-al: Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not limited to or by established, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes.

            by DCescapee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:35:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  unless i'm missing something (none)
            dean out-fundraised his better-connected opponents because he struck a chord with the grassroots. i see no reason why feingold couldn't do the same, especially given the netroots' rapid expansion post-election. lots of little pockets starts to add up.

            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 03:14:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dean Got People Excited (none)
              I just don't see Feingold doing that.

              Plus, two factors that helped Dean that won't help Feingold.  One, online fundraising hadn't become the huge factor it became until Dean benefitted from it.  It's no longer the novelty it was two and three years ago; Dean was initially like the military that first uses an innovating new weapon or strategy before anyone else has adopted it or learned how to adapt to it.  Second, Dean was the only serious candidate running for President, at least until Clark got in fairly late, who spoke out against the war.  Dean's surge was as much about the futility of the rest of the candidates to appeal to the anti-war Dem base as it was his own doing (besides the obvious wisdom of his position and the appeal of his rhetoric).  In 2007-8 there won't be one person opposing the war and all the other candidates defending it.  And the IWR vote will be sufficiently in the distance that it probably won't matter as much as it did last time around.  

              Besides, the only two possible candidates who I think are serious contestants who cast a yes vote on that measure are Clinton and Edwards.  I don't see anyone else who's a serious threat for the nomination coming out of the Senate who also voted yes for it.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:23:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  charisma (none)
            Right after the 2004 election, I vowed that I'd drop out of school and work on Russ Feingold's campaign if he ran in 2008.

            Sure, I'm just a measley college student, but I don't imagine I'm the only one with this impulse. It is quite possible that Sen. Feingold wouldn't have to "put together a team," such a team might just come to him. Same thing goes for money...you don't have to raise anything if people keep throwing money at you, even if it's just online contributions of $20 or $30 at a time.

      •  Sanders, yes, or Patty Murray! But Wellstone ... (none)
        ... has a viability problem.

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:49:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  with the center-right split 6 ways to sunday (none)
        and no competition on the left, feingold might end up doing better than expected. especially in iowa and new hampshire. southern tuesday, not so much.

        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 01:05:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Edwards will win Iowa, Clinton will win NH (none)
          Warner or Edwards will win SC or OK. Are they choosing a western state for the primaries?
          •  still very much up in the air (none)
            i agree that edwards is the only real competition to feingold in iowa, but obviously do not agree that it's cut and dried. no way hillary wins in NH; i think she's a lot stronger in the south, actually, at least during the primaries, than in cranky anti-establishment new hampshire. feingold has got to take the first two, go hard for the western primary should that happen, and depend on wins in the midwestern states to stay in the game until the big coastal states. i can see it coming down to edwards-hillary-feingold on super tuesday, with california and new york deciding the race.

            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 01:39:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Feingold (none)
              will be very, very competitive in Iowa.  Wisconsin and Iowa are very similar states, and in fact there is a very strong connection between the two states.

              Plus Russ's one-on-one style will go over very well there.

              Isn't Michigan one of the states that might jump in front of New Hampshire?  If so, I think that would also be a huge boost for Feingold.

              lib-er-al: Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not limited to or by established, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes.

              by DCescapee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:50:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not Michigan.... (none)
                The DNC is looking to add a western state to the primaries. My guess is they'll pick New Mexico, even though I wish they'd pick Oregon or Washington!
                •  oregon would be ideal IMO (none)
                  a nice mix of urban left coast dems (who are invariably ignored except as ATMs) and rural libertarian dems with depressed extraction economies that need addressing. and the ethnic balance is pretty standard for the non-california/new mexico/hawaii west (ie. pretty damn white with significant latino population).

                  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 03:05:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actually (none)
                  There is talk of adding between two and four states before New Hampshire.  According to this article, there is talk of adding a western state and southern state, but possibly others.  In fact, the entire effort came about because Michigan threatened to unilaterially move up its primary, and Dingell and Levin are the two people pushing the effort.  And the proposed plan is called the "Michigan Plan."  So I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan as one of the states moving up.

                  lib-er-al: Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not limited to or by established, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes.

                  by DCescapee on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 03:15:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I know politics... (none)
                    And politics tell me that they'll pick NM for the western state. Of course Richardson would love that! I live in Oregon and have lived in Washington as well. We have a larger population then NM or AZ, and we are a region all its own. In the Northwest, we our the most environmentally conscious of the country. We can get our repub senators to vote against fellow repubs for the environment, because the repubs can't stay alive if they vote against the environment up here. Our region has long been ignored in politics, and I wish we could play a biggger part in our national elections. Plus, if we have the primaries up here I don't have to travel all the way to Iowa to campaign for Edwards. Sorry Feingold lovers, I'll be fighting against you guys in Iowa!
          •  Clinton will not win NH (none)
            I don't know anyone pro-Hillary in this state.

            One may criticize our primary all you like (I myself believe we should be paired with some other states early on), but one thing we don't do is go with style over substance.

            Sen. Clinton's constant opportunism doesn't win her points up here (e.g. her pecuniary-based support of NY's Int'l Paper Co. proposed tire burn, which will degrade VT/NH air quality).

            A good example of NH's voting behavior is McCain's thrashing of Bush in the 2000 primary. (As the '04 NH primary was around 6 minutes after Iowa (snark), the Iowa media momentum played too big a role to effectively gauge NH feeling)

            Actually, Feingold strikes me as the perfect candidate to win in NH (the least church-going state in the nation).  He already has my vote, until someone can persuade me otherwise.

             

            "Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House, but Bush has no idea." - former defense official

            by Republic Not Empire on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:04:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I do believe that's his only chance (none)
          If Kucinich and Obama stay out, which I would bet money on, Feingold's one hope is to hang in until the first few primaries and, as with his first bid for the US senate, see the anointed party-backed, media-backed candidates go M.A.D. while hard-core progressives unite behind Feingold. He will play competetively in Iowa (much like WI without it's major urban center and with a somewhat less lefty Capitol city).

          In a general election, his chances are as good as Clinton's, but maybe less than Kerry's, Edwards' or Warner's. That's irrelevant to me personally, because it's a game and guesswork. Having gotten past the naivete of trying to guess and game politics, the only things I'll ever consider in choosing who to vote for in an election, primary or general, is whether the candidate has any kind of realistic chance whatsoever (even a slim one) and who would actually govern best. No third party canidates and no candidates based on electability.

        •  Who's Center-Right? (none)
          Edwards sure as hell won't be running center-right.  In the 2004 primaries there were almost no major policy differences between all the major candidates (excempting Lieberman, Braun, Kucinich and Sharpton).  I expect that maybe Bayh or Richardson, should they run, will try to be the "centrist," but even Bayh is moving left.  It's not going to be a bunch of Liebermans in that field.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:42:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  limited foreign policy chops? (none)
      correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't russ on the senate foreign relations committee? his explanation of his position on iraq and how it fits into the war against al qaeda is one of the more cogent position papers i've read.

      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 01:09:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, he's 5th senior on the minority side (none)
        And he has staked out some notable positions (independent, or iconoclstic, or eccentric, depending on your POV).

        Do his opinions carry weight with his peers? Does he get things started? Does anyone follow his lead? Does he get things finished? When consensus comes, was he part of the process?

        When you name members who are influential in fp/defense/security/intel, you list quite a few names before you get to Feingold.

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:24:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  how much of that (none)
          is due to the fact that the senate FP consensus is pretty overwhelmingly hawkish? it seems that to be taken seriously by the establishment that you have to sign onto a decidedly illiberal vision of america's place in the world. would the same be said of mcdermott on foreign policy (another democrat whose FP views i tend to agree with)?

          i'm not asking obnoxious rhetorical questions, i really wonder if the bar for being "serious" on security issues isn't synonymous with adopting a default blanket interventionist hawk position. if most senate dems are hawks, how could a foreign policy dove ever be considered to have "chops"?

          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 01:33:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't Think That's True (none)
            After all, in 2003 the chairs of intel (Graham) and defense (Levin) both voted against the IWR.  Durbin is the whip, and he voted against it.  Pelosi is the leader, and she voted against it.  Biden was chair of Foreign Affiars, and he offered a competing measure before agreeing to vote for it.  I don't think it was the perception that one needed to be a Hawk to be taken seriously by their colleages--a majority of the Dems still serving in the Senate voted no, and a strong majority of House Dems voted no.  Instead, it was the perception that if one wished to be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate, then one had to look tough and vote for the IWR.

            Today there are probably few people with more credibility on Iraq issues than Levin (who voted against it) and Murtha (who says his vote was wrong, and that we should pull out as soon as possible).  

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:48:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i was speaking more of the senate (none)
              than of dems in general. i would put biden and graham as hawks, though, despite their misgivings on this particular war, as well as dean, who is generally fairly hawkish as well, this current debacle excepted. murtha's credibility to make this statement comes from his being generally pro-war, though; someone opposed to aggresive war on principle would not be taken seriously on foreign policy. unfortunately, IMO.

              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 02:06:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I WAS Talking About the Senate (none)
                Especially now, compared to 2002.  I don't see the Senate Dems as particularly "hawkish," unless we have very different views of hawkish.  The majority of the Dems currently in the Senate voted against the IWR, and most of those who voted for it aren't particularly big players in the Senate.  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:13:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  that "current" bit is a hedge (none)
                  and while i agree that the senate is now a lot less enthusiastic about the iraq war, it is a bit of a stretch to say that those who voted for the bill weren't big players.

                  then majority leader sen. daschle
                  current minority leader sen. reid
                  DSCC chair sen. schumer
                  ranking foreign relations committee sen. biden
                  #2 foreign relations committe sen. dodd
                  #3 foreign relations committe sen. kerry
                  ranking intelligence committee democrat sen. rockefeller
                  #3 intelligence committee sen. feinstein
                  #3 armed services committee sen. lieberman

                  you do have a point that those running for president were most likely to vote for it, and since those senators get the most mike time, they're probably overrepresented in the public eye viz their influence within the senate. but still, that's a lot of hawks, and i didn't go further than the top three in any committee.

                  as for our definitions of hawks, you're probably right. i tend to label anyone who assumes that an aggressive war is fair game unless proven to be a bad idea a hawk, whereas one who only votes for war under extreme duress and in a defensive capacity would be a dove. by that standard, while the house has a lot of doves, the senate has a lot less.

                  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 07:28:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The senate is overwhelmingly divided (none)
            If it looks "overwhelmingly hawkish", that's probably more a comment on your perspective than on the Senate.

            There are -- and historically have been -- many of influential dovish senators.

            McDermott knows that when it comes to War and Peace, they're not going to listen to guys like him ... they're going to listen to guys like Murtha. He is still a major influence on foreign aid, AIDS, India & Africa policy, and succeeded in moving a major piece of FP legislation (African Growth & Opportunnity Act) through a Congress controlled by the other party.

            None Dare Call It Stupid!

            by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:51:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but the fact that mcdermott (none)
              isn't going to be listened to reveals a hawkish bias. he was dead to rights on this war, but because of the conflation of hawk with credible, his position was ignored from the get-go. as for the senate, you are correct that the democrats are overwhelmingly divided; it is the institution that is hawkish overall, although the second thoughts about the war are obscuring the general majority default position for war.

              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 02:10:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  McDermott is listened to, BTW ... (none)
                ... just not by the folks he was referring to here. He has gently and patiantly moved colleagues toward his position -- without expecting them to adopt positions they're not going to adopt.

                Does Feingold exert influence on his peers? On judiciary, maybe. On Foreign Affairs, I don't know.

                None Dare Call It Stupid!

                by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:33:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i guess we'll have to wait and see on iraq (none)
                  at any rate, saying feingold isn't collegial enough in the senate, too independent, would seem to be accidentally making the case for him as a presidential candidate, no? voters like independent, candid presidential candidates who can explain what they believe in.

                  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 02:54:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but,,,, (none)
        none of that matters.  Don't you see?  He and sarah have decided Russ has no chance to get the nom, no hope to win, so just forget all that other stuff.  It's incidental.  

        Per his post, I guess we're supposed to vote for Wellstone.  Thought he died, but what the hell, he still has a better chance than Russ.  

        Or so I'm told.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

        by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:30:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So You're Told? (none)
          He didn't mention Wellstone, it was me.  Maybe his droll comment about Wellstone not being viable went over your head; whatever the case, you may want to consider reading a little more closely.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:50:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh Miss Blue... (none)
          I'm a big liberal, for gay marriage, opposed to the death penalty, against the war in Iraq. Does that mean I am supposed to believe that Feingold, Kucinich or Dean have a chance nationally? NO. I've lived all over this country, the cities, the bible belt and the deep south. The fact remains Feingold is a big liberal, who in my opinion is not that charasmatic. I think someone like Edwards or Warner have a better shot at connecting with people of all political stripes. If Feingold happens to get the nomination, which in my opinion would make it a whole lot harder to win, I'll still vote for him, I'll vote for whatever dem is nominated.
    •  As much as I adore Russ (none)
      I think you make some good points.

      I also harbor the secret suspicion that he is running for Veep.  

      I just hope that if he does win, he is able to do some good.

      Also, you mustn't dismiss Russ as merely process oriented, although I get your drift.  He has also been a moral leader, taking stands on issues that have inspired and galvanized people--they are not just "good speeches."  

      He could very well be an unlikely, unconnected 21st-century Jimmy Carter . . . or he could be an unlikely 21st-century FDR.  I'm not kidding!

      Although I daresay that you are depressingly right, Ronk, there is also the possibility that Russ is ready and waiting for the next political paradigm shift--the one in which people have collectively yearned for someone to cut the crap and deal honestly and transparently with dire problems.  A paradigm shift that allows no leeway for candidates who can slide by on money and Madison-Avenue appeal.

      -8.38, -7.13   Soapblox/Chicago, for progressive Midwesterners

      by rhubarb on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:10:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What? (none)
      Putting Feingold aside, I don't know many people who would consider the Patriot Act "obscure process stuff", wheather they were for or against it.

      Back to Feingold, I think you underestimate the appeal of a legislator who does things like hire the majority of his staff from his state, and holds meetings in each county once a year. This sort of thing is a real concerne to many people, and is what will to some extent make up for Feingold's lack of "executive experince."

      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:35:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the cool thing about russ (none)
    is he's the only senator i can think of who doesn't think about re-election or his pesidential hopes when he's casting votes in the senate.

    besides.  he took on clinton during the impeachment thing.  going against party establishment like that will attract a lot of independent minded voters.

  •  As a Wellstone Fan (none)
    Russ gets my total support. I lived in Wisconsin for awhile (near Russ's home in Middleton) now back in Minnesota.

    Russ is the only one who I can see running from the "Democratic wing of the Democtric Party" to use Wellstone's phrase (not originally Dean, but he can use this as well).

    I hope Russ runs, and runs strong. Can he get the nomination and be elected? Who knows? That's not the issue now. Now is the time for hope, and to get our best candidates to step forward and show us what they got. Russ is on the top of my list.

    •  I Don't See Them as the Same (none)
      I think there was a huge difference between Wellstone and Feingold.  Wellstone was populist.  Feingold isn't.  Populism gets lots of votes.  Process-oriented stuff gets far fewer.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:07:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If populism can win us an election it's.... (none)
        Edwards we should nominate. He is a populist with a clear message. He is one of the only dems that can change the moral conversation to a conversation about poverty.
        •  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

          [ Parent ]

          •  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

              [ Parent ]

          •  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

            [ Parent ]

            •  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

                [ Parent ]

            •  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

              [ Parent ]

  •  As I see things.... (none)
    ....Feingold is the only Senator who will make a credible candidate in 2008.
  •  A few thoughts on Feingold (4.00)
    Superficial Factors (aka "Conventional Wisdom" factors):

    The Jewish Factor: Yes, he's Jewish (as am I), but oddly, I don't see this being a major factor against him these days, especially since he doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve ala Lieberman, and as pointed out, he doesn't kiss Israel's ass (again, I'm Jewish as well, and I find this refreshing; regardless of one's opinion of what's right or wrong for Israel, the bottom line is that the job is President of the UNITED STATES, not Israel).

    The Marriage Factor: He's twice-divorced, which, like his religion, probably won't work against him nearly as much as it would have in decades past. On the other hand, he's not currently married, which I suspect will work against him quite a bit, even though it shouldn't.

    The Appearance Factor: He's a pretty good-looking guy with a solid voice. This is, of course, about as superficial as you can get, but the bottom line is that there's a lot of people who didn't vote for Kerry purely based on his appearance and/or voice, as stupid as that is.

    Legitimate Factors:

    The Senator Factor: Actually, this one isn't superficial, but it is certainly conventional wisdom--Senators are always running for Prez, and they almost never win (how may before Kennedy?). I presume this is because of the nature of the job--long, complicated record of votes on multiple versions of bills, etc, as opposed to "executive decisions" etc.

    The Confirmation Vote Factor: About the only legitimate grumble I've ever heard about Feingold from the dKos community so far is that he voted to approve Ashcroft and Roberts. His rationale for each, of course, is that it's one of his personal principles--he strongly believes that, in spite of how unpleasant he expects the nominee to be, he truly believes that unless the nominee shows himself to be blatantly unqualified (criminal record, gross incompetance, etc.), they should generally be confirmed. Some may respect him for this, others may cry bullshit, but that's his take (as far as I know).

    He's my leading choice at the moment, though of course we'll have to see who actually announces, and it's irrelevant until after the '06 midterms anyway...

    •  Forgot One Important One!! (4.00)
      The Media Story Factor: It just occurred to me that if John McCain ends up winning the Republican nomination, it would make an excellent media story to have '08 end up being McCain VERSUS Feingold (old friends (?) who worked so well together in the past facing off against each other; financing details of both of their campaigns watched like a hawk, since they're the very ones who've worked so hard to reform the process; etc etc).

      The media would LOVE this matchup (and it would counteract the "Senator" factor, since either way, a Senator would win).

      •  i think feingold (4.00)
        is our best guy v. mccain, actually. he neutralizes mccain's reformer and deficit hawk advantage, is equally witty aand personable, and would be most able to set the contest between the candidates on the grounds of iraq, taxes, healthcare, and social conservatism, all of which will be advantageous to our side by the time 2008 rolls around. mccain has chained himself to the status quo, and feingold will not be taken down by the same anchor. a DLCer like hillary, warner, bayh (shudder) or kerry will be close enough to mccain on iraq, free trade and that "family values" bullshit that mccain's phony "maverick" act will give him the advantage with independents.

        feingold's buggest disadvantage is that he doesn't have the kind of national network in place that kerry had and hillary will have. that means no retarded DC advisors to fuck the message up, but it also means he's vulnerable to the chaos of an ad hoc volunteer campaign that put dean at a disadvantage relative to everyone else in states like iowa.

        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 01:01:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why (none)
          an alliance with Dean/DFA would be a smart move.

          (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

          by Florida Democrat on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:45:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  dean can't do much as DNC chair (none)
            other than encourage grassroots local candidates in 2006 who can endorse and lend aid to a DFA-approved candidate in 2008. jim dean can, howard's neutral in the primaries.

            DFA is more promising, although i'm not convinced we're organized or experienced enough to carry a candidate through rthe primaries on our own. were feingold to line up union, CBC, progressive caucus and latino support in addition to the moveon/DFA crowd, with those political networks, in a sort of grand alliance, i think it would be another story.

            one of the things DFA and the left blogosphere really ought to be doing is forging alliances and building relationships now with other liberal and/or non-DLC aligned factions in the party so that we can hammer out a common platform and a degree of trust before the primary season. we're not enough on our own.

            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 02:27:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not an official alliance (none)
              I think feingold will target the DFA crowd heavily.  Dean suggested feingold for our keynote speaker at the Democracy for Tennessee convention last summer (btw feingold is great on the stump). An unofficial endorsement?
              •  possibly (none)
                although he's got to tread carefully. DFA can and would be well-served to back him as early as possible OTOH. and dean could always agree to be veep, were the presidential candidate to choose him.

                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 07:09:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Maverick vs. maverick (4.00)
          is what Feingold vs. McCain would be.  Both are frequently described as such in the shorthand of the soi-disant press.

          I had the pleasure of hearing Feingold speak last September (sat next to him during supper, in fact--he's very charming and genuine), and he mentioned Afghanistan and the importance of being able to defend one's self against a terrorist attack ("If someone threatens my family, I'll go after him").  He also spoke about the middle ground he held on the estate tax question.  

          The Concord coalition backs him. . .  he is plain-spoken and seems unusualloy honest (He told me that McCain once introduced him as Diogene's honest man) . . . he would soooo be able to hold his own against McCain!

          Bayh spoke before us at the Wisconsin DPW convention last June, and all I can say is, ick.  So superficial, toadying, name-dropping.  If I hear the Truman/bathroom story one more time, I'll woof into my hat.  My impression was of a timid man with one hand on a pollster and the other on the DLC playbook.

          -8.38, -7.13   Soapblox/Chicago, for progressive Midwesterners

          by rhubarb on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:22:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Kerry and Mccain were also friends (none)
        and Kerry tried to milk that a lot. But the Republican noise machine knows how to drawn it.

        (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

        by Florida Democrat on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:43:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  this Jew disagrees with you (none)
      I totally disagree that Feingold's religion will not be a problem for him. It will be a bigger problem for a secular Jew like him than it would be for an observant Jew like Lieberman. There will be all kinds of whisper campaigning and not-so-quiet code-word campaigning against Feingold (e.g. see O'Reilly's recent comments about George Soros and the war against Christmas).

      The GOP nominee will remain above the fray. However, in churches across the country, people will be warned that Feingold doesn't accept Christ as his savior, doesn't believe Jesus died for our sins, won't allow a Christmas tree in the White House, etc.

      The twice-divorced, currently single factor will also hurt him, but not as much as his religion will. I say this with sadness as a liberal Jew who likes Feingold a lot.

      •  Some discussion downpage ... (none)
        ... centered on whether A Majority would react this way.

        But elections aren't decided by A Majority. Elections are decided by segments that either do or don't add up to A Majority.

        This would play negatively with some segments in some states. My guess is that "single, twice divorced" would cost more. (A pol is allowed one divorce these days. Some get by with more. Single is worse.)

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? (none)
          Why is it assumed being single will automatically be a bad thing?  

          I'm looking at it this way - the guy is attractive.  Single women are going to love this guy.  Married women will love this guy.  Married men will be envious and love this guy.

          With just a slight amount of snark here, the point is that for every person that gasps!! over his bachelorhood, there will be another who thinks it's "cool", for whatever reason.

          Russ will have 2 grown daughters campaigning for him.  He's not going to be out there by himself.  And my guess, in 2 years this guy will have an attractive (hopefully), intelligent girlfriend out there too, winning hearts across America with their cute little romance.

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2120+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

          by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:41:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  the people who wouldn't vote (4.00)
        For a Jewish president aran't the kind of people who are going to vote for us anyway.

        In of fact, I think almost all the votes we'd lose due to Feingoldl's Jewishness are already lost to us due to his 100% NARAL rating.

        Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

        Feingold for President

        by Goldfish on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:54:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Three Words, My Friend: (none)
        John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

        Vote your hopes, not your fears.

        (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

        by Sam I Am on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:18:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Couple of things (4.00)
      I noted on another thread that the reason Senators don't win (except some do, like Kennedy) is that they don't know how to run on their records.  

      Bush ran Texas into the ground on nearly every measure by which you gauge a state, so being "governor" (ahem) was only a plus because Rove told the media it was, and they told us it was.  So they didn't mention "Yeah, he ran a big state, and fucked it up while he was at it . . ."

      Kerry's "handlers" thought that his BCCI work and the Kerry Agreements (designed to cut funding to terrorism) were too complex for us dumbbells out here to fathom.  So he didn't mention this stuff and allowed them to say he never did anything as Senator.  He did more as Senator than * did as governor.  Geez, he never even mentioned ONE bill he sponsored!  Let alone all the environmental stuff . . . don't get me started on this . . .

      So being a Senator isn't a detriment - not knowing how to run on your record as Senator is.  

      And we dems deserve to lose every fucking time if we can't learn to live with a candidate who has one or two votes with which we disagree.  Feingold votes "Kos-style" on just about everything, he doesn't mind being alone in his votes, and he stands by his votes even in the face of venom from us.  

      I'd have more of a problem with his "confirmation" vote if he did it to win brownie points with the repukes, or to ride the fence to kiss whoever's ass who won't vote for him anyway.  Ya know, like Hillary?

      I can deal with votes with which I disagree if I know the man's voting his conscience and isn't waffling to justify it.

      The religion thing, the divorce thing, the looks thing, whatever - I'm tired of us selling our own candidates short because "They'll attack this or that about him".  Again, we deserve to lose every fucking time if we can't learn how stand up to the Rovian bullying, the spin machine, the unfounded, baseless, ridiculous, false, outrageous attacks that some of the best and brightest who've ever served this country have had to endure.  

      If we can't learn to protect our best candidates (Gore and Kerry were actually fantastic choices for president, and we'd have been damn lucky to have such thoughtful, intelligent and dedicated public servants leading us) because we're too busy cringing ourselves at their foibles to stop the bullshit from sticking, we deserve to lose.

      I'd say I'm watching Russ, and from what I'm seeing I'm wondering how I can contribute my time to grassroots for him here in So. Cal.  

      But trying not to get too excited about any one candidate so early in the process.  And worrying about the voting machines at this point. . . .

      •  If you really wanna get involved.... (none)
        create a state blog for feingold. There's not one for CA yet.  I made one for TN and we are hoping to grow the blog into a statewide grassroots organization for Feingold. In fact, We will probably hold our first state-wide meeting in Nashville next month. Granted we only have 7 members thus far, but we are working on it and still have a few years.
    •  Right or wrong, like it or not... (none)
      ...this country is not going to elect a Jewish president in 2008.  That should not matter, of course.  But it does.  We have farther to go than we realize.

      "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

      by Roddy McCorley on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:33:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  feingold is a strong western strategy candidate (4.00)
    his candor, his libertarian positions on guns and the PATRIOT act, his budget hawkery and his reputation as a good government reformer will all stand him in good stead out west. his free trade votes distinguish him from the pack, and (along with his cheesehead accent) will help in the midwest. his liberal record will help on the coasts.

    feingold could really be a sleeper candidate, and is the ideal guy for armando's lincoln 1860 strategy IMO.

    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 12:53:41 PM PST

  •  Russ is a great senator (none)
    I agree with many of his positions, I like his passion, and even when I disagree with him I find that I respect his differing view.

    I would be thrilled if a progressive like Russ were elected President.

    But . . . . . .

    I'm having a really hard time envisioning Russ winning states or regions that neither Gore nor Kerry won.

    I think his Senate record can be twisted, distorted, and misconstrued just as much as Kerry (or any other Senator for that matter).

    I just can't imagine there are many red state voters out there who would say, "I voted for Bush twice because didn't like Gore and I didn't like Kerry; but that Feingold guy -- now there's a Democrat I can identify with.  Yeah, I'll swicth this time and vote for the Dems because they finally nominated a principled progressive.

    Enough with the hari kari.  Let's win for a change.

    •  So what you're saying is (4.00)
      that we are helpless before the big bad scary repukelican spin machine?

      So if Feingold's "Senate record can be twisted, distorted, and misconstrued just as much as Kerry (or any other Senator for that matter)" we should hand them the ball and go home? Not put forth really good candidates because someone will find a way to twist and distort their record?

      Hell, they twisted and distorted Kerry's military record.  They took Boy Scout Al Gore and made him look like a liar.  The took the biggest so-pampered-can't-wipe-his-own-ass idiot on the planet and portrayed him as some sort of "man of the people".

      Yeah, yeah, they're good at spin.  But selecting our candidates based on avoiding any possibility that they'll spin him or her negatively is a non-starter.  They can spin ANYONE.  

      Why not pick the best man or woman and build a defense around him or her so strong they can't spin?  Why not get tough (unlike Kerry) and go after their bullshit, not let it stick to our great candidates?

      I say we throw a wrench in their g.d. spin machine and select the person we think is best suited to be president, to represent us, to care for this nation.

      Let's not let the repukes' willingness to wallow in and fling slime determine who we choose to represent us.

      •  Being a senator provides different (none)
        challenges for a nominee than say, being a governor. As a Senator, you're casting a ton of votes, many of them on procedural matters, on Amendments etc.

        That kind of thing makse it very easy for an opponent to say "so and so voted against giving poor orphaned children food so that they didn't starve to death 19 times" while omitting the circumstances of those various procedural votes.

        It makes winning the presidency from the Senate difficult.

        Daily Kos: turning unanimity into discord since...well...I frickin got here

        by AnnArborBlue on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:23:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still say that shouldn't (none)
          stop us from putting up a candidate who's a senator.

          People here are talking as if McCain's going to be the candidate - not if rovie has anything to do with it but with their right wing b.s. losing steam it might be him.

          SENATOR McCain.  So two senators?  Let's go!

          FGS it's worse for us to have some sort of centrist waffler as our candidate.

          And let's say we choose a governor.  Then they attack him or her for not having foreign policy experience.  We choose a veteran who's against the Iraq war - that ought to shut them up, eh?  Except then they say he was "for war before he was against it".  Or they find a way to make a war hero look like a loser . . .

          We shouldn't dismiss good candidates out of hand just because they're senators.  Let's get better at talking to the nation about our candidates.

        •  Also, senators don't tell anybody what to do (none)
          ... at least if they're competently staffed. Three or four good subordinates tell them what to do. [Some exceptions for a cmte chair or ranking member]

          They deal in long-winded, hair-splitting nuance ending in compromise ... because that's the nature of the work.

          It's very much unlike the work a President (or a Candidate) has to do, and it trains them to think differently from the ways a President has to think.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:38:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm scared of the smear machine!!! (none)
        That's why I would rather nominate someone without a lengthy senate record. Feingold voted against the patriot act which will be a firestarter for the repubs.
        •  eh (none)
          That's what they said in 2004. That his vote for the Patriot Act was suicidal. Then he went out and campaigned on it.

          http://www.russfeingold.org/...

          You have the power, so start using it. http://www.RussForPresident.com

          by peacenik23 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:31:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So what you're saying is that (none)
          we should nominate Edwards?  So they can blast him for not having foreign policy experience?  And only 4 years in the Senate and no other gov't experience?  And they can blast him for voting for the IWR but not to fund the $87 billion - which they spun as voting against body armor for god's sake?

          If you're afraid of the spin machine, nominating Edwards won't protect you.  And I like Edwards.  But we've already seen what they have in store for him.

          Whoever we choose they will spin like crazy.  They will have us convinced he's satan himself if they have to.  We could nominate Jesus and they'd trash him.

          There's no candidate on earth or in our imagination that they can't put the spin to.  

          I say let's break the spin machine instead of bowing before it.  It's all smoke and mirrors anyway.  

          •  Six Years In The Senate (none)
            Just for the record.

            9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

            by NewDirection on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:48:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I stand corrected. (none)
              He was elected in 1998 but didn't take office until 1999.  His senate term expired in 2004.  

              So pretty damn close to 6 years.  

              And still they will spin and attack.

              Again, no matter who it is, they will attack.  So let's pick the best candidate, WHOEVER IT IS, and stand by that person.  

              Let's not let fear of spin determine who it is, because there's no escape from it.

              I really like Edwards, too.  I'm waiting to hear what they all have to say.  

              Except Hillary, Biden, et al, who want to ride the fence and take no responsibility for their votes and their positions.  Ass kissers.

              •  Exactly Six Years (none)
                The elections are generally at the end of even years, and then the pols take office early in the following odd-numbered year. He announced his retirement in 2004, but did not leave office until his term was up. His last vote in the Senate, at his last opportunity to vote, was in December of 2004.

                Six years to the day.

                9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

                by NewDirection on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 07:27:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  <snark> (4.00)
            Of course they wouldn't elect Jesus, He was JEWISH.

            Sunlight is the best disinfectant

            by historys mysteries on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:03:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Rove feared Edwards the most... (none)
            It was well documented in the last campaign that the Bush campaign wanted any dem but Edwards to go against. Edwards had a short senate record, and they knew the ambulance chaser thing wouldn't work since he defended mostly children. Edwards has the Iraq vote, which he denounces now. Edwards voted for the Patriot Act which they can't bash since they voted for it too. The 87 billion is tired and I highly doubt they'll be bringing that one up again. As for the foreign policy experience, he probably has as much as Feingold, maybe I'm wrong? Edwards was on the senate intelligence committee, he is on the board of foreign relations to Russia. He has met with the leaders of Nato, Blair, Brown and encouraged many leaders of UAE to invest in poor areas of the middle east. The leaders of NATO said that when they met Edwards they weren't expecting much. But he actually did something that no other American politician did, he listened to them.
            •  well-documented? (none)
              please provide documents, then. as far as i know, the only dem who got republican ads run against him in the primaries was dean.

              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 03:30:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They weren't ads... (none)
                Journalists were commenting on what they heard from different sources within the white house. Did you never hear those things? I read that story about Rove not wanting Edwards in many articles back during the primaries and election season. It seems like most of my fellow libs never payed any attention to Edwards during the primaries. Barely any libs even remember Edwards saying during one of the primary debates that he regretted his Iraq War vote. I'm going to spend some time getting the footage of the debate, articles about Edwards being the most feared amongst repubs and the control group that PBS did showing that Edwards would have whipped Bush in a head to head match up. I'll post it when I have some spare time to gather everything. I'll post a diary here soon. :)
                •  so let me get this straight (none)
                  rove hints to journalists that he'd be really scared oif this edwards guy, the reporters report it as fact, and we're supposed to take it as uncomplicated fact? or the converse, that rove leaks to reporters that he thinks dean will be a cakewalk, which gets reported as well?

                  given the source and the MO, do you think that ann richards was a lesbian, or that valerie plame pulled strings to get joe wilson a job? why be so credulous when it comes down to your guy, then?

                  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 06:50:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why are we making such a big deal (none)
              out of foreign policy experience?  George Bush became president(note I did not say was elected)without ever being out of the country.  The only foreigners he probably even knew were members of the Saudi Royal family.

              If someone could make a president out of George Bush, who actually had a shitty record as govenor, probably sent to death innocent people, never held down a productive job-let alone a job his dad didn't get for him and help clean up his big mess after he ran them all into the ground,was investigated by the SEC a couple times(never charged but never exonerated)he also was a deserter with a serious drug and alcohol problem, an arrest record, was a cheerleader in high school and college in addition to being a crappy student who only got in because he had a rich daddy,and to top it off his grandfather was a documented nazi sympathizer, if they can 'sell' this clown to the American people  what the hell is wrong with the Democratic party?!  

              I would think that the Democratic party should be able to 'sell' a guy who is smart, well educated, principled, who didn't grow up rich or look to public service as a way to get rich.(he is by far the least rich guy in the United States senate-yet he still doesn't take COLA raises). He has shown in actions and words that he cares about his country more than his career.(I don't know his personal life but I suspect that his dedication to his country may have also contributed to his divorce)  If the Democrats can't(or won't try)to sell that after this country is neck deep in corrupt political scandals, no-bid contracts, a stupid incompetently planned war that is killing our soldiers and weakening America. Huge budget deficits, torture, and a goverment that is now more into our personal decisions than ever in recent memory, more poverty, less health care, ect...we deserve to loose.  

              Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

              by strengthof10kmen on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:06:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're assumption is wrong (none)
      I think there were a lot of voters out there who basically said, "well, Bush and Gore or Bush and Kerry are basically the same on issues that I care about, so, I might vote for the guy I'd rather have a beer with." Or the guy who was more likely to go out there and "kick ass" or somesuch. I think that Feingold would create a contrast, so that the debate would be on the issues, rather than on "who you would rather have a beer with." We need to stop letting Republicans and corporations trivialize politics. And we need to create a contrast, not an echo.
      •  You're absolutely wrong (none)
        Only those on the delusional far left thought there was little difference between Bush and Gore, and between Bush and Kerry.  Bush played hard to his conservative base, and right wing reactionaries came out to vote in droves.

        Creating a contrast isn't enough.  Winning in politics is about building coalitions and finding common ground with those with whom we disagree.  We need a candidate who can both energize the base and reach out to those in the center who have not voted Democratic the last two go-arounds.  Clinton was able to do that; Gore and Kerry were not.

        If all we do is create a contrast -- left vs. right -- we lose, end of story.  Unfortunately, there are more conservatives then there are liberals, and the electoral map favors the conservatives.

        •  Disagree (none)
          While it has become clear that Gore and Bush would have been very different Presidents, Nader was not talking out of his ass when he said there's no difference between the two parties. If he was, he would have never filled the spoiler role in that election. Gore ran a pretty centrist campaign (except around the end, where he started talking about "the people vs. the powerful). Bush simultaneously appealed to rightwingers (usually using code words) while he spoke about "compassionate conservatism" which was a pretty centrist move. So, Nader's accusations had a certain ring of truth to them. I bought it, personally. Of course, I was voting in a solidly red state, so it didn't really matter.

          Building a coalition should not be at the expense of your identity as a party.

          •  Wrong (none)
            There was a huge difference between Gore and Bush, and only the 1.7% who voted for Nader didn't see that.  Taxes, judicial appointments, the environment, the right to organize, health care, affirmative action, are just a few of the issues that Gore and Bush spelled out completely different views.  Nader offered you the Booklyn Bridge, and you bought it.  He was a spoiler because the country was split down the middle, not because the county thought there was any truth to what that asshole was saying.

            Building a coalition is necessary to winning.  Yes, we need to reach out and find common ground with SOME of the voters who rejected the Dems in 2000 and 2004.  A party that appeals only to progressives will never win an election; it's a recipe for disaster.  

            The only way progressives get a seat at the table is if the Democrats win.  Winning isn't everything, but it's the necessary first step.

            •  Progressives.... (none)
              ....don't necessarily win, even when they do. Clinton got us excited, but he only looks good becasue Bush has been so bad. Clinton was no friend to progressives. I don't want table scraps. We need another FDR, that's for damn sure. Or a Kucinich who campaigns like Clinton.
              •  So I guess (none)
                you'd rather stick with ideological purity, not build a winning center-left coalition, and continue to lose elections.

                Fuck that.  I want my party to win.  That's the only way to move the country towards a positive agenda.

                •  ironically (none)
                  what you're calling for is ideological purity in a "coalition" led by the center that relegates the left to the attic like a crazy aunt. it is not accepted fact that running from the center is the only way to win; the last several election cycles suggest that it in fact is a losing proposition.

                  face it, we're in a factional battle, and you want the center to be calling the shots. all this coalition talk is just boilerplate.

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

                  by wu ming on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 10:49:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong (none)
                    You can't read.  Never said anything about the center calling the shots.

                    I think the progressives need to reach out to those in the center and convince them that they are better off tossing their hat in with us rather than with the right-wingers they have been voting for the last election cycles.

                    I think that progressives and moderates agree on more things than they disagree, and I think that through respectful dialogue, we can find even more common ground.

                    If we continue with your "factional battle," we lose.  There are more of them than there are of us.

                    You apparently want to engage in left-wing litmus test politics.  That's a loser strategy.  

                    We're never going to move the country forward until we get the Democrats back in power.  You want a strategy for losing, and I want to win.  That's the difference.

                    •  I think that.... (none)
                      ....you're just reading what you want to read. No one said anything about litmus tests. We clearly want to win more than DLC centrists do. We will win by creating a contrast. People respect you when you're straight with them, not when you pussyfoot around important issues. Now, I'm not saying that we should march into Utah and stage same sex weddings as a campaign event. But what I am saying is that we have offer a genuine, progressive alternative to the people, particularly on economic issues.
                      •  Wrong (none)
                        There are more conservatives in this county than there are liberals.  If we put forward a progressive-only agenda, the moderates and conservatives vote against us, and we lose by a landslide.

                        Energizing the base is not enough.  Our base is smaller than theirs.

                        •  wgat? (none)
                          conservatives put forth a conservative-only agenda.  if progressives put out a progressive-only agenda, moderates will side w/ conservatives?  why?  your logic escapes me, considering how successful principled conservatism has been for the right-wing in the last 11 years.

                          the whole liberal v. moderate v. conservative argument is nonsense.  self-description by the electorate does not match absolutely to policy positions or voting patterns.

                          http://www.prospect.org/...

                          •  If, as that article says, (none)
                            45% of the electorate consider themselves moderate, why have they been voting with Repbulcians?  Because Democrats aren't progressive enough?  That makes no sense.

                            I think there is plenty of room for common ground between those on the left and those in the center.  There is more upon which to agree than disagree.  I would like the Dems to reach out to those who haven't voted with us in the past, find common ground, and leave the Republicans in the dust..  

                            I just don't think you can do that with a progressive-only agenda.  If we play my-way-or-the-highway politics, the numbers favor the Republicans ... we lose.

    •  iowa (none)
      nevada, ohio, colorado, new mexico, florida, and arizona are all places where russ might run ahead of kerry and gore. ohio and florida alone would do it, as well as any two of the others.

      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 03:29:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is your basis for saying that? (none)
        Are you privy to demographic data showing voters in those states who voted for Bush would be inclined to support a liberal northern Senator, who is a twice-divorced non-observant Jew?

        Yeah right.

        •  iowa and ohio are northern, to start with (none)
          i would be surprised if they were hostile to a senator from a neighboring state out of regional pique. feingold's success running in the northern counties of wisconsin, which are similar in their libertarian bent and their tourism + extractive industrial base to arizona, nevada, colorado and new mexico, especially given his record on guns and the PATRIOT act. the jewish vote in florida got a boost in 2000 from lieberman being on the ticket, and i imagine that it would benefit feingold as well. as for the nation's rampant hatred of liberals, jews and divorcees, it certainly didn't hurt feingold in wisconsin the last time around, and wisconsin is not new york, it's pretty purple with a fairly small jewish population.

          do you have any evidence to the contrary besides your own assumptions? which kerry or gore states would feingold lose?

          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 07:50:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, where to start (none)
            -- People who voted for Bush in Ohio will vote for Feingold because of regional pique?????  What on earth makes you think that those voters have even heard of Feingold much less identify with or admire him?

            -- Feingold's success in northern counties of Wisconsin is of little relevance.  He runs as an incumbent Senator.  Incumbents rarely lose.  That doesn't translate at all to how one would run as a Presidential candidate in another state.

            -- The Lieberman support in south Florida in 2000 would not necessarily translate to Feingold.  First, there's a big difference between the two.  Lieberman (obnoxiously in my view) wears his religion on his sleave, and the elderly jews in south Florida were attracted to that.  Feingold is not an observant jew and believes that his religion is his own personal business.  While I find that admirable, it won't appeal to the same segment of the population that was attracted by Lieberman's religion.  Further, the elderly jews in south Florida will be 8 years older in 2008; who knows if they'll still be alive or healthy enogh to vote?

            -- Regarding his divorce, the last time he ran for re-election he was only divorced once; now he's twice divorced.  Moreover, the power of incumbancy far outweighs any signicance of a divorce.  If he runs for President, he won't have the power of incumbancy, and you can be sure that the press will act like vultures in digging up every ugly detail of his divorces and marital life (I can see Michael Isikoff licking his chops).  His campaign will be very busy dealing with questions arising from these stories, and it will present an obstacle in getting his message out on the real issues.

            •  you really ought to read more carefully (none)
              what i said was
              iowa and ohio are northern, to start with (none / 0)
              i would be surprised if they were hostile to a senator from a neighboring state out of regional pique.

              this is a response to your unfounded assumption that red states wouldn't like a northerner on a regional basis; i was pointing out that two of the red states that i think feingold might have a shot at - iowa and ohio - are in fact northern states themselves.

              i don't think that the observant v. secular jew is going to make a bit of difference in florida or elsewhere, and in fact his lack of sactimonious piety for the cameras will be an advantage in those parts of the country (the west) and the electorate (gens x and y)that don't value such things; avoiding a green split alone puts a lot of swing states well into the safe side of the column. besides, his sister is a rabbi.

              again, feingold's voting record on guns and civil liberties and his plainspoken manner will resonate with voters who don't trust less libertarian candidates like gore or kerry. i know of several republicans who liked dean, but couldn't being themselves to vote for kerry because of guns and "the way that he talked." i think feingold if anything has a stronger record than dean here, and i think it carries a real advantage.

              finally, his divorces were both quite amicable by all accounts, and feingold is on good terms with his ex-wives and children. everyione will have mud flung at them, but feingold has the advantage of being as clean as politicians come.

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

              by wu ming on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 10:45:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great , capture the Dean vote (none)
                Now there's a great strategy to win in the red states.  

                The Greens are totally insignificant now.  Avoiding a Green split gets us nowhere.

                I'll give you Iowa; any Dem who can't win Iowa isn't going to win, period.

                You still haven't explained why the Ohio voter who voted for Bush would be more inclined to vote for Feingold.  Because of guns and civil liberties?  Gotta disagree there.

                If you think that the Jewish reaction to Lieberman would be the same as the Jewish reaction to Feingold, you know nothing about the Jewish community.

                And besides, the Christian right will have a field day with Feingold; not because he's Jewish, but because he doesn't practice his religion.  

                Great Senator, would be a great President, but totally unelectable.

          •  The question isn't (none)
            which Kerry or Gore states would he lose.  I assume he could probably win most of those states.  I just don't see him winning any of the ones that went for Bush.
        •  Trade is huge (none)
          A lot of socially conservative working class voters are very frustrated by deals like NAFTA and CAFTA, which Feingold has ALWAYS stood firm against. They might be willing to look past their social views for someone who they see as really standing up for them economically. Kerry's mild criticism of unfair trade deals wasn't going to cut it. And Gore was the chieft defender of NAFTA.
  •  I support Sen. Feingold 100% (none)
    His positions on Iraq, civil liberties, health care, campaign finance, and ethics are lightyears ahead of the competiton.

    That being said, there are a few positions that Sen. Feingold takes that I find discomforting. One is his opposition to President Clinton's actions in Kosovo.  Another is what appears to be is opposition to any and all trade liberalization. CAFTA was a very bad agreement that Sen. Feingold was right to vote against. I am concerned, however, that Russ Feingold has opposed most, if not all, trade agreements, including those with developed countries like Australia.

    I worry that, if President, Sen. Feingold will take isolationist and protectionist positions, even when a more global approach is in the best interests of the US. I understand, however, that I will not agree with everybody on everything. Sen. Feingold ought to be praised for his support of working people, even if I disagree with him on some issues.

    The Senator will be getting my vote in the 2008 primary should he choose to run.

  •  I like Feingold... (none)
    but a few questions:

    Do we need another Senator on the ticket? At least recently, senators have not done well on the national stage. At least at the top of the ticket, a Governor might be a better choice.

    Is "blue" Wisconsin the type of state we need to solidify with a Presidential candidate? Certainly many of its counties are rural/small town. But if we're looking to pick up a state, why not a liberal like Harken from bordering Iowa?

    Feingold is Jewish, which doesn't bother me one whit. But I'm curious if we really got an analysis of Lieberman's candidacy in 2000? How did having a Jewish VP candidate impact that race? How would it effect the race in 2008?

    Is Feingold too liberal? Recent Democratic campaigns that have won emphasized a pretty moderate, mildly populist platform.

    "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

    by Jonathan4Dean on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:36:29 PM PST

    •  The Jewish Question (none)
      The only people who will fail to vote for Feingold because he is jewish, would be anti-semites.

      And many of the leading Democratic candidates are, by the anti-semitic standard, jewish. Hillary Clinton, Wes Clark, and John Kerry off the top of my head. They all have some recent jewish ancestry. Wes Clark is 100% genetically jewish (whatever that means, but it means everything to an anti-semite).

      So you can pretty well forget about those votes anyway, any way you slice it. Okay? Forget about it. It's not an issue.

      9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

      by NewDirection on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:44:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm just curious... (none)
        what the impact was and could be. I haven't seen anything definitive.

        I certainly don't want to motive anti-semites to vote for the Republican (and therefore against our guy).

        But at the same time, I'm excited by the prospect of breaking down another barrier that prevents minorities from the highest levels of government.

        I don't believe Hillary Clinton is Jewish....after a quick google search, the only articles that claim that seem to be radical conservative sites.

        "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

        by Jonathan4Dean on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:05:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wisconsin couldn't be more purple (none)
      as one of the closest-to-red blue states twice now.

      Do not buy the myth of it being a progressive state.   Most of the state is red -- it's just that those are less populous areas.  What has won for the Dems, if barely, is the combination of Milwaukee and Madison.

      And the GOP-controlled Wisconsin legislature has   voter suppression plans aimed at both areas -- voter ID requirements, rescinding our state's famed same-day registration, etc. -- as well as lots of press ahead for the gubernatorial election a year from now, with a same-sex marriage bill referendum at the same time to lose us our Dem governor.

      It is ugly here, believe me.  It is a very backward state for women, one of the worst on many issues, and a state with hypersegregation as well.

      Remember, this is the same state that gave you Joe McCarthy -- and Senselessbrenner. . . .

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 02:43:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Recent Democratic winners wrought (none)
      Reagan and Bush.

      We can't afford any more apppeasment minded Southerncrats

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

      by le sequoit on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 05:49:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The last three Dem popular vote winners... (none)
        Carter, Clinton, and Gore all come from the South.

        The last three losers---Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry aren't.

        Coincidence?

        "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

        by Jonathan4Dean on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 08:32:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Your Link Is Broken (none)
    It leads to Russ For PEZident, dot com.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:39:46 PM PST

  •  "Electability" (none)
    Some here have commented on the pros and cons of Feingold's electability; that's a sword we lived and died by in 2004 and by god I hope we don't see any of that nonsense again.  Sure, Dems viewed Kerry as the most "electable" during primary season.  But come the general election, it was irrelevant - what mattered was, who was the best guy to be President?  And Kerry surely didn't articulate how he fit that bill.

    As Kucinich once said, in response to the "electability" question:  "Well, I'm electable if you vote for me."  So let's get the best guy (or gal) out there and forget about who, for example, will best appeal to Southerners on God, guns and gays.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." ~Carly Simon

    by Nancy in LA on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:48:48 PM PST

    •  Electability... (none)
      is highly overrated. "Electable" Kerry lost.

      The biggest winners for Democrats have been darkhorses.

      "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

      by Jonathan4Dean on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 08:33:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am delighted (none)
    to see Russ taken increasingly seriously around here, I feel honored to have him as my Senator and I would feel honored to have him as my President. I don't always agree with him, he can be a bit of a pill, but I love the guy and I think he has a rare integrity unlike many of these wolves who continually and often insincerely ingratiate themselves to their leaders.
  •  Running against Giuliani (none)
    might get tough. But we're not gonna beat conservatives by trying to be more conservative.

    Feingold/Obama might work - a Jewish/Black ticket might stir up the pot a bit... and not in a conservative way.

    As much as I feel that presidential elections boil down to who looks best on TV, (which is a shame... Abe Lincoln wouldn't have stood a chance) I still don't think Edwards could pull it off; and he looks like a Ken Doll.

    I think Al Gore would make a great president but it's possible that the baggage left over from 2000 is too great.

    I'm sorry but I don't think Hillary is electable.

    Clarke? Maybe but he didn't exactly set the world on fire last time.

    So Russ is looking pretty good to me and Obama is one of the most articulate speakers (i.e. good on TV) that I've ever seen or heard. He would energize the black vote as well. Just my .02 cent's worth.

  •  The more I see and read (4.00)
    about this man, the more impressed I become.

    He votes from convictions, not according to ebbs and tides of political fades.  Because of this, he can talk and think on his feet and does not have to wait for polls on the political tides to shape his positions.  This kind of honesty has great populace appeal, especially after we have been taken to the cleaners by the current thoroughly dishonest administration.  This kind of personal integrity would be of particular appeal to those in central states.  (Forget the core extreme fundamentalist religious constituents represented in some of these states.  I don't think we need them to win, and I'm not willing this time to shape an agenda around this fringe.)   He actually seems to like connecting and engaging with the public--he not only asks for input, but listens.  (How refreshing!)  And this honesty and integrity can be totally supported by his record.  

    I'd definitely like to see him out there in the forefront in '08 for the final test.  He's certainly looking good to me so far, and has my enthusiastic backing at this point.

    •  See, this is what I'm saying (none)
      If the overall persona:  intelligent, articulate, votes with his conscience (even if we might disagree), willing to take a stand and stand up for it, passionate about issues, personable, real

      if all of that works, the rest of it falls by the wayside.  The religion thing, the marriage thing, this or that vote, whatever.  None of it matters if the candidate connects.

      The repukes found a way to bury all the nasty scandals, the failures, the lies and disgusting fratboy behavior beneath a facade of "good ol' straight-shooting boy who you'd want to have a beer with"  

      They were even able to pin the "good morals" thing on this loser while making Al Gore look like a bad guy, and made * look like some sort of heroic flyboy and Kerry loook like a shirker!

      And people voted for him regardless of what came out later, the drunk driving, the "major league asshole", the crappy record in Texas, the insider trading.  None of it stuck, because people "liked" him.  According to Tweety Mathews, everyone except wackos still does . . . lol

      So our man/woman doesn't have to be unassailable.  We just need to choose someone who connects with people.  And fight like hell to keep the slime off.  Not one inch to those guys.  Not one false comment goes unanswered.  Spin right back at them.

      This is a team effort.  No candidate is perfect.  We can argue all day, or we can find consensus when the time comes and all stand behind the candidate, flawed as he or she may be.  Because whoever it is will be better than another repuke.

  •  Highly recommended (none)
    Thanks for writing this.

    "This country is long overdue for a cheesehead President."- Russ Feingold

    by TheJohnny on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 04:17:06 PM PST

  •  Don't underestimate Russ (none)
    We Wisconsinites know that Feingold has an excellent shot at winning any election.  Despite his affable demeanor, Russ Feingold is a tough and ruthless campaigner.  He has to be, since  Wisconsin voters have a history of booting relatively popular senators out of office.  Feingold beat favored incumbent Bob Kasten in '92, who himself had, to everyone's surprise, edged out the great Gaylord Nelson in 1980.   As would-be usurpers Mark Neuman('98-a squeaker) and Tim Michaels('04-not a squeaker) can tell you, any opponent seeking to distort Feingold's record or publicly question his character is liable to wind up looking like a fool.  Russ laid the smack down so hard on Michaels during their '04 debates, I almost felt sorry for the the guy.  Almost.  
    •  A Man of Principles (none)
      We moved to WI from CA in late '95 so we were not that familiar with the senator's persona. I got involved with his re-election campaign in 1998 when the Republicans put up a despicable right-winger, Mark Neuman. While calling people from union offices to get out the vote, I learned from a union organizer that Feingold would not accept labor's financial contributions. After his victory in November, I saw the senator at his annual birthday party in February. I chided him a little on this principled stance because he came close to losing. He responded that he would rather lose than violate his principals. I replied that the voters of Wisconsin would be the real losers if he had lost.

      I like Russ very much & think that he would be a fine President even though he can be a little rigid as the above story illustrates. I'm also frustrated by his opinion that a President has a right to select who he wants in his cabinet (ex.Ashcroft) regardless of what that choice would mean for the rest of us.

  •  Wes Clark could always be Sec of Defense (none)

    I Supported the War When I Believed the Lies

    by bejammin075 on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 06:29:03 PM PST

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