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My peripheral vision is under constant assault by these "Hillary in 2016" ads. My heart goes out to Elizabeth Warren supporters, but I think nothing could neuter a great senator by having her as a VP to HClinton.

But a former Senator who was the only one to vote against the Patriot Act? Progressives, can you not drool?

You might claim that a divorced Jewish person from Minnesota is a long shot.

So was Barack. And he failed progressives, anyway.

Originally posted to boriskamite on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Twice divorced. And the fact that he lost an (7+ / 0-)

    election and hasn't run for anything since then doesn't help. I don't have anything against him but it's not a very strong resume for the Presidential run.

    •  Feingold has a very strong record to run on. (7+ / 0-)

      One of the most progressive records in the Senate, matter of fact.  I'd LOVE to see him run.

      If we want a Progressive President, the ONLY way to make that happen is to vote for one.  And this guy has an actual progressive record.  The fact that he's been out of politics for a few years says that he hasn't been triangulating everything and shining progressives on just to look good on the campaign trail.

      C'mon Russ, go for it!

      •  want to check out where you are coming from (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nadd2, sewaneepat

        Do you think Senator Feingold could beat many/most Republicans? Or is your argument similar to what I've heard before...something like "well if you don't try running a Progressive even if he can't win we'll never have a chance to vote our conscience".

        I think he very likely could not win (he's to obviously far to the left for the brainwashed multitudes who've been conditioned to think that that is a bad thing).

        I feel that we need to vote for whoever Dem can most likely beat the Republican, until that party comes back to the land or reality from its far right sojourn. This time I think it is more important to safeguard the safety net the Republicans want to dismantle and avoid causing thousands to millions of Americans suffering and death. I know that we've been in denial pretty much here on DK of the consequences if the Republicans get control of the House Senate and Presidency (there is a double digit probability, most likely, given the house gerrymandering and the Dems having more seats up for grabs than Reps in the Senate). But the reality is they are Hell Bent on slashing Medicaid, turning it into block grants, slashing food stamps, etc. Millions depend on Medicaid for their very life...for medicine and treatment that keeps them from dying. I personally know people, there are Kossacks who could die if they loose Medicaid. (such people cannot pay for insurance on exchanges even if they dont, also, end Obamacare).

        They cannot be allowed to win the Presidency in 2016. Lives are at stake and it isn't being discussed for what it is.

        I love Russ Feingold but would need to be convinced he had a good shot at beating the Rep nominee or prospective nominee before I chose him in a primary. I worry that too many would vote their heart (which is my heart too) and not think of the risk of defacto, with their votes, contributing to a Republican winning the WH and gutting the social safety net.

        •  I just don't really get this argument (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Wells, CroneWit, RuralLiberal

          First of all, a Feingold candidacy is purely hypothetical at this point, and there hasn't been any polling, nor is most of the country even familiar with him.

          But what policies of his do you think would be "too liberal" for the American public? His support of campaign finance reform? His opposition to the War in Iraq? His support of gay marriage and right to choose?

          If you go policy by policy, you will not find a great deal of difference between Feingold's publicly stated policy positions, and the ones Obama ran on. The difference is not so much in terms of policy, but that someone like Feingold has a record of standing up for what he believes in and fighting for it.

          The "too liberal" trope is growing less and less relevant these days. If you look at polls, it's really the Republicans who are hurt by their party platform, not the Democrats.

        •  He beat republicans in a purple state several (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit

          times with his progressive record so that shows he can do well with people who are not liberal.

          Yes, I know that he lost the last time, but he beat them several times before that.  

        •  First of all, we're talking about the Dem (0+ / 0-)

          Primaries, right?  Primaries  are for voting for your preferred progressive candidate.  General elections are for voting against the Republican.
          I repeat, the only way to get the progressive president we want and NEED (and one who has any interest in changing the status quo in a progressive direction) is to vote for one.
          You will never be convinced that Russ would have a good chance of winning the general, because you're already, 3years out, promoting that tired old lesser of two evils argument.   How about if you keep an open mind through the primaries before you decide who can win?  Democrats are highly unlikely to promote to general election candidate someone unqualified.  But Republicans actually ARE likely to put up an unqualified candidate who can't win the general.  You've already decided that the Democrat can only win by being the farthest to the right in the democratic field.  Or at least that's the impression you leave when you make that ridiculous argument this early in...I was going to say in the process, but the campaign season hasn't even started yet.

          •  primaries now a days are not only for voting (0+ / 0-)

            for the preferred candidate compared to eachother, especially for President.

            More strategic is, if you ultimately want a Democrat in office rather than a Republican, picking someone in the Dem primary you like who MOST importantly (if it is Most Important to you for a Republican to NOT get in office) could Beat The Republican nominee.

            example:
            I liked Hillary Clinton fine but was was curious about Obama so I read his books. I then saw how much anti Hillary (anti Women--they overlap) feeling there was that I think many Dems underestimate. HRC hooks some men's egos in a way that makes them resent her and I believe it comes from a subconscious prejudice against women for some men. I thought she could not beat McCain.

            SO I voted for Obama. Because ANY DEM was better than McCain. He was scary and impulsive around his VP choice and when the stock market took that dive. Dangerous.

      •  He voted against shutting down GITMO (0+ / 0-)
    •  we could nominate... (7+ / 0-)

      the person whose spouse cheated on them publicly and who lost the last race they ran. Everyone has baggage. We elected a half black dude who admitted to snorting coke and has a funny name. If Russ  can pull off a positive message of change and inspire with his speeches and raise a shit ton of money and poach a bunch of Obama's campaign staff he's good to go.

      I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

      by jbou on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:00:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He could do ok in general. And he would be a good (0+ / 0-)

        President with certainly much stronger civil libertarian credentials than just about any other mainstream candidate. But he would have a very hard time getting traction in the primary and will likely do worse than other candidates in general (although maybe not by much).

        That said, he could be a good candidate for a draft effort especially if Hillary doesn't run. His presence may pull the field to the left on NSA and related issues.

  •  I would love to see Feingold run. It takes real (4+ / 0-)

    guts to have been  the only one to vote against the Patriot Act right after 9-11.

    But I would be equally happy to vote for Elizabeth Warren.

    I just hope we have a real progressive run in the primary.  I have no problem supporting Clinton but it seems to me that there are more progressive choices out there that I would like better.  

  •  See my sig. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, ukit, nadd2, CroneWit

    Plus where has he been lately?  Maybe he's lost his appetite for politics.

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:50:35 PM PDT

    •  I am assuming he wants his senate seat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nadd2

      back and will run against RoJo in 2016.

      That is what the good folks in WI are thinking, although Feingold himself hasn't said.

      I'd rather see him as governor, but he opted out of that and I probably won't ever forgive him for it.

  •  How about Hillary in 2016? (5+ / 0-)

    I like Russ Feingold, but Hillary can do something he can't do - win.

    The threat from the Republican party of destruction is so serious that it is time to be pragmatic and run candidates who can win, not candidates who we like but can't win.

    •  ns (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devis1, CroneWit, ukit

      "I like Russ Feingold, but Hillary can do something he can't do - win."

      Do you have any polling data suggesting only Hillary can win? Russ isn't seen as a rabid left wing attack dog like some other senators. He can easily run on a populist message with broad, even bipartisan appeal.

      Hell, I'd certainly give him a looksie in the primaries.

      Though, hmm, I would love it if he won his seat back from Ron Johnson in a few years. Sweet sweet justice that would be.

      •  I don't have polling data showing that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nadd2, sewaneepat

        Russ Feingold can't win, although any polling data at this point would not mean much.

        I think, however, that Hillary is the closest thing to a sure thing that the Dems have.  She is very popular, obviously has the name recognition, and appeals to working class white voters.

        I think that Russ Feingold will easily be painted as too Liberal.  I personally like that, but I don't think it will sell in a presidential election.  I certainly hope he takes back his senate seat, however.

        •  On the other hand, I could see Feingold (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          night cat, CroneWit

          or someone like him appealing more to independent voters.

          Don't underestimate the appeal of a "conviction candidate." Americans love to vote for someone who is perceived as standing up for the right thing.

          Also, after Obama was labelled a Kenyan Muslim Socialist and elected two times, I'm not sure how much more power the "too liberal" smear has.

      •  This is the mistake the republicans made (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CroneWit, RuralLiberal, ukit

        with McCain and Romney picking someone they saw as an "electable" candidate but who didn't generate the enthusiasm.

        While I agree that there are some candidates that will never be accepted by the mainstream like Dennis Kucinich, I wouldn't put Feingold in that category as he won several times in the purple state of Wisconsin despite his more progressive stances.

        As for Hiliary, I certainly have a more positive view of her then I did the last time, but if she is nominated, don't think for a second she will have an easy ride given the republican hatred for the clintons.  They have had since Bill left office to gather dirt on Hilliary and I think that we are in for another campaign of swiftboat ads.  

    •  Just like 2008, and 2004, and... (0+ / 0-)

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:14:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Pragmatic" has included (5+ / 0-)

      supporting the Iraq War for starters.  In reality, it's been a generation since anything except the strict corporatist agenda has been presented to the public as "pragmatism".

      What you say about the threat from Republicans for destruction is true, but the same threat exists from the "centrist" faction of the Democrats.  They share a clear and cohesive ideology with the explicitly right-wing Republican mainstream, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism.  Our centrist Dems have labeled that "pragmatism". It's a very narrow ideology, with no room for deviation from its central premise of the unchallenged and unfettered rule of big money.  

      The flip side of that hegemony of capital is the increasing precarity for all the rest of us.  To stop this process, which has only gained momentum from a "bipartisan" process, there needs to be a political defeat imposed on neoliberal philosophy in all its faces, or as we have already seen, it simply recoups itself.  Enough lathering, rinsing and repeating.  

      Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  After he didn't step up to take out Walker (5+ / 0-)

    I don't think so. If he wanted to run nationally, or again, I think that was his shot. I think he's retired from politics.

    "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

    by Jason Hackman on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:56:54 PM PDT

    •  I live here in WI and I don't think he is done (5+ / 0-)

      More than likely, he will challenge Ron Johnson to retake the Senate seat that he lost to him in 2010. That's the main reason why he didn't challenge Scott Walker during the recall election. He has a way better shot at doing this because Ron Johnson is a know-nothing idiot who has never had an original thought of own, preaches the party line like a Stepford wife and gets a pole stuck up his arse when you call him out on the boneheaded stuff he says. Read Puddytat's diary and it will explain all.

  •  He has to want it (7+ / 0-)

    We don't get to choose;  drafts don't work.  The fact that he has been very quiet since he lost tells me he's done with politics.

    and that guy is getting a fake name and a phone number with six digits

    by chicago minx on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:15:56 PM PDT

  •  Minnesota? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    minglewood, boriskamite, nadd2

    sigh.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:43:16 PM PDT

  •  Clinton leads Paul by 8, Rubio by 11, Cruz by 16 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nadd2, Rich in PA

    Feingold is the ONLY Democratic incumbent Senator to lose in a blue or purple state in the last decade.

    Take the fight to them. Don't let them bring it to you. - Harry S Truman

    by jgoodfri on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:43:25 PM PDT

  •  We need someone to challenge Clinton (3+ / 0-)

    Even Clinton supporters would have to admit that a primary between Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley and Joe Biden would be kind of depressing and embarrassing for the state of Democratic politics. And for those of us who strongly oppose militarism and DLC centrism, it's imperative to find a strong alternative.

    Feingold is great in theory, and I would support him in a second, but it doesn't look like he's interested in politics anymore.

    Similarly, everyone is mentioning Warren, another potentially strong candidate, but one who has shown absolutely zero interest in running for President.

    So how do we help this process along? Maybe it's time for the grassroots left to get involved and try to draft candidates into the race.

  •  ok...then how about (0+ / 0-)

    Elizabeth Holtzman?

  •  We need a real progressive like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit

    Feingold or Warren or Grayson or others to at least run in the primaries to pull the Overton window leftward and to keep the debate honest.

    The Tea Party has fulfilled an important function (to them) of pulling Republicans rightward and there's no reason that Liberals should not educate themselves and use the same tactics to try to save some remnant of progressive ideals, LIKE

    A functioning and fair healthcare system
    Protection from Wall Street Vultures
    Civil Rights Protections
    Voting Rights protection
    Election Security
    Preserving public education
    Environmental protections

    and so on and so on.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:14:46 AM PDT

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (0+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:55:23 AM PDT

  •  If it's going to happen, it will likely be a (0+ / 0-)

    governor who hasn't joined the CFR and has a plan to get money out of politics. But the funding requirements are so absurdly high now, that the presidency is probably a lost cause as far as reformers are concerned. The genuine contests would be in Congress and the states, until Citizens United is overturned.

  •  The most progressive POTUS of the 20th century (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, TLS66, blueyedace2

    were, ironically enough, not hugely progressive BEFORE being POTUS.

    What does distinguish them is winning huge majorities in both the popular and electoral vote.

    Who am I talking about?

    FDR. LBJ.

    Look at their records prior to being elected. Look at the margin of victory. Then look at what they did as POTUS.

    Does past predict future? Well, only sometimes. But at least it is some evidence.

    •  Yeah, neither man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Victor Ward

      was particularly progressive before becoming President, especially LBJ, who after all, was representing a southern state.  Even Carter campaigned against busing when running for Governor of Georgia.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:47:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been thinking about Feingold too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RuralLiberal, ukit

    Glad you raised the question.  I remember that every time I saw him speak during the Bush years, he was spot on in his criticisms and suggestions.  He put himself out there, too, with several bills and actions that were not successful in that time, but again where exactly where they needed to be.

    There would be strong pushback from the DLC-ThirdWay-Corporcratic Dem leadership, though.  It would probably start by people listing ways that make him 'unable to win' (family life, etc), pointing to his efforts during the Bush years as evidence that 'he's a loser with poor ideas' rather than as evidence that he spoke up and acted in the face of hostile power.  That sort of thing.

    But even as a primary candidate, he would express Progressive, Democratic-Wing ideals and positions, and bring those ideas into public discourse.

    Which is why the Corprocrats will diss him.  

    Can we draft him?

  •  Appropriately awful diary for an awful idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial

    Feingold was bad for Democrats, especially Wisconsin Democrats, because his cafeteria approach to Democratic positions validated the idea that Democrats didn't really have to vote Democratic.  Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, but she's a Democrat of some sort while Feingold is solely Feingoldian.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 08:29:57 AM PDT

  •  Let the man decide his own future. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boriskamite

    I'd personally like to see Russ in ANY position of public trust, and I'd REALLY like to see him on the U.S. Supreme Court.  

    But Russ' life choices are not mine - or yours - to make.  Or to judge.

    Where do we get the idea that Russ owes the public anything?  He served us as an outstanding public servant for many years. WE owe HIM our thanks.  And we owe him our support for whatever he decides to do in the next stage of his life.  

    Wasn't it always a good idea to have citizen legislators rather than career politicians whose primary focus is staying in power at any cost?  

    That said, if he'd run for any office, I'd be out canvassing, calling, supporting him in any way possible.  If he could win in red/blue (not purple) Wisconsin, it's possible that he could win nationally.

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