Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Russ Feingold was the Model Senator

What was it our founding-fathers had in mind when they created the U.S. Senate?
by Charlie Leck

Over there in our neighboring state – the one just to the east of the border – you will find something very rare in America – a model U.S. Senator. Minnesota has never had a U.S. Senator quite as honest, principled and thoroughly intelligent as Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. Not Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Eugene McCarthy, AlexanderRamsey or even Paul Wellstone!

How sad that Feingold will get beat in his November bid for re-election!

It’s Senator Feingold’s own sense of principle that will bring him down. He didn’t cast popular votes for bills favored by the majority. He voted for what he felt was right and against what he believed to be wrong. For instance, he was the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act. Lots of other Senators who cast votes for the infamous law now admit they were forced to do so by political realities – who votes against patriotism? Feingold recognized that it wasn’t a patriotic act, in spite of its title, and saw it for what it really was – that is, a violation of our civil liberties and a trampling of our basic human rights.

Now, in this desperate moment leading up to the election, Feingold trails by 5 or 6 percentage points in all the polls that measure his chances of being re-elected. Amazingly, Feingold has just rejected the significant assistance of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), which wanted to pour some money into the campaign in order to save the Senator’s important seat.

Why, for heaven’s sake?

Feingold’s answer is simple. By law, the Senator would have no input or control over how and what the DSCC would advertise in Wisconsin. When Politics Daily asked Feingold about his amazing refusal to accept the assistance, here is a bit of what the Senator said:

It's because these are almost always inherently attack ads based on cookie-cutter notions of how you should talk to the people of Wisconsin,... I don't want that kind of help

"I consider it to be outside help of a kind that is uncontrolled and tends to believe in a philosophy of slash-and-burn politics. That's frankly not who I am. I don't want to win that way...

“To me, not to have certain values about what it takes to win an election makes it not worth it to win an election. So I'm going to stick to those values. And if I lose because of it, so be it. And if I win because of it, even better.”

You people over there in Wisconsin, are you mad? This is the kind of Senator who should be cherished, not rejected.


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