Saying the other guy would be good . . .

This diary is for folks that want to discuss policy and politics, NOT for gung ho cheerleaders !!!  

If this kind of topic will upset you,
Step away from the diary!
Repeat -
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Okay, are they gone?  Now - -

Earlier today, I rushed to the defense of Russ Feingold. 59/643#30

I don't think anyone can justly criticize Feingold's record.  To me, he's the uber progressive.  In the dictionary, under the phrase "good senator", they should paste his picture.  Feingold was the ONLY Senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act.  'Nuff said.

Of course, Feingold was getting a ration of it today.  Because he was being honest.  Basically, he said that McCain wasn't so bad, and he's a generally okay guy.  Not in so many words, but Russ implied that the republic wouldn't end if McCain were elected.  Now, Feingold didn't back off one iota from his progressive positions, and he's 100% for Obama.  But, Russ just isn't a hyperbolic asshole willing to slime a man he's worked with on positive bipartisan legislation.  Actually, McCain is a cut above a Frist or a Guiliani or a Romney.  (And, let's be real - - if McCain had said 'yes' to Kerry, McCain would have been our VP nominee in '04, and we'd have all voted for the ticket.)

Responsive comments were generally of two kinds - - abject Russ-love vs. comments like this one from one of our regular contributors,

"It is not acceptable to say that the other party's nominee would be a good president." 75859/643/21/post#here

Which got me thinking - - why not? or, rather, wouldn't you like that to be the case?

Wouldn't it be nice to have a race in which you want your candidate to win, but you won't feel suicidal if the other one pulls it out?  An election without a Bush or a Nixon or a truly odious choice?  Wouldn't it be nice to walk into a voting booth and see the choice of Obama/Clinton vs. Chaffee/Hagel?  You'd prefer one, but you could deal with the other?

I've always been jealous of those in earlier times - - imagine the joy of voting in an Adams vs. Jefferson race, where there are no losers.

So, putting aside the individuals involved - - I'm not talking about McCain per se here - - shouldn't our goal be to transform our society and culture, not just our party, so that one day we have a choice between good and better?

Okay, now go back to the BREAKING!!! diary reporting that my cousin's neighbor's sister's hairdresser heard Cokie Roberts tell Wolf Blitzer at Starbucks in Georgetown that it's Kucinich for veep.

Tags: 2008, meta, Russ Feingold (all tags)



MORE tips for Russ !!!!

by kosnomore 2008-08-21 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

That would be nice. A Vinick and a Santos, for instance. Unfortunately, we have McCain.

by Cincinnatus 2008-08-21 07:03PM | 0 recs
Our goal should be that

But you can't put aside the person. And McCain has reversed everything he was known as a "maverick" for, sold himself to the devil, and will be a dangerous choice for this country. Seriously, the guy has already threatened military type action against 2 countries (one of which we'd stand no chance of beating).

by Dog Chains 2008-08-21 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

Politics has never been polite - if anything, it was much nastier in colonial times.  People were actually killed in duels back then.  More recently, Sen. Sumner was nearly beaten to death on the Senate floor, days after he had mocked another congressman for physical symptoms of a recent stroke and for his support of slavery.  The enlightened age of the founding fathers is largely a myth.

by rfahey22 2008-08-21 07:04PM | 0 recs
so gung ho cheerleading

is not ok, unless it's for Russ Feingold?

by JJE 2008-08-21 07:11PM | 0 recs
Isn't that what an Obama Presidency is all about?

Moving the dialog to the left?

That takes decades my friend. Rome wasn't built in a day. It took 40 years from McGovern to Bush to shift it right. It will take an equal amount of time to shift it left.

by iohs2008 2008-08-21 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

I've always been jealous of those in earlier times - - imagine the joy of voting in an Adams vs. Jefferson race, where there are no losers.

The race in 1800 was one of the meanest in American history.  Dems talked secession after Adams backed the Alien and Sedition Act (the Patriot Act of its day).  Federalists tore into Jefferson for being an atheist and Francophone.

Hmm...okay, so maybe politics hasn't changed that much.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-08-21 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

I don't much go for the post-partisan stuff myself, at least not in the current climate, where the Republican party has literally become an antidemocratic haven for fascist ideologues. Maybe back in the 50's when it was a choice between Eisenhower and Stevenson - both clearly patriatic, well qualified, lovers of liberty, who simply disagreed over ways and means - it made some sense. Even Goldwater, as wrong as he was, clearly loved and respected American values. But really since Nixon's rise, the Republican party has lost its way, and is now truly un-American in its outlook.

However, I thought Obama was all about making overtures to the other side and building a post-partisan coalition. Isn't that what Feingold did with McCain on campaign finance? Isn't that what Feingold is still doing? But now it's treachery to imply that McCain is not the Antichrist?

by itsthemedia 2008-08-21 08:48PM | 0 recs
It's not treachery to imply that McCain

is not the antichrist.  However, Feingold didn't say "McCain is not the antichrist."  He did say that McCain would be a good president.  

That is not treachery, but it is unwise, especially when a primary theme of the Democratic presidential campaign is that McCain is another four years of Bush, who is not a good president.  It is also unwise when McCain has already put out an ad with clips of various Democrats praising him in order to undermine that theme.

by JJE 2008-08-21 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not treachery to imply that McCain

Good enough, I agree. Even though I think McCain may well be the least crazy and wrong candidate in the Republican field this year, he is still crazy and wrong, and I agree it was unwise for Feingold to say otherwise, even if he believes it.

What blows my mind to some degree though, is some of the same people who are piling on Feingold now, defended Obama to the hilt when he made what many of us considered to be insufficiently damning statements about Reagan and 90's Republicans in the primary. Back then, the old polarized politics of the bad old Clinton past was in the process of being swept away in favor of a new politics of grand coalitions and comity. "That was then, this is now" I guess.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-23 02:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

"I've always been jealous of those in earlier times - - imagine the joy of voting in an Adams vs. Jefferson race, where there are no losers"

Actually in that election (1800) the party of Adams was spreading rumors that Jeffersons party was made up of radicals who would murder their opponents, burn churches, and destroy the country if they got into power.  The more things change, the more they stay the same

by xenontab 2008-08-21 11:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

I'm especially jealous of the women, who didn't have to worry about such a difficult decision at all.

by Cincinnatus 2008-08-21 11:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

I don't understand - you're basically saying that we should be able to be honest about what we think about politicians regardless of political party, therefore, nobody is allowed to criticize Russ Feingold.

Got it.  In your next diary you should explain why writing diaries is pointless.

by Jess81 2008-08-22 01:10AM | 0 recs
Is that what you read?
Wow, either I can't write or you can't read.
PS - I get paid for writing, so . . .
PS - where do I say "nobody is allowed to criticize Russ Feingold"?  
by kosnomore 2008-08-22 03:38AM | 0 recs
I disagree with your premise, kosnomore

Feingold was not being honest, he was showing that his impression of "Friend John" overrides what he should know about "President John".

Look at it this way...McCains voting record is more conservative than Joe Liberman, and we all love Joe, right? The signs are there, for anyone to see, that McCain will ultimately bring back the draft. He is against Head Start. He is against Roe V Wade. McCain works against the things Feingold and the Democratic Party work for.

Now, against that objective reality, why would Feingold talk up someone like that? Because they're buds. Because they worked on a bill. Personal reasons. Not professional ones.

Hell, I work in a business where I am expected to separate the personal and professional, how much more should a US Senator be aware of that?

Russ fucked up. It happens. You can't praise someone for the good and then ignore the bad. He screwed up, let it go.

by Neef 2008-08-22 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Saying the other guy would be good . . .

I also admire Feingold as a senator.  The problem here, with regard to voicing approval of the opposing candidate, is that the republicans have been winning national elections through smearing democrats.  I wish that the independents who often swing elections really wanted civility.  I wish that negative tactics didn't work.  But the fact that they do means that even when you have two candidates committed to a 'civil, issues-based campaign,' the one who needs a boost (often the republican in early stages) will always find ways to justify negative smears.  If any republican had staked his reputation on civility, that was Sen. John McKitchen Sink (R-AZ).  How has that played out?  

Now it's one thing to refuse to sink to that level.  It's quite another to voice approval of him when he, his campaign, his party, and their supporters have devoted themselves to character assassination.  It's not a moral issue.  It's a political and tactical one.  Independents hear a leader of one party saying 'the other guy is okay' while on the reverse they hear 'the other guy is worthless.'  Unfortunately, they buy into this...and we lose.

by Strummerson 2008-08-22 05:07AM | 0 recs


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