Democrats & Liberals Archives

Russ Feingold, The Real Patriot

I just returned from Mexico to be greeted with the great news that Democratic Senator Russ Feingold has stopped cold President Bush’s push toward the reduction of civil liberties through the extension of the grossly mislabeled Patriot Act. Feingold led a filibuster which prevented the House-approved version that contained civil-liberties-busting provisions from becoming law. A 6-months extension to the current Patriot Act was enacted to give senators time to write an act that is constitutional. Russ Feingold is the real patriot here.

You may remember that Russ Feingold was the only senator that voted against the Patriot Act 4 years ago. Feingold then did not allow his fears - I'm sure he had fears, like the rest of us - to overcome his good sense that the Bill of Rights should never be sacrificed. It is the Bill of Rights that stamps us as a great nation to be emulated, not our economic or military power, as Bush seems to think.

This week, Feingold and a band of 5 Democratic and Republican senators who had concerns about the privacy and overly-broad surveillance provisions authorized by the pending bill, mounted a filibuster.

President Bush was unhappy:

"The senators who are filibustering the Patriot Act must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment."

I often wonder what Bush would say if he did not have his favorite catchphrase, "war on terror." These 3 little words seem to be his excuse for everything. I would prefer it greatly if he substituted 3 other words:

"Bill of Rights."

Russ Feingold uses these 3 little words because he knows that the Bill of Rights presents the true meaning of America. The "war on terror" is merely a passing phase in our history. We should not allow the fear it induces in us to kill our civil liberties.

Anyhow, in a 52 - 47 vote the senate failed to cut off debate. The 6 months extension to the Patriot Act was enacted. Though Bush had said before the vote he would veto it, he quickly changed his mind after the extension was adopted. Would you call this a flip-flop?

My hero now is Russ Feingold. Russ Feingold understood the meaning of the Bill of Rights 4 years ago. He understands it now. Russ Feingold is a real patriot!

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 22, 2005 6:10 PM
Comments
Comment #106258

Paul,
Right on! Again and again, Feingold has shown great judgment under pressure. He was among the liberals who voted against the resolution that was used as a pretext for invading Iraq. Liberals defend civil rights & liberty, and Feingold’s done his part.

Posted by: phx8 at December 22, 2005 6:28 PM
Comment #106272

They changed the extension to feb 3.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/22/patriot.act.ap/index.html?section=cnn_topstories

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 7:16 PM
Comment #106284

Is it 2008 yet?

Posted by: tree hugger at December 22, 2005 8:15 PM
Comment #106287

Russ Feingold is the only Democratic Congressperson I have sent campaign money to in the last several elections. There are few of his character. Too bad he has to go when we vote out incumbents in 2006.

But, he will hopefully be replaced by a number more like him with the intent of serving the American people and restoring government of, by, and for all the people of these United States, not just the few wealthy and powerful. If incumbency becomes dependent upon these terms, America can have a decent, accountable, responsible, and transparent government in the future. If not, a couple Russ Feingolds in the Congress will be impotent against the powers that be anyway.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 22, 2005 8:25 PM
Comment #106297

Russ Feingold what a great man. A true patriot he is the ONLY senator who actually read the patriot act before voting on it.

I remember talking to my father who is also a flaming libral who also considers being called a liberal a compliment, right after September 11th, 2001 and we both compalined to each other our disappointmnet about how our senator was the only one who voted against the “patriot” act. We both stated how it should have be a unanimous vote in favor of it. I mean come on, to hear a bill called the “patriot act” it had to be a good thing right? Needless to say neither my father our I had taken the time to read it( or for that matter 99 other US senators).

I, who am the first to admit my mistakes, proudly worked for Senator Feingold’s re-election campaign an loved wearing my Feingold shirt that had his re-election emblem on the front and the outline of a spine on the back to re-enforce his strength when the rest of the country and it’s elected representatives acted in such a knee jerk manner.

thank you Russ Feingold. Thank you for taking the time to read a bill before you vote on it and thank you for demonstrating to America the defination of what a Patriot it is! I can’t think of a senetor on either side who has the spine to break way from his party and to vote his conscience and do what is right for the people.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at December 22, 2005 8:49 PM
Comment #106301

David Reimer

Likely just an oversight on your part but Russ Feingold is the junior senator from Wisconsin he isnt’ in the most corrupt house ever.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at December 22, 2005 9:11 PM
Comment #106315

Paul,

Unfortunately when the spin machine gets done it’ll show John Warner came to the rescue. We’ve far to go before we can celebrate.

I’d have to say this one plays for the neo-cons.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at December 22, 2005 10:28 PM
Comment #106326

“ONLY senator who actually read the patriot act before voting on it”

…This fact alone speaks volumes

Posted by: DancesWithMules at December 22, 2005 10:55 PM
Comment #106333

David,
It would be foolish to vote out such an honorable senator as Fiengold. As for the rest, I am quite happy with my congresswoman(Woolsey), very happy with one senator(Boxer) and usually happy with the other(Fienstein). If you are not happy with yours please do what you can to vote them out. As for mine,give it a rest.
I hope Fiengold throws his hat in the ring for president. For you wavering Dems and independants out there did you notice that Mcain was not among the couragious Rep senators that stood by our civil rights over party loyalty?

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2005 11:05 PM
Comment #106351

I don’t agree with Feingold on very much, but at least he’s one Democratic senator who actually seems to stand for something and occasionally take an unpopular view instead of just twisting in the poltical wind.

As a defender of civil rights and the constituion, however, his record is a little more mixed. He’s okay, in my opinion, on the Second Amendment, and was one of only a few Dem Senators who voted against renewing the assault weapons ban.

On the other hand, along with John McCain, he authored McCain-Feingold, a piece of legislation which places all kinds of limitations on free and open political speech.

It’s downright strange for somebody to be so strongly against something like roving wire taps of terror suspects—even with a judge’s warrant—and also be so hostile to basic rights guaranteed to American citizens in other areas under the First Amendment.

Posted by: sanger at December 22, 2005 11:37 PM
Comment #106364

Now for the paranoid section(It does’nt mean they’re not out to get us)
Why have they pushed the date for reconsideration to Feb 2? Can we expect an event to occur over the holidays to make passage easy?

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2005 11:54 PM
Comment #106373

I was not a big fan of mccain-fiengold either. Not so much that I am against reform but that it was doomed to fail. Just more paper work. If anything it just makes it harder for the little guy to be heard. I do however appreciate the spirit. Money talks too loud. As long as corporations have as many rights as people and money equates with free speech all such efforts will fail without 100% public financing. Not likely.
I was not aware he opposed the assault weapons ban. Glad to hear it.Thanks. We need more Dems like him.

Posted by: Bill at December 23, 2005 12:12 AM
Comment #106374

Bill, if there was an attack over the holidays, I have no doubt that plenty of people would say exactly that, which is a sad reflection on the state of political discourse in this country.

There are already a great many on the political left insisting that the Pentagon or Israeli agents carried out 9-11. For that matter, there are people who think that Roosevelt allowed Pearl Harbor to happen so he’d have an excuse to enter World War II.

The problem with such a view as it relates to the Patriot Act is that the Patriot Act is expressly designed to combat terrorists operating within American borders, and it’s most controversial measures (unlike even this new NSA controversy) require warrants and judicial oversight.

In any case, the Patriot Act will likely be passed anyway, with minor alterations designed to safeguard civil liberties. If not simply because it is the right thing to do, then because American voters are demanding it. Polls show huge and (may I say) bipartisan support for the Patriot Act. And as this debate progresses, the popular will likely prevail. In the end, the Howard Dean/Daily Kos segment of the left who Democratic Senators are pandering to on this are not going to prevail over the bread-and-butter mainstream Democrats.

Saying that Bush would allow a terrorist attack to occur just to pass the Patriot Act is like saying that someone would burn down their house because they want a fire extinguisher.

Posted by: sanger at December 23, 2005 12:12 AM
Comment #106392

Yikes ! I hate to think this way too (Bill) and i hate to even consider that conspiracy is something that these people are capable of (many folks that i know do) but…..are they? And , what if something does happen now? How many people in the US now truely believe that these men would stop at nothing to save their skins? I think that the number would suprise a lot of us, me included. I do not trust this administration……at all. This is a angry animal that is being poked at right now. There is no telling what it might do.

Posted by: Del at December 23, 2005 12:40 AM
Comment #106412

Del, if the “animal” is angry, it’s because the animal is a protective and loyal guard dog who knows that a murderer is lurking nearby and some people are trying to leash, muzzle him and put cotton in his ears.

The murderer has struck before, and recently, which some people for reasons of partisanship or simple ignorance want to ignore.

I doubt, incidentally, that the Bush administration is at all fearful for their own skins these days. In several polls, approval ratings are up dramatically, very close to the levels which Bush enjoyed when he was reelected last year.

And in any case, Bush isn’t running again, and if he only cared about himself instead of your and my safety and security, he could be doing what Clinton did at the latter stages of his presidency—kick back, not do anything too controversial and put the bulk of his energies into drumming up donations for his presidential library.

But wait, Clinton was fighting impeachment at this stage of his presidency too. I almost forgot.

In any case, with House and Senate majorities behind him, as well as a decisive majority (still) when it comes to security matters, Bush has no real personal worries except defending the American people.

This won’t stop the tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists, but who cares? Certainly not Bush.

Posted by: sanger at December 23, 2005 1:00 AM
Comment #106431

Bill, no, I am going after your incumbent representatives too! The incumbents are the problem, they keep the corrupt system corrupt. They must be taught that reelection depends on results, not unfulfilled promises. I can only vote for Texas representatives, but, in America, I have a voice that is legally allowed to reach across state borders just as your Party does trying to convince everyone that only Democrats wear halos in Congress.

So, no, I won’t leave your incumbents to your vote. Thanks anyway. Don’t you love democracy? I do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 23, 2005 1:35 AM
Comment #106438

So remember this, everyone.

If you go into the voting booth and see that your two choices for Senator are David Duke or Russ Feingold, Mr. Remer recommends that you vote for David Duke.

After all David Duke is not the incumbent. And more important than anything else is that the incumbents lose. Even if that means they lose to Neo Nazis, Communists, or any other third party or independent candidates.

Just assume that the “other guy” is better. Don’t use your intellecual or moral judgement to weigh your choices—supress your doubts at all cost!

Posted by: sanger at December 23, 2005 1:52 AM
Comment #106513

To Clarify: I said an event,not an attack.Could be something like an important arrest or two with the PA given credit rightly or wrongly. All they have to do is say so as we would have no way to check. Another possiblity is a big scare,true or not,narrowly avoided by them being able to find out what library books you have been reading.Not that I would put an attack or allowing an attack past them but that could get quite messy.
Lets not forget that there was plenty of intelligence about the 9/11 attack without the PA. What was missing was the competence to deal with it. Making some changes to protect our civil liberties and putting a sunset clause in are far from unreasonable.Allowing an incompetent power mad administration to go unchecked is not.

Posted by: Bill at December 23, 2005 6:20 AM
Comment #106559

Hello,

Incumbents… I was in CA when they voted term limits for politicans. I believed that it was the craziest idea I had ever heard of. A classic example of cutting of the nose to spite the face so I voted for it!

Why? Because, power in the legislature (Federal and State) is based on seniority! I had had enough of the CA silliness of people deciding issues based on 30 second special interests commercials for all the different propostitions. People were voting on emotion rather than on facts.

I believed that if the people of CA were willing to voluntarily handicap their representatives so the smaller states would have the senior positions then it was best for America all the way around.

Now, some Props were good, some were bad. However, a lot were even found to be unconstitutional. There is no constitutionality test prior to voting for a Prop. It really was the tyranny of the majority at its worst.

People were so ignorant of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that they just could not understand how the courts could overturn the will of the majority!!!

Legistlators should be held accountable and made to make the tough decisions… that is what they are paid for and if they don’t vote them out.

Maybe it isn’t the system that causes the corruption… that takes away from the personal responsibility of the person committing the crime/behavior. Instead, maybe it is the people we are being offered as candidates and the ones we choose?

Fiengold comes from a state that has a long history of Progressive political action. We just lost Proxmire and some of us miss his “Golden Fleece” award. Les Aspin was my congressman before I was a teen and his was the fist political election I worked on. Kids were safe enough to pass out bumper stickers and could stuff envelopes. McCarthy… we could spend years discussing him but other than the damage he did, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Fiengold had the integrity of his convictions to stand against the tide.

Unfortunately, good names for laws does not equate to good laws. Bundling of disparate laws into one law with a good title is especially troublesome… how can you vote against the military budget in times of war? Because they tossed a law on there that was a completely separate issue.

People need to be educated that politics is more than commercials at election time.

I do live in Wisconsin and you can be assured that I will work on Feingold’s campaign if he runs.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 9:06 AM
Comment #106583

Until i realized that our president is spying on us i was all for an assault weapons ban, now, i just may have to pick up a few at the corner black market.

don’t worry, i have a coupon, buy one get one free!!!

Posted by: tree hugger at December 23, 2005 9:48 AM
Comment #106585

Did they read the whole Bill in “Fairenheit 9/11” or did they just show footage of Moore reading it aloud in Washington. Either way, I think the movie helped to expose the patriot act for what it is. Regardless of what snappy soundbytes Bill Frist or John Cornyn can come up with.

Posted by: Mike at December 23, 2005 9:49 AM
Comment #106590

Did they read the whole Bill in “Fairenheit 9/11” or did they just show footage of Moore reading it aloud in Washington. Either way, I think the movie helped to expose the patriot act for what it is. Regardless of what snappy soundbytes Bill Frist or John Cornyn can come up with.

================

Im sure anyone that those movie would help the most were already convinced (before watching it) that it was chock full of lies and deceit. That is unfortunate. It is definately a movie that everyone should watch, even if it is something they know politically they will disagree with.

Mr. Moore obviously has a slanted viewpoint, but it is far from harmful— unless your a political criminal, then you only have to worry about how long you can keep your voting district(s) asleep.

I also recommend the movie: “The Corporation.” Very very good.

Posted by: tree hugger at December 23, 2005 9:56 AM
Comment #106594

Wow very a whole thread and no you libs suck. Just plain old discussion it’s great. Feingold is my rep as well. I have adimired him for a long time. In his last elction campaighn he defended his decision to vote aginst the Patriot act with a commercial showing the constitution being cut up and saying he was agianst it. He is as good on the campaighn trail as he is a senator. His campaighns are simple direct and about him not his opponent. I reeall would like him to run for president. Not that this reall matters but as an added kick what better way to show our disdain for Al-Queda and all radical Islam than to vote a Jewish person into the white house.

Posted by: zakquiet at December 23, 2005 10:03 AM
Comment #106601

“Until i realized that our president is spying on us i was all for an assault weapons ban,”

This is exactly why I am a progun liberal. We have the right to have weapons to protect ourselves from the possibility of a corrupt or unjust government. It is not that I beleive we are at the point of needing a civil war to protect our constitutional rights at this point but if in 100 or 500 years from now we need to it would be nice if we didn’t let our rights to bear arms slip through our fingers years before. All of our civil liberties are important and worthy of protection. If not for the present for then for the future, which we cannot predict.

Posted by: zakquiet at December 23, 2005 10:18 AM
Comment #106614

Del, if the “animal” is angry, it’s because the animal is a protective and loyal guard dog who knows that a murderer is lurking nearby and some people are trying to leash, muzzle him and put cotton in his ears.
Posted by: sanger at December 23, 2005 01:00 AM
================================================
The problem is most of US don’t want an angry dog for our protection. It will just as likely bite US as anyone else despite any positive sounding anthropomorphic characterizations you want to assign it.
What we want is a highly trained and disciplined bodyguard; Intelligent, respectful, and law abiding. DickBush is 0 of 3 on that and giving them the PA is like giving an unmedicated paranoid schizophrenic a loaded Uzi.

Posted by: Dave at December 23, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #106615

First of all, this great! I love that there is open discussions like this, and I am new to this forum. So (Sanger/Bill) i did not say “attack” either, i said what if something happens. I do not necessarily believe in conspiracy. I believe that it is possible that these men (and women) are capable of, and are proveing it now,intense coverups and deceptions. Yes, past presidents have done it too, on both sides. And yes all of you rightwingers….Clinton too. But none of them to this degree? NOT, never. I have to respectfully disagree with the loyal guard dog anology. I don’t think for a minute that Bush, Cheney, Rumhead ect, think of our safty above their political interests. Safty may be only a byproduct of ‘their patroism’ Poll numbers? Enjoying approval ratings? What and where are you looking? At the Limbaugh site? Americans are dissatisfied. Period. Come on. Even the rats are starting to bail.

Posted by: Del at December 23, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #106617
If you go into the voting booth and see that your two choices for Senator are David Duke or Russ Feingold, Mr. Remer recommends that you vote for David Duke.

Yes, Sanger, you’re right. As much as I respect many of David’s posts, this helps point out the absurdity of the whole “vote all incumbents out” religion. It’s one of those (I won’t say “crackpot” though it occurs to me) ideas that some love because the internal logic seems so compelling. But it’s an utterly unrealistic idea simply because it’ll never convince enough people to ever make it workable. It reminds me of the old “if everyone jumped into the ocean at the same time” scenarios we talked about as children.

As for Feingold, he’s a necessary and welcome force within the until-recently-spineless Dem Party. He reminds me of Newt back in the day. He has a way of making you respect him one moment and say “oh just shut up” the next. And it’s possible he’ll actually help keep this nation, which is badly in danger of completely losing its way on civil liberties, from doing so.

On the other hand, along with John McCain, he authored McCain-Feingold, a piece of legislation which places all kinds of limitations on free and open political speech.

Yes, this is a tough one if you’re in the “speech equals money” camp, which is where the Court is right now. My suggestion is to accept, at least for now, that speech equals money and then challenge the notion that “corporations equal people.” That’s a legal fiction unprotected by the constitution and exploding it would make our system less corrupt. I love private enterprise but corporate contributions shouldn’t be part of the political equation.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 23, 2005 10:58 AM
Comment #106742

Feingold is my kind of Democrat. If there were more men like him and more women like my Senator, Barbara Boxer, I’d no doubt still be a Democrat.
I’m one who believes that the party on the Left should be made up of Liberal politicians who actually represent the interests of the middle class and the poor. According to the majority of Democrats these days, that isn’t how it works any longer. I find that sad — that the entire party moved right just because the Republican’s moved right.

David:
“There are few of his character. Too bad he has to go when we vote out incumbents in 2006.
But, he will hopefully be replaced by a number more like him with the intent of serving the American people and restoring government of, by, and for all the people of these United States, not just the few wealthy and powerful.”
And:
“The incumbents are the problem, they keep the corrupt system corrupt. They must be taught that reelection depends on results, not unfulfilled promises.”

This is why I can’t get on board the VOID train, despite the fact that I do agree that an overwhelming majority of political incumbents should definitely be tossed out on their rear ends. You’re acknowledging that men of excellent character like Feingold are few, but then in the next breath you say you HOPE you’ll get another like him! In my view, this makes no sense. People of excellent character who do a good job, get good results, and who are obviously not corrupt simply do not deserve to be lumped in with the rest. To me, it seems unfair as well as illogical.
The second reason I can’t get on board is that I can imagine the chaos that would result in having both Houses comprised of people who’ve never had an ounce of experience in Congress whatsoever.
In all places in life, people need guides and mentors to show them how things work, and how to get things done. I see no reason why it should be any different here. While I agree that We the People should want to ruthlessly root out corruption and incompetence in our govt., those who are not corrupt and who have proven themselves to be people of good character, intelligence, and competence should therefore remain in their positions. That way they can act as guides and mentors, and head off the problems and dangers that could easily result in having the entire U.S. Congress comprised of nothing but novices.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 23, 2005 1:59 PM
Comment #106752

Adrienne
“I’m one who believes that the party on the Left should be made up of Liberal politicians who actually represent the interests of the middle class and the poor”

That is what has happened and the people put the other side into power.
The Conservatives are to the right of the Republicans and the liberals are to the left of the Democrats.
The People rejected the idea of liberals having control, so shouldn’t the Democrats become Democrats again?
Not trying to insult here. Was just an honest assessment based on the last few elections.

Posted by: kctim at December 23, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #106761

Tim,
I’m afraid I can’t make head or tail of your reply to me, so could you elaborate? Btw, you should know by now that I don’t get insulted when someone asks me a question. I also don’t expect everyone to agree with my answers.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 23, 2005 2:20 PM
Comment #106837

Sorry Adrienne, at work and rushing too much I guess.
I was just saying many Dems I know say the party has become too liberal and they point to the recent elections as proof that the American people do not like their agenda. So wouldn’t it make sense to go the other, more moderate, direction?

I knew you wouldn’t be insulted, I just wanted to make sure you knew that my question was sincere and not just more “liberal” bashing or anything.

“I also don’t expect everyone to agree with my answers”

Your husband is a lucky man.

Posted by: kctim at December 23, 2005 3:45 PM
Comment #106891

Tim:
“I was just saying many Dems I know say the party has become too liberal and they point to the recent elections as proof that the American people do not like their agenda.”

Well, I don’t know your friends, but I would say the opposite has occurred. When I hear these accusations of too much liberalism, its as though people are pretending that the Democratic reform movement which happened in the 90’s under Clinton never took place. But the actual truth is, moving more and more toward the center started then, and it is extremely obvious that it has at this point completely redefined the party.
In my opinion, that movement was born of the enormous influence of The Democratic Leadership Council (a non-profit corporation full of right leaning Dems that started in response to Reagan’s election) and their think tank, The “Progressive Policy” Institute.
These people caused the Democratic Party to adopt a way more conservative strategy that was overly chummy toward everything wealthy and corporate. This attitude and their subsequent policies and positions are not at all Liberal, and have done nothing to serve the interests of the middle class, or the poor.

“So wouldn’t it make sense to go the other, more moderate, direction?”

In my opinion, NO BLOODY WAY. The Dems are already so damn moderate that they have been bleeding life-long members of their party (like myself). And look at how they’ve been losing elections. Also, consider their poll numbers in Congress — it seems obvious their moderate stance is reflecting the fact that most American’s can no longer distinguish their policies from those of the GOP.
The way I see it, if the Dems were smart, they’d go back to their liberal roots, because that is where they’ve always found their strongest support in the past. If they did, no doubt they’d get a lot more folks who’ve left the party and stopped voting for them out of sheer disgust to vote them back into office again. And who knows, perhaps many of the fence-sitting moderates who really desire nothing more than to hear a politician raise their voice in true conviction might just give them a chance, as well.

“Your husband is a lucky man.”

:^D Thanks!

Posted by: Adrienne at December 23, 2005 5:23 PM
Comment #106896

Daren et al;
Californias term limits law does not,thankfully, effect federal offices. However it has had a remarkably bad effect on the state legislature. Every term a bunch of rookies are left running the state. the power of state beaurcrats and legislative staff has increased dramatically. They,not the elected reps are the only ones that know what is going on and how to work the levers. It has led to sometimes crippling deadlocks. Why deal with someone that will be gone next year. Our senators and assemblmen now are looking for their next job instead of doing the one they have. More often than not they move to a state job or run for another office.Another draw back is that the best and brightest do not run. Why interupt a promising career in the private sector for a short term job.
The whole thing was a stealth attack on the states Democratic majority. It failed and just made matters worse. If the Republicans really wanted to pick up seats all they have to do is stop trying to screw workers and the enviorment.Apparently that is beyond them.
Off; the thread
CA really great if you have a blck sense of humor. We execute Nobel prize nominees but let murdering movie stars free. It takes a 2/3 vote in the legislature to pass a budget so whichever party is in the minority has a vested political interest in delaying passage no matter what the budget looks like. The bizarre recall law has left us with a tragically ill suited governor that only recieved about 20% of the vote and now could not win as dog catcher. It takes a 2/3 vote to raise taxes but a 51% vote to spend money. The Republican governor has parolled far more prisoners than the liberal he replaced. There was some concern that the English proficiency rate in CA schools was dropping. As Jay Leno pointed out,”Big deal. This is California. Even the Governor can”nt speak English”. If on a still night you can smell the salt air you are probably in a Democratic district. If you smell fertilizer you are probably in a Republican district.This does not apply to Southern CA. God only knows where you are then.

Posted by: Bill at December 23, 2005 5:39 PM
Comment #106943

Adrienne

You are way off base if you think the Dem party needs to go more to the left. The Rebs control the entire government and at the last election the Dems offered up the most Liberal of the Dem party. This was rejected by 52 million voters. We need to stay progressive but move to the middle. The Rebs have left the middle ground completely and have aligned with the extreem right.

Posted by: rjacob at December 23, 2005 9:44 PM
Comment #107072

Bill!

You are right! My plan to save the rest of American was foiled! I guess I was too busy to know about the Federal exception. Darn it!

I have to say, I agree with everything you say. I saw the tragegy of what happens when the majority of the voters are give the chance to make policy.

*Term Limits
*An attemtp to make teachers turn in suspected illegal alien students
*Cigarette taxes for “the children” (Thanks Meathead) that gets dumped into the state budget.
*Self imposed tax limits which favored a very few and closed libraries and cut funding in the schools.

Our Founding Fathers were incredible! Each time I look I am more amazed at their brillance. They believed in a representative form of government rather than a direct democracy for a number of reasons… one was that responsible govenrment required making decisions based on reasoning and not emotion…

This is where Ross Perot had it wrong with his idea of an electronic town hall meetings. People are too easily swayed emotionally by the events of the day (9-11) cleverly packaged legislation (NCLB, Patriot Act, Term Limits) and often don’t have the time to really think through the ramifications.

Interstingly… with the current governor… The Republican pary and their shills always go nuts when a muscian or actor makes a political statement… However, the Republican party can boast the follwing:

Pres. Reagan: Famous B Movie actor
Gov. Schwarzenegger: The “Terminator”
Rep. Grandy: “Gopher” on the Love Boat
Rep. Bono: As in Sonny, of Sonny and Cher
Sen. Fred Thompson: Law and Order DA


There are just so many reasons I am happy I live in Wisc. now.

RJACOB

I respect your opinion, but I do not know if this is the time to really make major shifts. Please bear with me…

President Bush did not win by much in the past 2 elections… he barely made the first election but might have been helped by faulty proceedures and a Supreme Court that was too concerned about making a decision rather than the right decision.

The second election can hardly be called a “Mandate” for Bush and the Republican Party. Remember, he won the electoral votes only.

There is talk within the Republican party that because of some of the people that they have accumulated over the past election or two that they might need to start dealing with some of the issues that the Democrats are championing.

In other words, they are finding that some that have moved to the Republican party are concerned with the issues the Democrats are presenting solutions on. Their belief is that they might need to start addressing these people to maintain power.

My thoughts are why should they become more Democrat to serve these people when we are already there?

We need to continue to focus on these differences and bring these people back. Yes, it would be nice if the Republicans came a bit back towards center so something could be done. I agree, but do not know if that would work.

What we are seeing is a Parlimentary type system within our 2 party government. The small fringes are able to form with a party to force them to address their agenda. The classic “tail wagging the dog”. Conservative-Right-Wing-Christians, Big Business, Left-Wing-Veegans and PETA…

*Office of Faith Based Inititives
*Governmental interference in realtionships
*WTO where a person works 12 hours a day, lives in a plywood hut and goes deeper into debt each day because Disney doesn’t care what their suppliers do.
*Kyoto: scrap it, don’t negotiate
*The UN and our international cooperation with the rest of the world


I do agree that we need to focus on core Democrat issues… and we need to tell these fringe elements that they can either help us and get 80% of what they want of go join Nader.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 9:25 AM
Comment #107099
But the actual truth is, moving more and more toward the center started then, and it is extremely obvious that it has at this point completely redefined the party.

Adrienne, et al.,

I think this is a really complex subject that deserves a lot of discussion (though not on Christmas Eve). The Democratic Party very badly needs to convince people that it stands up for working people. All those working-class Republicans are killing the Dems even has they vote against their own economic interests. So, the Dems may need to find ways to appeal to them again. I’m not sure if this means going left, right, or a combination of both, but it requires a much better job than they’ve done in recent years. Have a merry one.


Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 24, 2005 11:18 AM
Comment #107119

Reed,

I do not want to put words into your mouth… but I do believe that you very eloquently summarized what I was saying…

The tail is now wagging the dog in both parties and it is the majority that is suffering.

As is true in much of life, some things are on a continuium and I believe this to be true of politics… it is the extremes, through their ability to bring a minority, on either side, into power that are calling the tune.

We, the middle are being squeezed out in the process and I do not know the answer. I would rather work within the party to fix the problem because of the power controlled by the 2 party system means that unless we are in for a very long haul a 3rd party will be irrevelant.

We do not need any more Naders or Perots. We need real statesmen who can articulate this clearly and bring about the change.

I say Nader because I do not believe that he clearly explained his actions and caused my party (Full Disclosure At All Times: I am a Democrat) to lose the 2000 election without gaining anything for that loss.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 12:31 PM
Comment #107143

Reed:
“I think this is a really complex subject that deserves a lot of discussion (though not on Christmas Eve). “

Okay Reed. We’ll take this up another time then. Hope you have a great holiday.

Darren:
“it is the extremes, through their ability to bring a minority, on either side, into power that are calling the tune.”

The minority I see within the Democratic Party that has been calling the tune for years now has been the right-leaning Dems.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 24, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #107151

Adrienne,

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. I too might need to call it a day so I can take my daughter out.

On a political scale, would the right-leaning Democrats be those next to the left-leaning Republicans?

Because of my theory about the tail and the dog, it is possible that the middle Dems and Reps believe something along these lines:

Abortion is a sad choice. We as a nation should have the resources available to give the mother every possible alternative. Assistance if needed to have and raise the baby… easier adoption laws for those wishing to adopt… However, the choice will utlimately be hers. Many Rep’s believe in the right to choose but their party has been hijacked by the far right.

Gun Control should have limits. Our speech has limits as defined over a period of time (Can’t yell FIRE in a crowded theater, can’t incite someone to violtently overthrow the government, lible and slander laws, to name a few). We do not need military automatic weapons. Hunting my not be my choice, but I do see how it can work with nature to not only balance inequalities brought on my man and nature, but it can also feed families and generate revenue for the state.

Religion in School such as NCLB and faith based institutions as well as the whole ID argument… Most people, if they stop and think instead of jump to a partisan position want a minimalist approach to education.

Besides the Constitutional prohibition on separation, the argument of something like ID which only wants to inform the unkowing student to the “theory” aspect of evolution should be done at home by the parents. They should discuss what a theory means to them in realtion to evolution and religion and an Intelligent Designer. Not the shool board, not the state and not the feds.

Taxes. Moderates might agree that for too long the mantra has been to cut the taxes of companies and the wealthy and this will create jobs.

As with welfare reform and education there is an instance of measurable benefits for money spent. Let us hold companies and the wealthy to the same standard. We give tax breaks then read about the local company laying off its employees or sending their jobs overseas.

Tax breaks should not be seen as windfalls for the executives and the rich to reward themselves with in the form of increased pay and bonuses. Accountability of the use of the “welfare” to the companines should be mandated if we give them any break which will require us to make up the difference in either increased taxes or decreased benefits.

When you get back I hope you check in here to see if there might be more that the middle has in common that might be better for us as a country than the extremes.

Full Disclosure: I am a life long Democrat, labor supporting (even with a business degree), ready to do my student teaching to become a middle school social science teacher. I believe that I am a Christian though many might want to disagree based on their definition, but the only one I care about is my realtionship to God… and it does not depend on the public supporting a manger in the town square, the schools teaching ID or what a person puts on their Christmas/Holilday cards.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #107567

Senator Russ Feingold, while he visits his brother in Vail, is going to headline a special fundraiser for a couple of the very small Colorado mountain county Democratic Parties on Thursday, Dec. 29th in Vail. Joining him, is Senator Ken Salazar (D)CO. We are looking forward to hearing the “inside scoop” of what’s going on in DC. How nice of Feingold to interupt his vacation to help out Democrats in the trenches! For more info, google “Eagle County Democratic Party (in Colorado.) Anyway, Feingold seems to be just as interested in us little guys as anyone. Thank you! Russ!

Posted by: ColoradoDem at December 26, 2005 2:18 PM
Comment #211499

At me the part goes a nose blood, without any visible reasons, why it can happen? WBR LeoP

Posted by: Jan pharmacy at March 11, 2007 6:50 PM
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