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Feingold: The far left’s candidate continues to emerge
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, April 05, 2006

He completely opposes the war in Iraq.

He has attempted to censure the President (since he knows an attempt at impeachment isn't possible right now).

Now he speaks out in favor of gay marriage (when it really isn't an issue under discussion and a position not shared by many in his party).
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), a prospective 2008 presidential candidate, said yesterday that he thinks bans on same-sex marriages have no place in the nation's laws.

Feingold said in an interview that he was motivated to state his position on one of the most divisive social issues in the country after being asked at a town hall meeting Sunday about a pending amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution to ban same-sex marriages.
This is all about separation. And, I'd guess, it's also political awareness in terms of knowing the probable leanings of most primary voters (i.e. they tend to be a larger collection of radicals, extremists and activists than in the actual election). This, politically, is calculated to motivate and capture 'the base' on the far left.

Think about it. If you can capture their vote and through that, capture the nomination, where can most Democrats go? Depending on who the GOP runs, possibly nowhere. They're stuck with Feingold or not voting. Fiengold could then moderate his stand on some of the issues in hope of turning out not only the base but the more moderate among Democrats to vote for him.

This is the season of political makeovers. Hillary Clinton is attempting to appear more moderate, taking a lesson from the Dean campaign's failure (and her husband's success). Even so-called maverick John McCain seems to be in the middle of a make-over, siding with the party and the president on many issues lately. Mr. Outside wants to appear to be Mr. Inside now.

The grooming has begun in earnest. And each of the possible candidates discussed here have a political goal and strategy in mind as they reinvent themselves. Feingold is taking a flyer. He's gambling that the more radical base is the key to a primary victory and an appeal to them in coordination with a better run campaign than was run by Dean will win the nomination.

I think it's a distinct possiblity. However that said, and unless the Republicans run a complete loser, the general election could make McGovern's loss look good. Everything I read says the country is going more to the right, not the left, and even if we're suffering a severe case of Bush fatigue in '08, a move to the left isn't going to win the race.

UPDATE: More analysis from Capt. Ed.
 
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Comments
Feingold doesn’t even have to win to damage his party beyond hope of winning the presidency. If he plays the Dean role to the point that the other candidates have to sound leftish to compete with him for the base, then the eventual winning candidate will be as saddled with that problem as Kerry was in 2004.

If Hillary is smart, she won’t fall for that bait, and let the other candidates compete for pandering to the Kos crowd. She then might be able to take on the last man standing with her youthful socialism to appease enough leftists to win the nomination. (I disagree with Bill Buckley, because I think Hillary would still lose. She can’t count on running against as weak a candidate as Bush was.)

For Feingold himself, I think he’s like the demonstrator who said he knew the demonstrations he participated in would not have any effect, but said he participated anyway because "It’s good for my soul." Feingold is sincere enough about his leftism to feel the same way about a run for the presidency.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
If Hillary is smart, she won’t fall for that bait, and let the other candidates compete for pandering to the Kos crowd. She then might be able to take on the last man standing with her youthful socialism to appease enough leftists to win the nomination. (I disagree with Bill Buckley, because I think Hillary would still lose.
She has managed to this point to stay mostly aloof from the radical side of the party. She’s even taken heat from the Sheehan contingent. I’m not sure if that’s a good place to be in the Democratic primaries.

Whether or not her repackaging is going to sell is an open question, however, I’m with you in my thinking (or perhaps its just more of an educated political hunch) that she’s a "48%"er. Like her husband she’ll never pull a majority electorally. But that didn’t stop here hubby from taking the WH twice.

I’m not sure the stars are right for another independent run on the right, but you never know. And if so, she could go from being a probable loser to the 1st female US president in a finger-snap. Seems to be the Clinton formula.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If she wins the primary, look for a populist candidate to "spring up" and try to play the Ross Perot roll. Remember, unlike the other brain dead Democrats, the Clinton machine are very smart politically.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I bet it just scares the chocolate pudding out far-righties that anyone but Hillary may have a shot at the nomination.

Oh no! You then may have to come up with some fresh mack to attack the person, other than "Clinton Clinton Clinton, ahhhh a ClInTON."

What drives me away from the right is not the candidates, but the spittle-flying jingoists the right seem to attract like gobh flies on a targ. Like, um, many of you. I’ll reserve my final vote until I see how McCain does. He seems the ok guy. But I am sure you guys will change all that, like the hatchet job on McCain in 2000.

I like it here. You citizens remind me who the bullies and namecallers embrace. Gives me moral compass to head in a 180 degree direction from your embraces. Keep up the good work, righties!

Oh, the gay marriage thing? Mobilizes wealthy gay couples to spend some time money and mobilize a lot of mad little gay voters, working for someone sympathetic. $485 billion worth of annual buying power is no small change.

Repubs don’t have any hate filled issue to drive the church-droolers out to the polls to ’save America for jesus’ as was the gay marriage issue.

Pity.

Or, could it be that there is ’just’ enough citizens red, blue and green, disgusted for Iraq that they would touch the screen next to the name of anyone opposed to the idea of war as a way to spread peace.

Wow, that was downright Orwellian!
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
Wow, I didnt know we were all spittle-flying jingoists. Way to go Bruce, Dale, and Jon, you rethuglicans you.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Could someone remind me of the Libertarian position on gay marriage? I’m confused by your tone.
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
It must be because the guys who run QandO and a lot of us here are actually for gay marriage that we are all spittle-flying jingoists.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
gobh flies on a targ
and he’s calling you/us jingoists? what the hell is a targ anyway?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Good Job Rick... now let’s see $485 Billion on a $2.7 TRILLION Federal budget which is in turn about 30-40% of the US GDP. Now I’m against gay marriage, but I’m really writing to point out that whilst $485 Billion is a lot of money, it’s a drop in the bucket of the US GDP. In short, nice propaganda try there, but when put into proper scale the argument falls a bit short. I’d just stick with the Civil Rights thing, and leave the numbers thing out, because 2-4% of the US populace is not going to wield the kind of effect you are trying for.

I also note that the new meme is anti-name calling, you accuse your opponents of being racists or xenophobes or name callers, even when they evince none of these characteristics. It’s name calling with a twist, and the "hate" Rick, man, the page got hotter when you walked in with your message of "love" for real man....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Could someone remind me of the Libertarian position on gay marriage? I’m confused by your tone.
There’s no "tone" to it. The article is about the politics of the situation. Positioning. Who is pandering to whom and why, etc.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I bet it just scares the chocolate pudding out far-righties that anyone but Hillary may have a shot at the nomination.
Not really. In fact, I’d guess they’d pray for a Feingold nomination.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"It’s good for my soul." Feingold is sincere enough about his leftism to feel the same way about a run for the presidency.
If censuring Bush for violating a federal criminal statute that prohibits intercepting the telecommunications of U.S. persons on U.S. soil sans warrant makes Feingold a leftist; if having opposed a war that Buckley just again said — to Judy Woodruff — is a failure with no obvious means of fixing in sight, makes Feingold a leftist; if opposing an amendment to maintain gay domestic partners in a second class legal status makes one a leftist, then I am a leftist, too.

Russ Feingold was a state senator when I lived in WI. He was too liberal for me, but had a strong reputation for being a maverick in the tradition of Wm Proxmire, who put decency and ethics ahead of party.

I’ve had it w/ the Bush/Frist, populist GOP. At this point, I’ll be supporting Feingold in the Democratic primaries.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
OK Mona, but you know I doubt that you ever supported Bush at all, if you’re moving from GOP to Feingold.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
OK Mona, but you know I doubt that you ever supported Bush at all, if you’re moving from GOP to Feingold.
I’m a known quantity in many venues, where everyone knew I supported Bush in ’04. The Left2Right blog, the Swiftboat vets discussion board, the James Randi discussion board. And last but not least, I left Reason’s Hit ’n Run because, as a Bush supporter, I spent too much time arguing with the majority who disagreed. (Just went back there, announcing my severe buyer’s remorse, and letting them shove some heaping mounds of crow down my throat— including from Tim Cavanaugh and Jesse Walker.)

So, Joe, I was a Bush supporter; no getting around it.

Bush is a populist. He does not respect federalism, and spends like a drunken sailor for debacles like the Medicare D program. His theories of Executive power constitute lawlessness and a step toward dictatorship (to use the words of Justice Robert Jackson who, in the controlling SCOTUS opinion, said that would be the result if the Executive were not subject to law even in the national security context). Bush panders to anti-gay sentiment to get out the GOP base — his religion-driven, populist base.

Populism is the polar opposite, the antipode of libertarianism. Feingold is too far left for my tastes, but he is ethical, and doesn’t exploit anti-gay sentiment. It would be hard for him to spend more than the Bush/Frist GOP. We wouldn’t get a travesty like the federal "emergency" response to Terri Schiavo from the calm and reasoned Feingold. And clearly we need a different approach to foreign policy. And no one, to my knowledge, has ever said that there is even a whiff of corruption about the man.

So, this libertarian has moved out of tolerating Bush populism, and into the Feingold camp.

 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I also note that the new meme is anti-name calling, you accuse your opponents of being racists or xenophobes or name callers, even when they evince none of these characteristics.
LOL! Good one! OK, I’ll stand down on that one. You are 100% correct. This blog is a bleeding hippy-love fest.


Um, Until I see an example. I’ll forgo any other commentary except for pointing out such examples.

Which should tickle some to no end.
and he’s calling you/us jingoists? what the hell is a targ anyway?
Oh my. targ

I do tend to forget what universe I am in. Forgive the vague reference.
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
Oh my. targ
Whoa!

That explains a lot.

Er, about your, I mean.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Aaaaaaah, Rick the reference provides an insight.....good luck on the whole move out of the basement and gettinga girl friend thing. I apologize in advance, it was just there right by the net and I had to spike it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Everything I read says the country is going more to the right, not the left, and even if we’re suffering a severe case of Bush fatigue in ’08, a move to the left isn’t going to win the race.
Let’s look at the two issues you picked: The War in Iraq and Gay Marriage.

Let’s assume that when it comes to the war, the position of the "right" is to support open ended, continued involvement in Iraq. Let’s stipulate further that the "right" position is that it was not a mistake to go into Iraq. On the other hand, let’s say the position of the "left" is that the war was a mistake.

So, if the country is moving to the right, one would expect to see a decline over time in the number of people who think the Iraq war was a mistake. So let’s look at the numbers. From Editorial and Publisher:
Published: February 22, 2006 12:30 AM ET

NEW YORK More Americans than nearly ever before now say the war in Iraq is a "mistake" for the United States, according to a new Gallup poll. That figure now stands at 55%, up 4% point since late January. Only once before was the figure higher, at 59%, and that was during the period of overall pessimism right after Hurricane Katrina hit.
Ok, so contrary to what you read, when it comes to the war, the country is moving to the left, not to the right.

So let’s look at the other issue: Gay Marriage. Again, let’s assume the position of the "right" is to be against it and the position of the "left" is to be for it, or at least not against it. If you are correct - that the country is moving to the right - one would expect to see a rise in opposition to gay marriage over time. So let’s look at the numbers. From the AP, 3/23/06:
WASHINGTON - The public backlash over gay marriage has receded since a controversial decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 to legalize those marriages stirred strong opposition, says a poll released Wednesday.

Gay marriage remains a divisive issue, with 51 percent opposing it, the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found. But almost two-thirds, 63 percent, opposed gay marriage in February 2004.

"Most Americans still oppose gay marriage, but the levels of opposition are down and the number of strong opponents are down," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "This has some implications for the midterm elections if this trend is maintained. There are gay marriage ballot initiatives in numerous states."
So once again, the numbers directly contradict your claim that the country is moving to the right. Only you, McQ, would interpret a 12% decline - in less than 26 months - in the amount of opposition to gay marriage as evidence that the country is moving to the right.

So let’s review: Feingold thinks the war was a mistake. A majority of Americans agrees with him. Feingold does not oppose gay marriage. 49% of the country agrees with him.
Feingold is taking a flyer. He’s gambling that the more radical base is the key to a primary victory and appeal to them in coordination with a better run campaign than was run by Dean will win the nomination.
Now, let’s think about this for a moment: If 55% of all Americans think the Iraq war was a mistake, it stands to reason that a majority of Dems thinks that way. Likewise, if 49% of all Americans are not opposed to gay marriage, it stands to reason that a majority of Dems is not opposed to gay marriage.

In other words, Feingold isn’t appealing to the "radical base" - whatever that means. He is appealing to the majority of Dems.

So why does Feingold seem radical? Becausee based on "everything" McQ has read, he seems radical. Of course he does. But when you actually look at the numbers, i.e., the empicial data - you know, the facts, he is hardly radical at all. Indeed, he is right in the middle.

Which is exactly why righties like McQ are going to spend the next two years - as he is doing now - ignoring the facts, and hoping the public does too, and instead spreading propaganda about how "radical" Feingold is. Suffice it to say, you will rarely henceforth hear any winger refer to Feingold without using the word radical.

The one problem, of course, is that Feingold is ten times smarter than Dean, Kerry or any other Dem - and he is certainly a better campaigner than any of them - and any GOP’er too. I was living in Wisconsin when Feingold won his Senate seat. He ran a brilliant campaign. Just brilliant. Folksy, yet smart.

The other thing he has going for him is that he is Jewish. He doesn’t need to play the role of the born again to seem religious. I think his being Jewish is a wild card that the GOP will not be able to figure out how to attack.

And in 2008, his stance on the Iraq war is going to look visionary. As long as BushCo remains in charge, that is.

Underestimate Russ, McQ. Please! Paint him as a radical. Please. Keep it up.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
OK Mona, 1 Libertarian off to the Democratic Party, the GOP only has 15-20 more to lose. You know I wonder why you supported him before, Mona? He hasn’t changed. You didn’t get sold a bill of goods. You VOTED FOR HIM, he’s not like Clinton, run on a tax cut produce a tax INCREASE. He said he was for a Medicare Prescription Plan, in 04 he didn’t back down from his support for the GWoT. He talked about being a "compassionate conservative" I mean its funny you bothered.

And let’s not get too hasty. You’ve got time yet, there’s Hillary, there’s Kerry, there’s Edwards, there may be others. So let’s get this straight you’re going from Bush to Feingold and you’re going to vote Feingold? Ah, Mona there are some other choices out there. to INCLUDE THE LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE. Seems a bit early to be moving onto the Feingold platform. And as a libertarian how you going to reconcile the vote for ole’ Russ with McCain-FEINGOLD? I don’t see Dubya instituting a "dictatorship" any time soon, but meaningful CFR sure has put a hit on the 1st Amendment!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well MK, appealing to the MAJORITY of Democrats gets you the nomination and then a long, expensive, grueling campaign and then a concession speech. Democrats are a minority. That’s what you guys keep forgetting, carry 90% of the base won’t carry an election any more.

Dubya carries 90% of his base and 55-60% of the Independents and wins. It’s pulling the Base AND the middle that wins elections. Moveon.org and the Daily Kos haven’t put that together yet.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dubya carries 90% of his base and 55-60% of the Independents and wins. It’s pulling the Base AND the middle that wins elections. Moveon.org and the Daily Kos haven’t put that together yet.
You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. The base and the middle of the Dems think the Iraq war was a mistake. The base and the middle think gay marriage is ok.

Now, imagine if Feingold said he didn’t think the war was a mistake and he was opposed to gay marriage. How is that going to get him the base, which you consider to be essential, Joe?

C’mon Joe - think.

Oh - and just in case you forgot, unless Bush breaks the law - again - he can’t run in ’08. So why don’t you tell me, JOE, which GOP’er is going to carry 90% of the base and 55 to 60 % of the Independents?

To steal a line - Wingers forget that they can’t just be against something - they have to be for something too.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Ok, so contrary to what you read, when it comes to the war, the country is moving to the left, not to the right.
Uh, no:
"But there are two kinds of persons objecting to the war: There’s a shriveled Sheehan-Sheen left that’s in effect urging on American failure in Iraq, and there’s a potentially far larger group to their right that’s increasingly wary of the official conception of the war. The latter don’t want America to lose, they want to win — decisively."
That’s the part lefties like yourself always seem to miss, MK. Feingold represents the "Sheehan-Sheen" left. And that left isn’t at all mainstream.
So why does Feingold seem radical? Becausee based on "everything" McQ has read, he seems radical.
Uh, no again. It’s because of to whom he appeals.

How’d you miss that, MK?
Underestimate Russ, McQ. Please! Paint him as a radical. Please. Keep it up.
Yeesh.

What part of this didn’t you understand?
Feingold is taking a flyer. He’s gambling that the more radical base is the key to a primary victory and an appeal to them in coordination with a better run campaign than was run by Dean will win the nomination.

I think it’s a distinct possiblity.
Beyond that, I don’t think his strategy will win.

You can start as a moderate and make some appeals to the extreme. But when you start at the extreme and try to moderate it doesn’t work well, regardless of how slick you think you are. See Dean (and as Billy Hollis notes, Dean’s effect on the rest of the field in ’04). And if you think the GOP is going to let Feingold define himself, you haven’t been around politics very long.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
This is a strategy that’s going to win Feingold a lot of attention in the Dem primaries, for sure. Personally, he doesn’t have Dean’s fatal flaws of open mouth and quick temper. He’s calm and seemingly reasonably. There’s a bunch of Kossites out there who are going to reject Hillary as Republican-lite and embrace someone like Feingold. He has no change of winning the regular election, of course. But it will certainly appeal to those fanatics who believe that "we don’t need two Republican parties".
 
Written By: kreiz
URL: http://
You know I wonder why you supported him before, Mona? He hasn’t changed. You didn’t get sold a bill of goods. You VOTED FOR HIM, he’s not like Clinton, run on a tax cut produce a tax INCREASE. He said he was for a Medicare Prescription Plan, in 04 he didn’t back down from his support for the GWoT. He talked about being a "compassionate conservative"
Yes, I always disliked much that Bush stood for, but held my nose for two reasons: (1) I thought the Iraq war was justified and that he would execute it competently, and (2) I generally prefer GOP court appointments.

I hope Bush places one more justice on the High Court. But otherwise I no longer have any use for him. I want at least one branch of the national govt out of GOP hands. The reasons I feel so strongly, primarily became manifest after the ’04 election. My first real alarm was in watching that total circus of the Frist-led nonsense passing Terri’s Law, with W racing back to the WH to sign it, and all the attendant and vile anti-judiciary hysteria. Then, the warrantless surveillance matter broke last December, and I realize Bush isn’t f*cking kidding about these Yoo theories that he may break any law he likes, if he utters "national security." I still have a sense of the surreal reading any of the legal "defenses" issuing from the WH on that score. But the GOP controls Congress, so that branch won’t stand up to his lawlessness. No checks, no balances.

And the Medicare D program is far, far more of an expensive debacle than I had anticipated. It is obscenely expnesive, and also a byzantine nightmare for those whom it is supposed to "help."

Iraq is an ongoing disaster, as Buckley just again spelled out.

Bush is an incompetnet, anti-federalism populist, and so are most of the current crop of the GOP. I consider it necessary for the good of my country that the populist GOP not continue to hold federal hegemony.

And really, what is so "radical" about Russ Feingold? What positions does he actually take that are so very far left?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Oh, McQ. To refute my point, you quote Mark Steyn - Mark Steyn. Ha ha - here is what the "brilliant" Mr. Steyn wrote 3 years ago today:
This war is over. The only question now is whether a new provisional government is installed before the BBC and The New York Times have finished running their exhaustive series on What Went Wrong with the Pentagon’s Failed War Plan. . . .

[T]hese are the death throes: the regime was decapitated two weeks ago, and what we’ve witnessed is the last random thrashing of the snake’s body. . . .

[F]or everyone other than media naysayers, it’s the Anglo-Aussie-American side who are the geniuses. Rumsfeld’s view that one shouldn’t do it with once-a-decade force, but with a lighter, faster touch has been vindicated, with interesting implications for other members of the axis of evil and its reserve league.
That you quote Mark Steyn on the subject of the war says more about your insight than I could ever say.

In a contest between Feingold and some GOP bot, the question would be whether it was a good idea to go into Iraq. Feingold says it wasn’t. The majority of American people agree. The GOP bot would be in the minority.
That’s the part lefties like yourself always seem to miss, MK. Feingold represents the "Sheehan-Sheen" left. And that left isn’t at all mainstream
Again, the people have spoken. 55% agree it was a bad idea to go to war. So does Feingold. You, on the other hand, resort to cliches. ChimpyBushHitler type stuff. All you are left with is labels.
You can start as a moderate and make some appeals to the extreme. But when you start at the extreme and try to moderate it doesn’t work well
That must be why Bush went to Bob Jones U when he did.

One question: If a majority of Dems agree the war was a mistake, and a majority do not oppose gay marriage, how is Feingold appealing to the "radical" base in taking those positions? You simply don’t make sense.
And if you think the GOP is going to let Feingold define himself, you haven’t been around politics very long.
Exactly. As I said, the GOP won’t run on substance, they will run on smear. That is their M.O. And the M.O. will be to paint Feingold as a traitor and unpatriotic and blah blah blah. My guess is that by 2008, that dog won’t hunt. You may have a different take. That’s where we differ. Time will tell.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And really, what is so "radical" about Russ Feingold? What positions does he actually take that are so very far left?


I would start with the odious law that bears his name along with McCain’s. I believe it’s the biggest erosion of freedom since FDR. Yeah, yeah, I know Bush signed it, but Feingold really believes those wise politicians know so much better than the rest of us how we should behave.

Given that mentality, there is literally no way to predict what Feingold would attempt to institute. Given what he’s already said on the subject, I think it’s almost certain that he would go for universal health care coverage, probably single payer, and likely with the same disastrous results Canada and Tennessee have with their programs. How would you feel about putting another 10% of our economy under government control? And how would such support for such a system be different from socialism?
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
That you quote Mark Steyn on the subject of the war says more about your insight than I could ever say.
Red herring alert.

Address the point.
Again, the people have spoken. 55% agree it was a bad idea to go to war.
Uh, no. 55% of the people polled in that particular poll said it was a bad idea.
That must be why Bush went to Bob Jones U when he did.
LOL! Yeah, and we all know Bush is such an extreme right-winger and all (cough, Medicare part D! cough, NCLB! etc.)
If a majority of Dems agree the war was a mistake, and a majority do not oppose gay marriage, how is Feingold appealing to the "radical" base in taking those positions
A) I didn’t say Feingold thought the war was a mistake. I said he opposed it from the beginning.

That’s a difference of a mile.

B) The majority of Dem politicians don’t share his view on gay marriage. Read the WaPo article cited for heaven sake.
Exactly. As I said, the GOP won’t run on substance, they will run on smear. That is their M.O. And the M.O. will be to paint Feingold as a traitor and unpatriotic and blah blah blah. My guess is that by 2008, that dog won’t hunt. You may have a different take. That’s where we differ. Time will tell.
Welcome to politics. If you need a refresher, you might want to ask Chimpy McBush Hitlerburton about it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Ha ha - here is what the "brilliant" Mr. Steyn wrote 3 years ago today:
Believe me MK, you don’t want me to dredge up what you wrote 3 weeks ago, much less three years ago.

Heh ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I would start with the odious law that bears his name along with McCain’s. I believe it’s the biggest erosion of freedom since FDR. Yeah, yeah, I know Bush signed it, but Feingold really believes those wise politicians know so much better than the rest of us how we should behave.

Given that mentality, there is literally no way to predict what Feingold would attempt to institute. Given what he’s already said on the subject, I think it’s almost certain that he would go for universal health care coverage,
I despise McCain-Feingold, and two years ago I would have told you it precluded me from ever voting for John McCain, much less Russ Feingold. There is much water under the bridge since then, and I consider Bush’s Yoo theories of Executive power infinitely more dangerous than McCain-Feingold, and the Schiavo travesty indicative of the dangerous and rash populism of the GOP. Bush’s theory of Executive power must be stopped. It isn’t just the NSA thing; Jon H. has set forth some very good arguments here about Gitmo, torture and many other extremely disturbing policies Bush believes he is entitled to undertake, as long as he invokes "national security."

Obvioulsy I’d have to be insane to both claim the label of libertarian and also welcome socialized medicine, and so I don’t welcome it. But President Feingold couldn’t do it without Congress. I don’t see that majority in Congress happening. But I do see Feingold as a good corrective to the current Executive; it might well be the case that he should be cabined by a Congress that remains GOP.

 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
McQ writes:
A) I didn’t say Feingold thought the war was a mistake. I said he opposed it from the beginning.
What were his reasons? I don’t mean that rhetorically, as I really don’t know.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Could someone remind me of the Libertarian position on gay marriage? I’m confused by your tone.
Rick D is simply confused and taking out his problems on whoever happens to be nearby. There is no single "libertarian" position on gay marriage, though I would venture to say you could get almost all libertarians to agree that the State should get out of the business of "marriage" altogether and simply enforce contracts that individuals — of any combination — choose to enter.

Failing that, I’d guess that the majority of libertarians would have no problem with gay marriage. As with all issues, there’s some disagreement among libertarians, but our general position is "does it hurt me? No? Then what do I care?"

I would venture to say that, in a poll of 100 Republicans, 100 Democrats and 100 libertarians, you’d find more support for gay marriage among libertarians than either of the other groups.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Uh, no. 55% of the people polled in that particular poll said it was a bad idea.
Oh yes - what an outlier. No other poll has ever said anything remotely similar.
LOL! Yeah, and we all know Bush is such an extreme right-winger and all (cough, Medicare part D! cough, NCLB! etc.)
Your point was that you can’t start extreme and go moderate. And now you are saying Bush did just that. Weird. You contradict yourself.
A) I didn’t say Feingold thought the war was a mistake. I said he opposed it from the beginning.

That’s a difference of a mile.
Right. Sure. Whatever.
B) The majority of Dem politicians don’t share his view on gay marriage. Read the WaPo article cited for heaven sake.
Who cares what the politicians say. The voters nominate, not the other politicans. And the majority of Dem voters are not opposed to gay marriage.

You are really off your game today.
Believe me MK, you don’t want me to dredge up what you wrote 3 weeks ago, much less three years ago.
I predicted before the war ever started that the thing would turn into a sectarian mess. Steyn, on the other hand, thought it was a glowing success. I was right, he was wrong.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mona: here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Oh yes - what an outlier. No other poll has ever said anything remotely similar.
Actually I’ve come to that conclusion independently given the dismal predictive record of polls.
Your point was that you can’t start extreme and go moderate. And now you are saying Bush did just that. Weird. You contradict yourself.
The obvious point was Bush has never been on the extreme. Hell, he’s not even a conservative which is what lefties like you consider to be the extreme.
Right. Sure. Whatever.
Translation: "I don’t understand". Yeah, no kidding.
Who cares what the politicians say. The voters nominate, not the other politicans. And the majority of Dem voters are not opposed to gay marriage.
Yeah? How’d all those politicians who don’t share his view get in office then?

My guess is you’ve gotten this from some poll.
You are really off your game today.
[chuckle] Yeah, and you’re smokin’.
I predicted before the war ever started that the thing would turn into a sectarian mess.
Oh please.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Mona,

Bush may spend like a drunken sailor, but we are heading back to balance in the budget, no thanks to spending, but due to economic growth (for which the tax cuts get at least a little credit.)

http://www.optimist123.com/optimist/2006/03/a_deficit_quand.html

Note it’s forecast to be at 0 by Fall 2008...heh heh.

Also, our debt level / GDP is not shabby and not rising very much either...

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
McQ -

Mona has asked you to explain, and so have I. But you refuse to do it.

You simply have failed to make a substantive case that Feingold is out of step with the average Democratic voter - that he is far left. No polling data. No logical argument. Nothing. You simply assert it to be true. And then, when someone quizzes you about it, you respone is either snark or some variation on "you are too stupid to understand."

But this was the best example of your inability to actually wage an argument, instead of engaging in sloganeering (your obseession with Cindy Sheehan knows no bounds):
My guess is you’ve gotten this from some poll.
Yes, in order to gauge the opinion of those who self-identify as Dems concerning an issue I used a poll. You know, data.

Now, I know wingers long ago left the empiricism reservation. But you have ceased using facts at all. It’s interesting to watch.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mona has asked you to explain, and so have I. But you refuse to do it.
MK ... PLEASE learn to read. See the message that says "Mona: here"?

There’s a link with it. Read it.

One other point ... I found that after a 5 second Google search.

Try it sometime.
You simply have failed to make a substantive case that Feingold is out of step with the average Democratic voter - that he is far left.
Keep sayin’ that, MK. You’re making the GOP salivate.

If Feingold is a moderate Democrat, then unless the GOP runs Newt Gingrich in ’08, the presidency is theirs for the taking.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Those who deny that Feingold is the favored candidate of the loony left should know that Michael Moore disagrees with you. However, given that there really isn’t any distinction between the loony left and mainstream Democrats, I think it is accurate to say Feingold is a favorite of them all.

All liberals love Feingold because he is a craven, hypocritical, sanctimonious, opportunist blowhard. He is ruthless in the pursuit of power yet hides behind a false veneer of integrity. In that respect, he represents the liberal ideal. Why do you think the left loves Castro so much. He wields absolute power over his people (e.g. purged enemies, gulags, HIV prison camps etc.), but he can hide behind the literacy rate for his "progressive" bona fides.

Example Number One: Feingold proposes censure of the President for conducting surveillance of the terrorists that want to kill you, me and our families. He declares the NSA program to be illegal despite contradictory case law and the FISA Court of Review’s unequivocal ruling in Sealed Case No. 02-001
"The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. . . . We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power."
He couches his "positioning" for a presidential run as a principled defense of our civil liberties even though he didn’t say boo about the Echelon program in the late 1990’s. He slips up a little when he chides fellow Democrats for their lack of support, not because censure is the right thing to do, but because President Bush has really low approval ratings. All in all, what’s not for a liberal to love.

Example Number Two: In 1998, when he was crusading for passage of campaign finance reform, he sanctimoniously pledged not to accept any soft money donations in his re-election campaign. He said nothing as the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club proceeded to fund attack ads criticizing his opponent but since unions and charities can’t engage in political activities, the attack ads didn’t really count. Then, when his re-election was in jeopardy ten days before the election, guess what? The Dem. Senatorial Campaign Committee swooped in with $425,000 worth of soft money attack ads. The NY Times reported that Feingold "persuaded the Senate minority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, to order the committee to halt the campaign. The committee sent back word that it would do so ’if it is legally possible.’ The ads continued to run." (NY Times Oct. 25, 1998, Drummond Ayres). In truly heroic fashion, Feingold told his fellow Democrats to get out of his state, after they had run the soft money ads.

Example Number Three: In 2004, Mr. Campaign Finance was deeply concerned when crooked billionaires donated hundreds of million of dollars to run dishonest attack ads against President Bush. Feingold’s brave and principled feelings of concern while he did absolutely nothing to stop them make liberals extremely proud.

Feingold is not just full of sh*t, he is brazenly full of sh*t which endears him not just to the Kossacks, but to every card carrying Democrat. That is why they loved Clinton so much (e.g. see Sid Blumenthal). Ruthless pursuit of power hidden behind false virtue is the blueprint for the perfect Democrat presidential candidate. Feingold fits the bill so there’s no reason he can’t be their guy.
 
Written By: Jt007
URL: http://
You simply have failed to make a substantive case that Feingold is out of step with the average Democratic voter - that he is far left.
Keep sayin’ that, MK. You’re making the GOP salivate.
Actually, nobody here has made that case, yet. I didn’t see anything particularly liberal in his cited dissent on the Iraq war. On the contrary, he made some fairly conservative and cautious criticisms.

I know Feingold is for universal health care, but that puts him in the overwhelming majority of Americans. I know Feingold believes the Iraq war was a mistake, but that also puts him solidly in the majority of Americans. (I don’t believe one can seriously suggest that the majority of Americans still believe the Iraq war was not a mistake — and if one did suggest that, I’d want to see some empirical evidence)

So, what’s the case on Feingold?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon asks:
So, what’s the case on Feingold?
I wonder that as well. After reading McQ’s link (thanks McQ), I’m even more puzzled then ever; those were not the rantings of a far leftist peacenik. And in some respects, one could say Feingold was prescient.

Further, Feingold supported 99% of The Patriot Act, but was strongly opposed to portions of it for the most libertarian of reasons, such as enhanced and expanded use of "sneak and peek" searches in a context that would almost certainly be used in drug investigations, not to prevent terrorism.

So, ok, Michael Moore is liking Feingold. Rnadall Terry and Jerry Falwell like Bush. You cannot fairly define a candidate by the more extreme nutjobs who endorse them.

jt1007 writes:
Example Number One: Feingold proposes censure of the President for conducting surveillance of the terrorists that want to kill you, me and our families. He declares the NSA program to be illegal despite contradictory case law and the FISA Court of Review’s unequivocal ruling in Sealed Case No. 02-001
No, Feingold proposes to censure Bush for illegally — in violation of a federal criminal statute — intercepting the telecommunications of U.S. persons without the required warrants. He has no objection to the surveillance per se; he strongly wants such surveillance. It is that it is being undertaken in brazen violation of the law.

And the Sealed Case, single sentence "ruling" you refer to, was not such. That was dicta and is legally meaningless. The Bush DoJ knows this, and knows they would lose in the Supreme Court. Even Hugh Hewitt has observed they are hinting they lack confidence in their legal arguments by engaging in bizarre "deal-making" with the FIS Court, rather than appeal adverse decisions that would put their illegal surveillance program at issue for review. That issue was not reviewed or ruled upon in Sealed Case.

Bush is breaking the law. The SCOTUS would so hold. By lopsided margins, possibly 9-0.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona it is NOT OBVIOUS Bush is breaking the law... please stop saying that. You and many folks THINK he is breaking the law... and I doubt that SCOTUS will rule 9:0 on the issue or almost any issue for that matter. IF it were SO OBVIOUS, he’d be in court right now, the ACLU and some victim would be in Federal Court, well on the way to victory. Again, IN YOUR MIND HE’S BREAKING THE LAW, now a court may come to the same conclusion, but right now it’s not so obvious. Wishing something doesn’t make it so. You are falling into the Du Kos way of thinking, "My opinion is RIGHT and my opinopn represents objective reality." Well mayhap and mayhap not. Certainly it is not obvious, were it obvious I think a number of folks on this blog would be agreeing with you.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Those who deny that Feingold is the favored candidate of the loony left should know that Michael Moore disagrees with you. However, given that there really isn’t any distinction between the loony left and mainstream Democrats, I think it is accurate to say Feingold is a favorite of them all.

All liberals love Feingold because he is a craven, hypocritical, sanctimonious, opportunist blowhard. He is ruthless in the pursuit of power yet hides behind a false veneer of integrity. In that respect, he represents the liberal ideal. Why do you think the left loves Castro so much. He wields absolute power over his people (e.g. purged enemies, gulags, HIV prison camps etc.), but he can hide behind the literacy rate for his "progressive" bona fides.
The stream of typical right-wing name-calling and non-sequiturs over, lets get to the arguments.
Example Number One: Feingold proposes censure of the President for conducting surveillance of the terrorists that want to kill you, me and our families. He declares the NSA program to be illegal despite contradictory case law and the FISA Court of Review’s unequivocal ruling in Sealed Case No. 02-001
"The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. . . . We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power."
He couches his "positioning" for a presidential run as a principled defense of our civil liberties even though he didn’t say boo about the Echelon program in the late 1990’s. He slips up a little when he chides fellow Democrats for their lack of support, not because censure is the right thing to do, but because President Bush has really low approval ratings. All in all, what’s not for a liberal to love.
RE: THEY WANT TO KILL US: Not really, right now. They want to kill the soldiers who are invading their countries. Even the ones who do want to kill us have only successfully attacked us domestically once, and there were much bigger systemic problems that time than not being able to illegally wiretap enough Americans. In addition, Bush has the legal power to wiretap with a warrant, or even without one for enough time to acquire one. They just can’t specificallly search without a warrant for an extended period of time, and the are now—systemically.

RE: THE LEGAL ARGUMENT: The Pesident does have authority to search without seizure, simply within the boundaries of the current caselaw. That gives the president a few days without a warrant in emergency situations, and expanded power to "obtain foreign intelligence." Since wiretapping American citizens on American phone lines can hardly be considered "foreign intelligence" (if it can, what can’t), what the president did was illegal.

RE: ECHELON: There’s a huge distinction. Echelon was a system designed to pick up "chatter," or key words in communications without context or authorship. Wiretapping entire phone calls, and knowing who’s talking is an entirely new extension of executive power. Also, while Echelon has been proven somewhat effective, illegal domestic wiretapping has had no success. Additionally, EVEN IF Feingold made the wrong call on Echelon, I would attribute his vote to the fact that he was a one-term senator with little political clout at the time. There is a place and time for independent leadership, and that time has to be when one is situated to be a leader.

RE: POLITICAL POSTURING: He chides fellow democrats for both moral and political reasons. The first is taken for granted among democrats (and largely among Americans), however, so to repeat the moral line would be preaching to the choir. What is unbelievable to Feingold and many Americans is that the rest of the Democrats won’t get on board. By reminding his Party that America is on their side, Feingold is simply leading his the democrats back to their moral highground.

WHICH is exactly the behavior that will make him a great president.
 
Written By: Will Raymer
URL: http://
Joe writes:
You are falling into the Du Kos way of thinking, "My opinion is RIGHT and my opinopn represents objective reality." Well mayhap and mayhap not. Certainly it is not obvious, were it obvious I think a number of folks on this blog would be agreeing with you.
No, Joe, I am falling into the trained lawyer way of thinking. Myriad rightwing lawyers have made it clear that what Bush is doing is illegal, because they, too, are able to apply the relevant case law, and also to determine the jurisprudential postures of the justices on the High Court. Orin Kerr, Richard Epstein, former (Reagan-appointed) FBI Director Wm Sessions, Reagan DoJ Con law scholar Bruce Fein, and Glenn Greenwald (who is not a leftist, and who has written disparagingly about Cynthia McKinney’s anti-Americanism) all find it manifestly clear that what Bush is doing is illegal. (Greenewald has a book coming out shortly, and it will make a very compelling case for how very illegal Bush’s behavior is, and how extreme are his legal theories in defense of it.)

They are quite correct. And that is why the Bush Admin is playing games to keep the issue out from under judicial review. They played a total shell game with the courts in the Padilla case — dropping their argument regarding his alleged terrorist activities and their loser legal defense of their right to indefinitely detain him without charges, just as SCOTUS was about to hear the case — earning them a stern rebuke from the arch-conservative Judge Michael Luttig on the 4th Circuit.

Their expansive notions of Executive power will not be ratified by the SCOTUS. Scalia utterly repudiated them in his Hamdi dissent in an opinion that is a civil libertarian’s dream, and a true thing of beauty. Bush would not win in SCOTUS; he is in violation of a criminal statute, and it just is that simple.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Bush would not win in SCOTUS; he is in violation of a criminal statute, and it just is that simple
Uh No Mona, were it that simple there’d be a court case on the docket RIGHT now! You may be a lawyer, and a good one, but it don’t make you the court system. And It’s simply not that simple, clear-cut and obvious. If you want to state, "I believe that the President broke the law, here is my evidence..." or, "I believe that the Senate Judiciary Committee will find that..." all good and well. But your simple assertion of the self-evident truth of your statement is given lie on this very blog, where a number of folks have disagreed about the "obvious truth" of your assertion. I say this with some trepidation I don’t mean to assert you have not right to make your case, but yours IS A CASE, not an axiom, at this moment.
Scalia utterly repudiated them in his Hamdi dissent in an opinion
Critical point here...the word is DISSENT...haven’t read the case, you might be right, but it seems to me that you’re trying to base your argument on functionally quoting Harlan’s dissent in Plessy V. Ferguson. it’s a dissent not the opinion of the USSC.

In short Mona’s OPINION is not Gospel truth. It may one day be, but for moment it is not, or as School House Rock says, "...How I hope pray that they will, but today I am still just a bill."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Feingold: The far left’s candidate continues to emerge
Just out of curiosity, but is ones position on the Iraq war the sole criterion these days used to determine where on the left/right scale one falls? Is it the censure issue?

If the wikipedia article can be trusted to be accurate, while certainly liberal in his inclinations, his actual record seems to be rather more nuanced.

Then again, the general concensus seems to be that Howard Dean was representative of the ’far left’ as well. I think many people feel to see the difference between being a party partisan, and being extreme on specific issues. While both Dean and Feingold seem to be rather extreme Democrats in that regard, I’m not sure that can be fairly said about their stance on the actual issues. Especially when compared to the rest of their party.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
It’s true that this case will require judicial resolution, but...
were it that simple there’d be a court case on the docket RIGHT now!
...this is not the case. Who has standing to bring suit? Congress can’t. Until we find out some names of the US persons surveilled, we don’t know who has standing.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Just out of curiosity, but is ones position on the Iraq war the sole criterion these days used to determine where on the left/right scale one falls? Is it the censure issue?
That certainly seems to be the current standard.

Using a more objective vote-based standard, he appears to be in the middle of the Democratic Party. I’m ready to consider that he’s substantially farther left than the Democratic mainstream, but nobody making that claim seems ready to back it up.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Joe writes:
Critical point here...the word is DISSENT...haven’t read the case, you might be right, but it seems to me that you’re trying to base your argument on functionally quoting Harlan’s dissent in Plessy V. Ferguson. it’s a dissent not the opinion of the USSC.
Joe, you just do not understand. The Bush Administration largely lost in Hamdi. The SCOTUS compelled them to provide Mr. Hamdi some due process. Scalia was dissenting from that as being not "liberal" enough. As far as he is concerned, unless Congress has supsended the writ of habeas corpus — and it has not — all citizens, and Mr.Hamdi is one, are entitled to their day in federal court with all the procedural protections typically attendant thereto. He rejected the pluraliy’s "half-measures," which were also displeasing to, and rejecting of, the Adminstrations’s extreme claims for Executive power.

And you say this about the warrantless spying:

Uh No Mona, were it that simple there’d be a court case on the docket RIGHT now!
I and everybody who knows how illegal Bush’s behavior is, wants that badly. Smart lawyers all over have been trying to find plaintiffs with standing to sue and get the matter into a federal court (since the program is secret,those surveilled do not know who they are in order to know they could sue). It is the Bush adminstration opposing all such suits, and trying to get them rejected on grounds of lack of standing. It is the Bush Adminisration that refuses to appeal adverse FIS Court rulings that implicate the warrantless spying program, because they know once brought to appeal and review, they’d lose. I wish they would appeal.I’m dying for them to do so.

Will you join me in lobbying the Bush DoJ to finally appeal a case that implicates their warrantless spying program? I mean, if my certainty about the illegality is so off, and they are right in their views, we should let the courts decide, n’est-ce pas? And if I and Feingold & etc. are wrong, won’t we look like fools, and won’t the right blogosphere have a grand time at our expense?

I’m not worried about it. I know what the law is, how the SCOTUS would rule, and what it means that Bush is moving heaven and Earth to keep the matter away from appeal. They can count to nine, too.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Will you join me in lobbying the Bush DoJ to finally appeal a case that implicates their warrantless spying program? I mean, if my certainty about the illegality is so off, and they are right in their views, we should let the courts decide, n’est-ce pas? And if I and Feingold & etc. are wrong, won’t we look like fools, and won’t the right blogosphere have a grand time at our expense?
Quite possibly in 5-7 years, we’d be crowing, but then it’d be time to "move on" and that’s "old history."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So, what’s the case on Feingold?
I wonder that as well. After reading McQ’s link (thanks McQ), I’m even more puzzled then ever; those were not the rantings of a far leftist peacenik. And in some respects, one could say Feingold was prescient.
As I said in the piece: positioning. I think Feingold is positioning himself to be the candidate of the left in the primaries and given that the primaries have a tendency to attract the more radical, extreme and activist members of that political spectrum, he feels it necessary to appeal to the extreme.

You can’t become President until you are your party’s nominee. And you become the nominee through the primaries.

Whether you agree or not, Feingold has been labeled "anti-war" and voted against the war. That has been the position of the extreme left.

He has stated he’d like to see Bush impeached or, at a minimum censured. That is the position of the extreme left.

He is now looking for a FEDERAL solution to gay marriage, while his collegues are saying it should be the decision of the states. That is the position of the extreme left.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Jon posts:
Using a more objective vote-based standard, he appears to be in the middle of the Democratic Party.
That was intersting. Feingold comes out substantially less left economically than does Hillary.

I’m not reflexively anti-left. On most social issues, I’m with them (even if I don’t think judicial fiat is the way to get where we want to go). Ditto for civil liberties issues; that usually also lands me on the "left." (And with Scalia when he remembers his libertarian streak.)Isn’t that all common for libertarians?

So, if Feingold isn’t that extreme on economic matters, that would seem to leave only his opposition to the war in Iraq as a reason to define him as radically left. That argument strikes me as unpersuasive, at best.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Hillary is to much a pollarizing figure inside the Dem party. The lleft is becomming more left, just as the right is becomming more right. What happens to the people in the middle?
 
Written By: Eugene
URL: http://
[Feingold] is now looking for a FEDERAL solution to gay marriage, while his collegues are saying it should be the decision of the states. That is the position of the extreme left.
McQ, that is the opposite of Feingold’s position., As NRO makes clear, it is the conservatives who want to federalize gay marriage, with a federal constitutional ban! They glibly dismiss Feingold thus:

Next, we hear from newly baptized federalists in the Democratic party. Senator Russ Feingold, for example, argues that "states should...be permitted to handle this issue as their citizens see fit...in accord with the founding principles of our nation." While that is the way states addressed issues such as marriage policy in the past, the legal assault on marriage will deny this right to the states.
The Bush GOP has abandoned federalism wholesale. In the weeks right after 9/11, what is John Ashcroft doing? Plotting to bring the heavy heel of the federal govt down on the State of Oregeon in federal court, by employing The Controlled Substances Act to prohibit their physician-assisted suicide law. And don’t even get me started on Schiavo.
He has stated he’d like to see Bush impeached or, at a minimum censured. That is the position of the extreme left.
It is also the position of right-wing Con Law scholar Bruce Fein — an Alito supporter who wants the court packed with Scalias — who to my knowledge, was the first public political figure to approvingly discuss impeachment.

When the "left" is correct, it just is. And the right can be very wrong, and is on the federal marriage amendment, as well as Bush’s theories of expansive Executive power.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
McQ, that is the opposite of Feingold’s position., As NRO makes clear, it is the conservatives who want to federalize gay marriage, with a federal constitutional ban!
You’re right ... my bad. A mental hiccup.

But again, I want to emphasize that in my opinion, this is about positioning within the Democratic party in prep for the primaries. I am of the opinion Feingold wants everyone else to run to the right of him. I think he feels that’s where he needs to be to win.

How he’ll handle the transition from the primary to actual race and from the pick of the more extreme members of the party to that of the more moderate members is anyone’s guess, but I think he feels he can do that.

Like I said, he’s taking a flyer.
It is also the position of right-wing Con Law scholar Bruce Fein — an Alito supporter who wants the court packed with Scalias — who to my knowledge, was the first public political figure to approvingly discuss impeachment.

When the "left" is correct, it just is. And the right can be very wrong, and is on the federal marriage amendment, as well as Bush’s theories of expansive Executive power.
Mona, my post isn’t about who is "correct". It is about the politics of positioning candidates and why they are doing what they are doing. That’s why I mention Clinton and McCain.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
And the Sealed Case, single sentence "ruling" you refer to, was not such. That was dicta and is legally meaningless.
Wrong, Mona. The passage to which you refer is not dicta. Why don’t you go look up the definiton of that term in Black’s Law Dictionary. The quoted language is part of the Court’s analysis upon which its ruling was based. It does have precendential value. I’ve got somewhere around a hundred successful motions and reply briefs that I and my opposing attorneys (from some of the biggest law firms in the country) have filed in actual cases in federal and state courts where just such explications of law are cited in support of our respective position(s). In the passage cited above, the Court is stating the law which it then applied to the facts presented in that case. I don’t know if you are a lawyer, but even if you are, you don’t know what you are talking about. This isn’t a debatable point.

Nonetheless, even if the quote were dicta (and it’s not), it has direct relevance to the issue addressed in Feingold’s censure resolution. We aren’t at the point where we have to cite this case as precedent in actual litigation. We are, however, at the point where we are dealing with politicians playing politics with our national security. Feingold has uneqivocally alleged that the NSA program violates FISA. The FISA Court of Review is the actual court that would hear any claim that the NSA Surveillance Program violates FISA. In the qoted passage, the court states its position on the question of whether FISA limits the President’s inherent Constitutional power to conduct warrantless surveillance. Got that. The Court is telling you how it will rule if and when this question actually comes before it.

Then, go look at Feingold’s fact sheet supporting his censure resolution. He doesn’t provide a single citation to any case law and merely provides two short quotes from FISA. Just citing FISA and then saying "the NSA program violates it" means nothing.

Since you obviously must be spoon fed, only when and if the NSA Program is actually challenged in court will we have a ruling that is offically dispositive of this specific question. However, Feingold hasn’t let any of this stop him from definitively saying that Bush broke the law. That is why Feingold is such a good candidate for the loony left. He doesn’t let the facts and the law get in his way when he wants to score political points.
 
Written By: Jt007
URL: http://

 
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