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19 March 2006

Feingold's Censure and Michigan 2006

Cross-posted on Michigan Liberal.

When Senator Russ Feingold introduced his resolution to censure President Bush, I was rather pleased. Not only was I pleased that there was a chance that President Bush would be held accountable, but also this was another in a long series of principled decisions made by Feingold that make him more and more appealing for 2008. But regardless of how this might help or hurt his presidential aspirations, this may offer a way to help in Michigan's 2006 Senate race.

I'm a liberal, and like many others, I've been a little disappointed in Senator Stabenow. She's no Joe Lieberman, to be sure, but she hasn't been Carl Levin, either. And, as much as I'd like both Stabenow and Levin to stand with Feingold on the censure, I know that our interests would not be served by her losing this fall.

But what if we can have her support Feingold and be guaranteed reelection?

When I wrote an e-mail to Senator Stabenow last week encouraging her to support Feingold, I mentioned that making the election about Bush-- her opposition and her opponent's support-- might help her win, when the president is polling in the mid-to-low 30s. Similar sentiments were expressed in kant's diary at Daily Kos. As he says:

Look, I'm no genius at composing these diaries. There are folks like Hunter and Dood Abides and emptywheel whose work blows me away. But this censure issue is not rocket science. Rove and the Republicans want 2006 to be what they call a "choice election." They made 2004 a choice between Bush and Kerry, and then proceeded to trash a war hero so they could get their idiot candidate 47% of the vote and then steal the remaining 3% through election fraud.

The alternative to a "choice election" is a "referendum election" and even the "worst/stupidest president ever" can figure out how a referendum on a 33% President is going to turn out...

Indeed, it's been pointed out recently on this website that the Michigan GOP still proudly supports the president. One would think that Senator Stabenow and others across the country would leap forward at a chance to censure President Bush, but instead fear holds them back. So what if we stop asking Senator Stabenow to support Feingold? What if we start asking Republicans?

Although Keith Butler, Michael Bouchard, and Jerry Zandstra don't seem like particularly strong candidates, and although they've been polling far below Stabenow, the race could still heat up. An easy reelection is by no means guaranteed, and Michigan has always been a top target of both parties. But one thing could hurt the campaigns of all three Republicans: their support for President Bush when he's got 30% approval in the state.

Could we get the three Republican candidates for Senate to make public statements against the censure and supporting President Bush? Can we win by making this election about George W. Bush?

And would Senator Stabenow feel more willing to stand up to Bush if she knew that such stances could win the election? I think it's worth a shot.

Contact all three and ask for statements concerning Feingold's resolution. Ask them whether they stand with President Bush, and encourage them to make that known in public.

Michael Bouchard

Bouchard for U.S. Senate
P.O. Box 159
Royal Oak, MI 48068

Phone: (248) 566-1125

Keith Butler

Keith Butler for U.S. Senate Committee
26621 Southfield Rd.
Lathrup Village, MI 48076

Phone: 248-905-5288
Fax: 248-905-5298

Jerry Zandstra
Zandstra for U.S. Senate
6670 Kalamazoo Ave. S.E.
Suite E-160
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

PHONE: 616.726.6699
FAX: 616.827.8788

13 March 2006

Feingold, the Censure Resolution, and Principles

My creative juices have been low for a long time now, and I haven't written much of value regarding any news in the last month or so. So I guess it's a good thing that there are people like Chris Bowers that can sum things up nicely.
I am finding it informative to watch all of these DC insiders describe Feingold's resolution to censure Bush as some sort of way to bolster a possible 2008 candidacy. These insiders are unable to view anything except in terms of political calculation, and really don't know what to do with someone like Feingold. You would think that spending any amount of time watching his career would make it obvious to even those pundits most deep in the pocket of the Republican Noise and Narrative Machine that when Senator Feingold does something, he does it because he believes in it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised be this line of attack, however. For people who themselves view everything they themselves do in terms of political calculation, it is impossible for them to imagine that there is even one person who acts differently. Further, Republicans have a long history of attacking what appears to be the strong suit of leading Democratic voices. Based on what we saw today in reaction to Feingold's move, it is pretty clear that if Feingold ever rises to even higher national prominence, the basic attacks that the Republican Noise and Narrative Machine will use against him are that he is just a calculating politician instead of a principled leader, and that he is a far left ideologue instead of an independent thinker. It is actually the line of attack that I expected they would use against Feingold if he were to ever become a more prominent voice of the Democratic Party. Considering that Senator Feingold is quickly emerging as a leading, if not the leading, voice for our party, even if he doesn't run in 2008, it would be very damaging to us all if this is the national narrative that eventually sticks to him.
Thanks, Chris.

Feingold: Censure Bush

A few moments ago...

I missed most of his speech because of a phone call, but it sounded great. If only there hadn't been so much arguing about the time alloted for his remarks, maybe I could have heard more. Senator Frist, really, of all the things to make a big deal about...

Read Senator Feingold's diary on Daily Kos, and his remarks when introducing the resolution. And, check out CNN's story for coverage in the more traditional media.

Yet again, Senator Feingold stands up for principle.

08 March 2006

News and Texas

First off, let's add another one: Texas for Feingold makes 14. I think now more than ever it's worth pointing out the diverse collection of states which now have someone representing them in the pro-Feingold blogosphere. The Midwest, the Pacific Coast, New England, the South. Quite a spread.

Speaking of nationwide appeal (nice transition, no?), Ilya at has a post about that very topic.

And then, there's what Senator Feingold is doing himself. This Friday at 10:30 AM Eastern, he'll have his very first online listening session via the Progressive Patriots Fund website. Well worth signing up for.

That's all for tonight.

05 March 2006

Missouri for Feingold

From the comments on a previous post:
Dan K. said...

Put a 13th star on the Feingold flag...I've started Missouri for Feingold;

Sat Mar 04, 01:03:53 PM EST
So go check out Missouri for Feingold right away! And Dan (who, for those unfamiliar, started the first Feingold for President blog), welcome to the movement-- again.

02 March 2006

Happy Birthday, Senator Feingold

Today, friends, marks Senator Russ Feingold's 53rd year of fighting for the people of America.

What's that, you say? Well, no, I suppose he didn't do all that much before age three or so. But nonetheless, happy birthday, Senator.

Unfortunately, the United States Senate missed the perfect opportunity to give Senator Feingold a great birthday present, by voting Tuesday to end debate on the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act, by a vote of 69-30.

In a nice touch, however, he did spend some of his time reading the Constitution, which, I suspect, is a document far too few of our politicians spend time reading. But it was once again renewed, without the civil liberties safeguards Senator Feingold was fighting for.

So let's see if we can give him a proper birthday present in 2009-- a better bill, really solving these problems, to be passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a new president.