September 1, 2010

"A conscious decision was made by certain groups to destroy this presidency the minute it started."

"People say it was the health care bill – no, it wasn’t. I go to every county every year and hold a town meeting. Within days of the president being sworn in, I had people showing up at my town meeting with hats on, with tea bags coming out, saying this is going to be socialism.”

That's Russ Feingold, answering one of 10 questions posed by Jeff Zelenzy in  the NYT. Feingold is, as you probably know, struggling to keep his place representing my state, Wisconsin, in the U.S. Senate. The question was "What explains the difficult political climate for Democrats, considering that President Obama has implemented many policies he campaigned on?" The quote above was the second of 2 explanations Feingold offered. The first was the economy and the tendency people have to blame whoever is in power when the economy is bad.

But it's not the health care bill? Some people think "it’s pretty obvious that the Democrats’ electoral woes are directly tied to the passage of the health care bill." Ironically, that link goes to Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake, who is criticizing the health care bill from the left, that is, hoping for socialism.

Another NYT question for Feingold is: "Are there a lot of undecided voters out there on issues like health care?" He says:
Here in Wisconsin, there’s 40 percent who are locked in on one side, 40 percent on the other and roughly 20 percent independents, they’re not locked in at all. They are holding back and as you calmly and rationally explain, most people say, "No, we don’t really want to repeal that."

62 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Career tit-sucker fears voters will take away his govt-issued bountiful tits.

Scott M said...

Can't...type...rational...sentence...too...pissed off...to...make...fingers...work...Feingold...complete...stooge...

Scott M said...

...stooge...

c3 said...

I read this earlier. I was surprised at the political foolishness:

Don't belittle/impugn those who vote against you, especially if some may be undecided

Gee, if I'm undecided do I really want to vote for a guy who thinks, at best, I've been duped!?

c3 said...

At least he didn't call them racist.

AJ Lynch said...

Also, I thought the tea party meme was started by CNBC's Rick Santilli around March of 2009 which was not "days after Obama was sworn in".

Maguro said...

Egads, you mean there are people out there opposing the President of the United States for partisan political purposes?

Shocking stuff. I'd better sit down and breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes.

TosaGuy said...

What happened to the cheerful Russ of 18 years ago who knew Wisconsin "like the back of my hand"?

I am all for a 3-term limit on US senators regardless of party. 18 years of Washington will put anyone out of touch with their state....as demonstrated by the terse and dour nature of this interview.

Lincolntf said...

Feingold remembers "tea bags" within days of Obama being inaugurated? Well, that's a nice big fat lie from a nice big fat liar. Someone get this man into the Cabinet!
Oh, Rusty, if there's anything those tea-baggers should have taught you it is that politicians lying to the public no longer goes unchallenged.

AJ Lynch said...

I was wrong. Santilli ranted on 2/19/09 which was after Obama signed the Spendulus bill that was slapped together by Reid and Pelosi between election day and inauguration day.

MadisonMan said...

The decision to destroy the Presidency predates the inauguration.

And it's not like that's even unusual. I think it's just more visible now with Social Media.

Russ: Stop whining. If you don't want to be in the majority party, and deal with the fallout from governing, resign.

Scott M said...

I am all for a 3-term limit on US senators regardless of party. 18 years of Washington will put anyone out of touch with their state....as demonstrated by the terse and dour nature of this interview.

As I get older, a single four or six year term for president with no re-election ever sounds better and better.

Sixty Grit said...

I applaud those who consciously began trying to destroy this anti-American presidency, regardless of when they started. Their work is not done, so keep at it!

traditionalguy said...

Feingold is lost now that the usual suspects are not around to blame the current anti-Obama trends on. Obama had a blank check for 9 months until the combined majority in both houses Democrats and Obama let it be known that the voters opposing Nationalised Health Care were their enemy, and in fact the plan included their Death by a hidden panel of Government phonies. Death Panels was the smelling salts that cut through the fog of deliberate lies to see the crooks for what they were.Feingold and his Progressive plans are now like Humty Dumpty... broken and they cannot be put back together again. If he bitterly clings to the Nationalized Health Religion and his guns while blaming Palin and the Tea Partiers for his loss in November, then he is damn right.

Lincolntf said...

Anyone watching the news? A psycho has taken a hostage(s?) at the Discovery Channel bldg. in DC. His list of demands sound like the product of a typical Dem eco-freak. "Human babies are polluting the planet...", all that Green garbage. A full list of his demands are posted at Ace of Spades HQ.

Revenant said...

They are holding back and as you calmly and rationally explain, most people say, "No, we don’t really want to repeal that."

Even if that were true (and it isn't), the Democrats have no way of "calmly and rationally explaining" Obamacare to 50,000,000 swing voters. That's one of the main downsides of passing bills too monolithic for any human being to comprehend fully.

Big Mike said...

So your senators are just as whiny and dishonest as ours, Professor?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

What a journey. From a young, bright-eyed representative of the people to a mud-slinging cranky old career politician. All in the span of 17 short years.

It's time for this one to go home.

madawaskan said...

Well to REPEAL the Health Care Bill you have to be abel to defeat the filibuster.

That would take 60 Republican senators-not House members-again it takes Senators.

Russ Feingold might just have given everyone one of the best reasons not to re-elect him.

Unfortunately due to the fact that Republicans have an anti-establishment faction playing in the base that doesn't get the power of the Senate and would rather lash out-

Republicans are highly unlikely to win the Senate.

In fact I think that faction might be a lot of the reason why good experienced candidates decided not to run-like Tommy Thompson.

If you have "experience" they have ways of finding out that you aren't "pure" enough.

For the love of Mike the Tea Party Express is going to run ads against Mike Castle in Delaware of all places.

Because Mike Castle isn't pure enough, and we all know what a bastion of Conservatism Delaware is. Supposedly they've deemed that Mike Castle is too liberal for Delaware.

madawaskan said...

abel=able. oy.

Anyways-ya they want to defeat Mike Castle-Mike Castle must be crushed..

Gawd-what a bunch of yhazoos!

GMay said...

2 term limit for Senators, 2 term limit for Reps, bump Reps term up to 3 or 4 years (so they're not in constant campaign mode), and abolish pensions and lifetime health benefits for all congressmen and make it retroactive. 10 year term for SC justices.

David said...

Russ is resentful. He's had the incredible opportunity to serve Wisconsin in the United States Senate. Whatever the value of that service has been, it's value has ended. Russ now comes across as tired, grumpy, stubborn, listless and out of touch.

He needs a new job to perk up. Cheeseheads, give him that opportunity!

hombre said...

The decision to destroy the Presidency predates the inauguration.

Yeah. Unfortunately, it dates back to 2001 or maybe 2002.

Or, if you consider the action of the President himself to be destructive of the Presidency, it dates back to Monicagate.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Senator Feingold, paraphrased: "The people don't agree with us? It must be a conspiracy. It couldn't be that we're wrong."

wv: bazzl. The Feingold approach: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, bazzl them with bull."

Because I Said So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Because I Said So said...

Feingold thinks Wisconsinites are split 40% / 40% / 20% on the health care bill???

Here in WI-3rd district, our representative Ron Kind (D) was quoted as saying the calls from his constituents was evenly split between "no and hell no".

Feingold's wishful thinking and Kind's disregard for his constituent's wishes (he voted for it) explains why they are incumbents who are at risk of being unseated, instead of being comfortably re-elected.

Pogo said...

Feingold: 'Goddamned constituents are too stupid to know what's good for 'em.
So I'll tell 'em, but I'll use small words this time, and pictures.
'

edutcher said...

OK, and he thinks this is different from the Lefties trying to destroy Dubya, how?

At least, the Tea Partiers and others waited until the announcement of the Government Motors bailout and Porkulus before getting ticked - and they just wanted that stuff stopped.

Russ is grabbing at straws here - and they may not work, which is something to say in WI.

Calypso Facto said...

And yet, BISS, Kind voted for it anyway. I just put a Kapanke sign in my driveway. Kind is nothing more than a self-interested schmoozer. A nice guy, but no spine to stand up against the Demo cabal.

Dear Russ, I'm one of the 20%, and I say "Repeal the bill!"

Richard Dolan said...

"Destroy" is the word that doesn't fit or make sense. Only Obama could do that to himself, and he's largely done it. All anyone else could do was oppose, and that's usually what the opposition does.

Almost Ali said...

As a member of the Senate's Back-Slappers Club, Feingold should remind his disgruntled constituents about his close association with the normally brain-dead John McCain.

roesch-voltaire said...

Let us get rid of the independent, ethical politician who voted against bailing out Wall Street, voted no on extending wire tape provisions to protect individual privacy, and voted no on normal trade with China trying to protect US interests-- the list goes on including voting no on allowing more foreign workers into US farm work!

MayBee said...

Perhaps Russ prefers people who welcome the new president on inauguration day with open arms, eggs, and tennis balls.

TosaGuy said...

So Russ considers making only $174,000 plus a host of palatial benefits a year a sacrifice?

His net worth is only around $165K. Can't he manage money at all?

SteveR said...

Within days of the president being sworn in, I had people showing up at my town meeting with hats on, with tea bags coming out

Exaggerate much?

paul a'barge said...

In a way, Feingold is right. Those of us who were prescient enough not to vote for Obama began the honorable process of defending America, American values and the American people from the nightmare named Obama. And we're still engaged in that honorable process.

It's called "politics", Feingold, you nattering, simpering loon. And you're next.

Roger Sweeny said...

"What explains the difficult political climate for Democrats, considering that President Obama has implemented many policies he campaigned on?"

Obama said he would cover everyone's medical expenses, make sure no one lost their current insurance or had it reduced, and keep costs from rising.

He had not been able to implement that. It's not really his fault because nobody could do that.

But then he shouldn't have campaigned pretending he could--and the press should have been a lot more skeptical.

Sixty Grit said...

To be accurate, "days" can mean any number of days. We are still withing "days" of Omongrel's inauguration, but of course, after a year or so, we stop counting the days. Well, except for counting the days until we can vote that leftist usurper out of office.

Dave D said...

Volatire:

He voted "Yes" on Health Care and would defend a filibuster to repeal it. What part of this bill and its opposition to it don't you understand?

James said...

Feingold is just flailing around for any answer. During the winter I attended two of his town hall meetings in Racine County. He could not have been more condescending and dismissive of the people who turned out for the meetings and expressed genuine concerns about the health care bill.

November can't come soon enough for me.

Pogo said...

Feingold was right on this:
I myself made a conscious decision to destroy this President's socialist power grab the minute it started.

Not that I could do much.

Revenant said...

Feingold's complaint sounds very Nixonian. But, really, he and Nixon were both right. There were lots of people out to bring down Nixon from day one, and lots of people out to do the same to Obama.

But so what?

The President is a politician. He's replaceable. If he is "brought down" there's no shortage of eager replacements able to do the job just as well.

Godot said...

Revenant said...
The President is a politician ... there's no shortage of eager replacements able to do the job just as well.

Or as poorly.

Issob Morocco said...

Sounds like the thoughts of a future, former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.

WTMJ is looking for commentators for their 2012 election coverage.

jr565 said...

"A conscious decision was made by certain groups to destroy this presidency the minute it started."


He was selected not elected. not my president. If he wins I'm moving to canada. All spoken of George Bush by benighted liberals. All said speakers clearly wishing Bush all the success in the world in his "stolen" election.

Michael Haz said...

Russ Feingold is an arrogant jerk who is about to lose his Senate seat.

He continues to lie, as he always does during campaign season. This, for example, Within days of the president being sworn in, I had people showing up at my town meeting with hats on, with tea bags coming out, saying this is going to be socialism.” is a full-on lie.

I have heard him speak at town hall meetings, and will second the opinions sated by others in this thread that he is arrogant, disdainful and aloof.

Time for him to go.

kent said...

Russ now comes across as tired, grumpy, stubborn, listless and out of touch.

Along with Dishonest and Dopey, the traditional seven dwarfs of modern "progressivism."

The Crack Emcee said...

"A conscious decision was made by certain groups to destroy this presidency the minute it started."

Man, that sounds exactly like what happened to the last president,...weird.

Oh well, turnabout is fair play, I guess.

bagoh20 said...

"Within days of the president being sworn in, I had people showing up at my town meeting with hats on, with tea bags coming out, saying this is going to be socialism.”

Those people should be put in charge. They are clearly smarter than average, as time has shown they were right.

JAL said...

I think BHO is doing a fine job of it all by his ownsome.

Keep up the good work.

And -- while tea bags showed up surprisingly early (and I was like AJ Lynch -- I thought it came about after Rick Santelli's wonderful onscreen rant...) I highly highly doubt there were any at Russ's meetings "within days" of the inauguration. Doesn't fit the timeline well.

Elect someone less hyperbolic, Badgers.

wv parch
Parch them spendy Dems in November.

AST said...

He says that like it's a new thing. It's also a standard for failed administrations to blame their opponents, as Obama is doing now.

lucid said...

This kind of contemptuous and dismissive arrogance is why we have to run all of the Democrats out of office.

They really don't know the truth about anything any more.

Alex said...

Obama destroyed himself. There was nothing Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or John Boehner could do to Obama when he had 70%+ approval rating. Obama pissed it away with his lurch to the left. That's all there really is to it.

Alex said...

Yeah right. It was the teabagger scum who derailed the Democrat's agenda. I really would LIKE to believe that's true, but it isn't.

Alex said...

Where are Ritmo, BetaLiberal, garage, victoria and FLS?

Joe said...

Feingold is right in a way, but misses the point that even before his presidency started, Democrats like him in Congress were talking about how much they were going to spend. Obama immediately took on rather extreme Keynesian rhetoric--he wasn't going to just spend millions or even billions, but trillions. It's so extreme even the European governments were telling Obama and company to slow down.

HDHouse said...

Lot of folks deep in denial here. He is right and those who object to his view are probably either wrong or self serving.

kent said...

Lot of folks deep in denial here. He is right and those who object to his view are probably either wrong or self serving.

"... so... so THERE, then! Nyyyaaahhhhhhh!!!" [::flounces back to Jonas Brothers chat room, high-fiving self::]

Mick said...

Over 500 comments about a post I made at Turley's Blog on Volokh.

http://volokh.com/2010/08/31/the-ultimate-legal-blog-comment/

And today's post bemoaning the fact that there are 500 posts on his last post, by KERR.

http://volokh.com/2010/09/01/the-ultimate-legal-blog-comment-thread/

Notice the Obama apologist obfuscators coming out of the woodwork on attack (Alinsky). It is desperation that the Kryptonit of this Usurper's Presidency may get exposed. Obama's foreign father makes him an ineligible Non Natural Born Citizen, since as Laurence Tribe would say, he was born w/ exterritorial allegiance.

Drew said...

The latest mailing from the Feingold campaign shows him desperately trying to separate himself from Obama/Reid/Pelosi, and trying to call himself an independent. "Voted against the bank bailouts!" he declares. Sure. And probably because that was a Bush/Paulson thing, and godhelpyou if you ever supported President Bush. But you voted for the stupid stimulus, Russ, which was even worse. Don't forget that. I'm not about to let you.

I was one of Ron Kind's constituents who told him, repeatedly, "hell no" on the Stimulus. Voted for it anyway, didn't you, Ron? And then you had the audacity to tell me how you were putting control of my health care back into my hands! No, Ron. That crazy bill put it firmly into the government's hands.

Both Kind and Feingold are trying desperately to paint themselves as moderate independents. This trend of Democrats running away from their Beltway masters is being repeated across the nation.

Unfortunately, there's your voting records, guys.

Feingold is currently trying to position himself as a total NRA, gun-rights advocate, and Johnson as a gun-control freak. This is about as honest as his declaration that Ron Johnson wants to drill for oil in Lake Michigan.

I'm not sure if it's something in the water in Washington, but it appears that the longer one resides there, the more difficult it becomes to tell the truth.

Drew said...

And this . . .

Q. You’re running for a fourth term in the Senate. Does that make you a career politician as your opponent says?

A. “Instead of taking a very high paying type of law job or something that I might be able to do, I have been a legislator. That’s what I do. I think it’s an honorable profession – if you’re honest and have integrity and work hard.


I cannot tell you how much this crap angers me. Sure, you could have taken a private sector job, but there's no guarantee of the awesome goodies you get as a public sector leech. This smacks of so much entitlement. "I sacrificed a high-paying career for you people!"

Yes, and while the private sector is suffering from recession, you in the political class are raking it in, while you suck us dry.

Damn. Go away now.

I don’t rehire myself. The people hire me.

But you do vote yourselves pay raises, don't you.

Thankfully, we can fire you. And we will.

Skipper50 said...

The lovely autumn smell of panic and desperation.