October 9, 2010

Russ Feingold and his GOP challenger Ron Johnson answer a question about how close they are to the beliefs of the Tea Party.



Watch Russ Feingold confidently assert that he represents Tea Party values. Marvel at the importance of reading the Constitution at an early age and carrying it around all the time. Consider the question whether we should want a millionaire in the Senate. Feingold says it's good to have a nonmillionaire, like him, in the Senate, because the Senate is so full of millionaires and it provides some balance. On the other hand, a businessman who's made millions, like Johnson, has proven something about his ability and his knowledge of how the world works.

ADDED: You can watch the whole debate here. I thought it was interesting to see how well the new guy, Johnson, was able to look polished and competent alongside Russ Feingold.

AND: Instapundit links, saying:
Gee, it wasn’t long ago that Tea Partiers were a fringe group of astroturf bigots or something. Now it seems like everyone wants to be a Tea Partier! Who on earth could have seen this coming?
The answer, of course, is: Instapundit. I must say, when those tea parties began, I thought they were kind of embarrassing. I didn't get Instapundit promoting them all the time.

89 comments:

Triangle Man said...

I carry the Constitution with me at all times. At least, all times that I have my iPhone with me. There's an app for. that.

edutcher said...

I think, in terms of millionaires, it's whether you made your money before or after entering the Senate and how it was made.

Irene said...

Fool-ish.

Meade said...

Senator F:

"I'm not a witch, a nazi, or a whore (although I am a career politician).

"And even though I'm not a Tea Party person, I've been waiting a long time for this opportunity to tell the Tea Party People:

"I'm you."

Trooper York said...

I hope that Russ appreciates that the Althouse commenters are busy filling up a river of piss so Garage Mahal can swim through it to vote for him.

AJ Lynch said...

Amendment I : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedome of speech, or of the press;....."

I guess maybe Sen. Feingold never got around to actually reading the the Amendment section of the constitution.

EnigmatiCore said...

Feingold is for Obama.

Johnson is not.

Choose. Pretty simple, acually.

Hagar said...

The only non-millionaires in the Senate are such only by their own wonderful accounting and reporting rules, which would immediately land any private person who followed suit, in jail.

Lincolntf said...

There's an astounding disconnect between Obama, the DNC, the Lefty blogs, MSM, etc. and actual candidates like Feingold, when it comes to the Tea Parties. They're trying to destroy the movement, he's trying to join it. Yet they'll still be on the same side of every issue that comes down the pike. Jokes.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Marvel at the importance of reading the Constitution at an early age and carrying it around all the time."

Russ Feingold is a domestic enemy of the United States Constitution and has authored laws designed to deny Americans their free speech and free association rights. These laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court as un-Constitutional.

Russ Feingold is a traitor. He should be arrested, tried and given the death penalty upon his conviction.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

And besides that, he looks like a fucking 1930s gangster wannabe in that pinstriped suit.

Who dressed that fucking asshat - Edgar G. Robinson?

Jeff Lehner said...

How is Feingold not a millionaire?

Guy's been a senator for 18 years right? Taking home nearly 200 g's/year to do a job that's really part-time. Seriously, it's part time.

That he is not a millionaire is a reason to vote against him. Obviously has no idea in the world what to do with money. His own, that is. All kinds of ideas about what to do with yours (and Ron Johnson's, incidentally).

What a loser.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Barack Obama hit into a rather large sand trap today.

http://www.moonbattery.com/obama_vacation_2.jpg

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Russ Feingold:

1989 - 2010 Total Receipts: $31,912,470

He's a fucking millionaire in the only way that matters to a United States Senator.

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00000036&cycle=Career

Feingold is a fucking liar.

Alex said...

Bye bye Russ.

traditionalguy said...

That was dull stuff. They needed Christine O'Donnell to prep them on how to answer questions. The "specialness" of Feingold has always come from his being for the people's rights in the small things while he was an enemy of the people's rights in the big things. Sadly for Russell, the internet has over the last 5 years trained too many people in critical thinking skills. I seriously blame Althouse for the decline of Feingold's tricks working anymore. His tenure is up.

leon said...

why does it sound like someone is eating very loudly on this clip? did someone just record this off tv using a camcorder.

El Pollo Real said...

Are Feingold's years naturally that big or is it a Pinocchio thing he's got going?


wv = Pinorecchio" LOL!

James said...

Anyone who voted for the McCain-FEINGOLD bill is an anti-constitutional criminal. And yes, I use that term without irony. They were sworn to defend the constitution and they tried to break it. A pox on their houses.

Methadras said...

Ann, do you have a boner for Feingold? If you do, just admit it and stop your feeble attempt at cruel neutrality.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

On the other hand, a businessman who's made millions, like Johnson, has proven something about his ability and his knowledge of how the world works.

Like how to take advantage of it, for instance.

Like how he prefers voters with no values beyond a shallow materialism.

Meade said...

But Ritmo, aren't you quite wealthy yourself? What gives?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Althouse...
I must say, when those tea parties began, I thought they were kind of embarrassing.

Embarrassing only to someone who was hoping they would succeed instead.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Who told you that, Meade?

I qualify for the category of upper middle class, by most accounts - but I'm still young. I didn't always. I like to work and I prefer work that makes me feel more productive to work that merely pays better. But I also value getting ahead by means other than greasing the wheels available to people of much greater personal wealth than exist at the disposal of me or most people here.

And also, I think excessive materialism is crass and has corroded not only most virtue in America, but our Republic's ability to govern anything effectively. Least of all its budget.

Why should a love of work and being productive, an interest in keeping budgets and societies balanced, and an interest in making money and improving the world come with the kind of materialism, disinterest and hocus pocus economic half-truths that created the 2008 Great Recession?

fboness said...

I know the Tea Party and you, sir, are no Tea Party.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyway, there is a difference between a love of success and feeling productive and a love of money. That's the short version of what I'm saying. I think the Great Recession is the result of, in large part, our inability to tell the difference anymore.

Alex said...

Hey Ritmo - what do you know about success and creating jobs? You sound to me like another one of those college-leaches.

hotsopdotcom said...

Here's a puzzler: why did the teaparty "patriots" almost completely ignore immigration for over a year?

That's the area where the Dems and in fact the entire establishment are weakest. And, it's a vital issue that's even more fundamental than spending. Spending is to a good extent a function of mass immig. The more immig., the more power the free-spending far-left has.

Yet, for some completely unknown reason, the 'partiers almost completely ignored that vital, more-fundamental-then-spending issue for over a year. Ask yourself why those who claim to care about spending would almost completely ignore one of the major sources of spending and of power for the big spending far-left. That doesn't make sense, now does it? What sort of real movement would ignore an issue that impacts what they claim to care about?

P.S. Because this comment is critical of the partiers, expect them to lie and smear as they always do. Another thing the 'partiers don't care about is the truth and getting their facts straight. You can get a good overview of what I've covered in thousands of posts since 2002 on my topics page. Don't trust what teapartiers say because they just can't tell the truth.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Jobs will be created when banks can lend, and banks will lend once a stable regulatory environment is restored and there is meaning once again to the value of the dollar. It has nothing to do with the standard rhetoric about small businesses "creating" jobs based on nothing other than tax structure alone, Alex. Partially true as it might be in other circumstances.

Not that you would know. Or would you?

Milwaukee said...

Senator Feingold: You have been a Senator for 18 years already. You blend in too well. Good thing there was this discussion so that all of a sudden you are clear on things which align with the Tea Party. Sorry Senator, you are not one of us and you don't provide 'diversity' in the Senate. Too be sure, they will let you vote in opposition on issues which don't matter. So you voted against the Patriot Act. Big deal. You were unable to persuade a single person to join you. One vote. Had you voted against the health care reform, or Elena Kagan, those would have been votes of integrity. Which you lack.

Justice Kagan does not believe we have "inalienable rights endowed by our Creator." I strongly suspect that you would agree. Senator, you have gotten away with a lax populace refusing to critically examine your positions. Just on health care reform and cap-and-trade, your positions supporting Obama will ruin the country.

You are not a millionaire because you have been divorced twice, and given your money to your ex-wives. Obviously you haven't managed your personal life that well. Do us all a favor and leave. As Deputy Dog used to say "Don't go away mad; just go away." I would bet that in the lame duck session you would be willing to do all sorts of nasty things to us in revenge for losing.

4th said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyway, I know that the U.S. government is more than just a business and job creating enterprise.

Given the spectacular failure (economic and otherwise) of the first "MBA President", it's astonishing the way people are still clinging to this idea of how anyone who's made a buck on the outside is perfect for running the government and will have the utmost authority to do so for reasons other than increasing their own access to privilege and wealth, etc.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ok, so now divorc├ęs are barred from office on account of marrying a jealous, ambitious, or vindictive spouse. Good to know.

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...To help you out the Democrats in a Two House majority and holding the Presidency will gladly take your excess wealth and build The Ritmo Brasiliero Memorial Windmill farm, for a small cut for their friends. That would make you into a mythical colder weather magician , and make the Dems friends rich men.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

One thought of the night worth sharing was how it was recently revealed that Bush didn't realize that tariffs were bad economics. I remember the game of chicken they were playing over steel tariffs years back, and assumed it was all political and that they would have never carried it through. Lately it was revealed however that Bush had to be told that this was also bad economics. Reports were that he was livid that no one felt that a Harvard MBA had to be told this, that he would have just understood it.

This should go to show that certain financial successes in no way means that someone understands the awesome responsibility of governing a republic.

Brian O'Connell said...

I'm not a crass materialist- I'm just productive!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't think I have "excess" wealth, TG (whatever that means) and the Dems (and GOP) are both right to argue that 250k per year and up is different from 100k per year, as is 500k in income, 1 million in income, etc.

To the Republicans however, these are all the financial saviors who must be respected and never offended at all costs - and it's part of what's hurting you guys in your efforts to understand where conflicts of interest and populism come into play. There is a difference between so many levels of income once you get to the top 2% or so, and either the tax structure should account for that or we should have a national sales tax, or we should cut entitlements by a few hundred billion. Assuming, of course, that you think debt is a problem.

I think it comes around to the culture of entitlement. All these games about debt as a percentage of GDP... at some point you just have to admit that the system is screwed because the culture of a sustainable political economy was ruined ever since the GOP decided that fiscal discipline was less important than patronage.

AJ Lynch said...

So in 18 years in the Senate, Senator Feingold got W-2's from the taxpayers for a total of at least $2.7 Million or so. I estimate his Senate staff got total W-2 's of $30 Million or so in that same 18 years. Are there any notable achievements by the Senator that the taxpayers can be proud of? Just asking.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That's good to know, Brian. It's the kind of attitude that's essential in putting the country back on track and away from a future of outsourcing debt as our #1 export.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Don't any of you find it interesting that you're bashing Feingold's inability to make more money off the federal government as a way to show that he is unfit for office?

There goes the whole fiscal responsibility argument.

Palladian said...

hotsopdotcom said...

Hey look, LoneWacko got a new sockpuppet!

Dev said...

If Feingold is so against millionaires, does he think Sen Kohl should retire.

No wait, he inherited it, like the Kennedy's, Kerry, Drayton, Rockefeller's, and other rich liberals rather than working and earning it.

AJ Lynch said...

Palladian - my thoughts exactly.

Who was mocking Senator about his earnings? I thought most were saying he made a nice living sucking at the taxpayer trough.

AJ Lynch said...

Palladian:

Since I always thought lonewhackodot.com had money-making potential, I went out and bought www.crazedsniperintower.com

Milwaukee said...

Ritmo: People in public office need to be held to a higher standard than those out of public office. People get to marry and divorce as many times as they want. However, for a politician to have not one but two divorces may suggest that some serious mistakes are not just being made but repeated. Aren't marriage vows to be solemn oaths? This may suggest a pattern of instability. I have voted for the Senator in the past. His divorce wasn't an issue. However, in the big picture his personal life becomes part of a totally unacceptable package. As a lawyer in private practice his being divorced twice is no big deal. But if he wants to be Senator, a leader of the people, then we need him to be more than ordinary.

I have greater problems with his votes on judicial nominees, health care reform, cap-and-trade, expanding government and restricting our rights. The divorces were offered for a partial explanation for why an individual who has drawn a Senators salary over the last 18 years isn't a millionaire. Do you think maybe he doesn't know how to manage his own affairs?

Palladian said...

Ritmo, since you're so well-off you should buy some art. That goes for any of you other millionaires as well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Relationships matter, Milwaukee. But even married couples find out things long after living together that they wouldn't have known in the beginning.

It's a good point, and one that I'd apply to a guy whose name came up earlier tonight, and often here. Even though Limbaugh's not a public servant, don't you think the de facto leader of the conservative movement extolling personal responsibility in theory should conform to that standard?

Although, at least he's kept his millions.

You guys are drawing inspiration from the Tea Parties on a populist basis. How much marital continuity is it fair for a country with a 50% divorce rate to expect of its public servants? Especially when the Tea Party is complaining about how far removed the pols are from what "normal people" experience?

A higher standard is fine. But let's base it on making rational and consistent arguments on leadership, constitutionality and the pragmatic concerns of governing. I don't see why Feingold's inability to keep at bay a court system that's financially biased toward ex-wives makes him unfit from understanding how the government should stay solvent and financially healthy in the long-term. Is he advocating an unhealthy relationship with countries and interests that will demand our patronage now and later? That's the proper analogy for someone who merely happened to not make out well following a divorce.

PatCA said...

Russ looks scared and uncomfortable. In a way, I feel sorry for guys like him, and all the 50 or 60 who will lose their seats. They thought they were okay. They did their best as "moderates" all these years. They played along with the rules. They got lazy.

The wave will take them. They never saw it coming.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Patca, Russ may have to get a real job and he is definitely asking himself wtf did I go wrong? How do you spell it- I will have shaudenfreude bigtime!

John Lynch said...

I didn't get the Tea Party protests, either. For me, protesting in the streets was a waste of time and a sign of political weakness. It was also a sign of sore losers who lost the election.

Remember all the anti-war protests? What did they accomplish? Cindy Sheehan... yeah.

So, I guess conservative protesters knew what they were doing, while the liberals didn't.

The secret is winning the primaries and the elections. Waving signs is all very nice, but it does nothing if you don't actually vote.

The NY-23 vote was actually a big flashing sign of what was coming. The Democrat won, but only because the Republicans split. That was a real watershed moment, where it became clear that much more conservative candidates were viable almost everywhere, and that they needed to be chosen in the primary rather than running for a third party.

Thank God we're not like France, where the government grovels to whoever can put a big enough mob in the streets.

mc said...

Embarrassing?

Ouch.

Ouch and Bullshit!

Maybe for a moment there is hope for the Republic!

Much work ahead.

AJ Lynch said...

John Lynch:

You did not get the Tea Party protests? then you are probably a liberal or dishonest. Did you get Moveon.org? Was that a big success to you?

John Lynch said...

Huh?

No, I really don't like protests. I think they block traffic, make people angry, and accomplish nothing. I generally think they are an attempt to overturn the popular will as expressed in elections. Simply being able to put people in the streets isn't democratic.

I think demonstrations are legal, but since the 1960s are largely a waste of time. Every special interest group that can afford it goes marching around the Mall, and it doesn't matter. Some people even protest full time.

I'm a liberal now? That's interesting.

Palladian said...

"I'm a liberal now? That's interesting."

This is what's grotesque about partisanship. Eventually if you diverge in any way, you're branded a heretic (nothing personal, AJ).

I hate protests for the same reasons that John does. I also can't stand being in crowds of people for any reason. I don't want to be a part of a mass of people, even if I ostensibly agree with them.

The power of the "tea party" people is not the protests, but who they get elected and who they run out of office.

John Lynch said...

The antiwar movement was a big failure. They didn't elect the right people to carry out their agenda (oops- the wars are still on, and Gitmo is open, and Iran is still a problem...) Mostly they wasted time talking to each other and going on about how evil Bush was. Meanwhile, he got reelected and his successor adapted his foreign policy. This tells me that the people pushing all the anti-Bush ideas weren't serious and weren't prepared for the reality of war and foreign policy.

There were FAR more people in the streets over Iraq than the Tea Party ever had. That's why when I saw the Tea Party protests I rolled my eyes. Great, more losers. But these people VOTE. That's what matters.

Something to keep in mind-- what matters isn't just who is elected, but what they DO. It's quite possible that this bunch of Republicans won't do any better than the last. I hope they do, and at the very least they can put a brake on all these insane government programs that we can't afford.

Mark said...

"Jobs will be created when banks can lend, and banks will lend once a stable regulatory environment is restored and there is meaning once again to the value of the dollar. It has nothing to do with the standard rhetoric about small businesses "creating" jobs based on nothing other than tax structure alone, Alex. Partially true as it might be in other circumstances."

Ritmo, you almost sound like a disciple of Hayek here. The key to business success is sound, stable, predictable government processes, geared around protecting the rule of law.

What you're prescribing, of course, sounds nothing like what the current government of our country is practicing, but I see hope for you.

Kirk Parker said...

"I didn't get Instapundit promoting them all the time."

Seriously? You didn't realize that Mr. "Army of Davids" would think they might be the Real Thing™

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I think it's funny when Ron Johnson says he read the Constitution "5 or 6 times," like that's some big accomplishment. It's, like, 5 pages long. It's not like he read the Bible 5 or 6 times.

Palladian said...

I think it's funny when Russ Feingold says he carries the Constitution around with him yet he co-sponsored (along with the hateful John McCain) a piece of legislation that actively contravenes the First Amendment of that Constitution in the most egregious fashion. Maybe carrying around the Bill of Rights made his pocket too bulgy.

Alphonse said...

"a businessman who's made millions, like Johnson, has proven something about his ability and his knowledge of how the world works"

Plutocracy does not equate with meritocracy. In many ways, the relationship is inverse.

In any case, the bulk of US wealth is inherited. By now the US is both more aristocratic and plutocratic than meritocratic - let alone democratic.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

In any case, the bulk of US wealth is inherited. By now the US is both more aristocratic and plutocratic than meritocratic - let alone democratic

Let Alone Democratic ? You have to be kidding me -Roughly 48% of all income earners in the country pay ZERO income taxes to that monstrous leviathan federal government and yet have more electoral clout than all the wealthy people combined.

"Freeloaderatic" is what the US is today.

Russ Feingold is becoming a tragic joke - the once flaming liberal hope is now claiming that he has a lot in common with those once racist Tea Party nasties - so much in common that the stupid Tea Partiers cant see that and instead are running against him !!

Awful.What a big loser Obama must be that his weakeness is now going engulf reliably liberal Wisconsin !!

Btw Herb Kohl called - he asked Feingold to shut up about millionaire Senators.

AllenS said...

Chris Althouse Cohen said...
I think it's funny when Ron Johnson says he read the Constitution "5 or 6 times," like that's some big accomplishment. It's, like, 5 pages long.

I'm not sure how many pages the original constitution was, but the kind of pocket version that I have, and I'd bet that Johnson and Feingold have, covers pages 17 to 42.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Given the spectacular failure (economic and otherwise) of the first "MBA President", it's astonishing the way people are still clinging to this idea of how anyone who's made a buck on the outside is perfect for running the government and will have the utmost authority to do so for reasons other than increasing their own access to privilege and wealth, etc.

@Ritmo,
Please try to understand your opponent's arguments - it may be difficult to do so with that smug condescending attitude that you have, but then again, try it one of these days.

I have'nt heard any one say that people who have worked in private industry are "perfect" and have the "utmost authority" to run Govt - these are plain straw men arguments and ad hominems.

People who have worked in the private industry especially in leadership positions most definitely have a better idea of what the eff it takes for companies to grow and expand .i.e. things that lead to the creation of new opportunities called J-O-B-S.

Better and Perfect are not the same thing - only liberal utopians even use the word perfect to describe anything.

The authority to govern comes from the consent of those who are governed - "utmost authority" is what you have in a dictatorship. I dont know what you are implying of your opponents, but your straw men attacks wear thin.

Liberals like you never tire of beating on Bush do you ? Can you even make a decent argument without railing against some one who has been an ex President for the last 2 years ??

One last question - what is the guarantee that a career freeloader .... sorry public servant will be working for reasons other than increasing his/her own access to privilege and wealth ? What do you think the Kennedy's are working for ? America's greatness ??

The Rat party is never devoid of such ignorant hack supporters like Ritmo Brasiliero. Pathetic.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Althouse...I must say, when those tea parties began, I thought they were kind of embarrassing.

Garage:Embarrassing only to someone who was hoping they would succeed instead

Typical Garbage ..umm.. Garage..response - just attack the good faith in which Ann made that comment.

The Tea Party protests started around March of 2009 - a mere 6 weeks after Obama's Presidency started and immediately after the boondoggle stimulus was passed.

Ann had voted for Obama in Nov 2008 and we are now supposed to believe that barely two months after he came to poewer, she was secretly rooting for a bunch of people who were opposed to Obama's policies !!

Wrap your head around that garbage logic, Garbage Mahal.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

I think it's funny when Ron Johnson says he read the Constitution "5 or 6 times," like that's some big accomplishment. It's, like, 5 pages long. It's not like he read the Bible 5 or 6 times

Sadly, it is a big accomplishment today if most politicians read the US Constitution ONCE. But more importantly, reading the Constitution is only one part - understanding it is the more important part... some thing that most Americans have trouble with - otherwise, Wisconsin would nt have voted to re-elect Feingold in 2004

As some one pointed out, the McCain-FeinGold amendment alone is enough to show that neither of the two understood the First Amendment - you dont have to be a big fan of it if you disagree with it -but atleast be honest to say that you dont agree with every thing that the First Amendment guarantees freedom for.

I cannot believe that Obama has made it so bad that Russ Feingold is fighting for his political life and that too in Wisconsin.

What a difference two years can make.

TosaGuy said...

If you aren't a millionaire after drawing a senator salary for 18 years, then should we really trust you to make major decisions for those of us who make a fraction of what you do but still have a higher net worth?

michaele said...

I was very eager to attend a local (Knoxville) Tea Party event on April 15, 2009. It was satisfying to be part of a push back effort on the tidal wave of big government spending that was coming. Yes, we were many middle aged, white faces but we were people with skin in the game having paid taxes throughout our working lives. I recognize that as the Tea Party grows in power and influence, it will lose its grass roots purity but hopefully not to the point where it sells its soul for political success. The crop of candidates who win this time around thanks to Tea Party efforts have a tremendous responsibility not to succumb to DC "politics as usual". Tea Partiers are adamant about expecting better and it won't be pleasant for those who disappoint.

JAY said...

Given the spectacular failure (economic and otherwise) of the first "MBA President",

Yes, because a 4.5% unemployment rate and $260 billion dollar federal deficit were bad things.

JAY said...

To the Republicans however, these are all the financial saviors who must be respected and never offended at all costs - and it's part of what's hurting you guys in your efforts

Really?

I'd like to see you prove that silly assertion with some actual facts.

Your ongoing drivel is an epic failure...

roesch-voltaire said...

Feingold is one of the few ethical independent Senators we have and he was simply reminding voters of this. His vote against the Patriot Act is a big deal in standing up for our constitutional rights, to quote him: The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace.

JAY said...

Feingold is one of the few ethical independent Senators we have and he was simply reminding voters of this. His vote against the Patriot Act is a big deal in standing up for our constitutional rights,

That is laugh out loud funny.

I hope you were joking as it would be disturbing if someone actually believed this.

info said...

"I thought they were kind of embarrassing."
uhbuma could have said that...has I think.
Get here November so the liberals can be told/shown how irrelevant they really are...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I just want to make sure I've got this straight:

Feingold's failure to personally enrich himself at government expense proves that he will fail at restoring fiscal sanity to that institution and, therefore, an environment that creates jobs.

Thanks for breaking down this bizarre worldview you advocate so succinctly.

Charlie Martin said...

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Alex said...

Yes Feingold is so ethical to vote against our national security in a time of WAR. Talk about priorities. Gay butt holes #1, National security #400.

Alex said...

Ritmo hates job creators like Ron Johnson. Viva la revolucion!

Moneyrunner said...

If you want to know one of the reasons the Tea Party has managed to bring a lot of middle aged, middle American, heretofore a-political people out into the streets, read The Volokh Conspiracy.


For people not familiar with this blog, it’s the creation of a group of Libertarian law professors. The Libertarian means that they are philosophically pro-individual freedom. Law professors mean that they focus on the legal precedents rather than the actual text of the Constitution. For many people who teach the law, the Constitution is what the judges say it is. There is seldom a reference to the text of the actual constitution, but many references to court decisions.


The problem with this approach is illustrated by a story I was told years ago by a marketing manager for a soup company. By far their most popular product was mushroom soup. The company decided to improve its profit margin and determined that the most expensive ingredient was mushrooms. So they adjusted the machines that cut the mushrooms into slices – just slightly - to cut the mushroom a little thinner. The trial was so successful that the next year the slices were made a little thinner. So it went, year after year until the company found that their mushroom soup sales had dropped dramatically. They could not figure out why until they realized that the mushroom slices were now so thin that the soup was not really very good. You can only slice the mushroom so thin before people turn away.


That’s really the problem with lawyers and law professors. They have gotten so far into the weeds that they have completely lost track of the reason that people once gave great reverence to the courts. The problem for the courts is that the US Constitution is a fairly short, easy to read document that organizations like the Cato Institute have distributed by the millions.

There is one other factor at work that makes people compare court decisions to the text of the Constitution: the rise of alternative voices. When America had three TV networks and these networks and all the dailies took their cue from the NY Times and the AP, there was very little dissent among Middle America. The dissenters were on the Left, animated by hatred of capitalism and inspired by communism. They affected academia, the MSM and Hollywood. They had a net negative affect on Middle American adults .


Today we have The Godfather – Rush Limbaugh – who has made his name and fortune ridiculing the absurdities of the Left. He has been followed by Glenn Beck who broadcasts a daily class on the founding fathers, the original constitution.


And unfortunately for the constitutional scholars arguing that forcing people to buy health insurance is a legitimate role of government - and constitutional to boot - because not buying insurance interferes with interstate commerce makes people say “huh?” How did we get to the point where not doing something can get you fined big bucks based on the Commerce Clause of the constitution?


Here is the Commerce Clause in full: (article 1, section 8, US Constitution)
[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.


The trail from article 1, section 8 of the Constitution to the government forcing you to buy health insurance is a Rube Goldberg contraption in law that was built over time. The relationship between the Constitution and the law is now so tenuous, the link so weak, that it takes the kind of scholarship once reserved for defining how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Like the soup company that kept slicing the mushroom thinner, the public has finally turned away.


I don’t really care how elegant a chain of decisions can be cited to justify the judicial torture of the Constitution to make it confess to anything. The people who really make up the bulk of the country are willing to take to the streets and flock to the polling booths this fall. The thread between reality and casuistry has snapped and people have had enough.

TosaGuy said...

You don't get it Ritmo.

Its not about Feingold lining his pocket with kickbacks, etc. Its about earning a very high income and having nothing to show for it. What sort of really bad financial decisions does he make in his life that he can't build an estate bigger than a guy who earns only 50K a year.

What is worse, Feingold wants to make it harder for that guy who makes 50k to accumulate what he can.

Manu Akula said...

Wow. A supporter of the Patriot Act accusing his opponent of wanting government control over lives. Hilarious. Ron Johnson vs Russ Feingold is like Southpark's douche vs turd election.

Methadras said...

Manu Akula said...

Wow. A supporter of the Patriot Act accusing his opponent of wanting government control over lives. Hilarious. Ron Johnson vs Russ Feingold is like Southpark's douche vs turd election.


Manu, have you read the patriot act? Quick!!! Read it before you get called out on it.

Blue@9 said...

"But I also value getting ahead by means other than greasing the wheels available to people of much greater personal wealth than exist at the disposal of me or most people here."

"Why yes, other rich people are crass and greedy materialists who beat up old ladies and drink blood for profit, but me, I'm one of the virtuous ones who work for life satisfaction and self-idealization. Why? Because I vote Democrat."

Blue@9 said...

"Feingold's failure to personally enrich himself at government expense proves that he will fail at restoring fiscal sanity to that institution and, therefore, an environment that creates jobs."

It's not the enriching bit (which implies that it's inappropriate), but the fact that he's made quite a considerable salary as a Senator. It's very difficult to make a six-figure salary for 20 years and not have some accumulated wealth. His claim that he's not a millionaire implies that he's horrible at managing money. Either that or he gives away most of it to charity.

Irene said...

The Cap Times responds:

What [Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman] Reince Priebus finds bizarre is the notion that tea party supporters aren’t mind-numbed Republican automatons.

Russ Feingold respects them as citizens who actually care about the issues.


There! Tea Partiers are "citizens who actually care about the issues." The Cap Times told me so.

Meade said...

lol!

Irene said...

BWAH!!

"[T]tea party supporters aren’t mind-numbed Republican automatons."

Hell has frozen over. In Madison.

Meade said...

Must be because of all that tea bagging. Right? Isn't that what they do? Tea baggers. I feel sure I read it in the Cap Times.

Meade said...

The old Cap Times. The Cap Times before Russ Feingold joined the Tea Party.

Irene said...

That swift bagging edit came right up in my little head.

Masters of editing and editorial discretion.