This interview was taped in late 2010, when then Senator Russ Feingold, was literally battling for his Senate career and perhaps political career as well. So that is a little disappointing for me, because I would’ve liked of seen Laura Flanders interview Senator Feingold today. Now that he’s been out of Congress for over four years now and looking at other career options for the future, like running for president. Where I think he would make a hell of a Progressive, or Liberal presidential candidate. That could raise a lot of money online simply by communicating to younger Americans. And along with Martin O’Malley, I would definitely look at a Feingold for president campaign. As liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton.
Here’s a little profile of the distinguished gentleman from Wisconsin. Who you can definitely tell he’s from Wisconsin from how he speaks. Today’s so-called Conservatives love to talk about how fiscally conservative they are. And yet its Liberal Democrat Russ Feingold who consistently didn’t bring pork back to Wisconsin when he was in the Senate. Because he didn’t think those projects had real economic value to his state and saw them as fiscally irresponsible. Who was a true budget hawk on the Senate Budget Committee. Who consistently voted to have more sunlight in the Federal budget. And not just defense, but the budget as a whole. And part of that was voting against pork-barrel projects in Congress, even if they went to Wisconsin.
So-called Conservatives today, like to talk about how much they believe in individual freedom. And yet its just the last five years, or so that they started speaking out against the Patriot Act and government spying, thanks to the Tea Party. Senator Feingold, voted against the 2001 Patriot Act, that gave big government those powers over individuals lives. He also voted against the 2003 Iraq War. He’s a Democrat who is about as anti-establishment as they come. He’s someone who won’t go along to get along. That if there is a debate and even fight worth having and that should be had, he’ll do it and worry about the consequences of his own career later on. Unlike today’s establishment career politicians, that seem to be more interested in getting reelected and their next career move, more than anything else.
And because Senator Feingold was so anti-establishment, he wasn’t very popular in the Senate, at least in the Democratic Caucus. Because he wouldn’t vote for things, or against simply because the Democratic Leader needed his vote. And is someone who will vote against big government policies that violate our civil liberties, even if that means he may look soft on terror. And vote against endless war authorizations, even if that means he looks soft on defense. If they give the President a blank check when it comes to war-making and leaving Congress in the dark and not knowing what the executive is doing when it comes to national security.
Not saying that Russ Feingold will be our next President, but Hillary Clinton needs to know that she’s running for President in the Democratic Party. And if she wants to run as a mushy-middle centrist independent, who never takes any tough stances on key issues that come with political risks, then maybe the Democratic Party is not the right party for her and she should run as an Independent. Russ Feingold, would force Hillary to take real positions on the key issues that the country faces and that Democrats care about. Like civil liberties, war authorization, economic and job growth, expanding the middle class, infrastructure, criminal justice reform, War on Drugs and I could go down the line. And would make a great presidential candidate.