Michael: Russ Feingold in 2008?Why was there only one Senator to vote against the passage of the PATRIOT Act? Because only one Senator was strong enough in his defense of our liberties to oppose a rush to judgement, while others feared appearing 'soft' on terrorism. The past 4 years have proven that Russ Fiengold was right to cast that sole dissenting vote.
The ambitious, though flawed, attempt to control the tidal wave of money swamping our democracy bears two names. One is that of Wisconsin's Russ Feingold. The other is Arizona's John McCain. Wouldn't it be ironic if 2008 became a match-up between those two men, who reached across the aisle to craft the McCain-Feingold Act?
I hope that people will become acquainted with Russ, if they are not already. DNC Chairman Howard Dean, in his acceptance speech, urged Democrats to reach out to the so-called 'red states' so that the Democratic Party could be the Party of all 50 states of America. And that is what Russ is doing. He promised WI voters he would hold listening sessions in every county of WI every year when he was elected. He has kept that promise. Now he is taking his listening sessions to the reddest of the 'red states', Alabama, for a series of public engagements to learn what is on the mind of Southern voters.
To my mind, only someone who is open-minded enough to have a listening tour in Alabama, and brave enough to be the only no vote on the PATRIOT Act has what it takes to be a good President in these times.
You are likely to be seeing a lot more of Russ Feingold in the near future. He is likely to stand out in his role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the inevitable fight over Supreme Court nominations. He will not be backing down on the issue of filibusters to block votes on judicial nominees. He has said he believes that one party is not meant to, and should not have all the power.
I'm hoping that Senator Feingold will decide to run in 2008. We need men like him in race. I encourage you to visit the unofficial Draft Feingold for President in 2008 website, and write a letter to Senator Feingold encouraging him to run. Even if you eventually pick another candidate, Feingold will bring character, class, and courage to the Democratic nomination race.