Why Russ Feingold just took anti-democracy Republicans to the woodshed
In an editorial published this morning by The Guardian, Russ Feingold eloquently channels his inner Marcellus Wallace and gets medieval on the autocratic corpse of what used to be the Republican Party:
What Republican legislators just did in Wisconsin – passing bills to strip key powers from the governor-elect, Tony Evers, and other newly elected Democratic officials – is a total betrayal of the people of Wisconsin and our nation’s democratic ideals.
Michigan is passing a similar set of bills and North Carolina Republicans are accused of paying someone to steal absentee ballots and commit election fraud for a US House candidate. In Ohio, other undemocratic efforts are under way. It seems that Republicans officials nationwide from Donald Trump to Mitch McConnell and right down the line don’t have a problem assaulting our democracy if it means holding onto their power.
This is not how democracy works, and these maneuvers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina are not just power grabs. They are deliberate efforts to undermine democracy and our faith in it. And these efforts are getting more brazen and desperate every year.
I am enraged and, frankly, sick of the shenanigans.
Feingold looks to have deployed feelers about the possibility of a 2020 Presidential run.
One mitigating factor against him is the stinging loss he took in a 2016 Senate run, but Trumpism has clearly motivated his Wisconsin base, and his message resonates in nearby states not limited to Michigan.
His statement in advance of the vote on the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 still defines his commitment to progressivism and rigorous civil libertarianism:
[M]y first and most powerful emotion [in the wake of the attcks of September 11, 2001] was a solemn resolve to stop these terrorists. And that remains my principal reaction to these events. But I also quickly realized, as many of us did, that two cautions were necessary and I raised them on the senate floor the day after the attacks. The first caution was that we must continue to respect our Constitution and protect our civil liberties in the wake of the attacks.
So, yes, Feingold is mulling a run, and his particular voice would be very welcome in that face of a Republican Party that has seen its Capitol Hill presence go full-bore fascist.