Apr 5, 2010

Russ Feingold Is Fine for Re-election, GOP Dreams Not Credible

Madison, Wisconsin—The lone voice in the U.S. Senate voting against the infamous 2001 Patriot Act is Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) whose vote for liberty then, and in support of the Fourth Amendment throughout his career, will help secure his re-election amid growing and groundless shouts that Feingold is in trouble.

Consider RealClear Politics (RPC), a site that takes news-opinion from the mainstream media (mostly dailies and more often from the political right) and presents the aggregation as: Real clear politics.

RPC's foumula for clarity leads predictably to erroneous results which roughly comprises the conventional political wisdom. It's that bad.

RPC 's latest RE Wisconsin is a piece from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (MJS) columnist Patrick McIlheran that Russ Feingold may be "done" in Wisconsin politics.

I can guarantee you two things: Feingold's people got a laugh out of this one, and McIlheran's analysis such as it is will be taken seriously among those formulating the conventional political wisdom.

As a writer, McIlheran is a bold sign (along with fellow MJS columnist Mike 'send-innocents-to-prison' Nichols) of the decline of the American daily newspaper—ideological and insipid.

McIlheran quotes Feingold's GOP opponent, Terrence Wall who says that "I'll win. ... Feingold's done."

Using data from the discredited Rasmussen polls, and the amazing fact that GOPers bad-mouthed Feingold at listening sessions, McIlheran agrees with Wall that Feingold just may be over, though he also allows that this all depends on former Gov. Tommy Thompson entering the race.

The problem is Thompson has not announced for the September primary; GOP candidate Wall says he's in to stay; and Thompson accepted a job in February as a capital fund advisor after making a lot of money from corporate America—an enterprise that might not present a problem in some campaign seasons but certainly does in this one after that whole economic catastrophe thing.

So though on occasion progressives too are driven to head-shaking by the idiosyncratic ways of Feingold, for example Feingold foolishly voted for the confirmation of John Roberts and against the dismissal of impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Feingold's people would welcome Thompson as a candidate and I think Thompson and his advisers know it.

What Patrick McIlheran knows is anybody's guess.

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