Feingold: Don't Blame Lieberman, Blame Obama

Via Glenn Greenwald, Russ Feingold lets one slip:

"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I donít think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold.

Probably true. Here's a little focus on Feingold though - what was he doing to stop this capitulation? He helped nobody by his undermining of the reconciliation strategy. It's great that Feingold has his "noble principles," but what exactly did he do to forward them? Not that much really. Same for Sherrod Brown and all of Ezra's heroes. Lose the war and be crowned a King by the Village. Sheesh.

Speaking for me only

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    I give me a B+ (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by kidneystones on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 07:18:00 AM EST
    On the condition that I get to blame Bush, Lieberdems, Wall Street, Main Street, the Secret Service, the Nobel Committee, rank and file Dems, rank and file Republicans, 'tea-partiers', 'tea-baggers, liberaltarians, progressive-realists, Blue-dogs, Yellow-dogs, Bush's dog, Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, big pharma, big health-care, K-street, Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck, OBL, the Taliban, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Sarah Palin and Trig.

    The most sensible thing I've read in weeks is Kucinich's: "Afghanistan is a racket" remark.

    If I didn't have a job and the government was borrowing my kid's money to keep me home rather than paying me to work, I'd be pissed.

    Maybe voters'll forget that HRC is only a tiny sliver of epic fail. I somehow doubt it.

    I think (none / 0) (#30)
    by kidneystones on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:28:26 PM EST
    that's an astute observation. But wrong.

    Dennis paid the price before and during the primary for his blunt support of reparations and an apology for slavery, for example. Don't have the link handy.

    President Me responded to the question during the debate by observing that electing the colored fella might be a mighty fine way of closing the book on that question, a line guaranteed to please guilty liberals and uncompromising conservatives.

    Dennis correctly observed that only impeachment would provide a thorough airing out of all the scummy Iraq war laundry, an airing feared and opposed by Pelosi, HRC, Biden, and pretty much every leading Dem.

    As an outside observer all I can do is throw spitballs and comment, but Dennis was the best candidate on the issues by far, IMHO.


    I doubt that my Senator (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:44:52 AM EST
    let that "slip."  This is not the first time he has said so.  (The recent speech I heard just wasn't covered by media -- so they missed a lot on other topics, too.)

    I would not be at all surprised to (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:28:23 AM EST
    learn that it isn't so much that Feingold hasn't said or done enough, but that the media has chosen to ignore much of the pushback; we should not be so quick to assume that if the media did not report on it, it didn't happen.

    I mean, single-payer advocates have been staging sit-ins and protests in and around many offices of both politicians and health insurance companies - has any of that been covered?  Have the media bothered to mention it?

    Bernie Sanders' single-payer amendment is being debated in the House today - did the media happen to mention that?

    If a tree fell in the forest and the only people there were the media, would any of us know about it?


    I Am Surprised Obama Opted Out (none / 0) (#34)
    by norris morris on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:08:16 PM EST
    The real problem with all of this is Obama's disingenuous distancing himself from this crucial legislation.

    He allowed it to include Stupak which is unsupportable. He has not used the Bully Pulpit or used his power to influence and move the process along with clarity and purpose.

    Feingold would never oppose a bill with the public option that made cost containment sense. Let's face it. Obama has not led. He allowed the Drug Lobby to make a backroom deal that screws the public in many ways. He has not approved of or fought for the public option or shown the kind of leadership that gets things done.

    Obama has hid in the safety of political cover and has been disingenuous on all counts saying nothing of any real value to propel real change for healthcare reform.

    Rushing this through and Obama's willingness to accept a bill which creats Wealthcare for Big Drug and Insurance and deprives women of more rights is what he wants as long as it's Something.

    This is not what we voted for. Insurance Monopoly is rubbing their hands in glee.


    He's going to find himself on (none / 0) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:51:17 AM EST
    his boss' speed dial, if he isn't already there. Obama confronts those who demean him in public comments by saying such things.

    Oh, he knows. And we know (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:59:00 AM EST
    that the White House is messing with Wisconsin's Democratic races.  Obama already did in the Democrat who wanted to be governor -- surprise, a woman, so now Obama got his guy to run (a guy who lost the Dem primary for gov before, but hey, he's a guy).  I think, though, that Obama could meet his comeuppance if he tried to mess with Feingold's run for re-election, as I see no Dem coming up who is willing to take on that dirty work for the White House.

    But to be ready, Feingold has been fundraising like never before.  It could be time to stock up on popcorn.


    Strange thing in Wisconsin, Feingold (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by AX10 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:11:32 PM EST
    Feingold has the respect of his GOP opponents.
    Some of them even vote for him.  Feingold's positions and policies regarding spending controls and gun control(he opposes gun control) make him very popular to the moderate/conservatives in the state.
    Obama would be ill-advised to go after Feingold.
    Feingold has never given a damn about others opinions of himself.  

    Cream (none / 0) (#37)
    by DFLer on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:32:10 AM EST
    is that Rahm at work? (re gov candidate)

    As always... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:56:56 AM EST
    the ultimate blame lies with us, the people.  The consent of the governed.  

    Our employees are our responsibility...and our hiring record has been piss-poor for a very long time.

    No. Feingold was a great hire. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:59:32 AM EST
    As far as senators go... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:04:54 AM EST
    he is probably our best employee...your state done allright with Feingold CC, you can hold your head a little higher:)

    So you amend (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:06:46 AM EST
    your sweeping generalization?  Be specific:  In this debate between Feingold and Obama, who was the poor hire?

    We all know... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 09:11:04 AM EST
    the answer to that...Obama.

    I'm saying I disagree with Feingold here in that the ultimate blame doesn't rest with Obama, or Lieberman, it rests with the fools who hired them.


    Fools? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:43:05 AM EST
    I don't think people voting for either Obama or McCain were fools.
    It is presented to us by everyone that we have to choose between these two alternates.

    I feel sorry for us that we have been put in this position.

    Now - if you want to propose civil disobedience - or revolution - I'm all ears....


    I guess I expect... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:53:56 AM EST
    a little more of our fellow citizens...I know everybody and their mother tries to frame it as 2 choices and only 2 choices...but I'll be damned if I didn't walk into that voting booth and see more than 2 names...imagine that.

    Yep, Fools...fools for accepting the slick presentation and going along with it.  


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:34:43 AM EST
    but the only attraction of those other names is that hey, none of them will win, so you can blissfully vote for them secure in the knowledge that you'll never have to find out how much they would have sucked in office.  Everyone has flaws.

    But if... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:40:38 AM EST
    a majority of us actually grew a pair (one time!) and tried voting for one of the unwinnables, we'd find out for sure if a Nader would be just as bad.

    I admit I don't know if a Nader-type would be a real improvement or not...all I know is that we've tried the D/R thang and we know what that gets us.


    Nader (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:07:12 PM EST
    Nader or Kucinich or Howard Dean speak a language I can understand. I would much prefer any of them in office than Obama.

    But I feel more sorrow for the American people who are the subject of relentless propaganda telling us that we must vote for the lesser of the two biggest evils.

    We're still seeing people say that Obama is bad - but he's better than McCain would have been. As this fiasco unfolds, I'm not even certain of that.

    But maybe we can seriously think about fielding candidates who are not beholden to either the repubs or the dems.

    I must say that to my knowledge, Nader is the only person out there offering a blueprint for fielding third party candidates and organizing on a local level. Naturally, he is reviled by everybody.


    I know where you're coming from... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 03:28:28 PM EST
    it is no easy road to hoe breaking the two party duo-poly on government and media coverage.

    I just can't feel the same sorrow you do for the poor American people...this is exactly what we deserve if we can't make the least amount of effort to see past the propaganda and the framing.  I mean I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer and it's freakin' obvious to me the D/R shuffle ain't cutting it...the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.


    Quo Vadis (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:44:39 PM EST
    Everybody wakes up and sees past the propaganda and the rest. The question is - what do we do about it?

    Nader would advocate community organizing and fielding candidates that represent the people. I'm fer it...

    But I honestly don't know if it is too late for that.
    Some kind of revolution might be necessary.
    I believe some of the founders of the USA thought that revolution might be necessary from time to time.
    Overthrowing the government is rather appealing. The only trouble with it is the inevitability of bloodshed - big time. In the wink of an eye the police and military will crack heads as ferociously as they did during the Vietnam era.
    Getting the Police and the Military on the side of a democratic (small "d") revolution would be problematical. Would be nice tho.
    They are citizens, after all and as such get treated like sh't like the rest of us.

    Can you picture millions of people storming the Capitol building? Running into the corridors. Breaking into offices and throwing the bums out into the street - literally.

    Might make an interesting movie...

    I don't know what do to.
    That's why I can't condemn anyone else for doing the best they can under the circumstances.


    I condemn myself my friend... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    cuz I think the hard truth is we're well past due heeding Jefferson's advice...but I'm sitting on my arse listening to tunes pulling tubes rappin' with you.  

    You nailed it...the bloodshed, the prison terms...I can't get down for that, even it it probably needs doing...I'm a piker.  Live free under the radar, thats my motto.

    Despite all the tyranny-lite as I like to call it, life ain't half bad 'round here if you're lucky...even if you ain't got much by American standards you're doin' better than most of the world. It's gotta get a lot worse before it comes to that.

    And yeah...I have day-dreamed of a million people storming the capital, and even smiled. I hope that's not a crime yet:)


    At thr risk of having Andgarden (none / 0) (#38)
    by hairspray on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 05:52:04 PM EST
    telling me how bad ranked choice voting is, I will say it again.  The only way to destroy the evil that is dichotomous scoring is to replace it with polychotomous scoring.  Rank your choices 1-3 or 4 and then have the majority winner.  If no one wins 50 +1 on the first round, eliminate the lowest numbered candidate and distribute his/her second place votes to the remaining candidates until a 50% win occurs. In a theoretical mathematical model it has a slight flaw, but in the real world it eliminates a "spoiler" effect.  Remember Nader in Florida?  Had his second votes gone to Gore (as they no doubt would have) Gore would have been our president this decade. It can be done.  But it will take an incredible effort by the voters.  I also suggest the Democratic party eliminate the caucus system.  Talk about "playing the system."

    Alternatives To Obama (none / 0) (#35)
    by norris morris on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:16:02 PM EST
    Put Dean on this list. He's honest, inspiring, and knows what he's doing.

    And there are those we don't know yet. As Obamatons become disinchanted with the story they bought, a real leader might emerge who could run against Obama.

    If not I believe he's a one term president, and the Democrats will be back in political Siberia as a result of their cowardice and corrupt beholding to Big Wall Street, Drug and Insurance.

    Obama has not controlled the debate in any way.
    He just grades himself B+?


    They (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:46:24 AM EST
    They give us a choice of two deeply flawed potential employees and force us to choose between them. So we agree to hire one of them.

    Feingold (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 10:40:26 AM EST
    What could Feingold have done to prevent this debacle?

    I think it took some courage on his part to place the blame where it belongs - On Obama.

    Not been against reconciliation (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:08:41 AM EST
    Last I heard (5.00 / 9) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:25:21 AM EST
    Last I heard Obama was no longer in the Senate because he became the leader of the Democratic Party....but apparently one without any control whatsoever regarding anything his party policy-makers do.

    Poor pitiful powerless man.

    Which brings to mind (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    this part of Glenn's post today:

    After all, Congress is a separate branch of government, Obama doesn't have a vote, and 60 votes are needed to do anything.  How is it his fault if centrist Senators won't support what he wants to do?  Apparently, this is the type of conversation we're to believe takes place in the Oval Office:

    The President:  I really want a public option and Medicare buy-in.  What can we do to get it?

    Rahm Emanuel:  Unfortunately, nothing.  We can just sit by and hope, but you're not in Congress any more and you don't have a vote.  They're a separate branch of government and we have to respect that.

    The President:  So we have no role to play in what the Democratic Congress does?

    Emanuel:  No.  Members of Congress make up their own minds and there's just nothing we can do to influence or pressure them.

    The President:  Gosh, that's too bad.  Let's just keep our fingers crossed and see what happens then.

    In an ideal world, Congress would be -- and should be -- an autonomous branch of government, exercising judgment independent of the White House's influence, but that's not the world we live in.  Does anyone actually believe that Rahm Emanuel (who built his career on industry support for the Party and jamming "centrist" bills through Congress with the support of Blue Dogs) and Barack Obama (who attached himself to Joe Lieberman when arriving in the Senate, repeatedly proved himself receptive to "centrist" compromises, had a campaign funded by corporate interests, and is now the leader of a vast funding and political infrastructure) were the helpless victims of those same forces?  Engineering these sorts of "centrist," industry-serving compromises has been the modus operandi of both Obama and, especially, Emanuel.

    Glenn goes on to remind us of the power he used to strongarm reluctant freshman Dems to vote for his war funding bill - remember that?  The cross-us-and-you-will-never-hear-from-us-again strategy?
    Remember that?

    Yes, we know Barack Obama is no longer in the Senate - heck, Barack Obama was hardly in the Senate when he was in the Senate - so there should be even less surprise that, now that he is the president, leader of the Democratic Party, he's just sitting on the sidelines making people guess about which side he's on.

    I think there's a pretty convincing argument that what you're seeing from the Senate is exactly what Obama wanted all along.

    I think you (and Glenn ) nailed it (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:11:59 PM EST
    Since Obama was barely in the Senate when he was there, he doesn't have the alliances built, and certainly not the knowledge or personality to strong arm things through.  He apparently thinks it will be like his time in the Illinois Senate, where someone will spoon feed him the bills he wants.

    I fear (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by kidneystones on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:02:19 PM EST
    you're too generous, here.

    I appreciate your comment. However, Obama is about the farthest thing from a fool I can imagine.

    Ann Althouse, of all people, sensibly observes that HCR was bound to tar Dems badly. Obama has always been about the straddle and his behavior on HRC fits perfectly with his earlier record.

    Which issues, exactly, has he been way out in front on?

    I mean, ever.


    Agree with Feingold 100% (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Andy08 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 02:10:20 PM EST
    HCR needed real leadership from the president most and above all. President Obama's hands off approach to Congress is unforgivable....  Putting any on Feingold is besides the point imho.

    The more progressive members of (none / 0) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:38:59 AM EST
    both houses of Congress might as well fold up their tents, sit down and shut up and let people like Lieberman and Snowe write the legislation. Save time and embarrassment for them.

    Also from Glenn's post:

    Progressive opinion-makers, as always, signaled that they can and should be ignored (don't worry about us -- we're announcing in advance that we'll support whatever you feed us no matter how little it contains of what we want and will never exercise raw political power to get what we want; make sure those other people are happy but ignore us).

    I heard... (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:48:59 AM EST
    ...it's all Rahm's fault for being a big old wimp and not being more "Rove like".

    Obama-Lieberman (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:22:00 AM EST