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Friday, May 19, 2006

My Man Russ

(Keywords: , , , , , gaming the political system)

More evidence that Russ Feingold did the right thing by storming out of a secret senate panel vote on a gay marriage ban amendment. CNN's head curmudgeon, Jack Cafferty, offers this sardonic report:

Wolf, Today's lesson in hypocrisy comes to us courtesy of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They met in a different private room behind closed doors today and approved a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. at one point the thing got pretty ugly. A shouting match, between the Republican Chairman Senator Arlen Spector and Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who said he was against the Amendment as well as Spector's decision to hold the vote in a private room out of the public's view.

These guys are shameless. Feingold eventually stormed out telling Spector "I've enjoyed your lecture Mr Chairman. See ya."

Senator Spector in a real show of courage, says that he is "totally opposed to the Amendment", but he voted for it anyway saying that it deserves a debate in the Senate. Majority Leader Bill Frist says the full Senate will now debate a Constitutional Amendment which has absolutely no chance of passing. Frist hopes to have a vote by June 5th.

This is all being done by the republican majority in an effort to appeal to Right-wing nuts in the Republican Party ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections. Ignore all of the pressing issues facing the country, and instead go grovel at the feet of the lunatic fringe. Senator Frist should be very proud of himself. That's leadership. Here's the question: Is now the time for the Senate to consider a constitutional Amendment on gay marriage?

Feingold was shrewd here. If he hadn't walked out of the vote, no one would've even known it was happening. He forced the issue into public view.

This is why I like Russ. In conversation, I always refer to him as 'my man Russ'. He's not always where I want him to be (Feingold was the only democratic senator to vote to advance John Ashcroft's nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee, for example), but he's right a lot more often than he's wrong.

And, as he's shown with the gay marriage amendment, he's as calculating as any roman senator. He knows how to play the game. He ran on campaign finance reform and cosponsored McCain/Feingold in his first term. Inarguably, Feingold is effective.

There are several movements to recruit Russ to run for president in '08. My man Russ is who I want to run. Visit or to get started.

I've said it before, Russ is the real deal.