Friday, September 09, 2005

Senator Feingold: LaFollette? Or McCarthy?

Senator Russell Feingold, Democratic senator from Wisconsin, has called for President Bush to withdraw all troops from Iraq by 31 December 2006.

Russell Feingold also knows Wisconsin’s storied history of senators. There was Robert “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, a Progressive. LaFollette is considered among the pantheon of great United States senators. Mr. Feingold would like people to think of him in this light.

Then there was Joseph “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy. You know him as the 1950’s senator on a hunt for Communists in Washington, DC, in Hollywood, even in the army. McCarthy met his match when he went after the army.

It’s interesting that both of these senators have martial nicknames.

My grandmother went to school with Joe. She never had a kind word about him. She never mentioned, though, if she ever voted for him. She usually voted Republican and Joe ran as a Republican.

Back to Feingold. His announcement is met as a “bold, decisive move.” Well, all things considered and being relative, it’s a bold move for a senator. It also plays to the Democratic Party base. Remember Howard Dean? He had the same philosophy and the same initial burst in his campaign. Then, before you can say “ARRRRRGGGGHHHH” Dean lost the Iowa caucuses and tailspinned into political oblivion. Oh, sure, he runs the Democratic party now, but what type of position is that? And if the Dems lose more seats in 2006, he might be gone before he finishes his next “yell.”

Mr. Feingold, meanwhile, takes on an issue where he feels he is in a majority. The thing is, it’s not practical and it’s not consistent.

The impracticality of the plan is that the insurgents (really imported terrorists—and there are imported terrorists in Afghanistan as well, so don’t get started on the Iraq War making life more dangerous for Iraqis. The mass graves seem to tell me that the Iraqis weren’t much safer before the invasion) will wait out events until the US armed forces leave. Then they will step into the vacuum and take control. Meanwhile America’s credibility will be ruined. We already betrayed the Iraqi people by not taking out Saddam in 1991.

The inconsistency in this proposal is that Mr. Feingold is singling out this one area where American troops are stationed. Mr. Feingold, why not bring home the troops in Afghanistan? Or Korea? Or Europe? Why just Iraq? Hmmm? And please, no form letters from your staff. You insult me and my intelligence.

No, Mr. Feingold, you are more “Tailgunner Joe” than “Fighting Bob.” You might think you’re progressive, but you have not come up with any ideas that are in the best interests of our nation. Your bill, the McCain-Feingold bill, proved unable to keep “big money” out of politics; if anything, more money poured into politics with no restraint for what was said. Your insistence that the PATRIOT Act is wholly wrong is also unwarranted. Read what Lincoln did during the Civil War and how “unconstitutional” many of his actions were. The Union survived, our rights remain intact, and Mr. Lincoln is revered as a great president.

And now you want to betray the Iraqi people.

Haven’t the Iraqi people suffered long enough? At long last, sir, haven’t they suffered long enough?

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