So, what exactly is a populist?

The subtitle on a recent Mother Jones on-line article about Kathleen Falk described her as a “progressive populist”, right under the major headline that labeled her a “labor-backed liberal.”

Kathleen Falk is a former Dane County Executive running to be the Democratic candidate against Scott Walker in the upcoming recall election. She’s a good person, a strong candidate, and definitely a progressive. I would be happy to vote for her if she is the one to ultimately face off against Scott Walker, but populist?

When I think populist I think of someone a bit more removed from the power brokers. Kathleen Falk is seeking support from traditional Democratic sources, collecting endorsements from labor organizations, and working her contacts within the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Those strategies might be the most effective ones at this unique time in Wisconsin history, and they might win Falk the election, but they aren’t those of a populist.

Maybe I have an out-dated concept of what that word means. So what exactly is a populist? Dictionary.com lists the following as the first modern definition for “populism”:

any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.

I’m not sure the phrase “any of various…” is an effective way to begin defining something, but the rest of the definition would seem to fit the way traditional media and political pundits labeled Ross Perot during his independent run for President in 1992. I remember the implication when “experts” called him a populist. They were being dismissive, suggesting that populism meant appealing only to the unsophisticated.

I’ve also seen the term used as a gentler way of saying panderer. When Newt Gingrich recently promised $2.50-per-gallon gasoline if he is elected President, he was pandering. Some media figures, however, have described his pandering behavior as “populist.” Huh? Robert M. La Follette was a populist. Russ Feingold is a populist. Newt Gingrich is a panderer. (I’ve heard “grifter” too, but I think that’s harsh.)

Here are the other definitions of small “p” populism on dictionary.com:

“grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism.”

“representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc.”

That’s getting closer, but there’s something missing in those definitions when I think of a figure like “Fighting Bob” La Follette. Here’s my definition:

A populist has the faith of the people, and has faith in the people. A populist is a leader who amplifies the message of the people until it cannot be ignored by those in power. A populist exposes fundamental flaws in the established social order in a way that boosts his or her popularity among those whose interests are being ignored or minimized. A populist uses that popularity as the main asset in political campaigns rather than relying primarily on money and connections. Finally, a populist offers solutions that go beyond altering policies by making fundamental changes in power structures.

Promising cheap gasoline is not populism. Populism is voicing the frustration of people who are just trying to get to work every day and are tired of being victims of oil companies, then calling for major changes like limits on oil speculation.

I haven’t seen anyone mentioned as a candidate for the Wisconsin gubernatorial race that I would call a populist…yet. While popularity alone doesn’t make one a populist, it’s a required element, and the most popular potential candidates have all said they will not run. We are seeing the maturing of a new populist movement in Wisconsin, though. Maybe one of the leaders who gained exposure from that movement can attain the title of Wisconsin’s next great populist. Maybe by running for governor and winning.

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Protesting Scott Walker
photo above by Dave Hoefler on Flickr

Dear Russ: An Open Letter to Russ Feingold

Dear Russ,

We know you have said repeatedly that you would not run for public office in 2012, and we have tried repeatedly to respect and honor that. But over and over again the idea comes sailing back, that the one person who would be best for Wisconsin in this exceptional historical moment, for so many reasons, is you.

Feingold
Photo courtesy of the Run, RUSS, Run Facebook page.

Yesterday’s decisive millionfold denunciation of the Fitzwalker regime underscores what a historic moment this is, not only in Wisconsin history, but in U.S. history. Recall elections in themselves are quite rare, and this may very well be the most extraordinary of all. There’s no question but that this represents a singular opportunity for the people of Wisconsin. After having sustained so many wounds at the hands of the soon-to-be former regime, Wisconsin is in need of healing. There are a multitude of reasons why so many of us find ourselves looking to you, not to save us, but to lead us as we seek to clear up the rubble and reassert the values we hold most dear.

We know you and we trust you. As our senator, you listened to us. You respected us. And you proved yourself to be an effective advocate for us. What we said and needed mattered to you. This is in stark contrast to the Fitzwalkers’ refusal to listen to or care about the concerns of the people of Wisconsin.

You have a proven record of bipartisan cooperation, as evidenced in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform of 2002. The Fitzwalkers have been nothing if not divisive. But here in Wisconsin we have a tradition of listening to each other and working together, regardless of ideology and party affiliation, and we desperately need to return to that tradition of mutual respect and cooperation.

It’s truly a wonder that any sane, decent person would want to run for office in this country’s current political climate, which resembles nothing so much as Hurricane Katrina in more ways than one. So really, we can understand why you’d want to be shut of it. But alas, your reticence to run is evidence of your sanity and decency and is, in fact, one of the best reasons why you are our first choice.

Scott Walker is bad for Wisconsin in large part because of his overreaching power grabs. He is more of a despot than a governor. He listens only to the 1 percent (as evidenced by his scandalous public conversation with pseudo-Koch), and he treats the rest of us with utter disdain and contempt. And here you are, resisting the pursuit of political power. Nothing convinces us more thoroughly that you are the man of the moment.

Those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who … have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well. —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

We know there are other good candidates that could run against Walker. But none of them would inspire us and energize us as much as you would. None would have our confidence or enthusiasm as much as you would. There’s no one we would fight harder for or be prouder of.

Maybe if this were an ordinary election in a less turbulent time, we would be satisfied with a good candidate and celebrate your new role as our fellow activist. But this is no ordinary time, and we need more than an ordinary candidate to run against Walker.

Feingold 2012

Many of the other possibilities would be good. But you would be great. And that’s what the people of Wisconsin long for and need in this critical moment. Please, please, let us sweep you into office and lead us as we begin a new era in Wisconsin history. Listen to us as you once did.

Run, Russ! Run!

My Plea to Russ Feingold by Tom T. C.

This is a brief note from an online friend. I think thousands of Wisconsinites would cosign his message.

I can’t believe that you would read this Mr. Feingold, but I am writing anyway. I have been gathering recall signatures (as many of us are) and the number one question is always “who will run against walker?”. Many names easily flow off of my tongue, but the absolute choice of the thousands of people I have spoken with is you!!! Our State is in grave danger of becoming something that will be almost impossible to repair in a reasonable amount of time, and we need you to step up and do what is right for the State. I have always respected your positions and your abilities, and now I need you to take the helm of this run away ship, and steer us back on to the “correct” path. FEINGOLD FOR GOVERNOR!!! Thank you for your service

from guest writer, Tom T. C.

Care for a flashback?

The crowd was begging Russ Feingold to run in June in Walkerville. I was one of the “press” crowding around him to double-check just one more time if he would run.

Russ Feingold and Firefighters visited Walkerville

A few videos from yesterday at Walkerville. The second video, which is the full speech delivered by Russ Feingold, is from Defend Wisconsin.

When Russ walked into the space people became alert and electrified. A woman standing in front of me would interject “YES!!” and “THANK YOU!!” regularly.

In this first video Russ says “we will not give up until this law is reversed”, referring to Wisconsin Act 10. He denies that he gave something of a campaign speech when asked by the press. “I’m a private citizen right now.” He steers clear of campaign questions, saying he’s thinking more about corporate power’s attempt to dominate our state and America.

In this next 8 minute video, Russ starts a speech with questions that people can yell a response to:

“Why are we still here? Why am I here today? Why are we here today? Why are we in a place called Walkerville today?!”

Out of the cacophony of voices, I hear the responses:

“Because you’re going to be governor!”

“To fight this budget!”

“Justice!”

“Because you care” “Because we care”

Russ Feingold responds, “I’ll tell you why we’re here. We’re here because we will not stop until we win, until this is over.”

This next video shows approximately 600 firefighters marching down State Street, past Walkerville, and around the Capitol. They ultimately held a ceremony on the rooftop of the Monona Convention Center for fallen firefighters.

A series of obsessive moments in time…WI election results about 10 PM

Tonight my boyfriend tries to talk to me about Vietnamese coffee and I am nodding my head and smiling and pretending to not be thinking of exit polls….

Following are some conclusions drawn at approx. 10 PM on election night & the twitters that inspired them.

Ron Johnson defeats Russ Feingold [Oh! The humanity!]

Feingold lost to money. Not a person, to money.

I’m seriously saddened by that. I can take Republicans winning, I can take Democrats losing. Whatever. But Russ Feingold was a treasure.

Seriously???? Feingold loses by 15? I hope you idiots are happy with Johnson. Good thing I’m leaving, the state is going to hell

Only 29% reporting but it does look dire. If Johnson does win, nation, please accept my personal apology as a Wisconsinite. #wivote

Kind & Kapanke. Too close to call? 9:55PM

NBC reports tight WI House District 3 race (R) Dan Kapanke 50% (D)Ron Kind 47% with 32% reporting.

Professional lumberjack Sean Duffy to win Obey’s old seat.

jlsisc: Seriously, people – Sean Duffy from Real World: Boston is pretty close to winning a seat in the House. #WhatHasTheWorldComeTo

Walker beats Barrett for Governor spot. But will there be a concession phonecall?

jamesebriggs: Could be interesting night if Democrat Barrett maintains defiance in not conceding race to Republican Walker#wigov #wivote #wipolitics

Hassett pounded out of Attorney General Seat

jenayres: AP GOP Atty.Gen. J.B. Van Hollen defeated Democrat Scott Hassett to win a second term. Van Hollen has 63.5% to Hassett‘s 36.5%

Medical Marijuana Referendum [Non-binding] Is a “Go”

@PunditNation: Turnout in Dane County is high due to themedical marijuana vote. There’s been a call for extra ballots, extra crunchy Cheetos. #wipolitics

Manski Makes Good Showing in the 77th…but loses.

: Early projections: Brett 49% Manski 

32%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29 minutes ago via Facebook · Reply · View Tweet

Canvassing on porches & Polls are positive: Feingold and Barrett

Photo from aflcio of flickr under creative commons license.

The good news is that Feingold and Johnson show as 2 points apart by the St. Norbert poll and Tom Barrett and Scott Walker are about 9 points apart with a 5% margin of error, using landline phones.

This is great! But can you imagine how great those numbers would be if they texted us on our cell phones too? I haven’t had a land line phone in *5 years* I have a cell phone and I never talk on it because I don’t have to. This is the age of Tivo and text. We don’t talk, watch, or listen until we’re darned ready to! I use my phone to send texts…just like my 21-year-old son.  And my 45 year old partner.

Stealing a play from the “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” folk:  “We’re young. We’re digital. Get used to it!!”

In other news, I am out canvassing. I want to tell you, dear bloggers and digerati, it is a good and enlightening thing to get out there and talk to real people! As you might guess, I am not supposed to give out all details but I can say:

-Russ Feingold has strong name recognition amongst voters who say they are completely undecided and uninformed on all other political matters.

-Undecided voters don’t hate politics with a passion. They seem open and curious when they talk to me. But to give this some perspective, I am not a noisy attack ad backed by a shadowy organization. I am a civil human who speaks reasonably well, and is open to responses and questions. I am not twisting arms. I am giving concise information. A lighter touch works. It is already a powerful thing that I have physically transported myself to their porches in the name of what I care about.

-Female voters are not the “Jobs, jobs, jobs” type. I surmise that is because we are often still left holding the bag with life’s untidy and unwieldy issues like building community, making doctor appointments, taking care of aging family members, educating kids and keeping the air clean enough to give those kids a place to play.  Us domestic engineers have no choice but to worry about “domestic policies”.

-I thought undecided voters had to be uneducated and poor. WRONG. Undecided voters are not dumb. They are busy. They are working hard. They are cleaning the house. They have nice yards and decent cars and they do enjoy talking about politics a little when somebody stops by.

So to conclude: Commit to 1 or 2 days of actual talking to human beings on the phone or in person about politics. Escape the echo chamber with Feingold’s campaign or Barrett’s.

Senator Russ Feingold wins debate number two against Tea Party contender, Ron Johnson

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin won his second debate against a Tea Party-backed manufacturer from Osh Kosh, Ron Johnson. Senator Feingold came on strong but had a conversational tone, and smoothly navigated the freeform debate sections while Johnson tripped over his words.Feingold supporters applauded when Feingold cornered Johnson on the issue of shadow money and whoops and cheers erupted at the end of the debate, making the room sound like the Monday night football game they were ignoring for the evening. (CSPAN video here).

Things got very interesting in the final 10 minutes when the moderator asked, “According to analysts corporate money is helping Republicans over Democrats by a wide margin. Why is that?”

Ron Johnson answered and set himself up for a fall by calling for doing away with McCain-Feingold and demanding immediate transparency. Feingold then dogged him to just stop taking money from shadowy out of state sources the same way Feingold has.

When Johnson said that it is a matter of freedom for companies and people to fund campaigns as they desire, Feingold asked Johnson repeatedly, “Will you ask them to stop?” and hearing no “yes”, he addressed the audience, “The guy who wants to be our U.S. Senator will not ask them [shadow funders] to stop…He hides behind attack ads with money from out of state…”

Johnson sounded whiny when he said,” I can’t because of the Feingold-McCain law,” which Johnson claimed selects “who can have free speech” through campaign finance controls. To which Feingold replied,  “This is not my law. This has nothing to do with the McCain Feingold law.” Feingold also pushed Johnson to demand that shadow funders disclose the origins of their money and share this information publicly. He pressed Johnson repeatedly simply saying, “Disclose. ” Johnson finally stammered “Disclose” and then “I want to disclose”, to which the audience roared with applause.

( This exchange on funding seemed less a debate and more a spat between two guys. You’ll see select pieces of the debates in commercials for Feingold. He did not agree to refrain from using footage as is traditional in Wisconsin.)

The panel of journalists asked intelligently crafted questions and Glen Moberg of Wisconsin Public Radio moderated. MoveOn.org showed up with signs. and the auditorium buzzed with Feingold supporters. Instead of the rigidly monitored first debate last Friday, this second face-off was open enough in format to allow Feingold to set up strategy and verbally spar.  Johnson got rope-a-doped especially in the end when Feingold cornered Johnson into agreeing to divulge where his shadow money comes from.

I was delighted when Rob Mentzer of the Wausau Daily Herald asked Ron Johnson to explain why he thinks Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged is a foundational book. I despise Ayn Rand for preaching amoral selfishness and I was hoping Johnson would misstep here. He didn’t do as horribly as I’d hoped, but he did set up Feingold nicely for his own characterization of Johnson as a sort of amoral character out of Rand’s books.

Johnson: “…[the character] Atlas represents ‘the producers’ of the country. “Shrugged” means that they are so overburdened that at some point they shrug. They quit. .They don’t quit all at once. They quit one by one. The book talks about what happens to the producers in society when they quit. Again, because they’ve been so over-burdened by rules and regulations and taxes. It’s a warning. … That is why from my standpoint, Atlas Shrugged is a huge warning about what could happen in this country.”

Feingold: “Well I believe in a community. I believe in the community of Wisconsin. And I give you credit for being consistent with Atlas Shrugged. We believe that the producers are a very special group of people. I guess that they’re better than the rest of us. So if things aren’t going their way you take the position that people shouldn’t have unemployment compensation because your view has been that they just don’t want to work. You oppose minimum wage. You support trade agreements that ship tens of thousands of jobs of many of the people in this community overseas and you say, “Well, I’m a producer so that’s good because it’s creative destruction and it will all work out in the end”. Well it might work out in the end for you and other peolpe who are very well-to-do and fortunate. What about the other people in the community. Who are suffering.  I don’t think that these people should be allowed to not work if they can work. I know people in Wisconsin. They want to work. But these policies that you support are making it impossible for these hard working Wisconsinites to make a decent living, and I assume that makes them shrug as well.”

Feingold seemed to enter a state of grace as the debate unfolded, even able to sidestep gracefully Johnson asking him why he did not vote with 24 other senators to condemn MoveOn.org’s full-page “General Betray Us” newspaper ad. Without pausing Feingold jokingly chastised Johnson for assuming that he did not have better things to do in the senate than work on job creation and the deficit, and he asserted that he’s not supposed to waste time trying to keep people from saying what they want. I would not have been surprised if he had then walked over to Johnson and given him a pat on the head.

Russ Feingold remembered to not let Johnson be the only one to laud our men and women in service. Feingold crowed a bit about helping them when they get home with the three Veterans Centers he has opened or plans to open and he snuck in mention of his recent award as #1 legislator in the country in service to Veterans. Feingold defended the healthcare bill with greater confidence, and emphasized that it is letting consumers gain more control over insurance companies. And yet again, we heard Ron Johnson say that climate change projections are based on questionable science.

Some tweets, and a picture from debate #2:

illusory_tenant
illusory tenant | Milwaukee, WIFollowing

Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson frisked for pocket Constitutions at UWMC campus; ‘He’s clean,’ reports security  about 3 hours ago

CrassPolitical: Wis.Sen.debate merry-go-round on outside ads.4 times Feingold queried,”will you ask them to stop?”And 4 times Johnson invoked”free speech”
about 2 hours ago via web · Reply · View Tweet

To summarize Johnson: talking points and non sensical ramblings about a atlas shrugging it’s shoulders…or something like that
about 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone


It’s not an enthusiasm gap. It’s a WTF gap. : The Tea Party drives the Russ Feingold/Ron Johnson debate

I had a weekend in the wilderness of Wisconsin without internet right after Friday’s Feingold Johnson debate. What I experienced was first, withdrawal, and second, clear thinking.

You know, I have decided something. We do not have an enthusiasm gap here. We have a “What the fuck” gap here. [Which I will forthwith call “WTF” for the sensitive.] And by that I mean, our Wisconsin voters are just now figuring out that the Tea Party is now driving the Feingold campaign. Because it’s driving the conversation. And that the Tea Party is not that loose band of tricorner-hat-wearing dudes. It is the right wing Christian flag-hugging bloc that wants to put the ladies in the kitchen, ask for your copy of the pocket constitution, and dog you to wear a handgun on your hip…well maybe if you’re white.

First off, the debate was held in Milwaukee but the 3 journalists asking the questions were from areas geographically parallel to WauSau. Or you might say “from Central Wisconsin”. I grew up on the 45th parallel, but I got out.

The moderators were Stacy Engebretson, Greg Stensler, and Dan Lea. Stacy is with WGBA NBC TV channel 26 where what Bret Farve has had for breakfast has dominated for decades, so I won’t pick on, I’ll instead pity. Greg Stenzler is with a Fond du Lac station playing rock classics, some CBS feel-good news from Charles Osgood, and the Huckaby report which is 2 shades more conservative than Paul Harvey was. Mr. Glenn Lea comes from WAYY where Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are broadcast daily. Urf.

Second, this was not a debate because no rejoinders were allowed. It was a corraling of candidates and their comments. Thus offering protection to the easily tongue-tangled Ron Johnson.

And thirdly, the arrows that should slice through your little progressive heart are some of the questions chosen.

We heard “do we repeal the new healthcare bill or repair it or allow it to play out”. We should hear, “1 out of 4 Wisconsinites under 65 years of age are uninsured. What are you going to do to get health insurance to all of these Wisconsinites?”

We heard “Do you believe in global warming?”. It should be “We are at 390 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now and life as we know it on the planet has evolved to function in a climate holding under 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere so what do we do to preserve LIFE ON THE PLANET AS WE KNOW IT?. ”

Yeah. That’s a downer. This would be more humorous, “97% of climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is real. What other generally acknowledged bits of science do you object to?”

And most disturbing: the way that both candidates fell all over themselves to express warmly their affiliation with the tea party [See it yourself, please. CSPAN’s viewer works. Visit the 28 minute mark]. Because as you and I know, only the Tea Party hates a deficit, desires low taxes, and loves their guns. Politico’s article on this said Feingold was “courting” the Tea Party. That was kind. They could have used the verb “pander”.

Who is to blame? Yes the Koch brothers pumping millions into this state, and yes the flag-waving angry over-50’s and their Christian wives who’ve been storming the marble halls, and also you and I for being civil well-read individuals wringing our hands instead of getting out there and shaking hands.

Offering a little levity, there was this one-upmanship around the constitution that would be comical if this election wasn’t an important matter. Feingold, we found out, drives around with a copy of the constitution in his car. The Johnson claims that he’s carried a copy of the pocket constitution for years. Yeah, yeah. WHATEVER.

And Feingold and Johnson answered that stem cell question. Nobody cares to contest this research but the right wing pro-lifers. Most other citizens see this as another area of science with potential to save lives and make money.

Today it’s the pocket constitution, tomorrow it’s going to be “the pocket bible”. Today it’s asking the candidate to prove his pro-gun creds, and tomorrow it’s “Candidate, what gun are you packing?” and I assume that’ll be open carry style.

Even in this dark classroom, I want to be a good student. And I know you’re a good student. You read. But getting an “A” on our assessments of this debate and the play by play and the next and the next isn’t the job. Because it’s a little late for logic, it’s time for alarm. Like I said before, “WTF”

Here’s Democurmudgeon’s play-by-play of the debate.And you can easily hop around the Friday October 8 debate video tape of the debate here at C-SPAN.

Tonight’s 10/11  7pm CST debate may be found at Wisconsin Public Radio and at Wausau’s WSAW TV.

A Feingold fan sorts out the Senator’s strategy

Russ and Steve of UppityWis.org at Netroots Wisconsin.

Update 09/30: MoveOn.Org alert-Feingold’s race needs your boost. Consider a donation here today. Thanks.

I was at Netroots Wisconsin on Saturday 9/25. Our hosts were UppityWisconsin blog owners Steve and Lori Hanson who drove down to Madison from Northwestern Wisconsin.

While I have much to say about Netroots, I’ll cut to my report on Russ Feingold.

I was excited to see Russ in one of his signature short-sleeved plaid shirts (Hey. I’m a fan, remember?) We stood to applaud when he entered and when he left.

This is the guy who voted against the Patriot Act. He voted against TARP a.k.a. the bank bail-out. Certainly he may be too pro-gun for most of us. Sure he recently held out on voting for Wall Street regulation with little visible strategy. But this guy is our maverick,  unshackled from corporate obligations.

So let’s play the game “I am Russ Feingold”. Pretend YOU are there to talk to eager writers this close to November and you’re running a against a rich contender somehow capable of both putting a silver foot in his mouth AND remaining the darling of the AARP set and the Tea Party set. (Are they still separate groups?)

Here’s what I’d do.

1) Deny that I’m in the fight of my life. 2) Present myself as incredibly confident. 3) Lay out a convincing plan of attack.  4) Repeat the right phrases. And make those phrases a call to action.

Goal #1: Done. He denied there is an “enthusiasm gap” by proclaiming his 1 day online fund-raising effort the “cheddarbomb” a powerful grassroots success.  In 24 hours, 10,000 contributions brought in $530,000. Point 2-According to Russ, if you poll people who plan to vote in November, he is in a tie with Johnson. But he asked us to consider that if you also ask people who voted 2 yrs ago or who say they “may vote”, he is 20 points ahead.

Goal #2: Not done. His delivery was more forced than confident. Probably just timing. We were getting Russ after 3pm at the end of a very long weekend.

Goal #3: Onto a plan. He proposed that we gear up for a voting MONTH starting October 4th and get voting parties together for absentee voting.  I imagine rounding up friends, driving to city hall, filling out papers, and going out for a beer after.

This could be fun. But it reminds me of rounding up people who are afraid to vote. Has that Selma, Alabama feel to it. So what’s wrong with the regular voting day, you may ask?

Given evidence gathered by One Wisconsin Now, there are Republican Party, Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity plans to suppress the minority and college student vote.  Their technique is called “voter caging”.  It’s designed to confuse the heck out of inexperienced voters. The would-be cagers say they threw out their nefarious plan. Whether that is truth or merely truthiness, the Feingold campaign is taking no chances. Their web site team is planning a head-em-off-at-the-pass & prepping plenty of info on absentee voting.
Goal #4: The right phrases?
a. Oil.
He said Ron Johnson sold his BP stock to fund his campaign. Therefore it’s a campaign supported by oil. I hate to write it because I am a big environmentalist,  but the oil spill is already history. 😦

b. Trade agreements and Jobs.
Ron Johnson called NAFTA “creative destruction”, or in other words, destroying jobs for a greater good.  Russ voted against every single trade agreement. He asked us, “now if you can not get people out to vote when Ron Johnson is asking for creative destruction…” Uhhh. There is logic here. But I hear no call to action.
c.Healthcare.

You would think this would be the meaty part. The healthcare law that Feingold did vote for is really helping people who desperately need it. But opponent Ron Johnson wants to eliminate it.

Healthcare has become the issue de jour for the Ron Johnson campaign. It’s the issue that angered Pewaukee residents who ganged up on Russ at an ugly meeting in January. But instead of healthcare for all – or just “more” – the other side is assured this is money out of their pockets to care for undeserving people. Nameless,  faceless OTHERS.
I pose that the question is can Russ and the Dems get enough individuals who benefit from what kicked in on September 23rd to step forward and give Obamacare credit where credit is due?  Is your cousin getting to stay on his mom’s insurance because of this bill? Is a neighbor’s child going to have the right to be insured even though he’s a hemophiliac –  due to this bill?
How the heck are Dems at this point? Today a Salon writer boils it down to Obama’s administration running messages principally through the Times”.
The New York Times?? It’s time for the trenches. Dirty places like …my car. I’ll be cleaning it out so I can load it up with voters. Care to join me?
Fasten those seatbelts. This campaign is going to be a bumpy ride.