"I don’t like Uncle Russ!"
Don’t look now, but Republicans are very worried about Russ and his censure motion.
Let’s begin with Feingold’s trip back to Wisconsin’s rural communities for his listening sessions while on break.
Seems he got extended applause after talking about his censure motion in a county that voted 58% for Bush.
And now, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the weak, Rubber Stamp Republican party is gearing up to run attacks ads against Russ back in Wisconsin. But they’re doing that, not because they fear Feingold, but because Ken Mehlman’s ex-beau lives in Baraboo and Ken wants his Judy at Carnegie Hall CD back. Yup. Nothing to see here. Move along.
And Bill Kristol doesn’t think the censure motion plays to Democratic strength either. He was doing a reverse double-whammy psyche job on Brit Hume to get him to use his massa voice with Juan Williams. Just good Republican yucks. Those crazy boys!
And Cocktail Cokie, that Potomac River of DC gossip, was just being a mischievous raconteuse when she talked about the smart, effective politics of censure for Democrats. Too many morning mimosas, dontcha know!
Staffers and consultants on the Hill are just beginning to calm down from being livid with Feingold for sandbagging them with censure on Sunday morning television. But as they slowly decaffeinate, they’re beginning to realize the politics of censure are good for them. Remember, they left Murtha out on his own at first, too. Now, redeployment enjoys majority support.
All reports are that calls to the Senate last week were overwhelmingly in favor of censure (I love you guys!), and I would bet folks back home are telling their senators a fair amount of what Feingold is hearing out in the dairy farms this week.
Here’s an idea for you senators who would like to catch up to this train, even if you’re not ready to jump aboard just yet: you can make very senatorial statements about the stakes and the grave nature of a president acting outside the law, calling for careful study or an eventual vote on Feingold’s resolution. Of course, it won’t happen for a while, but you can at least move things forward a little. You know how to do these things, and it will buy you some time while paving your way to do the right (and politically smart) thing later. If you need some tips, our friend Armando has some for you.
A final note to our friends in DC: the threat that your base will be demoralized and not show up in sufficient numbers to give you a the gains you want in November is real. Read our commenters here. A bunch of them get mad at me because I try to keep everyone on the bus in support of reform for the long haul, but you sure as hell don’t give me much to work with. The activist base that generally supports the Democratic party is angry, but anger does not get them and their friends to the polls. Hope for real change and standing up for Constitutional balance will.
Our people give money, make calls, volunteer and get out the vote. But they won’t do all those things in large numbers if Democrats refuse to fight. Feingold didn’t get in the way of Republican self-destruction. He poured gas on their burning house. We could destroy the Rubber Stamp Republican majority a lot more effectively if you would grab some kerosene too.
Understand this: Republicans are weak. Republican government has failed. Bush lost Iraq.
We, the grassroots activist base, are strong.
And we will win this fight for the country.
UPDATE: In his update today, Glenn Greenwald points out that the weak, loser, Rubberstamp Republicans can’t attack the censure motion without lying about what it says. For the record, we all support domestic surveillance, as long as it is conductied within the framework of the law.
UPDATE II: Matt Stoller reports that fundraising for the DCCC and the DSCC is a bit down. Want to know why? The activist base right now is supporting 1) individual candidates, 2) Feingold’s Progressive Patriots and 3) the DNC, in pretty much that order. Want some of our money, Rahm and Chuck? Fight for progressive principles. The base will reward you.