Already I can feel the tug - the wealth of the nation flowing upward, out of the pockets of working men and women, retired men and women, unemployed men and women, into the pockets of the already fabulously wealthy.
The news this morning is devastating. Russ Feingold, the best thing in the Senate, the best thing for Wisconsin, acknowledging defeat. Defeat to a man who has presented no plan for how he will accomplish the few things he has promised. Russ, a constitutional scholar, man of integrity voting on principle not party politics, whose stands on the issues have always been thoughtful, whose principles are open for anyone to see, who actually reads legislation in total before voting - brought down by lies, ignorance, and slogans without substance.
"Career politician": Yes, Russ was in office for 18 years. But no explanation of why that is bad. Ever think about the influence he has had in the Senate? the committees he has worked on? all of what Wisconsin loses with him gone? You want term limits? Fine. You just got them, through voting, which is the way it should be done, not by legislation. I just wish someone suited to replacing him in office had done it.
"Votes the Democratic party line": Just plain lie. Anyone who claims this has obviously not followed his history in office. So many times he pissed off party faithful by voting on principle. Don't like the principle? Fine. Just say that instead of flinging out yet another meaningless slogan.
"Another tax and spend Democrat": Another lie. Again, his history in office. Virtually all of his spending bills and proposals and support of others' proposals, include a clause to pay for them.
"Out of touch with the people of Wisconsin": Yet another lie. Every year he travels to every portion of the state to listen to what the people have to say. Don't like his answers? Fine. Just say so and articulate why you don't like his answers instead of bouncing another slogan around.
Voted for the stimulus package. Yes. Again, a very principled, thoughtful vote. Evaluating advice from economists on how to keep the nation's economy from tipping over the precipice and falling into the chasm. Wrong vote? Fine, just say why, instead of just bundling your response into yet another slogan, "increased spending". Like "cut taxes", meaningless unless you explain why this is good for the country. At least Russ explains why he votes the way he does. Then you can thoughtfully evaluate his record. Unless, of course, you are satisfied with empty slogans.
Voted against the PATRIOT Act. Yes, everybody knows that. But how many have actually evaluated his reason for doing so? Not hard to do. He explained himself many many times in public. He agreed with the bulk of the legislation, but felt the invasions of privacy far exceeded the value to security. Take those few provisions out, or modify them, and he would have voted for the act - wanted to vote for it without chipping away at constitutional rights. Did you do that evaluation? Ron Johnson didn't . For him, "Voted against the PATRIOT Act" was sufficient reason to boot Russ out of office.
Removing Russ is the newest egregious case of ordinary people voting against their best interests. I could accept his defeat if a truly worthy candidate had been running against him. Ron Johnson was nothing of the sort. Anybody out there see them face to face answering probing questions? Russ had thoughtful, consistent responses while Ron just trotted out the slogans. (Complain about following the party line? Ron's platform was cut taxes, cut spending, reduce the size of government, with no substance behind it, with no articulated plan for accomplishing these goals - pure Republican nonsense.)
See the pattern here? Republicans as usual revved up the slogan machines to blast peoples' ears with white noise, and the people, convinced by nothing except rallying cries, voted for the slogan machines.
Do you actually believe this new senator is going to lower your taxes? Create jobs? (He says government doesn't create jobs, business does; yet he also says as a senator he will work to create jobs; anyone see the inconsistency here?) Anyone confident he will work to help the unemployed, the retired, the poor and the middle class get out of the mess caused by Wall Street, bankers, and incompetent government oversight, while those very Wall Street entities and bankers now pocket even more of the nation's wealth than before the crisis they caused? Take a look at Russ's record on all of this. Whenever there was a conflict between business interests and you and me, he has always put our interests and needs first. Yet he supported business interests when they benefit the people. That is what government should be doing.
Why am I saying this now? when the shouting is done? when Russ is already a lame duck? Why not say it before the election, in an attempt to sway other citizen votes? Well, actually, I have been saying it, many times. But in the end in today's America, there is no defeating the slogan machines. Apparently not enough Wisconsinites care to think beyond those machines, or care that they are actually voting against their best interests.
So, there you have it. This is what Wisconsin wants, this is what Wisconsin gets, and this is what Wisconsin is foisting on the nation.
America, Wisconsin - Welcome to Kansas!
- Lone Coyote Calls