Russ Feingold Hits John Edwards
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 07:24:24 PM EST
Listening to the rhetoric and proposals of the leading Democratic candidates, one comes to the conclusion (or at least I do) that John Edwards is running both the most populist and progressive campaign. But Russ Feingold, perhaps the Senate's leading progressive and a man that a lot of folks would have liked to have seen run this time, comes to a clearly different conclusion about Edwards:
The one that is the most problematic is (John) Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war ... He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record.
When you had the opportunity to vote a certain way in the Senate and you didn't, and obviously there are times when you make a mistake, the notion that you sort of vote one way when you're playing the game in Washington and another way when you're running for president, there's some of that going on.
That's some pretty blistering stuff -- and from someone with a lot of credibility, someone, perhaps even more importantly, who is not making an endorsement in the race. And, frankly, it's kind of hard to argue with what Feingold has to say. That doesn't necessarily mean that Edwards is running a disingenuous campaign or that, as President, he would not lead in a very progressive way. Nevertheless, when someone with Feingold's standing and comes out with such blunt and strong language -- and backs it up with real tangible facts, in this case in the form of votes on the Senate floor -- it's worth paying heed.