Thursday, March 16, 2006

Man on Fire--Russ Has Had Enough

When I first read this:

I'm amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president's numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide...too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they'll say we'd better just focus on domestic issues...[Democrats shouldn't] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question administration, you're helping the terrorists.

I assumed Atrios was linking to comments from another blogger.

He wasn't. The remarks came from a sitting member of the U.S. Senate. You'll forgive my surprise. It's been a long time since I'd heard anything with this much starch coming from a party spokesman. Are Democratic party officials allowed to speak like this? Are they allowed to speak at all?

Just about as I was recovering from the shock of a Democratic spine running amok in the nation's capital, I came acrossed this:

It seems to me appropriate, when the spin machines are out there and people are using various language, to come out and reiterate my reasons for doing this.

I think that the press decided immediately that somehow this was a bad thing for Democrats and a good thing for conservatives. The facts don't bear it out. You don't have the polls to prove it. The way my colleagues are responding to me suggests to me they're thinking about this, that they feel that there has to be some accountability.

So the instant decision about what the story is, actually, I think is going to backfire on those who made up the story. I don't get the feeling that I had on Monday about this -- yes, people were concerned -- I'm not getting that.

And if the right wing really believes in this country that -- Rush Limbaugh and others -- that they can somehow turn the president's reputation around by saying, "You're darn right he violated the law, and it's a good thing," I think they're just as confused as they are about their Iraq politics. People aren't buying it anymore.

So not only do I not regret it, I felt an absolute obligation to do it.

Dude's on fire. He's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore.

Speaking of Network, I think Digby makes about as good a case as any as to why Feingold apparently didn't consult with the party elders before introducing his resolution to censure:

It's apparently true that Feingold didn't consult with the party. But considering the response I can sort of see his point. They are so unimaginative and so sluggish that he didn't see the use in playing the party game. If party coodination means being forced to wait for them to hold plodding press conferences about x-raying cargo boxes, then it's hard to see why anyone who wants to take the fight to the Republicans would bother.

I also got a gas from this comment by someone apparently embedded in the Democratic Party's inner sanctum:

First, a lot of Dems were bothered by the fact that Feingold took the party off-message.


Off-message??!?!?! There's a message?!?? Really?!!?

Republicans characteristically responded that Feingold's resolution was a political show and that the Senator was auditioning for the '08 nomination by playing to the Democratic crazies in the blogosphere.

Despite the snark, this depiction of the resolution and Russ's speech makes some sense at first glance. But I don't think that's it. I think this guy just does what he wants based on what he believes. That's pretty much been his M.O. Votes to confirm the president's cabinet appointments. Stands alone against the Patriot Act.

And besides, since when did speaking out and making waves endear anyone to the media establishment that tells us who is electable and who isn't?

No, I don't think this is a political stunt in the usual sense of that concept. But he's making a believer at this site, nonetheless.

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