Dereliction of Duty? Feingold’s Opponent Would NEVER Publicly Challenge White House on War

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Wisconsin Republican Senate challenger Ron Johnson would not publicly challenge the White House on matters of war and peace from his perch if elected to the US Senate.
In a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson makes clear that challenging the Executive Branch publicly when it comes to armed conflict is not something he would do — except privately.

Johnson’s most pointed comments were directed at Feingold, saying that when he and other senators “come out and start demanding a U.S. pullout and that kind of thing in public, it just undermines what our troops are trying to do.”
Said Johnson: “That’s not saying if you have real grave concerns as a member of Congress you should not be talking to the administration. It’s just extremely harmful to our nation when it’s all done in public.”
Asked whether he was saying it’s improper for Feingold or other senators to be speaking out publicly against the war, Johnson said: “I guess what I really object to is how quick and early he has been throughout his career (to criticize military action) .?.?.?he has been carping about this from the sidelines forever.”
Johnson then repeated his suggestion that when there are troops in the field, lawmakers opposed to U.S. policy should be expressing their opposition in private rather than in public.
“There’s an appropriate way of opposing a policy and an inappropriate way,” he said. “The appropriate way if I’m a U.S. senator is going to be not public. If I’m opposed to something, I’ll make those views known very, very well, but privately with the administration.”

This is the most remarkable and disturbing statement I have ever read from anyone hoping to serve as his state’s chief spear carrier in the US Senate.
Does Ron Johnson not have any background on the history of this Chamber and the many great Republicans and Democrats who have helped shape the national security decisions of the nation — often knocking back or kicking along the White House?
As I was prepping for a recent discussion about US policy and the Afghanistan War at the PBS NewsHour studio, I had a conversation with Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) which I share here.
I am in agreement with Senator Feingold on his take on Ron Johnson’s disturbing comments.
More of my conversations with Senator Feingold later today.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

11 comments on “Dereliction of Duty? Feingold’s Opponent Would NEVER Publicly Challenge White House on War

  1. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Russ Feingold lost…I am soo bummmed…he was my first choice to run for prez….in courage and competence, he had no equal in Congress…Ted Sorensonis throughly right…restoring the rule of law is the first priority, but BO wants to look forward, which preculdes examining the past…ergo the rule of law be damned.
    I wonder if Ron Johnson would feel the same way if the President is Dem…will he not criticize them publicly, even if he sees wrongdoing…we shall see.

    Reply

  2. TokyoTom says:

    “This country must be returned to adult supervision, or failing that, to gridlock.”
    I vote for gridlock, because there certainly are very few “adults” in the Republican party that gave us Bush/Cheney/Greenspan’s bubble, $1 trillion war on ragheads and US taxpayers, financial crisis, bailouts for the rich, and wars on gays and enviros.
    GOP modus operandi is to offer distraction to all, while wealthy “capitalists” and insiders get the lucre off our backs.
    The Dems, unfortunately, being in favor of bigger government, have no principled arguments to make against GOP cynical manipulation.

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  3. Cee says:

    ooops…sweep of seats

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  4. Cee says:

    If (which I doubt) they score a major sweep of, I hope this comes back to haunt them.
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/01/news/trade_tea_party.fortune/index.htm
    It’s unclear how an expected influx of Tea Party-affiliated Republicans will shake out on the issue next year. Leaders of some of the groups that have helped organize the movement — Americans for Prosperity, for example — are free-trade boosters.
    But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.
    Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former Congressional Budget Office director who advised Sen. John McCain during his presidential run, calls the issue a “wild card.” Research from his consulting firm finds that Republican voters are more likely than Democratic voters to support new tariffs on Chinese imports to offset U.S. losses due to an undervalued Yuan. He says it’s no longer taken for granted that Republicans embrace open trade and open international market, at the least at the voter level.

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  5. KarenJ says:

    Ron Johnson’s stance on anything-but “open and
    transparent government” is unbelievable…
    No, wait, isn’t that what went on between 2000 and
    2008 with Dick Cheney pulling George Bush’s puppet
    strings?
    And isn’t this what the Republican “HELL NO”
    sayers have been railing about for the past 2
    years whenever President Obama and the Dem
    majority Congress try to get something done? That
    they’re not being “open and transparent” when it
    takes longer than 72 hours to post a 2000-page-
    plus document on the internet for EVERYONE to
    read?
    Hypocrites.

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  6. Cee says:

    Ian,
    Hope that Ashjian takes votes from the crazy liar.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/18/sharron-angle-jon-scott-ashjian_n_767039.html
    I’ve heard other candidates saying that they won’t disclose what they plan to do until AFTER the election. Who are the fools who will vote for them?

    Reply

  7. Maw of America says:

    Alas, I pine for the days of Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution:
    “The Congress shall have power to declare war.”
    What a quaint notion!

    Reply

  8. DakotabornKansan says:

    Remembering Bill Moyers telling of having dinner with Ted Sorensen and asking him,

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  9. Ian Kaplan says:

    This is the most remarkable and disturbing statement I have ever read from anyone hoping to serve as his state’s chief spear carrier in the US Senate.
    Well, I guess that you have not been following some of the things that Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate in Nevada, has been saying. Nor have you been following Christine O’Donnell. While O’Donnell will lose, Angle may win and she’s a bigger nut than Johnson will never be.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    “Said Johnson: “That’s not saying if you have real grave concerns as a member of Congress you should not be talking to the administration. It’s just extremely harmful to our nation when it’s all done in public.”
    “This is the most remarkable and disturbing statement I have ever read from anyone hoping to serve as his state’s chief spear carrier in the US Senate. ” (Steve Clemons)
    Sure, because everybody knows it is the height of true patriotism to announce “This war is lost,” from the floor of the Senate, like Harry Reid did, even as American forces fight in the field.
    That’s the Democratic notion of “supporting the troops.” Their right to open defeatism must not be infringed by any thought of real-world consequences.
    Apparently, being reminded that your country’s enemies can also hear you and will take encouragement from your defeatism, is a “disturbing statement” to today’s Democrats.
    Which is why today’s Democrats will suffer a massive repudiation tomorrow. Which is why Harry Reid will lose his seat tomorrow.
    This country must be returned to adult supervision, or failing that, to gridlock.

    Reply

  11. DCPundit says:

    Ron Johnson is an embarrassment. I can’t believe that someone who has no understanding of the role of the Senate and of Checks & Balances in the Constitution can get away with running for office.
    Feingold needs to win or we are just in for a sick time ahead.

    Reply

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