Russ Feingold’s Good Question


Every once in a while I’ll post a political ad or tactic that I think is interesting and important. Recently, I highlighted a GOP “strategy conference call” that I thought was worth noting — mostly because it’s an interesting way to fake intimacy and connection with potentially millions of people who will neither make time for the call, nor be able to actually speak during it — but feel that they were part of the event.
In this ad above, US Senator Russ Feingold goes after his challenger, Ron Johnson, noting that he uses a lot of whiteboards in his ads but never suggests any new ideas.
This is an important insight about what the role of policy practitioners should be. I’ve often told fellows and staff at the New America Foundation that their job is (1) to embarrass the bad decisions made by government, and (2) to put better ideas on the table.
The second part is the hardest — and it’s something on which Feingold is calling out his opponent.
We ought to all keep that standard in mine.
Complaining and whining about government and spending and better leadership is easy — but actually developing sensible, workable policy frameworks and alternatives is hard. But it’s what we have to do.
— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “Russ Feingold’s Good Question

  1. Cee says:

    Feingold faced the same thing years ago…didn’t bend then either. Luckily he won. I pray he wins again.


  2. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    More importantly, what are people saying about Ron Johnson, Feingold’s opponent? he’s short on specifics, but long o0n personl money to pour into the race….I’m amazed at how the Pain Scream Media is basically ignoring this race…we have a principled man of substance struggling to campaignon small contributions, being challenged by another millionaire funding his own camapign…and the media is looking the other way….guess they want those hate ads to keep on rolling ad infinitum…campaignfinance reform means less business.


  3. Cee says:

    What are people saying about this person???
    Republican candidate for Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch compared same-sex marriage to marrying a clock during a radio interview.
    “This is a slippery slope,” Kleefisch said. “In addition to that at what point are we going to be okay marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs?


  4. Cee says:

    They are like those who would vote for this INSANE woman.
    During her speech, Angle offered a confession for America’s sins — going beyond just the standard religious conservative issues of abortion, but also the legislation of divorce, and various social welfare programs.


  5. Dan Sitter says:

    I live in WI, and every supporter of Johnson that I talk to instantly
    says we have to fix the budget, but don’t care that Johnson has no
    clue how to do it. They just want their ideology to ‘WIN’ and damn
    the rest of it. Citizenship does not require informed, thoughtful
    consideration, it requires someone to blame and be angry at, at
    least at this point in our fading glory as a nation. Sadly.


  6. DakotabornKansan says:
  7. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    The gist of this ad is that Johnson is a “pig in a poke”…they should depict him that way….


  8. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Russ Feingold runs according to campaign finance regs, not accpeting any large contributions, so he probably can’t afford a really slick PR firm…most candidates don’t design their own ads….pity the process is so much like selling, people of substance are gauged by their commercials and not their actions. If a man like Feingold loses, I think the jig is up for competence and ethics in goverment.
    Can’t help but notice that while the so called pundits on the PainScream Media wring their hands about campaign finance reform and foreign anonymouns money pouring into the process, they never have the only real champion of finance reform, Russ Feingold, on to discuss it…we get wall to wall coverage of every idiotic utterance of any nutball fringe-a-ling trying to brew up a temepest in a teapot, but nada of Russ Feingold who brought us what little reform we have and lives by it himself….could it be that he was so right about not using force in Iraq, the Patriot Act, etc. and he’s living proof that the whole media did not do it’s job? Inquiring minds need not apply.


  9. Don Bacon says:

    SAC should be SC.


  10. Don Bacon says:

    The subject of this diary is the political tactic of running attack ads, with one of Feingold’s used as an example of a good promotion.
    SAC: “In this ad above, US Senator Russ Feingold goes after his challenger, Ron Johnson, noting that he uses a lot of whiteboards in his ads but never suggests any new ideas.”
    Feingold too used a whiteboard in his ad but didn’t suggest any new (or old) ideas. So what’s new, Kansan pussycat.
    I like Russ Feingold. He has taken some good stands. In a senate of moral midgets his average size stands out. But in this instance he’s no better than the rest.


  11. DakotabornKansan says:

    How stupid can senators be?


  12. Don Bacon says:

    “Feingold is calling out his opponent.”
    So if Feingold was right on the issues then why is he reverting to purely childish attack ads? What part of democracy, with a supposed interchange of ideas, does that represent? Why doesn’t he contrast his positions with his opponents’? How stupid can senators be?


  13. Cee says:

    For someone like Feingold to be fighting for his senate seat is a disgrace. Don’t forget that he also READ the Patriot Act.
    How stupid can people be?
    From Salon
    Russ Feingold is a senator from Wisconsin who has been right about nearly everything in his entire career, particularly when it comes to the economy. During the deregulation fervor of the Clinton years, he stood up and opposed the changes that would allow Wall Street to gamble with our money, which he warned would lead to a terrible financial crisis (and we all know how that story ended). This past year when Obama and the Democrats passed their Financial Reform-in-name-only legislation, Russ Feingold was the guy who had the balls to stand up and say no, that he could not in good conscience vote for a bill that wouldn


  14. DakotabornKansan says:

    When Lawyers Are War Criminals…
    Speaking of the role of policy practitioners…as well as bad political decisions and policies made by our government


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