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


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