James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Feingold '08?

Paul Gessing at the Free Liberal makes a strong case that Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold may be the best of the viable Presidential candidates in 2008:
First and foremost, no other Senator voted against both the Iraq War resolution and passage of the Patriot Act. The only other Member of Congress to vote against both bills was Ron Paul. That alone has to count for something. More importantly, Feingold has been a persistent critic of Bush’s most abusive policies and he has been among the most outspoken opponents of war with Iran. His recent effort to censure the President on his illegal wiretapping program – a resolution from which most Democrats ran – is only the latest example of his willingness to stand up for what is right.

So, you say, Feingold may follow a more responsible foreign policy with fewer civil rights abuses, but what about spending? Here the record is mixed, but I have reason to believe that a Feingold Administration would be far more fiscally responsible than Bush has been. First of all, assuming Republicans maintain control of Congress beyond 2008 (I realize this is not a given), Feingold would face split-party rule. As William Niskanen of the Cato Institute has found, over the past 50 years government grows far more slowly under split party rule than it does under single party rule. Absent a political groundswell for reduced spending that outstrips anything we have seen since the mid-1990s, split party rule seems to be the best available option for putting the brakes on our rapidly expanding federal government.
Senator Feingold has consistently been found to be among the most frugal Members of Congress. For the first seven months of the 109th Congress, Feingold was the 11th most frugal in the Senate. During the 108th Congress he was the third most frugal. Thus, while Bush’s tax cuts might be history – if most of them aren’t gone already by 2008 – Congress’s out-of-control spending habits may finally be checked by a responsible adult occupying the White House who knows the meaning of the word “no.”
The top priority for those who love freedom must be to bring the troops home from Iraq and to avoid another costly and futile war. Of all the candidates who are likely to run at this point, I believe Feingold to be head-and-shoulders above the rest.

1 comment:

  1. "Although advocates of freedom may be justifiably angry with him (as am I) for co-sponsoring a certain free speech-limiting piece of campaign finance legislation bearing his name, at this point we more important and pressing issues are before us."

    More pressing matters than repeal of the First Amendment? Feingold is a bit more clever than others in the liars club, but seeking the lesser of two evils still leaves you with evil in high office. Please don't make the mistake we made in 2000: "Well, at least he's an improvement over the incumbent." Until both wings of the Big Government Party are dismantled, we are doomed to bounce from one lying SOB to another.

    Your use of the phrase "viable Presidential candidates" shows you still hold out hope that the answer can only be found within one of these two hopelessly corrupt clans. Finding a way to make an authentically honest and independent man or woman "viable" seems a more productive use of time and energy.