Netroots Nation: Marcy Wheeler Introduces Guest of Honor Russell Feingold



As most of you know by now, Netroots Nation 2011 is in full swing in the beautiful hamburg of Minneapolis Minnesota. Earlier today, our own Jane Hamsher appeared front and center with Dan Choi on a DADT panel. Tonight FDL takes center stage again, in a big way, with our own Marcy Wheeler having the distinct pleasure of introducing the guest of honor for the main festivities for the evening, Senator Russell Feingold.

Russ Feingold is a hero, and for good reason, to progressives. Russ was one, if not the only one, of the Democratic Senate, make that Senate as a whole, who really stood up for civil liberties in the face of the bipartisan onslaught that has occurred over the last decade, both under George Bush and Barack Obama.

So, please join me, Firedoglake, Netroots Nation, and the progressive enterprise as Marcy Wheeler welcomes one of us: Senator Russell Feingold. The video is a live stream of the event, I am not sure when Marcy and Russ will be up.

65 replies
  1. greenharper says:

    What I see is a black rectangle, no video, regardless of how many times I click. Any help in seeing/hearing EW’s intro of Feingold would be great!

  2. bluewombat says:

    Viva Feingold!

    I heard something recently that the results of his election were goofy and he may really have won. Is there any truth to that?

    Is there any chance he’ll run for President so he can let Obama have it in the debates?

    If Obama were worth anything, he would have named Feingold to the Supreme Court.

    • dakoda says:

      As soon as Russ said we needed to get Obama reelected so that Obama could appoint maybe someone to the Supreme Court, had to turn it off. So don’t think he is about to primary Obama.

  3. antoine22 says:

    Well, I’m somewhat leery of Feingold — he did, after all, vote for the Baucus-Fowler insurance industry-friendly health care bill.

    Run for president? Democratic party Trojan horse: he will dissipate progressive energies that we could channel into supporting third party candidates, and will then endorse Obama at the 2012 Democratic Party National Convention in the name of party unity. And, we might very well have Dubya’s fourth term.

    Support for any national Democratic Party Candidate is, in my opinion, futile. The only way, in my opinion, for progressives to secure a voice in the political process is by speaking truth to power, not joining it.



    • Margaret says:

      Though the Health Insurance Company and Pharmaceutical Welfare and Giveaway Act is abominable indeed, why is what you are doing any different than the zombies who vote for a single issue every election? What you say is valid but I’m very leery of ultimatums and “zero tolerance” stands.

      • antoine22 says:


        Good point, but my concerns encompass more than one issue. Russ knew the health care act was a huge step backwards, but he voted for it anyway. He may very well have a price.

        Staying in the Democratic Party leaves Russ all that more susceptible to political pressure.

        The national Democratic Party fortress is, in my opinion, so heavily buttressed by corporate money, that it’s pretty much unassailable by us progressives.

        The only way, I think, we can obtain any kind of voice within the political process is to act from without, like political guerrillas and support independent candidates over establishment ones, like Russ, no matter how liberal their credentials.

        Just a thought.



        • bmaz says:

          However, you give every appearance of indeed being a single issue advocate as you mention nothing other than healthcare, which of all the issues is certainly one of the weaker ones to focus on when compared to upholding the Constitution, maintaining civil liberties, protecting privacy, supporting labor and American manufacturing etc. – all of which Feingold is absolutely fantastic on. You seem to think a single vote, under extreme duress from his President and party, in the wonderful face of all the other incredible good, is disqualifying. Now tell me, how in the world is that not rank single issue tunnel vision??

          • antoine22 says:

            Well, I apologize for not getting my point across. Supporting Feingold for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin might be an excellent idea. Supporting him as a Democratic Party candidate for president, isn’t in my opinion a good move, because even though he’ll liven up the debate, he’ll lose in the end, and we may, as I said before, very well end up with Dubya’s fourth term.

            I mentioned the health care vote because it shows that the corporate democrats might have the wherewithal to influence a liberal like Russ.



            • bmaz says:

              I f Feingold ran, it would be as a Democrat in the primary. I agree with Margaret – ain’t gonna happen; however if it did, it would be a primary and it would certainly not “siphon off” diddly squat from whoever the eventual general election candidate would be in the general election against whatever dope the GOP puts up. I will say this much, he may be unlikely to get through the GOP primary, but if Jon Huntsman is the Republican candidate, Obama is going to have a race on his hands and could very well lose. So, this is quite a bit deeper than what you are letting on.

              • Twain says:

                Huntsman is very impressive and Obama just might lose to him. The problem is that Huntsman probably won’t appeal to the low information voters in the GOP. He’s educated and sophisticated and they wouldn’t feel he was a guy to have a beer with, so…..

              • bluedot12 says:

                I think he speaks out and he seems independent. He certainly is a smart man. Obama has drifted to the right, far too much. So, for me, I would hope he plays a role to drag O and the dems back to the left.

                • bmaz says:

                  And to Twain too – Yep, right, agreed. I too don’t think Huntsman can get through the nutbag gauntlet that is the GOP primary. But if he ever does, watch out. The guy is genuine, and his campaign manager, John Weaver, has lived his entire political life to run that kind of general election campaign. That would be a hell of a fight. Just don’t think it will get there….

                  • Margaret says:

                    The biggest tell is that Republican establishment are still super unenthusiastic about the entire field, Huntsman included. He’ll be out before South Carolina.

                    • Margaret says:

                      He’ll have to buck the party establishment, something most conservatives are not known for. Maybe he’ll hang for a bit but certainly by March he’ll be spending more time with his family.

                      EDIT: It is a foregone conclusion that by the time the Republican nomination is sewn up, the winner will lay claim to many titles but “sane” won’t be one of them.

                    • bmaz says:

                      The guy is really good. If the GOP gets down the road a bit and thinks they actually might could beat Obama, even if it would take someone saner than they think they want, they just might turn to that guy. And Obama is NOT very solid, he could be had by a decent candidate in the general. It is too early, to know where it is all going; but, as you point out, there are a lot of people who eneded up going pretty far that others said “are going nowhere”. It’s a fool’s game this early; all I know is I have seen Huntsman, and know John Weaver and his schticht, and both are way better than people think. the competition on the GOP side is NOT all that impressive. We shall see.

                    • Phoenix Woman says:

                      The bellwether for Republicans isn’t New Hampshire or Iowa. It’s South Carolina, where the nutjobs rule. It will be interesting to see what happens.

                  • Cujo359 says:

                    Huntsman is still in single digits, I think. In any case, he’s way behind, and Romney seems to have grabbed the mantle of “the sane one”, or whatever you want to call not being a completely useless ignoramus.

        • Margaret says:

          As I said, all very valid but once again you speak about the (euphemistically called) Health Care Reform vote as a be all and end all. HCR sucks. Major ass. Feingold is a Democrat, yes. Still, if he ran for President I would consider a whole lot more than his HCR vote and his party affiliation would be almost irrelevant to me. But as I said, he is a DEMOCRAT. He won’t siphon off support for “third party candidates” unless he becomes one. He isn’t going to run against an incumbent Democratic President. That’s just silly. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

          • antoine22 says:

            Well, Margaret. If Russ won’t run for president, then this debate is somewhat academic, and pointless. That said, presidential candidate party affiliation is, in my opinion, important, because I don’t think a true progressive can ever secure the Democratic Party nomination — and that’s why I think progressives should support third party presidential candidates.



            • Margaret says:

              Sorry Imhotep Antoine22, I don’t see the difference between voting for anybody who calls themselves “Republican” and voting against anybody who calls themselves “Democrat”. I’m not voting for any more Vichycrats. That said, I’m not sure Feingold is one. Calling himself “Democrat” doesn’t automatically make him a traitor to Progressivism.

              • antoine22 says:


                Before I leave, I agree with you — the label Democrat does not a traitor to progressive ideals make, but a progressive, Republican or Democrat, will never, in my opinion, secure his or her party’s presidential nomination.



              • seabos84 says:

                I’m sure I can rely on the link-o-url-experts to show me wrong, BUT

                My feeling about Russ is that – yawn. When I look at what the despicable slime like LIE-ber-sell-out or Max or Stupak in the house get to accomplish, year after year, term after term, decade after decade …

                and “our” liberal “champions” have that great vote or 10 against cheney-raygun —- BUT —- what they did they EVER force down the throats of those thieving lying right wing crooks that had any staying power?

                Russ, to me, is just another of this … progressive … yuk … branch of relatively affluent Beatitude-0-crats ———– we fought the noble fight and we fight the noble fight and we’re noblerer and smarterer and gooderer and betterer and the meek will inherit … a kick in the teeth

                – wall street fucking casino retirement,
                – AHIP fucking insurance,
                – shit jobs.

                whatever, russ – you had your chance, you had your day – go away.


        • mattcarmody says:

          With Feingold’s support, Roberts’ nomination was able to get to the senate floor where he was assured approval. Feingold and Leahy could have fought harder to keep the perjurer from getting a vote.

          • bmaz says:

            Much as I hate to say it, there was no legitimate basis for blocking Roberts. Probably not Alito either, although it was a closer call. Clarence Thomas, well now that is another matter.

            • michtom says:

              I’m not a constitutional scholar, but isn’t having a nominee obviously dedicated to undermining said document a legitimate reason for opposition?

              • bmaz says:

                There was no basis for making that claim about Roberts, and he had a very full record as an attorney and judge, when he was up for confirmation. There may have been a couple of areas of concern about Alito, but nothing that should have prevented his confirmation at the time. Just because we do not like a nominee is not a basis for blocking them if they are qualified.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Academic and professional experience are minimum qualifications for lifetime appointment to the federal bench. The role of federal judge is political as well as legal, especially at the appellate level, which makes opposing nominations based on a candidate’s political views legitimate.

    • metro222 says:

      Good thought. We have to do something. We can’t reward these people with another term.

  4. antoine22 says:

    Well, fellow FDL readers and posters, I’m heading home, thanks for interacting with me.

    In response to bmaz, I didn’t consider the general election when I posted my comments. I’m heading home, no internet access until Tuesday when I return to my office.



    • bluedot12 says:

      We could do worse.The last thing I want is a thug government that will take apart everything from the new deal on.

  5. Cujo359 says:

    I’m supposed to support Obama for President? Don’t think so. Put it this way – Obama has about a year to convince me I should, and he’s not off to a good start.

    Other than that, though, good speech.

    • Margaret says:

      Like I said, Feingold is a DEMOCRAT first and foremost. I would have been astonished if he hadn’t mentioned his support for the sitting Democratic President.

      • Cujo359 says:

        Like I’ve said, I’m not a Democrat. They don’t own my vote, and as much as I like Feingold, there is nothing he can say that will convince me otherwise. It’s really up to Obama.

        • Margaret says:

          Like I’ve said, I’m not a Democrat.

          When did I accuse you of being one? I was attempting to explain Feingold’s position, not yours. For the record, I’ve never been affiliated with any party and certainly not either of the major ones. They’ve always been way too right wing for my taste.

  6. bluedot12 says:

    I really like the way he talks about Citizens United. This issue speaks to who we are. That ruling enshrines corruption and I agree with him, we cannot sell our soul to it by chasing corporate cash. In the end, corruption will rule us just like it did wall street. It is the way Bush ran the WH, corruption is merely a laughing matter amongst all those on the inside, but deadly to anyone else. Wink wink.

  7. bobschacht says:

    I tuned in late–all I’m hearing is one ad after another. Its after-hours at NN. So where can I access Wheeler & Feingold? I searched all over the NN site, and it looks like the archives are not available until the conference is over.

    Anyone else have a clue, since I obviously don’t?

    Bob in AZ

  8. kabuki101 says:

    The fact that Feingold still feels beholden to the Democratic hellspawn leadership should tell you everything you need to know about him. Get over him. He isn’t your friend.

  9. reader says:

    Not “feeling” the Feingold here, either. Sorry.

    Maybe he’ll actually do something someday that will make a difference.

  10. orionATL says:

    i echo bob schacht’s request at #53.

    i’d like to hear ew’s intro.

    including sen feingold’s speech would be good but is not mandatory if it’s too long for the technology.

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