Feingold a favorite Democrat of conservatives?

According to a recent piece in Newsweek, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold is one of a few Democrats who have won praise – or at least grudging respect – from conservatives despite a less than bipartisan political atmosphere in the nation. Here’s what Newsweek had to say about Sen. Feingold:

Current Job: Senator from Wisconsin

Fawning conservative quote: “Senator Feingold took an unpopular position within his own party on behalf of the American people. He deserves Wisconsin’s thanks for doing that.” —Americans For Prosperity, a group advocating for small government, in praising Feingold for opposing earmarks.

The basis of appeal: Feingold has championed a number of truly bipartisan initiatives, among them campaign-finance reform and anti-earmark legislation—the latter won him plaudits from archconservative Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. To boot, Feingold might be John McCain’s second-best friend in the Senate, behind Lindsey Graham. In addition to his idiosyncratic policy interests, he is a staunch defender of traditions that may not always serve his party’s short-term interests. For instance, a member of the Judiciary Committee, he is reluctant to vote against Republican judicial nominees for ideological reasons, on the grounds that presidents deserve wide latitude in making appointments.

The rub: Aside from his fiscal conservatism, Feingold is fundamentally a progressive liberal. For instance, he took a principled stance against the Iraq War, and famously recommended that President George W. Bush be censured for his support of the warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens.

So what I’d like to hear from my conservative readers is whether you agree with Newsweek’s assessment of Sen. Feingold.


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5 thoughts on “Feingold a favorite Democrat of conservatives?

  1. I can’t help but wonder if he feels the same way about judicial nominees after Roberts and his Citizens United vote. That case has certainly swung my opinion about the President’s right to appoint who they want.

    1. I doubt he does, because he’s been pretty consistent in his support for allowing presidents to have their nominees.

      1. I have to agree with him there. Things have gotten out of hand since Bork. The scrutiny, often to a level of absurdity, is so unbelieveable I don’t know who would want the job. Maybe there should be more scrutiny after they are on the bench a while — when’s the last time Congress impeached a Supreme Court justice?

        On second thought… maybe we don’t want to go down that road. 🙂

        1. I think the expectation that nominees for SCOTUS – or any other presidential nominees – are supposed to be free from any flaws is simply unrealistic. Sure, we should have high standards for judges, justices, and other presidential nominees, but I think it’s unrealistic to expect that they’ve never made any mistakes or said or written anything even remotely controversial.

  2. I consider myself conservative , but do not confuse that with Republican as I certainly will never support Thompson, Leinenkugel, McCain or Graham. Feingold’s joint venture with McCain on campaign-finance reform has not cleaned up the process and it could be argued to have made it worse. As for being anti-earmark, did he vote for or against the stimulus package which was loaded with more pork than Patrick Cudahy? Has he supported or opposed the health care package which could only be passed by the Dems bribing their own members with earmarks and backroom deals?
    Don’t be fooled by Feingold’s occassional votes against the party line, they only occur when his vote doesn’t affect the outcome. Feingold is all show and no substance very similar to his new bff John McCain.

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