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.