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Russ Feingold is right!

Russ Feingold, United States Senator from Wisc...

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I have always respected former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold.

Like Paul Wellstone, he has always been a man of principle — even when it was politically disadvantageous. Feingold found that out when he was cast out during last year’s Tea Party putsch.

So I was not surprised when I learned that he was castigating corporate Democrats at this year’s Netroots Nation gathering.

John Nichols in The Nation covered Feingold’s remarks:

If Democrats fuel their campaigns with corporate cash, the senator said, “we’ll lose our souls.”

“I don’t just think it’s wrong. I think it’s a dumb strategy,” he continued, to the enthusiastic crowd hushed and listening to a speech that went far beyond the standard rhetoric of this pre-presidential election year. “Democrats should never be in the business of taking unlimited corporate money…. It’s dancing with the devil…. [The voters] will see us as corporate-lite.”

In an era that has seen the Democratic Party slide further and further to the right, it’s good to see that there are at least some liberals fighting the good fight against corporate domination of politics.

Feingold focused like a laser on the heart of the problem, Nichols reports:

Feingold’s speech was framed around the Citizens United ruling by the US Supreme Court, which struck down legislative barriers to corporate spending on campaigns. He decried the court’s 5-4 ruling as he has since it was issued last year a “lawless decision” that “overturned more than one hundred years of statutes and case law” designed to keep special-interest money out of politics.

I like the message — The Democratic Party has strayed from its ideals, and Feingold and Netroots bloggers (and by extension the liberal base) can prod them back on course.

The annual gathering of liberal bloggers has also been notable for its tough reception of White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer:

White House’s Pfeiffer Draws Boos at Netroots Nation

If Obama is going to be reelected next year, he’ll have to at least satisfy enough of his base (including me) that he is moving in the right direction.

So far, I’m with the Netroots folks. Not impressed.

Update – Huffington Post is reporting that professional dickweed and propaganda manufacturer Andrew Breitbart crashed the Netroots gathering on Friday.

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June 17, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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