I have written previously about my desire to see a Feingold candidacy in 2012, but it will mean nothing if Senator Feingold loses re-election in 2010. He is right now down in a race to a teabagger. Not just any teabagger, but like so many a two-faced hypocrite on abolishing unemployment benefits and Medicare, while raking in millions from taxpayers himself.
In a normal world, Ron Johnson would be laughed out of the room, especially in a state like Wisconsin, the home of the LaFollettes (and yes, sadly, Joseph McCarthy). This is not a normal year. It is one of recession, a spineless, barely-does-anything Democratic President, and a resurgent white supremacist-motivated right-wing, aching to become the majority so they can reveal the corporatist moderate President we have as some secretive Stalinist Muslim. And the media, as useless and apologetic as Rahm Emanuel (except when cussing out progressives and unions), has spent the past two years caving into these bigots and portraying their hate rallies as some kind of "movement" (when their demonstrations attract smaller crowds than the ignored anti-war demonstrations right before the Iraq War).
To put it bluntly, Russ Feingold needs our help. There are very few members of Congress I genuinely respect. Maybe Dennis Kucinich, but certainly none of the troglodytes in the Democratic leadership (excepting maybe Dick Durbin on a good day). Russ Feingold has voted our way on almost every major issue since he has been in the Senate. He voted against NAFTA, banking deregulation, tightening of bankruptcy laws, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most importantly was the only member of the Senate to vote against both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. To be sure, Russ is not perfect (his likeness for John Ashcroft was both creepy and frustrating), but he has been there on the most important issues almost every time in his career. Harry Reid certainly cannot make that claim. Neither can Nancy Pelosi.
For everyone in Wisconsin, if you are a progressive, I hope you are doing everything to help get Senator Feingold re-elected. For those of us outside of Wisconsin, we look to him as a leader of the left in Congress--for that matter this country. And for those of us out-of-state, I am going to do something I have never done before (outside of campaign volunteer work). I am going to donate to Senator Feingold's re-election. His opponent is a government money-addled executive, bankrolled, and using corporate donations to get himself into power. It is up to us to help the Senator get re-elected. Here is his campaign site, as well as the donation form.
Here is to hoping that you win, Russ. You are one of the few incumbents who genuinely deserves it.