A Dem dares to mention his vote for Obamacare

Things change. Six months ago, everyone who rates the Senate races, rated very liberal Dem. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin (yes the McCain-Feingold guy) a safe bet for reelection to a fourth term. Then Tommy Thompson, a popular former Repub governor, publicly mulled a bid and there were polls showing he could possibly beat Feingold. Then Thompson declined and Feingold was rated safe again.

The Repubs ended up nominating an accountant and owner of a plastics business with no previous political experience named Ron Johnson. Johnson is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, pro-freedom, pro-one-man-one-woman marriage and doesn’t believe that freedom of religion means freedom from religion. He has called those who attribute global warming to human activity “crazy.”

Johnson rose steadily in the polls and has slowly overtaken Feingold. Johnson has led in every public poll since mid-July and in the last couple his lead was beyond the margin for error. Rothenberg Political Report recently moved the race from “toss-up” to “toss-up, tilts Republican.”

Repubs around the country, definitely including Ron Johnson, have run hard against the “government takeover” of health care. “The Health Care Bill is the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime,” Johnson says on his website. “It must be repealed.”

Most Democrats, who shoved the bill down the throats of the American people, are choosing not to talk about that vote in their campaigns. Feingold is an exception to that trend. His latest TV ad, which seems kinda amateurish but I’m pretty sure doesn’t use any paid actors, is all about Feingold’s support for the health care bill and Johnson’s promises of repeal. Here it is:

Hat tip to Ben Smith of Politico.

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Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/01/2010 - 10:47 am.

    Crazy man, it’s almost like the guy’s trying to defend liberalism. Imagine a Democrats doing THAT.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/01/2010 - 10:51 am.

    Suicide mission.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/01/2010 - 11:12 am.

    Maybe Feingold knows what he’s doing; he has won a few elections in his career.

    Minor point; I know of no legislation entitled ‘Obamacare’. The ad does not use this term. It talks about specific changes in health care regulation that will clearly benefit voters.
    Let’s not perpetuate a political slogan.

  4. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 10/01/2010 - 11:46 am.

    “Let’s not perpetuate a political slogan.” Like “Bush Tax Cuts”?

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/01/2010 - 12:47 pm.

    As Eric pointed out, he’s got absolutely nothing to lose.

  6. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/01/2010 - 01:13 pm.

    “Most Democrats, who shoved the bill down the throats of the American people, are choosing not to talk about that vote in their campaigns. Feingold is an exception to that trend.”

    Is that your opinion, Eric? That health care reform is being “shoved down the throats of the American people”? Do you also agree with Johnson that this bill is “the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime”?

    What freedom might that be? The freedom to be ripped off by a health insurance company? The freedom of a rich guy like Johnson (who I’m sure is “self-insured” himself) to go without insurance and be denied treatment for lack of means? The freedom to go bankrupt from medical bills? The freedom to die for lack of ability to afford health care?

    Feingold is only one of maybe four members of that puppet show known as the U.S. Senate who actually represents the people who elect him. He stood up against the Iraq War, against the Bush administration’s real assault on the freedoms of this country: suspension of habeas corpus outside of wartime, the secret wiretapping of citizens in this nation, the so–called “Patriot Act”.

    Why are people like Ron Johnson not concerned about these real assaults on our freedoms?

  7. Submitted by Ginny Martin on 10/01/2010 - 02:44 pm.

    Eric, I’ve read your work for years and and I’ve heard you speak and have always had a great admiration for you and your straightforward and fact-based information.
    But suddenly I read that you say the health care bill got shoved down the American public throat. You say that without quotes.
    This is alarming. Are you sure you’re Eric Black? Not a doppelganger?

  8. Submitted by Eric Black on 10/01/2010 - 03:00 pm.

    To Ginny Martin and Jon-Erik Kingstad,
    I do not think “shoved down the throat of the American people” is an accurate, fair or reasonable description of how the health care bill passed. The constant repetition of that phrase has become such an annoyance to me that I used it facetiously, treating it as a self-parody. That was a mistake and sarcasm is sometimes a dangerous game, especially for an ink-stained wretch who frequently preaches civility.
    As for the term “ObamaCare,” I do use it and I don’t see that it is pejorative, although some have suggested that it is. I don’t get it. Likewise “Tenther” for Tenth Amendment devotees. I’ve been warned that it is disrespectful but I don’t see why.
    Thanks for reading and commenting, cheers,

  9. Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/01/2010 - 03:18 pm.

    I think Feingold needs to remind voters who’s side he’s on. While McCain-Feingold was overturned, the point bears repeating: the impact of big money on elections is killing our democracy. Special interests are taking over the government that is supposed to be of, by & for the people. A vote for Feingold is a vote to uphold that ideal. A vote for Johnson – president of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce – is a vote to send the special interests directly to Washington.

  10. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/01/2010 - 06:04 pm.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the day when our government becomes so dysfunctional and completely paralyzed that we become vulnerable to invasion from the north. The Canucks can decide if they’d prefer to put on a Manchu or a German act when they do it.

  11. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/01/2010 - 06:23 pm.

    If Wisconsinites vote for a Chamber of Commerce millionaire instead of Russ Feingold, they’ll be losing one of the best senators they (or the country) have had for decades. A real progressive, who votes against some Democratic legislation because it is too conservative. And, of course, overly conservative Republican bills.

    He has opposed the new banking reform bill; so-called “free trade” bills that were licenses for corporations to underpay workers, pollute environments and suck up natural resources in the countries who signed trade agreements with us; military interventions and adventures; and the Patriot Act.

    The problem this year is that old truth: money talks. Johnson is able to “talk” at four times what Feingold can spend. Unfortunately.

  12. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/02/2010 - 03:18 pm.

    Terms like ‘Bush’s tax cuts’
    ‘Obama’s health care reform’
    are simple descriptions.
    Neologisms like ‘ObamaCare’ are less descriptive, and tend to be coined as political slogans.

  13. Submitted by John E Iacono on 10/05/2010 - 09:46 am.

    //I do not think “shoved down the throat of the American people” is an accurate, fair or reasonable description of how the health care bill passed.

    So how does it feel to be in the minority?

  14. Submitted by John E Iacono on 10/05/2010 - 10:57 am.

    George Will, 09/30/10:

    “the health care legislation…may not be (as suggested by JWR columnist Michael Barone, author of the Almanac of American Politics) the most unpopular major legislation since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. But it remains as unpopular as it was when the administration told Americans to pipe down and eat their broccoli.

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