I am fucking tired of this righteous, election losing types of progressives telling me we have to be principled when the cards are stacked up against us.
In a phone interview with huffingtonpost, Feingold said:
I think people will see it as phony that Democrats start playing by Republican rules. People will see us as weak and not being a true alternative and just being the same as the other guy. And as I have said before, to me this is dancing with the devil.
“The president is wrong to have embraced the corrupt corporate politics of Citizens United and that’s what you’re doing when you start using and consorting with super PACs. They can raise unlimited amounts of money from wealthy individuals and corporations and often they can do it in total secrecy.
…I am a supporter of the president. I will continue to support the president. But on this one I couldn’t disagree more.”
Rant to follow below the fold…
Some people just don’t have a fucking thinking brain to understand what is stacked up against us. Feingold might be a progressive but he is a progressive who lost his seat because he can’t think outside of the box to achieve the fierce urgency of now. When 200 people are raising 30 million dollars to attack our Democratic President, it is a fight we must get ready for. While it is inevitable because of the campaign finance laws, we can’t live by Two Sets of Rules, as Jim Messina, Obama 2012 Campaign Manager puts it:
The President opposed the Citizens United decision. He understood that with the dramatic growth in opportunities to raise and spend unlimited special-interest money, we would see new strategies to hide it from public view. He continues to support a law to force full disclosure of all funding intended to influence our elections, a reform that was blocked in 2010 by a unanimous Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate. And the President favors action—by constitutional amendment, if necessary—to place reasonable limits on all such spending.
But this cycle, our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it currently stands.
Over the last few months, Super PACs affiliated with Republican presidential candidates have spent more than $40 million on television and radio, almost all of it for negative ads.
Last week, filings showed that the Super PAC affiliated with Mitt Romney’s campaign raised $30 million in 2011 from fewer than 200 contributors, most of them from the financial sector. Governor Romney personally helped raise money for this group, which is run by some of his closest allies.
Meanwhile, other Super PACs established for the sole purpose of defeating the President—along with “nonprofits” that also aren’t required to disclose the sources of their funding—have raised more than $50 million. In the aggregate, these groups are expected to spend half a billion dollars, above and beyond what the Republican nominee and party are expected to commit to try to defeat the President.
How stupid has someone like Russ Feingold must be to think even if you don’t agree with the idea of Super PACs, not to make use of them if your opponent is gearing up to destroy and crash you with a money bomb financed by the top 1% who own the majority of this country? I would think any reasonable Democrat would think that it would be impossible to counter such powerful interests with only $20 dollar contributions from the grass roots and without the same level of funding that can compete with the Republicans from the likes Buffett ain’t going to cut it this time around. The game has change thanks to the SCOTUS and the player has to change its game as well.
Is the system fucked up? Hell ya, it is. Do we like the idea of Super PACs, hell NO but Feingold should be yelling loud at the SCOTUS for the Citizens United decision that got us into this mess in the first place and not at the President who is trying to ensure we are in-route to moving this country in the right direction. May be what Feingold wants is for Obama to lose but then what? Without winning the Presidency, you can’t fix decisions made by the SCOTUS as there will be 2 or 3 seats that will be vacant in the next cycle that will have a much more significant consequence than the Citizens United ruling.
For Pete’s sake, why don’t some holier than thou Democrats understand that Republican will use our morality against us? Don’t you know Obama’s opposition to this kinds of campaigning is clear but he is forced to compete in order to level the playing field, to have a chance to correct things like the Citizens United’s ruling. Don’t this people think losing the White House and Senate and without taking back the House, you can correct Citizens United’s ruling regardless of how noble their ideologies are.
So, Mr. Feingold, if you really want to support the President, you have to start fighting them heads on in a pragmatic way. That is how you win election this days. Not the old fashion ways that got you retiring so early.