Following Republican shenanigans on the floor of the Senate last night whereby the GOP filibustered Sen. John Warner's (R-VA) non-binding Iraq resolution, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) held a conference call to discuss exactly what the hell is going on. You can listen to a three-minute audio excerpt in Windows Media format here and MP3 format here - it is an exchange I had with Feingold about the power equation at work behind all the rhetoric coming out Washington.
After the election we had on November 7th and after polls have registered the public's deep anger at the President for trying to escalate the war, you would think Democrats would be pushing legislation with real teeth and not just non-binding nothingness, especially if the GOP was going to filibuster anyway. Well, you'd be wrong. In the audio excerpt, I asked Feingold if this is because of Ben Nelson-ism - that is, because of conservative Democrats who are willing to use a brinkmanship progressive senators rarely use. As you can hear, Feingold says it's even deeper - he says this is a battle between Democrats' Washington consultant class and the rest of the country - and he specifically targets the D.C. elites from the Clinton administration, who he accurately notes largely supported the war from the get-go.
Whether you agree fully with Feingold's analysis or not, the Wisconsin senator's view of what's going on is fascinating and bold, in that he bluntly talks about a subject too often considered taboo inside the Beltway. His statement once again reminds us of why there has to be real pressure from the outside such as the Progressive States Network's Anti-Escalation Campaign and/or Act for Change's latest call to action. Listen to the excerpt - it's pretty refreshing to hear a U.S. Senator talk so candidly about the Washington power structure and how it really operates.