WEATHER »

Tossing Caution to the Wind


by Nick Welsh

Potential Democratic presidential candidate Russ Feingold (pictured) — the outspoken senator from Wisconsin — pressed the flesh in Santa Barbara last weekend, warning that continued political caution by Democratic candidates could spell certain defeat in the upcoming November elections. Speaking first at a Montecito fundraiser and later at a Democratic Women’s luncheon, Feingold said some leaders are “too timid” about standing up for what they believe. The only senator to oppose the PATRIOT Act, Feingold also voted against giving President George W. Bush war authorization powers and, more recently, introduced a bill to censure Bush for authorizing wiretaps on the telephones of American citizens. This latter effort caused much embarrassment among Democratic moderates and failed.

Feingold calls for the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the year’s end, and predicts political success for any party that achieves the withdrawal. He supported the invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks because of the Taliban’s well-documented support of Al Qaeda; by contrast, he said, Iraq did not support Al Qaeda. Because the U.S. is enmeshed in war in Iraq, he said, America is less able to respond to world crises. He argued Hizbullah took advantage of this fact by launching its recent incursions against Israel. Feingold also said that peace in the Middle East is only possible if a Palestinian state is created. When asked what his first actions would be if elected president, Feingold said he’d end discrimination against gays and lesbians, issue no executive orders that evade the law, and repeal all current executive orders, which critics contend Bush has used to circumvent Congress and minimize the checks and balances written into the Constitution.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Sansum Clinic Offers New Way to Access Medical Data

iPhone app can organize multiple records, results, notifications.

Santa Barbara Gives! Features 55 Nonprofits

Community members are invited to donate to their favorite causes via SBGives.org.

Woman Killed by Train in Montecito

She was struck Friday morning near Olive Mill Road.

La Cumbre Sears Set for Closure

Liquidation sale begins this week.

City Council Approves Fee Allocation for Branch Libraries

The topic goes next to potential Goleta branch library cities.