KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Have Senator, Will Trade or Build to Suit

The latest news about Senator Russ Feingold has made me envious. I'm stuck with Hillary Rodham Clinton, she who rode into politics on her husband's coattails and still supports the war in Iraq. Yes, I also have the generally decent Chuck Schumer, but I want a matched pair. Says yesterday's press release from Feingold's office:

Responding to a question posed at his Kenosha County listening session over the weekend, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold said he strongly opposed the proposed civil unions and marriage ban facing Wisconsin voters this November. He also expressed his support for the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Feingold holds listening sessions in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties every year. Later this year, Feingold will hold his 1000th listening session as a U.S. Senator.

“The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated,” Feingold said. “It discriminates against thousands of people in our communities—our co-workers, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. It would single out members of a particular group and forever deny them rights and protections granted to all other Wisconsin citizens. It would also outlaw civil unions and jeopardize many legal protections for all unmarried couples, whether of the same or the opposite sex. We shouldn’t enshrine this prejudice in our state’s Constitution.”

At the listening session, held at the Village Hall in Paddock Lake, Wisconsin, Feingold also expressed his support for the right of gays and lesbians to marry.

“As I said at the Kenosha County listening session, gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy,” Feingold added. “Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue.”

Clinton and Schumer have said they oppose same-sex marriage, though Schumer supports same-sex civil unions.

And though Feingold is sponsoring a resolution to censure Bush for illegally spying on Americans, neither Clinton nor Schumer has signed on.

I'm sure Feingold isn't perfect, but at least he acts on his conscience instead of posing for meaningless photo ops and sublimating personal convictions to win votes the way Clinton does. (Whatever happened to health care reform, Hillary?) I'd love to trade Clinton for Feingold. Wisconsin, are you game?


KL said...

Huh! I didn't know Clinton (Hilary) acts that way. Too bad; i am waiting eagerly for a woman American President and was resting my hope on Hillary, but if she behaves in that way, then I can't support her in any ways possible :(:(:(.....I would rather support Feingold.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I'm eager to see a woman elected president, too, KL. But Hillary ain't the right one for the job. Oh, we see flashes of the old Hillary here once in a while, but she's done nothing since taking office to improve the health care mess, she still thinks the U.S. should be in Iraq, and she mostly just jumps on others' bandwagons. Sure, holding on to a political office entails some compromises, but ol' Hill's gone over to the mealymouthed side.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

There's a good summary of Hillary's stances here. (You can use the site's Senate and House tabs to find the views of any U.S. senator or representative.)

I agree with a good many of Hillary's views, but the woman doesn't lead; she follows.

Anonymous said...

I've been really disappointed in her too. I supported her when she ran for Senate, even though I usually think you should really live in a state for more than a few months before trying to represent it in Congress. I do think she's done one thing she said she'd do: she continues to call attention to the problems in Western and Central New York instead of just focusing on NYC. She spends a fair amount of time here and seems to have a really good grasp on the root of our problems, which (as an outsider myself) I think outsiders have a more realistic perspective on sometimes than the people who were born and raised here and remember what it "used to be like."

But I feel personally betrayed by her stance on Iraq, and the way she keeps veering off on silly issues like video game violence makes me think she's willing to go whichever way she thinks the wind is blowing. I'm very sad to have lost the idealism I had in 1992, when I was a young professional and she was the First Lady, and the future seemed bright for Democrats and real progress.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Amen, P-OP.

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