Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Good Example

On Monday I posed the question as to whether or not the SCLM was capable of challenging the White House on their series of lies and misrepresentations that have passed for news briefings and using the censure motion put forward by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) as a test case.

Today the Washington Post proves that they are not. The profile of the senator from Wisconsin might as well have been written by the White House. It portrays Mr. Feingold as a loner, an “iconoclast,” someone who doesn’t glad-hand with his colleagues, and the darling of the “liberal base” of the Democratic Party, and it hints darkly that the only reason Mr. Feingold proposed the censure motion was to cement his stature as a liberal presidential hopeful for the 2008 race.

Setting aside the notion that mind-reading is not generally considered to be a reliable journalistic method, the assumption that Mr. Feingold is doing it for purely political reasons flies in the face of their own reporting; a “maverick” and and “iconoclast” doesn’t do things for political gain. That would make him just another senator. That means — hold on to your hat — that he’s doing it because he actually believes that the president has broken the law and should be held accountable.

On a larger scale, to paint Sen. Feingold as only appealing to the liberal wing of the Democratic party is a blantant attempt to marginalize him, and to say that he is the “darling of the progressives” makes it sound like the only people who are fed up with the current administration are denizens of MoveOn.org and those whacky lefty bloggers at DailyKos, Atrios, and yours truly. (By the way, John at AMERICAblog has good rant about this same subject. GMTA.) That would make sense were it not for the fact that the president and his administration are currently polling at a 34% approval rating. Given that, it’s hard to make the case that it’s only the liberals and Democrats who are not happy with how things are going.

As Senator Feingold notes in the article, the attention his motion is getting results.

…he is “extremely pleased with the way this is going.” He said he is particularly buoyed the barrage of criticism from Republicans. “If such a crazy idea has such limited appeal, why do they have the attack dogs calling all over the country about this?” Feingold asked. “It touches a nerve.”

It also shows that the ones out of the mainstream are the lapdogs of the comfortable media, not the 66% of the electorate or the junior senator from Wisconsin.