All it takes is a backbone.
As of now, my vote goes to Russel Feingold, who — unlike most Democrats — has the guts to step up and say what he thinks is right.
He’s stood up for fiscal sanity. He refused to vote for the noxious “PATRIOT Act”. And now he’s spoken up for civil rights:
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), a prospective 2008 presidential candidate, said yesterday that he thinks bans on same-sex marriages have no place in the nation’s laws.
Feingold said in an interview that he was motivated to state his position on one of the most divisive social issues in the country after being asked at a town hall meeting Sunday about a pending amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution to ban same-sex marriages.
Feingold called the amendment “a mean-spirited attempt” to single out gays and lesbians for discrimination and said he would vote against it. But he went further, announcing he favors legalizing same-sex marriages as well.
That puts him at odds with many prominent Democratic politicians who support gay rights but not same-sex marriage. Should Feingold decide to run for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008, his position would put him to the left of many likely rivals.
Which, of course, is the problem with today’s Democrats. They have no guts, they have no convictions that they’re willing to voice and fight for. They’re just too damned pragmatic, saying what they think will get them elected — and that’s just not enough.
I’m so worried that Hillary Clinton is being mooted as the 2008 candidate, a woman who has used her tenure in the Senate to move to the right and portray herself as a centrist without real convictions. Kind of like her husband.
Pragmatism doesn’t work for me, because the Dems don’t have the same slimy bait-and-switch tactics that the Republicans do — you know, where they say one thing but wink and nod to the extreme right and later do their bidding.
It’s unfortunate that Feingold probably will not advance far enough to get the nod. People who call for equality and progress rarely do.