Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Wheel in the Ditch and a Wheel on the Track

Don’t know how I missed this big dustup concerning my man Russ Feingold and the fair citizens of Greenville, Alabama over a recent golfing visit and the Senator’s comments in concerning what he saw of the local economy. You can read his commentary here but I will paraphrase quickly: “Why would the many of you who are struggling to keep afloat not set aside your beliefs long enough to realize that the Republicans are tossing you the rope with the life perserver?”

Floating down in the aftermath of the ensuing F4 twister and landing in my Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was this little piece of debris written by Greenville resident Morgan Mann, apparently he or she of the Ann “Hot Lips” Coulter School of Sociology. Again, I paraphrase: “Take your ‘smoking jacket’, ‘ascot’ and ‘cognac’ along with your ‘Bolshevik’ ‘left-wing ideology’ back to the ‘elitist’ root of that ‘poisonous’ ‘leftist’ culture, Harvard University.”

Apparently while we come to it's(?) corner of the woods and put down a couple of grand for golf vacation Mr. or Ms. Mann is boning up on Northern culture by watching Cary Grant in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

Well, I can’t help putting my two cents in, so I’ve sent this letter down to the Greenville Advocate:

To the Editor:

I wasn’t aware of the flap over Senator Russ Feingold’s submittal to concerning the fair city of Greenville until this past Sunday, when
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a letter to the editor written by one of your
citizens likening “Northern” liberals to the Bolshevik red horde.

Before we all go marching off to war to the unlikely battle hymns of Neil
Young and Ronnie Van Zant let’s all calm down and try to understand each other a
little better.

This is some of the reaction of your Senator Sessions:

Fundamentally what he is saying is that red states don't know what's good for America. Russ and so many on the left don't understand, especially in cities like Greenville, morality, integrity and faith are important things.

Apparently a morality at all tolerant of others’ lifestyles and beliefs is no morality at all in the eyes of Sessions. Apparently to Sessions the fact that we are more likely to remain married than those in Alabama is in no part due to our understanding of the importance of the family values of integrity and faith.

Senator Feingold took 70% of the vote in a state that voted virtually 50/50 for President because Wisconsinites of all persuasions recognize him as a man of great integrity and greater courage. He is also a man who will never gild the lily with statistics of how the economy is “turning the corner” as long as people at the median income level and below are getting left behind.

This from your Governor:

There are more job opportunities in Alabama today than there have been in the past five years. Our economy is recognized as one of the best in the nation, and we're going to have a net gain of jobs this year for the first time in almost four years.

While politicians, prominent citizens and op-ed writers speak of shiny new buildings, acres of new quarter million dollar homes and the promise of new jobs the truth behind the shadow of the statistics is that the weekly wage for workers, adjusted for inflation, has decreased ten of the last twelve reporting months, steadily for twenty years and most precipitously since 2002.

Consider the nature of the Senator’s visit. Did he sweep into Craig Field on some backer’s Citation and pile his entourage into an awaiting fleet of Lockheed Martin limousines bound for Greenville where all could make a big, fat deal of his Senatorial splendor? No, he and his buddies—like thousands of us cheeseheads who enjoy your hospitality to no end—piled into a van and headed down I 65 to hit a few, stopping to get a turkey dinner and driving around lookin’ at stuff afterward.

Feingold is an honest man looking to bypass the hard rhetoric of the zealous and help working people put food on the table, proper health care into their families’ lives and maybe a buck or two into their pockets so they can go hit a few.

Their beliefs are their own business, as our founding principles would have it.

I rest.


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