The left wing of the party has greeted Feingold's censure call ecstatically. He was the front-runner in a Jan. 31 survey of 2008 presidential candidates by the liberal blog Daily Kos. Feingold garnered 30 percent support among the more than 11,000 respondents, eclipsing retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who dropped to second place after leading in the previous five bimonthly polls.Someone has to stake out the left wing of the Democratic Party. I'm glad it's someone as decent and smart as Russ Feingold.
Feingold said 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."
MORE: Dana Milbank has a hilarious description of Feingold's colleagues:
Democratic senators, filing in for their weekly caucus lunch yesterday, looked as if they'd seen a ghost.Too funny! But Feingold didn't mean to set the stage for a big comic performance by his fellow Democrats, did he?
"I haven't read it," demurred Barack Obama (Ill.).
"I just don't have enough information," protested Ben Nelson (Neb.). "I really can't right now," John Kerry (Mass.) said as he hurried past a knot of reporters -- an excuse that fell apart when Kerry was forced into an awkward wait as Capitol Police stopped an aide at the magnetometer.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) brushed past the press pack, shaking her head and waving her hand over her shoulder. When an errant food cart blocked her entrance to the meeting room, she tried to hide from reporters behind the 4-foot-11 Barbara Mikulski (Md.).
"Ask her after lunch," offered Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines. But Clinton, with most of her colleagues, fled the lunch out a back door as if escaping a fire....
So nonplused were Democrats that even Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), known for his near-daily news conferences, made history by declaring, "I'm not going to comment." Would he have a comment later? "I dunno," the suddenly shy senator said.
YET MORE: When will it be fair to say that Congress has tacitly approved of the President's surveillance program?