Feingold an Unacceptable Committee Chair?


Some “Democratic strategist” named Michael Feldman seems to think that John Kerry shouldn’t be Secretary of State because that would (combined with Joe Biden’s departure for the Vice Presidency) leave Russ Feingold to chair the Foreign Relations Committee. He says “of course that poses a whole series of problems.”

Andrea Mitchell sensibly asks “Why does it pose a series of problems?”

To which Feldman replies: “Well, because of Senator Feingold’s opposition to the war and I think that would immediately, his vocal opposition to the war, I think that would immediately then raise some issues for the caucus and for leader Reid.”

Now the truth is that Feingold, like most any Senator, has taken some positions over the years I don’t agree with (opposing NATO expansion in the mid-nineties, for example) but the idea that anyone could, with a straight face, argue that Feingold should be disqualified on account of having been correct about Iraq is a sad comment on the state of things. That said, the soon-to-be presence in the White House of a war opponent is changing things. Mitchell is a soundly establishmentarian figure and she immediately shoots back with “But the president[-elect] of the United States is opposed to the war.”

At any rate, though I’ve heard enough asinine things on television to believe that Feldman may well have said this because he meant it, I also think this may be more about Kerry than about Feingold. There’s a developing meme out there that Kerry is some kind of dangerous leftwing radical (his selection “would be … bound to provoke controversy with moderate Democrats” for some reason) and the Richard Holbrooke Fan Club hasn’t gone out of business yet in the press.