Notice something missing from Russ Feingold's campaign ad?
In case you didn't spot it, here it is.
Even so, this is a vivid illustration of just how epically the alleged Great Liberal Realignment of 2008 has failed. Obama destroyed McCain in Wisconsin, winning by almost 14 points, and yet this is what a three-term Democratic incumbent is reduced to less than two years later — chipping away at an eight-point deficit by reminding people that he fights for veterans and lives in the same house he’s always lived in and, well, that he’s a pretty darned pleasant guy.
You don't run this kind of ad (innocuous, folksy to a fault, no mention of partisan affiliation) if the voters are super-stoked about the political positions you've represented for nearly 20 years in the US Senate. As AP notes, Russ Feingold has long been the golden boy of the hyper-left caucus in a traditionally Democratic state. And yet, here's Feingold running as fast as he can away from his party.
One gets the feeling that unless they're handed a bogey-man to rail against, it's very hard for a liberal to justify his or her existence. Why did the Donks do so well in 2006 and 2008? Because Dumbya BusHitler was always available, to be conjured up--like Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984--for a Two Minutes Hate rally. Now that G-Dub is gone and statist god-king Obama is in the White House, there's no way to generate sufficient rage to propel progrturd candidates to run progturd campaigns.
Besides, it really wasn't supposed to go down this way. Obama's election meant that liberals could finally be themselves. They could enact the whole raft of lefty fever-dreams and get away with it because the American public had finally come to love the Euro-dork nanny state. In the liberal mind, Barack Obama and a large Democrat legislative majority was a signal to shed the last scraps of moderation they'd been hiding behind.
The dream was that a Russ Feingold could make a 2010 campaign where he vociferously bragged about passing ObamaCare, repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and socializing vast swaths of the automotive industry. That...um...didn't exactly work out. Instead, Feingold and the rest of the Donkey-Punchers have once again had to don the imagery and tone of a mushy soft spoken moderate in the thin hope of retaining their congressional seats.
This has got to be a total left-wing buzzkill.
Contrast all that with the tone of Allen West in this clip. Yeah, this is a stump speech, not a campaign ad. But it still bears examination.
I'm not really noticing any hushed mincing cowardly talk out of West. He's hella stoked for a fight against Alcee Hastings, John Lewis and Barack Obama. This is a man who doesn't have to take cover behind moderation. He's a loud-n-proud conservative. Bear this in mind: West is running in a traditionally Democrat district that has voted the Donkey-Puncher candidate in the last three presidential elections, exactly the kind of district that was supposed to go full-on lip-lock with Obama-style liberalism. Instead, Allen West is running a surprisingly competitive race and could pull out a strong win.
That's pretty amazing when you think about it.