February 15, 2006


Feingold launches another lonely effort to block the Patriot Act (LAURIE KELLMAN, 2/15/06, Associated Press)

In a case of legislative deja vu, Sen. Russell Feingold launched another lonely filibuster against the USA Patriot Act, but sponsors predicted enough support to overcome the objection and extend parts of the law set to expire March 10.

Feingold, D-Wis., said protracted talks with the White House over the law's protections for civil liberties produced only a "fig leaf" to cover weaknesses that leave people vulnerable to government intrusion.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he had the 60 votes required to overcome Feingold's filibuster, as soon as this week. He agreed, though, that any revisions to a House-Senate accord blocked last year were "cosmetic.

"But sometimes cosmetics will make a beauty out of a beast and provide enough cover for senators to change their vote," Specter told reporters Wednesday.

Indeed, the filibuster seemed doomed. No Democrats were expected to join Feingold, according to officials of both parties.

Now that he's narrowed his position down to a pure 1%, how can Mr. Feingold help but be the '08 choice of the Left?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2006 5:52 PM

Feingold/Gore in 08!

Posted by: Genecis at February 15, 2006 6:49 PM

Bet Dennis Kucinich is bummed.

Posted by: jeff at February 15, 2006 7:25 PM

Feingold would still drive some on the left nuts when he and McCain started praising each other about CFR during the general election (McCain would be the one to make the rigbt go bonkers in this case, but the left has the bonkers mode down cold compared with the angst on the right).

Posted by: John at February 15, 2006 9:04 PM

Feingold and Jim Doyle seem determined to push WI into the red category (it may actually have been there in 2004, except for the same-day magic voting in Milwaukee).

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 15, 2006 11:14 PM

He will ice the Jewish vote. Would he have a chance at McGoverns record?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 15, 2006 11:20 PM