Death of Liberaltarianism: Exits Spell Curtains for Bob Barr-Endorsed Feingold


Russ, we knew ye too well.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) will lose his seat to Republican challenger Ron Johnson, according to exit polls. Says John Byrne at RawStory:

In any other election year, the three-term incumbent from this Democratic-leaning midwestern state should have easily beat opponent Ron Johnson, a wealthy businessman with no previous political experience and little in the way of specific policy proposals.

But voters were frustrated with the slow pace of the economic recovery and Democrats—who control Congress and the White House—bore much of the their ire.

It's almost a shame, and not just because Johnson is an empty suit who is unlikely to do much in terms of eliminating government, cutting spending, or in any other way advancing fiscal conservatism. The notorious campaign finance law Feingold co-authored with John McCain has been mostly undone by the courts; and in a fairly unexpected gesture, 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr recently endorsed Feingold, citing his efforts to roll back the USA PATRIOT Act. So Feingold's worst legacy has evaporated and his best one is going unrewarded.

Update: As noted, I was only referring to the exit polls. Feingold ain't dead yet.

NEXT: Confused? Stop Reading the Republican Platform!

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  1. Johnson is an empty suit who is unlikely to do much in terms of eliminating government, cutting spending or in any other way advancing fiscal conservatism

    Empty suits play a role in the grand scheme of Congressional gridlock. Do not dismiss the empty suits. If they get sandwiches and make coffee, that will be enough.

  2. Rather have an empty suit in office than some twat that proposes legislation to restrict speech during an election.

  3. Excuse me while I do my Nelson Muntz laugh:

    Ha ha!

    By the way, I just realized something: did you know Dan Coats (who’s just beaten Brad Ellsworth) looks a lot like Robert Duvall? The resemblance is uncanny! Next thing you know, one of the black guys we’re electing will look exactly like Morgan Freeman or something.

    1. Who will promptly get shot or lynched by Gene Hackman.

  4. His worst legacy has evaporated, despite his best efforts. Good riddance.

  5. The polls don’t even close for another 90 minutes!

  6. Rand Fucking Paul.

    That is all.

    Is this now the election night thread nobody at Reason bothered to set up?

    1. It’s been rolling for the last couple threads now.

      The best thing about gridlock will be all the nasty nasty mudslinging. I can’t wait!

      1. Enjoy, you hatchet-faced nutmeg dealer!

  7. So long, Feingold, you first-amendment hating son of a bitch.


    1. Feingold was the only Senator to vote against both the Iraq War and the Patriot Spy Act.

      Better than any GOPer for sure on civil liberties.

      1. Except Ron Paul.

        1. An inarticulate ACLU hating Southerner.

          What the fuck do you know about civil liberties?

            1. More than an inarticulate, state-licking Yankee.

      2. Okay, I feel bad about calling him a twat before but the bill that had his name on it was seriously seriously bad.

      3. Except for that whole freedom of speech thing.

      4. Not balanced by McCain-Feingold, which Feingold helped birth. Net loss for liberty, shrike.

        Oh, and nice of you to forget your liberal oath to not spew hate speech, fuckface.

      5. Except political ones. But yeah, not nearly as shit as a lot of other Democrats.

  8. Feingold consistently opposed the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq. As Democrats go, there was a lot for libertarians to like. Bummer.

      1. Yeah, I agree. He sucked on speech and free trade, but was pretty good for a Democrat and politician in general.

        1. “…but was pretty good for a Democrat…”

          Damned with faint praise.

    1. Couldn’t he have done that without voting to wreck the healthcare system and take away people’s free speech? Fuck him. I hope he dies in a fire.

      1. Nice. You stay classy, John.

        1. I couldn’t give less of a shit about people who want to take away my liberty.

          1. Right, but so does the incoming Republican, and he also wants to bomb brown people and pay for it with your money

            1. That is a plus for people like John (except for the part about taxes).

  9. What happened to the Gary Johnson post?

    1. Good question.

      The missing link:

      It’s also missing from the list on the author’s page:

  10. Well, I voted for Johnson. We’ll see if I come to regret it. In the interviews I listened to, he seemed pretty focused on creating a pro-business climate. I don’t really think he’s a neocon, just a retired manufacturing executive.

  11. McCain. Feingold. Barr.
    To get Biblical, which of these three millstones are bigger? Consider the above as human sacrifices; attach their own personas around their respective necks. Throw all three into the lake. See who sinks fastest.
    (None fast enough for moi.)

  12. I hope that free speech hating fuck has a miserable retirement. I don’t care who beat him. Tonight is not about victory. It is about fucks like Feigngold losing.

    1. True, just like 2008 was about people like McCain losing. And for the same reason, for those of us opposed to CFR. Well, let’s hope it works out better this time.

  13. RE: “Johnson is an empty suit…”

    I just love reading asshats like Kavanaugh who can comment and pass judgment without ever actually entering the arena themselves.

    Yeah, those fulsome, professional politicians have sure served this country so well the last several decades, haven’t they? At least they aren’t “empty suits”, are they Kavanaugh?

    I’ll take an earnest, sincere “empty suit” over the current crop of “swells” any day of the week.


    1. 1. In 2008, you told that you were voting for
      Barack Obama. Do you stand by that vote?
      Sure, why not?
      If we’re going to assume there’s any information encoded in a vote
      for a major party candidate?beyond “one” and “zero”?the passage of
      Obamacare is the only area where we can say for certain that Barack
      Obama is worse than John McCain would have been. (McCain actually
      had a pretty forward-looking plan for health care.) On other issues
      of import to people who are fiscally conservative and socially
      liberal, McCain would have differed from Obama only on cosmetic
      details. As I wrote in Reason at the time, my rare
      decision to vote for a major-party candidate was motivated solely
      by a Brian’s Song-vintage commitment to universal racial
      brotherhood. And racial issues have moved forward?or at least
      become less boring?since Obama took office.

  14. I must have missed when Feingold used procedural rules to shut down the Senate in order to get the Patriot Act repealed, or when he attempted to attach repeal of it to bills repeatedly.

    What I didn’t miss was his law abridging speech.

    And did he vote in favor or TARP, bailout and healthcare?

    Yeah, fuck him. Empty suit please.

    1. He also voted against the Patriot Act knowing his vote was meaningless. Same with the Iraq war. But his vote on obamacare and authorship of McCain Feigngold sure as hell wasn’t meaningless.

      But the fuck still has libertarian fan boys. God they are cheap dates.

      1. ‘Liberaltarian’, geez, get with the program

    2. TARP Bailout: Voted Nay…..ayers.html

      Healthcare: Voted Yea

      “He also voted against the Patriot Act knowing his vote was meaningless.”

      No he actually did try to block the bill:…..4934.shtml

      Could’ve gone further, but I’m sure the proponents of the compromise had more than enough numbers to pass the thing.

      Not horrible for a Democrat.

    3. he voted against Tarp

      He is one the few politicians, let alone liberal, I respected.

  15. Feingold’s signature issue (more than McCain and even more of an extremist)was campaign finance reform which was extremely hostile to freedom of speech. All that he had to to earn forgiveness was to make the right noises on the Patriot Act and the war?

    What a cheap little slut Cavanaugh is!

    1. [insert after “war”]…and to have the courts say screw you you don’t know the Constitution on his pet cause?

  16. Like I said earlier, shadenfreude is the best fruede.

  17. Something can’t die if it never existed.

  18. Man, the “libertarians” are really showing their true colors in this thread. Not one of you cares enough about real individual rights and civil liberties to have any idea who Russ Feingold actually is and what he has done in the Senate?! You’re all a bunch of Republican partisans who read something somewhere about Citizens United and think you know what you’re talking about. You’re all clueless.

    Being Libertarian used to mean something more substantial than “I’m a Republican but I want to call myself something that sounds slightly cooler.” I guess those days are over. You guys are no more friends of liberty than the Obama administration.

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