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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Feingold Conducts Townhall With Grace

Saw this posted at Illusory Tenant about a Townhall meeting in Ozaukee County hosted by Sen. Russ Feingold. His response to a question about former justice Louis Butler was profoundly constructed.
Illusory Tenant Excerpt:
Feingold: I understand. Now you do know, of course, that the people of this country, when we made this Constitution, which many people [here] have referred to, specifically chose not to have federal judges elected. Now why is that? They decided they wanted a different kind of judiciary that wasn't based on elections. When Louis Butler lost his seat on the Supreme Court — 51-49 — he was not repudiated. He lost to another guy. That doesn't mean he should never be a judge. That doesn't mean he should go to jail or something. The guy barely lost.

[Audience members: But he lost!]

Feingold: But that doesn't mean ... and, by the way, he won in the Western District of Wisconsin. In the area that he would be the judge for, he won.

[Silence]
This is exactly what we need more of from our Democratic leaders.

Townhall meetings have grown hostile and can be intimidating even to the most well-seasoned veterans in the game. Instead of some ideological rant, partisan substitution or go-along politicalese, Feingold's answer was superbly heady, straight forward and non-confrontational. The silence was golden. Way to go, Senator!

More: An in-person account, State Republicans show at Feingold's Townhall?!

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