The Battle for America 2010: Wisconsin Senate Race a Bellwether for the Nation
Wisconsin's startling U.S. Senate race between Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson has transcended party politics and transformed into the national poster child for this country's deep dissatisfaction with Congress, bloated government, reckless spending, redistributionist socialism, and the institutionalized ruling elite in Washington. From a wildly unpopular health care bill, to Washington's blind eye to America's immigration problem, to a pork-laden trillion dollar "stimulus" bill which was more like a sedative, the American voters that incumbents have not listened to are more than angry. They are revolting.
A recent Daily Kos public policy poll has the newcomer and political outsider, Johnson, far ahead of Feingold, 52 to 41. That an entrenched Democrat incumbent is trailing that badly in a state which Obama carried handily in 2008 is more than a bad sign for Democrats this fall. It's an ominous warning to all members of Washington's aristocracy. Similar phenomena are being experienced in races all over the country. From the primary victory of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware to Carl Paladino's victory in New York, the same message to the political establishment is winning the day: the party in Washington is over.
America's new revolution is not unlike the infamous 18th century French Revolution. During a period of political upheaval, the French monarchy which had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three short years as an out-of-touch French aristocracy crumpled and gave way to simple principles of citizenship and inalienable rights. Similarly, the entitlement and business-as-usual mentality in Washington is giving way to common sense and the easily-understood notion that Washington cannot spend money it doesn't have for things we don't need.
Our young president's slow political execution is symbolic of the fate of France's Louis XVI. Yet, both Michelle and Barack are planning visits to Wisconsin to support Feingold. That a president with soaring disapproval ratings and his wife -- who has been compared to Marie Antoinette -- would come to Wisconsin and stump for Feingold is clearly a sign of ruling class desperation. Feingold spokesman John Kraus said Feingold is excited about Michelle coming, and looked forward to her visit -- a far cry from Obama's Labor Day visit, when Feingold made himself invisible.
The conspicuous consumption by the noble class in the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at Versailles continued despite the financial burden on the populace. The excessive consumption by the political elite and ruling class in Washington today is no less conspicuous. High unemployment plagued Louis XVI's France like it plagues the Rust Belt of America, and as everyday Americans look to Washington and see the rock star, Kobe beef-eating, exorbitant vacationing lifestyles of the rich and elected, they are looking for heads to roll. And roll they will this November, starting with Russ Feingold.
The revolt against Washington's political ruling class is not fueled by class envy. It is, rather, a natural desire on the part of the American people that members of Congress be like them, understand them, and don't look down their noses at them. The germinating seed may well have been when Barack Obama described small-town Americans as bitterly clinging to "guns or religion." This statement revealed Obama's belief that these inferior, less enlightened Americans are in need of caretaking by the political elite. In typical elitist fashion, Obama later justified himself by pointing out that he had said "what everybody knows is true." The common herd apparently does not understand life's elusive truths, requiring the ruling class to discount what the ruled say and to presume what they truly mean.