Arizona’s perennial aisle crossing Sen. John McCain, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate today to deliver an emotional farewell to three-term Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost his November reelection bid to Republican Ron Johnson.
“Without intending it as a commentary on his successor, I have to confess I think the Senate will be a much poorer place without Russ Feingold in it,” McCain said. “I know that in my next term I will experience fewer occasions of inspiration because of the departure of Russ Feingold, a man whose courage and dedication to the principles that guided his Senate service often inspired me.”
Feingold is probably best remembered for his 2002 co-authorship with McCain on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act — better known as McCain-Feingold — which was ostensibly crafted to limit the influence of money on campaigns, but in fact, severely and unconstitutionally constrained free speech.
Human Events provides an excellent insight on the direct attack of McCain-Feingold as it relates to one of our most fundamental constitutional rights — freedom of speech – especially unpopular political speech, the very speech our Founders sought to protect.
In his lengthy oratory, McCain said Feingold’s friendship and wisdom would be “irreplaceable,” the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
“In his time in the Senate, Russ Feingold, every day and in every way, had the courage of his convictions,” McCain said. “And though I am quite a few years older than Russ, and have served in this body longer than he has, I confess I have always felt he was my superior in that cardinal virtue.”
Russ Feingold held to the convictions he had in common with John McCain but had the proper designation after his name: Democrat.