October 28, 2015

Russ Feingold’s “Full Flop”

What’s worse than getting a dreaded “Pants on Fire” from PolitiFact? Being on the receiving end of the fact checker’s rarely-deployed “Full Flop” rating – meaning that a politician has so completely changed positions on an issue that “flip flop” isn’t a strong enough term.

Given former Senator Russ Feingold’s well-documented hypocrisy on his long-held pledge to raise a majority of campaign cash from within Wisconsin, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he would merit a Full Flop, but that didn’t stop the erstwhile “Senator Clean” from trying to wiggle out of it. PolitiFact reports:

Feingold argues the pledge was made on an election-to-election basis.

“Every single election is different based on the reality of the campaign finance law at the time,” he said. “What I did in the past is to offer a pledge or a series of proposals for a six-year term.”

Really, Russ? Unfortunately for Feingold, he explicitly said his pledge was “for the future” – meaning he wouldn’t abandon it in future elections. Video of Feingold during his first senate run exposes what a fraud he’s become:

PolitiFact resoundingly rejected Feingold’s pathetic spin:

The more-than-half-from-Wisconsin pledge is not a 1992 campaign relic. Feingold followed it in his re-election bids in 1998, 2004 and in 2010.

And awarded Feingold the dubious distinction of a flip flop so shameless that no caveat was necessary:

In four Senate campaigns, Feingold abided by the pledge he inscribed on his garage door: He would raise the majority of his campaign cash from Wisconsin residents.

Feingold said he was changing with the times, and is no longer bound by his previous pledge.

That’s a complete reversal. And a Full Flop.