With the announced retirement a week ago of Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, the possibility of the return of former Senator Russ Feingold, who was defeated by Tea Party favorite and businessman Ron Johnson, to the US Senate beckons.
Feingold, who has formed his own Political Action Committee, Progressives United, to fight for progressive causes, has not announced if he will seek the seat, but progressives all over America should insist he run, as his defeat in 2010 was the biggest loss for progressives and liberals, of all the lost members in the Republican tide of 2010.
Rumors had spread that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would seek the seat, but with the outrage expressed nationally and in his home district against his Medicare plan to privatize the system over the next decade, he seems reluctant to give up his prestigious position to run for a junior role in the Senate as a new member.
Instead, former Governor Tommy Thompson, who was also Health and Human Services Secretary under President George W. Bush, is planning to run, making a possible top race between Feingold and Thompson.
The question will be whether Thompson, as former HHS Secretary, will endorse the Ryan plan on Medicare.
If he does, and Feingold runs, it will be a classic battle of progressivism against extreme right wing conservatism and Tea Party influence. It will be a battle for the future of the social safety net of the New Deal and Great Society, and it is unacceptable for Feingold to decide not to run, and to lose the race to Thompson or any other Republican, even if Thompson does not support the Ryan plan.
This is one of the key battles for the future of America!