Boston Herald: Senator Feingold Has “No Ideas” on Iran and Related National Security Threats

Boston Herald: Senator Feingold Has “No Ideas” on Iran and Related National Security Threats

While Ron Johnson pushes for real solutions, Senator Feingold tells elite Boston crowd we should look to Indonesia for help

A Boston Herald columnist is reporting that Senator Feingold acknowledged to donors at a Boston fundraiser recently that he has “no ideas” about what to do about Iran and the terrorist activity the Iranians sponsor around the world.

“While Senator Feingold is going around the country admitting to elite donors he doesn’t know what to do about Iran, Ron Johnson is pushing for real solutions to the many threats facing our country,” said Brian Reisinger, Ron Johnson for Senate campaign spokesman. “Ron was not only one of the strongest opponents of the president’s reckless Iran deal – he’s also taken action, most recently by passing legislation in Congress on Friday that will help keep terrorists out of the United States.”

Background:

  • The Boston Herald reports, “Feingold acknowledged that he had no ideas, but pivoted to a description of his recent trip to Indonesia. … No one present was impolite enough to suggest to the veteran Democrat that if talking to the Indonesians about talking to the Iranians was the Democratic Party’s Plan A for dealing with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, it had better move hastily to line up Plans B, C and D. Nor did anyone say aloud that when it comes to judging national security threats, it isn’t merely that the Obama administration and its defenders have been less than confidence-inspiring. It is that what they have inspired is genuine concern.”
  • In addition to opposing President Obama’s reckless Iran deal and fighting for it to be considered as a U.S. treaty, Ron Johnson has been pushing for a comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS and working to keep terrorists out of the U.S. The legislation he passed through Congress on Friday will help keep terrorists out of the United States by enhancing the security of our country’s visa waiver program.

You can read the full Boston Herald column here, or below:

Robbins: Dem voters’ terror concerns up

Boston Herald

By Jeff Robbins

December 21, 2015

In Boston this fall, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) was asked about his ideas for combatting the increased threat to American security posed by Iran, slated to receive $150 billion with which to acquire weapons and expand its terror operations under the recently inked nuclear deal. Feingold, in town to raise funds for his campaign to retake the Senate seat he lost in 2010, had been one of the Democrats’ best
and brightest, serving on the Senate’s Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.

Feingold acknowledged that he had no ideas, but pivoted to a description of his recent trip to Indonesia. He had spoken to some Indonesians about Iran, he said, and he found that Indonesians were also concerned about Iran. It seemed to him, the three-term senator said, that the U.S. should think about working with Indonesia to see if it could persuade Iran to not be quite as aggressive as it had been in the past.

No one present was impolite enough to suggest to the veteran Democrat that if talking to the Indonesians about talking to the Iranians was the Democratic Party’s Plan A for dealing with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, it had better move hastily to line up Plans B, C and D. Nor did anyone say aloud that when it comes to judging national security threats, it isn’t merely that the Obama administration and its defenders have been less than confidence-inspiring. It is that what they have inspired is genuine concern.

Polls released by NBC and Monmouth University last week showed that national security and terrorism have become the single most urgent issue for Americans. Media coverage of the polls has focused on the divide between the parties on this question, but the real story is the high percentages of Democrats for whom national security is of paramount importance: 26 percent in NBC’s poll and 36 percent in Monmouth’s.

Given the administration’s appearance of haplessness and denial on foreign policy issues, this spells trouble in next year’s election for Democratic candidates, who will have to work overtime to persuade even members of their own party that they are ready for prime time when it comes to protecting the U.S. That will mean jettisoning the exhausted Democratic talking points that minimize or evade the threats posed by radical Islam and dispelling the troubling sense that the Democratic Party has become silly or disingenuous on grave matters of national security.

It surely has not helped Democratic candidates that a Democratic president dismissed ISIS as the “junior varsity” before frantically seeking congressional authorization to fight it, or that he confidently pronounced ISIS “contained” shortly before the jihadist massacres of
Paris and San Bernardino. And the Democratic playbook that calls for blaming the metastasizing threat of Islamic extremism on George Bush and global warming urgently needs revising.

Democrats’ increased concern about national security may benefit New Hampshire’s U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte in her re-election campaign, in which she faces Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. Ayotte’s knowledge of military issues is formidable, while Hassan has none. Ayotte’s command was on display earlier this month when she coolly demolished Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at an Armed Services Committee hearing. The former prosecutor cut off the secretary’s attempt to sidestep her pointed questioning about U.S. passivity in the face of Iranian missile testing, politely but with barely concealed disgust: “There already are existing U.N. resolutions that they’re violating. If we don’t respond to these violations in a very forceful way, we may as well tear this [nuclear agreement] up.”

Polls indicate that on national security issues, many Democrats want neither a return to the bravado of Dick Cheney nor the
naivete of MoveOn.org. Their party needs to pay attention to these voters if it wants to avoid losing them in 2016.