The interview by GQ of former Wisconsin senator, Russ Feingold (D), is an interesting read, but I have to admit that I found his comments about President Obama to be of most interest:
GQ: Do you think that Obama has been the president he promised to be?
Russ Feingold: The expectations for him were absurd. And they were wrong. They expected him to be something he couldn't possibly be given his level of experience. It was impossible to ask him to be all the things that people poured into him.
GQ: He said he would try to reach across the aisle. "To those whose support I have yet to earn, I will be your president, too" and all that jazz.
Russ Feingold: Yes, he was not being cynical about that. He wanted to do that even more than maybe I would have wanted him to, but the truth is he tried.
GQ: And then he was essentially crucified for it. Too quick to make concessions, too weak—pick your insult.
Russ Feingold: Which is ridiculous. Look, I don't want to use the word 'patriotism' too much, but the right likes to use it all the time. It is not patriotic to decide to destroy a new president who was duly elected by an overwhelming margin. It is un-patriotic to resolve to destroy that presidency. If you care about this country, you help him. Before Obama, we had an opportunity after 9/11 to make a transition as a people to come together and try to figure this thing out and become a part of the world in a way that we never had. But for cynical reasons, both domestically and internationally, the situation was exploited by the Bush administration and others for political gain. And it's left us weaker. So I see these as a couple of chapters in modern history where America has been grossly disserved by people who wanted immediate political gain to the detriment of the country and it endangers our lives and it endangers our economy and if we're going to have this type of system, we're not just going to get downgraded by Moody, and Standard & Poors. We're going to be a dysfunctional country because some people care more about their immediate political and economic interests than they do about the betterment of our whole nation. The American people deserve better. And then you have the interests like the Koch brothers who see this as a golden opportunity to destroy not only this presidency but to destroy unions and to destroy the institutions that have created some balance between the haves and the have-nots in our country. They want to destroy any balance, to go back to the Gilded Age, or something worse.
GQ: Do you think it's that malicious?
Russ Feingold: Yes. Yes. There is something wrong. I don't like to say this but it is malicious, it is intentional, and it is unprecedented.