Jesse Walker at Reason Hit and Run:
Russ Feingold wasn’t just endorsed by Bob Barr. He was the Bob Barr of the left, and I mean that mostly as a compliment. When Barr was in Congress he could be bad on “social” freedoms, especially the drug war, but he nonetheless took stances on privacy and due process that made him far above average on civil liberties as a whole. Similarly, Feingold’s campaign finance bill was terrible for the First Amendment, yet he was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, was one of the few senators to
give a damn about limiting government snooping in general, and was a fierce
critic of executive power. He also voted against TARP, was decent on the Second
Amendment, and was one of the rare liberals to reach out to the Tea Parties instead of demonizing them. He wasn’t a free marketeer, but I’ll take a LaFollette progressive over a Wilson or Teddy
Roosevelt progressive any day — and as with Barr, I’ll take an inconsistent civil libertarian over the average pol who doesn’t care about civil liberties at all.