Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, one of several Democrats with an eye on 2008, became the first member of the senate to demand a fixed withdrawal date when he called on the White House to bring the troops home by December 31, 2006.

Aside from the obvious importance of a member of the Senate calling not for withdrawal "as early as possible," as Sen. Kennedy has said, but for withdrawal by a fixed date, could there be another positive trend buried in the announcement? Maybe. Possibly.

Russ Feingold voted against the Iraq War in the first place and won by 11% in a state that Kerry carried by less than .4%.

Last month Paul Hackett called Bush a "chickenhawk" and nearly took an Ohio district that supported Bush the way that Iraqi voters used to "support" Saddam, or the way they just can't get enough of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, currently serving his 733rd term.

Clearly Feingold has a history of taking strong stands but he still waited an awful long time to come out with this announcement. Could it be that Democrats are catching on to the fact that taking a strong, ethical stand and aggressively defending it may be the key to electoral success?

Is Feingold staking out a plausible, antiwar stance early in the game? If he does, anyone wanna take bets on his darkhorse candidacy surpassing Hillary's?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.