I began to realize this quite a long time ago, and I think a tiny few Americans are also starting to see it, including Russ Feingold.
What the Republican party have done over the last few years is change the way our government works. Gone is the checks and balances of a two party system and bipartisan cooperation on legislation. In it's place has been almost rock solid Republican unity serving an ever increasingly powerful executive.
In a Parliamentary Democracy the executive is also incredibly strong and the lower house acts as an enabler for the parties platform to be enacted. The minority party is simply an opposition party - there to shout about why what the majority are doing is bad, and tell people what should be done instead.
This system works great if all parties recognize their roles and you have a robust media to referee the debates.
The problem is that the Democrats still think we are operating under the old rules and they are going to have their legislative ideas considered and debated, and that the media will report it all fairly and accurately. Wrong.
So we have a situation where Republicans until recently moved in lockstep and the Democrats looked to be all over the place. This creates the false impression that Republicans stand for something, and Democrats don't.
Democrats must begin to act with unity and be the loyal opposition on as many issues as politically possible. Russ Feingold is attempting to create this dynamic on a clear constitutional issue, one that every Democrat should be able to support.
He is laying a marker in the sand that says "This is the line we won't cross, this is where we value freedom and the constitution". He is delineating the differences between the two parties. Now a censure motion is a pretty extreme way to draw this line, and this is where the second aspect comes in to play.
We have a press that is asleep. It takes bold, radical moves to grab their attention away from missing white women and trapped barges under bridges. He is creating a media opportunity for all Democrats to stand united and join with him on that line.
It should not be considered a single move, but the beginning of a series of loyal opposition right up to the election, where at every turn we lay out an alternative to their plans - by voting against them and offering our own for the voters to see.
Until a time when we can get back to consensus government the Democrats must realize they are a minority party in a quasi parliamentary system. I'm surprised Tim doesn't see it this way given he has worked in British politics.
That is why I think Tim is wrong and Feingold is right. But ultimately I expect more than enough Democrats in congress to see it Tim's way and once again miss an opportunity to draw stark lines and differences for voters to easily see - it's what they have been doing for 5 years, why change now when it has worked out so fantastically.