The NY Times today reports that Russell Feingold announced on ABC News’ This Week that he will introduce a motion of censure against George Bush for his illegal eavesdropping program:
Senator Russell D. Feingold said Sunday that he would introduce a measure in the Senate to censure President Bush over the domestic eavesdropping program.
“Proper accountability is a censuring of the president,” Senator Russell D. Feingold said Sunday.
“What the president did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered,” Mr. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, said on the ABC News program “This Week.” “Proper accountability is a censuring of the president, saying: ‘Mr. President, acknowledge that you broke the law, return to the law, return to our system of government.’ “
All I can say is–thank God! Finally a Democrat who won’t pussyfoot around the margins and comes right out and says what a lot of folks have been saying for some time. If you’re not willing or able to mount an impeachment strategy then at least DO SOMETHING! Don’t just stand back while Pat ‘Rumbling’ Roberts runs the Intelligence Committee into a ditch while refusing to initiate or complete a full investigation of the NSA program. The Democrats have to stop acting as if they’re afraid of their own shadow. They have to be out front with bold pronouncements that capture headlines and imagination. That’s what Russ Feingold has done. That’s what Paul Wellstone would be doing were he alive today.
Instead, what are leading Democrats wasting their time over? The Dubai ports deal! They’re taking a bold stand for nativism and Know Nothingism to protect and defend the Republic. Right. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton–for shame! Where are you on the NSA eavesdropping program? Sure I bet you made a statement or two fulminating about it. But Feingold is the only one so far (besides John Conyers) with the guts to lay it on the line.
The Republicans will ridicule him and make him out to be a traitor (that’s their strong suit–villainous calumny), but more Americans will either stand up and applaud or at least begin to take this issue more seriously:
Senator Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican and the majority leader, called the proposal “a crazy political move.” And Senator John W. Warner, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said it was “the worst type of political grandstanding.”
Mr. Frist, who appeared on another segment of “This Week,” said support for a censure would undermine the nation’s efforts to fight terrorism and defend itself against its enemies.
“We are right now at a war, in an unprecedented war, where we do have people who really want to take us down,” Mr. Frist said.
“The signal that it sends — that there is in any way a lack of support for our commander in chief, who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that we know is making our homeland safer — is wrong,” he added. “And it sends a perception around the world.”
The only people who can really “take us down” are lawless leaders like Bush and Cheney who think nothing of tossing the Constitution out the window in order to advance their ideologically-charged national security goals. Al Qaeda can possibly do serious, but limited physical damage to us. But how do you measure the damage that a president can do who willfully disregards the laws of the land, takes us into a war whose premise is based on a tissue of lies, and then rides roughshod over our liberties in the name of keeping us safe from terror?
As for: “…our commander in chief, who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that we know is making our homeland safer …” what a load of horseshit. What, did this boilerplate patriotism come from some pablum-based speechwriting grab bag? Spare us such drivel. I’ll take Russ Feingold’s refreshing forthrightness any day.