Monday, March 13, 2006

A Case for Censuring?

Is it a wish to rectify a disastrous policy or a blatant attempt to put oneself into a position of power for a possible Presidential run in 2008?

Whatever you may believe it to be, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is poised to make history as he is proposing a censuring of President Bush due to the authorization of the domestic eavesdropping program on the basis that the White House misled Americans about the legality of the program.

A censure resolution (which is akin to a slap on the wrist) would simply scold the president for wrongdoing (btw, it’s been used one other time in our nation’s history — against Andrew Jackson in 1834)

The resolution (which is scheduled to be introduced today) argues that the “President” violated the law when he set up the eavesdropping program (supposedly all on his own… good boy) within the NSA a few months after the 9/11 attacks (Bushie claims that his authority as commander in chief, in addition to congressional authorization to use force in the fight against terrorism) gave him the power to authorize the surveillance. Additionally, the resolution says the president “repeatedly misled the public” before the disclosure of the program last December.

Needless to say, Republican’s are coming out against the plan with Senator Bill “I’m not in as much trouble as DeLay” Frist (R-TN) stating that the plan would diminish the President and the country’s strength in the war on terrorism (imagine that, a Republican somehow connecting the dots to terrorism…)

Now… I have to say that the President’s strength is already pretty damn low considering his astronomically low approval ratings, the Ports deal collapse and yada, yada, yada…

Having said that, I honestly don’t know what to make of this yet… part of me thinks it’s an honest attempt to alter a civil liberties nightmare… another part of me thinks it’s an opportunity for Feingold to get his name out there… but whatever the case may be we should all pay attention as this latest salvo from the Democrat’s comes at a time when the White House is facing more and more problems including (but certainly not limited to) word that some of the President’s senior staff is wearing down (which isn’t surprising considering the fact they have all those ethics classes to attend…), the arrest of a former Bush aide (again… not a real surprise giving the past actions of this administration), and Jack Abramoff (do we really need to tell anyone about him?)

I know we’re beating a dead horse on this site by saying this; but I’m going to say it until someone hears it and heeds to it… it’s time for the Democrats to unite and strike a single voice and a single message… Chairman Dean? Are you listening???? As my esteemed colleague asked, ‘do you hear that sound? It’s opportunity knocking’… answer it!!!!!!

UPDATE: Here's a PDF link to the censure resolution, it's an interesting read. The Senator will be addressing it on the Senate floor today about 4 PM ET.


Katherine said...

This is Russ Feingold we're talking about. He's the one politician in D.C. I sometimes worry isn't concerned enough with his electability. Let's see...he pissed off his base by:
1) voting for John Ashcroft's confirmation
2) voting for John Roberts' confirmation
3) voting not to dismiss Clinton's impeachment before hearing the evidence (I think he was wrong on this one but it's certainly consistent, and he was the only Democrat to vote that way.)

He pissed off everyone else by:
1) being the only vote against the PATRIOT Act a few weeks after 9/11
2) regularly sponsoring the abolition of the federal death penalty
3) too many other examples to list.

I had a coworker from Wisconsin kvetching to me in 1998 that by refusing to take soft money in a race where his opponent did, Feingold was screwing things up for the Democrats "to prove he's such a damn boyscout." And he's really, really serious about civil liberties issues. Did you watch his questioning of Gonzales? He somehow thought to ask Gonzales about this at his confirmation hearings, a year before it became public. Gonzales' answer turned out to be incredibly misleading, and Feingold was pissed.

I'm sure he realizes that this'd help him in the primaries. But I very much doubt that's his main motivation. In fact, I suspect that more than Feingold supporting this issue to gain support for his presidential campaign, he's running for president to bring attention to these issues. God knows someone has to.

Alan Shapiro said...

Having the UR company in charge of business in six ports is not what puts our security in danger, what puts our security in danger is that the Homeland Security Department is responsible for our security!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the arrest of Claude Allen: he reportedly faces prison terms of as many as fifteen years each for his bizarre but really only minor crimes. Perhaps the Republicans will finally learn that such stiff penalties are irrelevant (but don't count on it). I say give him one week max for each time he stole from Target. That, plus several consecutive life-without-parole sentences for allying himself with the likes of Helms and Bush.