Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Feingold's Censure Resolution 

UPDATE: Here is Senator Feingold's statement introducing the resolution.

UPDATE 2: Here's a WaPo article on how Dems are running and hiding from this. Barack--your response is pathetic.

I, for one, support it, and urge you to as well. What's interesting, though, is the reaction it's getting--Democracts, perhaps (and unfortunately) not surprisingly, are trying to distance themselves from this resolution. Feingold has the correct response to that here:
"I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide…too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues…[Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question administration, you’re helping the terrorists."
I think that's pretty obvious. In fact, it's so obvious that even Donna Brazille, historically one of the absolute lamest "Dem Strategists," thinks we should support it:
For those who worry that this issue will create more tension between the progressive "net-roots" types and the party's base, I say fear not. Let's use this resolution to talk about what's really troubling so many Democrats and other astute Americans: the lack of Congressional oversight and accountability. No sooner had Feingold made his announcement than Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" urging caution. In other words, hold your powder -- wait until the investigation, if any occurs, is completed before urging action.

As a Beltway insider, I am convinced that we cannot continue to tell those who have loyally supported our Democratic leaders to wait. Wait for what? Wait until our pollsters give us the green light to speak up? Should we continue to wait, hoping that the Republicans will finally invite Democrats into the room when important decisions affecting our national security are made? All I know is that people outside the Beltway have grown deeply impatient with our focus-group style of politics. They want to see some bold changes and some new leadership.

It's time to break with the same-old, same-old and use the Feingold resolution to force the Republican-controlled Congress to commit to serious oversight of the controversial, but increasingly popular, surveillance program. The message from the left-leaning blogosphere is clear: Democrats should understand the real issue. The point is not censure or impeachment; it is Congress' lack of oversight and its failure to hold anyone accountable for major mistakes or missteps. And especially, it's about clearly misleading the American public...While the Feingold resolution is not going anywhere given the full Republican control of Washington, D.C., a change in leadership in the fall would make this a ripe item for conversation and action in 2007 and beyond.
Yet, Bill Frist is probably right when he says he has 85 votes against this resolution. That's pathetic. We have a President who, quite explicitly, claims he can ignore any law or constitutional provision if he feels like it. And what's our recourse? We simply have to trust him. This is totally at odds with our entire structure of government, yet most Democratic senators either don't think it's a big deal or do but are afraid to rock the boat. Pathetic.

Read this Digby post. He points out not only that the usual GOP suspects are calling Feingold a traitor, but also why, using examples from the recent past, this type of executive power grab is dangerous. The sheer lack of historical knowledge is maybe what's most infuriating to me.
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