The readiest and surest way to get rid of censure, is to correct ourselves.
As you are aware, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced that he will introduce a resolution tomorrow to censure President Bush for authorizing an illegal warrantless domestic surveillance program. Feingold said President Bush’s actions were “right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors.” This Sisyphean task may provide the dynamic for a trenchant public discourse on the NSA issue, forcing scrutiny of the issues involved, and provide a counterbalance to DeWine’s proposed totalitarian legislation. Once the immense significance of this debate becomes apparent, and its implications are clearly defined, the outrage should spread beyond the glassball world of the blogosphere, where it will get shaken up by both sides until the “snow” of stridency further obfuscates the issue.
The ports deal controversy, what ever the political and economic dichotomy of that issue, illustrated that a vocal, energized citizenry in opposition - one that clamors to be heard - can have an immediate effect upon a political course. Senator Feingold needs the support of the American people for this action to succeed. To gain this, he will need high profile media coverage - the kind that Lou Dobbs provided on the ports issue - that is advocating of his (Feingold’s) position. Clearly, Bush broke the law; the censure is the least the Senate can do to begin a nation-wide and intense scrutiny of the issue. A fulminating electorate is impossible to ignore, although the fraudulent and fulsome Frist will use every divisive method of procedural obfuscation and obstruction that his staff can dredge up. The cowardly abdication of the Intelligence Committee’s investigatory obligations, succumbing to Cheney’s threats, has made Feingold’s course of action imperative. An email of support to Senator Feingold, phone calls, emails, and letters to our senators and congressional representatives, along with the same to the bastions of public media will be necessary to move this forward.
As Feingold said, “This President is breaking the law.”
Addendum: The difficulty ahead lies in this illustration: Blitzer, in reviewing the other Sunday talk show highlights, rather than showing Feingold's appearance on ABC This Week, played the clip of Frist implying that Feingold is treasonous:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re saying that censure resolution weakens America abroad?
FRIST: Yes. Well, I think it does because we are right now in a war, in an unprecedented war, where we do have people who really want to take us down and we think back to 9/11 and that war on terror is out there. So 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. And it sends a perception around the world and, again, that’s why I’m saying as leader at least of the Republican side of this equation, that it’s wrong, because leadership around the world of our sworn enemies are going to say, well, now we have a little crack there. There is no crack. The American people are solidly behind this president in conducting this war on terror.
In order to express my contempt for the fulsome Frist
I’ll have to quote Seinfeld’s Newman (upon putting a piece of broccoli in his mouth):
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."--Harry S. Truman, message to Congress, August 8, 1950