Monday, March 13, 2006

Helping Bush Answer The "Call Of History"

Specifically, the call from 1834, when President Andrew Jackson became the first and, thus far, only President to be given a Congressional censure. Senator Russ Feingold thinks it's time to give Andy some company.

From the AP, via AmericaBlog:

A liberal Democrat and potential White House contender is proposing censuring President Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping, saying the White House misled Americans about its legality.

"The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview.

The facts of the matter couldn't be any more clear. Bush has publicly admitted that he violated the FISA, is currently violating the FISA and intends to continue violating the FISA in the future. His supporters have argued alternately that he either has the authority to ignore the law under the Constitution, which a quick read will show is completely baseless, or that the Congressional Use of Force authorization following 9/11 gave him such authority, which even Alberto Gonzalez doesn't believe is true. The fact is that President Bush knowingly and willingly broke the law and continues to do so.

I fully support what Feingold is proposing here because it serves two important functions. First, it lets the President know that the people of the United States and, to a lesser extent, the Congress, are not going to tolerate a President that openly flaunts the law. The Republicans have continued to stonewall any investigation into this matter, which is even more of an indication that the White House has been up to no good. However, at the end of the day, even if Bush had the noblest of intentions, it doesn't matter in terms of the censure proposal. Bush has admitted to breaking the law and that's not something we can accept from a President, regardless of how noble he believes his intentions to be.

Second, a censure resolution will keep this issue in the public eye throughout 2006. The Republican-controlled Congress has continually obscured or ignored any attempts at investigating Bush's lawlessness, and they should pay a price for it at the polls this fall. We are a nation of laws and no one, not even the President, is above those laws.

I don't normally endorse political action here, as I feel that's the responsibility of the reader to decide for themselves. But in this case, I will make an exception. Please visit Feingold's Progressive Patriot Fund website (link in my sidebar under "Noble Causes") and consider signing the petition backing his censure resolution. Better still, call your elected Senators and ask them to support Feingold's efforts. It's far too easy for the "go along to get along" centrist Democrats to run away from an important issue like this, so hold their feet to the fire where you can. Let them know that, even if Congress refuses to investigate the President's law-breaking, the American people aren't going to tolerate an outlaw regime in the White House.

Give old Andrew Jackson some company in the history books.

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