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Feingold Still Holding Ground On Censure Call (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 02:20 AM
Despite mixed reaction from his Democratic colleagues, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold remains firm on censuring President Bush. With failing approval marks for Mr. Bush, it would seem other Democrats would get on board to support the Wisconsin Senator in questioning the American leader's application of wire-tapping on citizens. However, the politician's colleagues on the left remain cautious due to the mid-term elections of November 2006. Even though Mr. Feingold continues to get little or no support on either side of the aisle, he believes his censure motion induced a "congressional discussion" on the legality of state-sanctioned spying.

Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more:
WASHINGTON - While most senators recoiled last week from Sen. Russell Feingold's resolution to censure the president, many of them agreed with one of its basic premises: that the wiretapping of Americans without a warrant is against the law.

Doubts about the legality of the government's once-secret domestic surveillance program can be found among both liberal and conservative scholars and on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

In other words, unlike his proposal for censure, Feingold's claims about "illegal wiretapping" are well within the mainstream of congressional debate on the issue.

But critics of the censure resolution make two very different arguments about those claims.

One is an unqualified assertion of the program's legality, offered by the Bush administration and on the Senate floor last week by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Domestic wiretapping is still compelling because it involves Fourth Amendment Rights. Mr.Feingold did the right thing on holding his ground. Although it might be quick to label the Senator from Wisconsin as a "troublemaker", his continued support for censure provides a civics lesson on how much Americans will tolerate in terms of privacy and the violation of rights. It is high time to re-examine the meaning of civil liberties in a democracy.

Related News Links:

[edit on 21-3-2006 by ceci2006]

Mod Edit: Fixed ALL CAPS title

[edit on 3/21/06 by FredT]

[edit on 21-3-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 04:24 AM
The article is cut off just as it is about to make the second of two arguments against censure. The second argument given is:

The other doesn't go nearly that far. In dismissing the notion of censure, some senators argue not that the wiretapping is necessarily legal, but that the question is unanswerable for now, either because too little is known about the program or because the courts haven't put the big constitutional issues to rest.
Chief among them: whether a 1978 law against warrantless domestic wiretapping is trumped by the president's inherent constitutional powers as commander in chief.

This seems to be the sentiment among the majority of Senators; they are not really sure if Bush broke the law or not. Apparently a cursory review of the laws does not supply the answers. So until these questions are answered by the courts, it is a bit premature to be calling for censure, imo. And it would seem that from the lack of support for Feingold's measure, most of the Senate agrees with me.

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 09:57 AM
As a bottled and bond old hippie liberal, and a democratic voter all I can say about the vast majority of congressional democrats and that includes Hillery (whom I WILL NOT VOTE FOR) and John Kerry is that its rather pathetic trying to invertabrates trying to stand up...something they rarely attempt...Premature or not Finegold has more spine than the majority. Us democrats should vote the entire Democratic Leadership Council out of office, their middle of the road Oh hey I am a conservative too, Republican lite bullhooey ahs ruined the party. It is time the Democrats actually stood for something, became a real party of the oppiosition and stopped cowering behind polls. If you ask the vast majority of us liberal/progrssive democrats, that is what we want. Do it now or disband the party and start from scratch. And this is from someone who wouldn't vote Republican for dog catcher.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 02:12 AM
jsobecky and seagull,

After reading both of your comments, I have to agree with both of you.

jsobecky: It is true that the other side of the argument was not included in the text. However, it important to note that at least this is a debate that is happening in Congress. Feingold's unwillingness to give up shows a lot of backbone. It might be too premature to call for censure, but I would be hard pressed to call his move a "protest" against the policies conducted by the POTUS.

seagull: Yes, it is time for the Democrats to stand up. The leadership has to stop playing around and make a move. It is no time to peg Feingold as stirring up trouble. When you mention that the leadership is in trouble, I think it is. Tom Daschle was the first to be voted out in 2004 (I think). Change has to come from within. And what is most important is that we Democrats have to make it known to our representatives that we do not like what is going on. I just wonder why (as an opposition party) is afraid to make their voices known? I know that Congresspeople have to work together in the spirit of bi-partisanism, but enough is enough. That's why I admire Feingold's move. He at least put the the issue of a censure as a matter of debate. And who knows? His courage might inspire others to move on it--besides Tom Harkin.

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