March 15, 2006
Harry Reid and Dick Durban seen here “conferring” with Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who on Monday proposed a resolution calling for the censure of President Bush because of his involvement in the NSA wiretapping “controversy”. The measure has yet to even elicit much of a response from Democrats much less anything approaching public support. This whole business is helping to reveal the true colors of most Democrats (in Congress). It seemes very much as if they are ruled strictly by public opinion polling data, not by principle. As was the case with the Dubai Ports Issue, if senators would take a second to convince the American public of the merits of a subject before parroting negative mainstream media reporting and blindly following flash public opinion polls, then it would at least appear as though Congress is the group of decision makers that we pay them to be. Yes, Congress is charged with representing the views of the people, but the average man on the street does not have the time to do all of the intensive research that major policy decisions should involve. I believe that this “reading of the fine print” on an issue, is the job of Congress. Being accountable to the voters and blindly following their uninformed lead are two very different things. Such is the case with Feingold’s proposal. Democrats are looking at polling data which suggests that the majority of Americans are in favor of the President’s wiretapping approval and a conscious decision is made to not to be associated with an effort to censure the President for this matter. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reports brilliantly on just how talkative prominent Democrats were today when asked about Feingold’s resolution. The answer: Not very. John Kerry even had a flip-flop-esque moment when he rushed by reporters claiming not to have the time to address the matter only to be stopped a few footsteps later by a security procedure queue where he had nothing but time, while he waited in line. Chuck Schumer, who has been so talkative lately, also had no comment. Like all other Democrats in Congress (except Feingold) apparently, Schumer's position on the wiretapping issue is contingent on the whimsical results of the latest flash public opinion polls and whatever stance is politically expedient in an election year.
I actually applaud Feingold for taking a principled (albeit wrong) stance on the matter. Will the real liberal please stand up? Finally, a liberal who can stand up and be counted as such. Perhaps Feingold can teach the rest of his Democratic brethren that there is more to public office than political expediency. That means you, Hilary!