Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Democrats block vote on censure

From the New York Times

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked an immediate vote on a call by one of their own to censure President Bush for his eavesdropping program.

They acted after Republicans said they were eager to pass judgment on a proposal that they portrayed as baseless and disruptive to the antiterror effort.

What are the Democrats afraid of? Yes, the majority Republican party will vote against censuring the President. Let them. Let them go on the record as voting against the 4th Amendment, against the Bill of Rights, against the Constitution, against holding the President accountable for his actions. And once they do, ask the public if they want to be represented by men and women who believe that defending the President is more important than defending the Constitution.

Yes, you are going to be called unpatriotic. Yes, you are going to be called soft on terrorism. But so what? Answer that defending the Constitution is patriotic. Answer that fighting terrorism does not require abandoning the Bill of Rights. If you can not do that, what good are you to Americans across the political spectrum who are deeply concerned over an administration that claims it has the inherent authority to void laws when it sees fit to do so?

What's at stake here are core American values. We are still a nation that is bound by the rule of law, and no man, not even the President, is above the law. When I wrote my state's Senators today (both Republican) I told them that there are somethings that are more important than party allegiance, and that this issue was once such thing, and that it would be a sign of true courage for them to stand against the President in defense of the Constitution.

I did not expect them to do so. Yet I reserve the hope, however slight, that somewhere buried deep in their politician's souls is a remainder of the democratic spirit.

But if the opposition party can not even muster the courage to fight for the principles of democracy, what chance is there that Republicans will be moved to do so?

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