Russ is right

(Even 2/3 ain't bad, I have heard. - promoted by Bob)

Just to be on the record as saying that Russ Feingold is totally, absolutely right about the cool reception his censure resolution has gotten from Senate Dems:

I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low.

Let’s think about this: The President breaks the law; admits it, and essentially dares Congress to do something about it.

Is this OK with you, Senate Democrats?

Many Senators (e.g. Joementum) are talking about post hoc legalizing the stuff the President did. Nutty.

Russ Feingold has called the Senate’s bluff. About time.

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14 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Other than Joe-boy and Harry Reid,

    which Dems have questioned his resolution?

    Reid was quoted as saying he's cool on it until he's read it, and Joe is, well, not exactly an entusiastic Dem.

  2. Russ is wrong.

    I don't mean legally, or morally, but politically.  Say it doesn't matter, but when it comes right down to it, its all that matters.

    Polls saying what they will, Republicans would never vote for censure, and forcing Red state Dems to go on the record before what could be a watershed election is ridiculous.  Think about it this way, Ben Nelson is running in a state where Bush won by 33%.  He has a well funded challenger, how does this effect him? 

    More importantly, it makes it look like the Democrats are obsessed with scoring political points.  I know thats not what Feingold is trying to do and in spirit I agree with him 100%, but politically it was/is a massive goof. 

    Yes, we've got them on the run, so what do we do when we've got them on the run ... call for censure?  I'm ashamed that's the first thing we thought of.  Why not continually demand votes on minimum wage?  Why not challenge Republicans on the programs the president is cutting that would hurt American competitiveness in a global economy, or would actually help us reduce our dependence on oil.

    • Nope

      The Democrats are hurt politically when they don't stand up for what they believe. They are not perceived as "weak" because of their beliefs, but because they don't stand up and fight for their beliefs. That is true weakness and cowardice and exactly what most Dems are demonstating as they wet the bed over the censure resolution. This "don't rock the boat" strategy that helped the Democrats lose the House, Senate, and the Presidency.

      Feingold, on the other hand, has proved a progressive Democratic can win in a swing state. Sheer empiricism should tell you he knows what he's doing -- at least more so than the career election losers that call themselves Democratic "strategists". Feingold is proving that he's someone who says what he believes and fights for it -- not someone who's politically calculating. That's what the American people respect and respond to.

    • Not all that matters

      Someone has to stand on principle, as a political gesture, and at least in order to give cover to those who would dare call the president on this. If not now, if not with a case of obvious and defiant breaking of the law, when do you ever say "No" in the strongest possible way?


    Just a shameless plug for the Mass for Feingold group I co-founded. Our website/blog can be found at

  4. Too clarify ...

    Never in my post did I say Sen. Feingold's action made the Dems look weak.  If I did I'd be saying I'm weak, since I agree with him on the legal grounds, I just think its politically unwise. 

    • Ben is right

      The angry Dem in me says "yes! censure" but I'm pretty sure Feingold is thinking of 2008 not 2006. I see it as grouped with the politics behind Kerry's Alito fillibuster.  Its not a bad strategy for Feingold individually but I don't blame the larger party for not jumping right on board. 

    • Briefly

      Ben, I'm an admirer of the stuff you post here and on your site, so this is really directed more at the world in general:

      When do we start evaluating things based on the actual merits?

      Conventional wisdom is fickle, malleable: Why not take your chances on telling the truth? I'm not talking about popping off, or being undisciplined; being truthful takes all the self-discipline one has. But when you are right, why be stingy with the truth?

      Let's forget about Feingold -- he doesn't matter. Let's address the merit or non-merit of this proposition: "President Bush's actions deserve Congressional censure."

      Obviously I think it has merit.

      • Charley ...

        first, thanks.  Second, let me reiterate, on the merits (legally, constitutionally, etc.) I agree with Russ. 

        But if the political climate isn't right, if the votes aren't there ... then being right isn't enough.  I know my opposition to the censure will be taken by some as a "stand down/acceptance of the status quo" and I'm pained by that, because thats not the case I am trying to make.  Rather, I want the Dems to be smart when they stand up, to unfiy when they stand up, and to make real progress when they stand up.  Honestly, I don't see it in this case.  I see it turning into a mess, feeding the "oh those disorganized Dems" and "Dems don't have ideas, they have complaints" messages the RNC loves. 

        Not to steal Bonnie Raitt's thunder, but sometimes, being right just ain't enough.

  5. Dems are disorganized

    We all already know this but the Dems are disorganized, a lot more than the Repub's during their "Contract with America" -- all it means is it's going to be a lot harder to win some of those seats we're coveting...

  6. I agree with Ben

    Look at the results.

  7. Censure

    What the Rude Pundit said. (warning: Rude)

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Wed 22 Mar 8:17 PM