Today’s headlines — “Democrats Beat Quick Retreat on Call to Censure President“; “Feingold Draws Little Support for Censure“; “Democratic leaders shy away from censure plan” — tell the familiar story of one brave Dem sticking his neck out — for truth, justice, and the American Way — followed by the rest of the party running for the bomb shelters.
The message from the left-leaning blogosphere is clear: Democrats should understand the real issue. The point is not censure or impeachment; it is Congress’s lack of oversight and its failure to hold anyone accountable for major mistakes or missteps. And especially, it’s about clearly misleading the American public. From faulty pre-war intelligence to the negligent response to Hurricane Katrina and the unjustified cost for Medicare prescription drug benefits, there has been no meaningful oversight by the GOP-controlled Congress. It is doubtful whether they would be willing to hear evidence against the president. While the Feingold resolution is not going anywhere given the full Republican control of Washington, D.C., a change in leadership in the fall would make this a ripe item for conversation and action in 2007 and beyond…. Oversight is a fundamental responsibility of Congress, which until the Republicans took over was a coequal branch of government. It’s long past time for the Republican Congress — and in particular the House and Senate Intelligence committees — to stop protecting the administration and start doing more to protect the American people. The 2006 political campaign season, which is under way across America, will truly come down to a test of wills. If my party’s leaders, whom I admire and respect, cannot figure out three things this electoral season that the GOP will use as wedge issues to distract and divide — Iraq, the war on terror and national security, and cultural issues like abortion and same-sex marriage — then my party finally will have earned its minority status.
A few days ago a commenter to Mahablog said, in effect, that reading about the awfulness of the Bush Administration is entertaining, but when are you going to do something to get rid of him? Well, here’s something we can do. We can support Russ Feingold by sending him our thanks. We can let our Democratic senators know we expect them to support Russ Feingold. We can send our senators the Donna Brazile quote by fax and email and carrier pigeon. We can promise them we have long memories.