Now there 's a clear answer: support Senator Feingold 's resolution to censure President Bush for his lawless conduct.
Here 's a chance to send politicians of both parties a strong clear message: We the People of the United States do really care about whether our president obeys the law or runs roughshod over it, and about protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.
And maybe another message along with it: We the people are not so gullible as to buy this dishonest, hate-mongering argument from Republicans like Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado-- that supporting this censure is taking "the side of the terrorists. "
It has never been shown that the warrantless spying on Americans was necessary to protect this country from terrorists. It hasn 't been shown that he couldn 't have done everything necessary and obeyed the law. It hasn 't been shown that his illegal spying actually accomplished anything to defend the nation.
Even worse, no one outside the executive branch even knows how much defending the nation has to do with this presidential usurpation of powers. No one knows just whom this administration has been spying on, and why. Given what else we know of how they 've dealt with critics, how can we know for sure that all this spying hasn 't included targets for other, illegitimate purposes --like going after their domestic opponents? Yet the administration gives no evidence-- demanding simply, "Trust us. "
We don 't know, of course, because the Republican-led Congress has once again refused to conduct a meaningful investigation, this time into a clear violation of the law.
Yes, although it may not be clear what Bush has been up to, it is clear that he broke the law. So has declared the American Bar Association, saying that the surveillance must either be brought into compliance with the law or be stopped. "We cannot allow the US Constitution and our rights to become a victim of terrorism," declared the head of the ABA 's task force on the subject.
So if the Republicans, like Senator Allard, want to make this an issue of who is it that is taking the side of people who are threatening to destroy our way of life, I say, Bring it on!
Take a Look at Your Oath of Office, Senator Allard
Take a look, Senator Allard, at that oath of office you took when you assumed your Senate seat. Take a look at what our Founding Fathers insisted that you affirm, as a sacred oath, before you would be trusted with the power of your office. Did you affirm you would support the president from your own party, no matter what he did? No, it said nothing about supporting the president, much less rallying behind the leader of your party.
Apparently, you think it requires you to slander a fellow Senator virtually to accuse him of treason --who calls upon the Congress of the United States to declare publicly that these acts are not all right, to affirm that we are a nation of laws and not of men.
Apparently, you think that you are called upon to support a president who insists "trust us, " rather than support the Constitution, that blueprint of checks and balances, whose very core principle repudiates the stand you are taking. James Madison, "The Father of the Constitution, " wrote in Federalist Paper # 51:
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. "
So which Senator is honoring his oath of office: you, Senator Allard, or Senator Feingold?