Dianne Feinstein's Profile in Courage

There was nothing surprising in the careful analysis on Glenn Greenwald's blog, Unclaimed Territory, of the gutless way Senate Democrats are scuttling away from Senator Russ Feingold's (D-Wisconsin) resolution to censure President Bush for his administration's illegal wiretapping program. Democrats have been surrendering to Republicans, whenever Republicans wave their National Security Fetish Doll, since the days when Edward R. Murrow wished viewers Good Night and Good Luck. So there was nothing surprising about Democrats caving, nothing surprising at all– until you get the blog post's first update. There, Glenn directs your attention to Busy, Busy, Busy, where Elton Beard has posted a statement from California's own Dianne Feinstein.

Statement, hell– it's not a statement, it's a full-throated roar! A clarion call for censure, a passionate demand to hold the president accountable to the rule of law. Says Senator Feinstein:

Whereas [the] president of the United States, deliberately misled and deceived the American people, and people in all branches of the United States government;

Whereas [the president's] conduct in this matter is unacceptable for a president of the United States, does demean the office of the president as well as the president himself, and creates disrespect for laws of the land;

Whereas [the president] fully deserves censure for engaging in such behavior;

Whereas future generations of Americans must know that such behavior is not only unacceptable but also bears grave consequences, including loss of integrity, trust and respect;

Angry, righteous, uncompromising, there's only one thing wrong with Feinstein's call for censure: it's 7 years old. Feinstein was calling for the censure of Bill Clinton over l'affaire Monica and the meaning of "is". Legal hairsplitting in front of a Grand Jury and getting the occasional Lewinsky* , to use a now quaint term, in the Oval Office– those are matters Feinstein feels call for swift, unequivocal condemnation. Undermining the Constitution, illegally spying on Americans, those she'll take a wait and see approach on.

Dianne Feinstein: Profile in Courage... or something...-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Back in 2001, I wrote in the Weekly: "As proud Californians, people should stop calling it a Lewinsky and start calling it a Davis.", and I still stand by that idea. As I explained here, calling it a Davis would honor California's grande dame Nancy Reagan, who, as single gal Nancy Davis, had a reputation in this field that Lewinsky could never hope to match.

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