Should the President be Censured?
Senator Russ Feingold introduced a bill to censure George W. Bush for
wiretapping American citizens in violation of FISA and the 4th Amendment to our
Constitution. Senate Majority Leader Bill First condemned this as empowering our
enemies, endangering our troops in Iraq and sending the wrong message to the
I beg to differ. Our troops are fighting in Iraq to try to bring about a democracy. What better example of democracy can we show to the Iraqis than the freedom of the people to criticize the leader of the government? The Iraqi people wouldn't dare to do that under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. What we are doing now in Iraq is showing them the same example set by Saddam; that "Might makes Right!"
As far as most of the world is concerned, America engaged in an illegal war. Showing the world that we are indeed a nation of laws and that those who break the laws of our nation must be held to account would not be the wrong message. It is a message the world should have if we are ever to re-gain respect.
Even more important than what Iraq, our enemies, or the world thinks, it is important to America that we uphold our Constitution, our rights and freedoms and our democracy.
The Republican's solution to Bush's law-breaking is to revise the law to make the wiretapping legal. This is no solution.
What recourse do we the people have? Are we to simply throw up our hands and allow our freedoms to be set aside?
Censure has not been used to rebuke an American president since Andrew Jackson. Is that a reason not to use this action? This administration has condoned policies that have never been used in American history. They didn't let that stop them. If the destruction of our Constitutional rights isn't a reason to use censure, what reason is there?
Censure is a formal statement of disapproval. Isn't this the very least we can do? Demanding accountability by our high officials should not be too much to ask by the people in a representative democracy. It is our responsibility as citizens!
If the Republicans in Congress would only remember the oath they took to uphold and protect the Constitution, they would impeach. This administration has been not only dismantling the checks and balances, creating an imperial presidency and making Congress irrelevant, they have been slowly eroding our rights and freedoms. Until we can get rid of all those in Congress who condone the subverting of our Constitution, censure is the only tool we have available. Hopefully we can change that in the 2006 mid-term elections, impeach this administration, and get our country back. It's time to remember that American values are not attacking other nations that pose no threat to us, torturing people and jailing them indefinitely. If all we stand for as a people is opposition to gay marriage, our values and morals are in a sorry state.
To paraphrase a quote from Smokey the Bear, "Remember, only YOU can save democracy!"