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View Diary: Governor Dean on Feingold Censure Resolution (216 comments)

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    •  Why not just support the resolution? (66+ / 0-)

      The President has admitted to violating FISA.  FISA is very clear on what it allows and what it doesn't allow: it doesn't allow spying on Americans without a warrant, and the President has admitted that he did it.

      What are you afraid of?  Censure is the smallest possible reasonable reaction.

      •  May I just point out..... (48+ / 0-)

        ...that this is not a statement by Dean about the Feingold censure resolution. It is a statement about the Allard slander.

        I would love to see Dean, and the rest of the limp Dems rally behind Russ, but Dean's message here is that Repubs must not continue to get away with questioning the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with Dear Leader. That is also an important issue and Dean is right to address it.

        Now, if we can get him to address the censure as well, that would be nice.

      •  Not his place... (31+ / 0-)

        I am as big a fan as anyone of Dean, and I applaud him when he stands up to the Washington Democratic establishment on issues like the 50-state strategy.  However, the censure resolution was introduced by a Senator for other Senators to vote on, and it actually would be out of line for him to tell the Senate Democrats what to do with it (publicly).  He has to follow the cue of the Senate Democratic leadership on legislative issues, which this is.  When he has done otherwise, it has really contributed to the dislike those people have of him -to maintain his strong position on areas that are his prerogative, he needs to stay within it on topics like this.

        The most he should do right now is privately tell the leadership that he would back them up in whatever way they felt appropriate if they chose to support censure, and share with them whatever information he has that could influence their decision.  One would hope that he has done that, and if he gets feedback from this statement in support of censure, one would hope he would share it with Senators.

        "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai E. Stevenson

        by eebee on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:27:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you read situation right. If Dean was a (9+ / 0-)

          Senator he would have called for censure a long time ago

          "For some reason Iraq is worth soldiers dying, but not worth rich people paying taxes."

          by Jlukes on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 11:08:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You and Tommy (see below)... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vivacia, Mary Julia, dkmich

          ...cancel each other out.

          Dean didn't attack Harry Reid, he attacked Wayne Allard for calling Russ Feingold a traitor.

          Not a problem in my book!

        •  See KingOneEye's comment just above (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bostonjay, blueoasis

          Dean here is speaking about Allard's slander, not about Feingold's censure proposal. That said, I think Dean and every other American ought to speak up about the censure proposal itself.

        •  with all due respect to adlai and yourself (0+ / 0-)

          i can think of a lot of important people in history who thankfully didn't know their place in the back of a systemic bus.  personally i'd like to see pageboys telling senators where to stuff it right about now.

          +halfway between Beware and Crime+

          by alt hitman on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:49:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  'his place' (0+ / 0-)

            That is a pretty loaded term.  A better way to say what I mean is that I don't think it will accomplish anything for Dean to come out publicly in favor of the censure resolution.  

            There is a ton of frustration - that I share - with the non-support of this resolution.  I just think on this one, it has to be the Senate Democrats taking the lead to do the right thing.   Dean can't make them do it, and while his criticizing them would be satisfying, it wouldn't help.  It's not so much that Dean shouldn't be the leader, but on this he just can't.  His public criticism at this time wouldn't unite Democrats in support of the resolution, it would do the opposite.

            "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai E. Stevenson

            by eebee on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:19:49 PM PST

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        •  Of course, Dean should stay in his place (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alt hitman

          It's interesting that RNC chairman Ken Mehlmen didn't hesitate to attack the Feingold Resolution, but Howard Dean, like a good boy, should mind his P's and Q's and be careful not to upset the sensibilities of those courageous Senate Dems who have so mightily stood up to the onslaught of the majority wingnuts. Certainly, it wouldn't be Dean's "place" (a term which sends shudders up my spine because it harkens back to civil rights leaders who also "didn't know their place") to show any genuine leadership as head of the DNC. Since mainstream Democratic office-holders have displayed an appalling lack of spine, why should we in the rank and file to expect someone we expect to be partisan -- like the DNC chairman -- to have any gumption.

          Once again, more of the conventional wisdom which has served Democrats so well in recent elections. Need more? How about this little gem from TDS?

          P.S. If that doesn't work, try this and scroll down.

          •  Ken Mehlmen and Senate Republicans are lock-step (0+ / 0-)

            The difference between Mehlmen and Dean here is that all the Republicans in the Senate also oppose the censure resolution.  Mehlmen does too?  And?  You can bet that if the rest of the Republican establishment had a different view, that's the view Mehlmen would be spouting, ad nauseum, regardless of what personal opinions he holds himself.  (My personal opinion is that Mr. Mehlmen doesn't have anything like a self anymore.)

            I want to say, I am truly disgusted by the non-reaction of the Senate Democrats on this.  I'm not advocating that Democrats in general should be lukewarm on this issue.  But Dean publicly calling them out would do no good - scared as they are, it would push them to further distance themselves from him, rather than spurring them on in the right direction.  And it would make the Democrats look even more divided.  It makes me sick that this is true.  I so wish they could all see the sense in standing up to the Republicans together.  I desperately hope that Dean and anyone else who has any voice with these people are using it behind the scenes right now.

            It really is in their (the Senators') court right now, and I believe Dean is doing the best he can to encourage them in the right direction while maintaining a semblance of party unity.

            "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai E. Stevenson

            by eebee on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:04:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's a difference between ... (0+ / 0-)

              "calling them out" and issuing a strongly-worded support for the resolution on its merits. One can make a proactive statement of support without challenging Senate Democrats with an attack on their spinelessness (which we in the blogosphere are more than capable of doing). Yes, it's easier for Mehlman to go on the attack since the GOP is in lock-step unison, with only modest exceptions (i.e. Dubai ports deal, Miers nomination), to every Bush Administration proposal, regardless of the extremity. Democrats, as the minority, do not have the luxury; they need effective leadership to follow, either from the top down (Dean) or bottom up (The Netroots). A party cannot change its status from powerless to powerful without at least the appearance of strength, a lesson which should have been learned from the Republicans ... who were a loud, vocal and unyielding opposition minority.

              Dean in the past has been willing to lead ahead of the pack. He was given the post mainly because he was a maverick on the campaign trail and showed his willingness to challenge Republicans, and even weaselly Democrats, head-on. It is certainly within his purview as head of the DNC to advocate a party position. Whether individual Senators choose to support that position is up to them; they can be accountable to the Democratic rank and file, just as is Lieberman.

            •  Off-topic (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Interesting to note the quote from Stevenson in your signature. Adlai Stevenson had many admirable traits, especially his principle and eloquence, but he was a two-time loser because he was not an ineffectual campaigner. Democrats don't need a Stevenson now; we need a Truman -- whose trademark quote was "I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."

              Don't intend this as a personal slam, eebee, we just disagree on style. I come from the Missouri tradition of "muscular Democrats," those who don't take any lip from the right and won't back down one inch from them -- and expect Democratic leaders to display the same militancy, if only in a more polished style.

            •  You said the Dems are scared. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              What are they afraid of ?  This makes no sense.
              What's the worst that could happen if they support the Feingold resolution?

              Ow, da pwezident wiw be angwy wif dem? ohhhhh

              Wew, now I undewstand.

              Jesus, what is going on in their pre-cambrian brains?

              Who is ready to take an ethical stand?

              by DollyLlama on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 08:26:05 PM PST

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        •  Howard still speaks for me (0+ / 0-)

          Even though I am broke, I ponied up $, just because it's Howard asking.

          "I'm not going to be your monkey"

          by gabie on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:33:50 PM PST

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          •  Dean speaks for me just got deleted from my (0+ / 0-)

            signature.  I am sick of Democrats, and this statement is not from my Howard Dean.  My Howard Dean would be leading the charge, not hiding from it.  My Howard Dean said:

            What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the Presidentâ€TMs unilateral intervention in Iraq?

            What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts, which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

            What I want to know is why the Congress is fighting over the patientâ€TMs bill of rights? The patientâ€TMs bill of rights is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and itâ€TMs not 5 cents cheaper.

            What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress arenâ€TMt standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth and having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America.

            What I want to know is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the Presidentâ€TMs Educations Bill â€oeThe No School Board Left Standing Bill” the largest un-funded mandate in the history of our educational system!

            Hackett/Sanders 08

            by dkmich on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 05:24:02 PM PST

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      •  What a weasely Dean statement (7+ / 0-)

        I generally expect Mr. Dean to speak truth to power.  But here, he has not.

        Oh, he can defend Feingold against the pipsqueak Allard.  I mean, that's so easy.  But does he encourage Feingold's fellow Democratic Senators to join in the censure resolution?  Nope.  Last I heard, only Tom Harkin (D-IA) is joining Russ in standing against un-Constitutional actions by the President.

        FISA is clear.  FISA is specific.  Violation of the law of the land demands, at the very least, censure of the President.  So why are so many prominent (and not so prominent) Democrats (and Republicans, for that matter) running away from their Constitutional duty?

        Yeah, yeah, I know.  Don't want to let the Constitution get in the way of reelection.  Sigh  If I didn't have such ultimate faith in our system of governance, I'd just give up.  But I do think we have a great system, even in its darkest hours.  So I keep on believing.

        P.S.  Go Iowa!

        Al Franken for Sen-MN in 2008!

        by Tommy Allen on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:55:44 AM PST

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        •  You and Eebee... (9+ / 0-)

          ...cancel each other out.

          It's not Dean's job to order around the Senate Democrats.  That's Harry Reid's job.  

          In fact, Eebee thinks that Dean, by doing this much, has overstepped his bounds.  I think not.

          Reasonable people can agree or disagree on censure -- especially if, as rumored, Feingold sprung this without giving Reid a chance to rally the troops for a vote.  (Then again, the case can be made that Feingold did this without warning precisely because he figured that Reid would try to talk him out of it.)

          But to go after Allard -- who by the way voted to impeach and remove wartime president Clinton over a sex act that was none of Allard's damned business -- for claiming that calling for Bush's censure is treason?  That's not only good politics, it's plain good sense.

          •  actually I don't think he's out of bounds... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wystler, vcmvo2, mang glider

            I think Dean's statement is about right on... he's keeping the attention on the issue and sticking up for Feingold's patriotism and integrity.  I just think he would be out of bounds, if he took a public position on on how Senators should vote on the censure resolution before the Democratic Senate leadership has decided.

            This statement is exactly his role.... keep the attention on how vile the Republicans are while the Senate Democrats work out what strategy they want to take.

            "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai E. Stevenson

            by eebee on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:35:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and one more thing... (0+ / 0-)

              I will say that while I think this is the best Dean can do to support Feingold right now without overstepping, what I really wish is that he didn't have to issue a statement like this to provide distraction and cover for dithering Senators.  I wish Harry Reid and the rest had pulled out all the stops to support the resolution from the beginning.  Then Dean could have put his full-throated support out there too.

              "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai E. Stevenson

              by eebee on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:39:14 PM PST

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            •  Yeah, he sounds like a real Democrat now. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Hackett/Sanders 08

              by dkmich on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 05:25:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Starting an Honor Roll with Feingold and Harkin (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, neroden

          a bad way to start for exasperated progressives.  Yes, a little frustrating that it's so slow, but wait and see if you don't start to see a slow bandwagen affect here.

          From my poll so far we have over 92% of over 440 dkos responsdents favoring Russ Feingold, which over 80% indicating intent to penalize or hold accountable  in some way Democrats whom fail to rally to such support.  

          Support for the Feingold amdendment or some soon to be rewritten and expanded future version of it may become a litmus test issue for the progressive wing of the Democratic party.  

          Or as HoundDog asks in his poll late last night.  Where do you stand in the battle for the soul of the Democratic party?  With the Feingold Democrats of the Lieberman Demorats.  

          I have to go check how the Hounddog poll is going, but mine is clear.  Less that 6% of dkos voters on even close to the Liebermand position.

          It's a fair guestion that has so fired up activist progressives whom think Impeachment proceedings should have started against Bush last year on any of at least three different charges, that I predict this is "moment of truth" is not going to blow over quitely.

          But it may take a while for the exact fault lines to become apparrent.  But the outlines are becoming clear, IMO.  :-)

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Why whine about being attacked when Dems could support Feingold and really make a stink about lawlessness. Sorry, this defeatist nonsense.

        •  because Dean's job ... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Malacandra, Mike S, vivacia, vcmvo2, leeroy

          ... is to support Democrats. All of 'em. There is no part of "chiding" or "publicly scolding" that fits his job description as DNC chair.

          Gov. Dean knew he'd lose his voice as a sometime critic of other Democrats when he was considering whether to run for DNC chair. (from his own lips; likely repeated, but i was only in attendance of one of his late 2004 meetings with DFA activists) He understood then that the Democrats' suffering was caused by a multitude of problems, and he signed on to work on a specific one - national organization.

          Bottom line? He's limited, as party chair, in opportunities to take a vocal political stand. He's responsible for assuring electoral victory for all Democrats - not just the ones that are okay with janinsanfran.

 ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 01:27:16 PM PST

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          •  Broken Record. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wystler, vcmvo2

            No matter how many times people are told this they will still complain. This whole point was made very clear when Dr. Dean was running for the chair of the DNC. Yet for some reason people just ignore the whole point.

            I don't know if they choose to ignore it so they can complain about one more Democrat or if they are just too clueless.

            But I do know it's getting very tiresome.

            "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

            by Mike S on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 02:01:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tiresome (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike S, vcmvo2, HillaryIsMyHomegirl

              Damn, if the number of folks who:

              • think that all Dems are spineless
              • think Howard Dean's a turncoat
              • won't ever vote for Ms. Clinton UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE

              keeps growing, i'm not sure that i couldn't be convinced about emigrating ... just as the Dem Party is beginning to look like they are ready to make headway, seems an astounding number wanna vote for St. Ralph or a yet-to-be-named Green Party candidacy ...

              how can we get these folks to understand just how big the task is, and how long it's really gonna take? (short of forcing them to read CRASHING THE GATES ...)

     ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

              by wystler on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 02:08:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I too have just about had it with... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Circular firing squads.  The Republicans control the Senate, House, Courts, and the Media.  Never misunderestimate (I love Bushian English) the power of the smear machine.  Don't fear it per se, but I am going to allow the Dems to pick their battles for the moment.  If we lose in '06, well then maybe it's pitchfork time.

                I personally would rather have almost* any Democrat in a Congressional office than any Rethuglican.

                *Except Joementum.  I hate me some Joementum.

                Put on your jockstrap, Herb, because I intend to give your cojones a mean twist.

                by HillaryIsMyHomegirl on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 01:24:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Because censure is a terrible idea (0+ / 0-)

        It takes impeachment off the table and since it will fail, delegitimize further attacks on this avenue.

        This is a Feingold 2008 campaign stunt and nothing more.

        --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

        by Aexia on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 03:43:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Censure does not (0+ / 0-)

          take Impeachment off the table. And if you truly think this is a campaign stunt from Feingold, then you don't know much about him.

          The NSA/FISA investigation was going nowhere after Roberts and the rest of the Intel committee effectively buried it by refusing to investigate any further.

          This resolution brings it back out into the open, after the Repubs all thought it was safely buried away.

          They know it's illegal, they know Bush should be impeached, and they know they're hypocrits. They just don't care as long as they get to keep the power to cheat, lie and rob the public treasury for themselves and their buddies.

          And Democrats that don't stand up with Feingold and say 'Enough' are just enablers to the destruction of this country.

          •  Why censure and not impeach? (0+ / 0-)

            Censure is an empty gesture. It accomplishes nothing beyond making the base feel good about Feingold. Which is why it's a campaign stunt.

            --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

            by Aexia on Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 03:51:05 PM PST

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    •  I hate ReThugs like Allard (10+ / 0-)

      Taking the side of the terrorists, eh?

      You mean, like, I don't know, maybe voting to invade a secular terrorist-free country in the Middle East, and supporting the wholesale looting of that country's assets, thereby pissing off Ahmed Public and guaranteeing Al Qaeda and similar anti-American groups a recruiting bonanza?

      Is that what you're talking about, Senator Dipshit?

      •  right, the side of the terrorists. (7+ / 0-)

        Things that are done for the terrorists, like:

        • failing to fund or resolve recommendations by the 9/11 commission
        • failing to check less than 5% of cargo coming into the ports
        • handing out duffle bags of cash to just about anyone in Iraq

        Keepin the "I" dream alive...

        by In A World Gone Mad on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 10:53:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My petition comment (8+ / 0-)

          It is you Senator Allard who aids the terrorists by trying to frighten American citizens into turning our backs on our ideals such as freedom of speech and the rule of law. Shame on you. You disgrace the country you pretend to defend.

          •  Here's what I came up with... (18+ / 0-)

            and five minutes of anger was all I had to spend on this at the moment:

            I'm a Colorado resident and my only question to you is: when are you going to resign? How dare you attack the patriotism of a fellow Senator when you yourself have so miserably failed in your oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution?
            You sir, are the traitor. You sir, give aid and comfort to the enemy.
            A rubber-stamp could do your job far more effectively and cheaply than you--for that is all you are. You have no discernible capability for independent or critical thought. Your sole function appears to be to endorse Republican talking points.
            You are an embarrassment to the fine people of Colorado and that is the politest thing I can say about you in a public forum.
            I, like many others in Colorado, eagerly await your retirement.

            I'm going to add a little more later and fax this little present to his Washington office...

          •  My late contribution (0+ / 0-)

            Even in this debased age of political lies and casual McCarthyism, your attack on the patriotism of a distinguished fellow Senator was stunning in its shamelessness.  Claiming that Russ Feingold "sides with the terrorists" is not only untrue, it is deeply un-American.  Americans are entitled to freedom of speech, even Democrats, Mr. Allard.

            You took an oath to uphold the Constitution.  You broke that oath with your vicious denunciation of Sen. Feingold.  An honorable man would resign.  But like most of your party, you have no honor, Senator Allard.  Shame on you.  If only you were capable of feeling shame.

            -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 07:37:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  don't forget (0+ / 0-)

          I'd say that taking the side of terrorists means sowing terror among the populace. You know... Axis of Evil, Iraq is gonna bomb us, 9/11 9/11 9/11.

          Spreading terror, pushing for dictatorship, and using it to further your agenda...

          Who's taking the side of the terrorists again?

          Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. - James Harvey Robinson

          by pi1304 on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 01:25:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My letter to Allard (6+ / 0-)

      Dear Senator Allard,

      Your refusal to censure the President for breaking the law shows that you prefer to defend a lawbreaker instead of standing up for the rule of law.

      Since you support lawbreaking, could you please send me a comprehensive list of the laws that it's OK for us to ignore without penalty? If different people are allowed to break different laws, please be sure to note who is allowed to break which ones.  That will make it much easier to figure out exactly who is supposed to be held accountable for what.

      Thank you for your help on this matter, I look forward to your response.


      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 01:48:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blah, blah, blah........ (0+ / 0-)

      You hear the samething over and over again. Until the Democratic Party grows some "reproductive organs" nothing will change. Senator Feingold goes out on a limb to censure chimpy and the dems leave him hanging in the lurch. Spineless, half empty idiots who only think of themselves and not the people they represent. The good Senator does not deserve this kind of treatment.

      a splendid time is guaranteed for all

      by KBueno on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 04:00:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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