I am not the only one who has been sick of the Democratic Party - not of their issues, values, or views - but with their lack thereof. Their jellyfish-like behavior in the shadow of a strong Republican party is embarrassing for many who care about human rights, civil rights, the environment, corruption, and overall policy: foreign and domestic. Their lack of initiative to hit Republicans where they are weak is pathetic (and there have been many opportunities).
Dems seem to be more concerned with keeping politics at the status quo. They don't want to use liberal values to push their agenda. They seem to be more concerned about their personal re-elections than their personal values. They don't want to say anything that will upset anybody, so they don't say anything at all.
That's not the kind of person I'm going to vote for. And I think my views are part of a growing sentiment in this country. I have talked to a lot of people who are disgusted with the Democrats. We want action, not inaction. We want liberal values, not compliance with approaching-fascism values. We (or at least I) want fiscal responsibility - and the Republicans have dropped this banner. If the Democrats picked it up, they would be tearing the Republican Party apart! We want transparency in government, not increasing secrecy. We want fairness, not no-bid contracts.
The shallow beliefs of the Dems have not been any clearer than when the Democratic Senator Russ Feingold introduced a resolution to censure Bush
. The Censure is essentially telling Bush "Bad Dog" while whacking his nose with a newspaper for breaking the law by wiretapping phones without judicial oversight. This isn't even charging him with a crime for breaking the law. Out of 44 Democrats in the Senate how many do you think supported this wag of the finger? If you assume the Democrats are spineless cowards you would be correct in guessing one. Nobody other than Feingold supported this resolution! Not even "liberal" Senators - not Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, or John Kerry.
The apparent reason why Dems did not vote to censure Bush is because Republicans would have spun this as the Democrats helping Al Qaeda. The argument would go:
- The Wiretaps are only spying on people talking to Al Qaeda - not normal people (this is a almost definitely a lie)
- There is very good reason to avoid going through judges to get warrants (because they may be Al Qaeda agents? No, I believe the Bush Admin is wiretapping so many people, that it will be impossible to attain that many warrants).
- Therefore the Democrats are helping Al Qaeda, and once again liberals hate America.
This argument will be repeated many times via Bush's monkey chorus (eg Hannity, O Reilly, Limbaugh) and will be echoed on most major media outlets (CNN, MSNBC, etc) because many journalists these days have no integrity - and in fact are not journalists, but rather are commercial salesmen controlled by a handful of huge corporations.
In addition to the monkey chorus, Democrats who supported this measure would have ad campaigns about this issue played against them by their Republican adversary in every single senatorial election nationwide. So instead of standing by their ostensible liberal values - they have shown themselves to care more about their political careers. On some level I can't blame them - I think sometimes you have to play the game and choose your battles. But this is an issue which should be determined by values, not political expediency. This issue is important.
I want a candidate who will fight against the monkey chorus. I want a candidate who can help people understand that their civil rights are important. I want a candidate who will fight for democracy and human rights instead of saying nothing and implicitly aiding to the death thereof. I believe that if leaders stand up, voters will stand up with them. There is no other way to change the way the debate is framed. Democrats can either stand up and fight, change the debate, and risk losing - or they can continue to be victims by letting the Republicans frame every discussion and conversation.
If the Republicans could nearly impeach Clinton because he lied about getting blowjobs, what does it say about the Democrats if we can't impeach - we can't even censure Bush about breaking a congressional law protecting civil rights, let alone lying about reasons for war?
Letters to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer:
Why didn't you support the censure resolution?
I feel like you owe an explanation: Why didn't you support the censure of President Bush?
I understand that the Republicans would try to spin this issue against you by claiming you are "supporting terrorists". But you should be much more concerned with our civil rights than with your image.
We already know that Bush cannot be trusted. We know that Bush is using government agencies to quiet dissent. We know that Bush is breaking the law!
Why are you letting down the constituents who depend on you to protect their civl rights? Why are you letting Bush spy on us without judicial oversight?
I shouldn't have to tell you that there is a reason why checks and balances exist. There is a reason why we have a President and not a monarch. Please stop the absuses of a super-powerful executive branch.
You know that Bush is spying on more than just Al Qaeda. There should be a congressional review - just who is being spied on? We have a right to know how many people are being spied on - and on what criteria they are selected.
Response from Barbara Boxer (the next day)
Thank you for contacting me regarding Senator Russell Feingold's (D-WI) resolution to censure President Bush. I want to you know that I appreciate hearing from you, and I am a co-sponsor of this resolution.
On March 13, 2006, Senator Feingold introduced Senate Resolution 398, which would admonish President Bush for his unlawful authorization of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, his failure to keep Congress fully informed of this program as required by law, and his efforts to mislead the American people about the legality of the program and the legal authorities relied upon by his administration to conduct it.
The Feingold Resolution has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the request of Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Senator Feingold has called for the Committee to hold hearings, debate, and then vote on the resolution. I share Senator Feingold's strong objections to the administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, and I intend to vote for Senator Feingold's resolution should it come before the Senate.
Again, thank you for writing me.
United States Senator
So apparently I was wrong! Barbara Boxer is supporting the censure. Why is it that news organizations reported that no dems were supporting it? Did Barbara Boxer change her mind later on?