Russ Feingold delivered an eloquent and passionate speech on the Senate floor denouncing Bush’s wireless wiretapping program.
The Democrats have failed their party, their base and their country with a recent behind the scenes agreement on Bush’s wiretapping legislation. A Salon article by Russ Feingold details the bitter truth. (watch 30 second ad for day pass)
It seemed like a watershed moment for the Democratic Party. At the end of 2005, Democrats, along with a small band of Republicans, stopped a bad Patriot Act reauthorization bill in its tracks.
Surprise, surprise! The Democratic leadership has failed to protect our freedom, liberty and Constitutional rights one more time.
Expect Democrats and some Republicans to insist that they have won some significant improvements to the Patriot Act. Don’t believe it. The few minor concessions they got from the White House are a fig leaf to disguise a complete about-face. Thanks to this deal, the White House will be emboldened in its fear-mongering, Democrats will be perceived as timid, and the American people will still face the prospect of government intrusion into their private affairs. Some deal.
STF readers can read the lengthy list of curtailed freedoms that Feingold catalogs in his article. Feingold concludes:
These are some of the provisions of the Patriot Act that pose the biggest threats to our freedoms, yet some Democrats are happily supporting a deal that leaves them firmly in place. That’s hardly a victory for our party, or for the effort to protect our liberties as we fight terrorism.
It took a long time for Democrats to step up and challenge the administration’s baseless assertions that the Patriot Act could not be changed without threatening the security of the American people. When we finally did so, when we decided to make the case that we can fight terrorism and protect our American principles at the same time, *it looked like Democrats were finally ready to stand on principle and offer strong leadership*.
Is anyone even a little bit surprised that the Democratic Party has caved in to political pressure and taken the easy way out one more time? Feingold asks the key question:
If Democrats aren’t going to stand up to an executive who disdains the other branches of government and doesn’t worry about trampling on the rights of innocent Americans, what do we stand for?