Monday, March 13, 2006

Support Feingold's Censure Motion

Russ Feingold’s motion to censure, rather than impeach, the President for authorizing warrantless NSA surveillance, is a very good idea. It will keep the NSA surveillance issue on the media, and public, radar at a time when the White House is desperate to see it go away. In a Congress controlled by Republicans, censure stands a much better chance of success than does impeachment, since some Republicans may support a censure motion to simply get the issue done and over with and to establish their “independent” credentials with voters before what could be a Republican bloodbath in November. Democrats will look less opportunistic, and more noble, supporting a motion that will chastise the President without toppling him. Republicans’ efforts to whitewash the NSA scandal, as they’ve done in the Senate Intelligence Committee and will try to do in the Judiciary Committee, will be publicized much more widely, and more critically, if viewed through the magnifying lens of concurrent censure proceedings. And if the President is censured but continues to pursue warrantless surveillance programs like the NSA’s or the similar, "dark" programs that some officials and whistleblowers have hinted at, the Republicans will have little choice but to accede to impeachment proceedings.

It’s a great strategy all around, and we need to support it. So, I’m calling a Game Plan: write letters to the editor, and call your Senators and Congresscritters, to say you strongly support the Feingold plan.

1. Most importantly, tell Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid that you want him to support this effort with everything he’s got, and not wimp out by calling it a “free vote” or “conscience vote” or any other namby-pampy, undisciplined, standard-issue-Democratic crap like that.

In that regard, VichyDems reader Nancy Horn just reported:

Just got through to both Reid (re: Feingold) and Specter (re: NSA). They’re both tallying, and Reid’s assistant said the Senator was looking at the results as we spoke. He’s gotten calls from all over the country, in favor, and the assistant was personally thrilled though, of course, he wouldn’t speak for his boss.

We need to keep that pressure on. Reid’s contact info is:

Harry Reid (D-NV)
Telephone numbers
Main Capitol switchboard number (all Congressional offices): 888-355-3588
D.C. office direct line: 202-224-3542
D.C. office direct line toll-free from Nevada: 866-SEN-REID (866-736-7343)
Carson City office telephone: 775-882-7343
Reno office telephone: 775-686-5750
Las Vegas office telephone: 702-388-5020
Fax numbers
D.C. office fax: 202-224-7327
Carson City office fax: 775-883-1980
Reno office fax: 775-686-5757
Las Vegas office fax: 702-388-5030
Senator Reid webmail link

2. Find out who your own senator is (and get all their contact information) right here, and ask them to back Feingold to the hilt.

3. Find out who your own congressperson is (and get all their contact information) right here, and ask them to back Feingold to the hilt.

The toll-free Capitol Hill switchboard, which can connect you to any Senator or Congressperson's office (VM on weekends) is 888-355-3588.

4. Write letters to the editors of any nearby papers in support of the Feingold resolution. A tool you can use to write letters to the editor is right here.
Finally, if you need more motivation: Feingold is my top choice to challenge the Hillary juggernaut (more here) for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, not necessarily because he’s my actual preference for nominee but because his positions and his increasing support makes him the progressive most likely to consolidate the non-Hillary factions and turn the Democratic primaries into a real horserace -- Progressives vs. pseudo-Centrists -- instead of a foregone conclusion. Anything that puts the nomination in the hands of the people instead of the wealthy power-brokers who control our party and have led it down a losing path for the last fifteen years is something I’ll support -- so a media-prominent Feingold, pursuing a laudable censure resolution, is a two-fer in my book.


sozzy said...

Senator Kerry will support Feingold's motion.

Kennedy hasn't made a statement yet.

Reid is taking a country-wide tally.

The 888 number in Washington isn't overwhelmed the way it was during the Alito effort.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I'd like to overwhelm the 888 number again!

Someone on Greenwald's blog said that Frist, on TV, threatened to call a vote on the censure motion this afternoon, before the Dems have a chance to get organized. I haven't been able to learn anything about that yet, but will report as soon as I do.

lucretia said...

This lack of Demo support even for a censure motion shows the strength of the Bush facist machine and its almost total control. The media backs up Bush and Cheney and disparages and/or distorts the Demo efforts. We have corporate media. I wish we knew a lot more of the blackmail the Bushies are doing to the Demos on the Hill.

Something's going on, because they won't stand up for Impeachment which is growing bigtime on the Internet with lots of support. Even John Conyers shies away from the effort citing many difficulties. There was a panel on C-Span Book TV on the weekend with Conyers, John Dean and others which was quite interesting.

And now the Demos on the Hill are hovering around the censure of the Prez right to wiretap anyone anytime. Well if that's not fascist dictatorship when the Bushies control the three divisions of our government almost in toto, what is?

I feel this state of affairs is treated too lightly in discussions such as this.

Anonymous said...

82% of CSPAN viewers are in favor of Feingold's motion. Maybe this is an issue which the people have to take the lead on, because of both parties in Washington's inability to do so.

Can the people come through? We'll see. I sure hope so.