Senator Feingold: History Will Judge Senate Democrats Harshly
Posted July 27, 2007
Read More: Breaking Politics News, U.S. Democratic Party, U.S. Congress, George W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Russ Feingold, Harry Reid, U.S. Senate
When Senator Russ Feingold was on our show yesterday he made a devastating point -- history will not only judge President Bush harshly, but also the Democrats in Congress if they don't challenge him.
If George W. Bush is the worst president in US history, what does that say about Democrats who won't stand up to him?
You can watch this exchange here. And the whole interview can be seen here.
Here's the transcript:
CENK: Senator Hillary Clinton has called President Bush one of the worst Presidents in history. Senator Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, has as well. If you don't take action against the worst President in history, how will history judge Senate Democrats?
FEINGOLD: I would think harshly, and I think the senators need to re-evaluate what they're saying. How can you make that statement and do nothing? You're just supposed to say, "Okay, good, he's going to be gone in a few months"? That's not the job of governance. And we are trying to reverse his policies, but when they completely ignore the results of the election. We have got to reflect as a Congress this outrage and the outrage of the American people...
Remember, this isn't some political issue or just a question of how Democrats will be viewed for the 2008 elections. This is a historical question. When a president brazenly broke the law, what did Congress do? How did the opposition party respond?
The president said he did not have to follow the FISA law. What will history think of the Congress that let him make such an outrageous statement? What precedent do you set when Congress refuses to check an out of control president that claims "unitary executive" powers?
Of course it's not just the FISA law. The Bush White House has made a mockery of the Hatch Act by constantly injecting political considerations into official government business, which is also clearly illegal. Spending government money and resources strictly on political activities is a violation of the law. Does anyone care? Will anyone act to stop it?
Then there is the War Crimes Act that makes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions a violation of US federal law. Wow, that law was smashed to smithereens, and then waterboarded. We're drowning in violations of federal statutes. Do we care anymore about what is legal and what is not? How many laws do you have to break before Congress takes action?
What message does this send to future presidents? The laws are optional and whether they are enforced or not will not depend on the rule of law, it will depend on political considerations. If you have enough political strength, you are above the law.
Senator Feingold is right. How will history judge the Congress that allowed the worst president in history to run roughshod over them? How will they judge a Congress that could not and would not hold a law breaking president to account?
Very harshly, indeed.