When Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., offered his earlier censure resolution against the administration's illegal wiretapping program, Democrats in the Senate behaved like petulant children, complaining that he was showboating and failing to go through channels. It will be interesting to see if he gets a better reception among his peers when he puts forth a new censure resolution, which he announced on "Meet the Press" Sunday:
There's a lot of sentiment in the country ... for actually impeaching the president and the vice president. I think that they have committed impeachable offenses with regard to this terrorist surveillance program and making up their own program. What I am proposing is a moderate course, not tying up the Senate and the House with an impeachment trial, but simply passing resolutions that make sure that the historical record shows the way they have weakened our country, weakened our country militarily and against al-Qaida and weakened our country's fundamental document, the Constitution.
Is anyone taking bets on how many Democrats will sign on this time? Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that he "wouldn't go along with it" because the Senate had more important things to do. On "Face the Nation," he said, "He has been here as part of a culture of corruption. He is spying on Americans ... The president already has the mark of the American people that he's the worst president we've ever had, and I don't think we need a censure resolution in the Senate to prove that."
No, but a censure resolution would at least put the Congress on record as objecting to it, no? That doesn't seem too much to ask.
Katrina vanden Heuvel argued in the Nation Sunday that progressives should help their senators along:
Feingold needs citizens' help to develop and push these resolutions forward. E-mail your representatives, bombard them with your appeals and demand that they stop this White House from shredding the Constitution and, as Feingold puts it, "thumbing their noses at the American people."
In case anyone's wondering, the latest poll on the question of impeachment had 46 percent in favor of impeaching President Bush and 54 percent in favor of impeaching Vice President Cheney. One wonders what kind of response a censure would get.