Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Russ Feingold Speaks For Me!

Russ Feingold has been solid as a rock throughout the controversy surrounding the Patriot Act, and now in response to George Bush’s illegal domestic spying program. He posted this diary on Daily Kos today calling for support in his efforts to fight the more troubling aspects of the Patriot Act, and then he gave an eloquent floor speech on NSA wiretapping that is inspiring to read. Through reading his words, it is suddenly possible to imagine smart, principled and poised leadership - something America has not seen in quite some time. Here are a few highlights from the speech, but go read the whole thing. It’s long, but every word is golden!

The President issued a call to spread freedom throughout the world, and then he admitted that he has deprived Americans of one of their most basic freedoms under the Fourth Amendment -- to be free from unjustified government intrusion.

The President was blunt. He said that he had authorized the NSA's domestic spying program, and he made a number of misleading arguments to defend himself. His words got rousing applause from Republicans, and even some Democrats.

The President was blunt, so I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program.

How is that worthy of applause? Since when do we celebrate our commander in chief for violating our most basic freedoms, and misleading the American people in the process? When did we start to stand up and cheer for breaking the law? In that moment at the State of the Union, I felt ashamed.


To find out that the President of the United States has violated the basic rights of the American people is chilling. And then to see him publicly embrace his actions - and to see so many Members of Congress cheer him on - is appalling.

The President has broken the law,and he has made it clear that he will continue to do so. But the President is not a king. And the Congress is not a king's court. Our job is not to stand up and cheer when the President breaks the law. Our job is to stand up and demand accountability, to stand up and check the power of an out-of-control executive branch.


The President's actions are indefensible. Freedom is an enduring principle. It is not something to celebrate in one breath, and ignore the next. Freedom is at the heart of who we are as a nation, and as a people. We cannot be a beacon of freedom for the world unless we protect our own freedoms here at home.

The President was right about one thing. In his address, he said "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

Yes, Mr. President. We do love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. We will fight to defeat the terrorists who threaten the safety and security of our families and loved ones. And we will fight to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans against intrusive government power.

As the President said, we must always be clear in our principles. So let us be clear: We cherish the great and noble principle of freedom, we will fight to keep it, and we will hold this President - and anyone who violates those freedoms - accountable for their actions. In a nation built on freedom, the President is not a king, and no one is above the law.

All I have to add is "Bravo, Senator!"


  1. I just read the entire floor speech and ..... well it has left me speechless.

    If anyone deserves a standing ovation it is Senator Feingold.

    He should be our next President.

  2. Giraffe6:34 AM

    Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I'm sorry I missed his speech. I wonder if it will be on C-Span. I shall definitely read all of it, and send him a message of thanks for renewing our faith in leadership.