« Heaven forfend we should actually listen to the experts | Main | Jill Carroll Speaks Freely from Ramstein Air Base »

Russ Feingold's Censure Hearing Folly

Russ Feingold invited John Dean, the infamous Watergate figure who brought down Richard Nixon, to the censure hearings to turn his efforts toward President Bush:

John Dean, the former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon, on Friday appeared before a Senate committee for the first time in more than 30 years and accused President George W. Bush of an aggressive assertion of presidential power.

Mr Dean last appeared before a Senate committee when he accused Mr Nixon of a cover-up during Watergate, helping to lead to his impeachment. The judiciary committee hearings on Friday were held to examine a resolution from Senator Russell Feingold, a Democrat, to censure Mr Bush for authorising warrantless wiretapping.

John Dean's performance was an embarrassment. During his testimony, Dean took the hearings as an opportunity to sell his new book:

John Cornyn, a Republican senator from Texas and a Bush loyalist, denounced censure as "completely without merit", and said he was ambivalent about the hearings. He criticised the committee for inviting Mr Dean, who is "selling a book and is a convicted felon. It strikes me as odd that the committee is giving time to... [him] as part of their marketing effort."

Mr Dean defended his presence, noting that it was important that the committee "sometimes hears from the dark side".

"I probably have more experience first hand than anyone might want about how a president can get on the wrong side of the law. I'm not here to sell a book today... the [new] book won't be out until the summer," he said.

And Lindsay Graham effectively destroyed Dean's argument that Bush's approval of the warrantless wiretapping of terrorist suspects was the same as Nixon's Watergate cover up.

Senator Lindsey O. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Bush endorsed a debatable legal theory when he authorized the secret wiretaps. But Nixon and Dean, Graham said, were involved in patently illegal acts for which there were no legal justifications.

''Nobody read the Constitution to say that Richard Nixon and you could break into somebody's private offices," Graham told Dean. ''Isn't there a big difference between knowingly breaking the law -- burglarizing somebody's office -- and having a real debate about where authority begins and ends?"

Dean: ''Nixon didn't authorize the break-in."

Graham: ''Did he cover up a crime that he knew to be a crime?"

Dean shot back: ''He covered it up for national security reasons."

''Give me a break," Graham snapped. ''He covered it up to save his hide."

The hearings were such a waste of time that even Democrats skipped them:

WASHINGTON -- Senator Russell Feingold was a lonely man yesterday.

Of his seven Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, only two showed up for the committee's hearing on Feingold's call for a censure of President Bush. One of them -- Feingold's fellow Wisconsin Democrat, Herb Kohl -- ducked out early without uttering a word.

So Feingold sat amid a sea of empty chairs in the hearing room, withstanding a withering Republican barrage. GOP lawmakers took turns branding Feingold's resolution ''irresponsible," ''inappropriate," ''excessive," ''perverse," ''false," ''surreal," ''beyond the pale," and ''destructive."

I hope Feingold continues with his censure/impeachment strategy. It will only help the Republicans.


Censure? Impeachment?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Russ Feingold's Censure Hearing Folly:

» The Rolling Barrage linked with Feingold Abandoned By The Democrats

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Watergate figure Dean at hearing on Bush censure

» The Political Pit Bull linked with Nixon's Ghost Haunts Censure Hearing (Video)

Comments (28)

Perhaps the Repulicans ough... (Below threshold)

Perhaps the Repulicans ought to grow a pair and censure Feingold.

First Censor Dhimmi Carter,... (Below threshold)

First Censor Dhimmi Carter, then Feingold.

Russ Feingold is right on t... (Below threshold)
green libertarian:

Russ Feingold is right on the money. Arlen Spector would not have allowed the hearing unless he had real concerns about abuse of power of the executive. A lot of long time republican senators and congressmen are concerned about their loss of legitimate authority, but they cannot come out and say it, so they let Feingold come out and swing in the wind. In six months to a year, it will be accepted as a matter of fact that Feingold was right. Wise up! Small, weak federal government is dying and real republicans know it.

Heh. Yes, Nixon wiretapping... (Below threshold)

Heh. Yes, Nixon wiretapping his "enemies" in the Democratic party secretly and illegally... I can see how that can be compared to the Bush administration telling Congress and FISA exactly what they were doing, and keeping them informed every step along the way. I mean, Nixon told the Democrats in Congress that he was wiretapping them didn't he? Didn't he Mr. Dean? What, you don't want to answer? Yeah, thought so.

These censure hearings will... (Below threshold)

These censure hearings will be remembered, along with Sen Feingold's lone vote against the original Patriot Act, as the principled stand against constitutional abuse by the executive that it is.

To blindly follow, due to party loyalty, is expected on some issues.

There is a growing chorus from the right who realize that this admin, although they might feel that they are motivated by the best interests of the country, are really the worst combination of policy and execution that we have ever seen.

Soon enough, most will realize that Bush, who continues to support the Rumsfeld Doctrine, (provide just enough troops to fail), doesn't have the ability to make the right decisions...let alone correct his wrong decisions.

Much as I can't stand a bun... (Below threshold)

Much as I can't stand a bunch of whiners, I thing Feingold's right on this one. Why is it that most of us on the right stand loud and proud for the 2nd amendment, while we so often ignore the other 9 in the Bill of Rights? The 4th amendment matters too.

To be honest, Bush has crossed a line here. He did it for noble reasons, but it's a line nonetheless. The rule of law, with checks and balances, is what separates us from many countries with unfortunate histories.

Yeah, John Dean leaves much... (Below threshold)

Yeah, John Dean leaves much to be desired as an expert witness, and "Bush loyalists" Cornyn and Graham are unconvincing defenders (open-borders bush-bots AND self-appointed national security owls: niggaz pleeeze!). HOWEVER, Bruce Fein, as representative of traditional conservative and (anti-bushian) republican legal thought on the issues at hand ("don't tread on me!") is 100% credible. And convincing as hell (I've enjoyed his talking-head appearances since the 80s when he was Reagan's Asst. Atty. Gen'l) I didn't see the hearings but I heard him make the rounds on talk radio later; John Gibson was reduced to screaming fits while I could SWEAR I saw Bruce smiling through the speaker! Unflappable, like any Jewish lawyer who is 7 feet tall would tend to be! So: as I predicted the dangers to W of Plamegate from the first (in an early Wizbang cameo: check me on it!) this too, will be a "big F'ing deal". In plamegate it was a cover-up of wrong-doing (anyone wish to still deny that?); with spygate W ADMITS the law was broken. (That's the reason for administration's amendment of "terrorist-" to "spy program" in their talking points. Well, if that WASN'T in question, W would not have needed to by-pass FISA, which AGAIN they ADMIT they did.) People! "National security" does not mean the same to Bush as it does to anyone else! Remember, Bush will SWEAR to you that border security is his "top priority", too! Unfortunately for the U.S., he means the Mexico-Guatamalan border! Here's THAT BACKDROP he loves so much! http://www.newsmax.com/

Instead of Mr. Dean, all I ... (Below threshold)

Instead of Mr. Dean, all I would ask is that the list of Democrats and Republicans who were briefed on this surveillance program be made public. Then they can themselves can state what they were not told during the briefing sessions that has subsequently come to light. Period. If what is currently known had been discussed with these individuals the case is closed.

Lindsay Graham effectively... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Lindsay Graham effectively showed his own ignorance of Watergate.

The big joke is that Waterg... (Below threshold)

The big joke is that Watergate was a fraud and a silent coup. Nixon was right in the end. The McGovernite lefties were communist and KGB fronts and dupes, aiding the North Vietnamese and communist enemy. The same assholes and traitors like Internaional A.N.S.W.E.R from back then are still with us now. The Democratic Party, traitors in 1861, 1971 and today. The tradition continues.

If the new thing is to use ... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

If the new thing is to use convicted felons as star witnesses and experts, boy am I going to have some press conferences! Because your average convicted felon will say anything for a price. We'll start with my winning lotto ticket that will be confirmed as authentic by no less than six highly respected convicted felons.

Comparing Bush to Nixon's W... (Below threshold)

Comparing Bush to Nixon's Watergate crimes is less revealing than a comparison between Feingold and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, the last blowhard from Wisconsin anybody noticed.

You would almost get the impression that Feingold thinks he should run for President, wouldn't you?

Quote:"Arlen Spector... (Below threshold)

"Arlen Spector would not have allowed the hearing unless he had real concerns about abuse of power of the executive. A lot of long time republican senators and congressmen are concerned about their loss of legitimate authority, but they cannot come out and say it, so they let Feingold come out and swing in the wind. In six months to a year, it will be accepted as a matter of fact that Feingold was right."

That's funny! Come on! What, are you 5 years old?

Spector did the same thing to that nut-bag Feingold that he did to that unprincipled partisan hack, Murtha: He gaved them EXACTLY what they asked for and showed the entire country what asses they truly are.

Did you bother to read the text? The republicans are there...asking questions, showing interest. Where are the democrats? If the dems or soooo concerned about the separation of powers, then where are they?

They're running away like scalded dogs, that's where they are! Just like when the republicans gave Murtha what he was asking for with his "cut and run" strategy for Iraq. And before that, it was that other dem nut-bag Charlie Rangle. Remember him? Wanted an ammendment to a bill that would re-institute the draft. So, the republicans put it to a vote. HE DIDN'T EVEN VOTE FOR HIS OWN AMENDMENT!!

There's democrat principle for ya! Which is the very reason why they should never be allowed to get their grubby little hands on the levers of power!

Hey bobdog, are sure you wa... (Below threshold)

Hey bobdog, are sure you want to compare Feingold to McCarthy? There WERE nests of communist spies in the government and as US representatives in the UN. (Alger Hiss was at the founding of the UN in San Francisco). And when McCarthy came on the scene during the Korean Conflict, the US was fighting under the umbrella of UN Forces, thus all communication between US forces had to go through UN Security HQ, i.e. the Soviets who were still allied to WHO? CHINA! And who was China allied with? NORTH KOREA! No wonder we weren't allowed to win, and no wonder Gen. McArthur told pinko Go-to-hell-Harry to go to hell quicker! That was McCarthy's downfall, too. False patriots accused him of disparaging the army! Sound familiar? P.S. Pick your villains better!

The dems in D.C. are moder... (Below threshold)

The dems in D.C. are modern day socialists with just as much guts, they dont even have the guts to vote for their own scams. I have to give credit to feingold! at least he has the balls to vote for his ideas, unfortunately i think the voter id act is going to kill Him in sconny.. I think we should vote them all out and start over...not that i think this country could ever be that united again !

Please don't use the term w... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Please don't use the term warrantless wiretaps. This whole discussion is not about wiretaps. It is about wireless intercepts. No wires are being tapped. Plaintext and plain (unencrypted) voice are being intercepted . There is a big difference.

The DNC and the MSM began using the term warrantless wiretaps because this is an emotionally laden term. What is being done is interception of cell phone or satellite phone conversations from known or suspected offshore Al Quaida operatives, some of which terminate in the USA.

They are in no way wiretaps. Check your dictionary.

" In plamegate it was a ... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

" In plamegate it was a cover-up of wrong-doing (anyone wish to still deny that?)"

Apparently Patrick Fitzgerald would deny it, since there were no criminal indictments alleging "wrong-doing".

bryanD, when you call Harry... (Below threshold)

bryanD, when you call Harry Truman a "pinko", it makes conservatives look like a bunch of horses asses. I'd really prefer you not do that, seeing as how I am one. Thanks.

Or, are you perhaps a lefty troll? If so, well done sir.

This whole censure thing is... (Below threshold)
Toledo Steve:

This whole censure thing is laughable, and obviously a cheap way for Feingold to get the attention of the Kossacks for his sure-to-fail 2008 campaign. Still, Republicans shouldn't protest too loudly, since it only serves to underscore the Democrats' weakness and misplaced priorities when it comes to national security. By the way, there's a major boo-boo in that Financial Times story -- Nixon was never impeached as the story says, he resigned. They can't even get the facts right, if they even care about facts.

JOSEPH, I was going to resp... (Below threshold)

JOSEPH, I was going to respond "one what?" but I know what you mean! By "pinko", I mean a communist-enabler. There were tons of communists in government purposely allowed in through the Agricultural Adjustment Admin in the 30s. They then mostly promoted themselves to State and War depts (this, at the time of the communist international-Stalinist heydey: they were spies plain and simple: Lattimore, Baldwin, Hiss, etc.) Truman was hand-picked by the dying FDR for one reason: he was a party man in the worst sense who never questioned the corruption of the mobbed-up Pendergast machine in KC and could be trusted to do more of nothing now. PLUS he had a towering ego that was a virtual remote control device. When scandals brewed, staffers could reliably egg him on in another, more venal, less important direction. So while the commies gave away atomic secrets, Harry was bitching about his daughter's bad reviews in the press! And remember: this guy fired our best general at the time and replace him with Mark Clark (a kiss-ass!) And remember too, recieved truth says Truman was basically insulted, and thus fired McA; I don't believe it but the fact that that reason was used, tells alot about his insecure personality! (McA was fired for commanding in-theater and not passing plans first through "channels", i.e. the UN!) If you read any contemporaneous account, you'll discover the un-romanticized version of events! P.S. And credit for ending the war via A-bombs? NO WAY: the REAL reason the Japs surrendered? The Red Army had JUST ENTERED Japanese territory and were speeding south!( Sakalien(sp) Islands)

Bmoe, I sure would like to ... (Below threshold)

Bmoe, I sure would like to hear the Bush-bot version of events so I can get it straight! Instead all I get is *crickets* And, face it: Libby is and was so mobbed-up it's incredible! Marc Rich's consigliere for 15 years! Read this and ask yourself: WHY hire libby in the 1st place? http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/10/scooter-libby-marc-rich-connection.html

I have no idea what the "Bu... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

I have no idea what the "Bush-bot" version is, but I am unaware of anyone being indicted for outing Plame, which leads me to believe there was nothing to cover-up, except maybe some indiscretions re: the media. I dislike Marc Rich as much as anyone, but what the fuck does that have to do with anything? Do you have evidence Libby acted illegally in his representation of Rich? Like Greg Craigs outrageous behavior in the Elian Gonzalez fiasco for instance? Otherwise it is all just fantasy and speculation.

B MOE: Influence peddling, ... (Below threshold)

B MOE: Influence peddling, at least! "A new round of publicity regarding the pardon appeared to be avoided late last month, when U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler upheld the right of the Bush administration to deny public access to records on the 177 pardons and commutations Clinton approved on his last day in office.".....And what's the old saying? Flee from the appearance of evil?

Russ Feingold is at least s... (Below threshold)
Scott Alber:

Russ Feingold is at least standing up to this president unlike most of his colleques on both sides of the aisle.

If Congress continues to hand off it's responsiblity as an equal branch of government then Bush will continue to abuse his power and become even more imperial. As a result, we as citizens will continue to lose our freedoms, our country's will continue its rapid descent into debt, and the world with continue to view as a threat and ally against us.

Thank goodness someone has the guts to stand up and say no.

bryanD, I have no idea what... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

bryanD, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about now. You asked a question about Plamegate, I answered. Now you seem to be asserting that criminals have no right to counsel? Or that an attorney who defends criminals is thereby too sullied to perform decent work? I have no clue. Try breathing slowly into a paper bag, that sometimes helps.

The GOP is playing this ver... (Below threshold)

The GOP is playing this very badly.

Feingold: Bush broke the law and should be censored.

GOP response: well, it's a complicated legal issue...

So, who do you think is going to win that argument? Personally, I think Feingold is full of it, but he gets points for stating his case clearly and forthrightly. I think the Republicans are losing by retreating behind abstruse, technical legal arguments. They should introduce resolutions to either (a) censure Feingold, (b) commend President Bush or (c) both. Then let's see how things stand once the votes are counted.

Those of you who claim Bush... (Below threshold)
Terry Gain:

Those of you who claim Bush has broken the law don't know what you are talking about. You are engaging in clueless partisan attacks when your country is at war. Pathetic.

There are six appellate decisions on the issue of whether the President can conduct warrantless surveillance in these circumstances and every single one says he can.

Feingold should be censured. The rest of you need to stop acting like the President of the United States is your enemy.

What's the matter? Afraid to confront the real enemy or too stupid to recognize you are at war.

Kudos on your being (sorta)... (Below threshold)

Kudos on your being (sorta) mentioned by Rush on today's Morning Update.






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy