Okay, Democrats. Here's the test.
There is a schism in the Democratic Party this week between Democrats with spine and Democrats who are afraid.
We all know that George W. Bush has broken the law. In fact, he's probably broken several laws, but there's one instance that is undeniable: The NSA program to spy against American citizens in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The nonpartisan research arm of Congress found that Bush's actions constitute a serious violation of the law, and that Bush's legal defenses are not legitimate.
Our two Democratic Senators, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, haven't really done more than talk on this issue. But, there is one Democrat in the United States Senate who has the moral courage to act when Senators like Clinton and Schumer only pay lip service to the rule of law.
Senator Russ Feingold from Wisconsin has introduced a resolution to the floor of the United States Senate that would censure the President for his violation of the law.
Senators Clinton and Schumer won't back it - even though the majority of New Yorkers, and the majority of Americans, reject Bush's claims that he is above the law.
So now, we need to ask the Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives in the 24th District where they stand. Will they stand with Russ Feingold in defense of the Constitution, the law, and American liberty? Or, will they buckle and cave in to fear of Republicans, as Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer have done?
Some Democrats are saying that we can't censure George W. Bush, no matter how gravely he has violated the law, because to do so would alienate swing voters.
That's the most pathetic thing I've ever heard. What do we Democrats stand for, if we're willing to allow the President of the United States declare himself to be above the law, just because we are afraid of what swing voters will say if we do something?
This is the time when the Democratic Party need leaders, not politicians. The job of a politician is to get elected to office. The job of a leader is to do the right thing.
There is no point in us electing a Democrat to the Congress if we cannot count on that Democrat to do the right thing. If we get a Democrat in Congress who will serve as just another rubber stamp for the Republican agenda, then there is no point in electing a Democrat at all.
There is no more important issue in America right now than the issue of whether the President of the United States can violate the law with impunity. If we don't make a stand now, we might as well not have a Constitution, and we might as well not have a Congress.
We're not talking impeachment. President Bush would not be removed from office by a censure vote. This resolution merely rebukes the President for violating the law. If we Democrats are afraid even to do that much, what the heck do we stand for?
Michael Arcuri, Les Roberts, and Bruce Tytler should not remain silent on this issue. They should release clearly worded statements on the resolution, as soon as possible, to let us know where they stand.
Will they sign on as citizen co-sponsors of Russ Feingold's resolution? Will you?