Captain Courageous strikes again

"The leak that took place in [NSA surveillance] case is a leak that — I'm not excusing it — is to tell the truth about something that violates the rights of Americans and doesn't uphold our Constitution." —Sen. John Kerry

Nobody believes me when I say it, but when I was young, I wanted to grow up to be a liberal.

Really, I mean it.

When I was a young man, my idea of a liberal was Atticus Finch. Or, to be more accurate, Atticus Finch as portrayed by Gregory Peck. Brave, intelligent and — I mean this in an entirely metrosexual way — drop-dead gorgeous, Finch stood alone and unarmed outside the door of the local jail and faced a lynch mob down. They might have killed him. But he knew the right thing to do, and he did it.

Today the tall, imposing man who stands as the acme of American liberalism is U.S. Senator John Kerry. He's the kind of man who knows the right thing to do, and is ready to do it as soon as he's sure it won't get him into any trouble.

Actually, that's not fair. There are some American liberals who are prepared to stand by their principles. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is a good example of a Democrat who has the courage of his convictions.

After voting against increased law enforcement powers to fight terror after 9/11 (the PATRIOT Act), and in favor of leaving Saddam Hussein in power even when he thought Saddam had deployable WMDs, Sen. Feingold has now moved to censure President Bush over the NSA's surveillance of international communications.

He may be a nut, but he knows what he stands for.

A few days ago, Sen. Feingold made his proposal on the floor of the senate. "The president is breaking the law," he said, and it was up to the U.S. Senate to stop him. This was their chance.

Sen. Leahy of Vermont had already announced that this NSA program was President Bush "running roughshod over the Constitution." Sen. Kennedy called it "Big Brother run amok." And John Kerry — Captain Courageous himself — had declared that the NSA surveillance program "violates the rights of Americans and doesn't uphold our Constitution."

So you know where these brave guys were when the Republicans called for an up-or-down vote to censure President Bush for his tyrannical crimes?

Actually, they were out looking for some nuance.

Sen. Kerry said that the idea of censuring President Bush "needs a closer look." The Democratic leadership actually complained when Republicans called for a prompt vote on the censure resolution. The Republicans were trying to "force" Democrats to vote on their own resolution (those sneaky GOP bastards!).

The same with the "evil" PATRIOT Act. There's been a steady Democratic drumbeat against the fascist forces behind the PATRIOT Act. The Founding Fathers were reportedly spinning in their graves at the idea of our precious liberties being stomped by the GOP jackboots.

But when it came up, essentially unchanged, two weeks ago, who voted to renew it? Why, an overwhelming majority of Democrats, including Senators Kennedy and Kerry, of course.

Excuse me, Senators, but if you really believe this is "Big Brother run amok" or a "violation of the rights of Americans," isn't there some duty on you to, you know ... vote AGAINST it?

What else do you need to look at, Senator Kerry? What kind of patriotic American just sits back and lets the president violate Americans' rights? Isn't protecting our Constitution your first duty as a U.S. Senator?

As of this writing, Sen. Feingold's efforts to censure the president have the support of a whopping total of zero (0) of his fellow Senate Democrats. Even Sen. Dick Durbin, who was bold (bone-headed?) enough to compare our soldiers at Gitmo to Nazis is thus far bagging out on this one.

Some campaign gurus on the Democratic side say the men and women in the Senate are simply waiting for a "big issue" to take on. You know, something bigger than supposedly eradicating the Fourth Amendment. Or dictatorial presidential powers. Or even war itself.

What's bigger than that? Hey, I hear Sen. Kerry is demanding another hearing on Hurricane Katrina.

I guess it's best that I didn't grow up to be a principled liberal. I'd be awfully lonely right now.


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