The Republicans are unbearable. They break the law, lie, spin, spend, invade, torture and give away our money to lobbyists. So, I'm trying my best to not disparage the Democrats, since they're our only hope left.
I don't want to perpetuate the image of them as soft, feckless and spineless. I am worried to death that will turn off some voters and have them vote for Republicans who are driving this country over a cliff instead.
But the Democrats sometimes make it impossible to not criticize them.
Senator Russ Feingold wants to introduce a resolution to censure the President for breaking the FISA statue. There is no question that the President has done this -- he admits it. The law clearly states that you must have a court order to spy on Americans. The President says he doesn't need one and won't get one. It is brazen law breaking.
The cowardly Republicans talked a big game about holding the President accountable and then buckled instantly. The big talkers like Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe and Mike DeWine all threatened to keep the President in check. Then they turned around and not only voted to make sure this is not investigated but went further to try to make the illegal actions legal in retrospect. The way they put their party above their country sickens me.
These are the same guys who had the nerve to try to impeach Bill Clinton because of their "respect for the rule of law." Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.
But on the other hand, the Democrats refuse to be outcowarded. In the face of overwhelming facts -- on their side for the love of God -- they will not back their fellow Senator in pressing forward with a censure.
This is not an impeachment. This is not to throw the guy out of office. This is something that is obvious -- and absolutely necessary. The President says he is going to continue to spy on Americans WITHOUT getting a warrant. I have never seen a clearer violation of a federal law in my life. If the Senate doesn't censure him, he is rightfully going to believe that he is above the law. We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not men.
So, why oh why, would the opposition party not support this move to censure -- because they are worried about the effect it is going to have on centrist voters? Are you fucking nuts? George Bush is at 36%!!!!!!!! America can't stand him. They think he is incompetent, that he has blown Iraq and Katrina and Social Security and the budget and the economy. And you're worried that you are going to alienate centrist voters by coming out against him?
This is unjustifiable. Independent voters give the President a 27% approval rating -- that is stunningly low. It's hard to imagine that number being lower for any President at any time. What are you waiting for?!!!
How in the world would it alienate these centrist, independent voters to censure a President they cannot stand?
The Democrats for the 100th time in a row have bought into a nonsense Republican talking point: Centrist voters don't like to criticize the President in any way, after all, look at how it hurt the Republicans to try to impeach Bill Clinton.
President Clinton was a wildly popular president. His approval numbers doubled this President's. That's right -- DOUBLED! On the day of his impeachment, President Clinton had an approval rating of 72%. That is exactly twice as high as Bush's approval rating today.
The Republicans went after a stunningly popular president at a time when the economy and the budget could not have been in better shape. And they went after him based on a sex scandal. Republicans could talk until they're blue in the face about how it was about perjury and the "rule of law," but voters understood then that Ken Starr had just spent millions of dollars on a fishing expedition and found a sex act.
They were on extremely weak ground against a very strong president. Right now, the situation is the exact opposite. Breaking a federal law by going around the court system and Congress is a matter that goes to the heart of our constitutional system. It is a challenge to the very core of our system of government.
We can protect Americans. We can defeat the terrorists. But we must do it without compromising our principles. It is perfectly acceptable to spy on terrorists -- there isn't a court in the country, let alone the very permissive FISA court, that wouldn't give you a warrant based on the smallest piece of evidence. But you cannot say that you will spy on any American you like without getting a court order -- not only is it illegal, but it is un-American.
If we have to get rid of our core values to try to defeat these terrorists, then what have we become?
In reality, we don't have to make these compromises, but this administration is too lazy and too power hungry to do it the right way. They want to cut corners and they want to grab as much power for the executive as possible. Terrorists are an excuse, not the cause.
In the face of this brazen unconstitutional power grab by a wildly unpopular president -- what do the Democrats do? Cower! It is hard not be repulsed by them.
The only prominent politicians I have any respect left for now are the four horsemen of the Democratic Party -- Al Gore, Russ Feingold, Howard Dean and Jack Murtha. They must rebuild this party from the ground up.
The cowards who run it now are more afraid of their own shadows, and the shadow of Fox News Channel, to ever stand up for the people who voted for them in the first place. The whole country is waiting for you stand up to these bullies. Will you, for the love of God and country, do it already?!
Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks, the first liberal radio show to air nationwide. The Young Turks began as Sirius Satellite Radio’s first original program, and, while still on Sirius, is now nationally syndicated and available on itunes and online at www.youngturk.com and www.radiopower.org.
© 2006 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC