By: Harry Waisbren
After today’s disappointing Patriot Act reauthorization vote, Sen. Feingold took to the Daily Kos to explain his perspective. He decried the nature of the committee’s debate, particularly the lockstep manner in which they followed the requests of the executive branch. In fact, he out and out questioned whether his fellow committee members understand their assignments:
It’s not the Prosecutors’ Committee; it’s the Judiciary Committee. And whether the executive branch powers are overbroad is something we have to decide. The only people we should be deferring to are the American people, as we try to protect them from terrorism without infringing on their freedoms.
The above excerpt links to the following YouTube video from the hearing, exemplifying Feingold’s exasperation at a pinnacle point where he made called his colleagues’ knowledge of the role of Judiciary Committee into question:
Despite his frustration, he asserted that this fight is not over sending the Democratic party a major gut check:
I appreciate Chairman Leahy’s efforts to achieve a compromise. And I hope to work with him and other members of this committee to make further improvements as this bill goes forward. In the end, however, Democrats have to decide if they are going to stand up for the rights of the American people or allow the FBI to write our laws. For me, that’s not a difficult choice.
Also of note in this post was an update that Feingold provided in which he offers a window into how his office handles new media campaigns:
I posted this in the comments, as well, but as always, thanks for reading and thanks for your comments on fixing the PATRIOT Act and other issues. As some of you know, what I typically do is have my staff print out the comments so I can be sure to read them all. So please post your questions, concerns and suggestions. We have a tough fight ahead of us on this and I appreciate the feedback this community offers.
It’s great news that he takes new media communities so seriously, and we should make sure to keep this in mind as we contemplate further how we can help this civil liberties champion!