Democrats Cool to Feingold's Censure Resolution

Updated

Senator Russ Feingold’s censure resolution isn’t getting much support from Senate Democrats:

WASHINGTON – Democrats distanced themselves Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold’s effort to censure President Bush over domestic spying…

…Asked at a news conference whether he would vote for the censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada declined to endorse it and said he hadn’t read it.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said he had not read it either and wasn’t inclined simply to scold the president.

“I’d prefer to see us solve the problem,” Lieberman told reporters.

Across the Capitol, reaction was similar. Feingold’s resolution drew empathy but no outright support from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi “understands Senator Feingold’s frustration that the facts about the NSA domestic surveillance program have not been disclosed appropriately to Congress,” her office said in a statement. “Both the House and the Senate must fully investigate the program and assign responsibility for any laws that may have been broken.”

In fact, not only is the response cool, but many Democrat political analysts think Feingold’s political stunt could backfire on the Democrats. From the NY Sun:

“It’s a problem for the Democrats more than the president or the Republicans, is the irony of the thing,” a political analyst at George Washington University, Stephen Hess, said in an interview yesterday. “It forces a lot of Democrats, notably Hillary, to a position where, is she going to pander, is she going to get her back up and resist it, or is she just going to ignore it?” he said. “It’s hard to ignore it.”

Whether or not Mr. Feingold’s proposal ever gets to a vote, some activists indicated yesterday that they will demand that Democratic senators make clear their stance on the question.

“It goes without saying, though, that there better damn well be 44 co-sponsors on Feingold’s resolution,” a user called Georgia10 posted on the popular left-wing blog DailyKos.com within minutes of Mr. Feingold’s television appearance.

One Democratic political organizer, Joseph Trippi, told The New York Sun that Mr. Feingold’s call will require some response from other contenders for the 2008 nomination.

“Regardless of the public opposition and of how many people roll their eyes, this is pretty serious stuff,” Mr. Trippi said. “I think it’s going to have an effect on the rest of the field.”

Mr. Trippi said he thought Mr. Feingold’s motivations were sincere and consistent with his long track record in favor of civil liberties. The senator is already popular among online activists, sometimes called the “netroots,” and will gain ground with his latest move, the analyst said.

Mr. Trippi warned that any potential candidate who dismisses the censure idea risks being flamed online. “Anybody who says this is going too far is somebody who’s probably writing off that side of things,” he said. “Anybody who writes off the netroots or says you don’t have to pay attention is really playing with dynamite.”

So, Senator Feingold, who has never failed the far left of the Democratic party and is planning to run for president, is attempting to out-moonbat the rest of the potential 2008 Democratic Primary candidates early and get the far leftists on his side now.

Update: According to Tim Chapman of Townhall, Senator Bill Frist wants to vote on Senator Feingold’s censure resolution tonight. Dems are objecting:

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a resolution that would censure the President of the United States for “eavesdropping” in the wake of 9/11. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, moments ago, made a unanimous consent motion that the Senate vote on the resolution tonight. Maryland Democrat Paul Sarbanes rose to object to the motion. Frist then motioned to vote on the resolution again tomorrow. Sarbanes objected, saying no vote should take place on the resolution until Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had cleared the timing.

In other words, Democrats know this is a political stunt, without a chance of passage, but want to time it politically for maximum impact.

The maximum political impact will be sustained by the Dems and right between the eyes.

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