Thursday, March 16, 2006


I have a new hero. Senator Russ Feingold, Wisconsin, the Lone Eagle, the Voice of Reason, the courageous soul who stood up in Congress to voice his opinion, and nary a soul, as my mother would have said, nary a voice stood up to join him or echo his fears!

Would I have that kind of courage? Would I have been able to do it, stand alone with those people in my world, my peers, remaining silent and discouraging and notably disapproving? Probably not! At best, I am a Wimp! At worst, I am a lily-livered coward!

But Feingold did it! He asked for a Censure of the President. Who cares if it will never happen? It deserves to happen, because laws have been broken and ignored! We are a Nation of Laws, or we used to be. Who is this man, this Senator that evidently has Presidential aspirations, but who is unknown to most of us? Where did he find that kind of courage? Where did he learn to stick his chin out and say what he thinks, the Devil take the consequences?

And, of course, there were consequences. A few of our legislators accused Feingold of "helping terrorists." Even those in his own party disapproved of his actions. It was labeled just a partisan move, aimed at furthering his presidential intentions.

We won't go into the problems of "helping terrorists," because it has long been my opinion that the Iraq War has helped them since the beginning, creating a mess of them like clubbing frogs creates a mess of frog legs for dinner. We aren't exactly well-loved in the Middle East, and each blast that detonates in Baghdad illustrates that fact. But some people are fond of trying to make people feel like traitors if they do not approve every move that is made, even when these moves may border close to atrocities.

In fact, as I write this, the newly-Democratized citizens of Iraq are under "Lock Down", lest they erupt into Civil War. I'm not too sure this wins hearts and minds, nor am I sure we could ever win their hearts and minds by forcing them into a government so many of them do not seem to want or even respect. I have to admit that a Democracy in Iraq is not of great interest to me. Reading their history leads me to believe they will never appreciate freedom, that they consist of various tribes that have fought for centuries and seem to be willing to fight for a few more centuries.

However, the fact remains that Senator Feingold stood up in Congress and spoke his mind, while his fellow Congressman....Wimps, you could call them....sat in stoic silence. Feingold even mentioned that old, outmoded, yellowed-with-age Constitution of the United States. He mentioned that forgotten system of Checks and Balances! Thomas Jefferson would have applauded him. Alexander Hamilton, who set up the fiscal policies of this country and is probably having apoplexy in Heaven after viewing the Bush Budget, would have clapped his hands in delight.

Checks and Balances! One wonders if the Republican Rubber Stampers have ever heard of this. One even wonders if George Bush has ever heard of this, since he has not vetoed one single thing suggested by his fellow politicians in Congress, not one thing, no matter how expensive or silly.

But Senator Feingold mentioned it, in the hallowed chambers of the Senate, these words echoed and may have entered the brains of a few of the Wimps. Perhaps those haunting words will echo in their minds, invade their sleep, cause them no end of distress. Checks and Balances! The duty to speak out, even if the Cause is not popular! Even if you are pilloried, disgraced, crucified! Joseph Wilson could tell us about that! So could many others!

In my mind, the Democratic Congressmen flutter about like a great group of moths, attracted and repelled by the flame. How attractive the Tom DeLay lifestyle must have seemed, dinners at fine restaurants, luxurious trips to exotic places, money in the campaign fund.....this was raw power, used by the Hammer, the ability to strut through life like one of the Anointed, grinning in the face of adversity! Of course, this did not involve legislation favoring the the lobbyist clients! Oh, no! One could never think a thought like that! No way!

We have had wars followed by scandals and debts that equal more than those borrowed by all forty-two presidents preceding Bush! We owe Japan! We owe China! Heaven knows who else we owe. And the ships come into the harbors laden with foreign goods.....and what do we export? Waste paper? It certainly isn't merchandise.

It's hard out there for a Wimp! One has to have courage to speak up. One has to be willing to endure the ridicule and contempt of one's peers. One has to be determined that speaking up is worth the punishment it will surely bring!

This is why my hat is off to Russ Feingold. He may have my vote, if George Clooney doesn't run for President. If George runs, I am planning on buying an overnight in the Lincoln bedroom, for nefarious purposes. If George runs, even a courageous man like Feingold might have trouble getting my vote. Oh, it IS hard out there for a Wimp!

Seriously, I believe we should instigate a Feingold Day, close the banks and the post office, and pay homage to this courageous fellow. I can only say "Bravo!" and add him to my cache of admirable people, with only a few folks on that list. He joins people like Jack Murpha....and, at the moment, Feingold leads them all!