Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What does Russ Feingold do now?

Sitting in the living room of his home outside Madison, Russ Feingold talked to John Nichols not long after announcing he would not be a candidate for president in 2008. Nichols blogged at the Nation that Feingold seemed to feel good about the decision to rededicate himself to his Senate career.
Feingold sounded, if anything, more engaged, more enthusiastic and more prepared to advance the progressive agenda that would have been the centerpiece of a presidential bid.
Feingold is expected to serve on four major committees: Budget, Judiciary, Intelligence and Foreign Relations. In the Judiciary Committee, in particular, Feingold will be able to shine a spotlight on the troubling constitutional issues that attended our misleading rush to war in Iraq and its dreadful aftermath.
On the Judiciary Committee, where it's anticipated he will chair the Constitution Subcommittee, Feingold will be able to reopen discussions about the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping and other civil liberties issues. Feingold also wants to examine questions relating to how the Bush administration rushed the country to war in Iraq without a formal declaration of war and without respecting the War Powers Act. The Wisconsinite talks of using his committee chairmanship to hold hearings that will reassert "the sense our founders had about what you had to do before you go to war."
Now that Democrats control the congressional committees, there is plenty of corruption connected with Iraq that needs to be exposed and punished. But even more important are the constitutional issues related to the war that need to be brought out into the open. I can't think of a better person to lead the way.

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