VIDEO: Feingold Slams ‘Pundits and Consultants’ Afraid to Stand Up on Terrorism Issues

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"VIDEO: Feingold Slams ‘Pundits and Consultants’ Afraid to Stand Up on Terrorism Issues"

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), in a speech yesterday to the National Press Club:

The consultants and the pundits and others will tell you…that it is dangerous to let there be any real light between our position and the White House’s position, or else you’ll get called soft on terrorism. You already hear people saying that the Michael Hayden nomination will be a great opportunity for the White House to show the Democrats are soft on terrorism. And you bet the pundits in this town will somehow suggest that this, too, just like my censure resolution, will cause the President’s numbers to shoot up. You remember that happening, right? It didn’t happen at all, but that’s what they’re gonna say, but it’s not right.

Watch it:

Feingold is right. He announced his plans to introduce a censure resolution on March 12. President Bush’s Gallup rating at the time was 37 percent. Today it’s 31 percent.

Read the full transcript below:

The greatest passion is for us to stand up on the critical post-9/11 issues, from Iraq, to the USA PATRIOT Act, to the President violating the law by authorizing illegal domestic wiretapping. The President likes to say, in response to this sort of concern, that some of us have a pre-9/11 perspective. Many Democrats and others around this country want us to point out that the White House actually has a pre-1776 perspective and that we ought to have the guts to point that out.

Now, you don’t hear this stand-up language here in this town. The consultants and the pundits and others will tell you these positions are “losers” — I’ve heard that literal language for this — and that it is dangerous to let there be any real light between our position and the White House’s position, or else you’ll get called soft on terrorism. You already hear people saying that the Michael Hayden nomination will be a great opportunity for the White House to show the Democrats are soft on terrorism. And you bet the pundits in this town will somehow suggest that this, too, just like my censure resolution, will cause the President’s numbers to shoot up. You remember that happening, right? It didn’t happen at all, but that’s what they’re gonna say, but it’s not right.

I take a different view, with a major qualification. My view is that we should appeal to basic American values in the post-9/11 era by saying we will stand up to this administration’s mistakes in strategy in the fight against terrorism, and that we will stand up this administration’s unnecessary assault on the rule of law in the guise of the fight against terrorism.

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