It doesn’t get any better than Jeff Goldstein

My absolute favorite blogger in the blogosphere blogs about what he calls “the new American Liberal Left” in response to Senator Russ Feingold’s ‘let’s censure the President!’ stunt:

The making of a progressive hero? Well, all the ingredients are present: faux populist concern, opportunism disguised as sanctimony, and the continuedβ€”and intentionalβ€”misrepresentation of the target of his outrage.

And so I give you Russ Feingold: co-author of legislation to make illegal certain political speech of Americans; and now, author of a resolution that will attempt to censure President Bush for following Article II precedent and his mandate as CiC and directing the NSA to listen in on the conversations of our Al Qaeda enemies, using a military asset (the NSA), during wartime.

And the “civil libertarians” and leftists rejoice! This is PATRIOTISM at it’s most brave, they shout! (leaving aside that every single one of Feingold’s charges is utterly bogus and meant to grab him headlines; I mean, is Feingold really attempting to censure the President for “misleading the country” about the existence of a highly classified program? Have we reached such a state of populist arrogance that we are now arguing that the very existence of “highly classified” information that remains highly classified is a crime against the American people?)

Read the whole thing (lots of links included in the above snippet and the rest of his post).

For more commentary on Feingold’s stunt, check out Iowa Voice, AJ Strata, Stop The ACLU, Publius Rendezvous, Suitably Flip, Confederate Yankee

PM Update: The AP is reporting Feingold isn’t getting much support from his fellow Dems:

Democrats distanced themselves Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold’s effort to censure President Bush over domestic spying, preventing a floor vote that could alienate swing voters.

A day of tough, election-year talk between Feingold and Vice President Dick Cheney ended with Senate leaders sending the matter to the Judiciary Committee.

“I look forward to a full hearing, debate and vote in committee on this important matter,” Feingold said in a statement late Monday. “If the Committee fails to consider the resolution expeditiously, I will ask that there be a vote in the full Senate.”

Republicans dared Democrats to vote for the proposal.

“Some Democrats in Congress have decided the president is the enemy,” Vice President Dick Cheney told a Republican audience in Feingold’s home state.

Feingold, a potential presidential candidate, said on the Senate floor, “The president has violated the law and Congress must respond.”

“A formal censure by Congress is an appropriate and responsible first step to assure the public that when the president thinks he can violate the law without consequences, Congress has the will to hold him accountable,” Feingold said.

Even as he spoke, Democratic leaders held off the immediate vote that Majority Leader Bill Frist requested. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he didn’t know if there ever would be one. Durbin said that Feingold had sought to use the censure resolution “as a catalyst” for thorough hearings and investigations.

The referral averted a debate and a vote that Democrats privately worried would alienate voters who could decide close elections.

Throughout the day, Feingold’s fellow Democrats said they understood his frustration but they held back overt support for the resolution.

PM Update II: Here’s more on how Bill Frist acted like a leader and put Senate Dems on the spot:

WASHINGTON – A short, but sharp partisan skirmish broke out on the Senate floor Monday when Majority Leader Bill Frist tried to schedule a vote for Monday night or Tuesday on Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold’s resolution to censure President Bush.

Frist said Democratic senators ought to be on the record voting for or against the Feingold resolution.

“If the Democratic Party is going to be attacking the president in a time of war, then we are ready to vote and let’s see what the Democratic Party says” Frist told reporters right after the floor skirmish.

“I don’t know where the Democratic leadership is right now” he said, but if they support censuring Bush “then I want them to all be on the record.”

But Democratic leaders objected to a roll call vote and it was postponed indefinitely.

Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md, who was leading the Democrats on the floor at the moment Frist made his motion for a vote, said that Frist hadn’t consulted with Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid beforehand to give him advance warning of what he was about to do. But a Frist aide said the majority leader had informed Senate Democrats of his intent to seek an immediate censure vote.

Putting Democrats on the spot

If Frist had succeeded in bringing Feingold’s resolution up for a floor vote, it would have put on the spot Democrats who are thinking of running for president in 2008, such as Sens. Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, and John Kerry.

Feingold himself is a potential 2008 Democratic presidential contender.

Frist’s comments seemed to make clear that Republicans think Feingold has handed them an attractive political opportunity and that a vote would divide their opponents.

Sounds like even though a vote wasn’t held today, it’s already dividing Democrats. Way to go, Senator Feingold!

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