I was concerned that Feingold's calling for Bush's censure, without consulting any of his Senatorial colleagues, was simply grandstanding on his part. It seemed to me that had he been in earnest, he would have had the courage and the leadership ability to both consult and convince some of his fellow Democrats. And of course censure is without legal meaning - it is merely an attempt to gain public attention. But if it actually increased public awareness and understanding of the scandal itself, and of the illegality of the administration's acts, it would be a great thing.
Based on today's hearings, it's pretty clear that it was just a ploy on Feingold's part to get attention for his nascent 2008 run for the Presidency. Shame.
Why else would he bring out John Dean, convicted felon? He's infamous, likely to get headlines, and utterly unbelievable. It's true that Dean was the White House Counsel to Richard Nixon. True, he's the one who paid the hush money to E. Howard Hunt and the other burglars; he was so essential to the crimes involved that the FBI called him the "master manipulator." When he thought Nixon was going to make him the scapegoat, he jumped ship and testified against him. Just the kind of guy Americans trust.
He then "wrote" (a la Ben Domenech) his memoir, "Blind Ambition" except he forgot to tell people that he didn't really write all of it. In a later libel suit, he testified that he had not even read all of it.
Dean testified today that Bush is worse than Nixon. I would agree to this. My problem is why pick someone to elucidate a current scandal who has already reached the conclusion based on earlier evidence? During "Monicagate" Rep. Bob Barr was one of the loudest screaming for Clinton's impeachment. The fact that he had been screaming for impeachment long before Clinton had ever met Ms Lewinsky, and for all kinds of different reasons, only diminished his credibility.
I would not trust John Dean enough to buy a used car from the guy. Today, the possibility of my buying one from Feingold got a lot less likely.
The problem isn't just that he wanted some extra press attention and some early positioning on '08. He is a politician.
James Carville may not be so respected in Progressive circles these days, but there is not doubt in my mind that "It's the Economy Stupid" was the right way to go. He did not focus on G.H.W. Bush's ties to Iran/Contra which were of course criminal. It's the Economy.
The focus next week needs to be on Immigration and Iraq - (Sen Sessions speaking today of the former issue: "Let the Prisoners pick the fruit!) Not on John Dean. Let the candidates for 2008 wait until after this fall's elections.