What a Leader Sounds Like
November 4, 2007
Russ Feingold won’t be joining the other Senate Democrats in rolling over for Mukasey’s nomination to the post of Attorney General:
I will vote against the nomination of Judge Mukasey to be the next Attorney General. This was a difficult decision, as Judge Mukasey has many impressive qualities. He is intelligent and experienced and appears to understand the need to depoliticize the Department of Justice and restore its credibility and reputation.
At this point in our history, however, the country also needs an Attorney General who will tell the President that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. Unfortunately, Judge Mukasey was unwilling to reject the extreme and dangerous theories of executive power that this administration has put forward.
The nation’s top law enforcement officer must be able to stand up to a chief executive who thinks he is above the law. The rule of law is too important to our country’s history and to its future to compromise on that bedrock principle.
“Bedrock principle.” A concept the Republicans have thoroughly trashed, and a term the Democratic leadership seems determined to forget.
Please, no more of this guff about how the Democrats don’t have the votes to sustain a rejection or a filibuster. Under the Bush administration, the attorney general’s job is to excuse illegal conduct by the Bush administration. If the Republicans want Mukasey, then let the Republicans vote for him.