Originally posted 2010-11-05 17:11:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
Don’t say they’re anything but — what’s the term? — “fair and balanced” over at Randazza’s Legal Satyricon blog when it comes to the post-mortem on the end of Russ Feingold’s present level of responsibility with respect to the public trough trust.
Russell Feingold will be an ex-senator in January. It’s not soon enough. Feingold, half of the propulsion behind the McCain-Feingold Act that limited political speech and chipped away at your First Amendment protections, was never the reformer he portrayed himself to be.
McCain-Feingold has long been one of the outgoing Wisconsin senator’s hallmark achievements. . . .
So what if he initially voted against the Patriot Act, a token vote doomed to uselessness? When it mattered, at election time, the only civil liberties that were worth defending were those that Russ Feingold found important – evinced by McCain-Feingold.
In 2001, I watched as dissent began to be equated with disloyalty. Questioning became equated with sabotage. Standing up for what you believed in became equated with treason.
My fears unfolded as the Patriot Act was rolled out. Did anyone really believe that the government worked tirelessly to “protect us,” drafting the Patriot Act almost overnight? Or was this a wish list of authoritarian desires that had simply been waiting in a file marked “Do Not Release Until We Have a Good Excuse.”
I watched as 99 of Russ Feingold’s colleagues voted to pass this sweeping measure that changed what it meant to be an American.
There was what to complain about in the Patriot Act, as the Supreme Court ruled time and again, though little of it had to do with the curtailment of free speech — Marc’s “topic,” I always thought — and certainly not the curtailment of classic political speech, which was what made McCain-Feingold a true crime against the First Amendment.
But Marc’s post completely ignores McCain Feingold. Now who, or what, would have put a gag on the likes of such a man such as to cause such conspicuous silence where there was, as they say, a “duty to speak”?