Constitution Day has arrived without major statements from Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain on the need to restore this country’s commitment to the rule of law.
In contrast, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s campaign produced a video statement detailing his commitment to constitutional renewal.
Here’s Nader’s video, in which he says, “You and I cannot turn our backs on the Constitution, as the two parties have done.”
Even more powerful is the statement made by Senator Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution subcommittee, at the opening of Tuesday’s hearing — which Obama and McCain should have attended — on how to repair the damage done by the Bush-Cheney administration to the system of checks and balances and our fundamental liberties.
Decrying the administration’s record as a “shameful legacy that will haunt our country for years to come,” Feingold declared that America needs to “get started right away on this immense and extremely important job of restoring the rule of law.”
The Wisconsinite pondered seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency this year but instead backed Barack Obama.
Would that Obama was speaking up as Feingold is on the Constitution.
Here’s the Constitution subcommittee chair said in his call to action:
Tomorrow, September 17, is the 221st anniversary of the day in 1787 when 39 members of the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in Philadelphia. It is a sad fact as we approach that anniversary that for the past seven and a half years, and especially since 9/11, the Bush Administration has treated the Constitution and the rule of law with a disrespect never before seen in the history of this country. By now, the public can be excused for being almost numb to new revelations of government wrongdoing and overreaching. The catalogue is breathtaking, even when immensely complicated and far reaching programs and events are reduced to simple catch phrases: torture, Guantanamo, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, warrantless wiretapping, data mining, destruction of emails, U.S. Attorney firings, stonewalling of congressional oversight, abuse of the state secrets doctrine and executive privilege, secret abrogation of executive orders, signing statements. This is a shameful legacy that will haunt our country for years to come.