Senator Russ Feingold, today:
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.
Senators Schumer and Feinstein ought to be ashamed of themselves. That leaders of this nation would even tiptoe around torture is reprehensible. Mukasey certainly did, and Schumer and Feinstein tiptoed around Makasey’s tiptoeing. Quite a minuet.
By way of contrast, Digby has a touching post on George H. W. Bush’s appearance on Fox this morning. This was amazing:
Bush: “My favorite picture [from Iraq War I] is a picture of American soldiers surrounding a guy whose been in a foxhole, Iraqi soldier, and the American guy says, we’re not going to harm you, we’re American soldiers.” (fights back tears)
Bush: “…See, that side of the war never got — the fact that we treated those people with respect in spite of the fact they were the enemy, it’s really good.
Good Lord, how far we’ve come.