Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hagel to retire

The word on the street is that Senator Hagel plans to retire, and does not intend to run for President.

Hagel is a statesman, and along with Lugar and Biden, went to the White House and demanded that Congress be kept in the loop about the Iraq invasion:

In an interview in GQ Magazine, Hagel reveals that the Bush administration tried to get Congress to approve military action anywhere in the Middle East — not just in Iraq — in the fall of 2002. At the time, Hagel says, the Bush administration presented Congress with a resolution that would have authorized the use of force anywhere in the region:

HAGEL: [F]inally, begrudgingly, [the White House] sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region.

GQ: It wasn’t specific to Iraq?

HAGEL: Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. Is central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions.

GQ: They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere in the Middle East?

HAGEL: Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up and put our language in it.

That he is retiring - along with Warner - makes me wonder if Lugar will stay, or if they have all had enough of this train wreck.

It also makes me wonder if they already know its not going to end.

This guy was on our side. Maybe he just got tired of fighting literally everyone. God knows we never gave him any support, and the Republicans crucified him.

He has also spoken out against the Patriot Act, against Bush, was the first guy to mention impeachment (of either party.)

"When government continues to erode individual rights, that's the most dangerous, dangerous threat to freedom there is," he said, calling it "far more dangerous than terrorism." His reaction was similarly sharp when he first heard of the report in this newspaper that the president had claimed authority to order domestic wiretapping without court approval. "If, in fact, this is true," he said, "then it needs to stop." When the White House acknowledged it was true, Hagel pressed for Congressional hearings and a national debate. "I think Congress has failed the country in many ways," he said at a forum in California last month. One way was to allow the administration "to completely overpower the debate based on, 'I'm the commander in chief, and I know what's best.' "

Well, whoever replaces him has some big shoes to fill. For example... the ability to tell the truth. And some idea of what it means to serve as a Senator in a 'representative government.' One that doesn't just represent corporations.

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