Go Dodd, Go

It’s been a while since there’s been much to report about Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Chris Dodd.  Well, I suppose there might have been, but most of it would hum to the tune of, “still failing to gain traction in primary polling numbers.”

Dodd’s inability to make progress in his presidential campaign, I’ve said from the beginning, has always been a shame because here’s a guy who knows the issues, and would be, if slightly sleep inducing, a good president.

But despite his non press in his barely campaign, Chris Dodd is making headlines, and he’s doing it by standing up at a time when the Democratic leadership in congress seems all too compelled to sit down:

“Later today Senator Dodd will be sending a letter to Majority Leader Reid informing him that he plans to put a ‘hold’ on a bill that would provide for retroactive amnesty for telecom giants that were complicit in the Bush Administration’s assault on the United States Constitution,” Dodd spokesman Hari Sevugan told Election Central. “Senator Dodd said that he would do what he could do to stop this bill, and with this announcement he has again shown that he delivers results.”

By doing this, Dodd can effectively hold up the telecom immunity bill, because bills are supposed to have unanimous consent in the Senate before going forward. One Senator can make it very difficult to bring a bill to the floor by objecting to allowing it to go to a vote.

Dodd’s planned action comes amid reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee has reached a deal with the White House on the legislation that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for whatever role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program, which was approved by President Bush after 9/11. The White House and the phone companies have been lobbying aggressively for immunity, and the announcement of the immunity deal today dismayed many opponents.

It’s about time someone showed some spine and stood up on this issue, and might I add personally I think Dodd deserves some kudos for this.  Now, whether this will be effective in halting the FISA bill or giving Dodd some help in his polling numbers is yet to be seen, but if we are to have any hope of getting the brakes put on this Administration of its abject rape of the Constitution, we are going to need more tough and courageous action like this.

On Dodd’s own website, he explains his actions, and has  a means of providing feedback and showing support.  I think it is important that we do lend our support, after all, it’s not enough to lambast Democrats in congress when they fail, but important to reward those who are willing to stand up and fight when it is most important.

Only in doing so can we send a message to the bendy spine caucus that they’ll get the support they need, if only they can manage to earn it.

One Response to “Go Dodd, Go”

  1. Kyle,

    I have not made much hay of this during any of our debate discussions but since you opened the door let me step in for a moment. The fact of the matter is that on paper at least Chris Dodd is the ideal Democratic candidate for 2008. There, I said it. He is level headed, comes from a pure pedigree of not only national service but, more specifically, the kind that put the U.S. in the position of beacon to the world we enjoyed unquestionably until this pResident.

    During World War II, Dodd handled cases involving espionage and sabotage that helped cripple Nazi fifth column efforts to destabilize the United States war effort. His work led to the convictions of Reverend Kurt Molzahn, Wilhelm Kunge, Otto Willimanti, and Count Anostase Vonsiatsky on spying charges. Dodd also helped uncover industrial fraud by American firms supplying military hardware, including such New England companies as Anaconda Wire and Cable, Collyer Insulated Wire, Arrow Machine Tool, and Lincoln Machine.

    As the war ended, the Allied Powers prepared to convene a military tribunal to prosecute accused Nazi war criminals. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the head of the American legal team, requested that Dodd join the jurists assembling at Nuremberg, Germany. Dodd served as Vice-Chairman of the Review Board and Executive Trial Counsel. The latter position rendered Dodd the second ranking U.S. lawyer and s supervisor of the day-to-day management of the U.S. prosecution team. He shaped many of the strategies and policies through which this unprecedented trial took place and frequently dealt with other Allied legal notables such as Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe of Great Britain and Lieutenant General Roman Rudenko of the Soviet Union. Dodd concentrated upon proving the charge of conspiracy to wage aggressive war and consequently cross-examined German industrialists as well as military and political leaders. He reconstructed the will of the last president of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, to reveal that the Nazis had falsified this document to help justify Chancellor Adolph Hitler’s consolidation of power.

    Dodd presented portions of virtually every aspect of the prosecution’s case. He developed a degree of notoriety for displaying the shrunken head of a concentration camp inmate during the trial. Some attorneys deemed such behavior grandstanding and they did not appreciate Dodd’s flair for the dramatic. As one of the few civilian lawyers among the U.S. prosecutors, Dodd privately expressed an acute self-consciousness of his unique status. He also experienced the intense loneliness common among Nuremberg staffers separated from their families.

    Dodd’s Nuremberg work enhanced his stature and visibility back in the United States. He received a Presidential Citation, the U.S. Medal of Freedom, and the Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion for his outstanding efforts. In 1949 the Polish government, then dominated by Moscow, offered him a prestigious award for service at Nuremberg. Dodd responded with a scathing, public denunciation of Communism in which he refused to accept honors from a regime that he perceived as barely distinct from National Socialism.

    With a father like that it is hard to imagine any way this man would not stand up firmly for reestablishing Habeas Corpus, the Geneva Conventions and the rule of law both domestically and internationally.

    Now I know I have poked fun in the past, specifically during the debate live blogging, at Dodd but only because of the fact that he was treated as a non candidate. I have laid back from endorsing anyone to this point and will continue to do so but, were I to change my mind I would be hard pressed not to endorse Dodd.

    Maybe if we (read semi-influential bloggers) would give his the credibility he and other like him deserved they might gain the traction we keep wishing they had.

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