Profiles in Courage

Blue America has come up with a way, going beyond words, to thank the people who opposed compromising the Constitution with the rewritten FISA that became law this week.

But first, here is Digby to remind us that democracy runs on the honor system. She starts out with this quote from the father of our country:

No compact among men…can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other. George Washington

I think Washington’s wise words were proven, in spades, this week. The constitution is only an idea, written down, that has meaning if we all agree to honor it. It requires our leaders to think in larger terms than momentary political needs. It requires us, as citizens, to be informed and engaged and understand the consequences of fiddling with the basic framework that holds this whole thing together.

There are some members of our ruling elite who don’t seem to be ruled by boundless ambition or corrupted morals, but they certainly aren’t a majority. In the spirit of making sure that those who are in the minority know that they are appreciated for going against the grain, eschewing the advice of the political consultants and standing up for that ancient mound of parchment, Blue America is sending a check for a thousand dollars to each of 12 leaders who stood up for the constitution on the FISA vote.

The 12 are:

  1. Chris Dodd
  2. Russ Feingold
  3. Tom Allen
  4. Tom Udall
  5. Carol Shea-Porter
  6. Doug Tudor
  7. Dennis Shulman
  8. Andrew Rice
  9. Rick Noriega
  10. Jim Himes
  11. Jon Tester
  12. Darcy Burner

Howie Klein has further details on how the dozen were chosen.

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