George V. Reilly

Barbara Lee: Public Enemy Number One?

(Originally posted to Politics at EraBlog on Fri, 07 Feb 2003 08:44:21 GMT)

The In­de­pen­dent profiles Con­gress­woman Barbara Lee, the sole Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to vote against President Bush’s resolution of September 15, 2001 asking Congress for the authority to make war on any person, nation, or or­gan­i­sa­tion deemed re­spon­si­ble for the attacks.

Lee’s argument for voting against the resolution: "Pared down to its essentials, it ran like this: Congress rep­re­sent­ed the rational. It was a body that had to remain above the fray. What decisions it made had to consider the lasting good and not respond to the emotion of the moment. By pushing for a vote so quickly, Lee believed, the Bush resolution was taking power out of the hands of leg­is­la­tors and giving it to the executive branch."

"It was something said at the memorial service that finally decided her. A clergyman implored the assembled Con­gress­men and Senators: ‘Let us not become the evil we deplore.’"

Would that more members of Congress had had the fortitude to take such an unpopular stand. We might not have had the USA PATRIOT Act foisted upon us with so little debate a month later.

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