I am in big, fat political love right now.
Yesterday, I extolled the virtues of Dr. Chuck Pennacchio, the progressive Democrat hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. A blog entry I found at PhillyBurbs.com has given me even more determination to see this brash, people-focused candidate elected.
Blogger eRobin shares news of a phone conversation she recently had with Pennacchio that I believe you will find interesting and inspiring, whatever your political stripes and regardless of whether you agree with his position:
eR: I saw the story today online about the Senate’s refusal to investigate the illegal and unconstitutional NSA wiretapping program running out of the White House. If you were a Senator today, in the minority, what would you be able to do to fight this decision?
Chuck Pennacchio: I wouldn’t get any floor time, but I’d be able to do a lot. I’d put out a press release. I’d hold a press conference. I’d build a coalition of progressive folks in Congress to fight this. I’d go back to constituents to rally people around the cause. I’d remind them that this war is illegal and that the war resolution is unconstitituional.
I’d shame my leadership for not standing up to defend the Constitution, the right to privacy and due process.
eR: “Shame your leadership”? You’re on the record. Do you stand by that phrase?
Chuck Pennacchio: Yes. Absolutely. The Democrats are running scared, running away from this issue because they’re running away from National Security and ceding it to the Republicans. And the Republicans are beating them up on the very issue the Democrats fear losing the most. Dems are looking to protect their shrinking island of political power, which every day gets further and further from the prospect of regaining control. They’re playing into the hands of Republicans, who, and I’ve said this before, are not content with all power; they want absolute power. And the Democrats are letting it happen. I don’t hesitate to use the word “appeasement.”
The redoubtable eRobin loves this guy, and so do I. Imagine: A plain-talking Democratic politician exists who puts people and principle before going-along-to-get-along and has the guts to say what needs saying, however politically perilous speaking out may be. As eR put it, “[H]ow can anyone who values the Fourth Amendment not support this man with every ounce of energy, every electron and every penny at our disposal?”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Read all about Pennacchio at his Web site.
If you can help in the quest to make Chuck Pennacchio Pennsylvania’s newest senator, I urge you to do it. And if you are a nonprogressive Democrat or a Republican, even if you don’t agree with his stands on the issues, take a good look: Politicians with integrity, fearlessness and a real commitment to the people are damned hard to find in any political party.