As it turns out Minnesota actually has 2 senators. Sure we have the one who is currently pondering whether or not to go back on his campaign promise to oppose any drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (other broken promises), but we also have one who is a little naive when it comes to the current state of politics on Capitol Hill. It seems that not all his Democratic collegues want to give up their week off to debate the upcoming war with Iraq.

At a closed meeting of Senate Democrats last month, Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., suggested that his colleagues skip a weeklong recess so they could debate going to war with Iraq.
“Absolute silence. No one said a thing,” Dayton recalled at his Capitol Hill office Tuesday. After about 10 seconds or so, he said, another senator changed the subject.
For Dayton, the incident was emblematic of what he sees as a failure of Congress to meet its constitutional responsibilities. “My view is the Constitution requires us to issue a declaration of war” if Iraq is to be attacked, he said.

Earlier in the week Dayton wrote this open letter in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. And while there may be some historical inaccuracies (like stating that we have never before considered the option of a preemptive strike) there is certainly evidence that his heart is in the right place.

If, however, preemption becomes the world’s prevailing doctrine, that world will be more unstable and dangerous for us and everyone else. If our leaders condemn adversaries as an “axis of evil” and turn a cold shoulder to them, they will behave in more hostile and destructive ways. If our leaders deride our allies, repudiate our alliances and dismiss dissenters, they will severely damage our standing in the world.

Now if we could just get him to be a bit more of a vocal, visible, vigilant leader. Sort of like someone else we knew.

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