Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Democrats Decide To Get In On The Act

What act? The act of dismantling the Bill of Rights and letting fear of terrorism turn the US into an Orwellian state. While the Democrats resisted revising FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) to allow the Bush regime to spy on Americans at will back in the Republican-controlled Congress, they have inexplicably given Bush that power now that they are in control.

That's awesome.

Why did the Democrats even bother to get upset or worked up over the abuses of the Bush regime's warantless eavesdropping program if they were just going to turn around and make it legal anyway? Fuck. Are we at the point where there's no one in either party who sees what even cranks like Pat Buchanan can see: that Americans are more at risk from their own government (by several orders of magnitude) than from terrorists?

The government could already spy on people without the people having any legal recourse, owing to a recent ruling that citizens only had standing to sue if they knew they'd been eavesdropped on, which of course is impossible since the government keeps that secret. But now the only check on the government, the FISA court, which is pretty much a rubber stamp anyway, won't have a role, and the only safeguard on abuse of power is for the executive branch to police itself. How wonderful. Hey, can we do that too? Who needs traffic cops? We can all just police ourselves, right? No one ever violates the law when they think no one is looking.

Oh, wait, that's exactly when people break the law.

Civil rights have absolutely no meaning if the government can violate them with impunity, no oversight, and no way for the people to know when and if their rights have been violated. We may as well just throw that anachronistic old Bill of Rights out the window.

Of course, if we do that, then what exactly are we fighting the terrorists for? They don't want democracy or civil rights, and apparently neither do we. Where's the conflict?

Over the past few years, when the Democrats were impotent and the Republicans could do all the evil they want, I think I hated the Republicans so much that I started to really believe that, since they were so evil, the Dems had to be good. Thanks for reminding me that the there's really no one representing me up in Washington, Democrats! Thanks for making me wonder if the people always saying that there's no difference between the parties are right.



At 11:04 AM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

This whole matter really hit me from behind. While I have low expectations of the Democratic congress taking strong stands and pushing hard to undo the constitutional damage that has been wrought over the past six years, I was unprepared for them to actively support such actions.

As you point out, I've yet to see a convincing argument for why FISA needed amending to begin with.

As far as I can see, none of the primary candidates who had a vote voted for it, which I guess says something about where the dems believe their constituents are on the issue. For those of you that care and who read this blog, make sure to check how your senator or representative voted.

Of course, both my FL senators voted for it (though one is a Republican, so that's not surprising). From my old state, Barbara Mikulski voted for it ... but she's just barely to the left of Lieberman and Zell Miller anyway.

In fact, if you look at the votes, they were not close (by about 10 votes in each house). Indeed, in the House 41 dems voted for it (about 1 in 5!). What good does it do to control Congress if the dems vote like reps?

Very frustrating!

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

Karl Rove has a Mind Control Ray.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

Here is an op-ed piece in the Post today on the issue. The title is "Why the Democrats Caved", but I'm not sure I got any real answers. Reading it reignited my anger about this, though.

It's like poking at a bruise ... it hurts, but I keep doing it anyway.

The reason the republicans repeatedly outflank the dems is not just out of political acumen. It is because, if you can count on anything in DC, it's that the dems will back down if pressured ... they always do.

We have the majority in both houses, a country decidedly opposed to a war brought about by republicans, a large percentage of people seriously concerned about civil rights and the standing of our constitution, and still this bill passes (and not by a little). I honestly will not be offended at those reps out there having a good chuckle at our expense. It's natural. I'd be laughing too.

In the game of Go, this is called "sente". The republicans have sente, we have gote ... it doesn't matter who has the majority: the one with sente controls the pace and direction of the game.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Cherry said...

You write very well.


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