By Martin Bosworth
What an absolute disgrace this is:
The Senate bowed to White House pressure last night and passed a Republican plan for overhauling the federal government’s terrorist surveillance laws, approving changes that would temporarily give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order…The legislation, which is expected to go before the House today, would expand the government’s authority to intercept without a court order the phone calls and e-mails of people in the United States who are communicating with people overseas.
Not only did the Democrats almost completely cave in to the Bush junta on this most critical issue, they actually gave him more power. Unbelievable. How can any Democrat paint themselves as a logical alternative to the GOP when you have this kind of sycophancy going on? Aren’t we past this knee-jerk “ZOMG THE TERRORISTS ARE COMING TO KILL US!!!11111” nonsense yet, that we should so easily give up the rights for which we’re supposedly fighting?
What makes this even worse is that if you look at the Democrats who supported the bill, an unnerving number of them are the new freshman class who were supposed to change things and work differently. Bob Casey, Jim Webb, Claire McCaskill, and Amy Klobuchar were beneficiaries of the 50-state strategy and lots of netroots support (and in Webb’s case, a mix of economic populism and a lot of macaca), and THIS is what we get from them? When your big push is to elect as many right-leaning Democrats as possible just to make sure you win, it should be no surprise when they start supporting right-wing policies.
Probably the only consolation here is that none of the Senate Dems running for office supported the bill, though I wonder how much of that was political expediency as opposed to ideological belief. And God bless Russ Feingold for taking his colleagues to task over this pathetic kowtowing:
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, angrily chastised his colleagues for bending to the administration’s will.
“The day we start deferring to someone who’s not a member of this body … is a sad day for the U.S. Senate,” Feingold said. “We make the policy — not the executive branch.”
Apparently this is no longer true. In the Decider’s world, all it takes is even the slightest mention of a possible terrorist act for us to roll over and bare our throats. When did America become such a nation of quivering milksops?
I never thought I’d be glad to live somewhere that has no Congressional representation, but today I am–because I wouldn’t want the vast majority of these people to ever claim they represent my wishes.