|"....That's really the most extraordinary aspect of all of this, if one really thinks about it -- it isn't merely that the Democratic Senate failed to investigate or bring about accountability for the clearest and more brazen acts of lawbreaking in the Bush administration, although that is true. Far beyond that, once in power, they are eagerly and aggressively taking affirmative steps -- extraordinary steps -- to protect Bush officials. While still knowing virtually nothing about what they did, they are acting to legalize Bush's illegal spying programs and put an end to all pending investigations and efforts to uncover what happened. |
"How far we've come -- really: disgracefully tumbled -- from the days of the Church Committee, which aggressively uncovered surveillance abuses and then drafted legislation to outlaw them and prevent them from ever occurring again. It is, of course, precisely those post-Watergate laws which the Bush administration and their telecom conspirators purposely violated, and for which they are about to receive permanent, lawless protection.
"What Harry Reid's Senate is about to do today would be tantamount to the Church Committee -- after discovering the decades of abuses of eavesdropping powers by various administrations -- proceeding in response to write legislation to legalize unchecked surveillance, bar any subjects of the illegal eavesdropping from obtaining remedies in court, and then pass a bill with no purpose other than to provide retroactive immunity for the surveillance lawbreakers. That would be an absurd and incomparably corrupt nonsequitur, but that is precisely what Harry Reid's Senate -- in response to the NYT's 2005 revelations of clear surveillance lawbreaking by the administration -- is going to do today."
"....There's a temptation, particularly on days like today, to talk about what motivates "Democrats" -- as though they're a monolith acting collectively with the same drives. They're not. Some do what they do because their only concern is a craven desire to be re-elected. Others believe in one thing but are afraid to vote that way (because they'll be called Soft on Terror, Liberal, etc.), while others still are influenced by Beltway money and other cultural pressures. Some are motivated by a combination of those motives.
"But a large number of elected Democrats vote in favor of the radical Bush agenda for a very simple reason: they believe in it. Despite the glorious "D" after their name, their views are materially indistinguishable from the defining ones of the Bush faction on the key issues. A huge portion of Congressional Democrats are members of the corrupt, bipartisan Beltway political establishment first, and everything only follows that, and they thus embrace and support the values of that establishment.
"That's why Bush has won and -- even with "Democrats in control of Congress" -- continues to win most key votes. The fault lines in the Beltway aren't primarily between Republican and Democrat but between those who support the core values of our political establishment (as reflected by the Bush administration) and those who don't. Through a bulging coalition of both Democrats and Republicans, the pro-establishment forces have a strong, clear and easy majority, and that's why the most radical Bush measures continue not only to prevail, but -- as today -- do so easily."
Now I understand how Republicans sleep at night. They sign their pact with the devil, then blindly go along with whatever their party tells them without thinking. It's the "thinking" part that screws us Democrats and keeps us up at night, wondering what the hell is so wrong with everybody else.