Democrats: The Capitulation Party

(Image: Democrats Prepping for Bush’s new Security Initiatives, Source: The Linux Laundrette LG)

If the Democrats can’t stand up to a president with abysmal approval ratings and disloyalty within the ranks of his own party, how will they fare with a popular Republican president, or a strong Republican leadership in the Congress?

Glenn Greenwald has me pretty hopping mad:

The enactment in August by the Democratic Congress of new eavesdropping powers for the President was one of the worst, if not the single worst, acts of capitulation to the Bush White House. The only comparable disgrace was the Democrats’ complete failure even to attempt a filibuster of the Military Commissions Act, largely due to their decision to allow John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham to speak for them so that they did not have to participate in the debate. Once those three GOP Senators predictably blessed the MCA, Democrats had no strategy and thus actively enabled the abolition of habeas corpus along with the other abuses that Act legalized.

The FISA capitulation, though, was probably even worse. It occurred when they supposedly control the Congress. They enlarged the President’s powers under the very law that he has been violating for years. They gave the Bush White House what it demanded even though the White House continues to provide them with no meaningful information about what was done during all those years when they eavesdropped on Americans in secret. And Democrats passed the law in a frenzy, under the crassest and most transparent exploitation of the Terrorist Threat (“a Terrorist attack is about to happen in DC and the blood will be on your hands unless you pass the bill we dictate”).

We might be headed for a repeat:

Specifically, almost immediately after the Democrats enacted the new FISA, the Bush White House and DNI Mike McConnell began demanding that Congress quickly go further by providing retroactive immunity to telecom companies who participated in warrantless eavesdropping by shielding them from the consequences of having broken the law. Once it had what it wanted on FISA, the White House decreed (bolded commands in original):

Our Work Is Not Done — This Act Is A Temporary, Narrowly Focused Statute To Deal With The Most Immediate Needs Of The Intelligence Community To Protect The Country. When Congress returns in September, the Intelligence Committees and leaders in both parties will need to complete work on the comprehensive reforms requested by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, including the important issues of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Don’t expect the Democrats to stand up for us this time around either:

Buried within an article in the New York Times this morning from James Risen is this passage, strongly suggesting that Congressional Democrats are ready, as always, to do what they are told:

Mr. McConnell argued on Tuesday that the expanded surveillance powers granted under the temporary measure should be made permanent. He also pushed for a provision that would grant legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that secretly cooperated with the N.S.A. on the warrantless program. Those companies, now facing lawsuits, have never been officially identified.

Democratic Congressional aides say they believe that a deal is likely to provide protection for the companies.

What we have here is a crisis.  The Democratic party is not interested in winning elections.  They aren’t interested or able to do what they are elected to do.  And yet even so they are so remarkably better than Republicans that stopping Republican victories is essential at a survival level.

What can we do?  Is anybody even listening?

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: