Democrats Disappoint with FISA

(from here by way of Mimus Pauly)
The Democrats rolled over on FISA legislation, giving Bush even more latitude in spying on his own citizens. As Josh Marshall put it:

Bush is getting practically everything he asked for.

He should have phrased that as a question because I can’t figure out why they rolled over. Bush has a 25-30% percent approval rating. All the Democrats would have had to do is phrase their response as a question, “Do you trust George Bush with even more power?” and they win.
Still the most hapless political party in recorded history.

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9 Responses to Democrats Disappoint with FISA

  1. Klystron the Impaler says:

    I still don’t get what’s going on here. If something was unconstitutional, there’s no legislative remedy short of amending the constitution… Something smells very strange.

  2. Ktesibios says:

    I have a hypothesis about the basis of this behavior.
    Are you familiar with Leon Rosselson’s song “Palaces of Gold”, about the Aberfan pit heap disaster (there’s an excellent version on Martin Carthy’s “Crown of Horn”, or just search Youtube for the title)?
    The first verse begins:
    “If the sons of company directors
    And judges’ private daughters
    had to go to school in a slum school”
    The second begins:
    “If prime ministers and advertising executives,
    royal personages and bank managers’ wives
    had to live out their lives in dank rooms”
    In each case the conclusion is that if the “elite” had to accept the very same conditions they deem good enough for the rest of us:
    “buttons would be pressed,
    rules would be broken,
    strings would be pulled and magic words spoken.
    Invisible fingers would mould
    palaces of gold”.
    There, I think, might be the root of the problem. Our legislators, Democrats included, aren’t subject to the indignities and violations they so cheerfully deem good enough for the ordinary people nor can they envisage what that would be like. They’re simply too isolated from the experience of people who don’t have an Inside-the-Beltway Kool Kidz Klub membership card, and keeping up their own membership trumps loyalty to anything else, like constitutional government or the people of the USA.
    And so it is that our legislative branch has arrived at a state of affairs which Tacitus described in a single sentence nearly 2000 years ago: “Political equality was a thing of the past; all eyes looked for imperial commands”.
    Their belief that the K.K.K. card will serve as their protection after they’ve allowed the rest of us to be stripped of all protection against the whims of unaccountable, unrestrained authority is foolish. Simply reading the rest of Tacitus and the other historians of the early Principate makes it very clear just which social class yielded up the largest proportion of its members as victims to the emperor’s caprice.
    Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any good way to make them see that, nor to break the bubble they live in. If anyone can point to evidence falsifying this hypothesis, or, failing that, propose a solution not involving any Defarges, I’m all ears.

  3. writerdd says:

    I’m so tired of this tired country.

  4. Smashing Pumpkins Lyrics says:

    Another song comes to mind…
    “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”
    The world is a vampire, sent to drain
    Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
    And what do I get, for my pain?
    Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game

    Even though I know – I suppose I’ll show
    All my cool and cold – like old job

    Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage
    Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage
    Then someone will say: what is lost, can never be saved
    Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage


  5. FhnuZoag says:

    When Bush goes out, these powers pass to his successor, you know…

  6. Todd says:

    Sure Bush’s approval ratings are historically low, but so are Congress’. The Democratic leadership fears being viewed soft on terrorism and this prompts them to consider all manner of ill-conceived policies. It is clear to me that the Democratic strategy on all debates related to terrorism and Iraq is to point out as many problem with Bush’s policies as possible before doing exactly what the president wants and then hope things go badly. I say this as an Independent who usually votes Democratic: the current Democratic leadership has almost no political intelligence and even less political will.
    Two weeks ago the Democratic leadership should have told the President that he can have his eavesdropping policy only if he fired Alberto Gonzales. This would have been a win-win for Democrats. They appear strong on terrorism while showing the country they’re addressing a portion of the incredible amount of incompetence in the Bush administration.
    We’ll need to get use to more of this sort of crap over the next 16 months. It’s quite simple: Bush is profoundly incapable of doing his job and the Democrats are too terrified to do theirs.

  7. Jimmy says:

    When Bush goes out, these powers pass to his successor, you know…

    And that’s the scary part. If the Democrats are even willing to let something like this through, then I have no confidence that a Democratic President would be more responsible than Bush. The only solution should be to deny these powers to anyone

  8. anevilmeme says:

    Republicans….. Democrats…… what exactly is the difference?

  9. Coin says:

    Sure Bush’s approval ratings are historically low, but so are Congress’.
    I don’t think kowtowing to Bush is going to solve that.
    I think giving Bush too much of what he wants is why Congress’ approval ratings are so low.
    As I remember things, before the Iraq supplemental bill earlier this year Congress’s numbers weren’t particularly so bad.

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