Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

20 January, 2006

Dems take one step forward, two steps back

First, the good news out of Chicago is that the Dems are edging towards using the f-bomb:
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Thursday he will vote against Judge Sam Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court. And he said so many other senators intensely oppose Alito that they may have enough votes to sustain a filibuster against the conservative jurist.

Good on 'em! Enough html code has been spilled on the dangers represented by Alito's extremist views. I'm heartened to see the minority whip moving the Dems away from the roll-over-and-play-dead strategy that a few had floated in the previous week.

But then, I had to go and read this:
Typical was my lunch discussion earlier this week with a ranking Democratic Party official. Midway through the meal, I innocently asked how the "Big Brother is listening" issue would play in November. Judging from his pained reaction, I might as well have announced that Barack Obama was resigning from the Senate to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door. With exasperation dripping from his voice, my companion said, "The whole thing plays to the Republican caricature of Democrats -- that we're weak on defense and weak on security." To underscore his concerns about shrill attacks on Bush, the Democratic operative forwarded to me later that afternoon an e-mail petition from, which had been inspired by Al Gore's fire-breathing Martin Luther King Day speech excoriating the president's contempt for legal procedures.

First of all, let's not pretend this is about national security. The NSA has the authority to eavesdrop without a warrant, so long as they obtain court approval within 72 hours of the intelligence gathering operation. This about the president being able to do what he wants, when he wants, with no one to tell him otherwise.

And now the Justice Department wants Google to turn over their search records (Yahoo, apparently, has already caved)?

This is a Big. Fucking. Deal. One upon which our democratic rights balance. And the Dems don't want to touch it because it makes them look "soft on security."

Democratic pols are intimidated by corrupt, criminal little shits like Karl Rove preening around saying "We're going to make the War on Terror a central campaign issue." You know what? Let them, because it's been almost four and a half years since the terrorists struck American soil. And their record ain't looking to good, is it? Osama and his lieutenants keep releasing videotapes thumbing their noses at us. We're creating a huge terrorist camp in Iraq. Our policies in the Middle East are radicalizing whole generations of young men and women. And who's been running the show? Republicans. Republicans in the White House. Republicans in the House of Representatives. Republicans in the Senate.

If the Dems don't think they can beat this, we're in a lot more trouble that we previously thought.


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