The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, October 18, 2007

He who never fights and runs away stays in office to not fight another day.

I'm officially at a total loss.

Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources.

Disclosure of the deal followed a decision by House Democratic leaders to pull a competing version of the measure from the floor because they lacked the votes to prevail over Republican opponents and GOP parliamentary maneuvers.

The collapse marked the first time since Democrats took control of the chamber that a major bill was withdrawn from consideration before a scheduled vote. It was a victory for President Bush, whose aides lobbied heavily against the Democrats' bill, and an embarrassment for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had pushed for the measure's passage.

Okay. There have been times when I haven't minded seeing the Dems choose their battles. Like when they decide not to go all-out on a minor issue because something serious is pending. But one reason for that is the bullying and harassment they get from the MSM as well as every talking-head gasbag on TV. Another was that the American public wasn't galvanized in their opposition to the way the GOP had been running the show.

But the Democrats won majorities in both houses because the public wanted them to stop things just like this. And the MSM will continue to portray things in a negative light, and the foam-mouthed loons who still think the Bush years have been a golden age are going to call anyone who defends the Constitution a traitor. But there's a point where-- super-majority or no-- it's time to fight. When the government is systematically depriving citizens of their civil rights, and granting the same authority to corporations, that time has come.

The reason I'm at a loss is that the 'why' of it completely escapes me. A sea urchin could see by now that DLC-style capitulation has been a complete failure. The sea urchin's special needs cousin could see by now that no matter what the Dems do, they're going to be tarred as traitors by the extremists running the GOP circus. A fossilized sea urchin sitting on a dusty storage shelf in the basement of a museum in Utrecht could see by now that rolling over (and over) on every damn issue that comes up means Dems will also be labeled cowards. And it's painfully, shamefully apparent to 75% of the American public that the government actions of the last six years have been completely contrary to everything for which our nation purportedly stands. And that there's a world of difference between being called a cowardly traitor for doing the right thing and being called a cowardly traitor for refusing to take a stand against the subversion of democracy and the honor of a nation.