In Which I Am Again Ashamed to Call Myself a Democrat

23 June 2008

FISA “Compromise” Passes in the House:

I just…for once, I thought Congressional Democrats would at least attempt to do the right thing. But no. All we have are these spineless cowards who refuse to be anymore than this administration’s lapdogs. And yet we have the leaders (I’m looking at you Pelosi) claiming that they have saved us from something awful. This compromise is anything but.

Let’s look at the numbers there: 105 Democrats voted for this bill that allows telecoms retroactive immunity for acts that were probably illegal. 105. And even more so, I am ashamed that Barack Obama is willing to support this. I’m sorry, but this is bullshit.  I just can’t comprehend this. I mean, sure I am still going to vote for him in November, and I hope that this is just electoral posturing (I’ve never been one to buy into the change thing completely), but…It’s indefensible.  We’re replacing our decent (though imperfect) Constitution with not only surveillance society, but one that puts us in a constant state of warfare. We are always in danger, we are always at war. The war is everywhere, we must be ready.   Of course none of these statements are true. But the Republicans WANT us to believe them, and far too many on both sides of the aisles are buying into the crap.

Here’s a great analysis of the situation:

If the FISA “compromise” passes, it will mean that a President just needs to authorize some program, and say that he thinks it is legal, and telecoms cannot be sued for going along with it, even if it violates the law. Given a President who claims to believe, as Bush does, that whatever he wants to do is legal so long as it is an exercise of his War Powers, this is a recipe for disaster. Moreover, these lawsuits are the only way in which anyone can get redress, since the courts have ruled (pdf) that no one has standing to sue the government unless she can show that her communications have been intercepted. It’s also the only way in which citizens can discover what this program involves, so long as Congress refuses to do its job — not that Congressional investigations would necessarily have helped, since the administration has shown very little willingness to share information about this program with Congress.

(Source: Obsidian Wings)

How very Orwellian. I know that’s cliche, but it actually does remind me quite of 1984. The fact that the War on Terror is played up as a transcendental struggle, that our enemy has changed but at the same time has always been the same group, the fact that we are consistently reminded of how dangerous the world is by the “free press”.

Tonight, I am truly ashamed to call myself a Democrat and even more ashamed to call myself an American.


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