Senate Democrats Choke on Bush's Brass Cojones - AGAIN
From the moment I heard yesterday that George Bush had decreed "No vacation if you don't pass a covert wiretapping bill I will sign" I knew how it would go down. Odds were better than 75% that there would be a brief public theatre of outrage, followed by quick capitulation by enough Democrats to ensure that Bush got exactly what he demanded and folks would still be on time for their "recess parties".
And, sure enough, that's exactly how it went down in the Senate, which voted to approve the Republican covert spying bill by a vote of 60-32 thanks to the help of 16 Democrats.
Not even a serious kerfluffle: it was over before I got home from work.
So, as predicted, thanks to Democrats we have from the Senate express reauthorization of Bush's originally-covert wiretapping program, an evil assault on the Constitution adeptly renamed to assuage the ignorant, as all anti-citizen programs implemented by the Bush Administration have been:
I give Bush, much as I despise the man, credit for one thing: he has balls of steel. He knew that on the question of covert wiretapping, he had neither the support of the courts nor the American people. And everyone else knew that Bush needed Congress to sign off on the program because -- even when writing in secret as the FISA court has been -- his DOJ has gotten pimpslapped hard over the wiretapping program at least a few times by the courts now, starting with the fiery decision issued by the Honorable Anna Taylor Diggs last August (a sister's sister, show her some love.) Yet, as most good hustlers do when they are backed into a wall, Bush took a public position as if he was packing political AK-47's in both hands loaded with something more than blanks in them and simply demanded that Congress give him Americans' figurative privacy wallet.
And, having never learned to tell a real gun from a toy pistol, 16 Democratic senators peed on themselves, and handed it over.
Sure the authorization (it's not just a reauthorization, since the measure passed yesterday gives Bush even *more* than he wanted, according to the ACLU and Senator Russ Feingold) is only for six months. But does anyone think that any meaningful testicular or uterine growth is going to happen for the 16 Senate Democrats who folded on this thing in six months - when we are closer to the general election and it will appear even more "risky" politically?
I've not been elected to Dog Catcher, but let me tell you how *I* would have handled Bush's tantrum yesterday, in light of the political reality that they could not block Bush's veto of any bill they wanted, but still had the majority of the votes in the Senate:
I'd have let him breathe the exhaust in my car as I was speeding away to my vacation. And I might - if my spare hand were not busy enjoying a highly unhealthy post-orgasm cigarette - have flipped him the bird out my driver's side window on the way down the road.
After all, what exactly was Bush going to do if the Democratic members of the Senate just called him on his bluff to "make them" keep working? What could he have done? Have legislators arrested since they disobeyed his command to "Stay till you give me what I want?"
From where I sit, the only possible "worst thing" that could have come from the Democrats just saying "See Ya!" when Bush pretended that he had the power to make them stay in session was provoke a Constitutional Crisis. But we already have of those anyway with the Executive Branch thumbing its nose at valid Congressional subpoenas, so another isn't really all that special. Given this, what did Democrats really have to lose by not just saying to Emperor Bush: "Bring it, baby!"? Absolutely nothing.
But they had everything to gain. Starting with the credibility they've been losing in a torrent of poll anger with Congress since January. After all, if the Democrats that folks returned to Congress last year for the primary purpose of getting a handle on things -- starting with the War on Terror -- keep asking "How High" just because a fascist-in-training President with a 24% approval rating for his handling of the "War on Terror" yells "Jump", all while kvetching that their legs hurt because they keep landing on the Constitution, what real good to us - or anyone else - are they as a political party?
Obviously, I'm not the only American who feels "not much." I mean, if Bush's 24% approval rating is poor, and poor it is, what do you call a 3% approval rating for Congress' handling of the war?
I know what I call it.
I call it the Democratic Party working day and night to put itself back in the minority in both houses in 2008, that's what. Starting with their repeatedly doing chickenshit things like giving into the tantrums thrown by the toddler currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue just because they want to go on vacation.