Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Monday, March 03, 2008

Well That Worked Out Well

by digby

Wiretap Compromise in Works

Parker, who said she hopes the House can take up the compromise legislation as early as this week, said a resolution has been delayed partly by the need for all members of the House Judiciary Committee to gain access to the letters and other relevant documents sent to the phone companies by the administration requesting their assistance.

The House Democratic leadership demanded such access before they would contemplate immunity, and the administration granted full access last week. Parker spoke at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the American Bar Association yesterday.

Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said at the same meeting that key issues surrounding the legislation had been hashed out in a "long and tedious" but "healthy" process, aimed at updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Yes, this has been a really "healthy" process. Kind of like a colonoscopy.

But this is my favorite part. They are pretending that the administration gave up something they wanted.

"This is not amnesty," Wainstein said at the meeting. "This is targeted immunity" for companies who meet requirements specified in the Senate bill that include having received an attorney general's certification that their assistance was determined to be lawful.

Well now, that's entirely different, isn't it?

So what happened?

A group of several dozen moderate to conservative House Democrats, known as "Blue Dogs," has pushed Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to approve the Senate bill. Some aides on Capitol Hill were discussing the potential for the House passing the Senate version but breaking it into two votes: one on the portion of the bill that deals with revising FISA provisions and a second on the immunity measure.

This procedural move would allow many Democrats to vote against immunity but still make its approval all but certain since almost every Republican and some centrist Democrats would vote in favor.

Here's a test for you class. When is a majority not really a majority?

The Democrats believe they can fool the stupid rubes they represent by saying they aren't culpable in this debacle because they voted against it! Yea! And we're so stupid we'll absolve them because we won't figure out that the whole thing was rigged.

Greenwald says it all, here.

There's very little point anymore in writing about how the Congressional Democratic leadership is complicit in all of the worst Bush abuses, or about how craven they are. All of that is far too documented and established at this point to be worth spending any time discussing. They were never going to take a stand against warrantless eavesdropping or the destruction of the rule of law via telecom amnesty for one simple reason: many of them don't actually oppose those things, and many who claim to oppose them don't actually care about any of it. That's all a given.

But what is somewhat baffling in all of this is just how politically stupid and self-destructive their behavior is.

It's not all that baffling when you consider that the Democrats don't have a liberal majority or even a real working majority unless they are willing to play hardball with procedure. Blue Dogs + Republicans makes a much more effective "bi-partisan" majority for Bush in these heady days of reconciliation anyway.

I stopped writing about this a month or so ago because it was just so obvious that this was going to happen and it was frustrating watching it come down. I see no evidence from the presidential campaigns that Bush abuses will be confronted in the next congress either. Indeed, I suspect this was the last gasp of outrage at the constitutional shredding of the Bush administration. Bush and Cheney and their henchmen will be busily covering their tracks and we will all make a fresh start on January 20th, 2009. Until they do it again, of course.

I'm sorry to be so depressing about all this, but I just see no evidence that Democrats care about this very much. The usurpation of democracy and the constitution doesn't rate very high on their list of priorities, especially when they see the prospect of a Democratic president who they trust not to follow in Bush's foo0tsteps.

But this was a principle worth fighting for no matter what. No president, Democrat or Republican, should be trusted with this kind of power. And even if you believe that no wonderful Democratic Prez could ever be so bad, what if John McCain wins? Does anyone seriously think he won't use it?

Update: And yes, as soon as a Democrat becomes president the congress will rediscover its prerogatives.