They Like Him, They Really Like Him
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Constitutional Sell-out of the year award (brought to you by The Politico and the good people from Depends):
The Maryland Democrat shepherded a set of FISA amendments through the House last week — winning praise from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and even some in his party to who opposed the deal — but now finds himself subjected to a barrage of criticism from his party’s left..
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) called the House bill a “capitulation.” Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald called Hoyer an “evil, craven enabler of the Bush administration.” Firedoglake.com blogger Jane Hamsher — delivering the lowest possible blow from the liberal blogosphere — declared Hoyer “the new Joe Lieberman.”
Hoyer knew it was coming, and he persevered anyway. That he did so speaks volumes about who he is: a master of cloakroom politics who can use his friendships across the aisle to strike deals, even if others demand that his party hew closer to the positions that put it in power in 2006
What a guy. Clearly, those who demand that the party should hew closer to the positions that put it in power should be happy to have such a "masterful" leader who will sell out their most cherished principles in order to make a deal with people who would like to turn the US into a police state.
Do read the whole Politico article, which doesn't bother to spend even one paragraph describing why people were opposed to the bill. For that matter it doesn't bother to tell us why the other side was so adamant that it get passed either. The fact that it wasn't some typical congressional agenda item which might naturally be "horse traded" but rather a matter of fundamental constitutional principle isn't worth mentioning. Even the fact that the whole thing stinks to high heaven of financial corruption gets no mention.
What we have instead is the portrait of a Village hero, the ultimate master of the only game that matters --- ostentatiously capitulating to conservatism. It's the biggest accolade a Democrat ever gets, like winning a congressional Oscar, and the preening Hoyer is happy to make his acceptance speech in the pages of the Drudge Daily. This one is sweeter than most because he managed to capitulate to the congressional minority and the most unpopular president in history on an issue of fundamental constitutional principle which contained little political risk to uphold. A truly bravura performance. In fact, it's worthy of a lifetime achievement award.
Donate here to Blue America's FISA Accountability fund so that we can continue to assure that Steny's constituents are aware of his great triumph.
Update: Greenwald makes an important observation. All the gasbags are hailing this as a triumph of bipartisanship and deal making. But the only people who are complaining are liberals and couple of cranky libertarians. Why is that? Wouldn't you think there would be a few disappointed conservative ideologues somewhere if this were really a "compromise?" They aren't exactly known for their flexibility. Conservatives love the thing, across the board.
The only people who are unhappy about it are DFHs (and Bob Barr.)The Village is harmoniously in sync once more.