Saturday, September 30, 2006

Eyes on the Prize

At times like these, one of the most difficult things to do is to keep your eyes on the prize. Just this week, Congress eviscerated our Constitution and over nine hundred years of international norms. We are now a nation that tortures at will and denies the basic legal right of habeas corpus. All in the name of fear.

Bush likes to say that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, but at the rate this administration has abridged those rights, aided and abetted by a supplicant Congress, we will have a scant few remaining. Maybe this is the Republican's way of appeasing the terrorists. After all, if we eliminate the hate-inducing freedoms, what will there be left for al Qaeda to destroy?

But what about the Democrats in Congress? They were almost silent up until the floor votes. They were lulled into a slumber by the internal GOP debate between McCain et al and the White House. But, true to form, McCain and Huckleberry Graham folded. They gave the administration everything they fucking wanted. Apparently, McCain's obsession with becoming the next occupant of the White House overrides any sense of right and wrong. (As a side note to the media, please spare me the McCain as a maverick bullshit; the guy has rolled over for this administration more than a two bit whore.)

The Democrats seemed paralyzed by fear. Afraid to take a stand for American values because Karl Rove might paint them as weak on terrorism. Have they looked at the polls lately? Bush is WEAK; the public wants out of Iraq, they believe Bush is more to blame for 9-11 than Clinton; etc. Not to mention that the NIE shows that Iraq has made the terrorism situation WORSE. And these idiotic Dems are afraid to say no to torture and stand up for habeas corpus?

It is enough to make one say, "fuck the Democrats." But then what is the alternative? Another two years of a submissive Republican Congress, all to willing to strip us of even more rights; send us into even more unwarranted wars; etc. It is easy to say a pox on both houses, but the result would be an even more unrecognizable America. A country further on the march to authoritarianism at home and barbarism abroad.

This fall is not the time to take out our grievances on the Democratic Party by staying home. We stand a much better chance of Congressional oversight and restraint if the Democrats retake one or both houses. It is time to hold our noses and pull the lever for the Democrats. We will have plenty of time later to penalize those wayward Dems who thought (incorrectly) that their electoral prospects were more important than upholding the Constitution and American values. As has been noted before, the Right became so powerful in the GOP because they stayed and fought. There is a lesson for progressives in that fight. Now is not the time for temper tantrums and walking away. Stay and fight!


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