Thursday, September 28, 2006



Many Americans are too insular and too terrorized-- history will be the judge, of course, but come on: 6 years of BushCheneyRove-- to give a rat's ass about what Congress approved. And, according to Friday's Washington Post all it was was "landmark changes to the nation's system of interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects... [and] preparing the ground for possible military trials for key al-Qaeda members under rules that critics say will draw stiff constitutional challenges."

I'm sure many Americans think the "stiff constitutional challenges" are all bullshit. In the Senate a mere 33 Democrats (out of 45) and a one non-extremist Republican (Chafee) stood up to Bush. Virtually the entire GOP rallied round Bush, who was probably more eager to find a campaign theme with which to lambaste Democrats-- remember the pictures of Max Cleland with Osama bin-Laden?-- than he is in torturing per se-- although he is interested in making sure he and his cronies don't wind up at War Crimes Tribunals someday.

I was listening to Air America last night and whoever was yammering mentioned some factoid which was so astounding I promptly forgot it, although the gist of it was that around a third of Americans have ever been in a bookstore and only around a half of our college graduates ever read a single book after college. So who cares about the Magna Carta or habeus corpus? Certainly not Republicans. Turns out most Democrats in the Senate and the vast majority in the House actually do.
Do Americans?

I guess we'll find out in November. The polling I've seen isn't good (on that issue). Many Americans do not seem to understand the basic premise of the Geneva Conventions: you don't torture our prisoners/we don't torture your prisoners-- and anyone who tortures anyone is beyond the pale. Some of our fellow citizens positively revel in the very idea of torturing "Muslim terrorists," not unlike all those Germans who thought torturing "Jewish terrorists" was A-OK. The Post called this "a victory for Bush and fellow Republicans a month before the Nov. 7 elections as their party tries to make anti-terrorism a signature campaign issue."

But, believe it or not, there's something even worse than Americans not understanding the Geneva Conventions. And that's not understanding the nature of fascism and how that relates to the Bush Regime. I doubt many Americans understand that trampling on centuries of habeus corpus sanctity could directly impact us. Not "Muslim terrorists": us. You trust The Decider to decide who's a good person and who's a bad person? I know you don't; if you did you wouldn't be at DWT, would you?

"Democrats resisted both measures and nearly amended the detainee bill to allow foreigners designated as enemy combatants to challenge their captivity by filing habeas corpus appeals with the federal courts. But Republicans held fast, gambling that Democrats will fail in their bid to convince voters that the GOP is sacrificing the nation's traditions of justice and fairness in the name of battling terrorists and winning elections." The Post makes it sound so quaint too... "traditions of justice and fairness." To someone who's never ever wandered into a bookstore?

Are we fuct? I don't think so. Well, we are in some ways. I mean this thing passed and even if some of it will be thrown out by even this Supreme Court, some of it probably won't. But I meant we're not necessarily screwed in November. Today's votes should further energize an already pissed-off Democratic base, without necessarily inspiring Republicans to go vote for a rubber stamp Congress that has delivered nothing but higher gas prices, more corruption than anyone has ever seen, a doughnut hole that means a lot more than any Magna Cartas, an endless war that has little public support and a general feeling in every single part of the country that America is not headed in the right direction.

We're not fuct, election-wise, because people don't like Bush anymore, positively hate Cheney and like the Repubican-led Congress even less. Instinctively people feel in their craws that Bush and his cronies can't be trusted... they're just not sure how to balance that with Bush's Reign of Terror.

We need to remind everyone we know that the Republicans are the Torture Party, which they are. People are already sick of them. It will sink in. Democrats who run away from this-- and that includes Sherrod Brown and Harold Ford-- are making a mistake. The voters are uneasy. They know Bush is lying to us and Iraq, about gas prices, about the economy, about virtually everything.


At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The irony of Bushism. W's stated goal, the thing that God tells him to do when He speaks to W, is to bring western style Democracy to the Middle East... nay, to the World.

And yet, the terrorists are winning. In my field of Substance Abuse Counseling, I let my clients know that hanging out with active drug abusers is risky, because one of two things will happen. Either: 1- you will bring them up to your level, or; 2- they will bring you down to theirs.

So now, the US Gov't has been brought down to the level of Fascist Dictatorships. Arrests without habeus corpus, tribunal courts (if at all), and torture to get at "the truth."

Rather than our having brought all the goodness of Western Style Democracy to the Middle East, we have imported their Fascist Dictatorship here.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wrong- the war is lost.

Read "I Will Bear Witness" by Victor Klemperer.

See what it takes to really detatch people from totalitarian control.

This will end in fire and blood.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious how the Supreme Court can hear cases on this piece of legislation if it essentially stripped the courts of their jurisdiction on the matter?

Does it not matter that the bill contains that provision? It's just blatantly unconstitutional? And to really get something like that to be upheld by the Court, they would have to amend the constitution? I'm sure some very clever lawyers are already trying to figure out how to mount a case against this.

I agree that the current Court is likely to strike this down yet again (most of it anyway - especially the habeus corpus part). I'm not so sure about a future Court though...

Alito's "unitary executive" BS is absolutely terrifying (and Scalia/Thomas/Roberts all nod to unchecked executive power too). The Federalists and their "Constitution in Exile" scare me to death:

"reinstating provisions "exiled" from the Constitution would mean "reimposing meaningful limits on federal power that could strike at the core of the regulatory state for the first time since the New Deal. These justices could change the shape of laws governing the environment, workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination, and civil rights, making it difficult for the federal government" to act on these issues."

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been horrified and feel let down (by the failure of an effective filibuster) by the torture bill, and it will be very bad law.

As far as the election goes, the "Republican leadership protects pedophile" headlines and investigations coming more than negate the detainee bill. For people who barely pay attention, I suspect the detainee debate only bolstered McCains rep as a maverick (yeah, unfortunate), but it didn't generate a lot of anti-Democratic fire-balling. The Woodward book will hurt the Republicans more, too.

As far as democracy is concerned, the past week was terrible, but as far as the Democratic party, it was net positive.


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