Thursday, September 28, 2006

Democrats Fall For Rove's Trap Again; Prepare To Okay Torture

There is now news that, in addition to taking the House this November, they may also take the Senate as well. And yet, as polls indicate their chances are improving, I am left to wonder this week whether they even deserve it. As with the Iraq war vote in 2002, the Democrats have again fallen for Karl Rove's trap and refused to stand up on principle, for fear of maybe upsetting some conservative voter somewhere who wasn't going to vote for them anyway. Yesterday, the House approved the President's torture bill and the Democrats did little to stop it. To be fair, there were some notable exceptions (like would-be-Speaker Nancy Pelosi), but far too many Democrats went along with it. The same seems like it will be the case in the Senate, with some exceptions like Barack Obama, but with no overall denouncement of this bill. Sad.

In what can't be good news for the Democrats, their most vocal cheerleaders- liberal blogs- have finally had enough with their spineless bullshit that they are calling them out. Good. They need to get a loud and clear verbal smackdown. First up, Greg Saunders-
I applaud Markos for being patient enough to stand by the Democratic party and encourage people to not drop out of the political process, but when is enough enough? At what point do you say “screw it” and come to the conclusion that the people in Washington don’t represent your core values? You know the Democratic party is in a sad state of affairs when a post encouraging people to stick by the party ends like this :
Democrats think “looking strong” means bombing Iraq or Iran, when “looking strong” really means standing for something because you believe in it, even if you might not think it’s the smartest political play. Whimpering every time Rove says “boo!” is not strength. Caving in to the administration is not strength. Surrendering what should be core beliefs because of political expediency is not strength.
Update: Rereading this, I don’t think I was clear on this point — please do put pressure on Democrats to do the right thing. On torture or whatever. Please get angry when they fail us and core American values.

Why should we continue to put pressure on politicians to do something that would come as second nature to any decent person? What does it say about our leaders if we have to beg them to oppose torture? If the Democrats aren’t willing to risk their careers for a higher principle like preserving the right of habeas corpus or protecting the separation of powers, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that they don’t feel strongly about these issues and probably shouldn’t be representing us?

Exactly. Voters like a politicians who stand up for their principles, even if they don't 100% agree. This is one reason why the President was reelected, because people saw him as 'standing for something' even if his policies were overall unpopular. The Democrats need to realize that being tough means showing you have a spine, not acquiesing to what seems politically expedient at the moment.

Next up, Glenn Greenwald-
In 2002, substantial numbers of Democratic senators voted in favor of the resolution to authorize President Bush to use military force in Iraq. At the time, they argued that they had no choice politically but supporting that measure because their opposition would be used by Karl Rove to depict them as weak on terrorism. Despite support of the war resolution by a solid majority of Democrats (29-22), the centerpiece of the GOP campaign against Democrats nonetheless was the accusation that they were weak on terrorism. The GOP even ran commercials morphing the face of Max Cleland into Saddam Hussein's face even though Cleland had voted for the resolution.

That Rovian strategy -- luring Democrats into supporting Bush's terrorism policies and then accusing them anyway of being weak on national security -- is precisely what led to the 2002 GOP takeover of the Senate and historic midterm gains.

In 2004, Democrats rejected a candidate who unambiguously opposed the Iraq war (Howard Dean) in favor of a candidate who voted for the war resolution (John Kerry), only to watch as Republicans successfully depicted Democrats as being weak on terrorism. Over and over, Democrats allow Republicans to depict them as weak on terrorism because they are afraid to take a stand and to articulate the rationale behind that stand.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Democrats, we are talking about a bill that legalizes torture, rapes habeus corpus, and basically gives the President (and all future Presidents- this isn't just about Bush) the right to detain anyone anywhere for as long as he wants, do anything to do them, file no charges against them, and then dispose of them in the manner of his choosing. This bill would go down in history, as so many now-forgotten wartime acts, as one of most odious passed in America. Please do a favor and show us that you recognize this fact. Fight. If you cannot defeat the lame-duck Republicans, you will have to understand why some Americans will not trust you to take on Osama.


At 12:28 PM, Anonymous jalp said...

Stabenow of Michigan is among the Ds who deserve an F for this vote. And there is an alternative . . . vote David Sole of the "Stop the War Slate" and the Green Party of Michigan.

John Anthony La Pietra
Elections Co-ordinator
Green Party of Michigan
GPMI's Web page:
STWS Web page:


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