Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Surveillance Redux

For the record, 16 Democratic Senators and 41 Representatives crossed the isle to vote for the expansion of warantless surveillance before skulking away to their summer vacations. Slate had a good take on how this abdication of leadership in the face of the White House’s red-baiting compromises the so-called “opposition” party’s stance on other important issues like Gonzalez’s complicity in the firing of US Attorneys:

“There is virtually no way to reconcile Sen. Mark Pryor's, D-Ark., claim that Gonzales has "lied to the Senate" and needs to go with his vote to expand the reach of our warrantless eavesdropping program. And how can one possibly square Sen. Dianne Feinstein's, D-Calif., claim that the AG "just doesn't tell the truth" with her vote to give him yet more unchecked authority? You either trust this AG with the power to listen in on your phone calls or you do not

With this FISA vote, the Democrats have compromised the investigation into the U.S. attorney scandal. They've shown themselves either to be participating in an empty political witch hunt or curiously willing to surrender our civil liberties to someone who has shown—time and again—that he cannot be trusted to safeguard them. The image of Democrats hypocritically berating the attorney general with fingers crossed behind their backs is ultimately no less appalling than an attorney general swearing to uphold the Constitution with fingers crossed behind his own.”

Amen. There is no legitimate reason to support the Democrats in the 2008 Congressional elections if the leadership is planning to continue to operate in this manner. While a third-party presidential candidate has little chance of prevailing, serious consideration should be given to supporting your local Green party candidate for whatever seat he or she happens to be running for.


crackass said...

You know, just the other day I came home and found that my place had been burglarized. Valuables gone. Personal things gone through. Items strewn about. You get the idea. Now, when something like this occurs you certainly are left feeling vulnerable and violated. Your sense of safety and privacy rocked and you just don't sleep as well afterward. For me, this feeling has little or nothing to do with the fact that somewhat valuable items were taken, but rather that someone was in my space. It is not that I have anything to hide per se, as much as it is my space and only those invited are allowed there.

Now, what is the difference between the burglary at my apartment and the law the government just made legal for itself to commit? As far as I can tell, the only difference is that only one of the offenders faces the prospect of being sent to the calaboose for it. Unhappily, it is the wrong one at that.

Mark said...

Sorry to hear about your burglary. What a shitty feeling. It's happened to me a few times over the years. Although considering your leftward leanings, how can you be sure that it wasn't the government? After all they don't have to tell you they were sneaking and peeking nor do they really have to get a warrant so long as Gonzalez decides invading your home is in the interests of national security.

crackass said...

Do or have received plenty of phone calls from afghanistan? . . .hmmm, does make one wonder.

Anonymous said...

"curiously willing to surrender our civil liberties"

Hey, didn't the Democrats do this with the already drawn up Patriot Act just after 911?

The Republicans act directly for elite interests, while the Democrats serve as a pressure valve between elites and the slaves. Democrats serve to ease the college-educated slaves passage into dictatorship.

CLS said...

About supporting your local Green Party candidate. This is a real option. As of last November we here in Richmond, CA, have a Green mayor! Richmond is now the largest city in the U.S. with a directly elected Green mayor. She won by less than 300 votes. Truly makes you feel like each vote and all support is crucial. Yes, it is possible.

Kbelle said...

The Structure of the system prevents third parties from winning. Best hope is what's called a critical election where a new party emerges and one fades away. A critical election goes hand in hand with a "critical realignment". Historically, we're way overdue for one. First time back on the blog. Hope I don't get in trouble from my monitored computer. Sorry to hear about the burglary. It's a huge violation of your personal space. I had an interesting convo from some folks around here that support fisa and various other methods employed to keep our nation safe. No seems to like Congressional oversight either. More on this when I'm set up with internet at home