Saturday, September 23, 2006

Shorter Greenwald: Where Are the Dems?

Shorter Greenwald [Salon - subscription or watch free ad required]:
"There is a strong temptation to feel that if Americans allow themselves to be manipulated again in this manner -- if, after they spent the last two years thoroughly disgusted with the president, they maintain the stranglehold that Republicans so disastrously hold over all facets of our government -- then perhaps the country will deserve what it gets. The damage to our country from a Bush administration that is completely unchecked and unlimited for the next two years is hard to fathom, but if Americans choose that, they will reap the consequences of their choice.

That sentiment, unfortunately, is bolstered by the completely despicable -- and quite deliberate -- disappearing act of the Democratic Party at exactly the time our country debates some of the most profoundly important political issues of our time. News accounts of the "compromise agreement" reached by political leaders on the torture issue barely even mention Democrats at all. It is as though we do still have a two-party system, but the two political parties are the White House and congressional Republicans. Democrats are like some quirky little third party relegated to an afterthought and quoted almost as an act of charity.

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The "opposition party" is literally missing, silent, mute and invisible. And yet the only hope for reversing or at least halting any of this is to have that same Democratic Party actually somehow win an election and provide some desperately needed gridlock and balance and investigative processes to find out what our government has been doing. That is about as bleak of a picture as one can imagine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It depends on whether you think this bill was a serious attempt to limit torture or a cheap political stunt orchestrated by the Republicans to paint the Dems as soft on terrorism. The bill really does not constrain the Bush administration in any substantial way, leading one to wonder what all of the fuss was about.

Three influential Republicans... they caved pretty quickly. Was the goal to goad the Dems into a passionate defense against torture so that they could be painted prior to the election as soft on terror?

I still think the Dems should have responded by pointing out that torture is ALREADY illegal and that the administration is ALREADY breaking the law. Not wanting to be caught in a trap is fine... but there were other ways the Dems could have spoken out against torture.