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The Democrats are selling us out

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by Ari Rutenberg

Why can't they just say no?  It seems like the Dems in Congress, specifically Hoyer and Rockefeller, have apparently agreed to a new intelligence bill which, in essence, gives Bush and Cheney everything they want.  What don' they get?  The party still dismissed bloggers as if we haven't been one of the primary motivating forces in changing politics in this country.  They still act as if were just some fringe looneys, often giving no more respect than the neocons.

Well I'm here to tell you all that we are the party and the people.  We are liberal and from big cities, sure, but why is that a less real from of American than others?  Indeed most Americans live in cities.  We are rich and poor, urban and rural, black and white, and we are all tired of the blank checks being written for Bushco by the Democrats in Congress.  We are the voice of the people, elite and not, and these people in power will find that they will lose their jobs very quickly if they fail to act in our interest and instead pander to the powerful and corrupt inside the beltway thugs who have been ruining our country for the past 30 years. 

And it looks like the thuggery has worked again.  The Bush administration has essentially intimidated and threatened their way to this deal.  Rather than saying "hell, no... we won't give one more inch of our civil liberties for your false and dangerous war on terror from which we gained nothing and that has only cost us blood, reputation, and treasure"  they have simply capitulated to the old canard that delaying this bill will cost American live or put us in danger, which it won't.  Indeed all this bill really does is protect the phone companies from civil liability stemming from their clearly illegal actions.   The intelligence gathered from such action has never demonstrably been useful in protecting American lives anyway, so it really a double false premise on which the Republican argument is based. 

And why the hell didn't the telecom's lawyers tell them this spying
was blatantly illegal and that the President, no matter what his
assurance, cannot grant a priori immunity to break the law?
Sure he can issue pardons, but that is only after the fact.  It is
still illegal if the President knowingly uses his pardon power to
engage someone in a criminal activity. They clearly knew this was
illegal otherwise they wouldn't have hidden its existence and then
tried to get legal immunity for the telecoms that cooperated.  Why the
hell would anyone need immunity if they have not engaged in criminal

I really hope they come to their senses and start playing hardball
like the Republicans do.  We will never change the perception of
Democrats as spineless if they keep giving in on every significant
issue.  Instead of worrying that the right will make us look weak and
unmanly at the next election, the Congressional leadership should worry
that we will do it to ourselves.