Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Sentiments Exactly

Spit, Don't Swallow: The End of Habeas Corpus, and the Legalization of Torture | The Agonist

Enough. Just enough already. No more good partisan soldier boy - when Harry Reid, Democratic Minority Leader - the most important elected Democratic official in the country says 'we want to do this' to a bill that guts habeas corpus and legalizes torture, I'm off this bloody train. Harry Reid can use 'Water Board Bridge' to cross 'Magna Carta river' on his own, with whatever partisan hacks feel that their loyalty to The Party outweighs the value of Habeas Corpus.

I'm being told, 'oh when we win, we'll fix it'. Well, first of all (and I'll discuss this later) while I expect the Dems to do well in this election and retake the House, this specific action is reducing their chances to get a decent majority. And with a small majority in the Senate and the House why would we believe the Democrats would revisit a bill that the Democratic Minority Leader 'wants to do'? If you intend to reverse a bill, you set up a rhetorical case for it, you don't praise it.

Now let's say that 80% of Democratic Senators vote against the bill, and are reliable votes when it matters (this is the great amusement of all this. Voting against a bill you know is going to pass anyway is often a pandering act and doesn't mean any given senator would be against it if their vote mattered) - what margin are the Democrats going to have in the Senate and House? Enough to overcome 20% against them within their own party? Enough to overcome a filibuster if the Republicans turn out to have enough discipline and guts to actually do a filibuster, unlike Democrats?

No, if this bill passes, it isn't being repealed by Democrats. First of all, the Senate Democratic leadership doesn't want to repeal it. Second, Democrats won't have a working majority on the issue even if they wanted to use it.

Loyalty is the cardinal virtue in politics and there is a lot of pressure being applied for people to swallow, not spit, on this one."


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