Friday, June 27, 2008

How to Sell the Voters Down the Sewer: Case Study--Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has written, rather alarmingly, at the facts behind the FISA vote. And yet, evening after knowing these facts, thinking about them and writing about them, he caves. This week, he voted for cloture on the FISA bill. Why is that?

Read some thoughts on this here. Read more about it here.

Sheldon Whitehouse is a study in gutlessness, faltering courage, and uselessness to our nation and Constitution. And there are so many more where he came from, a number of them in the Senate and 105 of them in the House, who actually passed the FISA bill, which makes lawful spying on Americans, fails at needed safeguards, and gives Americans no legal recourse against the unnecessary and abusive use of the government against them.

We have just a few months to persuade the Bush-enabling cavers that it doesn't have to be this way. Foolishly they assume that we won't have to worry about Bush after November (make that January). And so they keep pacifying him, giving him whatever he demands, and mis-serving Americans.

But such blissful ignorance also assumes (though it shouldn't) that the current administration will put its power to good use. Already, we know that it hasn't. We have a needless war, the upending of habeas corpus, Abu Graib, torture, illegal spying by the government of its own citizens (that alone previously cost Richard Nixon his job). Such ignorance also assumes the reigns of power will be turned over by the powers that be willingly, without sabotage, and without incident. What are the odds that the Bush boys will go quietly into their respective retirements?

And so, Mr. Whitehouse, what then? What if you have given in one too many times? What if the country you swore to serve and the law you promised to withhold have been utterly demolished by then? What if you have changed our government irreparably? And, what, Mr. Whitehouse, will you tell your children and grandchildren you did about it? You had the power. And you continually fail to use it. You were more afraid to "lose" (though you probably wouldn't) that to actually serve this country. And so you failed utterly and completely. And you, not just George W. Bush, bear the responsibility.