The Mongrel Dogs at Sea: Constitutional Cowardice

Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Were he still living, he might well amend that to be the definition of “Democrat”. Although, truthfully, there seems to be less and less difference between being a Democrat and being insane. And I say that as a lifelong member of the party!

Jumping at the President’s command, the Democrats passed modifications to the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA). In this latest craven capitulation, the Democrats agreed to give the executive the power to spy without warrants, subject only to “guidelines” issued by – believe it or not! – the US Attorney General. This, after eight months of hearings have uncovered crippling incompetencies and indeed outright political corrosion within the Department of Justice. My God, even his own party believes the Attorney General should resign! Yet somehow this creature of the President, who cannot seem to muster a single truthful answer to the most innocuous question – this lapdog now will be the guarantor of our civil liberties.

More below the fold.

The Democrats have to stop thinking it’s still 2000. In the last seven years this Administration has unrelentingly compromised the rights of Americans while undermining the rule of law and, indeed, the Constitution itself. We are not in the same America we inhabited at the end of the Clinton administration. Yet the Democratic Party keeps strategizing from the same – failed! – playbook. It didn’t even win them elections back when it was relevant. Now, it threatens the very Republic itself.

When pressed, those Democrats who voted for this noxious bill offered the usual, lame excuse: “If we stand against this, the Republicans are going to paint us as weak on national security.” As if the Republicans were going to play nice, now, and say, “Look, those Democrats, they love our country too.” No, the Republicans are going to sandbag the Democrats again, going to go on all the Sunday shows and trumpet how much the Democrats fail to use “Islamic” immediately followed by “terrorist”. The Republicans are going to score their points no matter what the Democrats do. It’s time to take a lesson from them: Sometimes, the only response to a bully is to thwap him down hard.

Is this a good bill? Almost to a person, the Democrats say ‘NO’. Then attack the bill, you twits! Don’t accept the “weak on defense” argument. Why isn’t any major Democrat painting the Republican party as “weak on liberty” or “soft on freedom”? Why aren’t they pointing out the frightening turn toward authoritarianism evidenced by almost all of the Republican candidates and leadership? Why isn’t anyone standing up for the Constitution, for the time-honored rights of free citizens? Don’t vote for a bad bill hoping it will go away. Expose it as a bad bill.

If the bill is bad, attack it. Spell out its defects. Point out how none of the supposed “fixes” addresses any real concerns, how these additional powers were not needed to foil the plots in Britain and Spain and even here. Educate the public regarding FISA’s already-generous tools that allow the law to go after the bad guys without trampling four centuries of jurisprudence. And while you’re at it, why not point out that the President of the United States had openly admitted to committing actual felonies while in office?

By the way, even from thousands of miles away on a cruise, it was clear to me that the Republicans were going to push a bad FISA bill. Why the hell didn’t the Democrats have their own bill fixing the true deficiencies in FISA (if any) without granting even more broad powers to the executive? Why are they always playing catch-up? After winning both houses last November, the Democrats should have the initiative on every major issue. How do they keep getting blind-sided?

What the hell is the point of a “loyal opposition”, when they interpret it as “loyal as a dog” and roll over at every instigation?


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