Today, the Congress has forever destroyed the reputation of the United States of America as a defender of freedoms and human rights. The Detainee bill has passed, and legalized torture, at the whim and dictates of the President, is now the law of the land.
There was no filibuster, as the Democrats had no spines. They refused to stand up for the values of this country, for fear of being painted in the forthcoming election as “weak on Terror” — which will happen anyway (and has already begun), for their votes against the bill. The majority of Democratic legislators voted against torture….and history will remember that. But they half-assed it, and didn’t fight as hard as they were able….for fear of losing their jobs. History will remember that, as well.
Both sides are responsible — the Democrats for not fighting, and the Republicans for rubber-stamping the wishes of a dictatorial Presidency and forever decimating the Constitution and the rule of law.
The truth is that there is a rogue presidency and there has been since Bush came to power.
It is increasingly obvious, but no one dares to admit it publicly. The very thought that the US government is seriously broken – that the Executive branch is out of control and answerable to no-one, is such a potentially world-shattering revelation that it can never be publicly acknowledged. If ever it is, if the Congress and the Supreme Court openly assert that the Executive branch has run amok, the consequences are beyond imagining. The crisis that everyone feared in the early 70s — what if Nixon refuses to step down? What will that do to the country? — will play out in full view of the world’s 24-7 media.
The bill legalizing torture was nothing more than Congress continuing the pretense that they still have some influence over an Executive that from day one has been governing, not as if they had a mandate, but as if Bush were a dictator. If, for some miracle, the Detainee bill didn’t pass, every member of Congress knows that the Administration would keep on torturing. If Congress were to pass a law which unequivocably banned torture outright and send it to him, he’d riddle it with “signing statements” and use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he’d have his cronies bitch about “activist judges” and continue on his merry way.
When Bush ascended to the White House, protesters carried signs that read “The Emperor Has No Votes.” Of course, the hundreds of thousands of people who protested were barely shown by the media.
Now, the “emperor” needs no votes — and the signs, if any should ever be brave enough to carry them, should read: “The People Have No Representatives.”
If this doesn’t motivate you to action, then nothing ever will.