Either you believe in civil liberties or you don't; it's one thing - one, ugly, gutless thing to criticize the left, the moveon.orgs in an effort to make that general election "move to the center" that is part of the Democrats playbook. It's irritating; it's insulting, and it's not surprising - guys like Obama don't have to move far to get to the center; in fact, they'd have to move left in order to get there.
But rhetoric is one thing - if the nominee of the Democratic party does not stand on a table and shout as the US Senate authorizes warrantless surveillance of US citizens (and gives cover for the Bush Administration's policy of what was then, inarguably, felonious surveillance) I'm uncertain why the Democratic party is needed. It would be better for the Democrats to disappear; at least then the illusion that we have a left wing political party in this country would be harder to sell. There is literally nothing Democrats could do which is conservative enough that they wouldn't be immediately branded as crazy liberals, enemies of Jesus and Capitalism by the Republicans. The FISA vote will quickly be framed not as capitulation by the Democratic party but as an issue that transcends ideology, that even liberals basically agree with the President.
They don't. A liberal not only would never, ever, ever have cast this vote, he'd resign his seat in protest.
After 9-11, the most common response from Americans when asked why the attacks took place was "they hate us for our freedoms."
This is childish, obviously - but pretending for the moment that it's true, this FISA vote may, in fact, have the impact of ending the need for the "war on terror", as we have less freedom than did we yesterday.
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