Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Fight Goes On

The Great Grey Liar, blissfully ignoring its own role as cheerleader for the War To End All Domestic Opposition, finally denounced the pending nullification of the Constitution and almost a millenium of common law, much too late to affect what they reported as news:
The Senate today rejected an amendment to a bill creating a new system for interrogating and trying terror suspects that would have guaranteed such suspects access to the courts to challenge their imprisonment. The vote was 51 to 48 against the amendment... The bill's ultimate passage was assured on Wednesday when Democrats agreed to forgo a filibuster in return for consideration of the amendment. ...White House spokesman Tony Snow said today that President Bush will emphasize Democratic opposition to the bill in campaign appearances.
So the caving in to not appear "obstructionist" didn't do a bit of good, did it? They are still going to damn us all as traitors anyway.
Before the session began this morning, President Bush traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with Republican Senators and urge passage of the bill. "The American people need to know that we're working together to win this war on terror," he said. "Our most important responsibility is to protect the American people from further attack. And we cannot be able to tell the American people we're doing our full job unless we have the tools to do so."
To which the best comment was made by Tacitus in his Ab excessu divi Augusti almost two thousand years ago, about a speech by the Emperor Tiberius:
haec atque talia, quamquam cum adsensu audita ab iis quibus omnia principum, honesta atque inhonesta, laudare mos est, plures per silentium aut occultum murmur excepere
...or, as it is translated (a bit loosely) by Michael Grant
This sort of argument was applauded by those who habitually applaud emperors, right or wrong. But the majority received it in silence or with suppressed mutters.
It is entirely proper that the Senate is surrendering our freedom today, because this is the anniversary of the Continental Congress signing its own death warrant in 1787, by sending the illegally proposed new Constitution to the states for ratification. The fact that the Philadelphia convention and the Congress itself had no authority to do this didn't stop them, just like that now-ratified document's clear prohibitions of things today's legislation authorizes didn't stop their successors from the same abdication today.

But despair not. Athenae at First Draft still raises a light in the darkness that everyone needs to read all of. Here's part:
This is about what kind of country we are.

And we are better than this.

We are better than murderers. We are better than torturers. We are better than those who would tell us the only way to beat the terrorists is to inflict far greater terror. We are better than those who would tell us the only way for us to live now is to live in fear. We are better than those who say, "Build yourself a tower, build yourself a wall, dig yourself a moat." ...

We, as a country, are better than this. And if the weakness and fear of a cowed Republican Congress allows them to lose faith in the conviction of America to preserve its ideals while overcoming any foe, that is the fault of the cowed Republican Congress, because I saw Democrats all over the place standing up this week. Russ Feingold, Tim Ryan, Louise Slaughter, Dick Durbin who got beat on so bad over this once before, even Barack got off his snobby ass and joined the fight. Kerry. Dean. They all got up and said no, this is wrong. ...

It doesn't work, it doesn't help, it makes us evil and it makes us small. It reduces a great nation to the level of some tin-hat dictatorship and we, cats and kittens, are better than this.

And that conviction, that this is not the policy of a great nation but the demented expression of the fear of a nation's corrupt leadership, that this is not the course America will chart for years to come, that this is not what my fellow Americans want, will not waver should the unprincipled, undisciplined, unscrupulous Republican Congress pass this moral abortion of a bill....

I'm not going to join the crowd of about seven people saying they'll just quit politics, quit the Democrats, quit the world, whatever, man, if this goes down the way I think it's going to go down. And I don't think any of you will either.

We are better than this.

And I know that because I know all of you. I know my family, my friends. I know my neighbors and the writers for my local papers and I know my senators and congressmen. I know people who get up every day and fight like hell against incredible odds to do what is right, be that making somebody a lunch to take to school or writing legislation. I know Americans, and we are better than this.

We are better than this. Look at the past three years. Look what we've done, bloggers and activists and writers and singers and rank and file Democrats who are making a 50-state strategy practical and real, so that Republican districts are fighting grounds where they should be quiet pastures of acquiescence and fear. We've made it a fight, don't you know what that means? It's impossible to explain to somebody who hasn't seen it, I think, the incredible sight that turning back the inevitable is.


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