Sunday, October 01, 2006

Self-loathing Democrats

Did you know that twelve Democratic senators voted for torture? Here they are:

Thomas Carper (D-DE)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

And how's this for a bitter joke that sums up how Democrats and Republicans behave these days:

A Democratic senator walks into a Republican bar. A Republican senator pulls a knife and demands the Democrat's money. The Democrat hands over his wallet, grabs the knife and stabs himself repeatedly, screaming "Don't hurt me!" as he falls to the floor. The Republican removes the cash, returns the wallet to the Democrat, kicks him in the head and says "It isn't the money, it's the principle." As he heads for the exit he trips over his supine colleague. Headlines the next day read "Republicans decry Democratic obstruction."

If you're not scared, you should be.

Please read this excerpt from an article called "Part-Time Monsters, Full-Time Fools: Torture Rules The Day":

Twelve Democratic senators voted to consecrate torture, indefinite incarceration of US and foreign citizens without trial or judicial review and immunity from war crimes as official US policy. Others, hailing themselves as principled constitutional warriors, promised not to filibuster the bill so long as Republicans allowed a doomed vote on an amendment which would have added an expiration date to some provisions.

In point of fact the particulars of the legislation — which will probably come out of the House-Senate conference committee more Draconian than it went in — may not much matter, given that Bush has already done most if not all of the things the bill authorizes him to do and that if he doesn't like any of the provisions he will, as is his custom, issue a signing statement asserting the right to ignore them.

What does matter is that once again Congress, including an unconscionable number of Democrats (who are getting kicked in the head by Republicans for their trouble), has gone along with him, and this time they've legislated almost every important bit of jurisprudence and human rights advances from the Magna Carta forward out of existence.

It's official: America isn't America anymore. We're now the only modern democracy, such as it is, to write torture into our laws. Even countries that routinely torture their prisoners don't do so by law...

You are not exempt from the provisions of the bill passed on Thursday. They can arrest you and detain you indefinitely and torture you and you can never be heard from again. You have no rights to a lawyer or to know the charges against you or the evidence against you. Think about it.

This morning I read an article entitled "How to Get Out of the U.S. in 60 Days (with more than the clothes on your back)". It gave me pause. This is how people are starting to think. Maybe people who write such articles are the canaries in the mine. Maybe the rest of us ought to pay attention.

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