Every now and then, we are tempted to double-check that the Democrats actually won control of Congress last year. It was particularly hard to tell this week. Democratic leaders were cowed, once again, by propaganda from the White House and failed, once again, to modernize the law on electronic spying in a way that permits robust intelligence gathering on terrorists without undermining the Constitution.
The task before Congress was to review and improve an update to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, that was pushed through the Capitol just before the summer break. That bill endorsed warrantless wiretapping and gutted other aspects of the 1978 law.
What the writer neglects to inform his readers is that the Democrats had that bill on their desks since April, months before the August Recess and they sat on their collective butts and did nothing about it until the last possible minute and only then did they act because their "vacation" was threatened.
Power Line reminds us that the request by the Director of National Intelligence, was sent to Congress in APRIL, so this last minute shuffle and accusations that the President was pushing this at the last minute, is due to the lack of concern or importance shown regarding this by our the Democratically controlled Congress.
The writer of the NYT opinion piece goes on to lament:
House Democrats drafted a measure that, while imperfect, was an improvement to the one passed this summer. But before the House could vote, Republicans tied up the measure in bureaucratic knots and Democratic leaders pulled it. Senate Democrats did even worse, accepting a Potemkin compromise that endorsed far too much of the bad summer law.
Once again the writer deliberately doesn't tell the readers that it was the Democrats that played fast and loose and tried to cut off all debate and allow no amendments on the bill and the Republicans used their "right", under the rules of the house, of a motion to recommit and that stated:
Nothing in this Act [H.R. 3773] or the amendments made by this Act shall be construed to prohibit the intelligence community (as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4))) from conducting surveillance needed to prevent Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, or any other foreign terrorist organization designated under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) from attacking the United States or any United States person.
As Jeff Emanuel from Red State said:House Democrats were unable to whip enough votes to get their way. Today, they were against a simple vote on a Republican proposal to protect America's intelligence agencies ability to fight Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That's it - they were against that and fought desperately today to kill it.
When they failed, they pulled the entire FISA bill.
To his complaint about the "Potemkin compromise" that the Senate endorsed, the writer would do well to remember that in a two party system, the only way to get bills passed that will not receive a veto is to compromise, which the White House and the Senate did, but I guess that concept is a little hard for the editorial writer to grasp.
More from the "brainless opinion writing blowhard" states:
As the debate proceeds, Americans will be told that the delicate compromises were about how the government may spy on phone calls and electronic messages in the age of instant communications. Republicans have already started blowing hot air about any naysayers trying to stop spies from tracking terrorists.
That "hot air" which is not disputed, is the fact that people like Adam Gahdan, known and self admitted al-Qaeda affiliate, who happens to be American and on the FBI's most wanted list after having been indicted for treason, would not be allowed to have his communications monitored under the Wyden amendment.
He is listed on the FBI's website of most wanted terrorists and was indicted in the Central District of California for treason and material support to Al Qaeda.
I guess the facts are a little hard for the editorial writer to address.
It is editorials like that that make the next piece, from The American Prospect, even more amusing when the title asks "Is it Time for Democrats to Start Panicking?".
They can't stop the war or override the president's veto on S-CHIP. Harry Reid is less popular in his home state of Nevada than the president is in the country, and, if you listen to the pollsters and the pundits, the Democrats are about to choose one of the most divisive political figures in the Republic’s history to be their 2008 presidential nominee.
Which begs the question: When should Democrats begin to panic?
The answer is "not yet." But the truth is that unless they can re-establish some of their 2006 momentum, Democrats may find themselves going into the next election tagged as the party that couldn't stop Bush when given a chance, or as the party that did not try hard enough.
The Democrats have held majority in both houses for 10 months now and their own supporters are already preparing themselves for the death of the Democrats.
We have shown how the far left liberals have called Nancy Pelosi weak, other far left liberal blogs have suggested that Harry Reid step down because he is weak and more of them have targeted what they call Bush Dog Democrats.
Example of what I mean by "eating their own":Back in August Matt Stoller first floated the idea of a "Bush Dog" campaign against Democratic members of Congress who enable the right-wing through their support of Bush's policies on core progressive values at key moments.
Now the campaign is in full flight. If you type "Bush Dog Democrat" you now get thousands of results. Profiles of all 38 House Bush Dogs have been completed. Among critics are the DLC, DSCC and insider news source National Jornal.
However it has been primarily focused on House Bush Dogs. However with a little research I found that Senate Bush Dogs are a much bigger problem.
They are right, a search for Bush Dog Democrats shows they are, indeed, eating their own and saving the GOP the trouble of having to do it for them....LOLOLOL
The perfect finish for a piece like this showing the NYT preparing the eulogy for the Democrats and The American Prospect wondering when they should start to panic, would be William Kristol's "Epitaph for a congress"
All of this followed by several months the defining statement of the 110th Congress: Harry Reid's assertion, this past April 19, "This war is lost." History may well record that statement as the epitaph for the 110th Congress, and the party that led it. The Democrats engaged in endless efforts to make sure the war really was lost. They failed. Now it looks as if the war, despite the Democratic Congress's best efforts, may well be won. It's the congressional Democrats who are the losers. And so could be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. Are the American people likely to elect the candidate of a party that has tried its best to lose a winnable war?
Read the whole thing, but the bottom line here is that in a short 10 month period the Democrats and their supporters have worked against each other, eaten their own, publicly embarrassed themselves, multiple times, and are divided from within their own party on almost every issue.
In answer to The American Prospect, yes, I do think the Democrats should be in panic mode and their most recent attempt to grasp at any straws, no matter how embarrassing it turns out for them, has shown that are, indeed, allowing panic to rule.