Daily Revolt

October 20, 2007

NY Times: Democrats Act Like Republicans Still Control Congress

I knew that Democrats would not amount to much if they won control of Congress, but I never thought that they would be this lame. The American people are angry with the failure of Democrats to stand up to a rogue administration, and have had it with the idea that one party is any different from the other:
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.

[...]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.

We were left wondering who is really in charge, when in a bipartisan press release announcing the agreement, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kit Bond, described the bill as “a delicate arrangement of compromises” that could not be changed in any way. The committee’s chairman, Jay Rockefeller, didn’t object.

[...]No one is doing that. The question really is whether Congress should toss out chunks of the Constitution because Mr. Bush finds them inconvenient and some Democrats are afraid to look soft on terrorism.

[...]Democrats justified their votes for this bad bill by noting that the law expires in February and by promising to fix it this fall. The House bill did, in fact, restore most judicial safeguards. But the deal cooked up by Mr. Rockefeller and the White House doesn’t. It would not expire for six years, which is too long. And it would dismiss pending lawsuits against companies that turned data over to the government without a warrant.

[...] it was a very frustrating week in Washington. It was bad enough having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.

Read the entire NY Times editorial

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