Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/12/2008 (2:43 pm)

FISA Vote Highlights Democrats' Realpolitik

The Senate sturdily rejected attempts to remove amnesty for telecommunication companies from a bill that updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The story broke within the last two hours, and blogworld is teeming with activity. On the right, Captain Ed calls it a good compromise, while Michelle Malkin crows “we win, nutroots lose.” On the left, Glenn Greenwald at Solon.com screeches ignorantly about illegality, and atrios thinks the Senate has been bought. Check Memeorandum for all the hot links.

This vote is yet another indication that regardless of their rhetoric, Democrats understand the sentiment of the American people, and won’t buck it for fear of their jobs.

The Democrats’ running commentary on the so-called “War on Terror” has to be one of the most egregious hypocricies in our nation’s history, certainly the most egregious in my lifetime. The public has actually backed the administration consistently on the subject, and the Democrats know it. However, the Democratic base, the roughly 20% of the nation that is so rabidly anti-war that they cannot countenance any US military action at all, will not tolerate a Congress that puts up no resistance to the Bush administration. So Democrats in Congress cavil, and they rant, and they posture, and they denounce — “torture,” “Gitmo,” “rendition,” “illegal wiretapping,” “quagmire” — and then, when the actual measures come up for vote, they vote for what the people demand, and for what makes sense. The noisy show is for their base, so they can claim “We resisted” in their next re-election campaign.

If they weren’t so very slimy, I’d feel sorry for them.

My favorite discussion on the legality of the wiretaps reveals that, contrary to the reflexively antiwar left’s insistent claims, the entire matter has already been settled in court, and the Bush administration was correct: the wiretaps are legal, and did not require warrants from the FISA court.

Here’s an interesting update: Protein Wisdom informs us that Barack Obama voted with the nutroots, while Hillary Clinton managed to avoid the vote altogether by remaining absent. Do either “Che`” Obama or Chameleon Clinton surprise us? I think not.

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