The Fear of Fear Itself

The New York Times has a smashing editorial this morning attacking the Democrats for caving in to Bush’s fear mongering and his grab for even more power. Here’s the first paragraph. Read the whole thing.

It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led by Democrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion of President Bush’s powers, this time to spy on Americans in violation of basic constitutional rights. Many of the 16 Democrats in the Senate and 41 in the House who voted for the bill said that they had acted in the name of national security, but the only security at play was their job security.

OK, and here’s the next to last paragraph:

Mr. Bush’s incessant fear-mongering — and the Democrats’ refusal to challenge him — has had one notable success. The only issue on which Americans say that they trust Republicans more than Democrats is terrorism. At least those Americans are afraid of terrorists. The Democrats who voted for this bill, and others like it over the last few years, show only fear of Republicans.

While I’m on a roll here, here’s Juan Cole this morning on the surge of phony spin on Iraq:

The troop escalation was intended to calm down Baghdad and to give the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki breathing room to pursue a political reconciliation, especially with the Sunni Arab population. But the political goals of the surge are simply not being accomplished — and indeed, the political situation has deteriorated substantially. Maliki has lost even the few Sunni Arab allies he began with . . .

And what of the supposed “good news” on the military side of the equation? Before July ended, a spate of wire service and newspaper reports began appearing, saying that only 74 U.S. troops had been killed by Iraqi guerrillas that month, the lowest total since November and a sign that the surge was working. But the reporters and editors who gave us headlines such as “U.S. Death Toll in Iraq in July Expected to Be Lowest in ’07” (New York Times) were being assiduously spun. Bush officials were undoubtedly pushing the information that produced these headlines in an attempt to give Republicans in Congress some good news to take back to their constituents during the August recess. . .

The above two paragraphs are excerpts from a longer article he published in Salon. Read the whole thing, but maybe it requires a membership in Salon. Maybe not. Give it a try? :smile:

  1. twoooooooooeetie’s avatar

    Yes, I really liked the NYT editorial – That’s how I found out who the blue dogs are!
    And I found out that Sen. Kerry didn’t even bother to vote – the CREEP!
    I’ve got to yell at him – so much todo todo…..
    But I also want to know why Kennedy or Sanders or Leahy didn’t just filibuster this rotten bill….
    WHY NOT???????

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks for your comment, twoooooooooeetie!!

    I didn’t know Kerry didn’t bother to vote. However, I don’t think the bill could be filibustered, could it? They don’t have enough votes to sustain it? Although I guess it isn’t a matter of that. One person could do a filibuster, but there’s probably a technical reason or something in this case.

  3. twoooooooooeetie’s avatar

    Guess I need more info but I thought that a 2/3 majority in the senate was required to break a filibuster. As I remember the bill only passed with 60 votes. At least in theory, that means that a filibuster COULD have worked.
    There was also some discussion on this topic on NPR’s On Point yesterday – someone had done a little snooping in the so-called blue dog states and found that most people were pleased at the reps who voted AGAINST this bill.
    Could be that most people agree with Patrick Henry who said ‘Give me liberty or give me death’.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    I think the point is that 17 democrats in the senate voted with the republicans. So that leaves very few for it. The problem is that the dems don’t have a filibuster proof majority, like they did when Roosevelt was president.

    That’s good that there were states with blue dog dems in which polls showed people against the bill. Oh ye of little spine!

    Right! Give me liberty or give me death!

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