Friday, September 29, 2006

The saddest day

Today, words are hard to come by. The Congress has legalized the use of torture for the first time in our nation's history. We have officially lost our way as a Republic. Washington's warning against the pernicious effects of political parties has come to pass. In a desperate bid to cling to power, the Republican Congress saved the president's ass today by passing his legislation, in effect immunizing him against his previous actions. Any bill that "bans" torture, yet lets the orderer of torture decide it, is no ban.

To top it off, 12 Democrats voted for this bill. Some of them are in safe seats and had no need. Others aren't, but a courageous stand is typically appreciated by voters. This isn't a Republican climate anymore, and those Democrats showed no guts. Here's the list of the twelve lacking in testicular fortitude:

Tom Carper (Del.)
Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Bob Menendez (N.J)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ken Salazar (Co.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Let's review. Carper, Lautenberg, Bill Nelson, and Rockefeller are all safe seats. Salazar, Stabenow, Bill Nelson, and Pryor are all pretty safe seats. Those eight votes sustain a filibuster, which would've led to some real debate and discussion on the issue.

But, no. They took a coward's way out and have damned this nation until such point where the Supreme Court declares this unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. If the Court does it, that is.

Let's face it, Democratic acquiesence in the face of withering attacks by Republicans are to blame for the situation we face. In 2002, Democrats backed down on Bush, and he ran them over, giving the GOP full control, a situation still existing to this day. Since then, this is what's happened:

Bills introduced to deny civil rights to a class of people
Bills introduced to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on certain issues.
Regressive, punitive bills against the middle and lower classes
Bills introduced and/or passed to deny voting rights to poor people

Hell, I could go on all day, but that's the basics of it.

And now the worst of all. A bill passed that legalizes torture, suspends habeas corpus, and allows the executive to determine the status of all individuals under the law.

Tonight, I grieve for our nation.

Tomorrow, it's back to work to elect people who know what America really stands for.


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