The Democrats finally found someone with some stones. Democrats being Democrats, of course it was a woman.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not only didn’t bring the Senate’s version of the Protect America Act up for a vote before the House went on recess, she had the House cite two members of the Bush Administration – John Bolton and Harriet Miers – for contempt. (Republicans responded to this second action by storming out of the Capitol to denounce the Democrats’ “political theater” at a microphone-strewn podium serendipitously found on the building’s steps just in time for their “spontaneous” act..)
Bush responded, of course, by crying we’ll be dead by the time the House gets back if he doesn’t have the authority to listen to every phone call and read every email in the world, warrants be damned. Like the law has ever stopped him before. The Protect America Act is nothing more than a transparent attempt to legalize actions the Bush Administration has routinely taken for years. Immunity for the previously cooperating telecommunication companies – who would be the still cooperating telecommunications companies had their illegal collaboration not come to light – is amnesty by another name. Republicans are happy to grant amnesty to moneyed interests with the legal firepower to know they were violating not just laws, but the entire Fourth Amendment, but if your mother carried you across the Mexican border in her arms fifteen years ago, you’re SOL.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who sent to the House a bill complete with immunity and no amendments the White House didn’t sign off on, wrote to Bush, "I regret your reckless attempt to manufacture a crisis over the reauthorization of foreign surveillance laws. . . . Your suggestion that the law's expiration would prevent intelligence agents from listening to the conversations of terrorists is utterly false."
The most temperate response I can come up with is: Fuck you, Harry, and the horse you rode in on. Bush has rolled you over so many times you can join the Greek hookers’ union. You’re not from Texas, but “big hat, no cattle” was written with you in mind. You sold out Chris Dodd and Pat Leahy, so your big talk now, while Speaker Pelosi has to carry your weight, impresses no one. You want to claim to be a Democrat while acting as Bush’s mole in Congress, fine. Just don’t be upset when people call you on it, as just about everyone has started to do. Let’s hope Senate Democrats can find a few onions of their own and elect a majority leader next year who actually believes in the co-equal branches of government.
I haven’t written this in a while, but it’s time again. For all of you who voted for George W. Bush in 2004 and see what has happened to Iraq, the deficit, the environment, the economy, and civil liberties, keep this in mind: It’s your fault.