A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Battered Legislation Syndrome

Our federal legislation reminds me an awful lot of a battered wife. Battered wives make all sorts of excuses for their abusive husbands, and do everything they can to enable them to continue abusing them. The Senate has just done this for our Glorious Leader in passing his amendments to FISA. No surprise, the administration is calling for the House to do the same.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, a law designed to protect Americans from government surveillance without a warrant. The law created special courts where the law enforcement agencies could seek those warrants in secret so the targets wouldn't be able to find out they were being targeted. FISA even allows for law enforcement to seek those warrants seventy-two hours after surveillance has begun. It sounds fairly comprehensive and straightforward, right? Well, that's why the news that the NSA has been wiretapping American citizens without FISA warrants at the instruction of our Glorious Leader is such a scandal: it's blatantly illegal, and with no good reason. It's also been ruled illegal by the courts, and keeps getting shot down at every turn. So Dubya has demanded changes to FISA to effectively legalize his illegal activities.

Over the past six years, this President has run roughshod over our courts and legislation, all the while claiming to have done nothing wrong. He continues to do so to this day, seeking retroactive approval for actions that clearly violate the rights of our people. To have Congress again act as a rubberstamp for the imperial ambitions of the Bush administration is infuriating. It's bad enough that the House leadership refuses to pursue impeachment in the interests of passing good legislation, even though everything they try to pass gets vetoed. It's bad enough that Congress has chosen to take an August vacation in the middle of an ongoing crisis. But to continually capitulate to this administration's demands after telling the people how unreasonable and illegal they are is beyond the pall. I now regret the 2006 election, and I won't give my vote to anyone who continues to enable this imperial government. The Senate has demonstrated conclusively that they can't be trusted, and we'll see if the House follows suite. The Democrats have failed as leaders, and they don't deserve reelection since they're only motivated by political expedience. Where to cast my vote in 2008...that's the question. The Democrats have already ensured that it won't be for them.

Update: The House has passed the bill, and Colorado's own John T. Salazar is one of the Democrats who was spineless enough to vote for it. I urge everyone to punish the Democrats by voting for someone other than Republicans or Democrats in the next election. I know I will.

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