What The FISA Vote Says About September
Did you wonder how the Democratic House leadership found itself voting for a domestic data-mining bill that eviscerated FISA and gave power to an AG that was being threatened with impeachment days earlier? Matt Stoller tells us today that Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Harry Reid got snookered by the White House and our own Blue Dog Democrats into voting for a garbage bill that pissed on the Constitution. It’s a sad tale of Democrats trusting a Bush Administration hack once again (Director of Intelligence Mike McConnell), handling the “good bill” incorrectly, and then getting pushed by the White House fear and blame machine once again into voting for a travesty that passed with Blue Dog support.
And if you think that this won’t be repeated again when Petraeus issues his report in September, think again. If Reid and Pelosi are this inept and in bed with this administration, then there is absolutely zero chance that the Democrats in either chamber will force an end date to this war during the Bush Administration. The White House knows that the Blue Dog Democrats, some of who were elected last year with netroots support, will wet their pants when threatened with the bloody shirt and do whatever Bush wants them to do on the war. The White House also knows that Steny Hoyer and Democratic Whip James Clyburn cannot figure their way out of a paper bag to save their lives and are not legislative tacticians in any sense but rather grossly-overrated hacks who care more about their positions than they do about winning battles.
And the White House also knows they can rely upon the media to grasp at any administration narrative that talks of a turnaround in Iraq, even if it is written by two Brookings hacks who never left the Green Zone and had all of their assessments fed to them by the Pentagon and Pentagon-approved Iraqis. The White House doesn't want the media to notice that the third person on that Pentagon-scripted junket to Baghdad doesn’t agree with the assessment by Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack, and instead feels that there is a tenuous case at best for strategic patience, based solely on the hope that the Iraqis will do something politically. And of course the White House doesn’t want the media to notice that the third guest on this Pentagon propaganda trip, Anthony Cordesman of the CSIS, says that Bush’s surge has failed and that Cordesman is John McCain’s advisor on Iraq.
But none of it will matter, because the media is in the bag for this war lasting into the next decade; because Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can’t deliver my newspaper let alone a legislative victory reflecting the will of the people; and because the Blue Dog Democrats are still hiding under their beds like the pants-wetting children they are.
Update: Robert D. Feinman asks me to provide something constructive as to what the Democrats should do in September. OK:
1. Reid and Pelosi should tell Boehner and McConnell that Democrats want mission change language in the supplemental appropriation. If the GOP Senate wants to filibuster that, go for it.
2. They should also tell Boehner and McConnell that if the GOP wants to pass another rubber-stamp "Let Bush Do Whatever The F*ck He Wants" bill, it will have to be the GOP that lines up the votes.