October 04, 2007

Non-negotiable demands of Democrats

Glenn Greenwald makes the case that our political class won't do anything about the depradations cited in the previous post.

. . .we have decided, collectively as a country, to do nothing about that. Quite the contrary, with regard to most of the revelations of lawbreaking and abuse, our political elite almost in unison has declared that such behavior is understandable, if not justifiable. And our elected representatives have chosen to remain largely in the dark about what was done and, when forced by court rulings or media revelations to act at all, they have endorsed and legalized this behavior -- not investigated, outlawed or punished it.

A ruling by the Supreme Court in Hamdan that the President's interrogation and detention policies violated the law led Congress to enact the Military Commissions Act to legalize those policies. Revelations that the President and telecom companies were breaking our surveillance laws led to the legalization of much of that program and will soon lead to amnesty for the lawbreakers. With regard to all of the most severe acts of illegality, no criminal prosecutions have been commenced and no truly meaningful Congressional investigations have been pursued.

He thinks there's still time for this to be fixed, but he's not too sure anything will be.

This could still all be reversed. The NYT article today reveals new facts about the administration's lawbreaking, lying, and pursuit of torture policies which we had decided, with futility, to outlaw. The Congress could aggressively investigate. Criminal prosecutions could be commenced. Our opinion-making elite could sound the alarm. New laws could be passed, reversing the prior endorsements and imposing new restrictions, along with the will to enforce those laws. We still have the ability to vindicate the rule of law and enforce our basic constitutional framework.

But does anyone actually believe any of that will be the result of these new revelations? We always possess the choice -- still -- to take a stand for the rule of law and our basic national values, but with every new day that we choose not to, those Bush policies become increasingly normalized, increasingly the symbol not only of "Bushism" but of America.

I refuse to be that discouraged. I do think that every Democratic candidate in 2008, whether for President, Senate or House should be told that he or she will be expected to reverse this disaster when elected.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 4, 2007 09:46 AM | TrackBack

I wonder what Al Gore would do once he's President. As for Hillary and the others, I expect them to do squat to fix things.

Posted by: Serge at October 4, 2007 10:55 AM

The ordinary people outside of America are becoming increasingly afraid of the US. Sad to write this to you - an outspoken critic of such brutality and lawlessness. To us, to millions of people, the Bush government is not very different from the Hitler or Stalin regime.

Posted by: anon at October 4, 2007 12:24 PM