"If a desire to put Democrats in office doesn't inspire you into action - and, honestly, at this point, how could it? -- a desire to block Republicans from exercising more untrammeled power, and to find ways to hold them accountable, ought to do so.
And I think there is one other point that needs to be recognized about yesterday's vote: In 2002, virtually all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Kerry, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham) voted for the Iraq war resolution, because they thought they had to be accommodationist in order to have a chance to win.
But this time, all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Biden, Clinton, Feingold, Kerry) voted against this bill, because now they know that they can't be accommodationist if they want to win the nomination. Call that the Joe Lieberman Lesson. That is genuine progress, no matter how you slice it. Is it glorious, tearing-down-the-gate-with-fists-in-the-air Immediate Revolution? No. But it's undeniable incremental progress nonetheless."
* SEN. PATRICK LEAHY on demnow:
And, of course, the two questions that the Congress would not ask, because the Republicans won’t allow it, is, why did 9/11 happen on George Bush's watch when he had clear warnings that it was going to happen? Why did they allow it to happen? And secondly, when they had Osama bin Laden cornered, why didn’t they get him?it's amazing tht this story appears to have come 'back' to life.
* via froomkin:
""President Bush is absolutely certain that he has the U.S. and Iraq on the right course, says Woodward. So certain is the president on this matter, Woodward says, that when Mr. Bush had key Republicans to the White House to discuss Iraq, he told them, 'I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.'""* henley:
"Of the million reasons to despise the official Democratic Party’s conduct during the course of passing the so-called detainee bill this week, especially the conduct of the party’s Senators, the greatest is this: even their cravenness is blinkered, myopic and inadequate to the moment. Attempting to avoid risking this election, they guaranteed losing all of them. For the foreseeable future, there will still be Democrats that win federal races, including many of the Senators and Congressmen now serving. We can even predict, in general, how many will win this year and two years from now and biennially after that: as many as do not excessively inconvenience the Republican Party. We don’t grow bananas this far north and we’re not much on marches. Our version of one-party rule will feature campaigns and elections and a nominal opposition and clockwork invocations of “Freedom” every Fourth of July. (We do like our picnics.)
But this detainee bill was, I think, the ballgame.
There is, as they say, a lot of ruin in a nation. I expect the yoke of our weirdly Brezhnevite future to fall relatively mildly on most necks for quite awhile, including mine. People like me and all the other cranks with blogs are fundamentally unimportant, and the genius of one-party rule in this country is, so far, to let the unimportant slide. There remains an escalation problem. Four years ago, the “crises” were a rush vote on a manufactured war and the creation of a new bureaucracy. Two years ago it was the imperative not to admit that the manufactured war was pointless and counterproductive. This time it’s the overpowering need to hide whoever the executive claims is a terrorist away and torture them. Next time, if the economy is a little worse and the people a little more restless, what will it take? And the time after that? We can’t say. We can only say that Republicans will slaver and Democrats will whicker, shuffle and, finally, shrink."