"So, here’s my question for all of those so-called conservatives out there who hop up and down about "activist judges" and the need for "strict construction" when it comes to Constitutional principles: why aren’t you standing up and screaming about this abomination against the United States Constitution, too? Or is it too much to ask that the principles you conveniently spouted during the Schiavo mess only meant something to you when you thought they’d be worth some political traction with your coveted segment of public opinion?
Where are the patriots?"
"You want to direct all that anger about this craptastic torture bill? ... You want to know why I’m so pissed today? Because the Bush Administration has taken my country and my Constitution down a road that it never, ever should have traveled.
You think we’d be going through this tap dance if he weren’t trying to fuck with your vote — and your commitment to work on getting more votes for our side? Karl Rove could give a rats’ ass about the Constitution or any of the values we all hold dear. He only cares about winning at all costs. And I’m here to tell you that his filthy tricks are not going to work — not if I can help it. Screw Rove. You want to be angry? Then channel that anger into throwing this vote right back in his face.
The GOP is going to live to regret the day they spit on the Constitution. And that starts right here, right now. They aren’t acting on principle, they are acting in a craven grab for power. Well, here’s a language they will understand: we are going to take away your power in November. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
You think we won’t work as hard as we need to, that we’ll let up because you pull some rotten, skeezeball, forced maneuver? Thank again.
You think principle can’t win out against greed? Thank again.
You think you’ll enjoy it when the Democrats can exercise substantial oversight and subpoena power, Karl? I know I sure as hell will."
""But passage of the new detainee legislation will be a different sort of watershed. Now we are affirmatively asking to be left in the dark. Instead of torture we were unaware of, we are sanctioning torture we'll never hear about. Instead of detainees we didn't care about, we are authorizing detentions we'll never know about. Instead of being misled by the president, we will be blind and powerless by our own choice. And that is a shame on us all.""
"During the debate on his amendment, Arlen Specter said that the bill sends us back 900 years because it denies habeas corpus rights and allows the President to detain people indefinitely. He also said the bill violates core Constitutional protections. Then he voted for it.
But it is still difficult to understand the Democrats' strategy here. They failed to try to mount a filibuster because they feared being attacked as coddlers of the terrorists. But now they voted against the bill in large numbers, thereby ensuring those exact accusations will be made anyway -- and made loudly (the White House already started today). Yet they absented themselves the whole time from the debate (until they magically appeared today), spent the last several weeks only tepidly (at most) opposing the President's position, and thus lost the opportunity to defend and advocate the position they took today in any meaningful way. As a result, the Democrats took a position today (opposition to this bill) which they have not really defended until today."