Thomas Nephew at newsrack blog was disappointed with the FISA vote and asked, pleaded almost, for a discussion about what it means. He has great commenters, including the talking dog and eRobin, so it’s been an intelligent and collegial debate – or was until I came along. I lambasted the Dems with the same charge I made in yesterday’s post and Thomas replied with a perfectly legitimate question: Which Dems?
In the spirit of discussion: which Dems? All of them? The 42 who voted with the GOP in the House and the 16 in the Senate? Plus Pelosi and Hoyer and Reid? The Schumer-Emanuel duumvirate? (None of this is meant “snarkily”, it’s all just shorthand.) Is it camouflage or a sincere vote that all of those named above voted “Nay”? I assume you assume it’s camouflage. There’s also a 6-month sunset on this, right? So do we gear up for then, or do we give up right now?
Parenthetically, don’t you love “duumvirate” (“dumbvirate”, as I call it)? I’m not even sure it’s a real word but it looks great and just rolls off the tongue. One of many reason I like Thomas is, you run into things like that all the time there. He’s so damn literate, and he loves to play with language as only someone who really knows it can.
But to the point.
My initial response was that as long as the party leaders – Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid, Emanuel, Hillary, et al – were on board, it made little difference who wasn’t. They run the show and the little guys swallow their principles and do what they’re told. We’ve been seeing that dynamic play out since November, the two most egregious votes to my mind being the way they caved over FISA and the midnight, back-room meetings at the White House between Bush and the Dem leadership on the trade deal that resulted in Pelosi and Reid selling workers and the environment down the river. Thomas, you can’t blame that one on the Dem fear of being labeled soft on national security.
But on reflection the answer is actually much simpler.
Yes, Thomas. All of them.