In the days since Rahm Emanuel’s phone orgy, Democratic support for Bush/neocon policies in Iraq has strengthened and at least one Rep, Jerry McNerney from California, has already reversed his position. Now comes news via Think Progress of a second: Washington’s Brian Baird.
Baird was one of the few Dem Reps who voted against the invasion originally but has been relatively quiet about his opposition to the occupation since. Now that he is supporting the surge, though, as TP put it, “there doesn’t appear to be a camera or microphone that Baird will refuse to speak to.” And most of them are right-wing outlets – Tucker Carlson and the National Review, for instance.
Baird, nationally an unknown, is suddenly in the limelight, his turnaround trumpeted all over the media, after several years of all-but-invisible opposition. And all it took was a single phone call from Rahm.
Tell me again that the Democratic support of Bush, from economic policy to trade policy to foreign policy to illegal surveillance is the result of individual consciences or the Fear Factor.
One more slightly related observation:
Has it occurred to anyone yet that by legalizing Bush’s illegal wiretapping with the recent FISA bill, the Democratic Congress has virtually eliminated a main charge in a Bush/Cheney impeachment?
As Glenn Greenwald and other Constitutional experts have pointed out, the NSA wiretapping/data mining programs were clearly and unambiguously illegal. There is no question whatever that the Admin broke the existing law. None. Zero. Among the impeachment bloggers especially, the wiretapping scandal was gradually reaching the top of the list of crimes for which Bush had to be impeached. Since the FISA bill passed, all that talk has vanished and for one reason:
While the FISA bill doesn’t explicitly absolve the Bush Admin from its illegal wiretapping activity prior to the bill, in essence it would prove that the Congress would have approved if Bush had bothered to submit the program to them, effectively undercutting any argument that Bush should be impeached for breaking a law since the Congress would have legalized what they were doing.
I find the co-incidence of the timing to be suggestive. As groups around the country began to coalesce behind an impeachment effort built on the most unarguable Constitutional transgression, the Bush Admin submits a bill that would legalize the behavior the impeachment movement is centering on and the Democratic Congress dutifully passes it. The Congress can’t – and won’t – impeach Bush for activity it has sanctioned. Not going to happen.
This is more than suspicious, it’s a clue to what the Democratic leadership wants for itself and it’s one more sign that despite the increase of progressivism in the country as a whole, the conservatives of the BD/DLC Alliance have no intention of loosening their grip or bringing accountability to the Admin.
We’re on our own.