This Bill Does Violence to the Constitution
Rep. Nancy Pelosi gets her cranky on while speaking on the floor of the House today — "This bill does violence to the Constitution." So does Rep. Louise Slaughter, Rep. Ike Skelton, Rep. Alcee Hastings and Rep. Doris Matsui. (All are YouTube links, FYI.)
Sens. Dick Durbin and Carl Levin have been exceptional today in the Senate as well — standing up for the rule of law and the need for habeas corpus and judicial review.
At times like this, I turn to Digby:
By now probably everyone knows that the torture bill that’s working its way through the Senate is even worse than the one they crafted last Friday. It’s so bad that they are now saying it has "drafting errors" when something particularly egregious is pointed out. One wonders how many other "drafting errors" will wind up in this sloppy, hurried mess. They are rushing it through without anybody knowing what they hell it really says…
"Actively assisting Al-Qaeda or terrorists." One assumes that would be stuff such as giving "material support." Like the guy who was arrested for selling Hezbollah TV as part of a satellite TV package. You know the type. (The good part is that rightwing welfare queens are on the case "helping" the government track down these dangerous terrorists. Lucky for us the far right is so level headed, isn’t it?)
I don’t know why the Senators are even pretending to know what’s in this bill. One of the most important pieces of legislation in recent American history is being put together in the dead of night and hurried through the congress for political reasons. It’s a constitutional clusterfuck.
The vote is going to happen and it’s going to pass. But I can’t help but wonder if the momentum wouldn’t have gone the other way if some of the Democrats who constantly exhort the rank and file to be more friendly to religion and values and morals had stood up and said no. Imagine if Barack Obama had staked out a leading position against this legislation making the explicit argument that it is immoral and unamerican to torture. That would have gone farther to demonstrate our respect for religious values than his frequent process talk and scolding could ever do.
Or imagine if Holy Joe Lieberman showed even one tenth the righteous indignation toward this torture legislation that he showed toward president Clinton’s personal affairs. Imagine if the great centrist hawk, the man of morals and religious sincerity whom the Republicans have anointed as a principled example of a Democrat who understands the stakes in the war on terror, went to the floor of the senate…
There are a number of Democrats who are standing up as patriots today. Enormous thanks to all of them. Let’s take some time to thank them today — those of you who are watching proceedings in the House and the Senate, please make note of who we ought to thank, and I’ll make sure we get that done in the days to come.
And thanks to all of you for being such patriots and calling your legislators as well.