Five short days after Indepence Day, this country is in deep sh*t. The new FISA bill is now law.
The republicans see it as a victory. The democrats see it as a compromise. And myself, no words come to me that can help me to reconcile it.
No sad strand of syllables could adequately describe my disgust, so I’ll try to set it aside (for now).
Let’s take an objective look at this particular piece of legislation. There’s a nice bit about monitoring terrorist activity through the internet & phone lines. Few people would argue against attempting to intercept terrorist communications, provided there is a probable cause and a warrant to do so. The new bill expands the scope of surveillance and shrinks oversight (in the name of national security), so we’ll take it for what it is: broad, unsupervised wiretapping of international communications. Though ripe for abuse, we’ll give the government the benefit of the doubt and assume that this will help find terrorists (are we even looking for Osama any more?)
So that’s the new bill in a nutshell… plus this one other little part that’s hardly worth mentioning- the part that grants telecom immunity. Still President George W. Bush personally insisted that telecom immunity be included in the bill, or he would not sign it.
Why should this be the case? If our government has done nothing illegal, as Bush has so often stated, why would he insist on legal immunity? Maybe he meant to say “We will not have done anything illegal, just as soon as we pass a bill that makes the illegal stuff we did a-ok”.
It doesn’t take much cogitation to realize that insisting that no illegal activity took place and later insisting upon legal immunity for what was done could be misconstrued as contradictory. John Kerry must be flip-flopping in his grave right now….
*Cue cynicism* But then, that’s business as usual in Washington. Those slimey politicians! They’re only worried about their careers; politics before principle may as well be their official motto!
And then, a hero arose from the Land of Lincoln. He promised us change we could believe in, and whether or not you believe, he’s a departure from the elderly white male hegemony of the last two centuries of American democracy. Yes, he’s downright democrazy; railing against a government predicated upon partisan politics and all that. And not so long ago, in the heat of a democratic primary, he stated loud & proud that he was unequivocally opposed to the bill.
Today, he’s the Democratic nominee, and voted ‘yea’ on the FISA bill.
There’s change we can believe in. In fairness, he had a good reason: it was politically prudent to support the bill. For God’s sake, we can’t let the republicans say he’s weak on terror*! Imagine the soundbites & witty jabs Fox News has waiting for him.
No, it’s much better to abandon your party ideals and move in on that coveted centrist demographic. What courage…
*If Obama is afraid of the republicans, what chance does he have against an actual threat?
And then there’s McCain
I once had a great deal of respect for John McCain. He was a rebel republican, undaunted by President Bush and his croneys. He stood against Whitehouse-sponsored torture, chastised the President publicly, and gave candid answers to tough questions.
Then he learned to love the GOP, hug the President, and recite neo-conservative propaganda with one hand tied behind his back. In fairness, he was probably only doing because it gave him a shot at the republican nomination. Seriously, have you seen the independent candidates? Embracing the republican party and abandoning his ideals were a small price to pay for the nomination.
Which leaves us where we began: in deep sh*t. The FISA bill passed today proves that we are under the rule of a man, not the rule of law. Soon, a new man will be head honcho. But there won’t be any change from either candidate, because our two-party dependency prohibits it. That’s why this voter will be staying home on election day- because of pure apathy. Apathy not born of ignorance, as is commonly thought of American voters, but apathy for having done my research and realizing that it matters not in the least which lever I pull in the election booth.
Voting on American Idol, on the other hand….