Jihadis Throw a Wild Bash Over the Protect America Act
by Glenn Greenwald
What can one even say about this quote, included in Carl Hulse’s NYT article on the Democrats’ refusal yesterday to pass the Senate’s FISA bill before expiration of the Protect America Act:
“I think there is probably joy throughout the terrorist cells throughout the world that the United States Congress did not do its duty today,” said Representative Ted Poe, Republican of Texas.
This is the kind of pure, unadulterated idiocy — childish, cartoonish and creepy — that Democrats for years have been allowing to bully them into submission, govern our country, and dismantle our Constitution. Outside of Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn and their roving band of paranoid right-wing bloggers who can’t sleep at night because they think (and hope) that there are dark, primitive “jihadi” super-villains hiding under their beds — along with the Very Serious pundit class which proves their Seriousness by placing blind faith in the fear-mongering pronouncements and demands of our military and intelligence officials for more unchecked power — nobody cares about adolescent Terrorist game-playing like this any longer. In the real world, it doesn’t work, and it hasn’t worked for some time.
Americans are worried and even angry about many things. Whether Osama bin Laden is throwing a party because AT&T and Verizon might have to defend themselves in court isn’t one of them. Outside of National Review, K Street, and the fear-paralyzed imagination of our shrinking faux-warrior class, there is no constituency in America demanding warrantless eavesdropping or amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.
On one level, it’s difficult to maintain any sustained optimism about the House’s defiance yesterday. They were acting far more out of resentment over the procedural treatment to which they were subjected by the White House and, more so, the Senate — having a bill dropped in their lap again just a couple of days before a deadline and told that they had to pass it, as is, and immediately — than out of any principled objection to warrantless eavesdropping or telecom amnesty.
And it’s painfully easy to envision more than enough “Blue Dogs” eventually joining their GOP colleagues to pass the Senate bill, thus handing the White House yet another complete victory, even if it comes a little later than it was demanded. In light of the endless series of events over the last twelve months, the hope that some sort of actual conviction will cause this obstructionism to be permanent is far too naive for any rational person to entertain seriously.
Still, basic human nature — if nothing else — dictates that having finally liberated themselves, however fleetingly, from the truly moronic rule of the Ted “Osama-is-Celebrating” Poes of the world, and having seen that — as McJoan put it — “the Democrats stood up to Bush, and the world didn’t end,” Democrats will crave more of the sweet taste of dignity and autonomy.
As I’ve noted before, newspaper headlines throughout the year have invariably (and accurately) used verbs such as “surrender” and “bow” and “succumb” and “capitulate” and “lose” to describe what Democrats have done on key issues with regard to George W. Bush.
Read the rest of it here.