I just got this in my RSS agregator from Slashdot:
“The U.S. Senate has passed the $82 billion Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill (approved by the House last week), which includes the Real ID act driver’s license reform (previously reported here.) The National Governors Association has indicated at the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Real ID provisions, which would create national driver’s license standards, and a federal database of information from all 50 states.”
A great article on Ars Technica:
Congress has crafted a completely unprecedented provision that guts the principle of judicial review by granting the DHS secretary complete and total immunity from the courts when it comes to the construction of “barriers and roads” in this one specific geographical region, and they’ve buried this provision inside a national ID card act which is itself attached to a large military appropriations bill that no Congressperson in their right mind would vote against (money for the troops and all that).
And the following replies (to the Slashdot story) pretty much sum my reaction up:
It isn’t controversial. Not to the congresspeople. Last time a democrat tried to object to provisions of an Iraq spending bill, the republicans screamed “voted against the war before he voted against it” for eight months until he lost an election.
If that sort of argument can win an election, it sounds like the people got the quality of representation they deserve. Congressional democrat opposition has been, since then, dead.
Goes to show that none of ’em have the balls to stand up for what they believe in, let alone for what’s best for their constituents.
The Democrats are so scared of the Republicans beating them in 2008 that they’re not doing anything which might fuel a BS/twist-my-words campaign like what Bush has run with agains both Gore and Kerry. Instead, they just lay down and play dead, paying more attention to their political record than to their constituents.
Note: I’m sure most people with half a brain know this, but Gore NEVER claimed he “invented” the Internet, but rather that he helped create it. In fact, he just received a lifetime achievement award for helping do just that. And Kerry’s reason for “flip flopping” were the result of thought and had more to do with the specifics of the legislation which he was voting on than with blunt, nebulous ideals which would make for a good TV spot.
In the words of Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” That’s exactly what just happened. A Republican Presidential puppet from a state without any sort of immigration problem proposed what’s essentially an immigration bill which bloats the government and curbs our freedoms. (“Papers, please.”) That Senator then did one of the most ingenious things in history, tacking it to a bill which no one in their right mind would turn down (after all, what kind of a monster are you if you deny our troops their well deserved pay?) —
— AND NO ONE DARES STOPS HIM.
Reminds me of that time here in Florida where we ended up voting for a constitutional ammendment mandating the construction of a monorail. Sure, there was no funding of any sort any where, and the 3 year deadline was an impossible one to meet, but why tell the people that, right? Let’s just advertise the convenience of a monorail and tack it on the constitution instead of passing a bill. Luckily, this was re-voted on and shut down, once it was discovered that the monorail would either raise taxes immeasurably, or cost school teachers their raise and smaller classroom sizes.
In essence, this made voting for what your constituents wanted akin to treason, because NO ONE would have covered the ID card. The news media would have covered the fact that you turned down money for the troops. (Next why not start putting Judicial nominees on emergency funding bills? That’s a good way to get around filibusters, don’t you think?)
And, of course, where does this end up? On President
Sorry to say this, but Bush 2 (Dick Cheney’s right hand
puppetman) has been quite possibly the worst US President in American history when it comes to our freedoms. Sure, he may profess the love for it, but he’s doing one bang up job of laying the groundwork for making us as free as the People’s Republic of China. Military build up like the Soviets before the fall of the wall, an internal security network that’s not challengeable by any court, oligarchic leanings… I’m sure both Mao and Pol Pot would love it.
Personal Note: I’m not a Democrat, and until recently I was a registered Republican. But I can’t stand to see the values I hold as my own be prostituted by a power hungry bunch of wanna-be Illuminati.
“The job of President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it.” — Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I gotta give it to Bush — he’s doing that mighty well.