Thursday, August 30, 2007

PRINCIPLE? Are You Kidding?

Terrorism Policies Split Democrats Anger Mounts Within Party Over Inaction on Bush Tactics
By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, August 30, 2007; A01
A growing clamor among rank-and-file Democrats to halt President Bush's most controversial tactics in the fight against terrorism has exposed deep divisions within the party, with many Democrats angry that they cannot defeat even a weakened president on issues that they believe should be front and center.
The Democrats' failure to rein in wiretapping without warrants, close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or restore basic legal rights such as habeas corpus for terrorism suspects has opened the party's leaders to fierce criticism from some of their staunchest allies -- on Capitol Hill, among liberal bloggers and at interest groups.
At the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress yesterday, panelists discussing the balance between security and freedom lashed out at Democratic leaders for not standing up to the White House. "These are matters of principle," said Mark Agrast, a senior fellow at the center. "You don't temporize."
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The Democrats under Nancy Pelosi operate by political advisorship and march in step. Principle has nothing to do with it--the entire agenda is focused on not making a mistake and winning in 2008.
This, of course, gives them the highest chance of making a mistake (by not engaging in impeachment proceedings and undoing Bush assaults on freedom) and limiting themselves to a narrow win in 2008, thus making eunuchs of themselves yet again.
Pelosi has been an enormous disappointment and Reid is without the slightest talent for leadership or oratory. Lacking such stature in the House and Senate (or the country), Democrats follow a long and proud lineage of failed opportunity and failed statesmanship.
Statesman--the very word is redolent of men and women standing at the forefront of history and who, among the sheep in the present Democratic Party fulfills that image?
The answer is blowing in the wind.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out Opinion-Columns.com