Thursday, February 25, 2010

While You Were Watching Something Else

While the media were focused on the non-productive "summit" on Health Care Reform, WLOS in Asheville ran a small piece I saw only once disclosing that last night the Senate had a) passed a one-year extension of the "Patriot Act" b) without any of the new privacy protections approved in the Judiciary Committee. The extension was passed by a voice vote which means any Senator is free to lie his ass off about whether he or she voted for or against it.

According to this AP story, the Democrats were acutely aware that any extension had to pass by Sunday and that any debate would expose them to criticism through the 2010 election cycle, so they simply caved in and passed it on to the House.

I don't know what to say about this right now. Rain wrote a really great rant yesterday that mirrored some of my frustrations at that time. This takes me past that. At their worst the Republican Party seems to represent Libertarians, Teabaggers, NeoFascists, the Religious Right, and even has a new moderate. I have no idea who the Democrats represent other than the Democratic Party.

It is sad but true that there is almost always a good reason to say "no" to anything. The Republicans have learned that simply being the Party of No is working for them. The prison at Gitmo is still open, the Patriot Act is alive and well, there is no Health Care Reform, and the economy isn't really doing that well on Main Street; and all of this when the Democrats had a super majority for most of the year. This was supposed to be a good year for them.

I know that getting the public to reason is a challenge - perhaps impossible. Getting the information out to the public so that they can make reasoned decisions probably is impossible. That there was so little coverage of the Senate's passage of this extension is disturbing. Watching the Party of No and the Party of the Inarticulate battle it out ad nauseum is just incredibly frustrating.


Blogger Rain said...

I am incredibly disappointed with the Republicans and the Democrats. Do none of them put the good of this country first? The patriot act betrayal is an excellent example of the letdown I feel. I said it when it got passed, that once you give away power, it's hard to get it back. Boy is that proven to be the case :(

8:33 PM  
Blogger Kay Dennison said...

Sigh. I feel your pain. Our mutual friend recently stated: "I think the only way to deal with the insanity of those who are running this country is to drink heavily. It won't solve anything but we won't care."

My only question is: Who can afford to drink heavily? I can barely afford to eat.

10:27 PM  

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