I hate the torture bill as much as you do. Maybe more. I hate George W. Bush and all his works as much as anyone can on an outpatient basis. I’m disappointed the Democratic leadership seems to have decided against a filibuster. I’m not sure they made the right calculation, even in political terms.
But is it really a good idea to spread the “Democrats are cowards” meme six weeks before an election that might restore the system of checks and balances? Would it be intolerably rude of me to note that you’re doing Karl Rove’s work for him?
I seem to have made myself obscure. One of Kevin Drum’s commenters has it right. My attack was on those who are now calling Democrats cowards, not on Reid’s failure to call for a filibuster.
Whether or not the Democrats’ refusal to take a stand that will lead to their being labeled “soft on terrorists” six weeks before a crucial election constitutes “cowardice” — which is a fair description, but not the only fair description — it makes no sense for the anti-Bush forces to spend all their fury on their own side.
Virtually all Republicans will vote for torture and arbitrary detention. The vast majority of Democrats will vote against torture and arbitrary detention. Therefore, it seems to me that opponents of torture and arbitrary detention ought to vote Democratic, and work for Democratic candidates, and give money to Democratic candidates, this year, even if the Democrats disappoint us by failing to mount a filibuster.
As Michael Harrington told the McCarthy supporters who decided to sit out the 1968 Presidential election — thus ensuring the election of Richard Nixon — because they were angry at Hubert Humphrey, “Coalitions are built by victories, not by defeats.”