Thursday, November 09, 2006

Change afoot?

I have been asked for my reaction to the outcome of this week’s elections in The New Amerika.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning and heard on the radio that the Democrats had taken over the House of Representatives, I thought that was better than if they had not. When I got home last night and heard that Donald Rumsfeld had resigned, I got a bit more interested. And then this morning when I woke up, I heard that Jim Webb had won the senate race in Virginia and so the Democrats had taken over the Senate too. That brought a smile to my face.

However, I find it hard to believe that there will be any substantial changes in policy in Washington. The only reason that Democrats look good is that we compare them to Republicans, who are mostly slimy, corrupt, power-hungry, immoral, loudmouth liars. But Democrats too vote in favour of laws that go against our Constitution. Democrats too are interfering with our rights as free people.

I have twice written about the Military Commissions Act of 2006:
Overwhelmed and bewildered…again, and
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Überpresident.

Keith Olbermann has also spoken out strongly against the Military Commissions Act, although his videos that I had linked from here have been removed from YouTube “due to terms of use violation.”

Today I am not going to write about the Act itself, only about how many Democrats voted for it.

In the House of Representatives, 34 Democrats voted “aye” and 7 registered a “no vote”. In the Senate, 12 Democrats voted “yea”. Therefore even if the balances in both houses had already changed, the Military Commissions Act would still have gone through.

I’ve got another one for you: the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act of 2007. Hidden in there is a provision that revises the Insurrection Act and basically repeals the Posse Comitatus Act.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont had this to say about it:

“It also should concern us all that the [Act] includes language that subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law.”

For a complete analysis that should scare the shit out of you, I recommend this article by Frank Morales.

And here are the numbers. In the House of Representatives, 168 Democrats voted for the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act of 2007. In the Senate, the Act passed by “Unanimous Consent”.

Is anything going to change in Washington because the Democrats are now the majority in both houses of Congress? I really doubt it, but I would love to be proved wrong.

3 comments:

niquemg said...

It's not just that the Democrats are the majority, it's also that the Speaker of the House is an avowed leftist and a woman and that the committee positions are also going to be held by more liberal members of the Democratic party.

Max said...

I acknowledge that my position is one of skepticism, or perhaps even cynicism. I just won't believe that things are going to be different until I see them actually changing. I hope we do see things change, and very quickly, but I won't be holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

I understand your concerns, Max, and to a certain point, share them. But I'm choosing to remain optimistic (which I will be punished for later, I'm sure...).

I wouldn't say I'm a fan of the Dems, but they are our best hope for right now. And for them, I'm grateful. It's at least bought us some time.

I hope we both keep smiling for a while...