It's almost morning in America again. Bush and the congressional Republicans are finally seeing that they won't get their way every time, and boy are they pissed. Once again, Bush babbled through an uninspired speech in a lame effort to strong-arm House Democrats into renewing his Constitution-breaking law. Watching it, you got the sense that Bush himself didn't even believe what he was saying.
This time, however, they didn't flinch. The Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sent a letter to Bush that said
I urge you, Mr. President, to put partisanship aside and allow Republicans in Congress to arrive at a compromise that will protect America and protect our Constitution.
I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.
We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.
The House Democrats instead took up a vote to indict two key Bush aides with Contempt charges, prompting the Republicans to stage an "impromptu" walkout (which ended up at a conveniently placed dais and mics on the House steps). By doing so, they ensured that the contempt vote would pass, and the FISA law would expire. Bush helped on that account by refusing a 21-day extension that would've allowed the House and Senate to reconcile the bills, hoping that once again the Dems would cave. He bluffed. He lost.
Now the Bush Administration is asking the SCOTUS to limit judges' authority to scrutinize evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps he'll have better luck with them. In the interests of fair trials, I certainly hope not.
Seven years ago, it must have seemed like a neo-con wet dream. A "charismatic", president that could be marshalled by his neo-con master of a vice president (and other advisers) ready to remake the world with their blueprints. With the advent of 9/11 (whether you believe it to be MIHOP, LIHOP, or something else), they had all the money, toys, and support they needed to put their plans into place. They wasted no time.
How disappointing it must be for them to see their dreams spiraling away into oblivion, like the water in a toilet bowl. Only Cheney remains, and - with the American people pushing and yelling and threatening - the Democrats and Congress are finally reasserting their rightful Constitutional powers.
Bush has cried "wolf!" one too many times. Congressional Democrats have stood up to the bully and found themselves unscathed.
It's almost morning in America again. I just hope it doesn't rain.