Take A Breath, Take A Drink, And Then Get Off Your Ass

Wise words:

We admire Harry Reid’s leadership but, in this monumental moment, his instincts and judgment failed him. And his place in history will be marked by this terrible day.

That said, let us not forget who authored this travesty; who stands for torture, for a dictatorial Presidency and against the Constitution and the rule of law–the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress.

Harry fucked up. Remember those letters we wrote Harry two years ago? Maybe it’s time to write him again: Harry, see what you get when you trust Republicans? You get screwed. And somebody in your office needs to learn to do a whip count in advance of your mouth writing checks other people’s votes are gonna have to cash. Maybe he thought he had the votes for the Specter amendment. Doesn’t matter now. Bend over in front of a Republican, this is what happens. Senator Catkiller isn’t interested in making your day.

So look. We have an election in six weeks. SIX WEEKS. I know my saying in the face of every crushing defeat that we just have to keep plugging gets tiresome and frankly starts to look insane. But … I’m tiresome and crazy, then, because I look at what happened today as the result of six years of unfettered Republican rule and if we want to repeal this mess of a bill that denies legal protections thatwill not threaten in any way the prosecution of actual terorrists, then we can’t let Republican rule stand.

Democrats should have filibustered this bill. I said so last night and I say so now, writing this as they’re about to vote. But Republicans never should have written it. A Republican president never should have pushed for it. Republican operatives never should have threatened to hold it over the heads of those Democrats running in tight races (much as those same Dems shouldn’t have fallen for the same line of bullshit again). It never should have come up. Under a Democratic leadership, it wouldn’t have. Which means we have work yet to do.

Six weeks till the electons. Six weeks until better, stronger, more ready-to-fight Democrats can be elected and bring voices to the House and Senate that are unafraid. Six weeks until we have the chance to actually have a Democratic majority to listen to us when we say, stand up for us, don’t let us down. Six weeks.

Give to your Democratic candidates in tight races. Give to your Democratic candidates in hopeless races, if they stand up for what you believe. Make note of those Democrats who displease you and vote and volunteer for their primary opponents. What happened today was shameful. Elect people who understand that.

Take a moment, feel the weight of it. It’s a terrible day. You should feel like hell. I feel like hell. I know, even if we repeal this thing in six months or two years, there’s prisoners between now and then who we can’t un-torture. There are “detainees” waiting for justice to whom one more day in America’s secret prisons is a lifetime.

But this country, once upon a time, voted to deny women the right to vote. We approved of slavery, we declared segregation legal, we marched Native Americans hundreds of miles just because we wanted to and we could. This is not the first time we have made a tragic mistake.

It would be an even more tragic mistake to allow this to stand because of our own disgust and inaction. Six weeks till we have the chance to start undoing all the damage that’s been done. Six weeks.

Get back up.


24 thoughts on “Take A Breath, Take A Drink, And Then Get Off Your Ass

  1. Y’know, A, I’m usually right there with you.
    Not this time.
    This time I’m pissed off and I’m sick and tired of waiting for the “good guys” to figure out they’re the good guys.
    Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian — I don’t give a damn.

  2. I want my senator to 1) read the bill he just voted for
    2) wait for a Democratic governor to be elected in this state
    3) resign
    He is no Democrat and he won his office under false pretenses.
    I regret voting for Salazar, I regret canvassing for him in the fucking rain.
    I wish I could take those hours back.

  3. (Forgive my bumping this up from a previous comment, and repeating myself…)
    And the next thing that will happen is people will say “How can anybody calling themselves a Democrat vote for this?!? That’s it, they’ve lost my vote!!”
    DO NOT give into that impulse!
    I’m sure we’ve all heard and read about “Get Out The Vote” efforts, and how they can swing a close election.
    One of the purposes of the ‘Torture and Repeal Habeas’ Bill is to “Keep In The Vote”; ie. discourage democratic voters, and in doing so, suppress democratic turnout in November.
    You would be reacting EXACTLY the way Rove and Cheney and the other evil people of the Republican party want you to. You MUST resist the impulse!
    Take down the names of those who are facilitating the Republicans in shredding the Constitution, and work like hell to defeat them in the 2008 primary. But DO NOT act now in a way that will further facilitate the actions of the Republicans over the next two years.

  4. 12 fucking Democrats voted for this piece of shit evil legislation.
    Jesus H Christ I am so pissed.
    However I appreciate you telling me to take a breath and remember those 6 weeks. Like Kos said yesterday we wish that when Goldwater lost, when Nixon created the EPA those conservatives would have just stopped fighting. It is a long war- but tonight I drink.

  5. .
    as a New Jerseyan, I’m going to have a hard time helping Menendez after this.

  6. Eat, drink and be merry – for tomorrow, we start fighting like hell to get our country back from these bastards.

  7. A., I could give you a big sloppy kiss right now. I needed those words to inspire me. Thanks.
    Tracey in AZ

    12 traitors:
    Democrats in favor (12) – Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.)

  9. will this be enough to get joemental defeated?
    i don’t care why these people are STILL enabling this preznit and his masters, but i just want more Ds so we can take this bastard DOWN to the mud where he belongs.
    and the rest of these basatrd bushes better not even ATTEMPT a run for ANYTHING.

  10. I’m not there yet, A. I don’t want to get up. I want to chew their ankles off.
    Fuck them all. All of them.

  11. Won’t this make a great ad campaign fo the mid-terms? Vote for this guy he supports throwing you in jail forever, without a trial. Constitution? What’s that?

  12. I dunno. I’m still trying to recover from 2004– at some point you have to assess the situation: most Americans are fine with what is going on. They have time only for working and stuffing their brains with lies and distractions. More than half of the adults in this country don’t care about a free press or habeas corpus or anything but their fave reality show. I have to start not caring becasue my soul is battered.
    /report from the heartland

  13. A lot of people on Daily Kos are playing the “fuck all the Democrats! I’ll never support them again!” card. I have to wonder what they think the alternative is. On one hand, you have the people who tried–yes, and failed–to keep the Constitution intact, who will do their best to fix it given the chance. On the other hand, you have the people who treat the Constitution like toilet paper, who engineered this whole fiasco as a game, who are actively gloating over their victory.
    There isn’t any third hand right now.
    Can we at least give the Democrats credit for being on the right side, even if they didn’t win? I mean, at least they didn’t lose an entire city…

  14. “Take down the names of those who are facilitating the Republicans in shredding the Constitution” — sorry, but top of that list right now is Harry effin’ Reid. The sly old boxer who claimed a few days ago that this baby would never see the light of day just got named Godfather to the most heinous creation in politics. A bill that condones and acknowledges that the United States of America is a grade a bona fide banana republic complete with a junta and mad mullahs behind the curtains.
    As you paint it it’s really a lose-lose isn’t it? If we tell “our” democrats that they suck, we’re playing into the GOP’s hands; if we don’t tell them they suck they don’t realize it and they help pass crap like they did today — and that plays into the hands of the GOP.
    The only fix? Stem cell research –> brain growth –> smarter Democrats –> hope for this once great nation.

  15. We can give them all the credit they deserve for “being on the right side”, but it amounts to jack shit if they don’t deliver when it counts. Obama can be eloquent and handsome on the floor of the Senate, but when it came time for the crucial Alito vote, he blew it. Likewise Harry Reid — he promised and was supposed to ensure that the bill never passed; he may have been well-intentioned, but when push came to shove, he didn’t deliver. He couldn’t even get a unanimous Dem vote against this — that’s not failing, that’s barely even trying.
    Two options: if he really thought — like the rest of us — that this was a disaster of epic proportions, then he’d have done what it would’ve taken to make it happen (I didn’t see any threats being issued from Reid’s office of excommunication of any Dem Senator who voted for this shit); OR, he doesn’t really think this is such a big deal; torture schmorture, etc. etc. In which case I really don’t want him leading my party now or in a future majoriy scenario, because his moral compass is clearly fucked up.

  16. Giving up now would, as noted above, give Rove and the rest of the slimy Republicans exactly what they want. They’re scared shitless of what November holds for them, as well they should be. If they can distract us with bullshit like today’s travesty, they’ll stay in power. Simple as that.
    We’ve got some terrific candidates in races that we can win. We’ll take the wins we can get this time, and next time go after the traitorous bastards who left our Constitution out to dry. They can’t hide from us.
    Hit them back. Work for a candidate, get out and canvass, volunteer to phone bank, take the day off on Election Day and work the polls, send money.
    Soldier on!

  17. It’s not easy to argue with you. But…
    Who’s more likely to roll back some of this crap between now and 2008, a bigger Republican majority in Congress or a Congress with one (or both) chambers controlled by Democrats (albeit ones who didn’t prevent today’s debacle)?
    Harry’s not my favorite guy (even though I spent some time volunteering for the Kerry and Reid campaigns in Nevada in 2004), but he’s not stupid. Why didn’t he filibuster? Well, let’s see. What was the vote today? 65 in favor, 34 opposed. Certainly its possible that he knew he didn’t have 41 votes to sustain a filibuster. If that’s the case, then its arguable that he did the right thing, politically- take you loss quietly, get it off the front page, get your candidates home and on the stump, talking about Iraq and the failures of the Bush Administration.
    Like it or not, Harry will be there for four more years (and if he runs again, he’ll win. You wouldn’t believe how much the people of Nevada love this guy. I talked to people on the phone who would tell he “Kerry? Hell no, I’m not voting for that jerk! Harry Reid? Absolutely. I always vote for Harry.”) Like it or not (for example) Sherrod Brown is the Dem candidate for Mike DeWine’s Senate seat in 2006, even though he voted for the bill in the House. There’s nothing we can do about that now. And I’m damn sure we’ll do better with Brown than DeWine over the next six years, even if the guy votes the wrong way now and then.
    It’s not so much about the individuals, but about overall control, and the chairmenships, and the subpoena power that comes with it.
    Like the man said, your fight the war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had.

  18. Thanks for the pep talk. 6 weeks to go and im not giving up. I wont damn all democrats. Those that stood up and voted no have my full and ardent support.
    Im sorry to say that My democratic Senator Stabenow voted yes. I will not support her. and will not vote for her in November. Ill either vote 3rd party or write in. there is no excuse that could justify a yes vote on this bill.
    Now six weeks and lets kick some ass

  19. Please, please reconsider voting for a 3rd party candidate.
    One of the things that got us here was 3rd party voters in 2000 in Florida.
    Yes, I’m sorely disappointed that people like Stabenow voted in favor of the bill today. But the Democrats have a real chance at gaining control of one, or both, of the houses of Congress.
    If it helps, think about it this way: a vote for Stabenow is a vote for Democratic control of the Senate, for Democratic leadership of the Senate’s committees, and for subpoena power in those committees. If Democrats had had control of the Senate in the last couple years, anything that got out of committee on a straight party-line vote would have failed: the Alito nomination, renewal of the “Patriot Act”, (I think) the Alberto Gonzales nomination, and dozens of other things. Think of a vote for Stabenow as a vote against the next Alito, the next Gonzales, the next Patriot Act.

  20. I stood on a street corner for eight hours for Salazar. I will hold him accountable. He frackin’ owes us better.
    But we have an election in six weeks. Salazar can wait for his comeuppance.

  21. I just sent $900 to Act Blue for Lamont / Tester and others. It’s much less than I gave in 2004 and in 2000. It’s more than I wanted to give, and I’ve held off for a long time giving anything.
    The D’s aren’t showing me anything. We got a lot of nice speechifying yesterday and the bill passed anyway. We got Reid still letting Lieberman act like he’s part of the party. We have D’s defending Bush after Chavez’s remarks instead of just saying, That’s why this is a free country because anyone can come here and criticize the president. We’ve got very few defending the Big Dog or learning anything from him on how to fight these fuckers.
    I’m in California and we can’t find anyone to challenge Schwartzzenaeger (spelling no doubt wrong). Angelidias? (spelling again wrong) Please.
    I’m disheartened and tired.

  22. It’s too late for disheartened and tired.
    It’s time for angry, bigod, and going to fuckin’ do something about it.
    These assholes have come into our house, beaten our families, stolen our children for murder, blamed us for their failures, and set fire to our nation.
    Are we going to take any more of it from them?
    If we do we’re not worth saving.

  23. “Harry fucked up.”
    WAY off the mark.
    Twelve Senators, who he inherited, the usual suspects, refused the caucus discipline.
    Big Fing Deal. In the House, the Dems voted nay 84%. Senate Dems 75%.
    Caucus firm, Dems voting NAY, brilliant speeches made on C-Span for hours — the caucus is stronger than Rove/Norquist thought, and they are scared and depressed about it.
    The bill is TOTALLY ILLEGAL, and will not make it past the Court, where it is going next week. Congress doesn’t get to interpret the law — that’s someone else’s job, and it isn’t GFH Bush. We do have a Judicial Branch, and it has already stepped on the Boy Dictator’s toes, which is why they did this MEANINGLESS bill, in the hopes they can get away with it — but MAINLY in the hopes of changing the subject before the elections, and scaring the Dems.
    Even Arlen Spector who voted for it said it was blatantly unconstitutional.
    The bill was FOR POLITICS ONLY and it has blown up in their faces.
    But a lot of people took the bait.
    But if you want to blame someone, here they are:
    Tom Carper of Delaware — 2006
    Tim Johnson of South Dakota — 2008
    Mary Landrieu of Louisiana — 2008
    Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey — 2008
    Senator Menendez of New Jersey — (appointed) 2006
    Bill Nelson of Florida — (2006)
    Ben Nelson of Nebraska, — 2006
    Senator Pryor of Arkansas — 2008
    Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia — 2008
    Ken Salazar of Colorado — 2010
    Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — 2006
    Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut — 2006
    You’ll recognize the names. They’re the same DINOs who have voted with Bush down the line. Menendez just got into a legal wringer (bribery on his staff), so maybe we can bounce two of these in the next election.
    — Paul in LA

  24. “…and will not make it past the Court…”
    Sleep well, Justice Stevens, sleep well. We’re going to need you hale and hearty for a couple more years, old friend.

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