If this be a low blow, make the most of it: I now have had enough, and I am indeed questioning the patriotism of the House Democratic leadership. This is something I never have done before. But in light of this story from Politico, I think the only conclusion is that these people actually think national security is a matter for political gamesmanship. The House has had three full weeks BEYOND THE EXPIRATION of the FISA bill to get its act together -- the 21 days they themselves demanded, which was an unreasonable delay in the first place -- after already having six months and 15 days to get its act together, yet it still refuses to extend this measure that many Democrats like Jay Rockefeller and Bob Kerrey say is absolutely necessary for this nation's security. Even worse, if this is indeed the attitude of the House leadership, is this: One House member "speaking on the condition of anonymity" suggested it could be a long time, if ever, before the bill was brought for a vote.
"A lot of people think the politics of doing nothing on this issue are very good for both sides of the political spectrum," they said.
Do these people understand that, according to every key official in the country, including the utterly nonpartisan director of national intelligence, this measure could mean life or death for many many thousands of people? Amazingly, a House majority ALREADY exists to pass the Senate version of the bill, but the House leadership will not let it come up for a vote. I wish the Blue Dog Dems who support it, thus creating the majority, would have enough courage of their convictions to sign a discharge petition and force it to a vote. But the House leadership seems to think "the politics of doing nothing" are good -- so politics trumps national security. Amazing.
I feel a whole column coming on, but, basically, this could be the straw that breaks this camel's back in terms of refraining from questioning the motives of the Demo leaders. On issue after issue after issue related to defense, they have offered NOT A SINGLE proposal to actually help the United States succeed in our efforts at fighting terrorists or at securing the peace in Iraq. Other than Joe Biden, the leading Dems have all acted as if we are indeed the "bad guys" in Iraq, as if they are ashamed not just of American conduct of the war but of American aims and motives. These people are so besotted with their hatred for President Bush, and with their guilt about this nation's prominence and wealth, that they actually seem to hope we lose and that we are embarrassed on the world stage. And now they refuse even to make it a priority to pass this key electronic surveillance bill. To reasonable eyes, this does indeed look unpatriotic.
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