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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Damn Harry Reid

It was a good and bad day yesterday for privacy advocates and anyone concerned with the Constitution. In fact, it was a rollercoaster ride. The Wired magazine blog -- Threat Level -- ran two headlines in the space of sixty minutes. Both dealt with a bill giving immunity to telcoms for illegally wiretapping citizens without warrants and both dealt with dem presidential hopeful Chris Dodd's attempt to filibuster the bill. First, we were told, "Dodd's Anti-Spying Immunity Filibuster Fizzles, But He Fights On," an hour later we got, "Dodd Filibuster Threat Wins; Spying Bill Postponed to Next Year."

"Fighting on," apparently, won the day.

The real story here isn't Chris Dodd -- although he deserves all the attention he's getting. The real story is which side Democratic leadership took in this fight. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was for telcom immunity and Dodd's fillibuster threat won out despite Reid's best efforts to ram a stupid and corrupt and pro-crime piece of legislation down our throats. This is sadly typical. People who tend to vote Democratic are very poorly represented by the party's leadership.

Allow me a moment of your time to holler at Harry Reid.

Harry, the short story is that you suck. Not only do you suck, but you're finding new and interesting ways to suck. Your creativity in the art of suck may be unmatched, although Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has you outmatched in her vocal support of suck.

I understand you have a very slim majority in the Senate. I understand that you may not be able to deliver everything Americans want. I understand that you may have to compromise in order to get anything done.

But that's no damned excuse for giving away the damned store every damned time some damned, lousy piece of legislation comes up for a damned vote. I couldn't fit enough damns in that sentence to satisfy me, so here's some bonus damns, paraphrasing an unknown early American graffiti artist:

Damn Harry Reid. Damn everyone that won't damn Harry Reid. Damn everyone that won't put up the lights in the windows and sit up all night damning Harry Reid.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

Starting to get the idea that I'm not really happy here, Harry? You seem more concerned with politics than justice and more concerned with the party than the nation. You're afraid that your slim majority will result in gridlock -- so what? How is what's been going on in Washington lately better than nothing? By what measure is progress in the wrong damned direction better than no progress at all?

I've got news for you -- gridlock would be an improvement. An immeasurable improvement. When Americans voted in dems in 2006, we didn't really want you to do anything. We wanted you to stop things. You may not have noticed, but stopping injustice is justice.

And so is our court system. If the telcoms are innocent, they don't need protection. The courts will clear them. But if the telcoms aren't innocent, then clearing them before they ever wind up in court is justice denied. As I said earlier, progress in the wrong direction isn't progress. Movement for the sake of movement is pointless and governing for the sake of governing isn't government. You don't just pass any damned law you're able to, so you can claim later you got something done.

I don't care if you get anything done. In fact, not passing crap legislation is getting something done. If all we can get is bad law, then we don't need any legislation at all.

And that's my damned Christmas message to that damned Harry Reid. Damn. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.


Did you dream of being a sell-out when you were a kid, Harry? Did you idolize those who gave up and caved in? Did you get into politics to make lousy deals in order to keep your job?

Or did have something to fight for? Did you ever have something to fight for? If so, why did you stop fighting? From where I stand, you gave up. You confused stalemate with loss. Winning for the sake of winning is pointless.

When you give up on justice, when you give up on protecting the people, you give up on America. It's sad to see you give up, but not sad enough to excuse you. Damn you now and, if you take the same damned side when this comes up next year, damn you then.

America needs justice, not your damned career. We can do without you. Easily.

Damned easily.


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