Friday, June 09, 2006

Congress of Clowns

What purpose does the legislative process serve now adays? This past week, anonymous Republican staffers removed a ban on building permanent military bases in Iraq. The ban was passed by both the House and Senate and included in an emergency spending bill. It was deleted by unelected clerks.
SEC. 7032. None of the funds made available by title I of this Act (HR 4939) may be made available to establish permanent United States military bases in Iraq, or to exercise United States control over the oil infrastructure or oil resources of Iraq. ~ text of the Sen. Biden amendment.
Both houses pass language that expresses the will of the people that we do not want permanent colonial bases in Iraq. That language disappears down the Memory Hole without so much as a "fuck you" to the legislators who voted for it. To his credit, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) tried to restore the language in the conference committee but Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) blocked the effort.

Add in Sen. Arlen Specter, who gave it up like a five dollar whore over the Administration's warrantless wiretap law breaking. Once feigning outrage at the warrantless taps, Specter's new legislation makes warrants optional. Specter wants to grant a blanket amnesty to everyone in the Administration who broke the law and violated the Constitution. With his signing statements, President Bush rewrites any legislation that reaches his desk to fit his mood.

The result is a legislature that serves no function except making noise and taking bribes. Laws debated and voted upon are rewritten behind closed doors. The result bears no resemblance to the original legislative intent. Senators are so timid they shrink from confrontation and willingly throw away the law and the Constitution as if it were confetti. As Glenn Greenwald points out, theirs is a cowardice shared by both Republicans and Democrats.

Congress has become a joke. Since they are jokes by their own acts, that makes them clowns. George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove are laughing at our Congressmen as they swallow each humilation. There once was a thing called courage in politics. Now, there are only red noses and floppy feet.

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