The WaPo Sinks Lower: Inventing an Opposition Party

Jonathan Weisman and Peter Baker, two of the Washington Post‘s most reliable (and least trustworthy) boosters of Bush’s disastrous economic policies, have combined forces for a piece today about the so-called “stimulus package” that approaches fantasy.

Their first fairy tale is their claim that “Senate Democrats tried to block the permanent extension of the government’s authority to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects without warrants.” In fact, as Glenn Greenwald has amply shown, a majority of Dems in both the Senate and House have gone out of their way to make sure the extension passes with the immunity provision firmly attached. Harry Reid has personally and with the aid of his now-cohort Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) taken the few Democrats courageous enough to threaten a filibuster to the woodshed, belittling their action by claiming it’s a childish attempt to “talk this thing to death”. Greenwald:

Harry Reid — who has (a) done more than any other individual to ensure that Bush’s demands for telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping powers will be met in full and (b) allowed the Republicans all year to block virtually every bill without having to bother to actually filibuster — went to the Senate floor yesterday and, with the scripted assistance of Mitch McConnell and Pat Leahy, warned Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and others that they would be selfishly wreaking havoc on the schedules of their fellow Senators (making them work over the weekend, ruining their planned “retreat,” and even preventing them from going to Davos!) if they bothered everyone with their annoying, pointless little filibuster.

To do so, Reid announced that, unlike for the multiple filibusters from Republican colleagues, he would actually force Dodd and company to engage in a real filibuster.

(emphasis in the original)

Now West Virginia Dem Jay Rockefeller, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a man owned and operated by the telecom industry, is turning himself into knots defending the immunity by arguing both ends at the same time.

Rockefeller is flailing around with such dishonesty that his two principal claims are completely contradicatory. On the one hand, he claims that telecoms did nothing wrong because they were “compelled” by the President’s orders to cooperate in his warrantless surveillance programs and had no choice. On the other hand, he claims that without retroactive immunity, telecoms won’t cooperate in the future.

Those two claims plainly contradict one another. If (as Rockefeller claims) the President can force telecoms to cooperate, then there can’t be any danger that, in the future, they will refuse to cooperate, since they don’t have a choice. None of this makes any sense but the fact that his two primary arguments are in total contradiction to one another illustrates the level of his dishonesty.

The second comes when they equate letting Myers and Josh Bolton off the contempt hook with Cheney being less nasty than usual, as if the voluntary surrender of Congressional power was a sacrifice equal to Dick not snarling maniacally and lying his ass off for 5 mins.

There were signs that both sides were trying to avoid at least some provocations until an economic package is passed. House Democrats decided to hold off any action on contempt citations against White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers over the investigation of the firings of U.S. attorneys. And Vice President Cheney avoided his usual red-meat attacks in a speech arguing for the surveillance measure.

Well, that’s an even trade, ay?

Finally, after a year of Democratic subservience to Bush that has outdone even the puppet Republican Congresses of ’01-’06, who at least occasionally refused Bush some small item on his All-Time Corporate-Conservative Wish List, by giving the Boy King everything he ever wanted, they have the temerity to claim that the Emperor “risked the ire of Senate Democrats by renominating Steven G. Bradbury as assistant attorney general despite lawmakers’ refusal to confirm him because he signed off on memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects.”

I’m sorry. Risked the what? Ire? At first I thought it was a joke but in fact Baker and Weisman are desperately trying to maintain the fiction that the Democrats oppose Bush policies when the plain simple fact is that “[f]or an entire year, Congressional Democrats have won absolutely nothing. They’ve given in to the White House on every one of its demands.”

THERE IS NO OPPOSITION PARTY in America any more. The Democratic leadership and the Bush Administration are hand-in-glove compadres in the race to authoritarian fascism and corporate dominance of our used-to-be democracy. They’re all on the same page. When they argue, it’s only about how fast and how far they’re going to abandon democratic principles and their constituents – and for how much moolah from the corporations.

2 Responses to “The WaPo Sinks Lower: Inventing an Opposition Party”

  1. All of this is just a short term fix. And truth be told, it has been happening over past 3 decades. Reagan and Clinton have just as much blame as the current administration. This is an interesting perspective on this(the midas touch)

  2. mick says:

    You’ll get no argument from me. Bill Clinton and his business buddies created the corporate-puppet DLC which has been running the Donkeys as if they were nothing but a slightly less lethal version of the Pubs on the theory that the GOP is sooo bad, liberals and progressives would have to vote for the Dems no matter what they did. Ralph Nader was right all along. Go figure.

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