By declaring that impeachment is off the table, by allowing right wing extremists such as Rush Limbaugh and Mitch McConnell to dictate what gets done in the Senate, by enabling the destruction of the Constitution by Jay Rockefeller and only standing up to Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and the entire progressive movement, by not enforcing subpoenas that have been ignored, Reid and Pelosi and a good number of other Congressional democrats (sorry, no big “D” there) are, as so eloquently put by MichiganGirl just as guilty when it comes to being responsible for the crimes perpetuated by this administration.
And no, I’m not just talking about torture, although frankly, the fact that Senator Durbin has to call for an investigation into whether something that is pretty much universally known as torture was done with the knowledge and approval by the President of the United States is beyond disgraceful. The parsing of whether waterboarding is or isn’t torture because the lying and not-yet-convicted felon Alberto Gonzales (or John Ashcroft if he had anything to do with this) said that it wasn’t torture is one of the most cowardly and shameless assertions I have ever heard.
Reid allowed subpoenas to be ignored by administration members and didn’t follow up with any call for accountability. Pelosi allowed subpoenas to be ignored by administration members and didn’t follow up with any call for accountability. The PR battle over the nonsensical “surge working” hasn’t only been lost by the Democrats, it wasn’t even fought all that much by leadership – which could be another lie that leads to a President McCain.
Reid allowed a vote to condemn MoveOn – an entity that has been entirely supportive of the Democratic Party over the years, and then inexplicably had Rush Limbaugh praised officially on the Senate floor by republicans when his comments insulted the troops who were actually fighting this clusterfuck in Iraq. As for Iraq itself, well how many tens of billions were pledged under Reid and Pelosi’s leadership over the past year? And what kind of constraints were put on these blank checks? On a similar note, how does an inflammatory bill like Kyl/Lieberman get to the Senate floor, let alone pass – especially since we now know from the NIE how much of a threat Iran isn’t to us?
A FISA law needed a technical correction, and yet, we now are faced with expanded and illegal powers by this administration to continue breaking the law. And on top of that, when two bills are prepared that would fix the technical issue, one allowing for retroactive immunity for telecom companies that willfully broke the law to help this administration break the law and one without such immunity, what bill does Reid bring to the floor? The one that allows for retroactive immunity, and a kick in the teeth to the fourth amendment, not to mention We the People.
With republicans setting the world record for filibusters in one year (with absolutely no pushback) and the asinine “we need 60 votes for anything” suddenly becoming the new rule, who does Reid stick it to on a filibuster? His own damn party – brave folks and true leaders like Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold. When republican Senators put holds on bill after bill, Reid respects the hold. But when one of his own party does the same, he overrides it.
Back in January 2007, Pelosi declared that there was a “new Congress in town”. And yes, there have been some successes in legislation. She passed the “100 hours promise” to her credit. But when it comes to accountability and standing up for the Constitution, where has she been? What happened to those investigations into the US Attorney firings? What happened to the investigations into the “missing” emails? What happened to oversight?
A budget that is more than $3 billion has been submitted. Billions more for Iraq not included or paid for. Major cuts to social security, Medicare and many other domestic programs. Huge increases for “defense”. Cuts to programs that aid seniors. More tax cuts for the wealthy. Fuzzy math on the AMT, which is already such a joke that it hits people hard (even with the “patch”) who just have a job and own a home.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. As much as we hated them, Hastert, Frist, DeLay and Gingrich would never have let this happen. The majority would set the agenda, and at a minimum not be complicit with crimes of the administration. Would they ever let one of their own turn against their party as Lieberman has done? Would any of them ever let Bill Clinton get away with any of this (rhetorical question, of course)?
Some may say that Reid and Pelosi are weak. Some may say they are ineffective. Some may say they are cynical political opportunists. Some may say that they are just as guilty.
To me, none of the “why” matters. What matters is that in the past year, we have worse FISA laws, more crimes committed by this administration – all of which have had no accountability, prior crimes by this administration being uncovered with no accountability, another 1,000 or so of our troops killed in Iraq with no end in sight - either in money or in lives, more people uninsured and an economy that is worsening by the day with no real plan other than bogus “rebate” checks that will do nothing to stimulate the economy or help the general population.
What matters is that these two leaders have done very little leading when it comes to what many people in the Democratic Party as well as the country in general, want from their leadership.