Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's not capitulation...

...when you're only pretending to fight.

Despite my best efforts, I find myself falling into a common fallacy when commenting on politics and policy at the national level. That fallacy is assuming that there is any real difference between the Dems and the Rethugs when it come down to the national security state. What I need to do, in order to avoid this pitfall, is define the boundaries of the NSS and apply the formula to each potential political football. Then, when an issue comes before Congress or is discussed in the press, it should be easy to tell if it will be subject to a real discussion, and possible opposition, or just be a lot of BS that both parties will sign off on, while we are left to follow the exploits of O.J.

Note that the area of real discussion is shrinking like the Arctic icecap, and the NSS keeps growing, so maybe my solution won't be easy to apply.

The latest charade that is being played out is the new law that is necessary to give retroactive immunity to the telecoms that helped BushCo with their spying. Here there isn't even the hocus-pocus that surrounded the FISA law, it's a straight matter of not only backing the NSS, it's also about doing right by your patrons. Why even bother to fake it when there's money and campaign contributions involved?

The next item on the list of fake struggles will be the confirmation of Mukasey as AG. There's no real opposition to him and his judicial positions anyway, since he is a very prominent member of the NSS. You don't get to preside over cases like Padilla and the blind Sheik if it isn't known how you're going to rule and back the government's case. (BTW, it has been a bit disconcerting to see the 'libertarian/liberal' wing of the blogosphere, Greenwald and Horton, lavish praise on someone who thinks the President can lock up a US citizen without any right of habeas corpus.) Now the Dems claim to want to hold up the nomination until they get documents from the DOJ. According to my new formula, this will not happen. The mechanism will make it look very unfortunate, but expect Mukasey to be confirmed in the time frame that Bush wants. The Department of Justice is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the NSS.


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