Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Democrats would be worse?

Glenn Greenwald, author of How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, is not a big fan of George W. Bush or the collective members of the Senate and the House who have failed to challenge some of his more controversial actions. But he actually believes that Democratic success in the elections later in the year could lead to even less controls.

"Democrats are afraid to challenge the President due to their fear -- always due to their fear -- that they will be depicted as mean, obstructionist and weak on national security. And so, even with an unbelievable weakened President, and even with regard to the most consequential issues -- and can one doubt that installing Gen. Hayden as CIA Director is consequential? -- Democrats back away from fights, take no clear position, divide against each other, and stand up for exactly nothing...

I've written before that, at least to me, the principal if not exclusive benefit of the Democrats taking over one or both of the Congressional houses in November is that it will impose some checks and limitations on the behavior of the administration and, specifically, will finally result in meaningful investigations into what has happened in our country and to our government over the last five years. But I have serious doubts about whether that would really happen...

I think Congressional Democrats will be more cautious and passive, not less so, if they take over one of the Congressional houses in 2006. People who operate from a place of fear and excess caution become even more timid and fearful when they have something to lose."

And the something they have to lose is the control of the Senate or House and the White House in 2008. So perhaps President Bush doesn't need to be quite so worried about the calls for his impeachment, even if there is a change in the balance of power after the elections.

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