I’m proud of my “Fuck America Vote Republican!” bumper sticker. But I also agree with the statement “Fuck America Vote Democrat!” I wouldn’t display it, because it would give the wrong impression. The Democrats are not fucking America anywhere near as much as the Republicans are. What’s more, there is no major issue on which the Republican Party is not even worse than the Democratic Party. But it is still important to call the Democrats on their bullshit. And that was clearly on display this week with the Amash-Conyers amendment to defund the NSA’s bulk collection of American telephone records.
Remember when Obama wanted to “facilitate a public dialogue” on the government’s various surveillance programs? Glenn Greenwald helpfully translated Obama’s statement, “We welcome the debate that has been exclusively enabled by that vile traitor [Edward Snowden], the same debate we’ve spent years trying to prevent with rampant abuse of our secrecy powers that has kept even the most basic facts about our spying activities concealed from the American people.” But that was then. Now that we have an opportunity to deal with policy, we see what kind of debate the administration wants: a secret one.
It would be one thing if it were just the administration. It seems that someone cannot become president without turning into a privacy destroying war monger. But the whole of the Democratic leadership followed along. Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com wrote, The Battle for the Amash Amendment: Victory in Defeat. He noted that Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to the Amash-Conyers amendment likely caused it to fail. This is especially interesting given that she “represents a district that will no doubt one day name a street after Snowden.”
As much as I may hate the Republican Party for standing against what the nation (and very often their own constituencies) want, at least they do what their base supporters want. That isn’t true of the Democratic Party. There is no question that Pelosi would have at least publicly supported this amendment had a Republican been in the White House. (In private, she’s been pretty consistent in her authoritarianism.) And that speaks volumes about the Democratic Party: it can’t be depended upon to stand up for what its base believes in.