Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There's a Hellhound on your tail, Steney Hoyer

You betray us by getting on the Kit Bond bandwagon and stabbing us in the back and grinding the Fourth Amendment under your heel, and we are coming for you.

Perhaps you should call Dick Gephardt. He lost his leadership role after betraying the majority of the Democratic caucus and rubberstamping bu$h's war.

What part of "No Telecom Immunity" do you not understand? The American people have made it profoundly clear that we do not want to let the them off the hook for being complicit in illegal domestic spying.

We are coming after you for this, and we are not going to back off. When I say you have a Hellhound on your tail, I mean it.

An ActBlue page was started yesterday, when it became clear that you were knuckling under like a weak-kneed little bitch and betraying the majority of the American voters. In just a few hours, nearly 2500 people contributed over $140,000 to be used targeting you in ads because you are not fit for leadership.

Glenn Greenwald is as pissed off as I am, and he takes Hoyer apart, and it's like watching a carcass cleaved apart with a laser. Glenn has the audacity to throw Hoyer's record back at him.
...What makes this behavior all the more appalling is that it contradicts every claim the Democratic Congressional leadership has made about what they believe. When the Lewis Libby criminal proceeding was pending, the entire House Democratic leadership -- including Hoyer -- wrote a letter to President Bush demanding that he not pardon Libby because -- and this is really what they said -- it is vital that the rule of law apply equally to everyone.

The telecom amnesty they're about to hand to companies that are major contributors of theirs violates every one of these principles exactly to the same extent, and for exactly the same reasons, as Bush's pardon of Libby would have (and as Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence did). By compelling the dismissal of lawsuits against telecoms even if they broke our domestic spying laws, Hoyer and other House Democrats are about to trample on what they called -- when it came time righteously to rail against George Bush -- the "fundamental tenet of equal treatment under the law."

More amazingly still, Hoyer himself -- back in March of this year -- pointed to the above-cited ruling form Judge Walker and argued that amnesty for telecoms would be corrupt and wrong. This is what Hoyer himself said back then:

Let me remind my colleagues of the statement by Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the Northern District of California, in a case involving AT&T's participation in this warrantless program.

Judge Walker, a Republican appointee, wrote: "AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal."

I submit that a reasonable –- responsible -– Congress would not seek to immunize conduct without knowing what conduct or misconduct it is immunizing.

What Steny Hoyer back in March called unreasonable and irresponsible is exactly what he is now about to do.

Back in March when, when Hoyer was against telecom immunity before he was for it, , he said "the most important thing this body does" is "uphold the law. Not just pass the law. Uphold the law."

So what happened? How did the "most important thing" the Congress does -- "uphold the law" -- suddenly become optional? By granting immunity to these very companies that a mere three months ago Hoyer himself was chastising, he is signing off on tyranny.

Glenn again:
No matter what, the Democrats are going to control the House and Senate after the 2008 election. What people like Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel are pursuing is the consolidation of their power so that they become entrenched and can control Congress for the next decade, at least. That's obviously their first and only objective, and they are willing to sacrifice anything that they perceive at all threatening to that goal -- including efforts to stop the war in Iraq, basic constitutional liberties, protections against warrantless eavesdropping, and the equal and firm application of the rule of law.

This isn't about whether Republicans or Democrats should control the Congress. That is already a settled matter. The Democrats are going to have control over both houses of Congress after 2008, and nobody disputes that. This is about whether the Democrats who control the Congress are even minimally accountable in how they exercise that control, whether they'll be permitted to trample upon the most basic principles in order cravenly to preserve their own power.

Right now, they perceive that the only political cost comes from opposing the Far Right on matters of constitutional protections and civil liberties. Thus, they're willing -- eager -- to trample on those protections and liberties in order to protect their own power. That dynamic needs to be reversed. They need to know that there is a bigger price to pay when they betray the promises they repeatedly make, the principles they continuously espouse, and the duties that they have to preserve basic precepts of equality under the law and core constitutional protections.
Greenwald is heading up the campaign to push back at Hoyer and we will be keeping an eye on it and keep you posted. If you have a couple of bucks to spare, you can throw them in the hat by clicking here.

It is about accountability. Accountability is a cornerstone of democracy, and it is high time it came back in vogue for our elected officials. Caving in to a war criminal and acting as a rubber stamp to enable the most heinous violations against the Constitution by the bu$h junta is an offense against the rule of law must be answered for. Conspiring with criminals to grant immunity to telecoms that illegally spied on Americans by listening in to our phone calls and reading our emails surely ought to rise to a level of outrage that demands it be brought before the bar of Justice.

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