Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Power of One


Of all the bullying insults to democracy, George W. Bush, a man who has shown utter contempt for the rule of law and civilized governance, is about to pack the Supreme Court with a majority who will grant him the powers of a king.

The Democrats in the Senate, as we predicted in multiple editorials, will not filibuster Samuel Alito, short of some miraculous epiphany and spinal transplant.

(See "Sam Alito and the End of Constitutional Checks and Balances: The Senate Dems are About to Hang Themselves," which includes links to most of the pertinent BuzzFlash commentaries.)

Those chronically timid and cautious Democratic Senators who find comfort in passivity and enabling the dismantling of our Democracy should take note that times have changed.

The revolution to restore the gift of the American Revolution -- our Constitution -- is moving from a simmer to a boil, by the power of one exponentially multiplied into an army of patriots.

The biggest risk now of Democratic presidential "contenders" is in thinking that there is no risk in giving tyranny a pass. If you are a Democrat, let's say a John Kerry or Hillary Clinton, and you talk a tough "No" on Alito, that is not enough. Strong words against a bully mean nothing; swagger and verbal bravado are just blather against a political thug; all that matters is bold action in defense of the Republic.

A Democratic Senator voting for Alito in New York or Massachusetts would be risking political suicide. It is no profile in courage to vote "No."

The profile in courage would be taking a stand for the Constitution, for democracy, for a nation of civilized behavior, for a nation of laws.

It would be exercising the power of one and filibustering. It would be compelling the ever hesitant and limping Democrats in the Senate to stand up for all those men and women who have fought to preserve our Constitution and our freedoms. It would be in leading the party to 41 votes -- through a filibuster -- to keep Alito, a neo-monarchist, from confirmation.

Those Democratic Senators who think that they will fool us by declaring a symbolic "no" vote and not filibustering should be warned beforehand.

They will face the power of one, as is the American tradition, if they are seeking the Presidency in the cold, snow swept caucuses of Iowa and voting booths of New Hampshire in the 2008 primaries.

And by then that power of one will be a full-blown wave of outrage that will swell into an army of voters impassioned for justice. And the candidate who has channeled democracy -- instead of the craven advice of entrenched political advisors who only know defeat -- the candidate who inspires us in deed, not just in symbolic losses, that is the person who shall lead the Democratic Party in 2008.

The primary voters will not reward empty rhetoric.

The timid will lose. In avoiding risk, in bypassing the filibuster of Alito, the Joe Bidens and the Dianne Feinsteins of the world will have taken the biggest risk of all.

George Bush has broken the law and signaled in every way that he intends to keep doing it -- and to ignore the rule of law whenever he sees fit. He and Cheney are showing daily contempt for Congress and packing the Supreme Court with supporters of the "Unitary Executive," or dictatorship.

It is a concept that disdains democracy, that finds no support in the Constitution, and that destroys our system of checks and balances.

Those who would shrug off an Alito confirmation with a "No" vote -- without a filibuster -- are giving into the mugging of democracy.

This will not stand.

We will remember those 44 Democrats who would not fight for everything our soldiers throughout our nation's history have died for: our liberty, our freedoms, and our right to an elective government and the rule of law.

We will remember, by the power of one grown into a teeming sea of anger.

Because we cherish this country, and we will not be reduced to a choice of tyrants and enablers.

We will remember.




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