“Shame... Shame... Shame...”

U.S. HouseIn case it weren’t clear enough: The overtly fascist leadership of the House GOP is out of its collective goddamn mind (I figure they share maybe one brain between them), and they’re not above a little extortion to get their way, even if it means railroading those Republicans who can actually think coherently.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives took up a bill repealing certain sections of the largely reprehensible USA Patriot Act. Not trying to invalidate the whole thing, but just those provisions that gave Ashcroft’s Secret Police the near-unlimited authority to snoop around your library and bookstore records whenever they feel like it — all they have to do right now is whisper “national security” and they’re in. The bill had support on both sides of the aisle — not overwhelming support, granted, but a degree of bipartisan support nonetheless. After all, it’s hard to come up with a supportable argument for throwing people’s privacy rights out the window — especially when there aren’t corporate interests involved (which, as we all know, totally trump individual interests in the good ol’ GOP).

In fact, as the stated close of voting neared, the bill looked sure to pass: 219 for, 201 against. Not enough to overcome a threatened Duh-bya veto, but enough to ensure that he’d have to explicitly make that veto (well, there’s that pesky Senate to consider, but one battle at a time).

And then the vermin stepped in. The fascist wing of the Republican party decided to bully the more libertarian-minded members into changing their votes. Of course, they couldn’t do this in the time allotted, so they illegitimately kept the voting open until their threats had generated the votes they needed — 38 minutes instead of the mandated 15-minute time frame.

The Democrats started up a unified chant of “Shame... Shame... Shame...,” and rightly so. Not directed against those who initially voted against the bill — after all, they’re irredeemable fascists to begin with. No, the real shame lies with those who later decided to sell the nation’s soul to please the despotists.

I will say one thing for the right-wing freaks running the show: They’ve finally managed to unite the Democrats against what is truly the greatest threat to American freedom.



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