No rest for the weary

Belated kudos to the Philadelphia Inquirer, for their editorial on Monday about the continued abuses of power by the Bush Administration and the need to remain vigilant on these issues. They specifically pointed to the need to restore habeas rights and to obtain “a final legal determination on the legality of the warrantless NSA spying that Bush ordered – even if he’s not doing it now.”

I’m particularly happy that the Inquirer is keeping these issues on the front burner because I’ve noticed an alarming trend since the November election. It seems many people have been lulled into a false (in my opinion) sense of security since the Democrats have taken over Congress. More than once I’ve heard someone casually dismiss the abuse of power issues we’ve been focusing on with a “thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that anymore” comment. The fact is that the majority of Democratic politicians haven’t exactly been valiant defenders of civil liberties over the past five and a half years, and I don’t think we can expect them to take these issues up without a lot of prodding on our part. The good news is at least we can start focusing on fixing the mess we have.

To read more about what you can be doing now to help restore our rights, visit the national ACLU’s action center. Of particular importance right now is fixing the Military Commissions Act, which gives the President the power to decide by himself who is and who is not an enemy of our country, and to eliminate habeas corpus and due process rights for detainees.

Sara in Philly

1 thought on “No rest for the weary

  1. I completely agree about people seeming to be complacent. It’s like they got worked up just enough to shift the election, and then figured that they had done their job.

    While it’s nice to see the Democrats (and some Republicans) finally saying “maybe we should do something about this,” many of these are the same individuals who let Bush get away with everything in the first place. This would seem to me to show that they’re just “fair weather friends” of civil rights. When they’re in the majority, they’re brave enough, but what happens if they lose control again?

    And that’s my biggest fear: the last election, even Republicans voted Democrat to show the Republican politicians a lesson. The next election, we won’t have that happen, since the Republicans who voted against party will feel they made their point, and the Democrats seem to think they’ve done enough to change things.

    If people can’t get even MORE fired up in the next election, we’ll be stuck in this mess for many more years.

    It’s only with sustained participation that we can make any real changes.

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