Now I know why the Democrats said they'd forego filibuster if they got a vote on amendments. They didn't have the votes.
Only 34 senators voted against the shameful, immoral detainee bill, according to The Washington Post.
I guess I'm still too idealistic -- I really thought this bill had enough opponents to support a filibuster and that the Democratic leadership was just doing what it usually does best: going along.
But only 34 out of 100 senators -- a third of the Senate -- voted to save the soul of the country.
As Senator Patrick Leahy -- one of the 34 -- put it:
We are about to put the darkest blot possible on the nation's conscience. ... This is so wrong. .... It is unconstitutional. It is un-American.What I don't get is why more senators didn't understand that by voting against this bill they had the opportunity to take a moral stand in favor of American values and improve their chances at the polls at the same time. Public sentiment has turned against Bush and his posse, and a vote against Bush in this situation ought to be a plus for most Democrats.
Apparently the senators who supported this bill are so afraid of Karl Rove that they assumed he would find a way to use a "no" vote against them even if a majority of Americans think this is bad policy. I don't for a minute believe that they actually think this nonsense will make us safer.
And Karl Rove's going to do his best to beat them anyway.
I'm sure the Democrats who supported this bill will tell you that they did it so that we'd elect a Democratic Congress in November. But what's the point of electing Democrats if they're going to do the same thing as Republicans?
Here are the 34 Senators who voted against the bill -- the ones who retain some belief in our fundamental principles. Note that they are all Democrats except for Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (who is a moderate Republican in a heavily Democratic state) and Jim Jeffords of Vermont (who left the Republicans to become an independent):
Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Biden (D-DE), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Cantwell (D-WA), Chafee (R-RI), Clinton (D-NY), Conrad (D-ND), Dayton (D-MN), Dodd (D-CT), Dorgan (D-ND), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Jeffords (I-VT), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Kohl (D-WI), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Lincoln (D-AR), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Obama (D-IL), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Sarbanes (D-MD), Schumer (D-NY), Wyden (D-OR).I notice that potential presidential candidates opposed it: Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Barack Obama.
Here are the 12 spineless Democrats who supported throwing the Constitution out the window:
Carper (D-DE), Johnson (D-SD), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Lieberman (D-CT), Menendez (D-NJ), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO), Stabenow (D-MI).Of course, Joe Lieberman voted for it. I sure hope that gives Ned Lamont a shot in the polls.
Olympia Snowe of Maine was the wimpiest of all -- she declined to vote.
The only Republican supporter I'll bother to chastise is Arlen Specter, who fought the habeas corpus provisions but then went along with his party. Pretty obvious that so-called moderate Republicans lack spines, too.
The only solace I have is that history is not going to be kind to these people. Unfortunately, there may not be much left of the United States of America by the time history gets around to pronouncing judgment.