It's all just a broken record at this point, but the President and his feckless Democratic allies (who f'ed not just all of us and the Constitution, but each other with their bigoted cowardice on Guantanamo and the war on terror) will ultimately reap what they have sown in terms of their service of the Bush Administration's agenda come Election Day, when one, if not both houses of Congress will be returned to the Republicans, despite the fact that most people still hate them too. Thing is, it's pretty automatic: if you try to do things that David Broder and David Gergen think are good ideas, then you are wrong. Not a little wrong, but invariably, 100% of the time... while a stopped clock may be right twice a day... Broder and Gergen aren't. Ever.
Which is why "centrism" and "moderation" toward official policy to hold acknowledgedly innocent men in a tropical military gulag, and then refuse to have the courage of the convictions to even have trials of the alleged 9-11 perps in anything resembling actual court rooms, will blow back on Obama and the Democrats, even as the Republicans, if anything, are even more cowardly and bloodthirsty on the very same issues. Which is why the Obama Administration caving to the very people they have to run against... is not merely an affront to "American values," immoral and stupid... it is actually suicidal politics. But the Administration will evidently do it anyway.
Well, Glenn Greenwald gives us a bunch of examples of Barack Obama's political cowardice, of which the decision, apparently, to completely backtrack on any civilian trials at all, based solely on Republican "pressure", is but the latest. What's interesting is that a constituency with some interest in this-- the 9-11 families who want the murderers of their loved ones brought to actual justice, as opposed to some Dick Cheney constructed parody of it... are urging the President to go forward with the civilian trials.
Just as "bipartisanship" is another word for "date rape," so "pragmatism" is another word for "politically suicidal cowardice." Not that my college classmate the President cares a whit of what I think anyway... but let me just say it: it's not just my vote you lost by selling us out on this one, Barack. It will be millions of people who may not vote against you (though I personally won't commit to not doing that), but they may just stay home and not bother to vote for you, because they feel sold out from having actually believed your "rule of law" rhetoric... and indeed, were proud of the idea of restoring American moral authority by actually taking the risk of having fair trials in fair courts, even if people that were accused of bad things actually had a possibility of acquittal.
Well... this day has been coming a while... it was pathetic enough when only five suspects were put forward for civilian trials... but even that's too much? Health care is bad enough of course-- there is lobbyist disagreement and interference, complexity in its own right, deep internal division in each party as well as division among the two parties... but trying accused criminals in courts DOESN'T EVEN REQUIRE SO MUCH AS A PEN-STROKE. All it requires is that the White House NOT politically interfere with the supposedly "independent" Justice Department. But even that seems too much.
The country hoped that we were finally electing grown-ups. It seems... we weren't. We have the same children, once again afraid of their tushies that Davids Broder and Gergen might call them bad names. And the cost of it will be the ability to get anything at all done come next year, as huge wroking majorities are wasted out of pure cowardice. Utterly pathetic.
Maybe the Obama Administration will grow a pair on this one. Not how you bet, of course. It seems that bothering to have due process of law is just "too dangerous." Well... it seems to me that it's probably too dangerous to live in a country that feels that way... if Constitutional rights aren't universally applicable, it tends not to take too long before they tend to be universally inapplicable. And we're well along that path. For Christ's sake, a pathetic five trials of alleged 9-11 perps after over eight years of lawless imprisonment was "symbolic" at best... and we can't even do that much.
Let's just say "things would have been different if John McCain were President." But they would have been exactly the same if George W. Bush were still the President. Again... pathetic. This has been... "Same great disappointment -- even less surprise!"