Oh, For a Helicopter

New Jersey’s two Democratic senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez – the latter of whom is in a tight race against Republican Tom Kean, Jr. – both voted for the president’s awful torture/enemy combatant/habeas-corpus-stripping bill yesterday.

If I were still a New Jersey resident, I would consider not even voting for U.S. Senate this year. If Democrats can’t stand up for themselves, they don’t deserve to control either house of Congress.


Except that Glenn Greenwald makes an excellent point.

But a desire to see the Democrats take over Congress — even a strong desire for that outcome and willingness to work for it — does not have to be, and at least for me is not, driven by a belief that Washington Democrats are commendable or praiseworthy and deserve to be put into power. Instead, a Democratic victory is an instrument — an indispensable weapon — in battling the growing excesses and profound abuses and indescribably destructive behavior of the Bush administration and their increasingly authoritarian followers. A Democratic victory does not have to be seen as being anything more than that in order to realize how critically important it is.

A desire for a Democratic victory is, at least for me, about the fact that this country simply cannot endure two more years of a Bush administration which is free to operate with even fewer constraints than before, including the fact that George Bush and Dick Cheney will never face even another midterm election ever again. They will be free to run wild for the next two years with a Congress that is so submissive and blindly loyal that it is genuinely creepy to behold.

Greenwald also makes the point that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 86 years old, so Bush might get another court appointment in the next two years. If the Republicans keep the Senate and Stevens dies or becomes incapacitated, then Bush can get nominate whomever he wants in his place, meaning that “the Supreme Court will be composed of a very young five-Justice majority of absolute worshippers of Executive Power — Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito and New Justice — which will control the Court and endorse unlimited executive abuses for decades to come.”

Or, as she puts it:

Imagine you are stranded on your roof in rising floodwaters. Sooner or later you’re going to drown if you aren’t rescued. Yet you refuse to be rescued in an old rowboat because it might be leaky and you are waiting for a helicopter.

Well, folks, the Dems are the rowboat, and there ain’t gonna be a helicopter.