As reported here last week, four Republican senators broke ranks with the White House and are opposing President Bush's latest plan to condone torture and contravene the Geneva Conventions.
Well, there's good news and bad news to report this week:
The good news is that four more moderate Republican senators have joined the original four senators (three of whom are war veterans, as opposed to the chickenhawk president), and well as five moderate House Republicans who initially were instrumental in blocking a White House-back wiretapping bill in the Judiciary Committee but finally were outvoted. (More here.)
The bad news is that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who is a Bush suck-up extraordinaire, and other White House allies will filibuster the dissident-supported bill. With only a few days to go before congressfolk return home to campaign and explain to their constituents why they haven't done jack sh*t since the last election, the bill is all but dead. (More here.)
CHRIST ALMIGHTY WHAT PALSAndrew Sullivan has been a tireless crusader against U.S. government-sanctioned torture over at The Daily Dish. A practicing Roman Catholic, Andrew notes without irony how silent the Christian right wing has been on the subject considering that their precious Jesus Christ and some of his Apostles were tortured.
"Why? Torture is not a hard issue for any Christian. It is an unmitigated moral evil. There is no theology on earth which can make it a less grave moral matter than, say, gay marriage. And yet it has been enforced by this president for five years and where is the outrage? You would imagine that James Dobson would have organized a massive phone-in or email blitz to Capitol Hill on the detainee legislation. You would imagine that every theocon from Ponnuru to Neuhaus would be writing about this every day and night. But nah. Gays getting married in one state out of 49? Massive, coordinated outrage, sermon after sermon, direct mail blitz after direct mail blitz, and a threatened constitutional amendment. The president authorizing torture? You can hear a pin drop on the religious right. Tells you something, no?"Yes, it does.
BUBBLE, BUBBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLEGlenn Greenwald says over at Unclaimed Territory that President Bush’s National Security Agency warrantless wiretapping initiative may have hit some rough road.
"People are debating whether the ‘conflict’ among Republicans over the detainee/ interrogation bill is part of some grand Rovian political plan (to make Republicans appear as though they are independent and willing to stand up to the President, to ensure that scary pictures of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed rather than piles and piles of bodies in Iraq dominate the news, etc.). Regardless of one's views on that question, one thing is beyond dispute at this point: the White House's plan to resolve the NSA scandal by obtaining amnesty for past lawbreaking and future legislative blessing for its warrantless eavesdropping program has veered far off course and, at least for now, appears genuinely imperiled."When I read this I got out my teeny weenie violin and played a sad song.