While everyone was distracted by "shithole" remark, this happened:

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/12/the-same-democrats-who-denounce-trump-as-a-lawless-treasonous-authoritarian-just-voted-to-give-him-vast-warrantless-spying-powers/

The Same Democrats Who Denounce Donald Trump as a Lawless, Treasonous Authoritarian Just Voted to Give Him Vast Warrantless Spying Powers

Glenn Greenwald

Leading congressional Democrats have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign power. Over the last several months, they have added to those disloyalty charges a new set of alleged crimes: abusing the powers of the Executive Branch - including the Justice Department and FBI - to vindictively punish political opponents while corruptly protecting the serious crimes of his allies, including his own family members and possibly himself.

The inescapable conclusion from all of this, they have relentlessly insisted, is that Trump is a lawless authoritarian of the type the U.S. has not seen in the Oval Office for decades, if ever: a leader who has no regard for Constitutional values or legal limits and thus poses a grave, unique and existential threat to the institutions of American democracy. Reflecting the severity of these fears, the anti-Trump opposition movement that has coalesced within Democratic Party politics has appropriated a slogan - expressed in the hashtag form of contemporary online activism - that was historically used by those who unite, at all costs, to defeat domestic tyranny: #Resistance.

One would hope, and expect, that those who genuinely view Trump as a menace of this magnitude and who view themselves as #Resistance fighters would do everything within their ability to impose as many limits and safeguards as possible on the powers he is able to wield. If "resistance" means anything, at a minimum it should entail a refusal to trust a dangerous authoritarian to wield vast power with little checks or oversight.

Yesterday in Washington, Congressional Democrats were presented with a critical opportunity to do exactly that. A proposed new amendment was scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives that would have imposed meaningful limits and new safeguards on Trump's ability to exercise one of the most dangerous, invasive and historically abused presidential powers: spying on the communications of American citizens without warrants. Yesterday's amendment was designed to limit the powers first enacted during the Bush years to legalize the Bush/Cheney domestic warrantless eavesdropping program. The Intercept's Alex Emmons on Wednesday detailed the history and substance of the various bills pending in the House.

Although the Trump White House and a majority of House Republicans (including House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes) favored extension (and even an expansion) of the current law's spying powers and opposed any real reforms, a substantial minority of GOP lawmakers have long opposed warrantless surveillance of Americans and thus announced their intention to support new safeguards. Indeed, the primary sponsor and advocate of the amendment to provide new domestic spying safeguards was the conservative Republican from Michigan, Justin Amash, who, in the wake of the 2013 Snowden revelations, worked in close partnership with liberal Democratic Congressman John Conyers to try to rein in some of these domestic spying powers.

(article continues)

This is what is actually going on behind the political theater/circus, (relatively) out of view. The vanguard of the Maquis are joining with the Vichy government to legally empower the Gestapo. There's your resistance to Trump.

Well, that's clearly because they don't want to burn the house down over a temporary issue. The Democrats would be supporting exactly the same powers under regular circumstances, it makes no sense to remove them when you want them yourself.

Catnip1024:
Well, that's clearly because they don't want to burn the house down over a temporary issue. The Democrats would be supporting exactly the same powers under regular circumstances, it makes no sense to remove them when you want them yourself.

A "lawless, treasonous authoritarian" being the President is not exactly what most people would think of as a mere "temporary issue" which requires no special legislative treatment.

I hope those 55 Corporate Dems who voted for this never dare to utter the words "We are the resistance" ever again, because they just gave the Empire green light on continuing the Death Star program.

Catnip1024:
Well, that's clearly because they don't want to burn the house down over a temporary issue. The Democrats would be supporting exactly the same powers under regular circumstances, it makes no sense to remove them when you want them yourself.

More proof that every one of those 55 Democrats needs to be primaried out of their party and replaced with people who actually give a damn about their constituents.

There needs to be a hostile takeover of that party by actual progressives who care about this shit, because warrantless spying on your entire country is not ok. It's expected that the GOP, a party of authority-worshipping war lovers, will love doing this, but for the supposed left-wing party to have this many people who agree with it is insane. Don't you guys have a 4th amendment against "unreasonable search and seizure"?

bring in the Sanders, bring in the new blood. The careerist politicians are only different shades of shite and you guys need a healthier option. America is a short lesson on how not to let capitalism run rampant on its' citizens and politicics. I hope history learns a hard lesson, but I hope more that US voters and the fresh generation learn it faster

aegix drakan:
There needs to be a hostile takeover of that party by actual progressives who care about this shit, because warrantless spying on your entire country is not ok.

Or, you know, a new party. Without any baggage or pre-existing structures.

Talk about crazy thinking there.

Catnip1024:

aegix drakan:
There needs to be a hostile takeover of that party by actual progressives who care about this shit, because warrantless spying on your entire country is not ok.

Or, you know, a new party. Without any baggage or pre-existing structures.

Talk about crazy thinking there.

Except that the entire system as it exists is designed to suppress a third party. Everything from the Spoiler Effect, to money in politics, to how they keep raising the amount of popular support you need to even be allowed into the televised debates is designed to keep the two party circle-jerk going.

Let's say they start a third party. The mainstream media will not cover it, or if they do it'll be as a joke like "lol, another Green Party, lol they're a handful of whiny millenials, don't bother listening to them". The people who run the debates will find any way they can to exclude the party from debates. If literally anyone votes for the party and the Dems lose, the narrative will be "Oh my god, that third party is the reason why trump has a second term!!!". We literally saw that happen with major TV anchors going "If all of Jill Stein's supporters and half of Gary Johnson's supporters had voted for hillary, we wouldn't have trump! The third parties are at fault!" and ignoring that 9% of Democrats (mostly in the rust belt) flipped for Trump. Hell, there were some people even saying that Sanders even daring to run in a Primary against Hillary damaged her to the point where trump could win and that it's his fault.

The entire damn casino is rigged against the rise of a third party.

The only way it would stand a chance if is Bernie Sanders went out and in a super publicized event was like "The Democratic party is completely corrupted, therefore myself and many other people will be splitting away to form the People's Party" and he and about 50 Congresspeople and 50 Senators flipped their registration to this new party and they somehow managed to make this a massive event (for example, find a way to shut down the government for a few days and/or literally physically fillibuster everything the GOP proposes for weeks on end) that the media would have no choice but to cover. Then, MAYBE, MAYBE it would have a way to generate and keep the attention and momentum it needs to have a chance of success, and even then, the entire establishment (GOP and Dem) would be out for their blood and trying to shut them down.

And if their third party wave failed and the Dems lost the election? Ohhhh boy you can bet you that the outrage from the Democrats would be the stuff of hell. There would be nonstop headlines about "Sander's arrogance gave the white house to the GOP/trump!!!" or "Progressives deliberately split the vote! They would rather have a racist bigot in charge than a moderate democrat! Progressives are the real racists!" or any number of other things that would destroy any chance of anyone cleaning house of the corrupt people growing fat off the power they've sold their country out for.

Considering that gigantic set of hurdles, staging a hostile takeover of the party is much, MUCH more manageable. And at that point they could unwind all the BS that keeps third parties from having a chance at winning, maybe right after getting clean elections with no highly corrupting private financing.

Would a third party not bound by all this BS be better? Yes.

Is it reasonably possible right now? Not really.

Is a decent chance at a takeover better than a near-impossible chance at a third party? I'd say yes.

Of course they are against Trump! They just...don't want to do anything to actually STOP Trump from being able to abuse his power.

Seriously, what is the point of protesting? What is the point of any sort of resistance, when those who have the power and have claimed to be against Trump's actions seem more than happy to hand him the power to keep on doing those actions? I might as well just give up and practice saying "I, for one, welcome our orange-skinned overlords."

If Democrats have a problem with Trump, they need to do something about it. THEY are the ones who have the ability to actually do something about it from the system. Instead, much easier to just try to pass the buck. Fucking politics.

ETA: Do you know what the worst part is? I'm not even angry with the Democrats. The most I would be able to muster verbally wouldn't even be a rant. I'd probably just sigh wearily, because that's how I feel. Not angry, not even surprised, just disappointed.

So, you dont like that these people who supposedly oppose Trump did not actually vote against him? Maybe they were voting third party?

I wouldn't exactly say this was happening behind the curtain. Hell I saw headlines regarding FISA all over yesterday, although yes it was later buried by him saying something atrocious again. Honestly though I didn't see these safeguards ever being put in place. We're well past the point where government surveillance is even glanced at as being an issue. I imagine this wouldn't have generated much outrage even if a lot of attention was being given to it. People have sort of just accepted it at this point.....it's a shame.

Saelune:
So, you dont like that these people who supposedly oppose Trump did not actually vote against him? Maybe they were voting third party?

You're going to have to explain this to me, because considering your post history and knowing your visceral hatred of trump, I cannot read this as you defending the people who fell in line with trump and voted for this policy, but that's the most clear reading of it. ?_?

If anything, abstaining from the vote would be more like voting third party. Those 55 Democrats voted in favor the policy. Not "maybe" not "abstain" not "I will waste my vote on this other policy that has no chance of passing instead". They voted FOR it.

aegix drakan:

Saelune:
So, you dont like that these people who supposedly oppose Trump did not actually vote against him? Maybe they were voting third party?

You're going to have to explain this to me, because considering your post history and knowing your visceral hatred of trump, I cannot read this as you defending the people who fell in line with trump and voted for this policy, but that's the most clear reading of it. ?_?

If anything, abstaining from the vote would be more like voting third party. Those 55 Democrats voted in favor the policy. Not "maybe" not "abstain" not "I will waste my vote on this other policy that has no chance of passing instead". They voted FOR it.

I am not defending them. They are supporting Trump and I am not ok with that. I however, think that someone who refused to vote for Clinton against Trump is not that different. I will admit that there is more responsibility on actual politicians than voters, but still.

Saelune:
I am not defending them. They are supporting Trump and I am not ok with that. I however, think that someone who refused to vote for Clinton against Trump is not that different. I will admit that there is more responsibility on actual politicians than voters, but still.

Ah, right.

Considering the first thing you said in the thread was that, and not anything to the tune of "These bastards sided with trump and I can't forgive that" before equating them with third party voters I was thrown for a loop. There just seemed to be more ire at third party people than the people who just sided with trump. :s

I still think it's not a great analogy, either, but I do see where that's coming from.

Seanchaidh:
snip

Technically, all that happened was that the House voted to re-authorise FISA for another six years. No new powers of surveillance were added, and there was no chance of the act being meaningfully restrained.

There was the possibility of an amendment that would require government officials to request a warrant before looking at intelligence gathered by the NSA, but it wouldn't have stopped the NSA from collecting people's emails; it just would've stopped government officials like Rice from looking at that intelligence without a warrant. Which they would obtain through a FISA court, and one of the main criticisms of FISA is that the FISA courts are a rubber-stamp formality rather than a meaningful oversight, so the amendment wouldn't have accomplished a lot.

Amusingly, Trump actually posted a tweet that made it sound like he didn't want FISA to be re-authorised at all, which sent House Republicans into a bit of a tizzy for ninety minutes before someone in the Oval Office reminded Trump that the official White House position was that FISA was great.

bastardofmelbourne:
it just would've stopped government officials like Rice from looking at that intelligence without a warrant.

That is a meaningful, if inadequate restraint. And not even that passed.

Seanchaidh:

bastardofmelbourne:
it just would've stopped government officials like Rice from looking at that intelligence without a warrant.

That is a meaningful, if inadequate restraint. And not even that passed.

Ehh.....the privacy violation would still occur. The NSA would still be looking at your emails. I mean, a government official is only ever going to request a warrant if they're informed by the NSA that there is information in there that they need to see, so the NSA is still spying on you either way.

It's a layer of red tape more than anything else.

bastardofmelbourne:

Ehh.....the privacy violation would still occur. The NSA would still be looking at your emails. I mean, a government official is only ever going to request a warrant if they're informed by the NSA that there is information in there that they need to see, so the NSA is still spying on you either way.

It's a layer of red tape more than anything else.

That's one hell of a resistance then.

"Ah fuck it, we're doing it anyway."

Yeah, Democrats are shit. In any sane country, they'd be the corporate backed right wing party.

Shit, they're basically Tories

So the parties once again show they aren't that different after all.

Not sure why people keep trying to perpetuate the myth the US is so much further right then the rest of the west because of what is essentially 3 issues that don't even relate to right-left politics.

Zontar:
So the parties once again show they aren't that different after all.

Not sure why people keep trying to perpetuate the myth the US is so much further right then the rest of the west because of what is essentially 3 issues that don't even relate to right-left politics.

Uh huh.

So you deny that the Right is almost entirely ok with large corporations being able to essentially bribe politicians with campaign donations because "Spending is speech" and the left is generally more for clean elections?

And that the Right want less regulation and more trickle-down economics, while the left wants more taxes on the rich and better funded social programs and a "rising tides lift all boats" economy?

And that the right are generally cool with playing world policeman and doing armed interventions (ie, war) with other countries while the left would rather not?

And then you'll deny that the Democrats, the supposed left-win party, have adopted the "Money is speech", "We are mostly ok with the rich and only occasionally waggle our finger at them" and "Mister super-liberal-commie obama took the US from 2 foreign wars to 7 and the rest are pretty damn hawkish?", thus showing that they've shifted to the right?

Not to mention that "Single-Player healthcare" or at least "A public Option" was the Left's (and even the Democrat's) position for a while. What does mister "Commie-obama" do? Cave almost instantly to the GOP despite having a supermajority and implements the Right-Wing healthcare plan (Individual mandate). And what does the GOP do? Go against their own healthcare idea and demand "A pure free market approach!". Which is exactly what existed beforehand and was so bad that even the individual mandate system was better.

But no, no, there's no rightward drift in the US, nope, none at all, not even a little bit.

"I once said to my father, when I was a boy, 'Dad we need a third political party.' He said to me, 'I'll settle for a second.'" - Ralph Nader.

This truly exposes the shallowness of their opposition to Trump. It's almost impossible to reconcile with the outward stance.

The most charitable explanation I can offer (one which I do not subscribe to, note) is that they consider Trump to be a passing nightmare, and that bills focusing on the power of the Executive should focus exclusively on the long game, rather than single administrations (which they presumably hope to be short-lived). Of course, even if we accept this explanation, it reeks of naivete and a failure of perspective, not to mention the shoddy prioritisation.

Zontar:
So the parties once again show they aren't that different after all.

Let's not go that far. The Republicans voted down the amendment by an overwhelming majority; just over a quarter of Democrats voted the same way. Inexcusable, but nowhere near the near-complete authoritarian bent within the Republican Party.

Do you support the amendment, out of interest?

So Saelune decides to (once again) go after third party voters.

Oh, and actual legislation gets less posts than going after Catnip or whoever for being insensitive. Nice to know people's priorities.

Saelune:

aegix drakan:

Saelune:
So, you dont like that these people who supposedly oppose Trump did not actually vote against him? Maybe they were voting third party?

You're going to have to explain this to me, because considering your post history and knowing your visceral hatred of trump, I cannot read this as you defending the people who fell in line with trump and voted for this policy, but that's the most clear reading of it. ?_?

If anything, abstaining from the vote would be more like voting third party. Those 55 Democrats voted in favor the policy. Not "maybe" not "abstain" not "I will waste my vote on this other policy that has no chance of passing instead". They voted FOR it.

I am not defending them. They are supporting Trump and I am not ok with that. I however, think that someone who refused to vote for Clinton against Trump is not that different. I will admit that there is more responsibility on actual politicians than voters, but still.

Maybe the room temperature opposition to Trump reflects the reasons why Democrats have so little enthusiasm or electoral support behind them. Maybe third party voters expected exactly what we're seeing here, among other things. Maybe third party voters want more out of politics than "if we all just lower our standards enough, we're sure to win!" Maybe they see beyond one election cycle, and recognize that following the Republicans to the right in pursuit of cash is not how you change the political direction of the country.

Zontar:

Not sure why people keep trying to perpetuate the myth the US is so much further right then the rest of the west

Lawrence vs Texas and People vs Citizens United SCOTUS cases might have something to do with it.

Seanchaidh:

Saelune:

aegix drakan:

You're going to have to explain this to me, because considering your post history and knowing your visceral hatred of trump, I cannot read this as you defending the people who fell in line with trump and voted for this policy, but that's the most clear reading of it. ?_?

If anything, abstaining from the vote would be more like voting third party. Those 55 Democrats voted in favor the policy. Not "maybe" not "abstain" not "I will waste my vote on this other policy that has no chance of passing instead". They voted FOR it.

I am not defending them. They are supporting Trump and I am not ok with that. I however, think that someone who refused to vote for Clinton against Trump is not that different. I will admit that there is more responsibility on actual politicians than voters, but still.

Maybe the room temperature opposition to Trump reflects the reasons why Democrats have so little enthusiasm or electoral support behind them. Maybe third party voters expected exactly what we're seeing here, among other things. Maybe third party voters want more out of politics than "if we all just lower our standards enough, we're sure to win!" Maybe they see beyond one election cycle, and recognize that following the Republicans to the right in pursuit of cash is not how you change the political direction of the country.

Third party voters do not care about anyone who suffers under Trump.

Zontar:
So the parties once again show they aren't that different after all

And here I thought the Democrats were dangerous far-left neoliberal pseudo-communist identarians...

Saelune:

Seanchaidh:

Saelune:
I am not defending them. They are supporting Trump and I am not ok with that. I however, think that someone who refused to vote for Clinton against Trump is not that different. I will admit that there is more responsibility on actual politicians than voters, but still.

Maybe the room temperature opposition to Trump reflects the reasons why Democrats have so little enthusiasm or electoral support behind them. Maybe third party voters expected exactly what we're seeing here, among other things. Maybe third party voters want more out of politics than "if we all just lower our standards enough, we're sure to win!" Maybe they see beyond one election cycle, and recognize that following the Republicans to the right in pursuit of cash is not how you change the political direction of the country.

Third party voters do not care about anyone who suffers under Trump.

They care about the people suffering under Trump, and they also cared about the people suffering under Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan.

warmachine:
"I once said to my father, when I was a boy, 'Dad we need a third political party.' He said to me, 'I'll settle for a second.'" - Ralph Nader.

That's just about the most efficient way to state my opinion on the matter I can envision. Biggest difference between the Dems and the GOP is that the Dems pretend to ask nicely before they fuck you all.

bastardofmelbourne:

Seanchaidh:
snip

Technically, all that happened was that the House voted to re-authorise FISA for another six years. No new powers of surveillance were added, and there was no chance of the act being meaningfully restrained.

https://www.thenation.com/article/democratic-defections-allow-an-assault-on-civil-liberties-to-pass-the-house/

Seanchaidh:
They care about the people suffering under Trump, and they also cared about the people suffering under Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan.

The best option for people who genuinely want to see a third-party government is to support candidates of either major party who are willing to vote on electoral reform.

The system is rigged against third-parties. That's basically the long and short of it. Right now, hypothetical third-party voters would be taking votes away from the Democrats and helping keep Republicans in power. That will not change until there are major reforms to the election process - the institution of a presidential popular vote, a two-round election system, preferential voting, etc. That is the only scenario under which third party voters can vote honestly without harming the very causes they want to see advanced.

The best way to achieve that scenario is to push the Democratic Party leftwards, support candidates who are willing to vote on electoral reform - not just to the White House, but to state and federal Congress - and then put those candidates in power and help them enact those reforms. And that will mean voting for a Democrat, because the Republicans sure as fuck aren't going to vote for reforms. That is the reality of the situation.

Catnip1024:

aegix drakan:
There needs to be a hostile takeover of that party by actual progressives who care about this shit, because warrantless spying on your entire country is not ok.

Or, you know, a new party. Without any baggage or pre-existing structures.

Talk about crazy thinking there.

Third parties already exist. But the past elections shows almost no voter is anti-establishment.

Third partie can work, provided your definition of "work" is "eventually supplant one of the main parties".

The problem is, the third parties in the US don't want to put in the work. They swing for the fences with national elections but don't have the ground level, local government support.

You get the city councils, you get the state legislators, you get the Congress critters, then you take a shot at the presidency.

CaitSeith:
Third parties already exist. But the past elections shows almost no voter is anti-establishment.

Or that no serious politicians on a sound platform run for third parties. Or that the sustained attacks against them from both established sides pays off. But, this guy has the right idea:

altnameJag:
You get the city councils, you get the state legislators, you get the Congress critters, then you take a shot at the presidency.

You can't do very much of a permanent nature being a third party president with no support. But if you take the swing seats in Congress, you suddenly have a hell of a lot of power.

bastardofmelbourne:
The best way to achieve that scenario is to push the Democratic Party leftwards, support candidates who are willing to vote on electoral reform

Yep. This can, of course, mean a bit of brinksmanship when it comes to whether you support Dems who aren't fully on board with that even in general elections.

 

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