Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Get Thee to the Left of Me, Satan

Mike is right about the ports deal--seems like a tempest in teacup. From everything I understand, security at the ports, whoever controls them, remains Homeland Security's bailiwick. That's reason enough for concern, but Dubai doesn't enter into that one way or the other.

Now, part of me wants to praise the Democrats for finally playing some hardball. They've been nutless wonders for so long that I'd started to question not only their principles but their desire for power. I'm used to unprincipled politicians, but unambitious ones make me nervous.

Still, I wish they'd pick a real issue. It's not as if the Bush Administration weren't giving them enough choices.

And the same is true of Congressional Republicans. Now they decide to buck their President? For this non-issue?

Homeland Security committee chair Rep. Peter King was unnervingly honest in explaining why the Republicans are fighting Bush on the ports deal: "We're not going to let the Democrats get to the right of us on national security."

Not: "We're not going to let the President endanger our national security." Not even: "We have some reservations about this." But, we're not going to let the Democrats look tougher than us, no matter what.

Never mind the actual merits of the deal. Never mind whether or not there's a real security risk. Never mind whether there might be more important issues that Congress could spend its time on.

No. It's (always) time to posture.

This is so goddamn disheartening. It's childish. It's pandering. It's destructive. Watching the Democrats and the Republicans fight to stake out bully-boy status on the ports issue is like watching a replay of the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s or the anti-Hussein hysteria of 2002.

There are more important problems. There are real issues.

Not that you'd know it watching these bozos at work.


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