Monday, August 13, 2007

It's only fair...

Over the weekend, I received an email from Jerry Gettinger, a long-time Democratic activist here in Scottsdale, with a copy of a letter he sent to Harry Mitchell concerning the FISA vote last weekend.

With his permission, I am reprinting it here, edited for formatting (Congressional websites don't do paragraphs well :) ) -
I’ve been following the activity regarding your vote on the FISA bill. I’ve made no secret of my support and admiration for your ability and ethical demeanor. You are a breath of fresh air in a musty old room.

However, I must say I can’t for the life of me understand your vote on the FISA act and the explanation you gave to Random Musings. I believe you are sincere in your explanation.

But I can’t help but think that there is something you’re missing.

In your response to Craig, you said something about a better FISA bill in the future. There is no good FISA and there wasn’t a need for this FISA! The FBI and the various other agencies were able to obtain warrants in a timely fashion.

What isn’t understood is that Bush and his cronies want to operate outside the law legally. And that is something a Harry Mitchell needs to stop, not approve. The disturbing trend to do away with our civil rights and those guaranteed by the Constitution must be reversed and I fully expect Harry Mitchell and the other Harry Mitchells to do something about it.

I cannot understand the view that a bill that allows our government to listen in on our conversations without a warrant and therefore without any reason is a reasonable law. It isn’t, it wasn’t, and it will never be!
If the testimony of Attorney General Gonzales isn’t enough to create distrust of the current administration, I don’t know what it will take. So please don’t say that you are looking for a better FISA. Instead, look for the restoration of our civil rights. That is the kind of laws we need at this time.


Jerry Gettinger

First, let me thank Jerry for the support (and the regular readership! :) ). While this blog was started as nothing more than an outlet for Blue thoughts in Red State Hell, it's gratifying and humbling to know that there are people who actually like to read what I write.

Secondly, while the comments by Jerry and me, and by many grassroots Democrats, in fact, are specifically directed at Harry Mitchell and the 40 other House Democrats who voted for S1927, there were 186 Republicans who voted for the bill, and they deserve our anger, too.

Much of our anger and disappointment with the 41 Democrats is due to high standards; simply put, we expected better of them. Thus far, we have let the Republicans off easily, probably because we didn't expect any better of them in the first place.

That isn't fair to the Democrats.

I see two possible resolutions to that unfairness -

1. Lower the standards that we expect Democratic officeholders to meet; or

2. Raise our expectations for all officeholders, and let them hear about it when they fail to meet those standards.

Can you guess which option I favor?

If you live in a district represented by Republican Congresscritters Shadegg, Renzi, Franks, or Flake, write or call and express your feelings about their votes to sacrifice the Constitution on the altar of partisan power plays.

It's only fair, after all.


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