After nearly four years of craven toadyism, Congress is getting some backbone.
Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced yesterday his committee will holding hearings on President Bush's domestic spying as soon as possible. Specter said Bush's approval of National Security Agency wiretaps on US citizens is "wrong, and it can't be condoned at all." Bush has responded to the revelations by claiming that whatever he does to protect the American people is "within the law."
Meanwhile, the majority of Senate Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans effectively blocked passage of a new Patriot Act yesterday. This is a slap in the face of Bush, his administration, the Project for a New American Century, and everyone else who wants America to surrender its fundamental rights in the name of "fighting terror."
All this comes on the heels of a White House defeat at the hands of John McCain (five years too late). Under pressure from McCain (to say nothing of the rest of the Senate and the American people), Bush dropped his opposition to a ban on torture appended to a military spending bill. The Senate had passed the amendment in October, 90-9 (who was that missing Senator, and where exactly was s/he?). The House passed its version on Wednesday, 308-122 (five missing Representatives).