Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up

Hoping against hope is a little like malaria you never get over it completely, Senate Democrats fail to pass no confidence vote on Gonzales

Senate Democrats failed to secure 60 votes today in an effort to advance a resolution of ‘no confidence’ against embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Only seven Republicans voted with their Democratic colleagues to express their disappointment with the firing of 8 US Attorneys and other controversial matters in Gonzales’s administration of the Department of Justice: Norm Coleman (MN) Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Hagel (NE), Gordon Smith (OR), Olympia Snowe (ME), Arlen Specter (PA), and John Sununu (NH).

Credit where its due to the hand full of conservatives that had something resembling a conscience. Joseph Lieberman showed his consistency and stabbed America and our legal system in the back as expected. Shame on Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Barack Obama (D-IL) for thinking that campaigning was more important then this vote. At the end of the day the even if the votes had been there it would have been largely a symbolic victory. The right-wing probably did a little jig and drink some more kool-aid, but what was achieved by defeating the vote? That wasn’t symbolic, they stood up for the right of the Department of Justice to operate as a branch of the Right, not an office of law enforcement. Most people, probably because of the fifty years of shrill claims would say that the Conservative movement is about tradition and values. This vote gave the American public a peak behind that thin veil of pretense. Every time Republicans are faced with a choice between principles and allegiance to the right-wing cause they check off the box that says Republican party first last and always. No matter that tradition, principles and the rule of law get another good trampling by the champions of modern doublespeak.

On the other hand we have Democrats. If they started acting like they really cared about the issue they’d simply refuse to confirm a single nomination to the Department of Justice until Gonzo resigns or Bush forces him out. They’d have nothing to lose with this strategy. It would just keep the spotlight on Gonzo and the administration’s complicity in actions that are morally reprehensible by any sane standard. It would also be fun to see the likes of Trent Lott and Orrin Hypocrite Hatch blow a fuse every day as they sputtered nonsense about Democratic being mean and partisanship – hey what goes around comes around.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks the Senate is a doll house and it is all about just moving the tiny little pieces of furniture around. If the Democrats move his barko lounger out of the play room he’s going to pull out the Easy bake oven, so there ! The poor state of Kentucky has this walking gibbering excuse for a Senator. My condolences.

What’ya gonna do when they come for you, President denied authority to detain civilians in U.S. 

The Fourth Circuit panel majority ruled that Congress has not taken away the legal right of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri to challenge his detention, thus limiting the reach of the Military Commissions Act’s court-stripping provisions. “As an alien captured and detained within the United States,” the Court said, “he has a right to habeas corpus protected by the Constitution’s Suspension Clause.” The Court said, though, that it was avoiding “difficult constitutional questions” about the MCA’s court-stripping provision, finding that it could interpret the MCA to stay clear of those issues. It found that the MCA withdraws habeas only for those properly detained as enemy combatants, and it ruled that al-Marri’s detention did not meet that test because of the lack of presidential authority.

Marty Lederman is a lawyer and explains all the finer legal points. Let’s just say they American values scored a few points and The Decider-in-Chief lost. The Hidden Alternative Holding (Surprise — It’s About Abusive Interrogation!) 

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

First they came… by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) this version is inscribed at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.