There’s not any evidence or news here. Just some inductive logic and my mentor’s prescription for evolution: “Ask the next question.”
Theodore Sturgeon used to preach a little evolutionary trick that he believed created innovation and new discoveries. He even had a little symbol for it: a “Q” with a rightward facing arrow through it. Here’s his 1967 Cavalier magazine article explaining it if you’re interested further.
Now, let’s apply that to the FISA vote, and see what we come up with.
First, Democrats aren’t stupid. (I know you’ve heard this a lot from Republicans, but it’s just an ugly rumor.) They’re not naive. And they’re not dishonorable,
Second, the congressional Democrats KNEW what they were voting for.
Neither of those propositions are particularly controversial or difficult.
So: WHY did they hand a demonstrated gang of criminals such incredible discretionary (and unconstitutional) power? Especially considering that Alberto Gonzales is the direct functionary exercising this imperial power?
A few have hit on the only logical explanation that makes sense (and, given the partisan nature of the exercise of “justice” as revealed in congressional hearings over the last month, the likelihood approaches certainty):
The Bushies have dug up blackmail material on the congresspersons in question.
OK. Nothing earth-shattering here. You’re all still way ahead of me.
But the next question that isn’t asked (that Randi Rhodes squeamishly squirmed about on the radio yesterday) is WHAT sort of blackmail was it?
That is where the logical bus has stopped. But I’ll ask you to take it just one more stop down the political highway.
WHY do we assume that the blackmail material was dirt on those representatives?
Think of Superman. You can’t hurt him. You can’ t coerce him. But you CAN threaten Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane. They’ve used that plot trick literally a gazillion times.
So, too, our congresspersons. Rather that assume that they’re “dirty,” isn’t it just as reasonable to presume that they have friends, loved ones, prominent supporters whose lives AREN’T strictly saintlike? And can we put it past blackmailers to apply pressure in ANY manner that might prove effective?
So: it is an inductive conclusion with a high degree of probability that the FISA vote was coerced at metaphorical gunpoint. The blackmail material need NOT have been on the representatives in question, and it is ignoble of us to be suspicious of them, given who they were dealing with.
I think that this is a classic case of forcing our Democrats to vote horribly, and THEN to sit back and laugh as we pillory the victims for their insane vote.
I have a feeling that THEY know it was insane, too. But they’ve got to keep their mouths shut. It is in the very nature of the blackmail.
And while that breeds suspicion in US about THEM, I believe it is perfectly logical to accept that they voted in favor of the crazy new FISA law as the lesser of two evils.
And we all know WHERE that evil proceeds from. Let’s keep our focus on who the bad guys really are.
One would think, after eight years of Rovian sleaze, that we’d be a little more sophisticated than to say: WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH THOSE DEMOCRATS? WERE THEY CRAZY?
Well, were they?