by Peter Freyne
Posted Thursday Evening:
I knew watching C-Span's Senate coverage Thursday afternoon. Knew that these are the times. Just about everywhere I look this week, these are the times that try all souls, mine included.
"This is a farce," scoffed Vermont's senior U.S. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy during the Senate "debate" this afternoon. "This is a farce!" he shouted. St. Pat ripped off his microphone in disgust and walked away. I want my country back, too, but they ain't giving it back. We will have to take it back. You and I. I trust everyone realizes that?
The "Farce" of today is the Senate's impending passage of a law that defines "enemy combatants" in a way that is just as unconstitutional and un-American as the law it is replacing - a law found unconstitutional by our current rather Republican-friendly Supreme Court.
Check out this excellent piece in Salon titled "Tortured Justice."
"This provision would perpetuate the indefinite detention of hundreds of individuals against whom the government has brought no charges and presented no evidence, without any recourse to justice whatsoever," Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy declared at the start of Wednesday's Senate debate. "This is un-American. It is unconstitutional and it is contrary to American interests."
Leahy was clearly frustrated by the white-flag mood among some Senate Democrats. As he said in an interview, "In my own caucus, people say, 'We can't oppose this, look what happened to Max Cleland.'" (A Vietnam veteran confined to a wheelchair because of war wounds, Cleland, a Georgia senator, was defeated by GOP attacks ads in 2002 because he had supported a Democratic filibuster delaying the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security). Leahy recounted that his weak-kneed Democratic colleagues also argue, "'We have to go along with it because we'll never be able to explain it back home.'" That prompted the Vermont senator to add, "Maybe one way to explain it is to say, 'I stood up for you and your rights.'"
Couldn't take any more C-Span. Or CNN or Internet. Went for a spin on the two-wheeler. Rep. David Zuckerman, wife and child were holding their last Farmer's Market at Union Station. They grow for 180 families who buy shares. Come and get it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A short season it was with all the rain. Only raised 1500 pounds of Burlington, Vermont Intervale potatoes this summer instead of the usual 6000 pounds. "Normal" years, they'd go a couple more weeks, said Dave the Prog.
And then there were those four beautiful war protesters in front of the Unitarian Church this evening between 5 and 5:30. God bless them! They show up Mondays through Fridays for years! I don't know about you, but this week has offered darkness everywhere I've looked. The Big Picture's rather scary. Sanity and courage appear in short supply. But I'm not alone in this....and neither are you. Let's not forget that, OK?
The light is there. Just have to look harder sometimes.