Thanks to the help of logrolling Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the always disappointing when you get to crunch time Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bush can claim another victory in his fight to say FU to the Constitution. Much as they did during the carte blanc authorization for the Iraq War that the Democrats handed to Bush back in 2003, the so-called "opposition" party rolled over for everyone's favorite idiot king.
The Democrats simply don't deserve the White House. Furthermore, the Democrats simply don't deserve the support of progressives in this country, as they demonstrate a continuous commitment to politics as usual and refuse to rock the boat.
It was Schumer himself who brought Mukasey to Bush's attention, so turning his vote would be a tough sell, since he had so much personal investment in the torture candidate. Schumer's weak defense that "this was the best candidate we could expect from Bush" is a bit disingenuous, since it seems it's really the best candidate we can expect from Schumer.
The New York Times summarizes the controversy surrounding Schumer's handpicked equivocator:
The nomination of Mr. Mukasey was almost derailed by his refusal at his confirmation hearings to define as torture the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, which simulates drowning and is reported to have been used by the Central Intelligence Agency on a handful of Qaeda leaders since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Never mind that waterboarding is considered by most Americans and other industrialized countries with working democracies to be torture. The Democrats are constantly outmaneuvered by their own petty greed and the machinations of a tightly-focused Republican core who never gives up pushing its agenda.
We must face it: the Democrats are nothing but a party of mediocre bureaucrats with one or two exceptions. As a party, they are doomed to failure through the lack of any commitment to difficult work.
When the Bush Administration wanted to do something momentous, like overturn the Constitution, did they let the ACLU or legal scholars or Senators stand in their way? Hell, no. Even now, Bush thumbs his nose at decency, vetoing bills to provide children with healthcare, and the Democrats can't do anything but cower like geeks who have just had sand kicked in their faces by the schoolyard bully.
It's hard to remember that this party is the party that constructed a social safety net and brought desegregation to our nation. Those accomplishments are over 40 years old now, and perhaps it's time the Democrats stop resting on their laurels and try to imagine a future that isn't confined to the status quo. Or maybe it's time for progressives to get their act together and start imagining a future in which the Democrats become the Whigs.