Glenn Greenwald has written well on this subject, but publicus at Obsidian Wings has written a post that frames the Mukasey issue perfectly for me. Excerpt:
Essentially, the administration’s lawbreaking and DOJ-politicization have been so extreme that a candidate who refuses to call waterboarding torture is transformed into a “compromise” nomination. After all, says Feinstein, “he’s no Alberto Gonzales.” Boy, that’s a ringing endorsement. And sound logic too. Here’s a warm plate of tuberculosis for ya. Say what you will, it ain’t the bubonic plague.
Given our low expectations and mangled baselines, refusing to call Spanish Inquisition-era torture “torture” is now something a “compromise” candidate can do and still get through a Democratically-controlled Senate committee. But that’s the point. The Bush administration -- and the GOP more generally -- goes long. They push hard so that yesterday’s “extreme” becomes tomorrow’s “compromise.” And in this case (like so many others), the tactics have proven successful.
Then it ends with this bullseye:
My fear of course is that these episodes will cause people to throw their hands up and say “both parties suck equally.” That’s not true, but that fact doesn’t excuse Feinstein’s vote.
Boy, no wonder we're depressed. Republicans love to gloat (hilariously - I mean, really, they actually think they have something to GLOAT about! How desperate is THAT?)that polls show such low approval rates for the Democratic Congress. Of course, these same geniuses tell us that polls are meaningless when they point to the Chimp-in-Chief's approval ratings in the 30s. But back to Feinstein. These episodes DO, of course, reinforce people's notion that "both parties suck equally." And it's not true, but who is going to be able to lead the Democratic Party away from this lemming march to the cliff? To me, none of the current contenders for the Democratic nomination have both the leadership strength and commitment to progressive principles to be able to steer this country back to the CENTER. I hope I'm wrong.
UPDATE: Forget "chills" - it's a deep freeze.