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Caving

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In a general sense, I agree that sometimes people can get a little sloppy about blaming “the Democrats” for the enactment of policies or nomination confirmations opposed by most Democrats in Congress. Pace Ralph Nader, it’s pretty silly to use (for example) the passage of a tax bill that only 12 Dem Sentaors and 28 House Dems supported and that a Democratic president would have vetoed to argue that there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

On the FISA bill, though, I can’t really object if people want to say the Democrats caved. It’s true that plenty of Dems did oppose it, and in this sense the party is better. On the other hand, the House leadership supported it, the party’s de facto leader supported it, and its very prominent runner-up hasn’t done anything about it either. This wansn’t a vote made possible by the malapportionment of and/or lax party disciple in the Senate or the collaboration of a small minority of Blue Dogs. The passage of the awful FISA bill is a failure of the Democratic Party. It was all too “bipartisan.”

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