Friday, December 19, 2003

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled yesterday that Jose Padilla, who's a U.S. citizen, can't be detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant.

This morning on NPR, Nina Totenberg stressed the fact that the court cited a 1971 law requiring congressional authorization for such detentions. Totenberg said that it would be risky for the administration to go to Congress for express authorization because it might not get everything it wants.

I find this argument baffling. Excuse me -- this is Congress we're talking about. Congress -- you know, the place where the majority Republicans operate in absolute lockstep on virtually every key issue? The place where Democrats have been knuckling under to Republicans for nearly a quarter of a century, particularly when standing up would mean having their patriotism impugned?

I can't believe the administration wouldn't relish a fight in Congress over this. If there were any resistance at all, Rush could call Tom Daschle Satan again. Ads equating Democrats with Saddam and Osama could be shown on TV again. For the GOP, what could be more fun?

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