Will sanity prevail?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on November 12, 2006

It looks like some Democrats believe that last Tuesday's election results are a mandate to make sure that the United States needs to give unprecedented rights to terrorists.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is expected to take over as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and The (Calif.) Daily Journal reports that Leahy is drafting a bill to undo portions of the new law in an effort to restore habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants.

A spokeswoman for Leahy told the newspaper the bill would be intended to repeal portions of the law that prevent some detainees from pursuing federal court challenges to the government's authority to hold them indefinitely. [emphasis added]

Unfortunately for Leahy, enemy combatants have never had the right to habeas corpus.

Capt. Ed notes that Sen. Joe Lieberman is not completely ruling out pulling a Jim Jeffords and switching parties -- putting the Senate back at 50-50 with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. For a guy who's been as tough on terrorism as Lieberman has, it shouldn't be a big surprise if he's not amenable to this sort of move. A one-vote Senate majority is very tenuous and while the Democrats are currently talking about all these great things they're going to do, they don't have a big margin for error. Lieberman is already giving them a warning sign, and don't forget that new Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb looks and sounds a lot more like a Pat Buchanan-type than a Barbara Boxer.

In short, Leahy can talk about this -- and cement the soft-on-terrorism perconception of the Democrat party and especially its leadership -- but even with a Democrat majority (barely) he doesn't have the votes for this.

0 comments on “Will sanity prevail?”

  1. Everthing you write is true, but there is another side to this. Someone like Leahy, who will never face reelection problems while he is still able to stand up, can propose a bill like this knowing it probably has little chance of passing. The Democrats can then tell their extreme left, "We tried, but the Republicans, and RINOs like Lieberman, et. al. prevented this from passing. We need to elect more "Progressive" Senators." Expect several maneuvers like this to supply a little protection from the expectations of the Nutroots.


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