Yeah, it was fun watching the squabble within the GOP over the torture issue. And where there is in-fighting like that it can make sense to stay out of it...I admit I was inclined to just eat the popcorn myself. But this compromise may turn out to be a disaster for both the country and the Democratic Party. Charles Pierce says it this way (via Kevin Drum), though I'm not sure I agree--comment after:
THE SILENT PARTY. You worthless passel of cowards. They're laughing at you. You know that, right?That's an easy thing to agree with, but really what were the Democrats supposed to do? This is what happens when one party holds all the cards. Republicans can argue over these things, come to an agreement, and pass the result while completely ignoring the Democrats. It's not as if John McCain, John Warner and Lindsay Graham would have conducted their press conferences side-by-side with the Democrats. This is what happens when you're an across-the-board minority party. Sometimes (when it's in the majority party's interest), you're out of the loop.
The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea. For an entire week, it allowed a debate on changing the soul of the country to be conducted intramurally between the Torture Porn and Useful Idiot wings of the Republican Party
And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution through adjectives -- "Aggressive interrogation techniques" -- the Democratic Party had…no opinion. On the issue of allowing a demonstrably incompetent president as many of the de facto powers of a despot that you could wedge into a bill without having the Constitution spontaneously combust in the Archives, well, the Democratic Party was more pissed off at Hugo Chavez.