The GOP doesn’t need anybody to run against Stephanie Herseth for the South Dakota House seat. Bush pretty much has what he wants already.
Yesterday, Rep. Herseth voted the Bush and GOP line on two amendments to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. The first expressed “the sense of Congress” that detaining enemy combatants at Gitmo “is essential to the defense of the U.S. and its coalition partners and to the successful prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.” Herseth was one of 81 Democrats voting for the amendment, which passed 304-124. She was then one of 71 Democrats supporting an amendment saying US forces should not be withdrawn from Iraq “prematurely,” basically adopting the GOP line against setting any timetable for withdrawal of US forces. That amendment passed 291-137.
Herseth has an opportunity to stand up for what’s right as the House begins debate on a bill that would essentially make permanent the sunsetted provisions of the Patriot Act. Still, I don’t hold out a great deal of hope that this won’t be yet another vote in the Bush camp.
We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
William F. Buckley