Mudcat Café message #1490997 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1490997
Posted By: Amos
23-May-05 - 01:05 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
In the midst of the debate over the filibuster, Max Baucus
had these unusually wise words to contribute:

Mr. President, last week, on Wednesday, we evacuated the Capitol. At the
instruction of the Capitol Police, more than a few Senators and staff
actually ran from this building and the surrounding offices in the very real
fear that a plane was carrying a bomb to attack this building, the center of our
democracy.

And Wednesday will likely not be the last time, that we guard against
threats to our democracy by plane and bomb.

But there are other threats to our democracy and our freedoms, just as
menacing, equally as dangerous.

Abraham Lincoln said: "America will never be destroyed from the
outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed
ourselves."

Former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin said: "It is not slogans or
bullets, but only institutions, that can make, and keep, people free."

And Baron Montesquieu wrote in The Spirit of the Laws: "There is no
liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and the
executive."

Mr. President, in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, and the
emperor became a tyrant, it was not because the emperor abolished the
Senate.

In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, it continued to
exist, at least in name. But in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power,
in the words of the Senate's historian, Senator Robert Byrd, the Senate became "little more than a name."

In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, the Roman Senate was
complicit in the transfer. The emperor did not have to seize all the
honors and powers. The Roman Senate, one after another, conferred greater
powers on Caesar.

It was not the abolition of the Senate that made the emperor
powerful. It was the Senate's complete deference. Like the Roman Senate before us, we
risk bringing our diminution upon ourselves. We risk bringing upon
ourselves a hollow Senate, a mere shadow of its past self. And we risk bringing upon
ourselves a loss of the checks and balances that ensure our American democracy.

Mr. President:

This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
Not with a bomb, but a gavel.