FISA, "Military Commissions Act," "Patriot Act" and then the agencies that enforce them, the NSA, CIA, FBI, DIA, state police, local police --one's head has to be swimming in the possibilities; yet, Bush has asked the Congress to convene beyond vacation just to pass more FISA repression law. The last time a president ordered a Congress into action was 1948 under Truman.(1)
The Democrats had a show of being on the attack for Amerikan civil liberties, especially against Gonzales. When Bush came calling, it was inevitable that enough Democratic votes would flip to pass what Bush wanted in the Senate. And in truth, had Bush not received what he wanted for FISA, the repression through some other mechanism would have grown. So we should not imagine that surveillance only applies to foreigners or Amerikans who have contact with foreigners (and really, who does not have contact with foreigners, a question worthy of discussion in its own right.) MIM will say the Democrats' vote on FISA is probably irrelevant, because that fight is masking something else.
The news agencies will say that this is about foreign-to-foreign transmissions through U.$. territory. MIM would say that the interesting part is U.$.-to-foreign-to-U.$. transmission. Democrats are not equipped to think about that, but the proletariat is not intimidated.
Losing Democrats does not mean it is impossible to fight. It is just impossible to fight with a view toward the majority or by maneuvering for the Democrats. Even if one does not get very far under surveillance, just keeping some opposing spies busy frees up some people in the Third World who would otherwise be spied on more.
The destruction of the Republican Party at this time before the advent of the joint dictatorship of the proletariat would not be from some uprising of the exploited flexing newly-found muscles. Nor would it be a "politics of hope," which only attracts a minority of Euro-Amerikan people. At most such white nationalist illusions benefit the Democratic Party and it cannot absorb all of politics.
Beyond the impeachment of a select few individuals in some minor scandals--the real destruction of an imperialist party would come from detaching the labor aristocracy from its alliance with a party's imperialists, with all the attendant rabid foaming at the mouth.
It is worth all revolutionaries' discussing whether or not it is worth all the chauvinism that would come with really damaging a major imperialist party. For example, John McCain acts as a buffer against the labor aristocracy, but recently had to flip-flop on the immigration issue,(2) because there was not room for even one Republican candidate for what the enemy calls "shamnesty." So this represents that the labor aristocracy is educated enough to start to bring imperialists to heel. Yet what if in a fit of reaction, the labor aristocracy detached from the Republican Party. We should ponder the consequences.
The immediate beneficiary would be Democrats, but there are possibilities for Greens, Libertarians and some Ross Perot-like or Bloomberg-like party. In France we saw Sarkozy reabsorb LePen's voters. That poses an interesting question, whether such a thing as instigating the formation of an Amerikan LePen-style reaction to move away from the Republicans is a good thing or not. Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo would make a good leader for a LePen-style party. He is saying to bomb Mecca or Medina if Islamic terrorists attack Amerikans.(3)
Thus far, MIM has no real answer to these speculative strategy questions. It seems we would have to answer pragmatically, based on narrow considerations of gain and loss at the moment. For the long- term the anti-war movement might get credit for bringing down a major party among elites, but the labor aristocracy would end up defining why a certain party got the boot.