They both intend to vote for Mukasey, despite his refusal to state that torture, as practised by this administration, is illegal. Every time the Democrats fold on these matters, Cheney tucks a precedent under his belt. Every time they cave into their cowardice and fear, another critical part of our liberty disappears. These precedents are designed to destroy the rule of law and replace it with the rule of a Decider. And they will last for ever, as will the right to torture, because this war is for ever. This is how democracies perish. The rule of law no longer has any party to defend it. The Republicans want no check on the powers of our de facto protectorate. And the Democrats have no spine. We live under the lawless protectorate we deserve. And such lawlessness is always the result when cowards refuse to confront bullies.