Dude, I don't you get it.
As far as our government is concerned right now, ripping DVDs IS illegal when doing so circumvents the CSS, which is a violation of the DMCA. Everything that is being asked for is CURRENTLY illegal under the DMCA, regardless of what you or many other wishful thinking nerds believe. I don't understand why asking for these exemptions are a slippery slope -- how can you give up rights that you currently don't have under the law?
Now I understand your frustration, because it really is unfortunate that this is where we're at. But we don't succeed by ignoring the laws. We succeed by working with them, compromising, and then, hopefully, overcoming them with logic, common sense, and hopefully the backing of the American populace.
For example, one of the exemptions listed was for Media Film Studies education. The exemption was granted in 2006 and was a boon to that academic industry. This year, they are arguing that their 2006 exemption was so successful and necessary that they are asking to expand the exemption to encompass even more uses. They used clear factual examples, compelling legal arguments, and logic to show the LOC that it is necessary to expand their rights, and I hope that they get it.
To some (or most) these may seem like small potatoes sure, but they're a legitimate foot in the door. The odds of an exemption being granted that simply asks for something as broad as "everything that is under fair-use" is extremely unlikely. But, if we continue to succeed at these exemptions and show Washington that this is where the people are heading, this is what society needs, and these are the reasons why we are having issues, maybe that becomes one more brick in the wall to convince them that the DMCA is not a good idea.