Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not enough Dems stand up to the Republicans. That's why we should VOTE REPUBLICAN!

Perhaps my least favorite left-leaning site right now is the one I call Think Progressive Purist. From an objective standpoint, this site must be considered a Republican party propaganda organ. Today's vote on the REWRITTEN Kyl-Liberman bill elicited the kind hysterical responses that must give Karl Rove an erection:
Well…it was good while it lasted. 230 years is a good run.
now we get bush waving this thing in our faces when he nukes them…dum de dum dum
Who represents us? No one! We have no representation.
I will no longer support the Democrats.
Ok, that’s it. I’m done with the Democratic party. Today I will be re-registering as an Independent. I suggest anyone who is as disgusted with the Democrats as I am do the same. When the registration in the Democratic party goes down to nothing, then maybe they will get the message.
And so on. Not one of these inarticulate ninnies has noted the fact that the sections of the bill which aroused such anger -- and which prompted me to post a call to action (scroll down) -- were stricken.

Progressive purists are, in their own ways, every bit as imbecilic as are the conservative purists who still support Dubya. When purists fasten onto a scenario, nothing can dissuade them from their fixed idea, even when the facts change.

That said, I still think the reformed bill -- a non-binding resolution -- was a pointless exercise in "get tough" talk. The Dems who voted for it (about half) are probably correct to suspect that much of the citizenry bought into the Limbaugh/Fox "spin" on Ahmadinejad's speech. So they have decided to share the hallucination that Iran arms terrorists in Iraq, and they've turned a blind eye to what the Saudis are up to.

The rewritten bill is, in short, mere theater.

Labeling a foreign army a "terrorist" force is ridiculous. The State Department, not Congress, compiles the official list of "terrorist" organizations.

The bill's designation could -- just conceivably -- play into the Bushite love for abstruse legal justification for action. But, as experience has taught us, those lawyerly shennanigans cease the moment everyone decides to laugh at them. Remember the argument that Cheney does not belong to the executive branch?

If war with Iran comes -- and I suspect it will, regardless of what Congress or the citizenry wish -- this bill will have nothing to do with the cause. Bush will do whatever he wants to do. Always has.

Regarding attempts to de-fund the Iraq war: The fact may surprise many of you, but those awful, awful Dems (and a few Republicans) did vote for a bill that would have begun a pullout on October 1. Purists pretend that this vote never happened, but it did. You cannot explain to purists -- most of whom are as ignorant of civics as they are of English grammar -- that simple majorities are not enough, that the President has a thing called a veto.

Similarly, I'm sure that the Think Progress crowd would be surprised to learn that those awful, awful Dems (and a few Republicans) voted to restore Habeus Corpus. You cannot explain to purists that simple majorities are not enough, that the minority party has a thing called a filibuster.

I have suggested forcing the Republicans to mount an actual filibuster. The image of forcing sweaty, shaking old men to stand up on the Senate floor while reading from the telephone book has a certain appeal. But that tactic could well backfire, since it might arouse public sympathy; we all remember Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Last night, Rachel Maddow had a guest who patiently explained how government operates and why Congress cannot simply cut off funding for Iraq in the face of both the filibuster and a presidential veto. Maddow's maddening response: They must do something. Did she have a workable suggestion as to what should be done? No, she did not. At least Randi Rhodes has a keener understanding of the practical difficulties.


Anonymous said...

and Randi Rhodes is far more clear headed than you are poo poo brain.
What is your Oh so brilliant opinion of Kucinich? diarrhea head.
And please be so so articulate that we all stand up and salute you pee pee mouth.

Anonymous said...

TalkingPointsMemo has great analysis of this amendment.
Don't worry, Holy Joe and his neocon buddies probably have their little Attack-Iran PR campaign all planned out.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but when the Democrats were in the minority, the Republicans wailed in unsion about the Democrat cbstructionists. The Democrats are now in the majority, and keep insisting that we need 60 votes for every law. The Democrats should be labeling the Republicans as obstructionists - the Republicans are fillibustering at a record pace, but the headlines are all about "Democrats cannot get the votes." The Democrats just don't work the press as well as the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

all the leading Democratic candidates for president are corporate sell-outs, just look at Hillary and her insurance lobby money.

The best thing is to support a third party and force the democrats into minority status in congress because that will force them to listen to what WE say. It's the only thing that will work. Besides, we need to punish Nancy Pelosi for voting in favor of that FISA bill which only Jim Webb opposed.

don't give any more money and don't vote, it only encourages them

Anonymous said...

"The best thing is to support a third party and force the democrats into minority status in congress because that will force them to listen to what WE say. It's the only thing that will work. Besides, we need to punish Nancy Pelosi for voting in favor of that FISA bill which only Jim Webb opposed."

"don't give any more money and don't vote, it only encourages them"

OK, does not voting force Democrats into the minority? God, Joe, I think the head truly does meet the tail. And "poo poo brain", "pee pee mouth"? Why do these people read your blog at all? My picture of FDR is spinning on its axis right now. If the far left (or whatever they call themselves) is this irrational, maybe this country should elect another republican. It CAN get much, much worse. To paraphrase the bumper sticker about a bad day fishing being better than a good day at work (or something like that), a conservative Democrat is so much better than even a moderate republican. And at age 70, I have seen a bunch of each. Keep blogging truth to power.

Anonymous said...

I think people are upset Cannon because Americans are so sick and tired of Joe Lieberman and this has his name all over it. No one trusts Joe Lieberman

Anonymous said...

In Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Senator Smith's fillibuster did not create sympathy in the public, because the businessman who controlled all the mass media back in his state forbade any mention of anything he said, while directing his minions to attack Mr. Smith in those newspapers. (It did create sympathy in the chambers, and most importantly, caused the Claude Raines character to rethink his corruption and confess.)

While I appreciate your frustration with the PPs, as you call them, still, I think you should appreciate their frustration with the process as well. Even knowing the system, some of its results are maddening.

And the fact remains that the Democrats do have tactics they could use that they refuse to try, and that is out of political calculation. Using the power of the agenda, they could refuse to bring the defense bill or the emergency spending measure funding the war to a vote at all. Or, as they've done already, they could pass those measures with withdrawal timetable contingencies, and then repeat the exercise when and if it is vetoed.

Eventually, if they refused to pass 'clean' measures per the president's desire, money would run out, leaving the troops in the lurch to a degree, causing the SecDef or others to scurry around and reflow other funds to the combat troops.

The Democrats could use that to force Bush's hand. Presumably, that kind of tactic is what the PPs want to see the Democrats try.

The reason they will not do that is that they believe that Bush co. and the GOP will savage them about the head and neck for 'abandoning the troops in the field,' or somesuch, and the Dems fear that message would resonate with the people, and discredit the party for the upcoming '08 elections, turning what should be a sure thing (President Gore, anyone?) into a debacle for the party.

Which side is right in that prediction game isn't entirely clear, I suppose. But it isn't correct to say the Democrats have used all tactics at their disposal, and have only failed because of structural reasons in the government set up. They have NOT used all they could use, and they have intentionally avoided going to the limit of the chicken game out of political calculation, not principle.

There is some chance, perhaps even a big chance, that as unpopular as Bush is, the Democrats would win the public approval part of such a funding game of chicken. But they won't try, and in the process of refusing, they are fracturing their base.


Anonymous said...

Anon 6:17,

Three words--What the hell?

What have you been smoking? Have you even been paying attention at all? Or are you stuck in the "they're all the same" loop?

You spew out about Hillary and give no damned evidence. You drone on about third parties but don't bother to acknowledge that it will take YEARS to set up a viable one (since good ol' Ralph didn't do that for the Greens).

And then you lie about Pelosi.

For the last, freaking time (and Joe spoke about this at length)--Nancy Pelosi VOTED AGAINST THE FISA BILL. So did the majority of Democrats. The majority of Repubs went hell for leather for this crap. And Pelosi actually wrote a letter to Conyers INSISTING that they do everything and anything possible to stop the changes to FISA brought by the bill.

Oh, and Jim Webb? He voted for it.
(...although I still respect him, I was saddened and disappointed)

Get your facts straight before yelling out s**t, please.