January 27, 2006

After that embarrassing phone-in approach, Kerry leaves Switzerland...

... to come back to the Senate to continue his futile filibuster-fomenting.

37 comments:

Mark Daniels said...

Proving, no doubt, that whether by phone or in person, he's equally ineffectual.

Mark

jeff said...

I'm becoming convinced that the only reason Massachusetts voters keep electing Kennedy is to prevent Kerry from becoming their senior senator.

Meade said...

Meanwhile he's missing out on an important world economic forum where he could have had a leadership role and made a serious contribution.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Henry said...

Oh man, that's funny.

Kerry's ability to look both self-agrandizing and indecise is astounding. Did he not know that Alito's vote was coming up when he went to Davos?

Does the man get up in the morning and think "How can be a ninny today?"

Semanticleo said...

At least he and Kennedy aren't bending
over and spreadin' those cheeks to
ease the birth of 'moderation'.

EddieP said...

Henry

Does the man get up in the morning and think "How can be a ninny today?"

When he gets up in the morning he promptly takes his anti-ninny meds. It's just that they always wear off right after breakfast, and he starts thinking about which speedos he'll wear today.

Stacy said...

Regarding Jeff's statement above about why MA voters vote for Kennedy:

The reason those of us from MA keep voting for Kennedy is because he represents our interests well. If he didn't, we wouldn't re-elect him. Obviously, he's powerful and is able to get things done- he serves on important committees as a result of having been in the Senate for so long and any State sees the benefit of that.

I, for one, will be sorry to see the Liberal Lion go because there are few Democrats in the Senate willing to stand on principle- you may not like Kennedy and you may not agree with liberalism but he goes out on a limb on issues where others won't.

Also, I am glad they are trying to get a filibuster going- again, it's about principle (and having some backbone)- I think some of Alito's non-answers and his views of separation of powers are extreme and I can't help but wonder if they are partisan- does he believe that the executive branch should have such sweeping power if the person holding office is not a republican? His advocacy for the presidential signing statments is also troubling to me, as is bush's over-use of them.

Anyway- I dont think the dems will end up trying the Filibuster- I dont think they have the votes. But when (yes, when) Roe is overturned the American people may wonder why the Dems didn't do more to stop the nomination.

Cat said...

Q - for something "so" important such as Alito, he decided to take a trip to a windbag conference where nothing is accomplished. He now realizes he looks silly making his demands about this "important" vote from there.

Stacy - what are Kennedy's principles?

Jacques Cuze said...

I am not sure what you are upset with.

Are you upset that he went to Davos?

Are you upset that he made a phone call from Davos indicating his support for a filibuster?

Are you upset that to lead the fight for a filibuster that he is coming home from Davos?

Could Kerry have done anything that you would not have griped about?

verification word: whiNg

Ann Althouse said...

Quxxo: You forgot: Are you upset?

I'm always struck when people imagine me to be writing while angry. I"m almost never feeling angry/sad/upset/whatever while writing. I'm usually just observing and I'm often amused. Sometimes I'm a little exasperated.

Jacques Cuze said...

Here is some more Kerry awkwardness. Making a suggestion in 2004 that would have kept us from the brink of nuclear war in Iran in 2006. But parsing and parsing, Ann most likely made fun of Kerry back then....

I hope you will forgive me for this long quotation, I honestly don't know how to shorten it and keep the heart of it....

Maybe that Kerry guy knew what he was talking about
In the 2004 presidential race, John Kerry offered a very clear approach as to how the United States should deal with Iran: have the international community offer Iran nuclear fuel to be used in a peaceful nuclear energy program. As Kerry put it at the time, "We should call their bluff and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can't divert it to build a weapon."

Nonsense, said the Bush gang, which argued such an approach would effectively be "appeasement." Condi Rice dismissed Kerry's approach, telling Fox News, "This regime has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not quote-unquote 'engaged.'" Frank Gaffney Jr., a former Pentagon official and Bush ally, knocked Kerry's plan in an op-ed entitled, "Kerry's Nuclear Nonsense." Gaffney boasted, "Mr. Bush understands the folly of going that route." National Review ran an item calling Kerry's proposal "ignorant" and "dangerously wrong."

But Kerry was unyielding, insisting that this was the best approach, even working his idea into an answer in one of the presidential debates. ""I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together," Kerry said. "The president did nothing."

That was 2004. Now, suddenly, after deriding Kerry in the campaign for his dangerous ideas, Bush is staring to think, "You know, maybe that Kerry guy was on to something."

President Bush's endorsement of a plan to end the nuclear standoff with Iran by giving the Islamic republic nuclear fuel for civilian use under close monitoring has left some of his supporters baffled.

One cause for the chagrin is that the proposal, which is backed by Russia, essentially adopts a strategy advocated by Mr. Bush's Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Senator Kerry of Massachusetts.

"I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IAEA inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia," Mr. Bush said at a news conference yesterday. "I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea and I support it," he added.

Maybe so, but he was against the idea before he was for it.


verification word: irRspoNsbl

Semanticleo said...

Thank god for moderates.

Where would we go for mediocrity?

Ann Althouse said...

Semanticleo: The troll auditions are next month.

David said...

Any attempt to appease or negotiate with Iran's Mullahs is suicidal. The Mullahs will use it as a stalling technique and continue their program of blackmail and extortion to obtain a nuclear weapon.

The proper way to deal with these killers without conscience is to encourage and support the Iranians who wish to overthrow them.

Recently an attempt was made on the life of Ahmadinejad and a private jet carrying many important Revolutionary Guard movers and shakers were killed when the jet blew up while airborne.

These people mean business and we need to deal with them on that basis.

RogerA said...

Professor Althouse--what IS it about you that attracts such trolls? Do you ever think about that? Of course, you handle them with aplomb--but still..Any thoughts?

And there is nothing John Kerry could do that wouldnt invite ridicule--Its simply too easy a target--Quite frankly Te-re-saa would have made a better president than her consort.

Semanticleo said...

Ann;

Just thought I would introduce some
counterpoint to the hollow drums
beating 'ineffectual' and 'spineless'
on the democratic persona.

It is a bit tiring hearing, "me too,
teacher".

I guess your classrooms vibrate with the same stimulus you inspire here.

Mickey said...

heard someone say the only way to get rid of presidential aspirations(kerry)is to be embalmed..

Jacob said...

Stacy, you do realize that even with Alito on the court there are still 5 votes for Roe?

Jacques Cuze said...

You don't think much of President Cuckoo Bananas then do you?

"I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IAEA inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia," Mr. Bush said at a news conference yesterday. "I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea and I support it," he added.

Shame on you for maligning Chuckle-Nuts!

verification word: dmBya

michael a litscher said...

quxxo: Here is some more Kerry awkwardness. Making a suggestion in 2004 that would have kept us from the brink of nuclear war in Iran in 2006. But parsing and parsing, Ann most likely made fun of Kerry back then.... I hope you will forgive me for this long quotation, I honestly don't know how to shorten it and keep the heart of it.... Maybe that Kerry guy knew what he was talking about

In the 2004 presidential race, John Kerry offered a very clear approach as to how the United States should deal with Iran: have the international community offer Iran nuclear fuel to be used in a peaceful nuclear energy program. As Kerry put it at the time, "We should call their bluff and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can't divert it to build a weapon."


Iranian nuclear energy program? You hold this up as a sign of Kerry's intelligence? Iran is sitting on one of the world's largest deposits of oil and natural gas, hence, they have zero need for nuclear power plants.

Really, I didn't think anyone was dumb enough to fall for that lame-arsed excuse for Iran's nuclear program, but perhaps I was wrong.

Jacques Cuze said...

This is a blogger cookie, to feed blogger so it will spit up the other comment it is now refusing to post.

And now blogger is showing my post has traveled back in time before Michael A's post.

Sigh.

michael a litscher said...

quxxo, allow me to clue you in as to what Iran's nuclear program is all about. I'll type it real slow so you can keep up.

Hint: it isn't about generating electricity.

chuck b. said...

To foster and fine-tune his futile filibuster-fomenting folly.

Davos is a joke--even Kerry knows it. The filibuster’s just the noble excuse he needs to excuse himself graciously.

Craig Ranapia said...

Stacy:

Don't trash Alito for giving "non-answers" to non-questions. The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee could have shown some principle and backbone by, well, not turning the confirmation process into a platform for masturbatory grand-standing. Whatever you think about Alito as a jurist, anyone who thinks the performance of the Senate Democrats has been anything other than farcical is politically autistic.

Mark Daniels said...

When I described Kerry as "ineffectual," I was referring to his efforts to get his fellow Democrats interested in a filibuster.

I believe that those efforts will fail because the Gang of 14 very effectually shifted the criteria by which that would take place. (And I'm glad that they did!)

While safeguarding the filibuster as a maneuver to be used in the Senate, their agreement also said that the fourteen would only uphold its use under extraordinary circumstances.

The upshot is that, at least as it relates to judiciary nominations affected by it so far, such nominations cannot be held up for purely ideological reasons.

If a nominee passes muster as a legal mind, evidences no ties to radical politics, and has no ethical or legal problems, the Senate shouldn't prevent their confirmation. Republican presidents may be expected to nominate Republican judges. The same is true of Democratic presidents.

Whether by phone or in person, I believe that Kerry cannot convince his colleagues to filibuster the nomination. For that, President Bush and Judge Alito probably owe the Gang of 14 a debt of thanks.

Mark Daniels

wildaboutharrie said...

Michael, I believe that was quxxo's point - BOTH Bush and Kerry spoke of helping Iran establish a program that would not allow them to use the power for anything but energy. Calling their bluff. Quxxo doesn't seem to need the cluing in.

wildaboutharrie said...

(Michael, unless your point is that Kerry and Bush are both dangerous idiots...)

OhioAnne said...

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee could have shown some principle and backbone by, well, not turning the confirmation process into a platform for masturbatory grand-standing.

Let's add the Senate Republicans to that list as well. Even if their intent all along was to vote yes on party lines, they could have spent some time on serious questions of the nomimee rather than using it to score points off the opposition.

I know that I was considerably younger then, but it seems to me that the Watergate hearings were actually that. Serious questions asked with the intent to get answers - BY BOTH PARTIES.

While the Democrats probably enjoyed the opportunity to make some political points (I would have), it still seems that they made the attempt to get to the facts of the case. Republicans didn't spend all their time mindlessly praising every witness as the most qualified ever and bashing the oppostion for even daring to ask the questions.

My next opportunity to watch any Congressional hearing in depth (off work after surgery) was the Thompson hearings into the Clinton Administration actions.

Then, it was Senate Democrats praising every witness as the most qualified ever and spending their time asking the witnesses why they thought the opposition would even dare to ask the questions of them. For what seemed hours, people asked the keeper (Craig ???) of the 2000 files (all Republican kept in the Clinton White House for reasons still only known to them) who hired him. This grown man told a room full of our elected representatives that he had no idea who told him to report to the White House (supposedly one of the most secure buildings in the nation) for work on that given Monday morning and never was called on his statement by a single Democratic legislator. Our Republican legislators had foolishly agreed to a seried of procedural rules that allowed the Clinton Administration to simply play out the clock and therefore no answers were ever given for those files (among other things).

Other than the cool ride in the shuttle my own state's Senator got in payment for his role in that process, nothing of worth came out of it. Current Judiciary hearings are equally as worthless.

Pogo said...

Kerry, with all his flaws (and their are enough to require an index) made an impressive showing in the run for President.

But few would argue seriously that he was picked by the Democrats because he had The Right Stuff; I mean rock star charisma like Roosevelt or JFK. He was simply the one that survived the primaries to be the Anyone-But-Bush candidate. Prior to the run-up to the election, Kerry had made no footprint in the Senate, despite his tenure of 20 years. (A 20 year enigma!) All that time he just played Thomas to Kennedy's Scalia. Massachusett's "me-too" man.

He had a good run, but he lost. He now fancies himself The Voice of The Party, or the obvious choice for candidate again in 2008. He doesn't see that people want him to be dignified and fade away.

But he's desperate to Fulfill His Destiny, and therefore clueless. The spectacle is both funny and sad. And yes, yes; I know there are presidential losers who later won ...but I'm sorry, Kerry is just not that sort of man. I think he'd even be a poor spokesmodel for ski equipment.

SippicanCottage said...

I'll leave the, ahem, political discussion for everybody else. But I got curious. What in the hell are people actually doing in Davos? Such things are generally ineffectual talking shops, but I figured I'd look into a little. The news says Michael Douglas and Angelina Jolie are there, and so I figure the world's problems will be immediately solved forthwith. But I googled to get an eyewitness account, preferably from someone who was enthusiastic about being there. And what I found, was, well, comedy gold:

http://davenet.scripting.com/2000/01/29/twoDaysAtDavos

"By the way, I don't want to leave you with the impression that my first couple of days have been anything less than incredible and wonderful! These are the smartest people. I was lucky to go to a high school of the highest IQ kids in New York City. Davos feels like that, but instead of being kids who are smart (lots of potential) these are adults who are off-the-scale smart, who have accomplished something, they wouldn't be in Davos if they hadn't. I had lunch with an astronaut today. I had a frank conversation with a Russian presidential candidate (he was bitter about the United States, we shared that frustration, I tried to explain how crazy the US is, I don't think he understood. We agreed to get together when he comes to the US, I'm going to help him get his story out thru my website)."

Later, reality intrudes, the poor dear:

"One thing I have trouble getting used to is machine guns. There are a couple of soldiers at each entrance with machine guns. I guess I'm glad they're there, but every time I pass one, as the gun is pointed at my body, I wonder if the soldier really knows how to use it. The guns are daunting and fear-provoking. That's what their purpose is, but net-net, I don't like them."

Bar none, the perfect encapsulation of the Joel Stein mindset: Security as a free lunch, and then chew and screw.

"Davos people are very very nice! It's kind of like Wisconsin. I ask my cab drivers if Davos attendees are good tippers, but they won't answer. There seems to be a language barrier there. And speaking of language, words like fahrt and schmuck are all over the place. This makes me giggle. But the cutest thing is that in Switzerland bubbles in water are called "gas" so when a waiter wants to fill you up, he or she asks if you want some gas, and this makes me break out in guffaws of loud American laughter."

Indeed; you, John Kerry, Angelina Jolie, and all your brethren are demonstrably "off the scale smart." Try not to hurt yourselves or others, will you?

knoxgirl said...

All of you guys who are on board with Kerry's plan to give the extremist Iranian gov't nuclear energy (!) need to look at Clinton's attempt to do the same in N. Korea. How Kerry could have proposed it as a viable solution after THAT disaster is a great example of just how clueless he is.

Interestingly, psychopathic governments aren't too interested in being appeased...

Semanticleo said...

Looks as though Bush's special moment
in the sun Tues night could be spoiled
somewhat.

That is, If Don Quixote and
his growing band of Sanchos dominate
the evening news on Monday. Wish I could stay home and watch CSPAN2 and
witness the "gnashing of teeth" at
the arrogance of Dems who actually
take the risk of attacking the Senatorial Windmill.

wildaboutharrie said...

Knoxgirl, I don't know enough about the subject to comment, but is Bush then equally clueless for supporting just such a plan?

http://www.nysun.com/article/26606

reader_iam said...

What I want to know is whether Kerry left BEFORE or AFTER the debate over the nature of happiness, featuring such experts as a yogi, sex therapist, novelist and cartoonist.

I's darn near pay to see him contribute to that topic in his overly self-serious way.

(Humming the obvious Beatles song ... )

alikarimbey said...

Stacy, the Kennedy Dynasty voter --

I would not vote for Kennedy if I lived in MA. I would not vote for any candidate that did not support term limits. No term limits, no vote. Kennedy is not un-replaceable. The fact is no politician - NO ONE - not replaceabe. This is a democracy. Kennedy is owning the seat. It is so offensive that I am glad I am not a voter in MA. I would have so much frustation that I would have a heart attack. Kennedy is a family beneficiary. Did he not have an accident that led to some unfortunate thing? Did he not get kicked out of Harvard? Must all family members of JFK get elected? Just like Bush or Clinton? Are we really wanting to be like British royalty or the ruling Saudi clan? Are we really a virtual great democracy?

AKB

wildaboutharrie said...

Ali, I do live in MA. He's intolerable. I'm tempted to run myself.