March 15, 2006

"We need a different strategy, one that shows we stand for something."

Says Russ Feingold, defending his political maneuver of calling for the censure of President Bush:
The left wing of the party has greeted Feingold's censure call ecstatically. He was the front-runner in a Jan. 31 survey of 2008 presidential candidates by the liberal blog Daily Kos. Feingold garnered 30 percent support among the more than 11,000 respondents, eclipsing retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who dropped to second place after leading in the previous five bimonthly polls.

Feingold said he is "extremely pleased with the way this is going." He said he is particularly buoyed the barrage of criticism from Republicans. "If such a crazy idea has such limited appeal, why do they have the attack dogs calling all over the country about this?" Feingold asked. "It touches a nerve."
Someone has to stake out the left wing of the Democratic Party. I'm glad it's someone as decent and smart as Russ Feingold.

MORE: Dana Milbank has a hilarious description of Feingold's colleagues:
Democratic senators, filing in for their weekly caucus lunch yesterday, looked as if they'd seen a ghost.

"I haven't read it," demurred Barack Obama (Ill.).

"I just don't have enough information," protested Ben Nelson (Neb.). "I really can't right now," John Kerry (Mass.) said as he hurried past a knot of reporters -- an excuse that fell apart when Kerry was forced into an awkward wait as Capitol Police stopped an aide at the magnetometer.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) brushed past the press pack, shaking her head and waving her hand over her shoulder. When an errant food cart blocked her entrance to the meeting room, she tried to hide from reporters behind the 4-foot-11 Barbara Mikulski (Md.).

"Ask her after lunch," offered Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines. But Clinton, with most of her colleagues, fled the lunch out a back door as if escaping a fire....

So nonplused were Democrats that even Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), known for his near-daily news conferences, made history by declaring, "I'm not going to comment." Would he have a comment later? "I dunno," the suddenly shy senator said.
Too funny! But Feingold didn't mean to set the stage for a big comic performance by his fellow Democrats, did he?

YET MORE: When will it be fair to say that Congress has tacitly approved of the President's surveillance program?

97 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Total agreement on the decency of Russ Feingold.

But the debate is too focussed on Feingold, and what he's doing and how this relates to the left wing of the Democratic Party -- that's not the issue. The story should focus on the law-breaking of President Bush re: wiretapping and the like. The President's feet should be held to the fire on that issue.

I wonder if there will be a security alert now, to divert attention. Or maybe the administration is waiting 'til we're closer to the election. Odd how they stopped after the 2004 election.

Bruce Hayden said...

This appears to have the Democratic Senators is full panic mode. Interesting article by Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post titled "The Feingold Resolution and the Sound of Silence". Indeed, 'So nonplused were Democrats that even Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), known for his near-daily news conferences, made history by declaring, "I'm not going to comment." Would he have a comment later? "I dunno," the suddenly shy senator said.' Not surprisingly, there is a lot of glee on the other side of the isle, where the Senators ARE willing to make their views known.

Wurly said...

I wouldn't say the Feingold has been the focus of "attack dogs", who generally try to shift the focus away from the substance of a message by ad hominem attacks on the messenger. Rather, Republicans are trying to focus the public's attention on the actual substance of Feingold's resolution, because they think that the public is behind the President, rather that Feingold, on the wiretap issue.

So, both Feingold and the Republicans are happy to make this an issue, while fellow Democrats are avoiding it like the plague, we'll see who judged right in the fullness of time.

Bruce Hayden said...

Madisonman

You are assuming that the program is illegal and that is that. Needless to say, I disagree, but this isn't the place to get into the legal arguments on either side.

What I think is important is that if it is technically illegal, the majority of the American people think it shouldn't be. This is why the Democratic Senators are in such a panic over this.

What must be remembered here is that this isn't Nixon bugging the DNC. Rather, this is, by all indications, a bona fide attempt by the Administration to protect the American people from another 9/11 type attack. You may not like it, but the average American would rather have his international calls potentially tapped than have another terrorist attack here. And no matter what they think of the President's performance, this is not the sort of thing that they think should be censured.

MadisonMan said...

What I think is important is that if it is technically illegal, the majority of the American people think it shouldn't be.

I'd be very curious to see what would happen if a bill were introduced to legalize what the President is/was/has been doing.

Uncle Jimbo said...

Feingold cost himself credibility and gravitas by doing this. He only pleased those who already love him, he forced his colleagues to run away from him, and he reminded people that none of these Senators really believe the NSA program is something they can oppose.

Cordially,

Uncle J

Bruce Hayden said...

My guess on the vote would be somewhere in the range of 300 Representatives and maybe 80 Senators. I expect it would pick up pretty much all the Red State Democratic Senators, plus most of those running for president, except for Feingold. Plus, some more who want to look serious.

Doug H. said...

I would've found Feingold's behavior in this episode more credible if he hadn't run out of the room when Spector wanted to debate him on the issue.

Ann Althouse said...

Uncle Jimbo: "He only pleased those who already love him."

I think he pleased a lot of Republicans too!

DaveG said...

I'd be very curious to see what would happen if a bill were introduced to legalize what the President is/was/has been doing.

Then perhaps that is an endeavor that would be more worthy of your esteemed Senator's time.

bearbee said...

Reposting from prior Feingold thread:

The Impeachment Agenda

Russ Feingold reveals what many Democrats really want.

Balfegor said...

I'd be very curious to see what would happen if a bill were introduced to legalize what the President is/was/has been doing.

Wait, hasn't there been one? I could have sworn I read something in the news about it. I think Mike DeWine has proposed just such a measure, even if a bill hasn't yet been drawn up.

Goesh said...

Hopefully he will also lead the charge to censure the SC for allowing military recruiters to spread their evil on campus'.

Richard Dolan said...

"But Feingold didn't mean to set the stage for a big comic performance by his fellow Democrats, did he?"

He wouldn't phrase it that way, but of course he did -- the "comic performance" here is that, despite all the grandstanding, his fellow Dem senators are afraid to take a position on the NSA program at the heart of this debate. For better or worse, Feingold has staked out a clear position that he's willing to push publicly and he's sticking to it. Good for him. Probably bad for the Dems, though.

For those who tilt strongly against anything they deem an affront to civil liberties, defined broadly, the (highly debatable) legalisms on whihc Feingold bases his censure motion are attractive. But I think that has a very limited appeal. After all, what do you think those multi-billion-dollar, supersophisticated spy satellites run by the NSA should be listening to, if not communications to and from persons or entities associated with al Queda? If the point of the exercise is to foil the next terrorist attack in the US or one of its allies, how does it make sense to say that the only communications off limits (without a warrant) are international communications where one end of the communication terminates in the US?

I agree with a previous commenter that there's no point in rehashing the legal arguments pro and con about the NSA program. But the reaction of Feingold's Dem colleagues is all the proof you need about the political merits of the case. We'll all know soon enough whether Feingold or the other Dems had a firmer grasp on the political realities, since this is bound to be a major issue in the '06 and '08 elections.

Oddly, this may be the one area where Hollywood and pop culture has helped the Bushies. I have in mind all the cop and lawyer shows that seem to garner big audiences -- Law & Order, NYPD, etc. The niceties of 4th Amendment procedure never seem to make it into those presentations -- they get the bad guys, often using techniques much more blantly illegal under current 4th Amendment law than anything the Bushies are accused of. And when one of the supervisory cop characters (or some youn DA type) starts mumbling about the need to get a warrant, it's usually in the context where the audience is supposed to conclude that those rules serve only to impede the good guys.

I think that attitude may be in the background here, and provides some context for the reality that, the more the focus is on the NSA program and Feingold's censure motion, the more unhappy Feingold's Dem colleagues are bound to be. It's not necessarily "comic," but it is clearly the contrast Feingold wants all to see.

Blog Smoke said...

Karl Rove must have had his hands in this whole mess...

rhodeymark1 said...

"I'd be very curious to see what would happen if a bill were introduced to legalize what the President is/was/has been doing."
MadisonMan - wouldn't it be more appropriate if one of the Dems who were briefed on the ongoing surveillance program brought forth that bill? They apparently agreed with the objectives at that time, no?

The Drill SGT said...

Ann had it right in her opener.

There are 3 viable candidate slots in the 08 Demo primaries

1. Hillary (HRC herself)
2. Not Hillary right (one of Warner, Biden, etal)
3. Not Hillary left (one of Feingold, Gore, Kerry, Dean, etal)

Russ, beyond believing himself on this, is using the motion to separate himself from the other "Not Hillary left" candidates.

DaveG said...

For better or worse, Feingold has staked out a clear position that he's willing to push publicly and he's sticking to it. Good for him.

That depends on his true motives, which for some reason I believe are more about Feingold and his political aspirations than they are a true concern over civil liberties. I mean, where were those concerns when he co-sponsored the deplorable McCain-Feingold mess?

David said...

Feingold represents a party that is out of touch with mainstream Americans. The surveillance brouhaha regarding the NSA wiretaps is supported by most Americans of all parties, the Plame affair is about to be outed as the opportunistic fabrication of Joe Wilson (Armitage not Libby),
the Iranians are posturing for nuclear enrichment, Hamas is on the ropes as Israel takes on the prison at Jericho, and immigration is a key issue of the security establishment.

Feingold should be encouraged by those who want to lose to the republicans in 2006 and 2008. If all he and the democrats can come up with is a plan to censure the President for actively pursuing the bad guys, more power to them.

It is a silly and losing strategy in the face of geo-political reality. If there is an attack on American soil, Feingold will be one of the first to criticize Bush for not doing enough or using the wrong approach. I can't believe Feingold is dense enough to roll the dice betting that jihadists won't try another attack on the U.S.

Maybe he is. Is it worth the risk?!
NO! and his is a losing strategy!

Gaius Arbo said...

Feingold simply made a blatant political ploy to endear himself to the far left. I predict this will come back to haunt him.

INMA30 said...

David says:If there is an attack on American soil, Feingold will be one of the first to criticize Bush for not doing enough or using the wrong approach.

And he would be wrong how?

Sloanasaurus said...

The Athenians executed a bunch of their best generals near the end of the war with Sparta, who after winning a great navel battle failed in resucing some of the sailors. After this Athens was defeated and remained subserviant for more than 2000 years.

Only idiot Democrats would do the same. Bush has protected the country for 4 years after all the conventional wisdom said we would be attacked again. We haven't been attacked? How come. Is it because of Bush's policies? Absolutely. Now Democrats want to throw Bush over the side for what the believe is a technical violation of the law. How suicidal. Maybe Democrats shold go back and read about the Athenians.

Paul said...

Feingold is pandering to the left, not even just the far left but the left. His purported decency is only geared toward himself first, perhaps the country second.

MadisonMan said...

I can't believe Feingold is dense enough to roll the dice betting that jihadists won't try another attack on the U.S.

I fail to see how requiring the President to follow the letter of the law and obtain warrants after the fact is opening the door for jihadists to attack the USA. Especially when such warrants are almost always granted. This affair has always struck me as the White House doing something and then being too lazy to follow through on the legalities of it.

SteveR said...

I just don't think being too lazy to follow the law or being bent on subverting the Constitution for evil intents are intellectually valid explanations. Clearly they felt they were not breaking the law and were targeting bad guys, as they should be, not grandma or some guy in Virginia who calls 900 numbers for fun. You can disagree about those issues and its very very far from certain, but too lazy?

INMA30 said...

MadisonMan Said:
I fail to see how requiring the President to follow the letter of the law and obtain warrants after the fact is opening the door for jihadists to attack the USA.

It doesn't. But when the administration is run by unpatriotic cowards these are the decisions you get. When you elect failures you get failed leadership.

molliemous said...

If we as a nation can’t have a rational discussion about whether or not the POTUS lied to us, what will become of us? What in the heck are we going to teach children about the value of truth if there is no consequence to lying?

Lies are morally wrong for two reasons. First, lying corrupts the most important quality of my being human: my ability to make free, rational choices. Each lie I tell contradicts the part of me that gives me moral worth. Second, my lies rob others of their freedom to choose rationally. When my lie leads people to decide other than they would had they known the truth, I have harmed their human dignity and autonomy. This must have consequences, yes?

Lies assume "lives of their own" and result in consequences that the perps do not intend or fail to predict. Moreover, it is very difficult for a person to be objective in estimating the good and the harm that lies will produce. In the POTUS case, he has a vested interest in the lies he tells and an equally vested interest in believing that the world will be better if he lies from one instance to the next. Because he has no crystal ball, his lying is even more dangerous because he cannot accurately measure lies' benefits and harms.

A Time magazine cover story from the early ‘90s noted that "Lies flourish in social uncertainty, when people no longer understand, or agree on, the rules governing their behavior toward one another." Maybe social uncertainty abounds share no common ground. More likely, the problem is that too few persons adequately consider any ethical perspective when facing a situation that tempts a lie. Either way, it seems that the solution to our dissatisfaction begins with acknowledging the value of ethical reasoning and ends with a commitment to follow through with what we determine is the right thing to do.

Oh, well…let ‘er rip.

J said...

"I fail to see how requiring the President to follow the letter of the law and obtain warrants after the fact is opening the door for jihadists to attack the USA."

This is the crux of the disconnect on this issue. The focus of the president's critics on legalities implies that they see this as some annoying crime problem, not a war. The president's job as CinC is to kill enemies attacking or trying to attack this country, not arrest and prosecute them. This is not a criminal matter where rules of evidence apply. There's no question in my mind that the authority to conduct war will at some time be abused to the point that the pendulum will swing and heads will probably roll. But we're not there yet. In the meantime, if the law restricts the president in attacking the terrorists trying to attack us - and I'm certainly open to the argument that it does - I'm reasonably confident the public doesn't want the president to obey that law (see :http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10345320/).

Sloanasaurus said...

"...If we as a nation can’t have a rational discussion about whether or not the POTUS lied to us, what will become of us..."

I agree. Except that most of those on the left are not rational. Usually, its just conservatives having rational discussions amongst themselves.

molliemous said...

Hey J,

If you're going to listen to the public...
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/
Posted at 08:26 AM ET, 03/15/2006
Parsing the Polls: Too Early to See the Wave?

Now is not the best time to be a Republican member of Congress.

Anxious times indeed.

A series of independent polls released over the last month show Democrats with an ever-widening lead in the generic ballot question ("If the congressional election were held today, would you vote for the Democratic candidate in your district or the Republican candidate?"). The most recent survey, conducted by CNN/USA Today/Gallup from March 10-12, showed Democrats with a 16-point edge -- 55 percent to 39 percent.

No polling question is more analyzed and argued about than the generic ballot question. Republicans insist that it has not been an accurate predictor of gains and losses in the House over the past few cycles, while Democrats point to the results as a sign that the American people are ready for a change.

Thorley Winston said...

Feingold cost himself credibility and gravitas by doing this. He only pleased those who already love him, he forced his colleagues to run away from him, and he reminded people that none of these Senators really believe the NSA program is something they can oppose.

I think you’re right, in addition to his Democratic colleagues the other casualty of this stunt was Russ Feingold’s credibility since he has now revealed himself to be a pandering, grandstanding jackass. That he ran from the room when asked to debate his resolution shows that he’s a coward as well.

Bruce Hayden said...

Madisonman asks:

"I fail to see how requiring the President to follow the letter of the law and obtain warrants after the fact is opening the door for jihadists to attack the USA. Especially when such warrants are almost always granted."

You are apparently talking about the 72 hour Emergency Orders provision of FISA. If you are, you have signed on the often asserted but mistaken notion that this would solve the problem. The AG has repeatedly pointed out why this doesn't work. Stating that it would doesn't make it so, and, of anyone in the country, he is the one who is best placed to tell us why they won't (since he is the one who has to authorize them), and he has told us why, repeatedly.

PatCA said...

I don't see this as anything new or different. It's a symbolic gesture that will never be debated or voted upon and was designed to place him to the left of the party's frontrunners. I guess if he wants to be the new Kucinich, that's his right.

Once again, it shows that the "something" as in "stand for something" means standing...against something else, usually The Bushitler.

Lou Minatti said...

People, let's be honest. As long as Howard "I hate Republicans!" Dean and Michael "Leni Riefenstahl" Moore are the faces of the Democratic Party, the Dems ain't going anywhere.

I encourage Dems to attempt to impeach Bush over wiretapping terrorist suspects. PLEASE. Do this. Don't be gutless cowards, if you feel that wiretapping terrorist suspects is wrong, demand that justice be served.

DaveG said...

And what if he were to succeed?

I guess I simply can't get over the short-sightedness of Democrats willing to cripple the Presidency simply because they don't like the current holder of the title.

Imagine for a minute what Feingold would be faced with if he were to win in '08. All the responsibility that Bush has, but a whole pack of new rules and lost authority that would effectively tie his hands. Why would anyone deliberately fight to remove authority and autonomy from a position he hopes to make his own? Or is he counting on a Democratic majority in the Congress? I wouldn't bet my ranch on that.

MadisonMan said...

The AG has repeatedly pointed out why this doesn't work. Stating that it would doesn't make it so, and, of anyone in the country, he is the one who is best placed to tell us why they won't (since he is the one who has to authorize them), and he has told us why, repeatedly.

The AG is the one who tries to define his way out of torture too, so I'm not sure how much I can believe him.

But if he's on the level, why not go ask Congress to change the law? Isn't that why Congress is there? You don't just ignore laws that are inconvenient or not working, unless you're a King and/or dictator, and the President is neither.

Will anyone's mind change when President Maroon Jacket Warner names Hillary Clinton head of the FBI?

EddieP said...

Good for Senator Russ. He wants to be president and this will assure him a solid thirty percent of the vote. Now,if he can only figure out how to convert that 30% into a plurality......

Thorley Winston said...

Imagine for a minute what Feingold would be faced with if he were to win in '08. All the responsibility that Bush has, but a whole pack of new rules and lost authority that would effectively tie his hands. Why would anyone deliberately fight to remove authority and autonomy from a position he hopes to make his own?

Answer: Russ Feingold is to the United States what Gaius Baltar is to the Twelve Colonies.

Aspasia M. said...

After this Athens was defeated and remained subserviant for more than 2000 years...Maybe Democrats shold go back and read about the Athenians.

Was the Peloponnesian War a good idea for the greater interest of Athens and the Athenian empire? See Thucydides.

From the Melian Debate:

Athenians: "To you the gain will be that by submission you will avert the worst, and we shall be all the richer for your preservation."

Melians: "But do you not recognize another danger?"

I've always thought that the choice of Alcibiades was horrible, just horrible. Hmmm...he reminds me of someone....

J said...

"No polling question is more analyzed and argued about than the generic ballot question. Republicans insist that it has not been an accurate predictor of gains and losses in the House over the past few cycles, while Democrats point to the results as a sign that the American people are ready for a change."

Mollie - My point was that there is a disconnect between those who view this as a criminal law issue - a group that skews, but is hardly confined to, the left, and those who consider this war. If John Kerry were president now, or if Hillary Clinton is president in 2009, I stand by my contention that the public would not want the CinC to obey laws that restricted his/her ability to hunt down and kill terrorists. The vast majority of the public, regardless of party affiliation, does not see this as an issue of fighting crime.

Eli Blake said...

Feingold was right about the whole surveillance issue, and a lot of us Democrats in the country are disappointed that Democrats in the Senate haven't been bolder on this and other issues.

However, I don't agree with him about the whole censure issue.

Here is why:

1. We (Democrats) don't have the votes to win it. When we lose, it says more about our ineffectiveness than it does the President's.

2. Our energy could be more successful if brought together on a positive cause: for example, universal health care or a deadline for Iraq withdrawal. Even if Bush were successfully censured, it would achieve--exactly nothing.

3. Voters (and I'm a Precinct committeeman, I talk to a lot of voters) already know we don't like the President and can criticize Republican policies. And a lot of them agree with us, that the Republicans have failed. But they won't vote for us because they think we don't have a plan and don't stand for anything. Censuring the President isn't a plan and doesn't stand for anything. Health coverage for everyone, affordable college, higher teacher pay, getting rid of the high income Social Security wage tax exemption, prohibiting political donations from lobbyists or corporate jet flights, a staged and scheduled withdrawal from Iraq, these are plans and things we can stand for.

4. Since a censure won't achieve anything, suppose that (as I imagine some hope, although in my opinion delusionally) this were to steamroll into a movement to impeach Bush. And, after launching all of our efforts at it, we prevail! The Shrub is GONE!! Oh, Happy day! And the reward? We get to watch on TV: "I, Dick Cheney, do solemnly swear..."

Let's focus on what we can do, and what it will make a difference if we do succeed at, instead of all this pie in the sky that won't happen and won't help us a bit if it does.

This is, in so many words, what Ann's point is. As a Democrat, I have to agree with her analysis.

Hey said...

Feingold has achieved the impossible: he made Chuck Schumer back away from a microphone.

Russ' apparent goal was to have another brave stand, like his 99-1 stand against the Patriot Act. So far, it looks like a 98-2 stand, aligned with Sen. Harkin (D-IA).

It is funny to see someone so "committed" to civil liberties and "free" speech expend so much energy on restricting that speech which is most critical to the operation of a free society. But then the Left has always about some being more equal than others.

On a side note, CNBC's Squawkbox anchors (and especially Joe Kernan) have been beating Schumer viciously for his "excess profits" kick. Goldman Sachs just announced the largest ever quarterly profit for an Investment Bank ($2.5B). The New York Senator is strangely unanxious to enact an excess profit tax on Investment Banks similar to the one he urged for Oil companies. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that oil interests are focused in Texas, while Investment Banks are clustered in Manhattan and donate millions to Chuckie's campaigns.

Sloanasaurus said...

"...I've always thought that the choice of Alcibiades was horrible, just horrible. Hmmm...he reminds me of someone...."

What are you talking about? Alcibiades (before he became a traitor) was one of Athens most vibrant military leaders. He was young, ambitious, and very smart. His political enemies screwed him over and ordered his recall over fabricated claims at the very beginning of the Syracuse expedition when they needed him most. Alcibiadies had two choices. Go home to Athens and face execution from false charges or go over to the enemy. With such a choice one would question whether your country is worth fighting for.....

Im not sure who you think he reminds you of... you got me.

michael a litscher said...

The left wing of the party has greeted Feingold's censure call ecstatically. He was the front-runner in a Jan. 31 survey of 2008 presidential candidates by the liberal blog Daily Kos. Feingold garnered 30 percent support among the more than 11,000 respondents...

The fringe left barking moonbat tail wags the Jackass. And 11,000 votes won't get you elected dog catcher in Madistan, never mind a national election.

Feingold (D-al-Qaida) obviously didn't get the DNC memo that the wiretapping issue was for demagoguery and fund-raising only, his fellow travelors didn't really intend on doing anything of substance about it.

Balfegor said...

No polling question is more analyzed and argued about than the generic ballot question. Republicans insist that it has not been an accurate predictor of gains and losses in the House over the past few cycles, while Democrats point to the results as a sign that the American people are ready for a change.

Yes . . . that's probably correct. But I think "generic ballot" type questions run into the same problems you run into when you poll people about whether they want fiscal responsibility. Sure they do, but when push comes to shove, they want fiscal responsibility by cutting someone else's government handouts, or seizing someone else's money. Because incumbents have such an advantage, the generic ballot question is, I understand, most predictive for open seat races, and much less so for the incumbents. Add in decades of gerrymandering, and it doesn't look so bad for the Republicans at all. Things will have to get a lot worse yet.

His political enemies screwed him over and ordered his recall over fabricated claims at the very beginning of the Syracuse expedition when they needed him most. Alcibiadies had two choices. Go home to Athens and face execution from false charges or go over to the enemy.

He reminds me of Ssu-ma Chien's friend. I forget the name. The one he was eunuchised over.

molliemous said...

Senator Feingold is trying to find out if the Emperor’s New Clothes are made out of whole cloth. Perhaps the POTUS courtiers are holding on to the train that isn't there at all?

Balfegor said...

Senator Feingold is trying to find out if the Emperor’s New Clothes are made out of whole cloth.

He's not going to get very far with that if his fellow Democrats treat him like he's radioactive and his Republican enemies bust a gut laughing at him.

molliemous said...

Time will tell...but we're a very long and painful way from the last laugh.

michael a litscher said...

** CORRECTION **

Feingold garnered 30 percent support among the more than 11,000 respondents...

So he didn't receive 11,000 votes, he received 30 percent of 11,000 votes. How many of those 3300 votes are from registered American voters is anyone's guess.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

I would think that if Congress doesn't act in the next month or so, it can be said to have tacitly agreed with the NSA program. It has had plenty of time to get hearings going, and really hasn't. Yes, the Republicans control both houses, but still, I keep hearing how many of them have "serious concerns" about the program.

But as I keep pointing out, Congress isn't going to tell the President that the NSA can't continue doing what it has been doing for at least the last couple of years. Few of them want to take the chance of another 9/11 type terrorist attack as a result of discontinuing the program. Except in the bluest of states, that would be the end of their political careers.

Thorley Winston said...

I would think that if Congress doesn't act in the next month or so, it can be said to have tacitly agreed with the NSA program. It has had plenty of time to get hearings going, and really hasn't. Yes, the Republicans control both houses, but still, I keep hearing how many of them have "serious concerns" about the program.

IMO by not raising a real fuss or trying to take action in opposition for the last three years that members of both parties have been briefed about it, the Senate has already agreed to the program. Mr. Feingold’s attempt to build a rep for himself amongst the Moron.org crowd notwithstanding.

DaveG said...

Few of them want to take the chance of another 9/11 type terrorist attack as a result of discontinuing the program. Except in the bluest of states, that would be the end of their political careers.

And the end of quite a few lives, but that never seems to enter their calculus.

Pogo said...

I voted for Bush because he was certain to prosecute the war against islamofascism, unlike his capitulating opponent.

Feingold thinks he smells blood, and wants to go in for the big kill. He wants to rebuke the president during a war, on the basis of spying on the international communications of the enemy. Yet no sensible person believes this is wrong, and most would think a leader who failed to provide such an obvious protection irresponsible and weak.

"Moonbat" just isn't the word. When do we begin to complain that Feingold is quite simply providing aid to the enemy? In any other time, an act such as his would swiftly be deemed traitorous. But we live in postmodern times, where "honor, duty, and country" have no more primacy than "bacon, lettuce, and tomato".

How decent is a man who cannot find any other way to benefit his country than to make sure it loses a war?

His new image: Benedict Feingold

hygate said...

I'd be very curious to see what would happen if a bill were introduced to legalize what the President is/was/has been doing.

But the administration believes that it is legal and since introducing such a bill would be tantamount to stating that it wasn't they aren't very likely to do so. The courts are going to have to decide if it was legal or not, that is, after all, one of their functions; ruling on whether or not the actions of the executive branch are constitutional.

INMA30 said...

Pogo said...
I voted for Bush because he was certain to prosecute the war against islamofascism, unlike his capitulating opponent.

So now that he has proven himself incompetent (and, not for nothing, never asked for a war to be declared)do you begin to question where the "honor, duty and country" is in the cowardice of, once you've stopped crapping you pants, to begin a campaign lies and deceptions to fight the wrong "war" rather than do anything to protect the American people from further attack. O.k., I will give them increased security at the airports. Just incompetence at every single turn.

Pogo said...

INMA30 wrote perhaps the most incoherent, run-on, spambotty, and cliched sentence masquerading as a comment ever.

Strong work!

Sloanasaurus said...

"So now that he has proven himself incompetent..."

NEWS FLASH... have we been attacked since 9/11. NO! Everyone said we would be. Now there is clear evidence that Al Qaeda and others have tried and have been stopped. Why is that? Is it luck. Are the new security policies working? Is it the patriot act? Is the Iraq war draining the pool of available recruits? Who knows....

What then is the evidence for incompetence? Where is the evidence? Help me find it?

If you have a quarterback who wins 16 straight games with "lucky plays...." do you call that quaterback incompetent and replace him? No way. After all, what if your wrong... what if the plays really wern't so lucky after all....some say a man makes his own fortune.

The incompetence would lay in the decision to replace the quarterback. Fortunately, the American people were not incompetent in 2004.

INMA30 said...

sloan-

Your are probably right, who knows. My guess is that the invasion of Afghanistan is the primary reason, since there we really were doing something about the problem. I have yet to see any proof that any of the other measures, except perhaps airport security, has had any effect in preventing anything.

However, your claim that we haven't been attacked is silly. We are attacked every single day in Iraq. Unnecessarily. "They" were never there, so the claim that we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here is nonsense. If we had truly wanted to fight "them" there, we would have invaded Saudi Arabia.

Pogo said...

Re: "I have yet to see any proof that any of the other measures, except perhaps airport security, has had any effect in preventing anything."

Apparently, the fact you haven't found yourself covered with ash since 9/11/01 (despite the admitted aim and attempts by islamofascists to render you dead) is insufficient proof in your eyes.

Every day I thank God people like you did not prevail in 2004 (or 2000). And I will no longer ignore such claptrap. You want to play nice with fascists, then move to Spain or France. This is barbarism versus civilization, and you want strict adherence to Queensbury rules to be the measure of our adherence to the rights of man. The other side has told us very explicitly what they want, and your continued existence is not high on the list.

Why you ignore this remains a puzzle.

Sloanasaurus said...

"They" were never there, so the claim that we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here is nonsense.

Where were they then? Where was Zarqawi? Where were all teh Syrians and Saudi and Jordanian terrorists that we roll up every day in Iraq?

You do have a point. It is true that when we invaded Germany in 1945 there were more Germans under arms than there were in 1941. Further there were more Nazi units as well. But for our entry into the war, the German army would have never grown so large and there would have never been so many Nazis.

It is also true that life for Jews was better in Europe before we entered the war. Before we entered the war there were no mass death camps. Auschwitz did not exist. Auschwitz was built after we invaded. If it wasn't for our entry into the war Auschwitz would have never been built.

It's so easy to be a leftist. You don't have to be rational when making arguments.

INMA30 said...

Pogo-

I am really sorry the big, bad men scared you so badly. Having been covered with ash for many weeks following 9/11, I was primarily concerned about rectifying the failures that allowed the attack to happen. That is why I was happily willing to be inconvenienced when I travel. That is why I was glad to see us going after the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. However, after the lies told to get us to Iraq and the utter incompetence in the planning and prosecution of the occupation, I am not so willing to blindly follow a bad leader. If you want me to believe the Patriot Act is working, prove it. If you want me to believe that you need to break the law to protect me, prove it. I am willing to get to the airport an hour earlier, I am not willing to see the Constitution and rule of law slowly dissolved just because we're scared.

Pogo said...

Re: "I am really sorry the big, bad men scared you so badly."
Yeah, those 3000 deaths were just a hoot, weren't they? And the folks all worried about another 9/11 ever since? Crybabies what needs they mamas. Me glad you so strong.

Re: "I am not willing to see the Constitution and rule of law slowly dissolved just because we're scared."
A valid concern, to be sure. But it's been pointed out that every prior US conflict has involved far greater abrogations of state power, so I see little cause for such concern.

You miss the forest for the trees, in addition to being unnecessarily snotty and rude.

DaveG said...

If you want me to believe the Patriot Act is working, prove it. If you want me to believe that you need to break the law to protect me, prove it.

Um, isn't that the whole point? We can't afford to prove it. If nothing else, 9/11 showed (whether you believe Iraq had any involvement in that particular attack or not) that the consequences of waiting for indisputable proof were now far too high to sit and wait for the next attack to "prove" the need to defend ourselves in untraditional ways.

To deny this is to bury your head in the sand and bet other people's lives that you're right.

Others made a more responsible decision: move the fight away from our borders. You don't have to agree with that decision, but to deny that there is any validity to it, that it's simply a scare tactic similar to the Dems "Elect us or your parents will be living in the gutters and your children will be drafted into the Army" election year hyperbole, is simply irresponsible.

Apartment 604 said...

"It's so easy to be a leftist. You don't have to be rational when making arguments."

This coming from someone who just tried comparing the debacle in Iraq to World War II. Yeah, THAT'S rational.

INMA30 said...

re: in addition to being unnecessarily snotty and rude.

c.f.: Every day I thank God people like you did not prevail in 2004 (or 2000). And I will no longer ignore such claptrap. You want to play nice with fascists, then move to Spain or France.

I can see it is a really big issue for you.

Apartment 604 said...

"Others made a more responsible decision: move the fight away from our borders."

But wait! I thought the reason for invading Iraq was because Saddam Hussein was threatening us with weapons of mass destruction. Or was it because of his ties with Al Qaeda? Or no, wait, it was to liberate the Iraqi people from tyranny! Nah, couldn't have been that, it was to spread democracy in the Middle East . . . no, scratch that, it was to . . .

DaveG said...

apartment 604:

You simply prove that a complicated situation is just too much for some to handle. Is it so imcomprehensible to you that there were so many reasons given because there were a whole lot of reasons that existed? Isn't the word "and" in your vocabulary?

Apartment 604 said...

"Is it so imcomprehensible to you that there were so many reasons given because there were a whole lot of reasons that existed?"

Not at all; I completely agree there could be multiple reasons for a military action. I just find it curious that Bush has only relied on one reason at a time. And I say that as someone who once believed in and supported him in his decision.

Sloanasaurus said...

"...This coming from someone who just tried comparing the debacle in Iraq to World War II. Yeah, THAT'S rational...."

Go back and read my post maybe you will actually understand it.

Oh and by the way....some of the more minor debacles committed in World War II make Iraq look like a picnic.

Ahh but of course we had clear reasons for fighting Germany. Wait, was it because they attacked us? Was it to save the Jews? Was it to save the French, what was it..... someone tell me.

Pogo said...

Re: "I can see it is a really big issue for you."

Great, inma30; I'm glad you've come around to my way of thinking.

MadisonMan said...

Great, inma30; I'm glad you've come around to my way of thinking.

You cannot live in a risk-free society. Well, and be free at the same time. Your way of thinking has the government looking over everyone's shoulder just in case that 1-in-a-millionth person is a deranged bomber. No thank you. I realize that you accept that. But I don't. Especially because I see no cause and effect between restrictions in liberty and the dearth of attacks (in the US, at least). Would the government tell us if there was one?

And to bring this back to Feingold: I think many here interpret his actions differently than I do (to put it mildly). IMO, Feingold is trying to get the White House to follow the law -- he is not against spying on the enemy, that's a ridiculous argument. I think it's entirely appropriate for someone in the Legislature to try and keep the Executive branch following the law, as [parts of] the Legislature interprets it.

Yes, eventually the Judiciary will have to intervene, I suppose, and Ann's comment on tacit approval will probably be made then.

DaveG said...

And I say that as someone who once believed in and supported him in his decision.

You should consider yourself blessed that you have the luxury of being able to just change your mind when it suits you. For others, the consequences of having to make difficult decisions are a bit more challenging to deal with.

Apartment 604 said...

"IMO, Feingold is trying to get the White House to follow the law -- he is not against spying on the enemy, that's a ridiculous argument."

Nor is he trying to overturn an election. As members of a certain other party tried to do a few years ago . . .

I think what Bush did, while illegal, was understandable. But he's not above the law - and his defiant attitude, like Clinton's defiant attitude in 1998, is what really offends me.

Apartment 604 said...

"For others, the consequences of having to make difficult decisions are a bit more challenging to deal with."

Yeah, especially when those decisions turn out to be dead wrong. But I'm sorry; were you trying to make a point, or were you just trying to attack me?

dick said...

Apartment 604,

Once again the left is getting it wrong. Bush and the conservatives set out at least 23 reasons for the invasion when they announced it. It was not the WH that concentrated on one reason at a time, it was the democrats and the media who emphasized one reason at a time. Then they tried to blame the administration for inconsistency when the administration kept telling us there were many reasons for the invasion. Even the statement passed by the Congress and Senate authorisizing the invasion had all the reasons listed. That did not seem to even make a dent on the media or on the dems. Strange.

INMA30 said...

To try to keep this on the Feingold matter. I do expect this to be a slowly building story and probably as much about keeping the illegal wiretap debate rolling than about actual censure. I have been surprised how off-guard he caught his cohorts. Perhaps that was part of his strategy. Given that the country has generally given up on the President, it is surprising that the Dems have not been more aggressive.

Pogo said...

Madison Man said:
"You cannot live in a risk-free society. Well, and be free at the same time."
Yeah, that damn Abe Lincoln and his suspension of habeas corpus. It's been a freakin' gulag here ever since.

"...just in case that 1-in-a-millionth person is a deranged bomber. "
Suitcase nuclear devices? Tunnel bombings? Stadium explosions? Water contamination? SUVs in the University Quad? Don't worry about it!, sez MadisonMan, It's a one-in-a-million chance!


"Especially because I see no cause and effect between restrictions in liberty and the dearth of attacks (in the US, at least)."
I am not overly fond of those parts of the Patriot Act now used for anything other than the war. I abhor them; they are indeed abusive.

But for the war effort, yay for state intrusiveness. The fact that a million Sept. 11ths were promised, and all they can do is blow up fellow muslims in Iraq suggests Bush's plan is working. To you, it's just luck, or Hillary's pen-knife rattling, or maybe the fascists have decided they don't hate us.

"IMO, Feingold is trying to get the White House to follow the law"
Gosh, that would require submitting a bill or something. Wonder where a guy can get that done?

Pogo said...

Re: "I have been surprised how off-guard he caught his cohorts. "

Off-guard? Off-guard?

I'll say. Hillary found the idea so radioactive, she hid behind 4-foot-11 Barbara Mikulski rather than answer questions about it. Even Chuck Schumer, the most attention-craving man alive, said "No comment".

I suspect they were thinking "WTF is he doing?", not just "Gosh, I'm caught off-guard here."

MadisonMan said...

To you, it's just luck,

Do I say that? I don't know. What I did ask was: if the Government actually were preventing things, would they tell us? I would think they could suitably shroud the description of an aborted terrorist attack so as not to tip their hands re: methodology of prevention.

The only aborted attack I can think of wasn't stop any government. Fellow air passengers stopped the shoe bomber.

Have there been aborted terrorist attempts?

Apartment 604 said...

"Bush and the conservatives set out at least 23 reasons for the invasion when they announced it."

I realize we're getting way off the topic of Feingold's censure resolution here, but all that Bush himself talked about was WMDs, until they didn't turn up. I was listening rather carefully to him. My mistake, I suppose.

But in any event, I'd certainly like a thoughtful, honest assessment of how those other 22 justifications have fared. Maybe other conservatives can explain, because it's not like the White House is saying anything coherent. All I hear from Bush are the same vague platitudes about 9/11 and fighting terrorism. I'm not part of "the left," and I still want the U.S. to succeed in Iraq, very much so. But I fail to see how that can be done or what "success" even means anymore.

Anyone who wants to take this conversation offline is welcome to email me - the address is in my blogger profile.

INMA30 said...

What is interesting in the poll (http://americanresearchgroup.com/) on this is that more identified independents support impeachment than censure. It doesn't really seem like this is the godsend the NYT thought for the republican base, but perhaps its early days to make that call.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
knoxgirl said...

"Answer: Russ Feingold is to the United States what Gaius Baltar is to the Twelve Colonies."

finally, the long-anticipated "Battlestar Galactica" reference

Pogo said...

Re: "I would think they could suitably shroud the description of an aborted terrorist attack so as not to tip their hands..."

I do not have any hope you'd give any credence to such news coming from Bush.
More likely you'd forget it had already been done.

Bush details foiled 2002 terror plot
By David Jackson and Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY, 2/9/2006
WASHINGTON — President Bush gave new details Thursday of how the government foiled purported plans by al-Qaeda to attack the tallest building on the West Coast in 2002.

And inma30, I'll bet Feingold is banking on those polls being right. They're likely to work out for him as well as Zogby did for Kerry.

INMA30 said...

re: zogby polls

Heh. Yeah, especially early on. Honestly, I am not sure that 47% of the people polled actually know what censure is.

Pogo said...

Should Bush be censured?

Um, yeah, with one of those black box dealies over the naughty bits.

INMA30 said...

Pogo-

I think their are some doubts about the reality of the LA tower plot and I have been clear that my trust hurdle has been consistently raised by the Iraq thing. Nevertheless, the plot seems to have been shaken up in early 2002, and I think one of the guys was taken in Pakistan. It goes back to my original assertion that going after these guys in Afghanistan was a good thing and probably did more than anything else to thwart additional attacks.

Going into Iraq and obsessing about what library books people check out, while an infintessimal amount of port traffic is screened and our "friends" in the Middle East continue to funnel cash to the terrorists make me realize that these guys don't get it and aren't really the best team to provide us national security. I think that the country is coming to realize that slowly but surely.

MadisonMan said...

I do not have any hope you'd give any credence to such news coming from Bush.
More likely you'd forget it had already been done.

Bush details foiled 2002 terror plot


Thank you for the sort-of link. Now I recall hearing about this. (Who wrote that awful headline? I mistook 'details' as a noun for about 3 readings)

I do wish they could provide more information, for example what means were used to obtain the information. Were "Patriot" Act powers used, for example? As others here have said, the history of truthiness from this administration is dubious and a simple claim, although encouraging, doesn't make a convincing argument to me to give up my liberties.

Sloanasaurus said...

"....But I fail to see how that can be done or what "success" even means anymore...."

I don't think Bush ever had a majorty that would have supported his democracy policy in the middle-east. He did have majority support to remove Saddam Hussein. Now that Saddam is gone, support is waning. However, this is what makes great leaders. They lead the country along when the country is against it.

FDR was a great leader because he prepared the country for war when 80% of America was against it. FDR did a lot of quasi-legal things that remind me of the NSA spying case.

Lincoln was a great leader because he stuck it out and finished the war when the public wanted to end the war.

Reagan never had majority support in the beginning for his aggressive stance towards Communism. But, Reagan was right in the end.

The democracy policy is Bush's solution to the proliferation of WMD. Bush assumes that we cannot stop proliferation because as history proves, all technology spreads eventually, thus we should seek regime change hoping that deomcracies will create governments less likely to seek and use WMD for offensive purposes.

I think in a less partisan time, Bush would have grabbed quite a few democrats to support this democracy project. The democracy project is inherently liberal - the essence of Woodrow Wilson combined with self defense. I think many democrats in their heart support it, they just hate Bush more and worry that success in Iraq will lead to domestic political successes.

It's all unfortunate.

Bruce Hayden said...

MadisonMan

One big problem with giving you more information is that it also gives our enemies more information. There is some indication that the amount of useful information that was coming out of the NSA program has dropped off significantly since this whole thing erupted. Ditto for information from satellite calls once it hit our papers that we were monitoring them.

That is the avowed reason that the Administration was not more forthcoming in the details of the NSA program - because if the American people get to know the details, then so does al Qaeda. Pure and simple - they watch CNN just like a lot of Americans do, and if it shows up in the American press, it shows up around the world the same day.

INMA30 said...

re: There is some indication that the amount of useful information that was coming out of the NSA program has dropped off significantly since this whole thing erupted.

Since there has been no evidence of any useful information coming out of the illegal wiretapping program, I find this dubious.

Balfegor said...

Since there has been no evidence of any useful information coming out of the illegal wiretapping program, I find this dubious.

Why would we have any indication of useful information coming out of the program. It was supposed to be secret, no? And even now, even the program's opponents -- those who actually have some idea of its substance, in Congress etc. -- have been extremely cautious about telling the public exactly what it entails. Even the bureaucrats who shopped the story to the press have been pretty reticent about the substance of the program. Why?

It seems to me like they think it's been a useful program, and one they don't want to blow out into the open. They're just uncomfortable with the possibility that it may be used improperly against American citizens.

INMA30 said...

Bal--

I think you may have missed my point, which was since no information has come out, I find claims that now less information is being gathered difficult to prove. It might in fact be true, but it would seem to be pure speculation. I don't there would be any "indications" of such if it is truly a secret program.

michael a litscher said...

INMA30: "They" were never there, so the claim that we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here is nonsense.

It seems as if I have to repeat this information every so often for the willfully ignorant masses on the left, so here goes one more time.

Exerpted from: President Speaks on War Effort to Citadel Cadets
"Above all, we're acting to end the state sponsorship of terror. Rogue states are clearly the most likely sources of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons for terrorists. Every nation now knows that we cannot accept -- and we will not accept -- states that harbor, finance, train, or equip the agents of terror. Those nations that violate this principle will be regarded as hostile regimes. They have been warned, they are being watched, and they will be held to account."
President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001

Congressional approval:
Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

Iraq harbored terrorists:
Abdul Rahman Yasin
Abu Nidal
Abu Abbas
Ansar al-Islam
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Iraq financed terrorists:
"President Saddam Hussein has recently told the head of the Palestinian political office, Faroq al Kaddoumi, his decision to raise the sum granted to each family of the martyrs of the Palestinian uprising to $25,000 instead of $10,000," Iraq’s former deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, announced at a Baghdad meeting of Arab politicians and businessmen on March 11, 2002, Reuters reported two days later.
Reuters, "Hussein vows cash for martyrs." March 12, 2002. Published in The Australian, March 13, 2002, page 9

Iraq trained terrorists:
Salman Pak / Al Salman

sparky said...

after reading the posts on this topic i have two observations--
1. it's not clear exactly what F's motives are. Rs seem to pass it off as grandstanding, while Ds or their ilk think of it as appropriate push-back. my guess is that F thinks he is standing up for a principle, especially given Congress' failure to conduct any meaningful oversight. i don't think he thinks this would help him politically as i'm sure he can read straws in the wind as well as the next person.

2. the debates about the wiretapping seem to boil down to the illegality v. the protection argument. the problem i have with the protection argument is that there's no evidence to support it. we've now had five years of being told that Iraq had WMD and similar claims that turned out to be untrue. if you want a closer parallel, look at the Padilla case--downgraded from "dirty bomber" to some kind of supporting terrorism case. when push comes to shove the administration simply fails to show any facts that actually make its case. as they are not shy about initially trumpeting possible sucesses (Padilla, "Mission Accomplished") i am forced to conclude that they don't have any evidence that their program--whatever it is--works. so i see no reason to simply accept the administration's say-so.

a larger problem for me with the comments here is that there's no logical stopping place for government control. most of the people posting here and in other R-style forums will apparently accept any proposition so long as it is garbed in the rainment of protecting the US against terrorists. i say this because that assertion, wholly disconnected from anything resembling a verifiable bit of reality--seems a sufficient justification for every policy in this area. it would be nice to see someone--anyone, that is, who thinks that justification from this administration is sufficient--posit a line that this government should not cross.

comparisons to WWII and the US civil war, while no doubt rhetorically useful, are inapt.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sparky,

I can see why you don't want to compare this war with WWII - since in that war, the interception of international calls was much more egregious.

In your second point, you are assuming that the NSA program is illegal. Needless to say, this is a mere theory by those opposed to the program, and, most often, to the Administration. Needless to say, the legality of the program has not been tested in court. And most of those theorizing that it is illegal either are parroting the opinions of someone else, or are assuming facts not in evidence. Also, they often assume the (mis)application of case law that is not binding precedent (such as the Youngstown concurrence), while ignoring the President's Article II claims and misreading the Hamdi case.

sparky said...

thanks for your response. i discuss below.

I can see why you don't want to compare this war with WWII - since in that war, the interception of international calls was much more egregious.

my bad--i was unclear here. i meant that rhetorical comparisons to those events for the purpose of justifying activity now are strained past the point of credulity. as to your point, since the administration has refused to discuss exactly what it is doing (including refusing to discuss whether wholly domestic eavesdropping is occuring) there simply isn't any way to compare the specific programs. for all we know this program might be broader.




In your second point, you are assuming that the NSA program is illegal. Needless to say, this is a mere theory by those opposed to the program, and, most often, to the Administration.

i find your use of the term theory here a bit odd, especially coming from a lawyer. generally speaking lawyers are more apt to use terms like "argument" when claiming that a particular act is not in contravention of, say, a statute. rhetoric aside, it is interesting that a lawyer would assert that because a court has not ruled on a practice it is therefore legal. under your logic, if every lawyer in the US said some act was illegal and prohibited by statute, it would not be illegal until a court actually held it to be so. now, we can argue about that as a matter of legal theory (what is the import of a valid statute v a judicial decision) but as a practical matter your characterization is over the top. to get back to your point, plenty of people--some who are not per se opposed to this administration--think this program probably violated the law, at least in some respects. and the rather hurried and clandestine congressional effort to conform the law to the practice after the event is, i think, rather telling evidence in support of the argument that the critics, not the administration have the better legal argument.

Needless to say, the legality of the program has not been tested in court. And most of those theorizing that it is illegal either are parroting the opinions of someone else, or are assuming facts not in evidence.

i agree that the program has not yet been tested in a court. my understanding is that some actions have been filed. as to your next point, i am unclear why it is relevant because it's equally applicable to those who support the administration.


Also, they often assume the (mis)application of case law that is not binding precedent (such as the Youngstown concurrence), while ignoring the President's Article II claims and misreading the Hamdi case.

well, those are your characterizations, and since you are a lawyer i would expect no less. but your characterizations don't make them so. youngstown is perhaps a more difficult matter all around, though it strains belief to say it has no relevance here. and i just disagree with your assertion about the Hamdi case. i think a much more plausible reading of that case is that bedrock legal principles are still applicable, though perhaps in a more attenuated manner, even in times of national urgency. further, i note that "the President's Article II claims" are definitionally, a theory by your terms since they are claims made only by the Administration (at least as far as I know) and have yet to find support in Congress or the courts. and, finally, your claim of Article II brings me back to where i started, and the point that you rather conspiculously failed to address: what, exactly, can this adminstration NOT do?