July 16, 2007

"Russell, Russell, Russell, what has happened to you? Did they get to you, too"?

"This is not the fiery Russell Feingold that we all knew and loved."

1000+ Kos commenters respond
to Feingold's statement -- on Daily Kos -- that he doesn't support the impeachment movement.

Feingold:
I fully respect the anger and frustration many Americans feel with this Administration. I share much of it. But on balance, I think Congress’s time is much better spent ending the war in Iraq, conducting the oversight that was absent for the last six years, and advancing progressive legislation.
Feingold, updating after the comments pour in:
Many of you also wrote that if I recognize that the President and Vice President may have committed impeachable offenses, than it is our responsibility to impeach. As I pointed out, it is the role of the House to impeach, and it is the role of the Senate to try impeachments. But the Constitution left it up to the judgment of members of Congress whether or not moving forward with impeachment is best for the country.
He's surely right about that. That is the reason I opposed the impeachment of President Clinton.

76 comments:

blake said...

I thought the conventional wisdom was that the Republican aggressiveness in pursuing Clinton was responsible for the electoral misfortunes in '98.

blake said...

By that I mean "the Reps electoral misfortunes".

The Exalted said...

better to investigate their misdeeds without the (doomed) circus of impeachment

chickenlittle said...

Blake: You think the Kos folks remember history? Even a cursory look at practically any thread shows an ignorance beyond hope.

Seven Machos said...

Democrats are lucky to have politicians who won't yield to the childish passions of their kooky base.

What possible good for the country, for the Democrats, for the kooky far left, or for anyone would any attempt at impeachment serve?

Congress needs to think more in terms of policy, on both sides. Feingold has been good at sticking to policy. Too bad he is against free political speech.

Fen said...

Feingold: I fully respect the anger and frustration many Americans feel with this Administration... but you Moonbats are just sheep to be herded at our whim. Bush Stupid! GOP Evil! Now get your sorry butts out into the streets!

Eli Blake said...

Many of us lefty bloggers don't support impeachment (and I wrote a post last week on why I didn't.)

I'm glad that Feingold sees it my way.

To be honest after the Clinton impeachment attempt as well as last year's scandals and the rubber stamping of the President's policies on almost everything, I believe that people elected us (Democrats) because they had become convinced that Republicans couldn't govern.

But if we follow the same road, then it will happen that they will draw the same conclusion about Democrats.

And frankly, it is only a minority (though a vocal one) of Democrats which believes that stripping the last bits of flesh from the political carcass of George W. Bush will accomplish anything that the cold oblivion of history won't already accomplish when it writes the epitaph for the Bush years. The majority of us prefer to look forward and discuss issues like health care, CAFE standards and how to work with the rest of the world to accomplish realistic goals in terms of fighting terrorism in contrast to the failed unilateralism of the past half decade.

Internet Ronin said...

Feingold is probably right, but what he says won't make any difference to most of those he is addressing. Good for him to saying it anyway, though.

hdhouse said...

Lets do some logic

lying and an affair and love ick on a dress is to lying about a war and mutilating the military as impeaching a president and letting one off for the good of what.

yes it was stupid and vindictive to go after clinton. are bush's mishaps on the same level as love ick?

Jeff said...

"Democrats are lucky to have politicians who won't yield to the childish passions of their kooky base."

*snicker*

Aw, hell, that deserves a full-blown BWA HA HA HA!

But seriously, thanks for admitting that the largest lefty online community where many major Democrat politicians regularly post is a "kooky base." But boy, they sure can raise those marketing, er, campaign dollars!

Jeff said...

hdhouse:

Do you honestly believe that Bush lied about the war? That he knew perfectly good and well that there were no WMDs, but went ahead anyway because he wanted their sweet, sweet OIIIIL?

Not only that, but he then used his legendary speaking abilities to convince damn near every Democrat member of congress to vote in support without bothering to learn any more about the situation?

chickenlittle said...

house:

"yes it was stupid and vindictive to go after clinton. are bush's mishaps on the same level as love ick?"

So two stupids make a right? or is it just a vengance thing?

Revenant said...

lying and an affair and love ick on a dress

Perjury is illegal, as you periodically remember whenever the Libby trial comes up.

Anyway, I think the Democrats should impeach Bush. It'll keep them from passing any more asinine laws, and the Republican Party can use the popularity boost going into the 2008 elections.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"I think the Democrats should impeach Bush. It'll keep them from passing any more asinine laws...."

What do you mean "any more"? Have you looked at their towering record of legislative achievement recently? ;) Discounting the bills redesignating postal facilities, their principal occupation - apart from holding endless hearings - appears to be restricted to such magnum opuses as Pub. L. 110-039 "To authorize the transfer of certain funds from the Senate Gift Shop Revolving Fund to the Senate Employee Child Care Center," Pub.L. 110-022, "To amend title 18, United States Code, to strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting," and Pub.L. 110-016, "To provide for the construction, operation, and maintenance of an arterial road in St. Louis County, Missouri." I'm sure they've done some genuine legislative work here and there, though.

Meade said...

love ick: Term used by phony "Liberal" enabling wanks for physical evidence of sexual harassment committed by the President of the United States - a serial sexual harasser who, had Congress not done the wrong thing by impeaching him in 98, would have been even more of an albatross around Al Gore's neck in 2000, leaving George Bush to have been elected president with the popular vote.

Stupid ass Republican congressmen.

B said...

As someone who posted comments on Kos in the past purely to uh, educate - yea, that was it - the lefties, I expected and received multitude vehement responses, many wishing my death or my perverse sexual satisfaction (go _ _ _ _ yourself, et al).

What still amazes me was the amount of response: in one instance over a hundred commenter's responded to my teasing questions. Very often it was (still!) dozens. One particular fellow made certain that he answered every single comment I ever posted, and I should probably be dead about a hundred times by now - or at least incredibly self-fellated.

I did come to this conclusion:

Talk all you want about the "influence" Kos has. What he "has" is a chat room for people to sound off on: people who probably are not really that "left/radical" by any means in their everyday life; people who take an opportunity to let off steam and the kind of wishful political vengeance that they know they cannot truly allow to become reality.


Oh,the political influence of Kos is there.

It's just severely overestimated.

Sloanasaurus said...

lying and an affair and love ick on a dress is to lying about a war and mutilating the military

Clinton lied about war and messed with the military too. Except those are policy choices not crimes. When he lied under oath he committed a crime. Just like Libby, whom you all think should go to prison for 20 years.

Meade said...

Sloanasaurus said...
... Just like Libby

Not quite. Clinton lied about nothing more than an innocent consensual blow job; Libby caused 9/11.

Seven Machos said...

Libby is also responsible for Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami, and the death of Pat Tillman. Fitzgerald just couldn't prove the underlying crimes because Libby is co conniving.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ok, maybe Congress isn't passing legislation, at least such that will be signed into law. But I know of a number of Republicans who are almost salivating at the possibility of impeachment hearings. They figure that nothing Congress can do would give it back to them as quickly as if that body impeached Bush over what are in the end, almost entirely political issues.

The problem is that nothing he has done could honestly be called a high crime or misdemeanor. Clinton at least purjured himself in a federal courthouse under oath. But firing political appointees for not following the President's directions close enough just doesn't count.

The reality is that the alleged illegal interception of international calls is not really illegal. Or, at least, the one court that had ruled such got overturned last week, and shown to the woodshed.

The one thing that this Congress has seemed to do is investigate the Administration for as many real and imagined wrongs as it can. Rep. Waxman indicated that this would be his goal, should the Democrats take control of Congress. And this is the one place where they have kept to their campaign promises. And, not surprisingly, there have been numerous hearings, with a little smoke, and no fire. But it is great for TV, and esp. the netroots and KOS crowd.

And I wish them well with their fun. It probably isn't going to last. Many of the seats that gave them the House will likely flop back to the Republicans in the next election, based on demographics and voter registrations.

But it has kept them out of real trouble, from passing much of their "agenda", etc. So, we have a do-nothing Congress. There are a lot worse things than that.

But impeachment for anything that has surfaced so far or been alleged is just going to piss off the middle who voted for Bush, and energize the Right, many of whom stayed home in 2006. The result will be (IMHO) a major sweep in the House for the Republicans, and possibly extending into the Senate. It may even extend to the presidency, as most of the Democrats running for that office are in the Senate, esp. Clinton and Obama, and they would likely end up voting to convict just to keep their base happy.

So, bring it on.

Sloanasaurus said...

But it has kept them out of real trouble, from passing much of their "agenda", etc. So, we have a do-nothing Congress. There are a lot worse things than that.

No doubt. They will eventually start running into comparisons with the 1994 Congress, which was very successful with a similar margin and a president of the opposition party. This Congress is one of the worst ever. It has done absolutely nothing other than pass endless resolutions on Iraq. They don't even remember why they oppose Iraq anymore. All they know is that it keeps the cash coming.

dave™© said...

Why doesn't it surprise me that the Blithering Misogynist Idiot can't figure out when presidential actions actually rise to the level of "high crimes"?

Just keep typing in those blastfaxes, lady.

dave™© said...

Of course, the only thing less surprising than Drunky the Law Perfesser's inability to figure out just what an "impeachable offense" is is the jerking off of her moronic brownshirt peanut gallery to the word "Clinton."

Althouse - the stupidest place on the internet™!

Internet Ronin said...

Somewhat off-topic: Does anyone else's eyes glaze over at the first sign that others are itching to rehash the Clinton impeachment here for the next 100 posts for the 9 millionth time. No one died and left me in charge, but my one little post will soon disappear under you reams of mutual recriminations. Thank goodness I don't have to read your endless taunts of each other, better and more succinctly made by any average first grader:
"Did not!"
"Did too!"
"Was not!"
"Was too!"
"Is not!"
"Is too."

The logic employed will be similar, and is best typified by another children's favorite whine:

"Mommy, he hit me back first!"

Enjoy!

Tim said...

"Do you honestly believe that Bush lied about the war? That he knew perfectly good and well that there were no WMDs, but went ahead anyway because he wanted their sweet, sweet OIIIIL?"

The inability to discern the simple difference between mistake and lie marks the exceptional, unfathomable intelligence of the reality based community, don't you know?

I mean, really. After all, fire doesn't melt steel, and Bush lied all comes from the same clear, incisive minds of the reality based community. Minds driven mad by spluttering rage. And these assholes want to govern the nation.

God help us.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rebel said...

Russ Feingold is one of the worst senators in the senate. His voting record is atrocious. He is definitely one of the most liberal senators in the U.S. I am surprised he spoke up to his base on DailyKos.

The fact that he posts on DailyKos is telling.

Clinton lied under oath. The only crime President Bush has committed is protecting the U.S. The fact that we haven't had another terrorist attack does speak volumes regarding the success.

And no I am not a parody. I am a conversative who believes in the President. I would hope that this site would appreciate varied views. My view is one that is supportive of the president and if that makes me a parody to some so be it.

Pogo said...

"Doyle said...
This post has been removed by the author."


Short of dave™© so posting, few words have ever been sweeter.

Andy said...

Of course Bush didn't lie. To suggest that he lied would mean that he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq - which is impossible. However, in response to Tim's comment, there is a tremendous amount of territory between a lie and a mistake - that territory is commonly referred to as not acting in good faith. While the whole impeachment movement is ridiculous, there are many legitimate questions about the extent to which the administration acted in good faith in its use of intelligence to sell the war -- intelligence that may have been shoddy or questionable - put another way, intelligence that the administration may have discounted for being insufficient in other situations that did not suit a preset political agenda. Certainly the controlling party is entitled to carry out its own agenda. But in high stakes matters, there is also an obligation to take a hard objective look at the facts. Many people feel that the administration engaged in a certain amount of willful ignorance in accepting as gospel intelligence from people like curveball and chalabi. It's not a lie, and its not impeachable, but that doesn't make it a harmless mistake either.

Seven Machos said...

WMD was no lie, it was just stupid. We had reasons to invade Iraq; that was one of them. Bush decided to make his case based on it, and it cost him.

Bush should have said that there are terror-supporting countries all over the Middle East and Asia: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the list goes on. For tactical and political reasons, we are going to invade one. Iraq makes the most sense.

That would have been the truth.

Of course, politicians rarely give complex geopolitical assessments when it comes to going to war.

The fact that our leftist kooks cannot see the complexity here does not excuse Bush's error, but it does not give them a license to be stupid, either.

Come on, lefties! You have the Congress, indisputably the most powerful body in the world. Pass some laws or shut the hell up.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Glenn Reynolds has a great link to a post today about oversimplifying and creating a theatrical point that becomes 'reality.' One nuance of the WMD issue that seems rather oddly unnoticed by the erstwhile dope smoking left is that Sadaam was given all kinds of notice that the police (BusHitler) were going to raid his country (apartment) so if he didn't want to get busted he needed to get his shit in the toilet (Syria). I can't tell you how appreciative some folks I knew in the sixties would have been if the police had published in the paper every Sunday which house they were going to raid next Friday.

Seven Machos said...

Psychiatrist -- I don't think Iraq had any functioning WMD beyond the gases used already against Iran and the Kurds. I do think Saddam wanted to have WMD. I don't think he ever could have developed the technology. One of the more useful criticisms from left has been that these ultra-authoritarian countries like Iraq and North Korea are unlikely to ever be able to maintain WMD or nuclear programs that function at a high level. Their societies just can't marshal the resources.

Saddam was just unable to admit his failure for political reasons and for cultural reasons.

All of that said, invading Iraq was the right thing to do. We have to have a military presence in the Middle East. We have made many tactical mistakes, both in our invasion and occupation.

Also, even if you think we never should have invaded, we have to win now, for our own political and cultural reasons, and for the sake of the Iraqi people.

Tim said...

"...there are many legitimate questions about the extent to which the administration acted in good faith in its use of intelligence to sell the war -- intelligence that may have been shoddy or questionable - put another way, intelligence that the administration may have discounted for being insufficient in other situations that did not suit a preset political agenda. Certainly the controlling party is entitled to carry out its own agenda. But in high stakes matters, there is also an obligation to take a hard objective look at the facts. Many people feel that the administration engaged in a certain amount of willful ignorance in accepting as gospel intelligence from people like curveball and chalabi. It's not a lie, and its not impeachable, but that doesn't make it a harmless mistake either."

Yes, Andy. And when did you stop beating your wife?

Tim said...

"Doyle said...
This post has been removed by the author."


Well, I feel many of us may agree this might be Doyle's first irrefutably truthful statement, although I guess there may be a certain amount of legitimate questions about that.

rosi said...

1000+ Kos commenters respond to Feingold's statement -- on Daily Kos -- that he doesn't support the impeachment movement.

Looks like Feingold is smarter than the average Kossak.

Or maybe he's actually read the Constitution, and knows what the direct result of impeaching President Bush would be: President Cheney

heh

Seven Machos said...

They want to impeach a lame-duck president and a vice president who will never hold elective office again with something like 14 months left until the election.

It's really quite comical. It's important to remember that there is always a group of people to impeach every president. These people have the slightest flutter of traction, I suspect, because we are in an Internet age and because hordes of mainstream journalists secretly visit Kos every day.

PatCA said...

Wow, first Cindy Sheehan, now Russ Feingold, deviating from the Two Year Plan. The Grand March of History is faltering...

Fen said...

hdhouse: Lets do some logic

Sure.

lying and an affair and love ick on a dress

Perjury and obstruction in violation of Jones' civil rights. Under the 1994 Crime Bill, she had a right of discovery, to determine if any other female employees had been coerced into sex by Clinton to establish a pattern of predatory sexaul behavior in the workplace on the part of the accused

house: is to lying about a war

George Tenet. Appointed as Director of CIA by Clinton in July 1997, retained by Bush to July 2004.

CIA Director Tenet to Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002: Iraq’s increasing support to extremist Palestinians, coupled with growing indications of a relationship with al Qaeda, suggest that Baghdad’s links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action. ... We have solid reporting of senior-levelcontacts between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade. ... We have credible reporting that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities.

/via Powerline

Fen said...

Andy: Many people feel that the administration engaged in a certain amount of willful ignorance in accepting as gospel intelligence from people like curveball and chalabi. It's not a lie, and its not impeachable, but that doesn't make it a harmless mistake either.

George Tenet [see above]

jackson said...

Jesus, the WMD thing again.

The vast majority of intelligence concerning Iraq's WMD stockpiles and programs came from the UN itself and predates the Bush Administration by several years.

The Authorization to use military force in Iraq, overwhelmingly passed by Congress and affirmed by the US First District Court of Appeals as a legitimate declaration of war in Bush v. Roe, cites over twenty bases for war against Iraq, and fewer than five of them have anything to do with WMD stockpiles.

I have one question I ask anyone who tries to convince me that Bush lied about WMD and/or that Saddam's Iraq was behind 9/11 to which I have received only silence in response: can you actually point to lie? Not one person I've ever asked this question has even tried to answer it. When Bush is impeached, do the leftards think this question won't come up?

yours/
peter.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I don't think Iraq had any functioning WMD beyond the gases used already against Iran and the Kurds. Steven.

I agree with that point. You don't think he got them from Joe's Odds and Ends do you and Joe just never had that notion again? As to too technologically primitive, look the Soviets' car was never going to outsell Edsell but Sputnik was kind of impressive. I think many of our investment bankers or Gates or Buffett have the resources to build the bomb. If you run a country like Iraq you have similar resources. Done entirely from scratch the first time it was $40 billion in today's dollars. Sadaam's command of Spanglish was kind of limited maybe but what I think he was trying to say was, "I don't need no stinking papers." It kind of depends on which version of Joe Wilson, etc. you want to believe.

Seven Machos said...

There's no question that Iraq can build this stuff. Engineering is just a skill. But can they run it, over a period of years, and when it's really necessary can they use it?

The same problems that bedevil Arab armies will bedevil Arab WMD programs. It's civilizational.

Fen said...

It's civilizational.

Ouch.

Jackson: I have one question I ask anyone who tries to convince me that Bush lied about WMD and/or that Saddam's Iraq was behind 9/11 to which I have received only silence in response: can you actually point to lie?

Sure, here are several of his WMD lies:

"So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

[....]

My bad, that was Bill Clinton, John Kerry, AL Gore, and Hillary Clinton - not Bush.

http://www.glennbeck.com/news/01302004.shtml

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pub.L. 110-022, "To amend title 18, United States Code, to strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting" ...
I'm sure they've done some genuine legislative work here and there, though.


IMO, this is genuine legislative work. Why do you think otherwise?

The examples of congressional acts that you give do not mark a departure from the usual business of congress.

DaveG said...

Typical short-sightedness from the Kos Koolaid Klutch(tm).

Sure, impeach Bush. Wake up the next morning feeling just oh-so-full of yourself, only to greet the new President, Richard Cheney. What then? Why, the evil Halliburton will have WON!

Bring it on, guys, bring it on.

MadisonMan said...

That is one angry thread on Kos. I'm glad my Senator is sensible. It's unfortunate that there weren't more sensible Republicans in the House back during the Clinton era. Who knows what may have been discovered had the focus been diverted from Ms. Lewinsky.

Simon said...

Cyrus:
"IMO, this is genuine legislative work."

Sure, for a state legislature. And maybe for a Congress with nothing better to do. I thought this was a Congress of change? What happened to the "hundred hours" agenda?

"The examples of congressional acts that you give do not mark a departure from the usual business of congress."

So we all agree this is a "business as usual" Congress. Which is unfortunate for the Dems given its advance billing.

MadisonMan said...

I don't understand the meme that this Congress is no different from the previous do-nothing Congress. The present Congress has rediscovered its role as part of the Checks and Balances of the Federal Government. It does not seem to be the rubber stamper that previous several Congresses have been. That is a very good thing for the country as a whole.

Sure, it didn't do what it was promising. So? It's doing what it's supposed to be doing.

Paco Wové said...

"Who knows what may have been discovered had the focus been diverted from Ms. Lewinsky."

Which is a very good point. All this partisan onanism has very definite opportunity costs.

MadisonMan said...

All this partisan onanism has very definite opportunity costs.

Yes. That is something that perhaps Senator Feingold is aware of.

One often sees blame thrown at Clinton for the build-up in Al Qaida's abilities during his term. One rarely sees mention of Congress's role.

Fen said...

One often sees blame thrown at Clinton for the build-up in Al Qaida's abilities during his term. One rarely sees mention of Congress's role.

Right. They should ignore violations of the law and let the President get back to business. The current Congress is to blame for prolonging the war in Iraq - 300 investigations distracting the President from more important work in Iraq. The President's job is too improtant. He should be above any law.

MadisonMan said...

They should ignore violations of the law and let the President get back to business.

They should sanely judge whether the offense is a high crime and misdemeanor. They should weigh whether impeachment is good for the country or not.

Fen said...

They should weigh whether impeachment is good for the country or not.

You mean like Nixon did: resigning instead of drawing the nation into a partisan impeachment fight?

They should sanely judge whether the offense is a high crime and misdemeanor

Perjury, obstruction of justice and violations of civil rights were good enough for the House Judiciary Committee on July 30, 1974...

MadisonMan said...

fen, as you well know, Nixon resigned because his Republican support was quickly evaporating in the Summer sun. There was no partisan fight in '74: republicans and democrats alike were ready to judge Nixon guilty for the crimes he committed.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"The[] [CDP] should sanely judge whether the offense is a high crime and misdemeanor. They should weigh whether impeachment is good for the country or not."

If they really believed the charges they run their mouths off about -- to put it bluntly, lying to Congress and America in order to start a war for the enrichment of himself and his associates (that charge being implicit in the "no blood for oil" slogan), and in a disturbingly high fraction, of complicitly in the murder of thousands of Americans on 9/11 -- then they are duty-bound to begin impeachment charges. Of course, Russ and Ann are correct, impeachment is discretionary - but how can you accuse the President of such things as have been suggested and say "oh, but we're not going to impeach." If those charges are true, and this is not a situation for impeachment, what circumstances would warrant impeachment? It's hard to imagine any. So if they don't impeach, they don't believe the charges, it's as simple as that. And they're not going to impeach, which makes them unbelievably slimy partisan muckrakers.

Just as the Congressional democrats lack the spine to risk any political price for ending the war, so they lack the courage of their own rhetoric. After all that has been said, if they fail to immediately cut off funds and impeach the President, we'll see them revealed for the gutless, self-interested leeches that the GOP tried to warn you that they were, MM. Which is exactly what we've seen. I have no idea why Rev's all mad at the new majority - it seems to me that the people who ought to be most furious with the Dems are their own base, but you know, you throw them some red meat -- a firing squad for Monica Goodling here, a meaningless bill saying Congress disagrees with the President there -- and they're placated.

This is a criticism, mind you, mainly of the Congressional Democrats. The liberal base is nuts, deadly wrong about so many issues, and many of them are in urgent need of professional psychological help -- but they are at least somewhat consistent and have the courage of their convictions, and there's something faintly admirable in that, at least when compared to their leaders. Something that Peggy Noonan said the other week - that our politicians may be too small for the age in which we live. And that's a bipartisan problem, believe me.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, quite frankly I'd much rather have gutless self-interested leeches in the Congress who were in a party different from the President's. It's very difficult for me (or anyone else, I'm thinking) to find one decent piece of legislation that came out of Congress in the 1st six years of Bush's administration when Republicans rammed through one ridiculously misguided pork-laden law after another. I'm not saying things are immediately better, but there's more balance.

I'm not about to say Give me Divided Government or Give me Death, but jeeze -- Divided Govt sure beats the alternative.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"It's very difficult for me (or anyone else, I'm thinking) to find one decent piece of legislation that came out of Congress in the 1st six years of Bush's administration when Republicans rammed through one ridiculously misguided pork-laden law after another. I'm not saying things are immediately better, but there's more balance."

I'm not going to defend those Congresses. I tend to look on the four years 2002-2006 as the most egregious wasted opportunity in modern political history, an almost criminal neglect of duty. Here was an opportunity to fix social security, to genuinely cut back the federal government and its spending, to ram through term limits, to make genuinely meaningful reforms, and it was totally frittered away. I think the Congressional GOP ought to hang its head in shame for its almost total failure to deliver on its agenda during a shining opportunity to do so. Instead, we got a few limited successes (I don't agree that there was no worthwhile legislation during that period), the odd misstep (which is inevitable and forgivable) and a sea of bad legislation, out-of-control spending and personal avarice such that it was like having the Dems back in charge.

And for what it's worth, I actually agree with you that the collapse of institutional loyalty (or at least its subordination to partisan loyalty) and resultant refusal to take seriously the need for Congressional oversight (for example when the NSA program emerged) was dereliction of duty. (and I said so at the time, BTW).

SteveR said...

So if they don't impeach, they don't believe the charges, it's as simple as that. And they're not going to impeach, which makes them unbelievably slimy partisan muckrakers.

Simon you are correct, I've been harping on some of the trolls here about this for awhile. Its long past time to talk, if you feel the charges are real then its time to act.

I also agree that the GOP has failed to offer anything close to a competent alternative. In what could be seen (and probably will be seen)as a pivitol moment in history, they struck out on a knuckleball. Failed and looked bad doing so.

cyrus pinkerton said...

So we all agree this is a "business as usual" Congress.

Did you expect it to be different?

Fen said...

So all that culture of corruption hyperbole was bs? The Left didn't really believe in the things they were lecturing us about? It wasn't the corruption they objected too, it was that the GOP was doing it instead of the Dems.

In what could be seen (and probably will be seen)as a pivitol moment in history, they [GOP struck out on a knuckleball.

Agreed. We worked our tails off to get them a majority, and they frittered it away. Couldn't keep their pants zipped, couldn't keep their hand out of the till.

MadisonMan said...

Couldn't keep their pants zipped, couldn't keep their hand out of the till.

In other words, they acted like politicians.

That's why I voted against the incumbents.

Simon said...

cyrus pinkerton said...
"[W]e all agree this is a 'business as usual' Congress. Did you expect it to be different?"

That isn't the question. The question's whether that what Pelosi et al promised? Yes, it was. Did I believe them, did I "expect it to be different"? Of course not. I didn't vote for them. But let's be absolutely clear that what is corruption, avarice, sloth and incompetence for the CGOP is the CDP's baseline. The electorate didn't reject Republican policy last fall, they rejected Republican legislators who were acting like Democrats. Now they've had a reminder what a Democratic Congress looks like, and the question is whether the GOP can whip itself back into shape before next fall to allow the electorate to express the same sentiment again. ;)

heartland murmur said...

This all fits the Feingold modus operandi to a tee. First, take out an opposing position to that of your party or base. Second, be sure it a position that is A)inconsequential and B) controversial. Third, get a haircut and wait for the cameras and talk show invitations. He employs this template regularly to keep that shine on the maverick image we Wisconsaps love so much. Verified by hisotry as in his nay vote on the Patriot Act and yea vote on whether to impeach it is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. No doubt we will see more of the same.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

OK fine. I'll rephrase:

...there are many legitimate problems with the extent to which the administration acted in good faith in its use of intelligence to sell the war -- intelligence that was shoddy or questionable - put another way, intelligence that the administration would have discounted for being insufficient in other situations that did not suit a preset political agenda. Certainly the controlling party is entitled to carry out its own agenda. But in high stakes matters, there is also an obligation to take a hard objective look at the facts. [strike] Many people feel that [/strike] the administration engaged in a striking amount of willful ignorance in accepting as gospel intelligence from people like curveball and chalabi. It's not a lie, and its not impeachable, but that doesn't make it a harmless mistake either."

Yes, Andy. And when did you stop beating your wife?

Um, so's your face?

Ann Althouse said...

"yea vote on whether to impeach..."

Heartland, Feingold is a Senator. He didn't vote on whether to impeach Clinton. Clinton was impeached, and Feingold voted yes on whether the Senate should try the impeachment. I did a public radio show back when that happened, and people in Wisconsin were really mad at him. (I defended him.)

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"...Feingold voted yes on whether the Senate should try the impeachment."

And what's more, that vote was only on the procedural question - should the Senate take up and try the articles of impeachment? Feingold said yes, but once that trial was completed, Feingold ultimately voted not guilty. In that regard, Feingold at most "voted for impeachment" only to the same extent that every Senator has "voted for" a piece of legislation, in the sense that legislation only goes on the calender by unanimous consent.

M. Simon said...

I'm reminded of Proxymire who kept people's eye on minor pork so no one would question his support for restrictions on the milk market. To the benefit of dairy farmers.

Cedarford said...

Seven Machos regarding nukes, WMD - Seven Machos said...
There's no question that Iraq can build this stuff. Engineering is just a skill. But can they run it, over a period of years, and when it's really necessary can they use it? (Earlier post on the NORKs and other threats said they lacked the resources to keep a program going.)


Only the most sophisticated nukes employing high tech PALs, solid-state circuitry, tritium gas, subject to adverse environments (marine 1000 feet below surface for example) - require much maintenence after a production run completes. Once made, the bombs are "good to go" for decades. The "program" to keep the Bad Boys 100% fit to use and reliable takes up minimal resources and manpower.

The earlier bombs, which were QUITE effective though bigger and using pre-transitor 60-year old electronics - the type Islamoids would get from the AQ Kahn network of implosion nuke bomb designs Our Great Friend and #1 Trading "Partner" China gave them - are even simpler to maintain.

Check circuit contacts, replace batteries - that sort of low grade bomb technician stuff similar to Planned Maintenance on conventional bombs and shell fuses.

Only the tritium in sophisticated weapons needs regular replacement. The explosive TNT needs changeout in 35 years, the PU in bombs is good for 50-250 years, the HEU good for 2 billion years before isotopic decay becomes a problem.

As for other WMD?

Chem weapons are low maintenance, last almost forever.
Biologicals can last decades freeze-dried, and the Brits, Japanese, and some former Soviet nations have sites that still have still dangerous anthrax spores from tests 65-70 years ago.

Getting rid of nerve gas after Nixon ended our production and military use of it has been a pain for the USA to do in a safe, environmentally benign manner.
(Nixon also unilaterally ended America's use of biowar WMD).

Cedarford said...

The impeachment talk is dumb. It was dumb when the Republicans overreached trying to burn Clinton that way for lying to protect his family about his peccadillos. It is dumb now for Lefties to think the country will support snarling up all government for 6 months to hasten the departure of a failed President with 1 1/2 years left in office.

Peggy Noonan did an op-ed July 13th in the WSJ discussing how we are "over" Bush. "We" meaning even Republicans like me who mute the TV when the fool comes up to talk and who are thinking of becoming Independents because the Party has been hijacked by corporatists and religious zealots.

Her advice?

Grit your teeth and wait him out.

She also discusses why even Republicans now personally dislike him:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110010326

The long term is an issue where the Constitution and law may need patches.

1. Should we be able to fire a failed President? Under what conditions other than the barrier of criminality or the phony rubric of making loss of faith or policy rejection into some sort of trumped up criminality - "High crimes and misdemeanors"?? What about firing the guy like a bad general or CEO? Circumstances could arise where a delusional or seriously incompetent President free of the Founder's "criminality" constraint needs to be fired as urgently as a CEO killing a public equity firm or General busy killing his troops.

2. Should we have a mechanism where a "loss of confidence vote" like the Euros have could be used - but not abused the way some Euros used that tool to wage continual war against election results?

3. Can we count on a President to resign "for the good of the nation" when they are in a bubble and delusional?

4. Dwight Eisenhower did few stupid things - but his line of Presidential succession Executive Order qualifies. His idea of having the Speaker, possibly of the opposite Party 3rd in line was dumb, his placing the Oldest Senator of either Party 4th was flat-out moronic.
The sucession should be changed if firing a President and VP was made easier to ensure that Congress would not be able to change Party Control of the White House and negate a Party winning the election.
Same with if DC got nuked and we woke up to 92-year old semi-senile flake from the Senate now leading the country.
Succession? House Speaker IF of the Same Party, then Sec of State IF eligible, then Party-designated successors in lower slots possibly including leading State governors.

cyrus pinkerton said...

they rejected Republican legislators who were acting like Democrats.

Clearly that's your opinion, not the opinion of the voters.

Where is the logical consistency in your claim that voters "rejected Republican legislators who were acting like Democrats" only to replace them with Democrats? If these voters don't like Democrats, and they therefore reject Republicans who act like Democrats, why would they replace them with Democrats? This makes no sense at all.

Also, you seem surprised that politicians don't keep campaign promises. If you think this is a problem exclusive to Democratic politicians, I suggest you take a second look.

Revenant said...

One of the more useful criticisms from left has been that these ultra-authoritarian countries like Iraq and North Korea are unlikely to ever be able to maintain WMD or nuclear programs that function at a high level.

The problem with that argument is that the Stalin-era USSR managed to build a functioning nuclear program, achieving plutonium-based bombs in Stalin's lifetime and megaton-range hydrogen bombs two years after his death. And that was *before* widespread nuclear proliferation, when nuclear scientists were a lot harder to come by.

The main reason North Korea can't maintain a good WMD program is that the country is flat broke. Iraq, with its oil wealth, wasn't, and won't be for quite a while.

Kirk said...

rosi,

"Looks like Feingold is smarter than the average Kossak."

You say that like it's some kind of achievement.

MM,

I well know that Nixon-era history, too, but what I take away from it mostly is that the Republicans of yore, and even Nixon himself in that he took their advice and resigned, were far, far more honorable than Clinton and his look-the-other-way / crawl-over-broken-glass-to-fellate-him supporters.

Simon said...

cyrus pinkerton said...
"Clearly that's your opinion, not the opinion of the voters."

Clearly the Democrats agreed, because they made alot of fuss about balancing the budget, pork and corruption - which are to a great extent the same issues that propelled the GOP into the majority in '94. The other issue in the election was the war, but given that Democrats now own the war, and it continues bearing the imprimatur of the CDP (indeed, can only do so only while it does) one can see why they aren't eager to emphasize that point given what their base thinks about that.

"If these voters don't like Democrats, and they therefore reject Republicans who act like Democrats, why would they replace them with Democrats? This makes no sense at all."

It makes perfect sense in a two-party system where either Democrats or Republicans win, and most voters grasp that the only way to punish one party is to vote for the other. It would "make[] no sense at all" if there was a way to express disgust with the majority party other than by electing the minority party, but there isn't - the only choices for "these voters" to "reject Republicans who act like Democrats" is either to "replace them with Democrats," at least temporarily, or do nothing. Either choice is rational.

Let me offer a smaller-scale parallel. In the town where I live, the mayor is a Democrat who has pissed off a lot of democrats. He barely secured the Dem nomination for a second term this year, with several dems running against him. Since the primary, the main "opposition" dem candidate - and many other local Democratic luminaries - have said that they're supporting the Republican nominee. Since we can rule out an 11th hour conversion on the road to Damascus, what's going on? Under your theory, Cyrus, this play "makes no sense at all," but actually it makes perfect sense. They want to be rid of the incumbent, by any means necessary, and feel that if they can throw the race to the GOP this year, they can cast him aside at the next election once his usefulness has run out and elect a "suitable" democrat.

And better yet, on both levels, this is a machiavellian yet fairly risk-free way strategy: my local dems think they can keep a GOP mayor on a leash through the dem-controlled city council, and a rational voter last fall who was disgusted with the CGOP could throw the Congress to the Dems as a punishment to the CGOP while feeling confident that the resulting Democratic Congress would be kept under adult supervision (or at least, on a leash) by way of the President's veto.

"Also, you seem surprised that politicians don't keep campaign promises."

Never said any such thing.

Revenant said...

If these voters don't like Democrats, and they therefore reject Republicans who act like Democrats, why would they replace them with Democrats? This makes no sense at all.

First of all, the electorate as a whole replaces one candidate with another. All the individual voters do is vote for one candidate. One reason why the electorate might replace an R with a D is that R *loses* supporters. Those supporters don't have to defect to D; they can simply stay home. The candidate who won 1000 to 900 can lose 800 to 900 without his opponent picking up ANY new supporters. Republican voters in 2006 were overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their party. Many (like me) simply stayed home on election day. Others gave protest votes for Libertarians or Democrats or Jesus or whoever. That cost the Republican candidates votes, which effectively gave the Democratic candidates votes.

Secondly, the Democrats had been out of power for 12 years as of 2006. Many people have simply forgotten how the Democratic Congress acted, and are being reminded now that it is acting that way once again. "Acting like Democrats" is just Republican-speak for "acting like crooked power-obsessed back-room-dealing Washington scum like the folks we kicked out in 1994". The electorate, which is usually hard-pressed to remember life 2 years ago (let alone 12) just calls it "acting crooked". People have forgotten just how crooked the pre-'94 Democrats were; they are now being reminded.

I should also note that the fact that the Democrats' failure to live up to their "end the culture of corruption" hooey surprises approximately zero Republican voters. We never actually believed you guys in the first place. We're just having fun pointing out your lies to the suckers who DID fall for them.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Simon,

Your comment was not particularly responsive to my post. Furthermore, your analysis remains illogical. Let me explain briefly...

You claimed that

voters rejected Republican legislators who were acting like Democrats.

You have no evidence that this is the reason the Democrats gained seats in Congress in 2006. As I correctly stated before, this is your opinion. I've seen several opinion polls relating to the 2006 election, and I don't recall seeing anything to support your claim.

Your reference to the 1994 election shows that you are running from your earlier claim, as you now refer to "issues" (e.g., balanced budgets, pork, etc...). If you had written that the 2006 election turned on issues such as budget deficits and pork, I wouldn't have replied in the first place. But that's NOT what you wrote. You wrote this:

But let's be absolutely clear that what is corruption, avarice, sloth and incompetence for the CGOP is the CDP's baseline. The electorate didn't reject Republican policy last fall, they rejected Republican legislators who were acting like Democrats.

In truth, there's good evidence that the electorate DID reject GOP policy (support for the war, budget deficits, etc...). There's also evidence that the electorate punished the GOP for congressional corruption. However, contrary to your statements, this is NOT "Republicans acting like Democrats." Perhaps your understanding of US congressional history is poor, but congressional corruption is not exclusive to either party.

Second, your claim that voters rejected "Republicans who act like Democrats" and replaced them with Democrats fails to take into account that Republicans were free to replace Republican incumbents in the primary with Republicans who wouldn't "act like Democrats." (The Democrats in CT replaced incumbent Joe Lieberman with Ned Lamont, a Democrat who they believed was less likely to "act like a Republican." See how that works?) You also conveniently ignore that voters can vote for a third party candidate to express displeasure with Democratic and Republican candidates. I've done this on numerous occasions.

Finally, you've made a point of highlighting the few significant accomplishments of this Congress, noting that the Democratic leadership promised better results. Again, I wonder why you mention this; I can only assume you expect politicians to do a better job of keeping campaign promises. May I suggest you review Bush's campaign promises and his extremely short list of accomplishments before you get too far out on that limb?