September 5, 2008

It's the new Bloggingheads with me and Jane Hamsher.

Here's the whole thing:



The segments are:
Jane reports on the two conventions’ different vibes (04:56)
How America’s obsession with image helps Palin (06:49)
Can pro-life Palin win over Hillary’s voters? (07:14)
Ann accuses liberals of anti-feminist attacks on Palin (05:29)
Jane vs. Ann on prosecuting Bush (11:42)
So who’s gonna win this thing? (04:55)

"Jane vs. Ann on prosecuting Bush" is the hottest part. I'm especially interested in your comments on that.

They titled this one "Palin Fire," for those think there hasn't been enough wordplay using the Palin name and allusions to Nabokov.

426 comments:

1 – 200 of 426   Newer›   Newest»
Simon said...

Oh yuck. Jane Hamsher? I don't know if I can watch this one. I might have to sit this out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ann, you're a much hotter blonde.

Wurly said...
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Wurly said...
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john said...

I wondered that too - why the dems can pack 70+ thousand into a stadium, and the next week the repubs can't fill the floor of a much smaller venue. Some possible reasons:

Teachers unions can definitely fill buses and give the teachers a last mini vacation before school starts.

The number of delegates for each state is up to the party, as long as some proportionality between states is maintained.

Denver in the summer might be preferable to St Paul in the summer.

The dems had real rock bands, the repubs had Wilf Doyle and his accordian.

The dems had a "brand new" exciting candidate, the repubs had father time.

Might be other reasons.

Ron said...

There is no possible way that a prosecution of the outgoing opposite party will be looked at as 'non political'!

If the Dems did that to Bush, how much would you bet that Obama would face the same thing in four years? Regardless of what he did!
An eviler road to go down than the Iraq war!

Good of Jane to want to imprison FDR about any WWII lies, or Truman about the Bomb! JFK and Bay of Pigs? Off to jail! (If he hadn't been shot!)

Find a President who hasn't cost lives through 'lying'!

AlphaLiberal said...

Jane Jhamsher is babealicious.

But, did Ann cite any examples of these supposed "anti-feminist attacks on Palin?"

Republicans are making all kinds of charges that they simply refuse to, or cannot, back up. Did Althouse name names?

I'll try to listen for myself over the weekend but thought one of her minions, or Ann herself, may back up the charge.

Ron said...

Ann, I wish you had taken her more to task than you did in dialog.

knox said...

I wondered that too - why the dems can pack 70+ thousand into a stadium, and the next week the repubs can't fill the floor of a much smaller venue. Some possible reasons:

They have Community Organizers to round people up from the homeless shelters.

mjsharon said...

Ann,

I listened only to the bit about investigating Bush, since I share your interest (and alarm) on this and commented on your post yesterday. Also, there's only so much I can take of Ms. Hamsher (whose picture really should be in the dictionary after the heading "smug, self-satisifed liberal".)

I'm sorry, but I really think one's answer to this question puts you in either the "reasonable adult" or "absolute nutcase" category. Two choice comments from Ms. Hamsher that I jotted down: "If you didn't commit a crime, you shouldn't be afraid" and "I'm quite shocked you think this would be used as a political ploy against one's enemies." You tried your best Ann, but you weren't arguing with an adult.

Simon said...

I don't even have to watch it to know what Hamsher thinks. Ann, if you don't think liberals are rooting for this, you're in denial. And if you think that Obama won't do it, respectfully, I think you're wrong.

I'll say it again: blanket pardon. The next time a Democratic candidate wins a Presidential election, the GOP President of the day - whoever it is, whatever year it is - needs to issue a blanket pardon to the Bush administration while anyone who was in it was alive.

Trooper York said...

I thought liberals were against racial profiling.

Why do they want to arrest all the rich old white guys?

garage mahal said...

Man conservatives seem awfully jumpy lately about Bush and Cheney being investigated. I say relax! Remember, it's like wiretapping, if you haven't or aren't doing anything wrong there's nothing to worry about?

It's weird though it keeps coming up as we get closer and closer to a new administration. Hmmmmm.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wondered that too - why the dems can pack 70+ thousand into a stadium, and the next week the repubs can't fill the floor of a much smaller venue.

Same reason you see more liberal protestors than conservatives. Republican voters had to work.

Louis said...

Jane lost me. This idea of the omniscient President that has 100% true information at his fingertips is silly. Based on the information he had, he made an executive decision. That's why he gets paid to do. If you don't agree with the decision, vote him out. This whole infantile "Bush lied, people died" meme should be replaced with the more accurate "Bush guessed, di he pass the test?".

P. Rich said...

Geez. I gotta side with Althouse on this. Hamsher has obviously had her brain replaced by a small tape recorder which spews radical left talking points. I could only take a couple of minutes of the idiotic gibberish. What a stupid jerk. And libs think she's hot? I guess a tree stump would be considered equally hot.

What I hear is common to the liberal view of the world: "I don't agree with what they did, so it is obviously evil and criminal and should be investigated/prosecuted." Or maybe it's just "Bush is evil." elaborated upon endlessly. How incredibly pathetic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Garage saidIt's weird though it keeps coming up as we get closer and closer to a new administration. Hmmmmm.

Why isn't the Democratic Congress launching an investigation now if there is some evidence of criminal actions?

Kucinich I believe has proposed a resolution for impeachment. Why hasn't Nancy and Whorehouse Harry Reid followed up on it?

Richard Fagin said...

Why is the notion that the President lied to the country to start a war still alive? Notwithstanding N.Y. Times Co. v. Sullivan, aren't we beyond the threshold for libel of a public figure at this point by repeating that assertion?

knox said...

mjsharon,

Yes, any normal person with common sense would perceive that this is a ridiculous and dangerous notion.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"Man conservatives seem awfully jumpy lately about Bush and Cheney being investigated."

That's not it at all. What we're talking about is the criminalization of political disagreement. We're talking about a partisan witch hunt to destroy people who worked in a government whose policies one happened to disagree with. That would be an appalling precedent to set - it would be a total abuse of power.

mjsharon said...

Garage,

I hope you are not in fact as uninformed about the issues involved in the "warrantless wiretapping" matter as your post suggests.

garage mahal said...

We're talking about a partisan witch hunt to destroy people who worked in a government whose policies one happened to disagree with.

Who's talking about that?

Ron said...

Simon, you expressed it far better than myself! Thanks.

El Presidente said...

Interesting that Ms. Hamsher is worried about pro-choice Hillary supporters. The Democratic party are sorely mistaken if they think that pro-choice is the key. Hillary has a huge number of white lower middle class, unionized, sometimes catholic supporters who may be marginally pro-choice. The pro-choice instincts are vastly outweighed by the “lower middle class, unionized” reality.

Bob said...

The proper course, if the Dems wish to try the President, is to bring impeachment proceedings. They daren't, because it would generate sympathy for Bush before the election, and in any event, there is no way that the Senate could muster the 2/3 majority needed to convict. The Clinton impeachment trial should have made that obvious.

So they're going to lie to the American people until after the election, and begin a Stalinesque show trial if Obama wins, and even if they fail to get convictions, they'll succeed at smearing Bush and his people for what they hope will be forever.

You'll never end the culture wars with an attitude and outlook like that.

Palladian said...

Jane Hamsher should never be forgiven for foisting the repulsive film "Natural Born Killers" on the world.

At USC, she became friends with Don Murphy, and the two were able to secure an option, with a loan from Hamsher's mother, on Natural Born Killers. Killers screenwriter Quentin Tarantino was still an unknown at the time. Hamsher had an uncredited cameo in the film as a female demon...

LOL

She's also the Ned Lamont supporter who published that disgusting photoshopped image of Joe Lieberman in blackface.

In other words, a typical "progressive". I'll have to pass on this one.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Hamsher lost every shred of credibility on the prosecution issue by stating "when no weapons of mass destruction were found."

* 1900 tons of chemical weapons.
* an active biological weapons development program
* a nuclear weapons development program that had been suspended pending the end of sanctions -- or more correctly, suspended within Iraq but out-sourced to Libya.

If George Bush "lied" on the question, so did Bill Clinton, and so did every other western leader and intelligence service over the course of at least six years.

The "Bush lied, people died" thing has been disproven, repeatedly, and the only thing keeping that tired old chestnut in circulation is political vindictiveness.

I very much believe that any attempt to prosecute members and officials of the current administration on this issue in particular runs a rather high risk of triggering political violence of a sort and degree not seen in this country since the Civil War.

Your concern, Ann, is very legitimate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She's also the Ned Lamont supporter who published that disgusting photoshopped image of Joe Lieberman in blackface.

I thought only conservatives were racist.

Palladian said...

"That would be an appalling precedent to set - it would be a total abuse of power."

And it's a precedent that you, as a Democrat, do not want to set, given the possible future trainwreck of a Democratic administration. It was bad enough with the Clinton impeachment, and that happened during his presidency.

If there's anything that will push America an inch closer to the fantasy "civil war" scenario that some on the far right and far left like to peddle, it would be this.

Terry said...

*IF* Obama is elected, he will allow just enough of a stink to rise to the public to make this a question (movers and the new kitchen staff found proof Bush knew no WMDs were in Iraq before March 2003!)

He will then stick his nose in the air and offer an unwanted pardon to Bush to end the investigation, because it is understood that anything less than damning evidence will vindicate Bush completely and put a very positive spin on his legacy.

Obama will want to avoid that, yet "appear" to be above partisanship.

This is the kind of "brilliance" that Obama has - being a total partisan tool while claiming to be otherwise. Seriously, it is impressive.

Palladian said...

"I thought only conservatives were racist."

In the words of Woody Allen from Annie Hall, "I'm a bigot, I know, but for the left". That makes it ok. Because everyone knows that their motives are "pure".

Doyle said...

Republicans love illegal wars, war crimes and illegal wiretapping.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"[Simon said, 'We're talking about a partisan witch hunt to destroy people who worked in a government whose policies one happened to disagree with.'] Who's talking about that?"

Every person who wants to prosecute Bush or members of his administration for decisions they took in their official capacity is "[w]ho's talking about that." (If Bush committed a tort or even a crime in a personal capacity, my view is that he can and should be prosecuted or sued for that, including while he's still in office - that seems to be the upshot, albeit not the holding, of Clinton v. Jones.) It seems to be almost an article of faith in the leftosphere, although of course this is the love that dare not speak its name - they dress it up in self-aggrandizingly sanctimonious terms like "truth and reconciliation commission." For the same reasons Palladian gave, inter alia, I am not watching this episode -- but Hamsher is nothing if not predictable, and I can virtually guarantee (a fortiori since I know where Ann stands on the issue she says in the post they argued about) that she specifically is "talking about that," too.

john said...

El Presidente said - Hillary has a huge number of white lower middle class, unionized, sometimes catholic supporters who may be marginally pro-choice.

I'm not sure that number is so huge. Maybe in your country. I think Hillary is being dispatched to make sure the base are still focused on The One, not on this uneducated upstart from the sticks (Is Alaska technically flyover country?)

Meade said...

Hamsher: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin.

I'll name one. Andrew Sullivan.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"And it's a precedent that [Garage], as a Democrat, do[es] not want to set, given the possible future trainwreck of a Democratic administration. It was bad enough with the Clinton impeachment, and that happened during his presidency."

Sure. Should the McCain administration conduct a massive witch hunt through the Clinton administration to "prove" that they lied us into war in Kosovo and were entirely negligent in preventing 9/11, culminating in a show trial of Bill himself? I tend to think that would be a big mistake, but it's certainly within the compass of the "prosecute Bush" argument.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Republicans love illegal wars, war crimes and illegal wiretapping.

You forgot pulling wings off flies and giving fat kids wedgies.

Palladian said...

"I'll name one. Andrew Sullivan."

How dare you, Meade! Sullivan is not a liberal! He has a Conservative Soul™. He's the only real conservative.

Zeb Quinn said...

It's been the case for a while that if one wanted to get a feel for what potential strategies and policies were pinging around inside leftists' heads, just take a look at what they accuse other of doing to them. For years it's been Bu$Hitler this and that, accusations of Bush running a gestapo stepping all over everybody's rights, etc, etc. But when you get right down to it, who is it that not only wants to criminalize their opposition and to imprison their political opponents, but actually manage to get sanctomoneous AND thrilled and giddy about the prospect all at the same time?

Simon said...

Meade said...
"Hamsher: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin."

She said that?! Oh geez. It was the right decision to not watch this; I think I'd lose it if I saw that self-serving lie coming from her smug mug.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Knowing how fervently liberal Democrats believe in the independence of federal prosecutors, I wonder what makes them so certain that the ones appointed by Obama will bring the hoped-for charges.

rhhardin said...

Obama ``rose to editor of the Harvard Law review'' from poor roots is a fine example of bathos.

Comedy is where you find it.

Paddy O. said...

Beyond the bad precedent for prosecuting political differences, there is the also real issue of how a new administration uses its time. Right now, Congress has the lowest approval rating in history (I think). Not least because of all the time spent focusing on issues other than the ones that Congress is supposed to focus on.

We do, do not want a Congress with a negative rating much lower and it would be the height of foolishness to do anything other than get to the work of legislating.

Obama cannot, simply cannot, run on hope and change, then make his whole administration about prosecuting the former administration. That would set in motion a political cynicism that might permanently ruin a generation.

mjsharon said...

Another angle on this: My belief on this issue has been that Obama and the "Obama camp" were happy to let this idea percolate in the more obscure areas of the media in order to give the far lefties something to whack off to. But I think increased visibility on it could cause him big problems.

garage mahal said...

Simon:
Every person who wants to prosecute Bush or members of his administration for decisions they took in their official capacity is "[w]ho's talking about that."

Ok.....but Ann seems to be the one doing most of the talking "about that". Anyways perhaps we should talk of America as a Nation of Guidelines, or a Nation of Goals it seems to me and scrap all these "laws". It seems so confusing on what the law is, when is it being broken, who should follow those laws, and who and when we should prosecute those breaking them. Don't you think?

bleeper said...

Ah, the cry of the liberal/Stalinist - if you are not guilty, don't worry.

Nifong tried to prosecute 3 innocent men based on their race and class. The haters in Durham said they needed to be tried. Leftists all. Good thing reason prevailed, but it was a close thing.

sean said...

What Prof. Althouse didn't stress quite enough for me is the "banana republic" nature of any prosecution of Bush administration officials. The Constitution prescribes a remedy for executive malfeasance: impeachment and removal from office upon conviction. What people like Jane Hamsher are expressing is a view prevalent in politically immature countries: "Of course our elected representative in the legislature are corrupt and incompetent. Our salvation can only come from a strong man, a leader, a caudillo. He will punish the evil members of the prior administration."

Now, I think Ms. Hamsher probably does hold a view of politics in which the only hope of progress is having a strong man who overrides democratic niceties in the service of the vanguard movement. But I don't expect the United States to descend to that level in my lifetime.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"If there's anything that will push America an inch closer to the fantasy "civil war" scenario that some on the far right and far left like to peddle, it would be this."

That would be the shortest civil war in history, wouldn't it. One one side, the full might of the liberal media and the blogosphere; and all the other side has at its disposal to defend itself are ... Guns. Lots of guns.

Doyle said...


You forgot pulling wings off flies and giving fat kids wedgies.


It wasn't a comprehensive list.

Meade said...

President Clinton needs to be prosecuted for lying about weapons of mass destruction as a cause for taking military action against Saddam's Iraq in 1998.

No? Right. Neither did Bush "lie" in 2003.

Let me coin a phrase: Move. On.

Simon said...

"Now, I think Ms. Hamsher probably does hold a view of politics in which the only hope of progress is having a strong man who overrides democratic niceties in the service of the vanguard movement. But I don't expect the United States to descend to that level in my lifetime."

It will, of Obama is elected. And I'm not persuaded that it won't in the (in my view) quite likely scenario that Obama wins the popular vote but loses in the electoral college.

Doyle said...

I think Ms. Hamsher probably does hold a view of politics in which the only hope of progress is having a strong man who overrides democratic niceties in the service of the vanguard movement.

Democratic niceties like FISA and the Geneva Conventions, you mean?

Brent said...

Unlike other countries, The United States doesn't jail the leaders of the political party not in power. Absurd!

The attempt at prosecution would forever be seen as a politcal witchhunt.

Biden - whom I respected though would not vote for - will have shown himself to be seriously unqualified for anything apart from partisan hack if he tossed that idea into play.


The Constitution provides for impeachment. That's your shot. If you can't convince enough of the country while you have both houses of Congress, then you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Richard Dolan said...

The discussion of whether to "prosecute Bush" was not particularly enlightening. It never got past the cliches because Hamsher didn't seem to know what she was talking about.

In particular, Hamsher was not focused on anything that a lawyer would recognize as a crime in the ordinary sense. Instead, her rant dealt with obvious policy difference - mostly, whether Bush "lied us into war," etc. All of that was what the 2004 election was about, except that Kerry could never make us his mind whether to press that political indictment (in part because he and most of the Dems had voted for the war, and then kept voting to fund it). In all events, there is no federal statute criminalizing false statements made during a political campaign.

The only point that Hamsher touched on that has undeniably caused concern among executive branch officials about possible prosecutions after a change in adminstrations is the "illegally spied on Americans" bit. The anti-wiretapping laws (basically Title III and FISA) are quite broad, but were fashioned with the dometic "war on drugs" and Nixon-era wiretapping of domestic organizations in mind rather than international terrorist networks the Bushies were concerned about. They also date from the mid-70s, and did not keep up with changes in technology. The SCOTUS has suggested in dicta that the President retains substantial power in the area of national security and international threats, but has never squarely decided the scope of Presidential authority or permissible executive branch action where there is an international angle. After 9/11, the Bushies felt an imperative to do everything they could to stop another attack, and took the view that the President had direct constitutional power to pursue various strategies (including wiretapping and data mining) where international terrorism was the focus, without going through the FISA warrant process. An aggressive prosecutor might be able to frame an indictment on a theory that the President had no such power and thus there was a violation of FISA in failing to follow its procedures. (FISA and Title III provide criminal penalties for wiretapping in violation of their provisions.)

As Jack Goldsmith documents in his book, The Terror Presidency, part of what drove White House lawyers to push the DoJ's Office of Legal Counsel to bless expansive notions of executive power was the concern that a subsequent administration, hostile to the Bushies, might try to do exactly what Hamsher is talking about here. The OLC "blessing" for such expansive powers was deemed to be a "get out of jail free" card in the event that someone of Hamsher's views was ever in a position of power to act on them. The idea was that an executive branch official, acting pursuant to a Presidential order, could not be prosecuted if the official was acting in an objectively reasonable manner based on that authorization, and where the President's authority to issue the order had been confirmed by OLC. (Put aside whether that would actually amount to a legal defense.) Goldsmith says, quite correctly I think, that a better approach would have been to ask Congress to amend the wiretapping laws (an approach eventually adopted by the President, which resulted in changes to FISA).

Of course, the larger point in Goldsmith's story underscores Ann's basic argument: even if there were technical grounds for a prosecution about any of that wiretapping, it would be an abuse of discretion to pursue them. Two basic reasons. First, any such prosecution would disserve the national interest (by criminalizing policy differences about how to protect the country in difficult times) and, second, it would distract (possibly consume) the Obama administration from what it should be doing. I don't see how anyone can sensibly disagree.

If any administration were ever so foolish as to pursue the course described by Hamsher, not only would there be enormous pressure to politicize even further the justice system (including the courts) but you can be sure that there would be pay-back down the road when the "out" team eventually regained power.

Despite Biden's occasional inability to control his mouth, I don't think Team O is so foolish. Instead, I'd chalk up Biden's loose talk to a temporary albeit virulent flare-up of BDS, that will be forgotten on Jan 21 no matter who wins the election.

This could have been an interesting exchange if Hamsher had been able to explore the issues raised by Goldsmith's book. It would also have been interesting to hear Ann's take on those issues. But that didn't happen. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

Simon said...

Garage, I can't speak for what's on the tape. As to the other point, someone made the point the other day that if there's real evidence that law was broken, that's one thing. But to launch a huge witch hunt to find lawbreaking on the basis that you think that what the other side did in office was wrong and ergo must be illegal? That's quite different.

And I for one think it's fanciful to suppose that Obama won't do it. He's going to need some kind of cover with his supporters when he gets into office and realizes that he can't pull the troops, so what better way to do it than the other thing they're primarily motivated by?

Doyle said...

The attempt at prosecution would forever be seen as a politcal witchhunt.

Except for the overwhelming evidence (like, admissions) that Bush broke statutory laws. His defense is that Article II allows him to do whatever he wants because he's the preznit and there are terrorists out there.

He's got everything short of public beheading coming to him.

UWS guy said...

Careful rednecks, southerners didn't do so hot last time around...

Ann Althouse said...

"What Prof. Althouse didn't stress quite enough for me..."

I made a strategic decision to give her the rope to hang herself. I could have interrupted her as much as she interrupted me and shouted her down and lectured her more sternly, but I don't think it would have been as effective. I thought what she was saying was so patently stupid and evil that letting her show people how she really thinks was very useful. Also, I didn't want to seem like the hotheaded one. I knew I was the voice of reason and decided to let her rant and step in only occasionally. My only regret is that when I finally had a chance to speak I didn't begin with "Jane, you ignorant... lefty."

MadisonMan said...

All this there's a crime -- but as you point out: What crime? Ms. Hamsher should have been pressed to say what that crime was. As in the statute. Lying?

UWS guy said...

Did you see O'bama with O'really? last night?

Nobodies getting sent to the hague, It would set a bad precedent that no future president would want to set.

Ken said...

Althouse says whe'd worry if she thought Biden was serious. I admit it is always hard to take Biden seriously, but didn't he sound serious? He gave a long pedantic answer not an off the cuff remark. It was said seriously, why should it not be taken seriously?

UWS guy said...

nobody's*

Zeb Quinn said...

"Hamsher: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin."

She said that?! Oh geez.


Simon: Not only did she say it, but Ann was caught flat-footed and unable to name any doing it, and had to more or less back down.

Doyle said...

MM -

FISA is a criminal statute. It carries prison time.

Also, torture is illegal.

sean said...

Ah, l'esprit d'escalier. I certainly share Prof. Althouse's regret.

Doyle said...

Ann it's really commendable how you took the high road when you were talking to her face to face and then call her ignorant and evil in the comments of your blog.

You're a pathetic hack and a miserable person.

bleeper said...

UWS - rednecks? Are you serious?

And, as has been mentioned before, it is not a good idea to rile up people who are armed and spend time at the range learning to shoot. But that is lost on pansy city slickers, no?

Brent said...

Ah, the cry of the liberal/Stalinist - if you are not guilty, don't worry.

Liberals are under no ultimate compulsion to tell the truth.

Even now, the liberal (definition: liar)complaint about Sarah Palin's speech being full of attack is interesting, because they never in the same breath mention that Barack Obama's speech has also been analyzed and had more attack lines than hers.

But the basic thing about being a liberal is that they morally have little compulsion to avoid dishonesty if it helps get the desired result. Their only constraint is the times that public opinion isn't quite yet in their favor. But, as in legislating control over others lives, that's why liberals turn to the courts.


If you believe for a minute that a liberal won't twist the law to wring a result that was never intended, then you haven't read Roe.v Wade.

UWS guy said...

Liberals saying Impeach bush = stupid and evil.

Conservatives threatening civil war and murder = a.o.kay.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Democratic niceties like FISA and the Geneva Conventions, you mean?"

FISA only holds as an example if it validly regulated a power vested in the executive branch. Lex ultra vires, lex nulla. For what it's worth, as I've said before, I'm skeptical that FISA is unconstitutional, but I don't have a considered conclusion on the question and the Supreme Court has never decided it.

For reasons previously given, my view is that the Geneva Conventions ceased to be a concern as soon as Congress legislated on the subject and the executive branch started to conduct itself within the bounds of that statute. The last in time rule would vitiate any treaty constraint that would previously have applied.

Trooper York said...

This reminds me of when Joey Heatherton accused Goldie Hawn of war crimes for stealing her act as the cute dumb blonde and beat her out for the gig on Laugh In.

I think William Cuntsler defended her if I am not mistaken.

Too many jims said...

I would point out that the Bush Justice department did investigate Clinton's actions while he was president. Most specifically, they investigated his use of pardons (though if I recall correctly the White House and Ashcroft did not express much of a stomach for it).

Sure there are liberals who want criminal investigations, just as there were (and probably still are) people on the right who would like alleged wrongdoings from the Clinton administration pursued. That doesn't mean that Obama wants it. In fact, as indicated in the article Prof. Althouse linked to yesterday, Obama expressed strong reservations about it. And Biden walked back from his comments when asked about it on Fox yesterday.

Doyle said...

Simon please tell me you don't plan on going into criminal defense. Prisons are overcrowded enough as it is.

Simon said...

Ann, given how "TRex" has treated you, I'm surprised you were willing to go on with someone from FDL.

I also hope that on that fateful morning when the cruel neutrality must come to an end, you will take into account that Hamsher is by no means an outlier on this criminal prosecution business. Meet today's Democratic party.

VariableSpin said...

Regarding prosecuting Bush:

I think you are exactly right regarding the available remedies for misdeeds in office. They are impeachment and elections. (It was frustrating waiting for you to make that point!)

What Jane is saying is that when impeachment is not a viable option due to political sentiment, elections aren't enough as an alternative. She'd rather pursue a sort of submarine, post facto impeachment - essentially the mother of all political prosecutions. She doesn't think Obama should "spend his political capital" by making it a campaign issue but fully expects him to prosecute the previous administration. Hence, she knows it's a political loser but expects Obama to toe the line. I wonder if Obama understands this tacit expectation. I agree with you that he should be pressed on this issue.

It would be amusing if she and all her lefty pals weren't so serious. I'm amazed at how apparently blind she is to the damage such a strategy would cause America and really to the entire world. Banana republics and tinpot dictators the world over would forever point to America's example to justify their brutal oppression of political opponents.

Salamandyr said...

Hamsher: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin.

Meade, I grabbed that from your post.

I'll name another--Gloria Steinem.

Brent said...

"Hamsher: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin."

Let's see. How about we start with:

The Godmother of Feminism, Gloria Steinem. Absolutely vicious.

Liberals are just too easy.

Simon said...

Too many jims said...
"I would point out that the Bush Justice department did investigate Clinton's actions while he was president. Most specifically, they investigated his use of pardons (though if I recall correctly the White House and Ashcroft did not express much of a stomach for it)."

I didn't know that, but if that's so, that's just as bad (albeit somewhat different).

Alex said...

Libs - just try to go after Bush. You will bring hell on your heads.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann it's really commendable how you took the high road when you were talking to her face to face and then call her ignorant and evil in the comments of your blog."

We weren't face to face and I didn't just now call her ignorant and evil. I said what she said was stupid and evil. In any case, in the diavlog, I I called it "absurd" and indicated I thought it was evil. I'm not being any different here. Anyone watching that video can see that I'm playing rope-a-dope.

MadisonMan said...

FISA is a criminal statute. It carries prison time.

let's count up how many people have been prosecuted under it.

I think the point made in Bloggingheads was a good one: If you don't have the political will to get something done as a Legislative Body, it's a very bad precedent to wait, seize control of the Executive Branch, and then act.

Ann Althouse said...

The main mistake I concede is that I continue to believe that it is possible to make a personal connection and become friends, despite disagreements.

Trooper York said...

No sports metaphors please. This is a serious political blog.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Simon please tell me you don't plan on going into criminal defense."

Getting substantively guilty people off the hook with minor procedural defects isn't something that most conservatives relish the prospect of. I like crimpro, and my heart's in process and jurisdiction - but in terms of substantive fields, I'm more interested in antitrust, really.

"Prisons are overcrowded enough as it is."

I think that you probably have me pegged as being a fairly straight-down-the-line conservative, so I think you'd be surprised at my preferred solution to that problem.

Trooper York said...

Electric bleachers?

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The main mistake I concede is that I continue to believe that it is possible to make a personal connection and become friends, despite disagreements."

And that's certainly possible, but it depends on the people. Beth and I are very different politically, but I think she's great, and I'd have lunch with her (or GarageMahal, for that matter) any day of the week.

mjsharon said...

Ann,

I'd be willing to wager a large amount that Ms. Hamsher has a political litmus test for all her friends. She is not a happy warrior.

Chip Ahoy said...

I hope these two miserable political parties destroy themselves.

That's how hateful I am.

Go ahead and have a trial. I welcome watching them destroy each other. And if they think they can have Bush tried and come out of it unscathed, they're fooling themselves. Again. They're idiots, driven by emotion, and they're irredeemable.

I didn't watch the video. I've seen more than enough years ago. They. just. keep. getting. worse.

Oh, and Hamsher, the Anne Lennox look isn't working for you. Lose the smirk.

Observe: this is me, pissing off.

Joan said...

I'm not all the way through yet, but Hamsher is cracking me up. "Obama grew up poor in Hawaii." I'm sorry -- poor in Hawaii doesn't make any sense to the majority of people. Also, anyone who thinks a graduate of Harvard Law School is not elite is deluded. It's a great story of humble origins, etc, but the end point is that Obama is an elite and feels he knows better how to run all our lives than we do.

goesh said...

OJ goes on trial Monday - that appears to be a legit prosecution though I like the idea of Bill Clinton on the docket for having Serbs murdered.....

Brent said...

Simon said:

"Prisons are overcrowded enough as it is."

I think that you probably have me pegged as being a fairly straight-down-the-line conservative, so I think you'd be surprised at my preferred solution to that problem.


Simon, I'm very interested in your preferred solution. Do tell, do tell.

LarsPorsena said...

Doyle said:
"Ann it's really commendable how you took the high road when you were talking to her face to face and then call her ignorant and evil in the comments of your blog.

You're a pathetic hack and a miserable person."

I think our little Doyle has a woodie for Mistress Hamsher; so gallant in her defense is he.

Meade said...

"Observe: this is me, pissing off."

Wait! Chip, come back here. How can I get you to teach me Photoshop? I'll pay you whatever your fee is. Help a brother get lai... I mean, a date.

bleeper said...

Go ahead and try to impeach Bush. You have the time, do you have the courage? I didn't think so.

But try him after he is out of office? You have no idea what you are unleashing.

Still upset about the blue dress, aren't you?

Brent said...

The thing that's distasteful about Jane Hamsher, like so many if not most, liberals is the condescending attitude they always seem to have towards other viewpoints.

That's why they were so taken by surprise when Sarah Palin delivered her zingers with sarcasm and a smile. That's not right! Sarcasm belongs to Jon Stewart and liberals! How unfair!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

That's fine. Prosecute Bush. But if we're going to do that, let's also prosecute all the Dems that looked at the same intelligence and voted for the war. They can frog march them all out of the Senate in one big group.

Brent said...

The thing that's distasteful about Jane Hamsher, like so many if not most liberals, is the condescending attitude they always seem to have towards other viewpoints.

That's why they were so taken by surprise when Sarah Palin delivered her zingers with sarcasm and a smile. That's not right! Sarcasm belongs to Jon Stewart and liberals! How unfair!

Doyle said...

Joan wants her president to be untainted by higher education.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said Except for the overwhelming evidence (like, admissions) that Bush broke statutory laws.

Doyle, can you please explain if the evidence is so overwhelming, why has the Democratic Congress not initianted impeachment proceedings? Why do they have to wait for the Messiah to come and administer judgment?

As has been said repeatedly, the Constitution sets forth the process for prosecuting the President for violating the law. Call Nancy and Harry and tell them to get cracking.

To quote DiNiro as Capone "You got NOTHING! You're a lotta talk. Nothing you hear!?"

Michael said...

Why can't people here ever just discuss what they've heard without the usual, "Jane's nothing but a disgusting liberal so we don't want to hear it" crap??

What is the point of any discussion if you ONLY want to hear what you already think is the case??

Disagreeing on the talking points or opinion of those having the conversation, interview or debate, but tainting damn near every comment with silly references to Jane being a liberal or making a movie you didn't like is just plain stupid.

Joan said...

Joan wants her president to be untainted by higher education.

I want my president to respect my ability to spend my own money and raise my own children. So yes, "untainted by higher education" may be one way of saying that.

Hoosier Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent said...

THIS JUST IN:

Fuller ratings: Sarah Palin's speech was viewed by over 40,000,000 Americans, exceeding viewers of Obama's acceptance speech by over 1.5 million people.

jdeeripper said...

If you think Bush/Cheney "lied and people died" etc then -

1. Why not have Leahy and Conyers begin impeachment proceedings against Bush NOW! The war started 5 years ago. What are they waiting for? Isn't impeachment the way we deal with office holders who have violated the constitution?

2. What are the actual federal laws that have been violated by Bush/Cheney? Just say it.

Biden and Axelrod are full of it. This is all just a ploy by Team Obama to get campaign contributions from lefties who are bug eyed and drooling over the thought of seeing Bush/Cheney doing a perp walk with their wrists cuffed behind their backs.

Its all just pandering for donations.

But it's a dangerous ploy if it alienates swing voters.

Doyle said...

Doyle, can you please explain if the evidence is so overwhelming, why has the Democratic Congress not initianted impeachment proceedings?

Sure. They're afraid doing so will be unpopular. They have no interest in upholding the constitution if there's any possibility it could mean their seat.

Hence, impeachment is "off the table."

Brent said...

michael,

Your point is more than fair.

I gave 1 comment (11:03) about the substance of what Jane said.

I gave a seperate comment (11:53) about my opinion of her attitude .

I have no problem with anyone doing the same with any conservative: discuss the substance apart from discussing the person.

MadisonMan said...

Joan -- completely OT but some months ago you offered some literature on Thyroid Cancer that I never took you up on, but I was very grateful for the offer. Don't know if I mentioned it back then, but I'll say it now, maybe again.

I say this because the sister's 2nd post I-131 scans came back clear. Hooray!

Simon said...

Michael, if you have me in mind (and I suspect this is true for Palladian, too), your mistake is in thinking that the reason I'm not willing to watch this episode is because Jane Hamsher is a liberal. That's not it at all. I'm not going to watch it because Jane Hamsher is Jane Hamsher. I love seeing Althouse on BHTV with Wright, Yglesias, and other credible, fun, intellectually-serious liberals. Dahlia Lithwick (my cross-partisan purely platonic crush) would be terrific. Rosa Brooks would be good, or Henry Farrell. And if you can't get credible and intellectually serious, even just a fun one like Josh Marshall would be fine.

Brent said...

Rasmussen is reporting that Sarah Palin is now more popular than Obama and McCain.

Michael said...

One of the most interesting points Jane made, that Ann, for some strange reason (politics?) tried to brush away, was the notion that we should "look into exactly what Bush did or did not do" BEFORE any prosecution would even be considered.

She referred to our Constitution, remedies found therein, and was rebuked over and over again by Ann...a constitution law professor.
Why would Ann dismiss any possibility Bush and his administration may have broken laws? (Anybody think the U.S. Attorney flap was just fun and games to those passed over for jobs because of their politics? Any lawyers here who would take that in stride??)

Ann continually said we should just let bygones be bygones and "move on." while Jane kept asking why we shouldn't at least "look into possible criminal acts."

Someone here tell me why "looking into possible crimes" would be, as Ann puts it; "a waste of time?"

A waste of who's time?

The Republicans spent 8 years "looking into every nook and cranny of the Bill Clinton's life, finally doing their best to prosecute him for lying under oath, about a sexual encounter with another adult, (which I agree is a crime), yet now...when Jane suggests we do the same with Bush...a majority here are dumbfounded by the notion.

Our Constitution and most laws of he land demand we at least "look into the facts or circumstances surrounding possible crimes," and we do it every day of the week.

For a constitutional law professor to lay out an argument like Ann did is embarrassing.

Brent said...

madisonman,

Happy to hear the news about your sister.

Doyle said...

For a constitutional law professor to lay out an argument like Ann did is embarrassing.

Pointing out the absurdity of Ann's employment as a law professor is frowned upon here.

Joan said...

Brent, everyone's saying Palin's ratings beat Obama's, but I'm not sure it's true -- did Obama's 38.5 million include 4 million from PBS or not? This article uses the following ambiguous language:

An audience of 37.2 million people watched Palin on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday. PBS estimated its audience at 3.9 million, based on a less reliable sample of several big cities. Nielsen does not count the audience for C-SPAN, which also showed the speech.

Last week, Nielsen said 38.4 million people watched Obama speak at a Denver stadium on the six commercial networks, along with BET, TV One, Univision and Telemundo - four networks that didn't cover Palin's speech. PBS added an estimated 4 million to that total.


"PBS added to that total." Does that mean the PBS viewers were included in Obama's 38.4? I don't think so, given the way the numbers are reported, but it's weird how everyone is spinning that Palin beat Obama. I don't think she did.

This NY Times article spells it out more plainly:
The historic speech by the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party reached 38.4 million viewers on 10 broadcast and cable networks, Nielsen Media Research said Friday. PBS estimated that an additional 3.5 million had watched its prime-time coverage." (emphasis added)

Obama's total beat Palin's. Still an impressive performance.

MadisonMan: Yay! Congratulations to your sister. There's nothing like a clean scan to make you feel like you can get back to living your life.

Michael said...

simon,
I don't care if you watch Jane or anything for that matter, but commenting in any way, shape or form on something you didn't see is a waste of time.

Anybody here who doesn't get the "I hate liberals and anything they say or believe" notion put forth by most is truly a dreamer.

I personally watched the entire interview, found some parts interesting, some not that interesting, and most pretty much true to form for Jane and Ann.

*I did find Ann's comment that she would vote for McCain if Obama pursued any criminal investigation of Bush and his administration rather telling to say the least.

Investigating "possible" crimes by a President of the United states or his minions would sway the vote of a constitutional law professor to the other candidate?

Now that's a comment I would love to discuss with her students to see what they think.

Michael said...

doyle,
Believe me; I'm well aware of that.

Brent said...

You know doyle,

You're an intelligent guy - and I'm not trying to kiss up when I say that. Your often pissy, which is fine, but you have also had numerous comments of substance (even though I disagree with your views).

But even though I don't defend Ann on her own blog here, I'm really flummoxed as to why you are throwing darts at her personally. What exactly are trying to accomplish?

What's up with that

Michael said...

"Sure. They're afraid doing so will be unpopular. They have no interest in upholding the constitution if there's any possibility it could mean their seat."

And there isn't enough time before the election.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said Sure. They're afraid doing so [impeachment] will be unpopular. They have no interest in upholding the constitution if there's any possibility it could mean their seat.

But wait, are you implying that the American voters, who of course voted in the Democratic Congress, would view impeachment of the President for committing crimes unpopular? I thought only 30% of the people supported Bush.

Help me out with your logic Doyle cause it isn't sinking in.

Brent said...

joan,

Thank you for that explanation. I did not that, and stand corrected.

Joan said...

Someone here tell me why "looking into possible crimes" would be, as Ann puts it; "a waste of time?"

1) What crimes?

2) If there has been criminal activity, it should be prosecuted as soon as it is identified. If Bush & co have broken laws, they should be impeached.

3) The 8 years Clinton was under the microscope were the 8 years he was in office. Clinton was impeached but not convicted, even though I am sure that everyone voting on his conviction knew that he did commit perjury.

4) Hamsher is wrong in believing that "Bush lied" = criminal activity. Everyone believed that Saddam had WMD, including Bill Clinton who called for an Iraq regime change during his administration. Does Hamsher think Bill Clinton lied, too?

5) I know Ann was being restrained here for civility's sake, but I would've really liked to see her put the smack down on Hamsher, who came sooo close to saying, "You, a law professor!" I suspect Hamsher is impervious to reason, anyway.

vbspurs said...

Oh no! It's the Attack of the 4 Inch Blondes!!

Just kidding. ;)

I'm really looking forward to this Bloggingheads, as I want to see you parry someone about the Palin nomination. I never did finish the McCardle one, due to just forgetting to.

Simon said...

Brent - yeah, and unlike Obama's speech, people were still talking about Sarah's speech the next day.

Doyle said...
"They're afraid doing so will be unpopular. They have no interest in upholding the constitution if there's any possibility it could mean their seat."

I think we can all agree on that - and I think most of us can agree on that as an assessment of Congress and its membership generally. I have the utmost respect for the institution of Congress; I think it is the most powerful legislative branch in the world and I think that our system is superior to any other that has been tried. Alas, when we look to the people who go into that institution, we find that they usually fall far short of the institution in which they serve.

Many years ago, I was hit by a car, and lost most of my two front teeth; rather than remove what was left, it was thought better (here's British dentistry c.1990 for you) to just build caps over the top of the remains. And that worked fine for about fourteen years. Then one day, I'm biting into a french bread sandwich and my front tooth snaps off. As it turns out, although the cap had looked just fine from the outside, routinely passing dental inspections, a tiny hole had developed in the back and the stub of original tooth on which the cap had been built had slowly rotted through until it had finally reached breaking point. Similarly, that beautiful building on the hill is still there, looking as robust as ever. And Congress still appears to work just fine - it still holds "hearings," it still "convenes," "meets," votes on bills and sends them to the President. But the legislative process in this country has been consumed by pathology. Congress is not working. It holds meetings called hearings, but no one listens; it still convenes but no one stays. More and more one wonders what the point is; more and more, I wonder who these people are talking to when they are giving speeches. It certainly isn't one another. The real work has been taken off the floor because the real work requires deals that would make legislators unpopular with constituents and parties - CSPAN has decreased the transparency of the legislative process, in my view. And the work itself has devolved into ever-larger "omnibus bills."

Hoosier Daddy said...

And there isn't enough time before the election.

You're right. It's not like they haven't had time since 2006 when they took power.

In other words, there is no there there.

Wurly said...

Can't someone photoshop the image, so that Ann's dialog is with Madame Defarge while knitting?

Michael said...

Does anybody here think Nixon would not have been prosecuted, had he not resigned?

Anybody remember what happened to these creeps:

Herbert Porter
Kalmbach
Haldeman
Ehrlichman
Mitchell
Colson
Mardian
Parkinson
Dean
Magruder
Reinecke,
Chapin

Simon said...

Michael said...
"I don't care if you watch Jane ..., but commenting in any way, shape or form on something you didn't see is a waste of time."

You'll notice that I'm not commenting on what Hamsher said. I've commented on the general proposition of prosecuting the Bush administration, and suggested that I doubt Hamsher brings anything unusual to that debate.

Brent said...

michael said,

And there isn't enough time before the election.

O come on, michael.

This meme has been out there for years.

The Congress has been Democrat-controlled since 2006. The fact that they cannot get it together in that time - which is true of pretty much everything this Democrat Congress has done - should be enough reason to scare liberals into NOT voting for Obama. if they can't do the main move.on/Kos/Soros Democrat thing with a President with approval ratings lower than Carter's:

what can they do?

WORST. CONGRESS. EVER.

chuck b. said...

The purposefully oversold Denver stadium intended to create the sense of thousands and thousands of people desperately longing to bask in the presence of the One is...well, that's quite something. (I think it's gross.)

That people are willing to submit themselves for such transparent manipulation is also quite something. (Sad.)

In comparison, the Republican convention, and, by extension Republicans, seem much more sensible and effective. They can even throw out a day and still gain ground.

Simon said...

Sorry, I missed the final paragraph of my comment about Congress; I just said that removing AV feeds from the chamber and committees, and adopting some kind of compactness rule for legislation are the first step in fixing the problem.

Brent said...

michael,

I remember this creep:

Chuck Colson

Are you still waiting for the day he reveals his evil self again to the world?

What is it with you liberals> Why all the hate?

Michael said...

hoosier,
You're wrong, as ususal.

The democrats took over a slim majority (and that's couting good ol' Joe Lieberman) on January 5, 2007 and there was not enough time to garner the necessary votes to impeach.

The Republicans have blocked damn near anything, much less an impeachment, even with the majority, from even getting out of committee.

Michael said...

brent,
From my comment you feel I hate Charles Colson?

Now that's just plain weird.

John said...

Ann you tell Jane to go go go with that "lets prosecute Bush" theme. No one but the nutroots wants that. It makes the Democrats look like petty and unAmerican. If they ever tried it, it would end the Democratic party's chances of winning an election anywhere outside of the Manhattan and a few college towns.

At what point does the media start to do it's job and ask Biden and Obama to clarify their positions? This is a big deal. It is one thing for nuts like Hamswer and the ever loathsome Dalhia Lithwick to advocate it. But Biden is telling the London papers he will do it. I think all four candidates need to be asked to clarify their position on that.

Doyle said...

Hoosier –

Approval ratings don’t really get at the question. The question is would impeaching Bush carry a political cost for the Democrats, and the answer is obviously yes. Can you imagine the hissyfit that the 30% that still approves of Bush would throw? Even non-ideological people of a “centrist, bi-partisan” bent would be highly indignant. David Broder would need the fainting couch. Ann would turn into Pam Atlas, to the extent she’s not there already.

It’s possible the benefits of actually investigating this eight year mafia operation (the Capone analogy earlier was pretty good), depending on how much more was found, would outweigh the backlash. But what we know already is bad enough so that the Democrats are probably right to be concerned that it wouldn’t.

Anyway, the right thing to do would be what the Constitution calls for in cases of high crimes and misdemeanors, but again the Dems aren’t going to do it because they’re chickenshit, and there are too many morons like Ann out there.

Michael said...

brent:

Once again:

The democrats took over a slim majority (and that's counting good ol' Joe Lieberman) on January 5, 2007 and there was not enough time to garner the necessary votes to impeach.

(Do you remember how long it took to take their shot at Clinton...even with a good-sized majority?)

miller said...

Michael, I'm not trying to be obtuse here, but doesn't the Democrat Party control Congress? And aren't they the majority on every committee? And doesn't the majority control the legislative agenda?

And these Democrats can't get an impeachment resolution out of committee?

Because the mean ol' Republicans are, in their minority status, blocking them?

So doesn't this mean that even in the minority the Republicans are able to get things done (like blocking legislation), and wouldn't this also mean you should vote for Republicans because they will get things done even better when they regain the majority?

Brent said...

michael said,

brent,
From my comment you feel I hate Charles Colson?

Now that's just plain weird.


Then why do you describe him as one of "these creeps"?

Simon said...

John said...
"It is one thing for nuts like Hamswer and the ever loathsome Dalhia Lithwick"

You're comparing Hamsher to Lithwick? Lithwick is shamelessly partisan, and from my perspective often very wrong, but she's a wonderfully vivid, funny and effective writer, at least on Supreme Court issues. She's got a gift for talking about even fairly dry cases with some zest.

miller said...

I hate to keep going on about this, but this is about the funniest thing I've read about Congress in a long time: the Democrat Party, in power for two years, is unable to do anything, so we should reward them for not doing anything!

That's a winning bumpersticker: TWO MORE YEARS, BECAUSE THIS TIME WE MIGHT ACTUALLY DO OUR JOBS!

MadisonMan said...

Brent (and others): I hope you all, like I, are voting against the incumbent this year. Keep voting them out until someone who actually wants to govern comes along.

I'm very happy the Republican Senators up are having troubles -- they are part of the problem. All the filibustering this past two years, cloture-vote requirements, has been dreadful. Americans demonstrated in 2006 that they wanted something different in Congress -- but did the leftover Republicans allow that? Nope. So Republicans will likely pay for that at the booth in November, due to the quirky way that re-elections are structured this year (i.e., more Republican Senators are up than Democrats). Good riddance.

John said...

Simon,

Lithwick is one of the biggest supporters of making it a crime to have been a Republican in the 00s. She wants to have a national truth and reconciliation commission. In response the the question of that tearing the country apart her response is "it would be worse if we didn't".

I used to view her with bemusment as a misguided lefty who, thankfully, had never really done anything but work in daddy's law firm and write tripe for slate. Yes, some of her stuff, when she is not talking about things she has a partisian interest in is good. But, when she writes about things like Guns, she is just a partisian hack, a pretty benign hack but a hack nonetheless.

When I read that statement, however, I really looked at her differently. She is really just as much of a nut as Hamsher. She just hides it better. If anything Hamsher is less loathsome for being more honest about who she is.

Brent said...

Education of Jane Hamsher, part 2:

Jane asked Ann: Name one. Name one liberal who is making anti-feminist attacks on Palin.


#2: Judith "why do we allow Republicans to live?" Warner

Simon said...

miller said...
"Michael, I'm not trying to be obtuse here, but doesn't the Democrat Party control Congress? And aren't they the majority on every committee? And doesn't the majority control the legislative agenda?"

In the House, yes - 100%. And thus it has (almost) ever been. See generally Robert Remini, The House: The History of the House of Representatives (2006). The picture's more complex in the Senate.

Michael said...
"The democrats took over a slim majority ... on January 5, 2007 and there was not enough time to garner the necessary votes to impeach."

Their majority vel non in the Senate has nothing to do with their ability to impeach anyone. The House impeaches; the Senate tries the impeachment once the House has done it. That's why Bill Clinton was impeached yet nothing happened. Impeachment is the sole prerogative of the House, the House is the creature of the majority party, and the Democrats are the majority party; it is only a slight exaggeration to say that they could impeach Bush this afternoon if the mood took them.

vbspurs said...

The Pepsi Centre

Capacity
Basketball 19,309
Hockey, Lacrosse 18,007
Arena Football 17,417


--versus--

Xcel Energy Centre

Hockey and Lacrosse: 18,064 (plus 500 standing room)

I know what she's saying though. The Pepsi Centre, which apparently is nicknamed The Can ("I'm going to the Can", heh), just seemed larger and more like concert.

The RNC just looked cosier.

Brent said...

Lithwick is loathsome. She is a despicable human being.

Sofa King said...

I think the reason why the proposed prosecutions are so distasteful and potentially cataclysmic is because there is no real allegation that Bush did anything improper for his own personal benefit. Any real substantive allegations of wrongdoing center around Bush being overly aggressive in counterterroism operations.

Because his alleged violations center around his doing his job as President, the separation of powers questions are necessarily invoked, and ultimately that's the sort of thing the courts call a "political question." On such a fundamental question of government, the government is not qualified to judge itself. The judgment is left to the citizenry, who execute their preference through the vote.

If this had to do with Bush breaking the law for something unrelated to his duties as President, it would hardly be controversial at all.

Brent said...

sofa king,

Well Said

miller said...

Thank you, Simon, for bringing out the Constitution here: the House impeaches, the Senate tries, and the Judiciary oversees.

However, the House has been unable to accomplish this oh-so-necessary impeachment in spite of a 20+ member majority (IIRC).

Is the House Judiciary Committee split 50-50 along party lines? Have they had any discussions about this? If impeachment is something that's a necessary corrective to Teh Bush Conspiracy, why haven't the emasculated Democrats done anything about it? They managed to go on vacation in August; couldn't they have maybe spent a day or so to bring impeachment charges and then take their rest?

Brent said...

MAN!

I've got to stop refreshing back to the original post. That smarmy look on Jane Hamsher's face is starting to turn my stomach!

Michael said...

miller,
The Democrats have a one vote majority...counting Joe Lieberman.

For crying out loud, do the frigging math.

Do you know how many YEA votes are needed to push impeachment?

Do you know how many moderates there are from both parties.

Do you know how many people are retiring?

Do you know how many people are in tight re-election campaigns?

Good Lord about eight Republicans didn't even attend the Republican convention because of their campaigns.

Again: NOT ENOUGH TIME BEFORE ELECTION

Simon said...

MM, the fault in your analysis is that although the electorate clearly said "that's enough of that" in 2006, it is not entirely clear what the "that" they had in mind was (corruption and being on the take, if the exit polls are to be believed) and it isn't at all clear that the Democrats were given a mandate to do the stuff that GOP Senators have deep six'd which the Senate has frustrated by inaction.

medaura said...

Ann,

I have been reading your blog increasingly more regularly over the past month or so, and I dig it.

But what were you even doing engaging Jane Hamsher!! The woman has no self conception of how hysterical she sounds when her moonbat buttons are pushed.

Bush Derangement Syndrome aside, I shot some puke in my mouth when she was talking about Biden's working class credentials less than a minute after dismissing the notion that the Democratic Party is ruled by elitist condescending snobs! Has she no conception of the fact that merely talking about Americans as mindless receptacles of artificially crafted class-strife inspired political paradigms is unforgivably condescending?

Sounds like you backed off a bit awkwardly when you realized how rabidly insane she was sounding. I wonder why you even had to be surprised. She was so angry: "Don't put words in my mouth!"

There are independent minded left-liberally oriented thinkers out there worth debating with, and absolutely capable of splendid rational arguments, but Jane Hamsher is of the 'foaming-at-the-mouth' caliber: i.e absolutely beyond the appeal of reason.

And Natural Born Killers was a despicable piece of crap!

Cheers.

Michael said...

Sofa King said..."I think the reason why the proposed prosecutions are so distasteful and potentially cataclysmic is because there is no real allegation that Bush did anything improper for his own personal benefit."

Again: That's why people "investigate."

And that's what Jane suggested: To investigate.

Are YOU and OTHERS here against "investigating" or "prosecuting"...that is really the question.

Peter V. Bella said...

If he did not commit a crime, he should not be afraid? What crime did Bush commit? She believes there is “very strong evidence”? What evidence? What laws were circumvented? All the rest is political clap trap.

Ann you are right. It is a stupid waste.

She keeps harping on crimes. There are no crimes. Crimes are violations of criminal laws. They are not behavior or decisions people do not agree with. You cannot prosecute people for political behavior or bad decisions. Abuse of power? that is nothing more than an opinion; partisan opinion. Enabling torture? If all the enablers were ever prosecuted all the lawyers, judges, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists would be in prison.

He lied? Lying is not illegal. Lying under oath or during federal investigation is illegal. “That is not a crime.” Thank you Ann. Bad decisions are not crimes.

Michael said...

"And Natural Born Killers was a despicable piece of crap!"

Right in the middle of a political discussion...a movie review.

*Ever see some of Ronald Reagan's flicks?

Check out "Bedtime for Bonzo."

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:

I am just curious- do you know much about Jane's educational background?

Has the chief blogginghead vetted her at all?

miller said...

Michael,

I mean no offense, but do you understand that the House brings the charges/indicts?

The trial in the Senate can follow, and maybe it will fail.

But in this case, the House hasn't even tried to bring charges. And there's a significant majority.

If you want to be sure you get a conviction, you'll need (I believe) 2/3 [Impeachment (wikipedia)] vote in the Senate. Are you saying the Democrat Party needs to wait until they get 67 sure votes in the Senate before they even try?

I don't think the Senate will have 67 Democrats in Jan 09. Is that what you're predicting?

mjsharon said...

Michael said...

One of the most interesting points Jane made, that Ann, for some strange reason (politics?) tried to brush away, was the notion that we should "look into exactly what Bush did or did not do" BEFORE any prosecution would even be considered.

Michael,

Here is what I posted yesterday on your point.

The process of seeking out lawbreakers in the Bush administration would not be the simple fact-gathering excercise that Professor Biden (disingenuously I think) describes. The whole exercise would be fraught with political judgments. The Clinton impeachment business is not a bad example. There's would be an element of "If you look hard enough for it, you will find it" about the whole business. Also, once the exercised is embarked upon, it would take on a life of it's own. Would be hard for Leahy, Waxman, Conyers, et al to say "Nope, nothing here". Scalps would have to be gotten. A bad, bad, and scary idea.


Hamsher is being either disingenuous or hopelessly naive to think otherwise.

John said...

"You cannot prosecute people for political behavior or bad decisions."

In Hamsher's world view you can. For her it is about Bush making a dicision she didn't like. If she or Lithwick ever had the opportunity, they would lock up eveyrone who didn't agree with them. Of course, after they did that they would start locking up each other for not being true enough to the cause and so forth. When you listen to someone like Hamsher or Lithwick you start to understand how things like the Great Terror really happened. You realize that we shouldn't think it could never happen here.

Peter V. Bella said...

garage mahal said...
We're talking about a partisan witch hunt to destroy people who worked in a government whose policies one happened to disagree with.

Who's talking about that?


Why people just like you. Good solid liberals who think criminals are politicians who make political decisions and the people we put in prisons for real crimes are poor, misunderstood victims.

People just like you, that is who.

John said...

"Check out "Bedtime for Bonzo."

Everyone always points to that movie and has never seen it. It is actually pretty good.

Michael said...

integrity says: "Watching Michael try to befriend these destroyers of this country is embarassing, to say the least."

This is why the Republicans are going to lose the election; continuing to refer to people who have alternative views as "destroyers of this country."

This constant drumbeat that liberals like myself or anyone who doesn't agree with the Republican or conservative point of view is un-American, unpatriotic, supportive of "the other side" whatever or whoever that is nothing more than a right wing cheapshot.

Do you also believe Chuck Hagel and any of the other Republicans that have abandoned Bush's views or policies are "destroyers of this country."

Peter V. Bella said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Jane Jhamsher is babealicious.

But, did Ann cite any examples of these supposed "anti-feminist attacks on Palin?"



That is because you listen to the partisan hacks like TPM, KOS, MYDD, and DU.

Palin has been attacked worse in four days than Hillary has in her whole life. Vicious, cruel, evil and horrible attacks.

Michael said...

john,
I've seen it and you're right, it's pretty funny.

But that wasn't my point.

miller said...

Reagan himself was not embarrassed by "B4B" - he even laughed at the stills from the movie, saying "I'm the one with the watch." See here.

miller said...

And Michael, let's not move the goal posts. The issue is, should the Obama administration spend its time looking for crimes in the previous administration? If so, why? What will that accomplish? And what does that mean for the next administration? Should they investigate Obama's crimes? (I'm sure he will make mistakes on the job - he is, after all, supremely underqualified Day One to handle the job.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

hoosier,
You're wrong, as ususal.


Michael, I daresay that if I said the sky was blue you'd disagree and say it was aqua so you're comment has little meaning to me.

Michael said...

So, can I assume, since there hasn't been a response: That no one here thinks anyone associated with Nixon should have been prosecuted or gone to jail?

And that Nixon wouldn't have been, had he not resigned?

Michael said...

As of November 7, 2006, the U.S. House of the 109th Congress:

229 Republicans

201 Democrats

1 Independent

Michael said...

hoosier,
It's not fun being wrong, is it?

And not having the guts to admit it is even less fun.

Brent said...

NEWS FLASH:

That Gloria Steinem anti-Palin piece,

Gloria Steinem, 74, writes in LA Times

is torn apart by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh:

Lying of Gloria Steinem and Feminists Exposed, Sigh, Yet Again

Feminist LIES exposed again!
American people win again!

dccupp said...

Ann, you really shouldn't have these "diavlogs" with these left wing nutjobs because you come off looking pretty bad. I tried to watch the whole thing, but after that crazy rant about Bush, I couldn't even watch the last segment.

When Jane starts spouting off her nutroots talking points, and you try to bring the conversation back to sanity, neither of you look good.

And I hope this doesn't come across as sexist, but man, I just wanted to reach into the monitor ans smack the *smug* off of Jane's face.

"The people this" and "The people that" like she actually talks to anyone outside her far left ideology.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, I'm willing to err on the side of Throw The Bums Out. :)

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mjsharon said...

Michael,

Watergate is a very poor choice to make to try to prove your point - political espionage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping. An extreme case which has no bearing on whether or not it would be wise to investigate the Bush administration.

vbspurs said...

I guess I'm the only one, at this point in the thread, talking about the Bloggingheads episode...so I'll bold it.

Bloggingheads @ 13:13

I had made that point that Ann brought out so beautifully, in another post that it's interesting to have two candidates from both Alaska and Hawaii, the last two States in the Union. Ann noted how Palin is all about Alaska, whereas Obama is not at all about Hawaii.

Hamsher parried by saying if he were Hawaiian, he would be perceived as even more exotic.

More exotic than being the son of a Kenyan man of Muslim ancestry, who had lived in Indonesia in his youth, and didn't look like a descendant of the cultural black America of slavery?

Uh, no.

If only he were seen as coming from Hawaii (and if you've ever been to that place, you know it's all about BELONGING), he would've had a more authentically American presence, with an edge of novelty like Palin has with the whole Mooseburger Syndrome.

Ann's point about 'there's something American about settling in a new place and making it part of who you are' is excellent.

To his credit, Senator Obama doesn't...because he can't. This man is not comfortable in any setting, just as so many transients often are not.

It's also possible that Chicago emphasises his black roots, with the family he's built with Michelle and his community service in the black section, which he wants, whereas Hawaii it's about his white Dunham background, which is fraught with identity issues.

Cheers,
Victoria

Sofa King said...

Michael -

Integrity is in fact a lefty. He was castigating you for deigning to even talk reasonably with us red-neck, knuckle-dragging neanderthals.

Now I'm just going to assume right now there's a very good reason why the argument you made about how calling the other side "destroyers" will lead to electoral loss does not apply in the opposite direction. Still, I'd love to know what it is.

Michael said...

miller asks: "And Michael, let's not move the goal posts. The issue is, should the Obama administration spend its time looking for crimes in the previous administration?"

I don't know, but it's something that our Constitution certainly demands.

Or are you saying, as Ann puts it; "why piss away" the time looking?

Can I also assume you felt the impeachment proceedings and investigations via Ken Starr of the Clintons was a waste of time?

If potential crimes were committed, by anyone who lives in America, we should probably look into it...right?

miller said...

Michael, I'm not sure I understand your point here - was Ken Starr in office during Clinton's administration? Or was he in office after Clinton?

Brent said...

michael said,

So, can I assume, since there hasn't been a response: That no one here thinks anyone associated with Nixon should have been prosecuted or gone to jail?

I think they should have been prosecuted.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The question is would impeaching Bush carry a political cost for the Democrats, and the answer is obviously yes. Can you imagine the hissyfit that the 30% that still approves of Bush would throw?

I’m not buying that Doyle. The GOP went after Clinton (stupidly IMO) for lying about a blow job and hardly suffered from it politically considering they didn’t lose their majority until 2006. If the Dems are that chickenshit as you say to go after Bush who has a 30% approval rating for his high crimes and misdemeanors then they have no fucking business running anything other than a lemonade stand and even then….

miller said...

And can you point to me the specific Constitutional requirement to go after the administration of previous presidents? I don't know that I've read that part, but it must be at your fingertips.

Peter V. Bella said...

Doyle said...
Republicans love illegal wars, war crimes and illegal wiretapping.


John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson were the absolute worst serial violators of civil liberties- illegal wire tapping, illegal surveillance measures, and a whole host of black bag dirty operations against the citizens of this country. I believe they were all Democrats.

Don’t forget Saint FDR, who put Italian Americans, German Americans, and Japanese Americans in concentration camps. He was a Democrat too.

You people really do not like being reminded of you sordid evil history of civil liberties atrocities do you?

mjsharon said...

"If potential crimes were committed, by anyone who lives in America, we should probably look into it...right?"

Michael,

This is foolish. Google "Prosecutorial Discretion" and do a bit of reading. The same principle applies.

David said...

Nobody enforces that kind of crap. Already there have been subpoenad out for a long time to Karl Rove and others, that they have just flaly ignored. The dems have taken it to court. Nu, if the Judge says they have to produce or go to jail for contempt, you think the chief executive will enforce that order?? Don't be a stupid.

Even more so with Bush. If Obama wins, (which he wont, but arguendo)you know what kind of rage and anger any attempt to jail a president will bring upon him? Even peopel who dont especially like Bush will rise up in protest. So no matter what any judge says, no one can enforce anything. It's just pussy democrats trying to sound tough via lawyers

Michael said...

sofa,
I think most Americans are no longer buying into the "you're either with us or against us" line Bush and company have been throwing out for years on end.

I think most Americans truly want a change of direction, and most certainly a change in tone.

Calling those who disagree un-American or unpatriotic is a losing proposition.

Doyle said...

You people really do not like being reminded of you sordid evil history of civil liberties atrocities do you?

We're just not eager to perpetuate it.

miller said...

I'm not really interested in the "they did it, too" argument. I just want to see the part in the Constitution that says "prosecute former administrations." That should be an easy thing to find, the trope is so common.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hoosier,
It's not fun being wrong, is it?

And not having the guts to admit it is even less fun.


Oh yes I'm wrong. The Dems won the Congress in 2006 but took over in 1/1/2007. Yes you have me there.

So they had a whole year and a half. Yeah that's a compelling case for not enough time before the election.

Next please.

vbspurs said...

Hmm, when Ann talks excitedly, she gets more "New York" sounding.

I heard that Rhode Islanders sound practically Noo Yawk, but I have no idea if that's the case -- somehow -- with Delaware.

And it's good to know Chris or is it John, who has switched over to McCain/Palin BECAUSE of Palin.

Peter V. Bella said...

garage mahal said...
It seems so confusing on what the law is, when is it being broken, who should follow those laws, and who and when we should prosecute those breaking them. Don't you think?

Cite the specific laws broken please.


Oh, yeah, there are none.

Michael said...

mjsharon said..."This is foolish. Google "Prosecutorial Discretion" and do a bit of reading. The same principle applies."

Again, with the loose use of semantics.

You think "Prosecutorial Discretion" is the same as "looking into potential wrongdoing" or "investigating" is the same thing?

The "discretion" part comes in AFTER the investigation, not BEFORE.

Doyle said...

If the Dems are that chickenshit as you say to go after Bush who has a 30% approval rating for his high crimes and misdemeanors then they have no fucking business running anything

Preaching to the choir.

vbspurs said...

Forgive me, but Hamsher's po-faced expression gives me diarrhoea.

Bissage said...

Michael . . . Brent . . . You want to know who hates Charles Colson?

I’ll tell you who hates Charles Colson – ME, THAT’S WHO!

I HATE Charles Colson!!!

I’ll never, ever, forget when I was ten years old and he was the neighborhood bully. He and Tom Phillips caught me helping a little old lady across the street. So they tied me to a telephone pole.

A crowd of their toadies gathered round and they taunted me with insults. “What’s the matter, crybaby, you scared?” “Why don’t you run home to your mother, if you can!” “Go ahead and pee yourself, it won’t be the first time!”

Then it got nasty. Chuck gave me a teaspoon of peanut oil. Then he poured all these popcorn kernels into my mouth. Then he held a Bic lighter under my chin. Tears streamed down my face as fluffy white popcorn spewed forth.

I had this crush on this girl and she pointed at my genitals and giggled with naughty delight as Chuck leered and asked her if she’d like some fresh melted butter on her popcorn.

The worst thing about it was, IT WAS A REALLY STUPID JOKE!!!

Many years later, someone from the old neighborhood told me Chuck felt kind of sorry about it all, you know, so he became a Christian or something.

Anyway, the good news is I didn’t have to shave until I was in my mid-twenties.

Jesus loves the little children.

Peter V. Bella said...

Doyle said...
Except for the overwhelming evidence (like, admissions) that Bush broke statutory laws.


Cite the specific statutes please.

Michael said...

Peter V. Bella asks: "Cite the specific laws broken please."

Are you daft?

That's the whole point of this discussion: Whether an "investigation" would lead to or not lead to...whether "laws were or were not broken."

You keep trying to put the horse before the cart, just as mjsharon did with his inane comment about "Prosecutorial Discretion."

AJ Lynch said...

So Hamsher has a a masters degree in film from USC Trojans. She produced Natural Born Killers - I thought that was a very good movie even though I don't usually like Tarentino's stuff as much as the critics do.

Other than that, Hamsher has few credentials to be viewed as a serious political analyst. She is just another liberal celebrity who has access to a big megaphone.

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