February 4, 2010

The embarrassing expression of outrage at an elected Senator demanding to be seated...

... to displace an unelected man who would otherwise continue to sit in the elected man's seat and vote in the United States Senate.
Democrats were scrambling to respond to [Scott] Brown's gambit. By tradition, Vice President Biden would be the one to swear Brown in, but any number of folks could do it. And Democrats who are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat.
Gambit? The notion that it's a "gambit" that the Senate Democrats are too pusillanimous to parry is based on a previous agreement to do the swearing-in on February 11th.

Brown's reason for moving the date up is, according to a source, that the Senate was "moving forward with controversial issues and nominations... votes where his vote is the deciding one." With the unelected Paul Kirk voting as if he still represented the people of Massachusetts!

Whatever the extent of the agreement about February 11th, it could not displace the responsibility Brown owes to the people who elected him. They should be outraged at Kirk's illegitimate occupation of their seat.

The Senate Democrats "might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat"?! There's no decent excuse. The failure to seat Brown immediately would not merely be "seen as hyper-partisan." It would be hyper-partisan — and a shameful abuse of power.

109 comments:

Pogo said...

It is indeed a shameful abuse of power, but pretty much aligned with the events of the past year, I think.

garage mahal said...

It is indeed a shameful abuse of power, but pretty much aligned with the events of the past year, I think.

I guess you're right, if Democrats actually did that. Or were planning to do that.

"Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that "if he wants to be sworn in tomorrow, that's fine by us."

But don't let that stop you and Althouse from arguing with hypotheticals in your head. Projection?

traditionalguy said...

They are awaiting the Kennedy family's signature on the two year lease of their property to this tenant until the next Machine controlled election. Let's have some respect for Camelot out there, all you pick-up truck driving commoners.

Maguro said...

Just more responsible, balanced journalism from the appropriately credentialed Marc Ambinder.

Thank god he's not a propagandist like that dumb fedora guy.

MadisonMan said...

Why the rush now, and not last week?

Pogo said...

"Or were planning to do that."

Tsk, tsk, garage. There was plenty of coverage on Democrat's threat to delay Brown's certification, like the AP story on 1/13/09:

"BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts's top election official says it could take weeks to certify the results of the upcoming U.S. Senate special election. That delay could let President Barack Obama preserve a key 60th vote for his health care overhaul even if the Republican who has vowed to kill it wins Democrat Edward M. Kennedy's former seat.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin, citing state law, says city and town clerks must wait at least 10 days for absentee ballots to arrive before they certify the results of the Jan. 19 election. They then have five more days to file the returns with his office.
"

Henry said...

From the article: Democrats said the sudden change of heart had the hallmarks of a Republican plot. But they insisted that there was nothing they could do.

What exactly are "the hallmarks of a Republican plot"?

a) Getting elected.
b) Making Democrats look stupid.

That's all I could come up with, since I can't spy any "hallmarks" and can't figure out any "plot."

Scott said...

Politics is as ugly as it ever was. The only difference is that with the internet, we see much more of it.

jag said...

It's not the people's seat until we say it's the people's seat.

garage mahal said...

Tsk, tsk, garage. There was plenty of coverage on Democrat's threat to delay Brown's certification, like the AP story on 1/13/09:

Does this Democrat have a name?

garage mahal said...

Or do these Democrats have names, I should say.

Pogo said...

Why the rush now, and not last week?"

Boston Globe:
"By being sworn in today, a week earlier than planned, Senator-elect Scott Brown has put himself in a position to help fellow Republicans scuttle a hotly disputed Obama administration nomination to the National Labor Relations Board next week."

Pogo said...

Garage, the AP cited Secretary of State William F. Galvin, Democrat.

But I'm sure he was acting alone.

Chris said...

I doubt there is single person in congress who doesn't think the ends justify the means.

Ann Althouse said...

My criticism is aimed at the bloggers who are saying Brown should be held to the Feb. 11th date and that the Dem Senators are not fighting hard enough.

Ann Althouse said...

Mostly.

EDH said...

[T]he straw who broke the Camelot’s back.

Brown's in today, so let's get to work. Howie Carr sums up the somewhat blasé attitude locally about pace of the transition.

Finally, Mr. Brown goes to Washington

By Howie Carr
Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don‘t worry, Paul Kirk, for the rest of your life, everyone will still be calling you “Senator.” Don’t ask me why - it’s tradition or something.

But now the rest of us can start our celebration - Sen. Scott Brown, (R-Mass). About damn time.

I don’t know what finally made Scott get on the stick. Was it the grumbling from his voters, or the column someone wrote in this paper yesterday? (Hint: the writers initials are HC.) Or was it that last tavern photo-op in Southie Tuesday night?

I suspect it was the fatal glass of beer in Ward 6. During the campaign, when Scott was asked about bringing back “the draft,” this wasn’t what people meant. A three-week victory lap is one thing, lapping up Bud Light is another altogether.

There were also reports yesterday that Scott had wanted to hang around long enough to make a farewell address today on the floor of the state Senate. That would have been the start of yet another new tradition.

Around here a solon’s farewell address is usually delivered by his attorney, outside the courthouse, after the solon himself has already been handcuffed and taken into custody following the guilty verdict. According to custom, the senator’s farewell address must include at least one vow to appeal, as well as a reference to the traditional miscarriage of justice.

But now it’s done. Scott will be sworn in today. Whether he wants to or not, Captain Kirk now must say, “Beam me up, Scottie.”

Whoever’s fault this delay in seating the new senator was, can you imagine Martha Coakley having to wait two-plus weeks to be sworn in? Of course not. And what would have happened to an unelected Republican senator desperately hanging on for one bad vote after another, doing everything but taking hostages in his office?

Something else happens today that’s as significant as Scott Brown’s swearing in. Today is the end of Camelot, as in the old show tune, “for one brief shining moment....”

Brief? The Kennedys (and their placeholders, Ben Smith and now Paul Kirk) owned this seat for 57 years - one for each state in Barack Obama’s union. In that last debate, Scott Brown was wrong. The Kennedys really did own this seat.

Joe Kennedy purchased it for his boy Jack, back in 1952. Bought off the owner of the old Boston Post and drenched the state in bootlegger cash and - strike up the band - “dont let it be forgot/ for one brief shining moment/ that once there was a spot/ that was known as Camelot.”

Until Ted Kennedy ordered the Legislature to change the law on Senate succession in 2004. And then demanded last year that it be changed again. If Ted Kennedy hadn’t pulled that one final “Do-you-know-who-I-am?” his family would still own the seat.

Boy, karma really is a bummer, isn’t it? And what can you say about Scott Brown except, he’s the straw who broke the Camelot’s back.

garage mahal said...

Garage, the AP cited Secretary of State William F. Galvin, Democrat.

But I'm sure he was acting alone.


So what did Galvin do wrong? He certified Brown! Brown is the one who originally said he wanted to wait for Feb 11th so he could prepare and hire his staff. Seriously, wtf are you talking about.

Peter V. Bella said...

The Democrats are such hypocrites. Remember Roland Burris. "Roland will NEVER be seated..." Welcome Senator Burris!!!!!!!!!!

They rushed him through, they could at least do the same for Brown.

Brown actually won an election. Burris was appointed to his seat through scandal, corruption, and the race card.

traditionalguy said...

The act of exposing truth in public is the well known Embarrassing act in modern media's Illusion crafted reality. This has been clear since Dan Rather's best story was exposed by the simple truth that it was based upon a forged document. How shameful to kill that great story by rudely telling a minor truth. Hadn't Dan Rather told us that it was accurate enough. And that crude nude model named Brown is again shamefully acting rude in public.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse:
Kirk was not just unelected, he was seated more quickly than the law required [the MA legislature hastily amended the law to accomodate his appt.]

And Rep. Tsongas [Democrat of MA] was seated the day after her special election!

Perhaps Garage can splain that to us.

wv = nullsh

Pogo said...

garage, did you read the article Althouse posted?

That's wtf I'm talking about.

Henry said...

The story seems to go like this:

Brown: Remember I said February 11th was good? Well I was wrong. Can we move it up?

Senatorial Leadership: Fine.

Democratic handlers: It's a Republican Plot!

Fred4Pres said...

Reid and Obama said they would have no votes before Brown was seated. And they are renegging on that. So Brown is right to be outraged. So the Dems can keep doing what they are doing.

And my new hero Marcy Kaptur should have had the Capitol Hill Police show up after she beat up Timmy Geitner. Faith in Timmy Geitner?

As you said the other day Ann on a different topic, how long will even their supporters believe?

MadisonMan said...

Well, I did read the article.

Brown and Senate Leaders agree on 11 February. (This is long after the vote to up the debt ceiling; he certainly wouldn't want to vote on something controversial right off the bat!) Suddenly he -- or Republican leaders, who can tell -- decides No, I Want To Be Seated NOW! Apparently hiring staff was speedier than Brown thought (No doubt there are plenty of unemployed former Republican staff workers still in DC).

I'm not sure what the Democratic spinmeisters are trying to do. If they're trying to look foolish, well done.

garage mahal said...

garage, did you read the article Althouse posted?

That's wtf I'm talking about.


Yes. From the article:
But Brown and the Senate leadership had agreed to swear the new senator in on Feb. 11, which would give Brown the time to put a staff together and find a place to stay in Washington. Is Brown breaking the deal? (He suggested Feb. 11 himself.)

Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that "if he wants to be sworn in tomorrow, that's fine by us."

What's the problem here?

Pogo said...

"What's the problem here?"

You skipped this sentence, apparently:
"And Democrats who are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat."

You skipped it twice, actually, in Althouse's post, and in the article.

Big Mike said...

The problem, garage, is that you're awfully gullible when it comes to BS being pushed by the Democrats.

MadisonMan said...

It's not like they can seat him today or tomorrow anyway. Isn't all of Virginia and DC shut down in advance of THE STORM?

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Oh for goodness sake. Brown asked for the Feb. 11th date originally. When he then changed his mind and wanted to move it to today, the Democrats did it.

Unnamed sources speculating about the Democrats blocking it, which they didn't do, isn't newsworthy or even Drudgeworthy.

This isn't an Al Franken situation with one party keeping the other party's elected Senator out of office for as long as possible.

garage mahal said...

"And Democrats who are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat."

That Ambinder talking, not Democrats. The only Democrat on record is saying, sure, we will seat him tomorrow.

Deep Thoughts from Althouse about Marc Ambinder's Deep Thoughts. Oy.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

"And Democrats who are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan might not be able to come up with an excuse to deny Brown the seat."

That's a hyper-hypothetical speculation. Three hypotheses:

- Dems want to deny Brown the seat.
- Dems are wary of being seen as hyper-partisan
- Dems are seeking an excuse

Matched against Reid's assertion they would swear Brown in tomorrow, the hypotheses dry up and blow away.

Let's look at the facts, not idly speculate:

- Brown picked February 11.
- Brown wanted to wrap up his work in the Mass Senate in an orderly manner.
- Brown wanted time to set up his office and staff in the Senate.

But now, his peers and betters have counseled him to get his ass into the Senate.

Henry said...

@FLS -- Nice summary. End of story.

El Pollo Real said...

Politics is as ugly as it ever was. The only difference is that with the internet, we see much more of it.

Yeah, it's like there's a webcam now in the sausage factory.

garage mahal said...

The problem, garage, is that you're awfully gullible when it comes to BS being pushed by the Democrats.

Democrats aren't pushing anything, at least publicly, in this case. You think secretly that they are though, I understand that. Only to the perpetually aggrieved GOP is swearing in Brown early a sign that Democrats potentially could have tried to delay it.

Pogo said...

End of story?
Yeah, it's the end.
This was the beginning, now conveniently forgotten:


Scott Brown swearing-in would be stalled to pass health-care reform.
Boston Herald
"The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 - well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.
"

Florida said...

"But now, his peers and betters have counseled him to get his ass into the Senate."

And the Democrat-controlled Senate had better fking swear him the moment he arrives.

Got it?

Harry Reid "says" he will do that. But then again, Harry Reid says he'll do a lot of shit Harry Reid doesn't ever get around to doing.

But he'll do this.

And if he doesn't, I suspect he will precipitate a "Constitutional crisis" the likes of which these pricks have never seen before.

WV: acolon ... "Harry Reid is acolon."

Hoosier Daddy said...

The problem, garage, is that you're awfully gullible when it comes to BS being pushed by the Democrats.

You might be confusing gullibility with blind allegiance. The former can always be cured by a dose of cruel reality but the latter tends to stay ingrained even when one is plummeting over the cliff.

SteveR said...

I can say that I'll do something but that doesn't mean I will or that I can actually influence or expedite the things needing to be done in order to finish the deal.

Talk is cheap. In a scenario where a newly elected senator (D-MA) was going to replace an appointed one (R-MA) and which would then give the democrats a super majority, please don't try to tell me it would not have already happened. This isn't analogous to Franken-Coleman which was essentially a dead heat with numerous uncertainties.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Good grief. Pogo, you're posting a Boston Herald article, citing anonymous sources, claiming that Brown won't be sworn in until after health care is rushed through and after Feb. 20th.

Here's the problem. First: health care votes have been postponed until Brown gets seated. Second, even before Brown changed his mind as asked to be seated today, he was going to be seated, at his own request, on Feb. 11th. There is no part of the article you linked to that wasn't wrong.

Scott Brown picked Feb. 11th, and Democrats said sure. Scott Brown picked today and Democrats said sure.

If you don't want to be dismissed as paranoid lunatics, stop seeing conspiracies everywhere. Just because the Republican party worked its ass off to block Franken from being seated doesn't mean the Democrats plan on doing the same to you.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

SteveR–Scott Brown picked the f–ing date! If you have a problem with the timeline, take it up with him!

Lem said...

I need you people not to be too hard on my friend Garage.

garage mahal said...

You might be confusing gullibility with blind allegiance. The former can always be cured by a dose of cruel reality but the latter tends to stay ingrained even when one is plummeting over the cliff.

Unwittingly, I think you just described yourself and the entire right wing. When a Republican accuses you of something, you can bet they're already doing it. See Coleman, Norm.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why the rush now, and not last week?

Can't you read?

Because the Democrats are cramming through legislation that they KNOW the people do not want, the people who voted for Mr. Brown. They know that when he is seated that they will have a much harder time of slipping their slimey bills through.

The rush is to cram this shit down our throats without the opportunity of the legally elected representative of Mass. being seated and instead using the illegal vote of the current guy/shill who is not elected.

If they think that the people of the United States are THIS stupid (granted they ARE pretty stupid) and will put up with being treated in this illegal manner, the Dems are going to be very surprised come November.

mariner said...

Florida:

WV: acolon ... "Harry Reid is acolon."

The distal end of a colon.

(I gotta remember this one.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Unwittingly, I think you just described yourself and the entire right wing.

Unlike you garage, I can cheerfully point to and criticize the blind mice on my side of the aisle. The day you can grow a pair and do the same will be a day with sunshine.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I need you people not to be too hard on my friend Garage.

Why do you want to keep all the fun to yourself?

J.R. said...

This is an embarrassment. Neither party should continue to occupy a seat once a representative has been duly elected. The people of Massachusetts clearly want Scott Brown to be voting in the Senate.

SteveR said...

Beyond: I could care less what Brown wanted. Where did you get the idea this was about Brown?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Because the Democrats are cramming through legislation that they KNOW the people do not want,

You know what? LET THEM! Let them cram it down. They have the votes, let them I say! Lets give Bambi what he wants, a straight up or down vote in the Senate and let the Democrats own the shit sandwich they want us all to have.

I would love to see a straight up vote in the Senate. I imagine there would be a whole lot of squirming and sweaty brows as 49 shaky Democrat fingers hover back and forth over the Yea or Nay button.

Pogo said...

@Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

The discussion about delaying Brown's certification was all over the place for the last few weeks. You can claim that concern was based on nothing all you want, but it's pretty clear that shit was being discussed among Democrats.


"Delay" talk on
CBS
Real clear politics
Reuters
NPR

Lem said...

Ive given this some thought and I think Garage is right.

One thing is fairly obvious in all this.. Brown is going to have to be a quicker study.

You get called up to the majors... you don't put it off!

Brown goofed up setting the date.

The dems got handed a gift and they took it.

Mark said...

"Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that "if he wants to be sworn in tomorrow, that's fine by us."

Pardon me, I'll believe it when I see it. (Especially if Obama decides to go to the mat for Harold Craig Becker. Funny how SEIU stuff keeps floating to the top in this Administration.)

MadisonMan said...

DBQ, that's awfully vague. What Legislation is being voted on between now and the 11th? (Note that this whole thing is purely hypothetical as it appears he'll be sworn in way before the 11th -- and nothing will get done tomorrow anyway -- or Monday -- because of weather).

My comment referred back to the vote on raising the debt ceiling that the (R)s apparently didn't want to okay, but didn't want to block either. Last week there was no clamor for Brown to be seated. (Admittedly, they hadn't counted all the votes yet either).

And Pogo, talk about delaying the seating of Brown is just that: talk. All politicians do when they're not screwing up things is talk about potentials and hypotheticals.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ive given this some thought and I think Garage is right.

Well a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Peter V. Bella said...

The Democrats have always crammed legislation the people do not want. They do not represent the people, they represent the party.

Big Mike said...

The Dems wanted to slip a couple things through, and so Scott moved up his swearing in date. Democrats relied on their lackeys in the press to push the meme that Scott was doing something wrong. Professor Althouse called them on it.

No reason for you to get all upset, garage.

But, as regards your 10:12 post, the 2008 Minnesota senatorial election almost certainly was stolen, as was the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election.

Daniel said...

My criticism is aimed at the bloggers who are saying Brown should be held to the Feb. 11th date and that the Dem Senators are not fighting hard enough.

Bull. You don't mention any bloggers in your post -- you only mention Senate Democrats. And you do so by linking to a post in which the only comment by Senate Democrats is that they will swear Brown in whenever he wants. You wrote a baseless post, were shamed in the comments, and are now searching for a rationalization.

What matters here is not some stupid procedural issue that will be resolved one way or another in ONE WEEK. What matters is the NLRB. When I was a grad student at Brown, we voted on whether RAs/TAs could unionize. After the vote, but before it was counted, the Brown Admin sued. They used a series of procedural delays to wait until Bush appointed a conservative Board member, then allowed the case to be decided. The newly conservative Board decided that RAs/TAs were students, not employees, and therefore did not have the right to unionize. The votes of course were never counted -- how Democratic.

That matters, and I’m hoping that Obama gets his Board member, regardless of the makeup of the Senate. Faux outrage based on conjecture from Marc Ambinder, directly contravened by statements from Democrats, is very tiresome.

Daniel said...

Hey Big Mike, you can have Norm Coleman, I'll take Al Gore, then we'll be even on the "stolen election" front.

Quoting everyone's favorite SCOTUS justice around here, "GET OVER IT."

former law student said...

Neither party should continue to occupy a seat once a representative has been duly elected.

And not wait for the absentee votes to come in from our brave men and women serving in two wars? The GOP had such concern for them in 2000; I'm surprised they would want to rush the count now.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When I was a grad student at Brown, we voted on whether RAs/TAs could unionize.

Which of course is about as absurd as unions in the NFL and NBA.

edutcher said...

I'd ask if the Demos (including garage) have ever heard of the rule of law - Kirk is, after all, illegally participating in votes and has been since Brown was elected - but I know better.

That's how we got stuck with the Kennedy Presidency. Carr, as usual, nails it, but the cloying sense of aristocracy assumed by this crowd, largely because Grandpa Fitzgerald was an established crooked politician back when Teddy rode up San Juan Hill, probably can't be portrayed by anybody. You had to live through it.

PatCA said...

VAya con dios, Scott Brown. The Dems and their handmaidens in the media are going to crush you.

Daniel said...

Which of course is about as absurd as unions in the NFL and NBA.

Oh yeah, those are totally absurd. Let’s take the NFL. Why should people who have non-guaranteed contracts, are put at deadly risk every day in their jobs, are expected to work while seriously injured, lose decades of life expectancy after only several years at their jobs, and are working for a system that basically acts as a monopoly be able to unionize?

MadisonMan said...

Kirk is, after all, illegally participating in votes and has been since Brown was elected

So, do you think absentee/mail-in votes should be included in the count? How long will you wait before you decide everything's done?

Why doesn't every person who is elected get seated immediately?

SteveR said...

If you are trying to compare the absentee ballot issue in FLA 2000 with the recent election in Mass, you're not even close to making an intelligent comment.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

How long will you wait before you decide everything's done?

Isn't it customary to continue the count until it is determined that the remaining uncounted votes could not change the outcome? I'm not sure, just asking. I read somewhere that this point has already been reached in Brown's race.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Let’s take the NFL. Why should people who have non-guaranteed contracts, are put at deadly risk every day in their jobs, are expected to work while seriously injured, lose decades of life expectancy after only several years at their jobs, and are working for a system that basically acts as a monopoly be able to unionize?

Sorry but I think its absurd for someone who is playing a game to have a union. If one is willing to lose decades of life expectancy from running a ball up and down the field in a game then they're idiots.

Although I wonder if a lower NFL life expectancy is more from crazy girlfriends than being hit by linebackers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh and Daniel, those NFL guys who go to there after college could also get a real job that doesn't cost them decades in life expectancy.

Just sayin.

Alex said...

I have to agree with garage on this one. It's just more bitch & whine by conservatives. It's Brown the one being hyper-partisan!

Jim said...

Daniel -

You seem to have left off the last part of that sentence...


"...and get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not tens of millions of dollars to do so..."

How many years does the average Joe have to work in order to make the current league minimum of $285,000? I'll tell you: somewhere between 6 or 7 years.

What's the average career length in the NFL? About 3.5 years.

So the average NFL player will make approximately the same amount of money in 3 and a half years that it takes the average person more than 20 years to make.

And then they'll turn 25 or 26 years old and still have their entire adult lives to earn even more money.

And that's just the average player, do you really want to get into the perks and pay of those who work in the skill positions?

And these are the people you are so very, very, very outraged about their need to unionize?

Yeah, right.

Save your "unionize everybody now against the evil corporation" schtick for another day. You picked the wrong hill to die on today.

Alex said...

FLS - as if our esteemed Republicans ever cared about democracy. They are quite brazen in their opposition to it. They would prefer a "beknighted monarchy of Booosh".

Theo Boehm said...

Hate to break it to you, but the election's been CERTIFIED. Brown won by a convincing enough margin that any remaining uncounted absentee ballots would make no difference.

Howie Carr nails it: There's been a lot of grumbling about why this has been taking so long. I think Brown's gotten the message. I know my wife and several friends, who are NOT Republicans, have been wondering what's going on. We want to see this guy in action. He's very good at retail politics, and he's supposed to be independent. So far, so good.

Now get to work.

And if by his "betters" FLS means the people of Massachusetts, I'm fine with that. Enough people have been P.O'd at that ridiculous Feb. 11 date that he seems to have gotten the message.

A lot of us want him seated YESTERDAY.

Big Mike said...

@Daniel, can I safely assume that Al Gore dispatched one of the Daley brothers to Florida because of the legendary honesty of elections in Chicago?

The ballots in the 2000 Florida presidential have been endlessly studied and reviewed and there is broad agreement that Al Gore comes out ahead only if one counts the "overvotes" -- ballots where people voted for more than one candidate.

This makes sense to me, because if one is too stupid to be able to parse "vote for no more than one person" then one is presumably stupid enough to vote Democrat.

FYI, nothing Al Gore has done in the 9 years since that election suggests he would be been a competent president. Better than Bush? Not hardly. Better than Obama, possibly.

Daniel said...

Wow, Jim, you're actually way behind the league, the owners and the law on this one. You might notice that, unlike grad students, NFL players actually do have the right to unionize.

Some questions for you:

How much money would you want want to earn to be disabled after age 50?

How much money would you want to work in a job in which, if you got a concussion, you would have to keep banging your head against a wall or risk losing that job?

How much money would you want to work in a job in which, if your performance started to decline due to wear on your body from that job, your employer would be able to rewrite the, say, 5 year contract you signed 2 years ago?

Get a job like that. Put an amount on those things (because clearly, there is an amount). Then get mediocre pay for decades and form a union to drive up pay to the amount that you believe you should be paid. And you have the story of NFL unionization.

Your side lost this argument DECADES ago, in 1968 to be exact, when the NFLPA was recognized. I might have picked the wrong crowd, but we went over this hill miles back.

Daniel said...

Big Mike, I was giving you some unsolicited (the most annoying kind) advice that I followed long ago. You could take it, or you could spend the rest of Al Franken's term railing about some sort of vote scam. Your choice obviously, but I see zero point in getting into an argument about the legitimacy of Bush's Florida win 10 years ago, or about Senator Al Franken's existence now.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not sure, just asking. I read somewhere that this point has already been reached in Brown's race.

I'm sure it has. But I'll suppose that if you don't proceed along the lines of state statutes for this type of election, someone will file a suit.

I recall reading today that the election was certified yesterday -- but come to think of it that news item might have been old. So maybe yesterday didn't really mean February 3rd.

I've seen no evidence that the powers in the Senate have been actively blocking his being seated. Talking about the ramifications of blocking it, maybe. Even that, though, I think was more handlers and pundits, not actual Senators (who were no doubt listening to the conversation very closely, however).

AJ Lynch said...

I got this off the internets so it may be all lies. But it is from October 2007 when Rep. Tsongas won a special election in Massachusettes and she was seated within 48 hours of the special election.

"By Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff | October 17, 2007

LOWELL — Democrat Niki Tsongas held off an aggressive challenge from Republican Jim Ogonowski yesterday to win a special election for the US House, becoming the state’s first woman in Congress in 25 years and claiming the same seat once held by her late husband, Paul Tsongas.

Her victory sets up a new chapter in the Tsongas legacy. Niki Tsongas had never sought political office, though she ran alongside her husband, one of Lowell’s 8favorite sons, in his successful bids for City Council and the US House and Senate, as well as his spirited campaign for president.

She won the open Fifth Congressional District seat yesterday with 51 percent of the vote, compared to 45 percent for Ogonowski, winning most strongly in the cities of Lowell and Lawrence and the southern towns of the district, such as Concord and Acton.

In a contest closely watched by national Democrats and Republicans, Tsongas, 61, campaigned for change, calling the local election a referendum on President Bush and the Iraq war.

Tsongas also hammered Ogonowski on the issue of children’s healthcare during the campaign. She said last night that she hoped the secretary of the Commonwealth will certify the election and coordinate with the clerk of the US House in time for her to vote tomorrow to override the president’s veto of the bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

‘‘Less than 48 hours from now, I will have the honor of going to Washington and casting my vote to override the president’s veto of legislation that would expand healthcare coverage to 10 million kids,’’ she said. ‘‘There is no better way that I can think to start my service in Washington as the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts in 25 years.’’

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I agree with you MadMan. I think Brown was stupid for naming the Feb. 11 date and I'm sure Democrats would love to play games with this (as would Republicans if the roles were reversed). I see no reason to be outraged until someone actually tries to prevent him from taking his seat.

Theo Boehm said...

Look, here in Massachusetts, we all were aware of the possibility of certification/seating shenanigans if Brown won LONG before it seemed possible he might actually be elected.

And if it had been close, there always was the possibility of Franken-Feingold II here in the Bay State. Coakley already had prepared statements and publicity materials ready for that eventuality.

Sorry, Martha. Hope your consultants got paid up front. Brown won walking away.

People here generally want Brown to be seated immediately, no matter what their party. Some want to have their suspicions confirmed. Others want to be pleasantly surprised. Others just want to cheer him on. I suspect they all will be disappointed.

But what Massachusetts people don't want, ever, is to be dissed. We are very proud of our Congressional representation, and we don't want any outsiders telling us what we should have done, even if it is electing a Republican.

National politicains playing games with the seating of our representatives gets us really, really pissed.

We have our own crew of potato-faced hacks on Beacon Hill to do that if we want. They decided to sit this one out, and that should be the end of it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Get a job like that.

Daniel, you're not going to convince me because I don't see playing a game is the same as 'a job'.

Now if the players were able to make the argument that they had to the right to unionize then bully for them. That doesn't remove the fact that they're make ridiculous amounts of money for playing-let me repeat- a game.

And honestly, if the game is so flipping dangerous, perhaps a less life threatening sport, like ping pong is in order.

MadisonMan said...

What does Feingold have to do with stolen elections?

Der Hahn said...

MadisonMan said... Kirk is, after all, illegally participating in votes and has been since Brown was elected...

So, do you think absentee/mail-in votes should be included in the count? How long will you wait before you decide everything's done?


It's not a matter of counting votes. Nobody really pushed it but there are numerous places in the Senate rules, MA law, and the Constitution that indicate an interim appointment expires upon the election being held, not when the winner is declared.

garage mahal said...

Brown is so independent he vows to vote against the same health care plan he voted for, in Mass, which the federal government subsidizes $385 million per year for. Mavericky!

Theo Boehm said...

Oops, I meant "Coleman." Just a Midwestern Senatorial brain cramp.

Finegold's pure as the driven snow.

former law student said...

Nobody really pushed it but there are numerous places in the Senate rules, MA law, and the Constitution that indicate an interim appointment expires upon the election being held, not when the winner is declared.

Article I Section 5:Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,

As I read this, under our Constitution, Brown isn't a Senator till the Senate says he's a Senator.

Scott M said...

@Daniel

As far as unions in the NFL and NBA...well, honestly, I don't much care. There's nothing inherently wrong with collective bargaining (philosophically-speaking). The NBA union is a joke, though, and it has been borne out as such time and again shielding its members from punishment after acts of outright thuggery. The NBA is a healthy chunk of why we don't consider professional athletes role models for our kids anymore.

Not that football is clean of thugs, but let's go point by point. Let's try to keep in mind that there is no equivalency at all between someone working on an assembly line at an auto plant and a defensive tackle making seven figures.

Why should people who have non-guaranteed contracts you mean contracts that they signed knowing full well what they did or did not negotiate in their favor?

are put at deadly risk every day in their jobs LOL...they do so voluntarily and are highly compensated. Not to mention that being a professional football player doesn't exactly put in 52 weeks of 8 hour days

are expected to work while seriously injured again...voluntarily and only if they negotiated poorly in their contract

lose decades of life expectancy after only several years at their jobs ...once again...VOLUNTARILY

and, once again, they are HIGHLY compensated both in terms of salary, bonuses (if they were smart enough to negotiate such), possible endorsements, appearances (a lot of which are paid in cash) etc etc.

Remember that we're not talking about workaday schlubs here. NFL players are the equivalent of performers and can dictate their situations due to the sheer rareness of talent and ability.

I'll reiterate that I'm not entirely against an NFL players union, but the points you are using to bolster your argument aren't very strong. As an add-on...have you ever played football on a competitive level (high-school, college, or better?)

Daniel said...

I don't see playing a game is the same as 'a job'.

I think the distinction between “playing a game for money” and a “job” is nonexistent. Please explain to me how I’m wrong in somewhat generalizable terms (if you keep saying 'cuz it's a game', I won't get it because I really have no idea what that means).

perhaps a less life threatening sport, like ping pong is in order.

Less life threatening sports ARE in order. Baseball for instance (where the union is MUCH more powerful, injuries are much less common or long term, salaries are much higher, playing careers are much longer, etc.). But you brought up the NFL, so let’s stick with it. Fact is, there is a HUGE demand for the NFL, not ping pong, in this country. NFL revenue in 2008 was $6.5 billion. The American people want players to put their health at risk for entertainment. That used to be cheap; now it’s expensive, as it should be.

Sorry but I think its absurd for someone who is playing a game to have a union. If one is willing to lose decades of life expectancy from running a ball up and down the field in a game then they're idiots. /

Is there an argument in there?

And you know what’s stupid? Losing decades of life expectancy and having to buy your own uniforms and equipment, not get paid if you got injured on the field, make terrible salaries, and not get paid for expenses when traveling for work. I think it would be royally stupid NOT to form a union under those conditions. Particularly when you have a skill set shared by basically no one else in the country.

Bob_R said...

Speaking of games, isn't anyone else surprised that the Atlantic pays a blogger who doesn't know what a gambit is?

Watch our falling standards!

Theo Boehm said...

garage: The Mass plan is not the "same" as the current proposed national plan. It may be similar, but the national government is operating on a vastly larger scale, and there are things, such as a Medicare buy-in, that I might favor in a national plan, that are simply not possible for an individual state.

Also, experience has shown that the Mass plan is not all that wonderful. It hasn't lowered costs. it hasn't increased choice for me or anyone I know. It hasn't totally solved in uninsured problem, and it certainly isn't universally loved.

A national plan based closely on this turkey is, IMHO, a non-starter.

I, personally, am quite a bit to the left on this one, basically favoring a single-payer, and decoupling health insurance from employment. But I have an open mind, and remain to be convinced. I think we need something genuinely innovative and creative.

The fact that some pundit was saying that the current national plan is so wonderful, because it brings all the players to the table, and they all basically agree for once, is, for me, not a feature, but a giant bug. I do not want the insurance companies and hospital corporations to agree. I want them erased from the face of the earth.

Would Scott Brown vote for this? I doubt it. Would he be a tool of the insurance companies. I don't know. If he proves to be, I'll vote for his opponent next time.

Meanwhile, he's my Senator, and I want him in that Chamber, now.

Theo Boehm said...

That's "the uninsured problem," above.

Hoo boy. Nothing but typos today.

Scott M said...

@garage

If memory serves, one of the selling points of federalism, as debated by the Founders, was that it allows for experimentation by the states within their own borders. If one state's government decided to try something, the rest were somewhat insulated from the ill or unintended effects of bad policy.

They never intended the federal legislative branch to have so much power over so many aspects of citizens' lives.

Local government is still the best fix for most local problems. Most problems are, in fact, local and can only be fixed that way. Block grants to states and, in turn, block grants to localities (with a strong IG in place on both levels) strikes me as the best way to go.

...but that's just the little "r" republican in me.

garage mahal said...

Theo
Good run down. I will certainly defer to you on Mass politics. Even though it sticks in my craw somewhat Brown's stance on this.

Agnes B Bullock said...

There was no agreement- an agreement means that both parties agree to the thing. Harry Reid and the Dems insisted on the 11 February swearing in, with NO input from Scott Brown, who, in accordance with MASSACHUSETTS LAW, has been the Senator since the day after the election.

Daniel said...

If you think being an NFL player does not involve year round hard work, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

The issue of whether it's voluntary or not is completely irrelevant. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding of contracts is that they are by definition voluntary agreements; NFL ones are no different in that regard than other employment contracts.

My argument is a historical justification of the importance of the players union. The players' high pay is evidence of my point.

the points you are using to bolster your argument aren't very strong.

Then knock one down, instead of just saying "voluntary" and "high paid".

Daniel said...

Hey Agnes:

"If Brown wanted, he could fly down Wednesday or Thursday and be sworn in almost immediately. He has been planning, however, to have the ceremony on Feb. 11 and a spokesman, Felix Browne, said this afternoon that is still the plan."

Feb 2, Boston Globe.

Google, anyone?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think the distinction between “playing a game for money” and a “job” is nonexistent. Please explain to me how I’m wrong in somewhat generalizable terms (if you keep saying 'cuz it's a game', I won't get it because I really have no idea what that means).

Ok let me try this. Football is a game, I know because I used to play it starting at age 7 through high school. On the other hand a warehouse worker with the Local 175 who stocks goods has a job.

The American people want players to put their health at risk for entertainment. That used to be cheap; now it’s expensive, as it should be.

Yes I love how two tickets in the nosebleed section and a couple beers that has less alcohol content than my urine after a fun Friday night costs me a couple hundred bucks.

Is there an argument in there?

No it was a statement.

I think it would be royally stupid NOT to form a union under those conditions. Particularly when you have a skill set shared by basically no one else in the country.

I think the difference you and I have is that while I enjoy watching football, I don’t see it as a vital need in my life because...and I’ll say it again....it’s a game. I see the guys who play it as very talented athletes who are playing a game and getting paid for it. Now for example if I was fortunate enough after college to be drafted by an NFL team I would have negotiated the biggest contract I could. Now if they came back after 2 years and said, you have to get your own uniform, pay your own medical expenses and wash the coache’s car I’d say screw you, quit playing football and get a job.

Synova said...

My sister was involved in trying to organize for grad students and I thought that her arguments were persuasive. There seemed to me to be real, systemic abuses going on there, and good reason to at least try to force some better treatment.

What I found sort of humorous about it, though, was that she blamed the Bush admin judges for saying that it was illegal for grad students to organize but didn't blame the overwhelmingly liberal university professors for their habitual abuses.

I mean... what's up with that?

Shouldn't the liberal professors be doing the right thing and looking out for the well being of their grad students just because they're liberal?

Scott M said...

If you think being an NFL player does not involve year round hard work, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

If you think you know what you're talking about, you have no idea what you're talking about.

I have a good friend that was a Chevy plant mid-manager, laid off after the bailouts (interestingly enough) that signed on with another friend of ours who owns a deck/landscaping company for high-end clients.

Their clientele includes a surprising number of Cardinals, Blues, and Rams. The owner of the company, our mutual friend, is on a first-name basis with a bunch of these guys and their wives (a surprising number of which, contrary to their perky rounds of the skyboxes and charity events, are stone-cold iron maiden types). I know exactly how these guys spend their off-season time. Does that mean they don't work hard? No. It does mean that they make gobs of cash and have plenty of time in the off-season to enjoy it thoroughly.

You also made it sound like they face death every day they go to work. In this sense, you also have no idea what you're talking about if you think college and professional-level practices (the vast majority of their "work days") involve the kind of hitting we see on Sundays.

I refuted your points by saying "voluntary" and "highly paid" because I believe that they are both relevant and refute your points. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.

You didn't answer my question, though.

Kirk Parker said...

Theo,

"We are very proud of our Congressional representation"

Really? Proud of Kennedy? Proud of (I can hardly bear to write the name) Kerry? Really????

Oh, and Barney "Fannie Mae Won't Be A Problem" Frank?

If so, maybe a few words as to why might be in order. Just in the interest of understanding...

Skookum John said...

Yeah, it's like there's a webcam now in the sausage factory.


"Sausage Factory Web Cam." That would be a pretty cool name for a band. Or maybe a watchdog-oriented blog.

Theo Boehm said...

Kirk: I mean "proud" in a broader sense than everybody being happy with every individual member. I suppose it's more like rooting for the home team. And, believe me, Massachussetts people ALWAYS root for the home team.

As a small state, our Congressional delegation has always fought above its weight class. That's been true since the founding of the Republic. Our Senators and House Members have included some of the more influential politicians in every era since.

Senator Kennedy, despite everything, was well-respected in this state. A lot of people had disagreements with specific policies and legislation, but, when the chips were down, he always did his best for Massachusetts: His staff was unparalleled in its quality and expertise, plus his constituent services were beyond first-rate. I disagreed with about 2/3 of his politics, but, in the end, I had to hand it to him: He was a great Senator, meaning someone who wielded tremendous influence and worked very hard for the people who repeatedly elected him by wide margins.

Whatever you may think of Barney Frank, the fact is that he is a powerful Congressman, and the people of his district think well enough of him to reelect him also by wide margins. He is clever, witty, a superb politician, serves his district well, and is often wrong.

I'll even give malodorous hacks like William Delahunt props for hanging on. People are now in the process of prying his fingers off the ledge. We'll see if he winds up splattered on the pavement, or climbing on the clock hands like Harold Lloyd.

I draw the line, of course, at Kerry. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about him, and the sooner he goes, the better.

But other than Kerry, yes, I am rather proud of this quirky and interesting cast o' characters. And if Scott Brown proves to be as independent as he says he is, I'll even be prouder.

And you out-of-staters can go to hell, if you think you can rag on OUR politicians.

Fen said...

"Nobody really pushed it but there are numerous places in the Senate rules, MA law, and the Constitution that indicate an interim appointment expires upon the election being held, not when the winner is declared."

Former law student:Article I Section 5:Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,

As I read this, under our Constitution, Brown isn't a Senator till the Senate says he's a Senator.


You're not paying attention. REGARDLESS of when Brown is seated, Kirk's term expired upon the election. He should not be in the Senate casting votes.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Bullfeathers, Pogo.

Not one of those articles you cite to is based on anything more than Republican speculation-there were no Democrats cited as threatening to not seat Brown when he wanted to be seated.

The Newbusters piece quotes a CBS analyst and RNC Chair Michael Steele. The RealClearPolitics piece only discusses the process for certification and the difference in the paperwork the House and Senate require. The Reuters piece only says that Harry Reid wouldn't comment. Lastly, the "NPR" link is actually a link from Red State, which in turn, links to the same Boston Herald article that turned out to be entirely wrong.

For all the speculation and handwringing and threats and bullshit in this thread and elsewhere, nobody can cite one Democratic elected representative, strategist, or operative who threatened to not seat Brown. It's all speculation that turned out to be wrong. But I won't hold my breath waiting for any apologies from your side.

Big Mike said...

@Daniel, regarding your 11:26 post.

You're quite correct about the "annoying," anyway.

Theo Boehm said...

Horsefeathers was a better movie.

Especially if one of your professors asks you to bear him out.

Mark said...

Eh, I was wrong. The Senate Democrats did the right thing. Good for them.

Ken said...

I would be more surprised if somewhere in my life a Democrat had not been hyper-partisan.