The Do Nothing Party

Once again, Democrats rise to the occasion:

The Senate today rejected an amendment to a bill creating a new system for interrogating and trying terror suspects that would have guaranteed such suspects access to the courts to challenge their imprisonment.

Go to Election GuideMore Politics NewsThe vote was 51 to 48 against the amendment, which was offered by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont. The action set the stage for final passage of the bill, which was approved on Wednesday by the House of Representatives.

The bill’s ultimate passage was assured on Wednesday when Democrats agreed to forgo a filibuster in return for consideration of the amendment. Any changes in the Senate bill, however, would have made it impossible for Republican leaders to meet their goal of sending the bill to the White House before adjourning on Friday to hit the campaign trail.

While I can hardly be as angry as the Democrats as I am at the Republicans about this bill, as it is the GOP who crafted, pushed, and, eventually, will pass this flawed bill, I can reserve a fair amount of disgust for the feckless cowards that is the modern Democratic party. If you really believe that “We are about to put the darkest blot on the conscience of the nation,” as Sen. Pat Leahy is quoted, then sitting by and allowing it to pass and not filibustering the bill makes you complicit inthe passage. If the bill is as bad as you say it is, and I think it is, get off your ass and do something about it.

Or at least have the decency to tell the netroots to find somebody worthwhile to send their money to, because you have proven you simply are unwilling or incapable of getting the job done.

Losers.

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162 replies
  1. 1
    Pb says:

    I agree in part, and dissent in part. To their credit, the Democrats have been trying to do something about this. They probably should have come out against it earlier, but they are fighting hard on the floor of the Senate. Ultimately, if they can’t stop this thing, and if they don’t fillibuster, it will be a tragic, and it will be somewhat shameful. But not nearly as shameful as voting for torture, against habeas corpus, against protecting our troops, etc., etc., as almost all Republicans and almost no Democrats have been repeatedly doing, both yesterday and today.

    In short, if the Democrats had already caved yesterday or today as many had said they would have, I’d be much harder on them. But they aren’t, they are fighting, at least. Too little too late? Maybe, we’ll see. But it’s the best we’ve got right now, and they really are trying to do the right thing.

  2. 2
    capelza says:

    I do confess a great deal of disappointment that the Dems are not putting up even a losing fight on this.

  3. 3
    Bombadil says:

    John, you’re being too kind to the Democratic senators by half.

  4. 4
    Pb says:

    For more juicy details of what’s actually happening now, Glenn Greenwald is on it–especially check out the Updates.

  5. 5
    Corteza says:

    I’ve seen a lot of strum and dang regarding how the Democrats should fillibuster this bill, the implication being that launching a fillibuster would actually stop the bill. But would it?

    That’s not a specious question — I haven’t seen anyone game through a fillibuster to explain how exactly it could be sustained, and sustained long enough to actually stop the bill’s implementation. Especially with the nuclear option. Given that there are clearly 51 votes in favor of anything necessary to get this bill passed — and presumably 51 votes for whatever procedural motions would be necessary to overrun a fillibuster — I haven’t seen anyone yet explain just how exactly a fillibuster is supposed to work.

    I know the Democrats often are accused of being idiots, but even the dumbest Democrat has to understand that they’re going to be attacked equally hard merely for voting against the bill — as they are — as for a fillibuster. I would imagine somebody over there has gamed through a fillibuster. What I don’t have the answer to is whether anyone has successfully gamed through a fillibuster plan which actually stops this bill. And if the answer is that there isn’t — that a fillibuster isn’t even sustainable — then that begs the question of what exactly one intends a fillibuster attempt to accomplish more than an on-record “no”.

  6. 6
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >The Do Nothing Party

    Oh for Pete’s sakes.

    Do we have to go through this every time the Republicans line up a Hobson’s choice for the Democrats.

    For six years the modus operendai of the Republicans is to force a vote the leaves vulnerable Dems with the choice of getting supporting some damn fool thing or face six weeks of attacks against their patriotism.

    The Dems in strong districts vote their conscience, the vulnerable ones go along with something that would pass ANYWAY. An ex-Senator or Congressman can’t change anything.

    It’s the Republican bastards who are writing these bills and our guys trying to win back the Congress so they can reverse what’s been done and keep worse thing from happening in the future.

    I simply do not believe the “I’d vote for a Democrat if only their party would change” crap. It may be indivually true in your case, but on the whole the idea that anyone who STILL supports this adminsitration in any way is going to be swayed by the courage of some Democrat Senator on this issue is ridiculous.

    The only way to win is to win. By any means, because your former cohorts are damn sure playing that way.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    I’ve seen a lot of strum and dang regarding how the Democrats should fillibuster this bill, the implication being that launching a fillibuster would actually stop the bill. But would it?

    That’s not a specious question—I haven’t seen anyone game through a fillibuster to explain how exactly it could be sustained, and sustained long enough to actually stop the bill’s implementation. Especially with the nuclear option. Given that there are clearly 51 votes in favor of anything necessary to get this bill passed—and presumably 51 votes for whatever procedural motions would be necessary to overrun a fillibuster—I haven’t seen anyone yet explain just how exactly a fillibuster is supposed to work.

    They aren’t even going to try, and spare me the nuclear option stuff. If you aren’t going to filibuster this, what exactly are you saving it for?

  8. 8
    Davebo says:

    Classic Cole.

    While I can hardly be as angry as the Democrats as I am at the Republicans about this bill, as it is the GOP who crafted, pushed, and, eventually, will pass this flawed bill, I can reserve a fair amount of disgust for the feckless cowards that is the modern Democratic party.

    You could have at least offered up a post condemning the folks who will actually be voting yes on this bill prior to whining about those non obstructionist democrats.

    I’m angry at the democrats as well over this. But it’s not their bill. If you can muster the indignation to call them “feckless cowards” can’t you even build up the temerity to call the people responsible for this say, misguided?

    I know that’s a strong word to use. Imagine you’re talking about Cindy Sheehan and it should be easier.

  9. 9
    Lee says:

    Here is my rant on torture:

    They are cowards.

    Either the current administration is populated with cowards without even an iota of honor or they are subverting our Constitution and the honor of our country for purely political gains. The lesser of the two evils is that they are cowards in a crisis that is well beyond their capabilities to handle.

    They want us to believe that THIS crisis is the greatest threat our country has ever faced.

    Greater than the Revolution when our very existence was in question.
    Greater than the War of 1812 when our nation’s capital was burned and pillaged.
    Greater than the Civil War when our nation was torn asunder, brother fighting brother.
    Greater than World War 2 when we faced a world wide threat of totalitarianism.
    Greater than the Cold War when we faced global annihilation.

    If they truly believe this, then they must be cowards.

    Granted during some of these conflicts we did forget our principals at times and have later regretted the actions. Also granted that in any conflict there will be incidental examples of horror. More importantly some of these crises have given us shining examples of how Americans are supposed to act. How Americans stand on the moral high ground even during our darkest hours.

    George Washington refused to torture the Hessians. General Washington said we will not do this. He said these people will be treated with respect and dignity and they will suffer no abuse or torture, because to do otherwise would bring dishonor upon our sacred cause. Where is our honor now?

    During WW2, there were reports that American commanders released German POWs because they could not adequately protect them. Consider how we treated the Japanese POWs honorably even when we knew how they treated their prisoners. Where is our honor now?

    None of these conflicts caused us to abandon our founding principals as completely as the current Administration is asking us to do. They have replaced “Give me liberty or give me death” with the completely onerous “You have no liberties if you’re dead”. They have forgotten the words of our birth “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These rights are unalienable and they apply to ALL men.

    They want to engage in activities (torture) that the rest of the civilized world has abandoned. No one other than pundits and politicians has claimed torture works. The people directly affected by and implementing the policy of torture have stated that it DOES NOT WORK. Israel, which has been on the frontline of terrorism for decades, abandon the practice. When these same activities were perpetrated on members of our armed services, we were rightly horrified and demanded that they cease.

    If they want to do these things in my name, stop. If they want to do these things to make me feel safer, stop. Do not bring dishonor to my name or my country because you are cowards.

  10. 10
    fwiffo says:

    Doing nothing is way underrated. It would have been just fine with me if Republicans had done nothing at all over the past 5 years or so.

    On the other hand, Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd put “secret” holds on that pork database bill. If one Senator can hold up that bill with a secret hold, what stops a Feingold or somebody from doing the same for this bill, or at least delaying it until the recess?

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    Classic Davebo. What part of this eluded you:

    While I can hardly be as angry as the Democrats as I am at the Republicans about this bill.

    Think on it a bit. Someone with the reading comprehension of a three year old would recognize that although I am angry at the Democrats for not doing more, I am much angrier at the Republicans for, as I stated “crafted, pushed, and, eventually, will pass this flawed bill.”

    Mind-numbing.

    The only hope of stalling this bill lies within the Democratic party (I have given up on the GOP completely), and you are pissy because I didn’t bash the Republicans more. Now I remember why the Republicans are in charge.

  12. 12
    Bombadil says:

    I’ve seen a lot of strum and dang

    I’m sorry, I should be the absolute last person to make fun of typos, but I read this and pictured some country/western singer complaining about the filibuster.

  13. 13
    Davebo says:

    Mind-numbing.

    Indeed.

    you are pissy because I didn’t bash the Republicans more.

    No, I’m laughing because you didn’t “bash” republicans at all. Your one sentence plausible deniability line not withstanding.

    Piss and moan all you want John. In the end you gave us Republicans sans any colorful adjectives, and feckless cowards.

    One needn’t be a communications specialist to figure out which side gets the whipping in this post.

  14. 14
    Pb says:

    Corteza,

    I haven’t seen anyone game through a fillibuster to explain how exactly it could be sustained, and sustained long enough to actually stop the bill’s implementation. Especially with the nuclear option.

    The ‘nuclear option’ has nothing to do with this. That was a slimy and hypocritical Republican majority strongarm tactic proposed as a response to the threat of a filibuster of judicial appointments only.

    Given that there are clearly 51 votes in favor of anything necessary to get this bill passed—and presumably 51 votes for whatever procedural motions would be necessary to overrun a fillibuster—I haven’t seen anyone yet explain just how exactly a fillibuster is supposed to work.

    It takes 60 votes to stop what they’re calling a filibuster these days. And if you don’t know about it, then look it up.

  15. 15
    Pb says:

    The only hope of stalling this bill lies within the Democratic party (I have given up on the GOP completely), and you are pissy because I didn’t bash the Republicans more. Now I remember why the Republicans are in charge.

    Because the John Coles of the right didn’t rightly bash the Republicans more back then? Well, I think we are slowly changing that, at least.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    Way to go John. Let’s slam the Dems for not blocking the bill that your Republicans dreamed up.

    In other news, Mr. Cole is angry that the Dems aren’t fixing global warming issues that the Republicans are incredibly exacerbating, despite being the minority party. Mr. Cole is also unhappy that the Dems aren’t fixing the defiecit that the Republicans have run up, even though they’re outvoted every time.

    And Mr. Cole is LIVID that the Dems didn’t stop Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld from going to Iraq, using that minority status that gives them so much power.

    As for this:

    Losers

    Go F-yourself. I didn’t see you picking up YOUR phone, calling YOUR Republicans, and asking that they rewrite YOUR motherfucking bill. In Mr. Cole’s world, it’s not the rapist’s fault, it’s the cops who couldn’t find and arrest him fast enough. Damn loser cops.

    What a bunch of shit you spew. Go ahead, ban me if you must.

  17. 17
    Davebo says:

    Obama..

    I may have only been in this body for a short while, but I am not naive to the political considerations that go along with many of the decisions we make here. I realize that soon, we will adjourn for the fall, and the campaigning will begin in earnest. And there will be 30-second attack ads and negative mail pieces, and we will be called everything from cut-and-run quitters to Defeatocrats to people who care more about the rights of terrorists than the protection of Americans. And I know that the vote before us was specifically designed and timed to add more fuel to that fire.

    And yet, while I know all of this, I’m still disappointed, and I’m still ashamed. Because what we’re doing here today – a debate over the fundamental human rights of the accused – should be bigger than politics. This is serious.

    If this was a debate with obvious ideological differences – heartfelt convictions that couldn’t be settled by compromise – I would understand. But it’s not.

    All of us – Democrats and Republicans – want to do whatever it takes to track down terrorists and bring them to justice as swiftly as possible. All of us want to give our President every tool necessary to do this. And all of us were willing to do that in this bill. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to the American people.

    In the five years that the President’s system of military tribunals has existed, not one terrorist has been tried. Not one has been convicted. Not one has been brought to justice. And in the end, the Supreme Court of the United found the whole thing unconstitutional, which is why we’re here today.

    We could have fixed all of this in a way that allows us to detain and interrogate and try suspected terrorists while still protecting the accidentally accused from spending their lives locked away in Guantanamo Bay. Easily. This was not an either-or question.

    Instead of allowing this President – or any President – to decide what does and does not constitute torture, we could have left the definition up to our own laws and to the Geneva Conventions, as we would have if we passed the bill that the Armed Services committee originally offered.

    Instead of detainees arriving at Guantanamo and facing a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that allows them no real chance to prove their innocence with evidence or a lawyer, we could have developed a real military system of justice that would sort out the suspected terrorists from the accidentally accused.

    And instead of not just suspending, but eliminating, the right of habeas corpus – the seven century-old right of individuals to challenge the terms of their own detention, we could have given the accused one chance – one single chance – to ask the government why they are being held and what they are being charged with.

    But politics won today. Politics won. The Administration got its vote, and now it will have its victory lap, and now they will be able to go out on the campaign trail and tell the American people that they were the ones who were tough on the terrorists.

    Which is what all of this was about. I have no doubt that Frist and others are just as mad as John that the Dems didn’t filibuster. It would have been a trifecta!

  18. 18
    mds says:

    One needn’t be a communications specialist to figure out which side gets the whipping in this post.

    Um, dude, crazy as it’s making me feel to rush to Mr. Cole’s defense, perhaps you can consider it this way: Mr. Cole has already given up on the Republicans on this issue (see previous posts). That leaves only the Democrats, who have failed abjectly, though they’ve given some pretty speeches in the meantime. As I’ve said elsewhere, voting “No” on certain-to-pass legislation doesn’t provide immunity from being smeared as a terrorist-lover. Consider Senator Cleland’s unsuccessful opposition of the union-raping provisions of the Homeland Security bill. The President got what he wanted, and Cleland was still compared to Osama bin Laden. “Maybe he’ll beat me less if I give him what he wants” just is not a good theory of governance. So why not take a stand? And it would take a lot more effort to gin up a “nuclear option” for something other than judicial nominees anyway.

    So, I think Mr. Cole deserves credit for the open admission that the party he’s spent years empowering has betrayed our ideals so completely that he’s begging the Democrats to save America.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    Just so we are clear Davebo, in order for me to criticize the Democrats, I have to first criticize the Republicans more, otherwise you get your dress all frumpled?

    Because really, as I have stated, I have given up on the GOP, and my opinons about the Republican party and their stance on torture are pretty well documented. I would suggest checking the previous 50 posts. Only a real idiot would read this post and think that somehow I was angrier at the Democrats than I was the Republicans.

  20. 20
    Pb says:

    So the word on the street is that Reid was two votes shy of being able to sustain a filibuster. Therefore you can blame precisely five Senate Democrats if this does go through–and fifty-five Senate Republicans.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    Punchy- See my response to Davebo.

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    Therefore you can blame precisely five Senate Democrats if this does go through—and fifty-five Senate Republicans.

    Which five?

  23. 23
    capelza says:

    So it is 5 Dem Senators that put a stop to a possible filibuster? Those are the names I would like..and one of them had better not be named Wyden (which would shock me completely if it was). Smith and he have already gotten an earful from me, at least their automated answering services and e-mails have.

  24. 24
    tzs says:

    Next time ANY democratic candidate asks me for money, I’m going to say yea or nay based on how he/she voted on this bill.

    If they won’t stand up for our civil rights because they’re scared of being screamed at by Karl Rove, what will they stand up for?

    And WHERE are the true conservatives?

  25. 25
    capelza says:

    Landrieu and Nelson are two I’d bet on.

  26. 26
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >Now I remember why the Republicans are in charge.

    Arggh. There are times when I almsot think you get it.

    The Republicans are in charge because they bash fags and call war heroes (Max Cleland) cowards.

    They are in charge because they convince people who make $40,000 a year that a tax which applies to millionaires will affect them.

    They are in charge because subtlety is lost on people who equate diplomacy with weakness and coalition building with being a pansy.

    The original post says essentially, the monster I helped create is out of control, why aren’t you townspeople doing more to stop it!

    Yes, you have rightly identifed Frakenstein’s creator (The Republicans) as the monster and admitted that you were one of the lab assistants, but for the life of my I can’t see why it is the towspeople’s fault that they have failed to stop him.

    We are trying.

  27. 27
    John Cole says:

    The original post says essentially, the monster I helped create is out of control, why aren’t you townspeople doing more to stop it!

    Yes, you have rightly identifed Frakenstein’s creator (The Republicans) as the monster and admitted that you were one of the lab assistants, but for the life of my I can’t see why it is the towspeople’s fault that they have failed to stop him.

    We are trying.

    A fair point. I did make this mess, but in my defense, I have been off the Republican reservation since day one in regards to torture.

  28. 28
    Fledermaus says:

    If you aren’t going to filibuster this, what exactly are you saving it for?

    Oh if I had a nickel everytime I asked that question of the Dem caucus I wouldn’t have to work.

  29. 29
    Fran says:

    Japanese Americans, circa WWII detainment camps, must pinching themselves.

    The thought that another admin of the US Govt would resort to extra constitutional measures to protect the citizens and assets of the country is amazing.

    The distance between ‘the founding fathers’ and those currently in power is increasing at an exponential pace.

    How sad.

    How sad that our reps on Capital Hill can lead us around by our noses, like the proverbial bully in the school yard.

    You/we get the govt you/we voted for, not the one we might want when the going gets tough. It’s true…ask Rummy.

  30. 30
    capelza says:

    Is Lieberman still counted as a Democrat in this? I wonder if he was one of the five?

  31. 31
    Sojourner says:

    Way to go John. Let’s slam the Dems for not blocking the bill that your Republicans dreamed up.

    John is absolutely right. The Dems had a moral obligation to create a stink, to put it on the news every freakin’ night for as long as possible.

    Instead they rolled over. The Repubs are hopeless. The Dems know better. Shame on them for their total lack of guts.

  32. 32
    Pb says:

    John Cole,

    Which five?

    I wish I knew for sure, but I have a few guesses. Five or six rather, math is hard.

  33. 33
    Kimmitt says:

    Reid should have shut down the Senate, rather than allow things to get this far. Pathetic.

  34. 34

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I feel about the same way as you do on this one, John. Then again, as a lifelong Democrat, I’m used to being represented by a gang of spineless opportunist cowards. (My home state Senators are Joseph Biden and Tom Carper, after all!)

    It’s good to hear you sounding like one of us. Welcome to the Party. Be prepared to experience frustration in the coming election cycles. We’re still light years ahead of the GOP, though: better a well-meaning, bungling yellow-streak than the grim, cruel, efficient machine of pure evil that is the modern GOP.

    Or so the stereotypes go, anyway. But I’m really hoping that this election inverts many of the prevailing views of the two parties. I’m hoping we get enough new blood into Washington to inject some courage into the Democrats; I’m also hoping that enough cogs are kicked out of that GOP machine to break it down permanently. I guess we’ll see what happens in about 5 weeks. Democrats are really, really good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    Only a real idiot would read this post and think that somehow I was angrier at the Democrats than I was the Republicans.

    Hmmm….I must be an idiot…

    Mr. Cole opines:

    because you have proven you simply are unwilling or incapable of getting the job done.

    Losers.

    Yes, the Dems are losers. They’re incapable of getting the job of protecting the country accomplished, despite not being asked to help write the bill, being in the minority so as not to be able to vote it down in conference, in committee, OR in the whole Senate. Such fucking losers. Maybe in West Virginia, 45 votes vs. 55 wins. But not so much in D.C.. The Dems must be losers for not understanding such easy math.

  36. 36
    mds says:

    I wish I knew for sure, but I have a few guesses. Five or six rather, math is hard.

    Nelson, Nelson, Landrieu, Pryor, Lincoln. Possibly Salazar or Lieberman should be substituted in there somewhere. And given how he’s played this, I’m not sure about Reid himself. Hmm, doesn’t it sort of highlight Mr. Cole’s disappointment in the Democrats that it’s not completely certain which five would sell American values down the river? Clearly, Democrats must gain a 1-seat advantage in the Senate, so that odious legislation like this could never pass, unless Majority Leader Reid is willing to bring it to the floor, in which case with a Senate majority we might finally be able to successfully filibuster something like this. What an accomplishment.

  37. 37
    Richard Bottoms says:

    A fair point. I did make this mess, but in my defense, I have been off the Republican reservation since day one in regards to torture.

    I am pissed at the five Democrats who helped this pass, but I also am willing to bet every one of them knew that a fillibuster would be used to in ads aimed at destroying them for the next six weeks.

    It’s a sad day in America. But then so was the day that Plessy vs. Ferguson was handed down.

    As worried as I am about eroded liberties, I am sanguine that control of Congress and the White House will give us a chance to rectify this blot.

    Vote Democrat, be proud of it and then work to replace anyone in the party that we need to during the next primary season.

    We are not going to fall for the crap that we are as bad as they are. We didn’t propose this legislation and most of our guys & gals fought it.

    The townspeople will storm the castle soon enough.

  38. 38
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >What an accomplishment.

    I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where parlimentary tactics are a bad thing. You play the hand you are dealt.

    The goal is to win November 7th and I don’t care what our side has to do to come out on top. Five Senators out of 45, counting one who has already turned his back on us (Liberman). Not a bad ratio. One that we will fix.

    This November 7th, there are no bad Democrats.
    There are no good Republicans.

    Period.

    I’m not buying this Republican Pysops aimed at demoralization. They are the party of torture, erased liberty, insane spending, and clueless warfighting and we are not. If one or two of our guys lean the wrong way, we’ll fix their wagon after we win.

  39. 39
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >Yes, the Dems are losers.

    Bullshit.

  40. 40

    It’s a sad day in America. But then so was the day that Plessy vs. Ferguson was handed down.

    Didn’t it take about 80 years for America to recover from that one? (Assuming we ever did, for argument’s sake.) Here’s to hoping my grandchildren can experience the America I knew 6 years ago, anyway.

    As worried as I am about eroded liberties, I am sanguine that control of Congress and the White House will give us a chance to rectify this blot.

    I’m not. It’s hard to rally the grassroots to get behind a party this craven. I really, really want to know the names of the five who sold us out. They’ve made the entire Party look like assholes. It’s not as if the GOP isn’t going to go after them for being “weak” on terrorism, anyway; George Bush said today that Democrats are the “party of cut and run.”

    Vote Democrat, be proud of it and then work to replace anyone in the party that we need to during the next primary season.

    I wish I shared your confidence and optimism. I see us regaining the House, but the Senate is still an uphill battle. I guess at this point, all we can do is shrug our shoulders, though. The cowards’ time will come.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to have to take a lot of shit from my foreign-born wife about how America is a morally inferior nation. When she said it a year ago, or even a month ago, I laughed at her; but now I’ll probably have to concede the point.

  41. 41
    ET says:

    I just wish Democrats would realize that things are no longer operating under the old rules. Civility, comity, common courtesy, established rules or order no longer apply. They need to stop playing nice and polite, the GOP runs all over them.

    They need to stop being obsessively worried about being tarred with the wimp lable because they are wimps when they do nothing when they know better.

    Everybody including the Democrats, need to top buying into the GOP party line that Republicans are defenders of the American way and are the only people that can truly defend this country. People believe it and Democrats then just stand back.

    Saying all that, even if the Democrats stood up and fought the good fight and fought it hard, I still don’t know that it would matter and that makes me sad.

  42. 42

    Saying all that, even if the Democrats stood up and fought the good fight and fought it hard, I still don’t know that it would matter and that makes me sad.

    It matters. Even if they lost, putting up a decent scrap would matter.

    Bear in mind, 100 years from now people will still remember the GOP as the Party of Abu Ghraib. They can replace the elephant logo with this guy. (I don’t know what the Democrats can replace the Donkey with, maybe a chicken or jellyfish or something.)

  43. 43
    Andrew says:

    This is why liberals should be pro-gun.

  44. 44

    This is why liberals should be pro-gun.

    Come on up to Vermont. “Socialists and Hippies with assault rifles” is the only way to describe it.

  45. 45
    HyperIon says:

    Now I remember why the Republicans are in charge.

    a cheap shot worthy of darrell…except he would have re-phrased as “..why you scummy leftists can’t win elections.”

    I did make this mess, but in my defense, I have been off the Republican reservation since day one in regards to torture.

    recall Niemöller’s “First they came” poem. to some extent the torture issue is John Cole’s “When they came for me” moment. as a military man, he has a vested interest in the welfare of soldiers.

    so the good news: he finally “got it”. the bad news is, he missed Niemöller’s point: to have the widest view possible of “my interests”.

  46. 46
    Richard Bottoms says:

    It’s hard to rally the grassroots to get behind a party this craven.

    Really? The Republicans did just that after Goldwater lost. I’m not buying the notion that we cannot reform our party.

    But neither will we go out of our way to lose elections while we do. That is the lesson to be learned from the Republicans, you fight it our tooth and nail in the primary, and then support whoever has an ‘R’ by their name come November ragrdless of your objections.

    This is a two party system and the Nader voters showed just what you get when you buy into the “they’re all crooks” bullshit. Some of our guys are crooks, but I’m damned if I let the Republicans be the one who gets the win for any reason.

    They need to stop being obsessively worried about being tarred with the wimp lable because they are wimps when they do nothing when they know better.

    Oh grow up.

    Six weeks of attacks on someone’s patriotism and unrelenting slime have an effect. Just ask Max Cleland. He lost two fucking legs and an arm and was still painted as a traitor.

    Screw them. We are through being dumb. We are six weeks out and if some of our guys have to duck votes to win, so be it.

  47. 47

    But…. But…

    you’re not supposed to fillibuster just because you disagree. That’s just being mean and pathetic!

    That is basically how I see it. I don’t really care for many of his views, and he is too far to the right for my tastes on some issues, and I think his liberal opposition is accurate on his views of executive power and his deference to government authority, but I don’t think he is evil and I don’t think he should be filibustered. If I were a Senator, I would have wavered back and forth on whether to vote for him, but I would not have supported a filibuster.

  48. 48
    Punchy says:

    It’s a question I’ve posed to another blog:

    What’s the better choice, if these are the only 2:

    1) Filibuster this so it doesn’t pass, retain Habeus, don’t let the Prez willy-nilly jail whomever, but LOSE in Nov. in both Houses, or

    2) Lose the fight on this bill, but win in Nov. Hard choice, but it’s clear what me and Rich think.

    I’d rather have 2 full years of hearings and oversight, while swallowing this piece of garbage law, than vice-versa.

  49. 49
    capelza says:

    The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me Says:

    “This is why liberals should be pro-gun.”

    Come on up to Vermont. “Socialists and Hippies with assault rifles” is the only way to describe it.

    This liberal family has lots of guns…”so left wing we’re rednecks”…

    So with this..can we put to bed the lie of the “obstructionist Democrats”?

  50. 50
    Tulkinghorn says:

    I’d rather have 2 full years of hearings and oversight, while swallowing this piece of garbage law, than vice-versa.

    Furthermore, the law is patently unconstitutional. The Consitition allows for the suspension of Habeus Corpus, not its abolition.

    The ACLU is going to double its membership (about time I sent them some money, too) and this is going to bounce up to the Supreme Court and back down like an overdrawn check.

  51. 51
    Pb says:

    Punchy,

    How about… Filibuster this so it doesn’t pass, retain Habeus, don’t let the Prez willy-nilly jail whomever, and WIN in Nov. in both Houses…

  52. 52
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Pb:

    Think the Dems might have polled this issue in a few key states like Virginia and Tennessee?

  53. 53
    Jon H says:

    John,

    They’re not doing anything because those who do anything will be torn a new orifice by the Liberal Media.

  54. 54

    Really? The Republicans did just that after Goldwater lost. I’m not buying the notion that we cannot reform our party.

    Goldwater stood by principles, though. Some of them were batshit-crazy principles, like arming generals with nukes, but they were principles nonetheless. That’s the distinction I see. In my opinion, it’s kind of analogous to rebuilding the Party around the 2004 Presidential run of Dennis Kucinich, which really might not be such a bad idea.

    But neither will we go out of our way to lose elections while we do. That is the lesson to be learned from the Republicans, you fight it our tooth and nail in the primary, and then support whoever has an ‘R’ by their name come November ragrdless of your objections.

    Decent point. Sorry, I think we’re all feeling kind of mopey right now. Luckily, the election isn’t this afternoon.

    This is a two party system and the Nader voters showed just what you get when you buy into the “they’re all crooks” bullshit. Some of our guys are crooks, but I’m damned if I let the Republicans be the one who gets the win for any reason.

    At this point, I practically wish the Democrats were still crooks. Back when they were crooks, they won elections.

    Whatever. Either we’ll win by taking the moral high ground this time, or we’ll lose yet again and go down in history as decent dupes. I can’t abandon my principles anyway, although the urge to say “fuck it” to all politics and go get drunk for the next several decades is quite strong at times like this.

  55. 55
    Pb says:

    Tulkinghorn,

    The ACLU is going to double its membership

    Amnesty International USA has been on the ball lately, as well.

  56. 56

    This liberal family has lots of guns…”so left wing we’re rednecks”…

    I’m thinking that’s probably a wise decision.

  57. 57
    Steve says:

    The claim is that the Democrats are a cowardly and worthless opposition party unless they can produce 100% party unity against this bill. That’s a pretty stupid claim.

    If there were a few more Democrats in the Senate, they could have sustained a filibuster, and then I guess they’d be an awesome opposition party. Well, okay. Vote Democratic in November and maybe we’ll end up with an awesome opposition party.

    With a very few exceptions, the Democrats are speaking out loudly and passionately against this bill. So because of those few exceptions, you want to declare the whole party useless? That makes a lot of sense.

    With even fewer exceptions, the Republicans are 100% behind the Bush-Cheney Administration on this bill. The Democrats fall just short of 100% opposition, and someone wants to play the “pox on both their houses” game?

    A Democratic majority would be far better for this country, even if (heaven forbid!) they didn’t always provide 100% party unity. If a larger Democratic caucus had succeeded in blocking this bill, even with the exact same number of dissenters, no one would be whining about how the Dems are a useless party. That’s really stupid to define the effectiveness of a party by nothing but results, in a winner-take-all system.

  58. 58
    Pb says:

    Tulkinghorn,

    Think the Dems might have polled this issue in a few key states like Virginia and Tennessee?

    It’s possible, I suppose. But any good politician should be able to run on opposing the torture of innocents, due process, habeas corpus, the rule of law, etc. If ever there was a time to take a strong moral stand on something, this was it.

  59. 59

    The ACLU is going to double its membership (about time I sent them some money, too) and this is going to bounce up to the Supreme Court and back down like an overdrawn check

    .

    Never underestimate Scalito et al. Those shameless fucks’ll probably have the balls to cite Korematsu by name when they write the opinion, too. Just you wait.

    Then again, I can’t see Kennedy going for this, so maybe it’ll just be a 5-4 overturn with some extremely irate dissents.

  60. 60
    Tsulagi says:

    If you aren’t going to filibuster this, what exactly are you saving it for?

    Exactly. I can understand the political rationale why not with the midterms so close. The shrieking screams from mean Jean Schmidts “See, they’re cut and runners soft on terrorism unlike me.” For the Conrad Burnses “That’s why this is a do-nothing Congress, not our fault, we can’t get anything done with these guys.”

    I can see all that. Also the Dems maybe thinking that if they pass on this battle, maybe they can win the war later if they’re in the majority by amending this bullshit to gut it. I can see all that, but sometimes when it’s important enough, you still need to fight the battles even if success is not guaranteed. It’s called principles. The kind of stuff that keeps getting ripped from the Constitution by un-American garbage like this legislation. Call me fucking naïve saying that is worth fighting for.

    What also ticks me off is that apparently the Dems think they can’t make the case to fight this latest Bush dump on the Constitution. If they can’t, then get candidates who can.

    Looks like I’m going to be holding my nose again when voting in November. But I will vote, but it sure as hell won’t be for any member of the Party of Retarded Assholes hell-bent to sell out their country and have people cheer them for it.

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    A lot of people don’t seem to understand what a filibuster is. It’s not one or two guys talking all night, tying up the legislative calendar. That’s movie stuff.

    The only way a filibuster occurs in the real world is if 41 Senators vote against a cloture motion, meaning the motion fails and debate gets to continue a while longer. If you don’t have 41 votes, you can’t filibuster, period. You can blame 5 or 6 recalcitrant Dems for the failure to reach 41, sure, but you simply can’t blame the entire party and say “why won’t any of them filibuster?” That’s not how a filibuster works.

    Harry Reid’s job is to count to 41. He tried to get 41 votes for a filibuster, the numbers simply weren’t there, so he agreed to an alternative procedure under which they’d sacrifice the cloture vote (which would lose regardless) in order to propose some very important amendments that they had a chance to pass. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to blame anyone other than the Republicans, you can blame the 5 or 6 bad Dems, but you simply can’t blame the entire party. It makes no sense.

  62. 62
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >It’s called principles.

    It’s called losing.

    Screw that.

    What also ticks me off is that apparently the Dems think they can’t make the case to fight this latest Bush dump on the Constitution. If they can’t, then get candidates who can.

    Umm if this were March I’d agree. Google Ned Lamont, you might have heard of him.

    The election is in six weeks. Please get real.

  63. 63
    Tsulagi says:

    Bottoms,

    You can stick your condescension right there.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    How about… Filibuster this so it doesn’t pass, retain Habeus, don’t let the Prez willy-nilly jail whomever, and WIN in Nov. in both Houses…

    Wow, how predictible. What was it about “if these are the only 2” that was confusing?

    This reminds me of all those people just screaming to impeach the Prez for “war crimes” or law-breaking or whatever. Yeah, without control of the House. Or the Senate. YOu guys keep dreaming, while the rest of us are trying to live in Realityville about all of this….It’s all about incrimental steps….

  65. 65
    Pb says:

    Punchy,

    What was it about “if these are the only 2” that was confusing?

    The part where you constructed a stupid false dichotomy that deliberately excluded the right answer.

    YOu guys keep dreaming, while the rest of us are trying to live in Realityville about all of this….

    Oh, right, because in Realityville, torture and cowardice and pissing on the graves of the founding fathers is so fucking popular with the residents, right? Well you can stay in ‘Realityville’ then–I’ll stick with America.

  66. 66
    Par R says:

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen as much misleading and totally bogus information put out as on this subject. Here are a few clarifications from a constitutional expert intimately familiar with what the legislation actually contains:

    “The proposal which passed the House H.R. 6054 categorically has nothing to do with Americans. The Detainee Treatment Act which passed last year is already the law. This legislation was necessary because the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan interpreted the habeas corpus statute (28 USC 2241) as not applying to those detainees at GITMO who had already filed habeas petitions prior to the enactment of the DTA. The purpose of the habeas provisions in the military tribunal bill is to treat all detainees at GITMO similarly. Since the U.S. Supreme Court in Hamdan was interpreting the habeas statute this was easily addressed by Congressional legislation.

    “The provision itself provides that those GITMO detainees who have had their Combatant Status Review Tribunal determination (required for every detainee) or any final decision by a commission would automatically go to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I might mention that this is more liberal than the language in DTA passed last year which requires review only of sentences in excess of 10 years.

    “This has nothing to do with American citizens or anyone who is voluntarily within the United States. In fact those who have been found to be Americans (e.g. Hamdi and Padilla) cannot even be held at GITMO (see John Yoo’s new book where he describes in detail how this policy was arrived at).

    “The language in the Senate which is being pushed by Senator Kyl, Graham, and others I believe is identical to the House language. If you are interested, I would recommend that you speak with Joe Matal on Senator Kyl’s staff. He will be able to give you the details on what is happening in the Senate. Nonetheless, it is not substantively different with respect to the issue of Americans from what I have described.

    “Also, I would note that the subject at hand relates the question of statutory habeas relief and has nothing to do with the Great Writ. The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the U.S. Congress has clear authority to amend statutory habeas corpus procedures.”

  67. 67

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen as much misleading and totally bogus information put out as on this subject. Here are a few clarifications from a constitutional expert intimately familiar with what the legislation actually contains

    Link, please.

  68. 68
    leefranke says:

    As someone has pointed out this will end up in the courts.

    The question is how?

    In order for you to file suit, you must demonstrate you have been harmed in some fashion. If you are detained according to these new rules, you’re already fucked.

    Would it be possible under a ‘living under this law harms me’ idea?

    If so sign me up. I’ll put my considerable income behind fighting this piece of shit.

  69. 69
    Paul L. says:

    Greater than World War 2 when we faced a world wide threat of totalitarianism.

    I am sure FDR is rolling over in this grave.
    After all when Germans were caught out of uniform or targeting civilians (like the terrorists), he gave them full Geneva Convention and US Constitutional protections.
    Or did he execute them as Spies?

    Had the courts tried to stand in the way, the president made clear he would have ignored them. ‘I want one thing understood, Francis,’ FDR told his attorney general, Francis Biddle, who served as lead prosecutor. ‘I won’t give them up . . . I won’t hand them over to any United States marshal armed with a writ of habeas corpus. Understand?’

  70. 70
    Pb says:

    Don’t even bother with the parrot–it’s probably from Powerline or something.

  71. 71
    Pb says:

    Paul L.,

    If it was good enough for World War II, why would we posssibly need to change it now?

  72. 72

    Don’t even bother with the parrot—it’s probably from Powerline or something.

    I’d still like to know, though. It’s hard to argue with an quote which basically amounts to a voice crying out from the heavens.

  73. 73
    DougJ says:

    Guys, I don’t see the point in attacking John on this — I think in our hearts we all agree with him. The Democrats should have filibustered. I understand why they didn’t, but I hardly respect them for it.

  74. 74
    DougJ says:

    While we’re at it, Paul, should we start interning people the way FDR did? How about puttign some Jim Crow laws back in? FDR didn’t fight those too hard.

  75. 75
    Punchy says:

    Well you can stay in ‘Realityville’ then—I’ll stick with America.

    Have fun in 2007, then, with Republicans controlling everything. I bet they’ll start to respect the country after winning the 3rd (4th?) election in a row. I bet they’ll find modesty at that point.

  76. 76

    Guys, I don’t see the point in attacking John on this—I think in our hearts we all agree with him. The Democrats should have filibustered. I understand why they didn’t, but I hardly respect them for it

    .

    Exactly. It’s justifiable, but not morally excusable. I know it was only 5 guys, but Reid’s inability to control his own party’s vote on an issue like this is a sad decline from the unity they showed on Social Security.

  77. 77
    Punchy says:

    I understand why they didn’t, but I hardly respect them for it.

    You understand their reasoning (not enough votes), but you still won’t respect it? You wont respect their conclusion that they didn’t have the votes?

    Hell, I’d love to buy a plasma, but I don’t have the money. Kinda hard to convince the salesman to give it to me with the lack of enough scratch. I’d both understand why he wouldn’t let me take it home, and fully respect why he couldn’t.

  78. 78

    While we’re at it, Paul, should we start interning people the way FDR did? How about puttign some Jim Crow laws back in? FDR didn’t fight those too hard.

    Teh gays and teh moonbats. And teh Muslims, of course.

  79. 79
    neil says:

    It takes 40 to filibuster. There ain’t 40. I can blame the Democrats for a lot, but it’s not their fault that they don’t have enough votes in the Senate to stop the Republicans.

  80. 80
    Steve says:

    Guys, I don’t see the point in attacking John on this—I think in our hearts we all agree with him. The Democrats should have filibustered. I understand why they didn’t, but I hardly respect them for it.

    There is no “they” involved here. The vast majority of Democrats are strongly opposed to the bill and would have been happy to filibuster. Enough of them broke ranks that they couldn’t get to 41 votes for a filibuster, so it’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean you should be upset with “them” as a whole, it means you should be upset with the ones who broke ranks. It’s not like there’s some Big Democrat In The Sky who had the power to push the filibuster button but refused to.

  81. 81

    Hell, I’d love to buy a plasma, but I don’t have the money. Kinda hard to convince the salesman to give it to me with the lack of enough scratch. I’d both understand why he wouldn’t let me take it home, and fully respect why he couldn’t.

    If your life depended on it, you’d steal that fucker. America’s life depended on defeating this bill; there had to be a way to defeat it.

    I’m only being about 1/10 snarky, here.

  82. 82
    Tim F. says:

    Here are a few clarifications from a constitutional expert intimately familiar with what the legislation actually contains:

    …which means nothing unless you reference your source.

  83. 83

    …which means nothing unless you reference your source.

    Yep. We’re still waiting for the link. Please cough it up.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    After all when Germans were caught out of uniform or targeting civilians (like the terrorists), he gave them full Geneva Convention and US Constitutional protections.
    Or did he execute them as Spies?

    Wait, I’m sorry. Germans who targeted civilians were summarily executed by FDR? Did you miss the big trial at Nuremberg or something?

  85. 85
    Punchy says:

    America’s life depended on defeating this bill; there had to be a way to defeat it

    Pure hyperbole. Yeah, the bill sucks. Yeah, it gives the most irresponsible the most power. But “America’s life”? Nah.

  86. 86
    mrmobi says:

    The goal is to win November 7th and I don’t care what our side has to do to come out on top. Five Senators out of 45, counting one who has already turned his back on us (Liberman). Not a bad ratio. One that we will fix.

    This November 7th, there are no bad Democrats.
    There are no good Republicans.

    Period.

    Couldn’t agree more, please chill out, people. Must Democrats commit political suicide now and lose in November to prove that they are worthy? Who’s writing this strategy? Karl Rove?

    Par, who’s your expert? Your guys are ignoring the law, ignoring the Supreme Court, abandoning long-standing treaty obligations, and here, from my Senator, is what we have netted for selling our souls:

    …not one terrorist has been tried. Not one has been convicted. Not one has been brought to justice. And in the end, the Supreme Court of the United States found the whole thing unconstitutional, which is why we’re here today.

    The truth is, I don’t believe this is about habeus corpus or torture at all. It’s a unclear and badly written law, cobbled together in the nick of time to get Democrats on the books as voting against the war on terror.

  87. 87
    Richard 23 says:

    Harry Reid’s job is to count to 41. He tried to get 41 votes for a filibuster, the numbers simply weren’t there, so he agreed to an alternative procedure under which they’d sacrifice the cloture vote (which would lose regardless) in order to propose some very important amendments that they had a chance to pass.

    This is exactly what I heard this morning. It was horse trading. The filibuster was traded for what was in the box (ala Let’s Make a Deal). The problem was, the box was empty. I’d rather have seen a filibuster attempted rather than amendments going down in flames.

    This has nothing to do with American citizens or anyone who is voluntarily within the United States.

    Yeah, so fuck it. Fuck those dirty foreigners and resident aliens. Guilty or innocent: who cares? Just wait until “illegal combatant” is redefined to mean anybody who dissents against the state. Could that be far off? Habeus Corpus applies to people does it not? I don’t recall the Constitution limiting that right to citizens. But who cares?

    Congratulations, Republicans: your true colors are showing. Bedwetters.

  88. 88

    Wait, I’m sorry. Germans who targeted civilians were summarily executed by FDR? Did you miss the big trial at Nuremberg or something?

    No, he’s talking about Ex Parte Quirin. A U-Boat landed a couple saboteurs on Long Island, they all got caught, and (if memory serves) they all got executed. Then again, they still got a court case; hence, Ex Parte Quirin.

    Also maybe relevant, cf. the Battle of the Bulge. English-speaking German soldiers were infiltrated behind American lines in American uniforms to sow mayhem and confusion behind Allied lines. A bunch of them got executed.

    Then again, I’m pretty sure all those Germans still got trials unless they were shot in combat, so I’m still not sure what the fuck he’s talking about. Okay, I’ll shut up.

  89. 89
    jg says:

    The truth is, I don’t believe this is about habeus corpus or torture at all. It’s a unclear and badly written law, cobbled together in the nick of time to get Democrats on the books as voting against the war on terror.

    Its about POWER. Gaining it and keeping it. Wingnuts run around talking about how their party can win elections without even a thought to what that means.

  90. 90

    Pure hyperbole. Yeah, the bill sucks. Yeah, it gives the most irresponsible the most power. But “America’s life”? Nah.

    Fine. America’s soul, then. I’m sure America per se will continue to exist in some form of degraded, neo-feudal, quasi-Fascist form or other for quite some time to come; but it’s still a huge blow for those of us who envisioned a country superior to Tsarist Russia.

  91. 91
    jg says:

    This has nothing to do with American citizens or anyone who is voluntarily within the United States.

    When they came for those who weren’t American citizens or voluntarily within the United States(?!)…..

  92. 92

    Congratulations, Republicans: your true colors are showing. Bedwetters.

    The Party of Abu Ghraib.

  93. 93
    Steve says:

    I’d rather have seen a filibuster attempted rather than amendments going down in flames.

    Does it really make a difference? A failed filibuster is not some dramatic scene where Robert Byrd gets dragged away from the microphone by Capitol Police, his pocket copy of the Constitution in hand. It’s simply a vote that fails, and you move on.

    With the amendments, yeah we know with hindsight that they didn’t pass, but there was good reason to think that enough Republicans might come along, or at least that some Republicans facing tough elections would be forced to take the wrong side of some pretty specific portions of the bill.

    The only important difference is that the cloture vote was GUARANTEED to fail.

  94. 94
    Tulkinghorn says:

    I’ll respond anyway:

    “Also, I would note that the subject at hand relates the question of statutory habeas relief and has nothing to do with the Great Writ. The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the U.S. Congress has clear authority to amend statutory habeas corpus procedures.”

    Declaring that a group of persons undeniably on US Territory and undeniably under US custody can never have recourse to Habeas Corpus is not “amend[ing] statutory habeas corpus procedures.” This is substance, not process.

    Furhtermore, like the VIIth amendment right to a jury, or the various substantive due process rights, or all the rights mentioned in the Constitution, habeus corpus pre-exists the constitution and can not be destroyed. The eception is that habeas corpus may be suspended, meaning that when hostilities are over, the prisoner has recourse to habeas corpus.

    When are hostilities over? If the Congress does not declare this, then the court has to. I think I could successfully argue that hostilities for the Guantanamo refugees ended when Karzai assumed control.

  95. 95
    mrmobi says:

    Fuck those dirty foreigners and resident aliens. Guilty or innocent: who cares? Just wait until “illegal combatant” is redefined to mean anybody who dissents against the state. Could that be far off?

    We’re not there yet, Richard. But the bedwetters are pulling out all the stops to scare the bejesus out of the base. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the “October Surprise” will be bombing Iran. Then we’ll know just how craven this administration is.

  96. 96
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Whoops. not refugees at Gitmo, ‘detainees’.

  97. 97
    Richard 23 says:

    The Senate is voting now. We should know soon enough by how many votes this travesty passed. Alcohol at the ready. This means you too, TAFKAGOP4Me. Maybe it’s time to turn on CSPAN. The sham and glam of pretty speeches is over. Now let’s see if anybody crosses party lines.

  98. 98
    ThymeZone says:

    A lot of people don’t seem to understand what a filibuster is. It’s not one or two guys talking all night, tying up the legislative calendar. That’s movie stuff.

    This constant habit of trying to hide behind the facts will not be tolerated.

    Stop it.

  99. 99

    The Senate is voting now. We should know soon enough by how many votes this travesty passed. Alcohol at the ready. This means you too, TAFKAGOP4Me. Maybe it’s time to turn on CSPAN. The sham and glam of pretty speeches is over. Now let’s see if anybody crosses party lines.

    I’m so tired, it’s like being drunk anyway. Also, I’m so depressed that if I got drunk my heart would probably stop.

    Fuck.

  100. 100
    jg says:

    Just wait until “illegal combatant” is redefined to mean anybody who dissents against the state. Could that be far off?

    Doesn’t the bill contain language about leftist groups that use the internet to attack america?

  101. 101
    Richard 23 says:

    Sorry, I meant CSPAN-2. I don’t see a count yet. But they are voting Obama just voted no.

  102. 102
    mrmobi says:

    John, I strongly disagree. The Dems did not collapse. They are using strategery. Hard as it might be for you to believe, they actually want to win in November. Since Karl Rove et al, don’t seem to be changing their strategy, it seems prudent to me to not play into their hands and go on record as being “against” helping in the war on terror. See Senator Obama’s speech today for clarification.

    We may be weak in numbers, but we’re not stupid. The Supreme Court will demolish this bill eventually anyway.

  103. 103

    Sorry, I meant CSPAN-2. I don’t see a count yet. But they are voting Obama just voted no.

    Be sure to take note of any Dem voting yes. Their time of reckoning will come in the primaries of tomorrow.

  104. 104
    Steve says:

    Then again, I’m pretty sure all those Germans still got trials unless they were shot in combat, so I’m still not sure what the fuck he’s talking about.

    Well, of course I know he was talking about Ex Parte Quirin. I was just pointing out that his statement was laughably overbroad.

    The key with Ex Parte Quirin, and most likely with the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge, is that those people got military tribunals as opposed to going before Judge Ito. Of course, no one seriously contends that everyone at Gitmo is entitled to full-blown trials before civilian courts, so (big surprise coming!) this is yet another strawman put forward by our right-wing trolls.

    Of course these guys are going to get military tribunals. As the Supreme Court said in Hamdan, it’s perfectly okay to give them military tribunals as long as you comply with Geneva. So the question is not whether they get military tribunals, but what the rules are going to be, e.g. will we convict people without letting them see the evidence against them.

    Anyway, I’m not sure we really defeated Hitler specifically by railroading people who may not have been guilty, or by putting people in internment camps, but it’s always interesting to see the lessons our conservative friends take away, and don’t take away, from history.

  105. 105
    Steve says:

    This constant habit of trying to hide behind the facts will not be tolerated.

    Stop it.

    I apologize, as usual, for my lawyerly excesses.

  106. 106
    mrmobi says:

    Be sure to take note of any Dem voting yes. Their time of reckoning will come in the primaries of tomorrow.

    GOP, why the hard-on? Dems didn’t write this bill, and they didn’t have the numbers for a filibuster. All they have done is try to make it a better bill.

    For their efforts, those who voted against it will be slimed. Jeebus, cut these guys some slack, the sun will still come up on Friday, I promise.

    Obama made a great speech today, but he’s not up for re-election.

  107. 107
    Richard 23 says:

    Rockefeller and Landrieu both voted Aye. Thanks folks.

    Be sure to see the final vote in case I misheard. Voting still going on.

  108. 108

    Well, of course I know he was talking about Ex Parte Quirin. I was just pointing out that his statement was laughably overbroad.

    Sorry, I’m tired and trying to blog and have a real-life conversation at the same time.

    It’s very distracting.

    Anyway, I’m not sure we really defeated Hitler specifically by railroading people who may not have been guilty, or by putting people in internment camps, but it’s always interesting to see the lessons our conservative friends take away, and don’t take away, from history.

    Apparently, the way to beat the enemy is to try to be EVEN nastier. Concentration camps for Muslims and gays it is, then.

  109. 109
    Richard 23 says:

    Spectre Aye, Lieberman Aye. No surprise there. Fuck you Joe.

  110. 110
    Richard 23 says:

    It just passed 65 – 34

  111. 111

    GOP, why the hard-on? Dems didn’t write this bill, and they didn’t have the numbers for a filibuster. All they have done is try to make it a better bill.

    Because they just fucking legitimized Abu Ghraib. Am I supposed to be okay with that? (God, sorry, hard to think, wife talking to me in one ear.)

    I’m not mad at most of the Dems, just disappointed like I’ve always been ever since Clinton triangulated. But the Dems who support this shit are apostates to the creed of universal humanitarianism. In a sense, they’re even worse than the Republicans, who at least never joined an organization purporting to give a shit.

    For their efforts, those who voted against it will be slimed. Jeebus, cut these guys some slack, the sun will still come up on Friday, I promise.

    It’ll come up on Europe, anyway. America’s in for a very long night.

    Obama made a great speech today, but he’s not up for re-election.

    Agreed. Byrd gave a good speech before the 2002 Iraq vote, too. Lotta good THAT did.

  112. 112
    Judy says:

    John I understand that you are frustrated. I would be also if I were a Repub supporter who voted for Bush, but look at it this way, since Donald Rumsfeld decides who are enemy combatants unless you are a member of PETA or ACLU you are probably okay. Oh, FYI THE DEMS ARE NOT IN POWER.

  113. 113

    It just passed 65 – 34

    Quite a few Dems aboard, then.

    They’ll still get smeared as weak on terror, so the net effect of this cowardly capitulation is that instead of winning losing on their principles, some of them have abandoned their principles- even if they win in November, they’ve still lost history.

    30 years from now, when you’re fighting with your wingnut neighbor about who’s responsible for the Iraq debacle, he’ll point out that Kerry voted for it. 30 years from now, when we’re arguing about who legitimized torture, certain Democrats’ names are going to get thrown in to justify the GOP’s evils as a “bi-partisan endeavour.”

    That may not mean anything to you now, but 30 years from now, when the GOP is trying to use history to argue for its next insane adventure, it’s going to matter to your kids.

  114. 114
    mrmobi says:

    Because they just fucking legitimized Abu Ghraib.

    Yeah, kind of true, and very disappointing. Still, check out the window at about 6 am tommorrow. Bright thing in sky. Don’t stare.

    Byrd’s speech in 2002 was great, I know! Howling against the wind, but great! I still have a lot of faith that Americans believe in fairness, and that we’re about to have a sea-change.

  115. 115

    Yeah, kind of true, and very disappointing. Still, check out the window at about 6 am tommorrow. Bright thing in sky. Don’t stare.

    Thanks for reminding me about global warming at a time like this…

    You just reminded me of the comic “Get Your War On.” Particularly this comic (the one at the bottom).

    Byrd’s speech in 2002 was great, I know! Howling against the wind, but great! I still have a lot of faith that Americans believe in fairness, and that we’re about to have a sea-change.

    Well, keep your fingers crossed, anyway. Today was still an unmitigated defeat, but the election gives us an opportunity to avenge America.

  116. 116
    Richard 23 says:

    Got a list for you GOP, courtesy of the shrill sockpuppet.

    Democrats in favor (12) – Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.)

    Republicans against (1) – Chafee (R.I.).

    Jeffords voted against.

  117. 117
    Zifnab says:

    It just passed 65 – 34

    Not even close. I’m going to be sick.

  118. 118
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >But the Dems who support this shit are apostates to the creed >of universal humanitarianism.

    True. So work your ass off against them next primary season. In the meantime, the vite November 7th is for anyone with a ‘D’. Anything else is stupid.

  119. 119
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >Republicans against (1) – Chafee (R.I.).

    And mister integrity here is in the fight of his life. Guess which party he needs to cross over to stay in office.

  120. 120
    kb says:

    “most likely with the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge”

    Nope. They were wearing allied uniforms at a time of war. They didn’t need tribunals. They could be shot on capture as spies under the rules of war,in the same way that allied agents dropped into occupied europe in civilian clothes could be shot by the germans.

  121. 121
    Davebo says:

    So what have we learned from this thread?

    That John Cole was against the filibuster before he was for it.

    And, though he’s totally given up on Republicans, 4 democrats and one guy from the CT for Joe party have convinced him to vote Libertarian in 06 and 08.

    You know, because Dems don’t have a spine.

  122. 122
    capelza says:

    Well, Davebo…12 out of 46 certainly didn’t.

  123. 123
    Richard 23 says:

    As to the claim that this bill doesn’t affect American citizens, just those filthy foreigners and resident aliens, Glenn has this:

    Opponents of this bill have focused most of their attention — understandably and appropriately — on the way in which it authorizes the use of interrogation techniques which, as this excellent NYT Editorial put it, “normal people consider torture,” along with the power it vests in the President to detain indefinitely, and with no need to bring charges, all foreign nationals and even legal resident aliens within the U.S. But as Law Professors Marty Lederman and Bruce Ackerman each point out, many of the extraordinary powers vested in the President by this bill also apply to U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil.

    As Ackerman put it: “The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.” Similarly, Lederman explains: “this [subsection (ii) of the definition of ‘unlawful enemy combatant’] means that if the Pentagon says you’re an unlawful enemy combatant — using whatever criteria they wish — then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to ‘hostilities’ at all.”

    Hmmmm. Something to think about anyway. As always, there’s a lot more. Glenn tends to be a little long-winded, as one of our resident authoritarians pointed out. Probably too used to reading Day-by-Day and Marmaduke.

  124. 124
    Tsulagi says:

    Senator Levin proposed to substitute the bipartisan bill that was reported by the Armed Services Committee. That amendment was rejected.

    Senators Specter and Leahy offered an amendment to restore the right to judicial review – that amendment was rejected.

    Senator Rockefeller offered an amendment to improve congressional oversight of CIA programs – that amendment was rejected.

    Senator Kennedy offered an amendment to clarify that inhumane interrogation tactics prohibited by the Army Field manual could not be used on Americans or on others – that amendment was rejected.

    Senator Byrd offered an amendment to sunset military commissions so that Congress would simply be required to reconsider this far-reaching authority after five years of experience. That amendment was rejected.

    Even with a rejection of prohibiting torture of Americans, Democrats could not muster enough support for a filibuster. Not important enough. Midterms too close. Don’t stand out for fear of getting knocked down. Disgusting.

    If Senator Macaca had got a bill to sweep through gathering support to ban interracial marriage, would then have been the time? Or with midterms so close, maybe let it slide, right? Constitutional rights and principles aren’t important, it’s power or the potential of acquiring it. For the last six years we’ve seen what power without principles brings.

    Still, 34 Democrat senators, one Republican and an Independent had some spine. I’d applaud, but the stench of 12 senators dampens my enthusiasm a bit.

  125. 125
    Tulkinghorn says:

    They were wearing allied uniforms at a time of war. They didn’t need tribunals. They could be shot on capture as spies under the rules of war,in the same way that allied agents dropped into occupied europe in civilian clothes could be shot by the germans.

    The other example was the German agents, wearing civilian clothes, who were picked up on a Long Island beach after being dropped off by a submarine. A young soldier walking down the beach on a moonless night heard them speaking German, and they were rounded up before beginning a campain of sabotage.

    After a couple month’s interrogation they were put to death, except for a couple who had cooperated with authorities, and received 30 year sentences.

  126. 126
    Pb says:

    GOP4Me,

    They’ll still get smeared as weak on terror, so the net effect of this cowardly capitulation is that instead of winning losing on their principles, some of them have abandoned their principles- even if they win in November, they’ve still lost history.

    You’ve got it exactly. At best it was a gutless, cowardly, stupid move on their part. At worst… no less than treason.

  127. 127
    Sojourner says:

    Couldn’t agree more, please chill out, people. Must Democrats commit political suicide now and lose in November to prove that they are worthy?

    This argument assumes, of course, that the Dems had no opportunity to discuss these issues and educate their constituents over the last five f’ing years. We’re not talking about *gasp* a six-week window. Where the hell have they been since January 2001? Why the hell haven’t they been educating the country all of this time? Why don’t they emblazon their websites with material to explain to the American people why all of this is evil?

    The Repubs shit on the Constitution and the Dems stand on the sidelines gasping “Oh my!”

    Please. Time for me to become and Independent.

  128. 128
    Zifnab says:

    If Senator Macaca had got a bill to sweep through gathering support to ban interracial marriage, would then have been the time?

    Only if he could have convinced us that it was vital for the security of our nation. Like the bans on gay marriage.

    But if the ‘Pubs can whip up a ‘No Islamic Marriage in the US’ in ’08 and run on that, I’m confident we’ll see it on the ballot if we don’t see it bullrushed through the Senate.

    Those of you saying we need to keep voting Democrat regardless, I say to you that today you are right. The incoming blue team, the Jim Webbs and Ned Lamonts and John Testers, hopefully will not put up with this bullshit. After Tester’s stated desire to repeal the Patriot Act, it seems like we’ve got a solid new crop springing up.

    But in ’08, I want to see all the Joe Liebermans who voted for this travesty of legislation up on their own waterboards, drowning in a bucket of Democratic revulsion. Get’m out. Get’m all out. We don’t need your type of blue in our country.

  129. 129
    Pb says:

    I’m still an Independent, perhaps now more than ever. I will continue to vote to uphold the bedrock principles of our Democracy, which at the moment means voting against almost all Republicans, and apparently some Democrats besides.

  130. 130
    Pb says:

    But in ‘08, I want to see all the Joe Liebermans who voted for this travesty of legislation up on their own waterboards, drowning in a bucket of Democratic revulsion. Get’m out. Get’m all out. We don’t need your type of blue in our country.

    Hell yes. They will never get elected to dogcatcher if I have anything to say about it, not in America. I do not support torture, or torture enablers, or anyone who would work towards the destruction of our nation or our fundamental freedoms.

  131. 131

    Got a list for you GOP

    Well, to be fair, Carper IS up for re-election.

    Mind you, he is up by 35 points in the polls, but, still, can’t afford to take any chances….

    True. So work your ass off against them next primary season. In the meantime, the vite November 7th is for anyone with a ‘D’. Anything else is stupid.

    Agreed. Nothing I can do about it now. America’s fucked, but we can trounce the GOP in November, and purge our own ranks of the apostates later.

    You’ve got it exactly. At best it was a gutless, cowardly, stupid move on their part. At worst… no less than treason

    .

    Yeah, and it’s not excusable in some of these cases by election-year politicking. I know from 28 years of Delawareanism that Tom Carper could hump a dog on live television and still beat the Republican in this race, so
    his vote for this bill is something else. He IS one of the most reactionary sons of bitches in the Democratic Party, so maybe he voted for it out of… love.

  132. 132

    Yeah, and it’s not excusable in some of these cases by election-year politicking. I know from 28 years of Delawareanism that Tom Carper could hump a dog on live television and still beat the Republican in this race, so
    his vote for this bill is something else. He IS one of the most reactionary sons of bitches in the Democratic Party, so maybe he voted for it out of… love.

    Then again, Richard is still right. We still need to keep the GOP out in November. But once the battle against the external enemy is won, the internal battle for the soul of the party has to intensify.

  133. 133
    Pb says:

    GOP4Me,

    I see no reason why we can’t do both. And I know that I will never knowingly vote for a politician who would support anything close to this shit, period.

  134. 134

    I see no reason why we can’t do both. And I know that I will never knowingly vote for a politician who would support anything close to this shit, period.

    Exactly. First the one, then the other.

    I can be livid as Hell at Carper, Rockefeller et al without thereby ceding the November elections to the GOP. My votes this November will in no way, shape, or form abet the GOP directly or indirectly. If I lived in Jersey, I’d vote for Menendez in 6 weeks, then use this as a bludgeon against him from 2011 onwards.

    We can afford to be patient. After all, it took them 231 years to undermine one of the fundamental groundings of American humanitarianism. We can wait 5 or 6 years.

  135. 135
    Pb says:

    My votes this November will in no way, shape, or form abet the GOP directly or indirectly.

    Mine probably won’t either; certainly not directly.

    If I lived in Jersey, I’d vote for Menendez in 6 weeks

    I wouldn’t; if I still lived in Jersey, then he would have just lost my vote.

  136. 136

    I wouldn’t; if I still lived in Jersey, then he would have just lost my vote

    Yeah, but it’s not as if Thomas Kean would’ve voted any differently.

    At least if 2 years down the road, they try to pass a bill to shoot all leftists in the head, Menendez would PROBABLY vote against that one. Kean wouldn’t.

  137. 137
    Richard 23 says:

    At least if 2 years down the road, they try to pass a bill to shoot all leftists in the head, Menendez would PROBABLY vote against that one.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. It kinda depends on what he got in return for his vote. Is democracy a sham now? Is it salvageable? I wish I knew. For now it’s a freight train out of control. What’s worse is that there are enough people either applauding their chains or asleep in front of the teevee. The others are “shrill leftist America-haters” suffering from “BDS.” {golfclap} Whatever.

  138. 138
    Pb says:

    GOP4Me,

    Well I certainly wouldn’t vote for Kean. But I’d consider this vote to be a rudimentary test for office–it should be a no-brainer for any Congressman who wasn’t lying his ass off when he swore to protect and defend The Constitution. Menendez failed it. So, no support from me.

  139. 139
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Then again, Richard is still right. We still need to keep the GOP out in November. But once the battle against the external enemy is won, the internal battle for the soul of the party has to intensify.

    Now you’re talking. This is exactly how the Christian Coalition took over the Republican party. They ran their people for every position imaginable from dogcatcher toschool board to mayor and then congress.

    Fight like hell.

  140. 140
    Pb says:

    Yes, that is step 1… first you need to run good candidates, at every level, especially starting at the bottom up.

  141. 141
    Dug Jay says:

    This has been a truly great day for America and a very, very bad day for all you losers. Move to Canada or France.

  142. 142
    Richard 23 says:

    Ah, thanks for the spoof, Dug. But I wanted a serious response to this bill’s passage. Good one, though.

    There’s no way I’d move to France. The Bill O’Reilly boycott has ruined their economy.

  143. 143
    Steve says:

    Greenwald, not the most political guy, seems to have a perfect comment on the politics of it all:

    But it is still difficult to understand the Democrats’ strategy here. They failed to try to mount a filibuster because they feared being attacked as coddlers of the terrorists. But now they voted against the bill in large numbers, thereby ensuring those exact accusations will be made anyway — and made loudly (the White House already started today). Yet they absented themselves the whole time from the debate (until they magically appeared today), spent the last several weeks only tepidly (at most) opposing the President’s position, and thus lost the opportunity to defend and advocate the position they took today in any meaningful way. As a result, the Democrats took a position today (opposition to this bill) which they have not really defended until today.

    They make this same mistake over and over. Isn’t this exactly what happened when they sort-of-supported-but-sort-of-opposed the Iraq war resolution in 2002 because they were afraid of being depicted as soft on terrorism, only to then be successfully depicted as soft on terrorism because they were too afraid to forcefully defend their position? It’s true that fewer Democrats voted for the President’s policy this time around, but it’s equally true that they found their voice only on the last day of the debate — on the day of the vote — after disappearing for weeks while they let John McCain “debate” for them.

    Most of the Democrats, at the end of the day, did the right thing on this bill. Some of the worst “triangulators,” like Hillary, made passionate speeches in opposition. But it still seems like they chose to oppose the bill in the least effective way one could imagine, from a political standpoint. They missed any chance to actually persuade anyone who wasn’t already convinced, and they simply left the door open for the Republicans to caricature their position for electoral purposes. It’s not the move of a smart party, and you sure wish they would learn the lessons of 2002.

  144. 144
    Pb says:

    Steve,

    I agree, and I think he nailed it there. Either the Democrats were totally taken off guard here–which I doubt–or they have the world’s worst strategists working for them. Or, the Republicans have something on them, or are paying them off, or something. This is so bad that negligence is barely an excuse, especially after 2002.

    But all that aside, I still don’t think that mere political posturing is a valid reason for voting the wrong way on this one–not even close.

  145. 145
    Zifnab says:

    Most of the Democrats, at the end of the day, did the right thing on this bill.

    Bullshit. That’s like saying, “Sure I waited till 8am the morning my term paper was due to start writing it, but in the end I think I did the right thing by putting pen to paper.” Reid promised filibuster. He promised the bill would never see the top side of the President’s desk. He promised to defend our civil rights and our proud Constitution. He lied. That’s the most damning thing out of all of this.

  146. 146
    Steve says:

    You’re flat wrong. Reid never promised a filibuster of this bill. He promised Specter’s surveillance bill wouldn’t pass.

  147. 147
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BAGHDAD, Iraq – American troops killed eight people — four of them women — after taking heavy fire during a raid Wednesday on a suspected terrorist’s house northeast of Baghdad, the U.S. command said.

    hearts

    Still winning hearts & minds I see.

  148. 148
    Zifnab says:

    You’re flat wrong. Reid never promised a filibuster of this bill. He promised Specter’s surveillance bill wouldn’t pass.

    Wow. Ok, I totally misheard that. My bad.

  149. 149
    ThymeZone says:

    He promised to defend our civil rights and our proud Constitution. He lied. That’s the most damning thing out of all of this.

    Get a grip. See Steve’s post upthread. Filibuster is about counting votes. See the relevant DKos thread for details …. Reid didn’t have the votes. Enough Dems defected to make it impossible.

    There are various realities at work here. One is that the Democratic party is not a machine, at present, like the GOP is. It’s a coalition, and the power in that coalition rests with politicians who have national ambitions, and who are looking out for their own interests. Lieberman is a classic example, and that’s why there’s netroots support for ridding the political world of his ugly mug.

    The Democrat coalition is not going to play into the GOP hands and give them the fight they want on GWOT. Period. I am not saying that I support that strategy, I am simply reporting it.

    I think the hype over this bill is just that … hype. It’ll be reversed or watered down or otherwise neutered in the fullness of time. It’s main purpose now was to pick a fight with Dems and fill the tv channels with talking heads spouting GOP talking points. That effort has failed so far.

    You’ll know whether the Dem strategy is working on the day after the election. If it works, then most of the damage here will be repaired in time. If not, then quite honestly, this bill is the least of our worries.

    All IMHO, of course. Your mileage may vary.

  150. 150

    Senate Gives Bush His Controversial Terrorist Suspect Detainee Bill

    The Senate has basically given President George Bush what he wanted on the controversial detainee interrogation bill — a bill that in its final incarnation was a compromise with some holdout Republican Senators but basically gave him what he want…

  151. 151
    mrmobi says:

    The Repubs shit on the Constitution and the Dems stand on the sidelines gasping “Oh my!”

    Please. Time for me to become and Independent.

    While I agree with you almost completely, Sojourner, I do need to ask you, “why would you want to THROW AWAY your vote?” How many independents are ever elected in this country?
    Re-reading this thread, I’m fucking furious. I explained all this to my wife, who is Canadian, this evening, and she kept saying, “No, come on!” As we know from this evening’s vote, some Democrats are beyond the pale, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater, eh?

    There is an awful lot of time before we will be free of this very dangerous and unlawful administration. It would be a good thing if we could find a way to elect people to the House and Senate who gave a shit about what is going on. I believe the vast majority of those folks will be coming from the Democratic Party.

    You seem to believe that the way to oppose these extremists is to embrace the center. Go to Marshall Whitman’s Bull Moose Blog to discover just how fucked up that idea is. We have a two party system here, for better or worse. One of the parties is now controlled by people who are a half-step short of embracing the “final solution” as their idea about how to win the war on terror.
    The other side is flawed also, but they have that admirable quality of not wanting to go to war to solve every god-damned problem that occurs. So I’m going to vote for them for the forseeable future, until Mad Cowboy disease is a remote memory, and we have a President who can pronounce nuclear, as well as understand what it means.

  152. 152
    mrmobi says:

    We still need to keep the GOP out in November. But once the battle against the external enemy is won, the internal battle for the soul of the party has to intensify.

    Now you’re talking, GOP!

    In many important ways, that’s what I think the Lamont candidacy is all about. It can’t be a bad thing for incumbency to be less of a guarantee of re-election. I’m sending him some money. Holy Joe is the prototype for what’s wrong with the Democratic Party, even if he really isn’t a Democrat.

    There are a few others in the Party that I’m not crazy about, and this list from tonight. But, first things first, time to, as John C says “send Republicans to the woodshed for a few years.”

  153. 153
    Mr.Ortiz says:

    This was an early Christmas gift for Democrats with a big red fucking ribbon on top. In one stroke, they could have opposed Republicans and won over real conservatives without losing a single liberal and they fucking blew it. Bra-vo. I guess I’d better cut a fat check to the RNC. It would be a shame if I woke up strapped to a board in Libya due to an “innocent” misunderstanding. Get it? Innocent! Torture! God bless the U.S.A.

  154. 154
    Pb says:

    mrmobi,

    I do need to ask you, “why would you want to *THROW AWAY* your vote?” How many independents are ever elected in this country?

    Not nearly enough. However… I’m already registered as Independent. That doesn’t mean that I necessarily vote for Independent candidates, though.

  155. 155
    lard lad says:

    I do need to ask you, “why would you want to THROW AWAY your vote?” How many independents are ever elected in this country?

    Kang [disguised as Bob Dole]: The politics of failure have failed. We need to make them work again. Tomorrow, when you are sealed in the voting cubicle, vote for me, Senator Ka… Bob Dole.

    Kodos [disguised as Bill Clinton]: I am looking forward to an orderly election tomorrow, which will eliminate the need for a violent bloodbath.

    [Homer runs up to confront Kang and Kodos]

    Homer: America, take a good look at your beloved candidates. They’re nothing but hideous space reptiles. [unmasks them]

    [audience gasps in terror]

    Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.

    [audience murmurs]

    Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system!

    Man 2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

    Kang: Go ahead… throw your vote away!

    [Kang and Kodos emit sinister laughter]

    [Ross Perot smashes his “Perot 96″ hat]

    One of the finest Simpsons moments ever. Whenever people complain about any election result, I still shrug and say, “Don’t blame me… I voted for Kodos.”

  156. 156
    Beej says:

    The one and only Democrat in my state delegation voted aye. That’s Ben Nelson of Nebraska-no surprise. The standard joke around here is that “Nebraska Democrat” is an oxymoron.

    That said, I’ll just mention that Nelson is involved in the most contentious and expensive political campaign in Nebraska history. His opponent? A VERY conservative Republican named Pete Ricketts, of the Ameritrade Ricketts family. Nice choice in November, right? No matter how much I want to say, “A plague on both your houses” I guess I’ll still be voting for Nelson. The lesser of two evils and he does at least have that D next to his name, even if it doesn’t mean much.

  157. 157
    rachel says:

    Didn’t you used to support the Republicans over the Democrats? And didn’t you, like, used to do your best to get the Republicans the power to pass the legislation they wanted while keeping the Democrats from getting the power necessary to stop them from doing that?

    Well, you got what you wanted. Enjoy.

  158. 158
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Does this mean there is a chance, should a Democrat be elected president, that some vocal right-wingers, joking about and supporting the terrorist anthrax mailings, might be picked up and tortured aggressively interrogated about what they might know about a conspiracy?

    There are no significant leftists conducting terrorism in this country (ELF? PETA? these are not leftists, they are loons). There are, however, thousands of these anthrax letters and hoax letters. The most obvious target for some torture is the network of rightists who support terrorizing liberal senators and journalists.

    Hmmmm… a deer head in a mailbox sounds like a terrorist threat. Maybe we should pick up the suspect and knock him around a little, see if any confessions are shaken loose.

  159. 159
    Steve says:

    There are no significant leftists conducting terrorism in this country (ELF? PETA? these are not leftists, they are loons).

    Come on. What about those grannies who chain themselves to nuclear sites. If one of them won’t tell us where the next granny is going to strike, we clearly need to have alternative techniques available.

  160. 160
    Punchy says:

    Does this nullify the Padilla trial? I mean, if he’s found innocent, Bush’ll just invoke “enemy combatant” status and stick him in the cooler for life, right?

    When does he start putting judges in the pokey for ruling against his terror “policies”??

  161. 161
    Mr Furious says:

    …or they have the world’s worst strategists working for them.

    That’s been fairly obvious for a while now.

  162. 162
    Sojourner says:

    While I agree with you almost completely, Sojourner, I do need to ask you, “why would you want to THROW AWAY your vote?” How many independents are ever elected in this country?

    Yes but if I continue to vote Dem, I’m supporting the chicken shits currently running the Dem party. Why would I want to reward these people with my vote?

    The party is in desperate need of real change. The only way that is going to happen is to refuse to support those who are currently in charge.

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    The Senate has basically given President George Bush what he wanted on the controversial detainee interrogation bill — a bill that in its final incarnation was a compromise with some holdout Republican Senators but basically gave him what he want…

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