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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Throw the bum out

See, I read some political blogs, and I'm aware that compared to folks like Glenn Greenwald, Josh Marshall, and Kevin Drum, I know little and am not particularly bright. But, on the other hand, that doesn't stop John Rogers from running his pie hole, so why should it stop me?

Lately, I was amused and appalled to see both Kevin Drum and now Josh Marshall sort of half assedly and lackadaisically seem to come out kind of more or less not in favor... but we can't be sure, because they seem pretty carefully non-committal about it... of Senator Feingold's recent move to censure that idiot sitting in Al Gore's office, for, you know, petty little stuff like breaking the law and spying on American citizens without a warrant.

Drum and Marshall seem to be (consciously or not) reflecting the public stance of the majority of Democratic elected officials at the moment. They're not really against the idea of censuring Bush... I mean, you know, he did break the law and stuff... it's probably not a bad idea... but... well... would they vote for it? Maybe... but they'd like to wait and get more information and probably see a few thousand more polls and when 85% of the American public finally says they'd like to see Bush censured, well, then, sure, they'd come out in support of it.

Glenn Greenwald threw a blog-grenade at Drum for his wimpy half-assedness on the subject yesterday, and he's been beating the drums for weeks now about how sad, shabby, and generally pathetic our current crop of elected Democrats is... with Bush's approval rating in free fall (and continually finding new low points every time someone does a poll), with the American people stating by large majorities that they believe he broke the law and they don't want the government spying on them without judicial oversight, with seemingly every Republican in office in America apparently about to be indicted for something, still, leading lights of the Democratic Party like Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama don't dare to say a word against Fearless Leader on security grounds. "Oh, that's a Republican issue," their advisors warn them earnestly. "Oh, we can't beat them on that. Oh, if we say anything about the spying then we're soft on terror."

When Kevin Drum published a piece on his blog more or less vacillating and equivocating about Feingold's censure motion, but seeming to generally indicate that Drum doesn't think it's a terribly good idea right now, Glenn let him have it both barrels. Which was strange to me, because I think both of them are among the best lefty poli-bloggers we have, so watching them square off was, to me, kind of like seeing Captain America take a swing at Daredevil or something.

For what little it's worth, I think Feingold's move to censure Bush is a damn fine one, it just doesn't go far enough. I think Democrats ought to be doing everything right up to and including setting the Capitol Building on fire in an effort to get Bush impeached.

Now, Josh Marshall has a column in The Hill right now listing all his reasons why we shouldn't be trying to impeach that murderous moron Bush at the moment, and Josh Marshall is much much more politically experienced and informed than I am, and I imagine he's got eighteen different post graduate degrees and his IQ is no doubt 70 points higher than mine and he's probably the real world equivalent of Josh Lyman or Sam Seaborne and I should just shut up. But I'm not going to.

See, Marshall's reasons why we shouldn't be trying to impeach Bush right now boil down to this -- impeachment is meant to be an extraordinary means for reigning in an out of control President. It is the last resort, after the other branches of government have exhausted every other means they have of getting such a President back in hand. And Marshall feels that Congress, and the judiciary, not only haven't exhausted all their means of trying to bring the President back into line with Constitutional principles, they actually haven't really even started trying yet. That being the case, it's much too soon to talk about impeachment, when there are many other avenues left for Congress and the judiciary to explore in an attempt to stop crazy ass Dubya and his cronies from running amok and continuing to use the Constitution for toilet paper.

See, I understand this argument, and to an extent I respect it, but at the same time, well, it's an argument about principle and high ideals and the way things oughtta be, and frankly, at this moment, that shit ain't getting it done. Marshall claims that impeachment is a quick fix and ultimately a bad idea and would set a bad precedent. I say, any fix works for me right now... and as far as I can see, short of getting Bush AND all his avaricious power hungry buddies in the same room at the same time and then taking the only sane, reasonable, moral course possible with an M203 grenade launcher, impeachment is the ONLY thing that's going to work.

I say all this for one simple reason: nobody in Bush's administration is fretting about the law right now. Is Scooter Libby worried he's going to jail? No. Is Karl Rove breaking a sweat about blowing a CIA agent's cover? Of course not. Is Dick Cheney's asshole all puckered up in terror at the thought of what some Secret Service agent might blurt out about the investigation into his hunting accident? Don't make me laugh. Why aren't any of them afraid of any of this shit? Well, it's not because they haven't knowingly and happily jumped up and down on about eight dozen different laws while getting drunk, sleeping around, and lining their pockets with war profits and misappropriated tax dollars, certainly not. The reason they are not worried is a simple one: if they ever got indicted, arrested, tried, and convicted of anything (which isn't very likely; Cheney just SHOT A GUY IN THE FACE WHILE STINKING DRUNK, and WE ALL KNOW IT, and nobody so much as ticketed the malevolent prick for it)... even if that should, against all odds and expectations, actually happen... well... Dubya will just pardon them for it.

Excuse me? You don't think he'd do that? I'm sorry, why? Is he planning on running for office again? You think he's worried about his approval ratings, or something?

The only way we get around this is to impeach him. Have Congress hold a trial, find him guilty, and strip him of his office. Then he loses all executive immunity, so he can be arrested and put on criminal trial, but more importantly, then we can indict, arrest, and try the rest of the gang, too, because Bush will not have the power to pardon them.

The timing is tricky. It would be extremely useful if Cheney were indicted for something before Bush is impeached. In fact, it would be fabulous if everyone in Bush's administration were indicted for something, and forced to resign, before Bush is impeached. I remember reading somewhere that Bush has signed several executive orders over the past year substantially changing the Constitutional order of succession, but I can't seem to find any details, so at this point, I have no idea who becomes President if Bush is impeached and Cheney is no longer in line... I'm just pretty sure that whoever it is, it isn't anyone I want in office... and if Bush has hand selected whoever it is via executive order, it's most likely someone who will pardon Bush if push comes to shove.

So, it's important we do things in the right order. First, we arrest any Republican who might possibly be in the line of succession to Bush. It's a tall order, but I'm confident they're all guilty of something. We just need about fifteen more Patrick Fitzgeralds on the case. Then, when they've all been forced to resign their offices in disgrace, before interim elections can be held or the governors can send any more corrupt frickin' Republicans to take their places, we impeach Bush. (It should be easy; with all those Republicans under arrest, the Democrats will have a clear majority in both branches of Congress.)

Okay, I know it's a pipe dream, but, still, if you don't have good dreams, Bagel, you got nightmares, right?

Having typed all this, let me close by saying, I have never in my life wanted to see a viable third party in American politics more than right now. I am completely with Glenn Greenwald on this; the way Democrats are reacting to an unprecedented Constitutional crisis, and a nearly complete meltdown on the part of the Republicans, is disgraceful, shameful, embarrassing, and humiliating to anyone who has ever voted the D ticket.

Here's a quote from Greenwald's recent entry on it:

Let us begin with these profiles in courage from your leading Democratic Senators, showing the nation how strong and tough they are:

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

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

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

So nonplused were Democrats that even Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), known for his near-daily news conferences, made history by declaring, "I'm not going to comment." Would he have a comment later? "I dunno," the suddenly shy senator said.

Republicans were grateful for the gift. The office of Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.) put a new "daily feature" on its Web site monitoring the censure resolution: "Democrat co-sponsors of Feingold Resolution: 0." . . .

Many of Feingold's Democratic colleagues agree that Bush abused his authority with the NSA spying program. And they know liberal Democratic activists are eager to see Bush censured, or worse. But they also know Feingold's maneuver could cost them seats in GOP states. . . .

"Most of us feel at best it's premature," announced Sen. Christopher Dodd (Conn.). "I don't think anyone can say with any certainty at this juncture that what happened is illegal."

I swear to God, if Democrats keep acting like this, I will damned well vote for Ralph AGAIN next time.


At 7:51 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

It's been a depressing and depressed row, hasn't it? I signed online petitiions and sent them along, stopping immediately afterward to have a laugh when I realized that (in my case) those notes were primarily headed for Santorum and Specter. Yeah, that's going to do a lot... Heh.

I'm right with you when it comes to being so close to giving up when faced again and again with such a spineless lot who seem to refuse to learn the simple lesson that to go along with the GOP trend - to be a collaborator - isn't helping anyone but the GOP. The only thing that keeps me from throwing in the towel is that that's exactly what the GOP & Bush Administration want. A great deal of the political grind is intended not to win supporters but to get us to feel so powerless and unpolarized that we disenfranchise ourselves.

When I look back over the past six years -- taking my own due lumps -- I'm finally realizing that throwing in behind Nader in 2000 might have been the best move for most Democrats to make in 2000*. Sure, it's all hindsight, and it's not taking into account all of the political capital Bush and the GOP picked up as the party of the military after 9/11. Still, had a great many of the rest of us done so while Bush would have had an easy victory in 2000 by this point the Democratic party might be something.

If the Democrats have an aneurysm and nominate Hillary for '08 I might just write in "Ralph Nader."

Oh, it's going to get so much worse before it has a good shot at getting better...

*Yes, I know you voted for Nader, but as a resident of Florida History's damned you. ;)

At 12:00 AM , Anonymous Nate said...

Tom DeLay ught to stab Dubya in the face with a salad fork the next time he has lunch at the White House.

NOW do you see why I have absolutely no faith at all in the Democrat's ability to make things any better? They take all the same bribes the 'Pubs do when they're in the majority. They pull all the same nasty behind-the-scenes shit to make money for campaign finance. If they take a stand now, who knows what skeletons the 'Pubs'll drag out of their closets?

America doesn't stand a chance as long as it's only choices are the Dems or the 'Pubs.

At 10:42 AM , Blogger SuperFiancee said...

It really shouldn't surprise me that you feel this way about the censure story. While we haven't talked about it, at all, it's exactly my sentiment.

::In my best Nancy Kerrigan imitation:: WHY?!?!? Why won't they push? What the hell are they waiting for him to do? It drives me batshit!! Maybe not batshit enough to vote for Ralph...;), but it makes you want to get in your car and drive to Washington and make them tell me to my face why they are letting el Jefe get away with everything he is doing. Look me in the eye and tell me, Mother Fuckers!! (Sorry...I've kinda been in a mood...)

At 12:19 PM , Anonymous The Always esteemed Scott said...

Marshall claims that impeachment is a quick fix and ultimately a bad idea and would set a bad precedent.

Josh Marshall says that impeaching Bush would set a *bad precedent*?????

Jesus H. Christ on a crutch,where the hell was he during the Clinton administration? That horse left the barn a way long time ago.

The Democrats seem to be suffering from battered-wife syndrome.

At 4:11 PM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

They're all a bunch of cowards. The founding fathers, flawed as they might have been, would be spinning like rotisserie chickens if they could see what they started. They'd never envisioned the career politicians of today. You were supposed to go to Washington, bear up with the heat, do the country's business, then go back to your farm and live your life.

I blame air conditioning.

At 10:39 PM , Blogger Tony Collett said...

I lost what little faith I had remaining in the Democratic Party on last Tuesday night's episode of The Daily Show, with a segment about Paul Hackett, the Iraqi war veteran in Ohio who did quite well (48%) in a congressional election in a heavily Republican area previously.
Anywho, he was going to run for Senate this year until the Democratic Party of Ohio asked him to step aside.
Correspondent Ed Helms was talking to Hank Sheinkopf, the Democratic Strategist and during their conversation Sheinkopf said (among other things) that it's good when your opponent keeps making errors. Helms replied with a story that he was mugged the other day with a bum hitting him with a bottle, and he decided to sit back and wait for him to hit himself. He finally did, but Helms was unconscious but he felt he won that battle. I felt that summed up my feelings about the Democrats.
Yes, a third party would be a welcome alternative, led by someone charismatic enough to follow.


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