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Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2006
By: Roxanne Cooper

HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS....As you may have heard by now, Feingold plans to introduce a resolution tomorrow to censure Bush. Let's break out our crystal balls for a moment. If the resolution passes, what's the impact on the Republican Party in '06 and '08?

Roxanne Cooper 12:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (42)

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Break more than your crystal ball, break the laws of physics, too.

It'll never pass -- if the 'moderate Republicans' won't buck the Borg on court appointments, they won't cross over on this.

It will be interesting to see if it is brought to the floor, though. (If Reid is behind it, he could bring the Senate to a halt as he did with the 9/11 report, unless it's brought to a vote.)

Then there would be a recorded vote.

And a whole lot of GOP senators -- and Joe Lieberman-- will have to go on record supporting the notion that the Constitution is a quaint relic of an earlier day, replaced with lex est quod rex vult.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on March 12, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think the GOP will have to spend all their time-effort-money to paint a pretty face on the ever-increasing disasters they have visited on not only the American people--but the world. The GOP vision is death, debt, war, scandal, deficit spending, indifference, hate, Rove, Cheney, Abramoff, Cunningham, Schiavo, Alito, and incompetence. The President can't even read notes from three cards. Why does everything he says sound like he's trying to talk to a three-year-old? Is it because that's the way things are explained to him by his advisors?

Posted by: Above the Clouds on March 12, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Break more than your crystal ball, break the laws of physics, too.

It'll never pass -- if the 'moderate Republicans' won't buck the Borg on court appointments, they won't cross over on this.

True. But it's fun to dream, isn't it?

Posted by: Roxanne on March 12, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

gotta agree with davis - it ain't gonna happen. and to be fair, i doubt a democratic-controlled senate would censure a democratic president either except under the most extreme circumstance (like he got caught pilfering stuff from the local target). that's just the way the game is played.

but it would be interesting to see it come to the floor...

Posted by: mudwall jackson on March 12, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's just another example of democrats wasting the senates time. First prove that it was illegal and then debate whether he did it to protect the american people or ,like Clinton did, protect his own butt.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 12, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's a potential source of political hay -- I think 'up or down vote' needs to be rammed down Bill Frist's throat on this issue.

I also want the Vichy Democratic faction on record once and for all that they prefer a somnolent submission to monarchy to a noisy defense of a republic.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on March 12, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's just another example of democrats wasting the senates time.

Yeah, the Senate should skip this stupid "oversight" stuff and get back to doing its job -- micromanaging the health care of people like Terri Schiavo. Seriously, where do Democrats get the nerve? "Checks and balances"? That sounds like communism to me.

Posted by: Otto Man on March 12, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

>then debate whether he did it to protect the american people

You still think he even gives a damn about losers like you. Pathetic.

Posted by: doesn't matter on March 12, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

>then debate whether he did it to protect the american people

You still think he even gives a damn about losers like you. Pathetic.

Posted by: doesn't matter on March 12, 2006 at 1:06 PM |

Nope but maybe he cares about winners like you. Actually can you think of a reason he would want to monitor international phone calls. Other than to protect us. And why did Clinton commit perjury other than to protect himself.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 12, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't matter if it passes or not. Just to get the Repubs on record that they support this miserable excuse for a president is enough.

Posted by: Big Red on March 12, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

The smartest move for republicans to hold onto majorities in Congress is to get out in front of impeachment lead the effort get rid of bush on their own. That is the strategy that would allow them to disassociate themselves from the criminal, and criminally incompetent bushliar-criminal administration. As it is, they are in a position of putting party over country in covering and protecting the criminal administration.

Bush is going nowhere but down as a criminal, as un-American, as a major incompetent, AND as a not very nice guy all of which is completely true. The republican Congress is clearly covering for the administration. Republicans will have to continue to cover for bush for 2.5 more years. It will be far worse than Nixon for the republicans if they continue to cover for, make excuses for, and block investigation into the bushliar-criminals activities.

Buckley and Kristol have clearly already divined that the bushliar-criminal is a total loser and a boat anchor around the sinking republican party. Republican chances of survival and recovery, although difficult in the short term, would be far quicker than to continue to be closely coupled with the administration that Americans are realizing has brought nothing but ruination to the US.
.

Posted by: pluege on March 12, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Utterly absurd to remotely contemplate that such a resolution would pass--Roxanne Cooper fails the most rudimentary test of reality based political punditry.

Indeed, it helps Feingold with the left base, but will, again, demonstrates the disunity of the Democratic congressional party--I think it will get about half the Dem Senate caucus, and, of course, none of the Republicans. Which is a sad commentary on the Dems as an opposition party--it is a pointed way to be on record against Bush's flagrant violation of the law without going down the fruitless and distracting path of impeachment--yet most of them still won't vote for it.

Posted by: yeselson on March 12, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

If the sky turns green and fiery skulls rain down upon us from the heavens, what's the impact on the Republican Party in '06 and '08?

Posted by: Aaron S. Veenstra on March 12, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK


It was interesting to see how Feingold handled Stephanopolous this morning. George posed questions designed to paint the proposal as 'fringe'.

Feingold avoided the trap of prematurely flinching or becoming strident. He simply presented the basic legal and constitutional principles. He did not blink.

One wonders if the rest the party and its surrogates can or could manage that messaging so deftly.

P.S. I am jealous you are at SXSW !!

Posted by: LeoStrauss on March 12, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed, this is pie in the sky. Even with his ratings in the tank, Bush can feel sure that this will only amount to another useless Democrat gesture, like passing wind in a gale. Kudos to Lieberman, though... at least someone will be on record for having objected (and this will at least make Committee Republicans go on record as being utter sycophants, yet again).

The Repubs can't let this come to a vote because there is no position they could take on it that would not hurt them down the road. They will do everything they can to sweep this spying scandal under the rug before the '06 season gets going, and the Dems will probably let them. The Dems are too cowed (even now, sad to say) to hold together any meaningful support for this measure.

Posted by: redys on March 12, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

wow, what is wrong with me? "Kudos to Lieberman"?

this must be Republican mind-control technology in action... or just me without my morning coffee. Ugh!

Kudos to Feingold, of course. Leiberman can go rot in the stanky, rotting morass that is his ethical compass.

Posted by: redys on March 12, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

As a disaffected democrat, who has become cynical about both parties (they really both want power and money, and just seem to be different sides of the same coin of the realm), I can only say that their ability to effectively run Bush into a corner is abysmal. Face it, they grab at any straw, and most of those break, leaving the democrats sputtering and drowning even more. Yes, they need to push any advantage politically, but this repeated attempt at discrediting Bush piecemeal has not worked. The Rove Machine is better at politics than either Feingold or Reid. So, if Feingold pushes this, it will probably end up strengthening Bush, at least in the short run. remember, disaffected Republicans are beginning to see the light. But an attack from the Left will merely serve to (briefly) re-unite the Right. democrats would do better to begin building their own platform, and allow the entire morass of Right Politics to fall into pieces by itself.

Posted by: Cr5s on March 12, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Davis X. Machina. I think it is better than nothing which is what we have now.

Posted by: Mazurka on March 12, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Pushing for a censure over the NSA program would backfire; both the law and public opinion are on Bush's side.

Pushing for a censure over the Dubai ports deal would be great for the Democratic party; the public would support it and the fact that there's no crime wouldn't hurt it. Unlike impeachment, censuring a President isn't a process spelled out by law, which pretty much means that anything goes.

Posted by: Mario on March 12, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is mistake for Feingold. It's a rather unorthodox move. Don't like the president? Then make speaches about him, or help Democratic candidates, or introduce policy legislation to counter the GOP agenda. But censuring? It strikes me as a bit batty, and will be received as such by the bulk of the nation outside the left-most half of the Democratic party. Feingold strikes me as having built up a head of steam -- a head of steam that makes him a solid contender for the nomination in 2008. If a "stop Hillary" candidate is going to emerge, he's got as good a shot as any Democrat, I reckon. And 2008 should be the Democrats' election to lose. So I think this move on the part of Feingold is risky, and could be a big mistake. It smacks too much of noisy symbolism and pandering, and makes him look unserious. And that's a pity, because the senator strikes me as being one of the few certifiable adults in Washington.

Posted by: Johathan on March 12, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

No, it'll never pass, but ISTM it's a clever move anyway. Got to ensure the vote, though, to provide an enduring record of just who cares about what. The record matters and this is why the Repubs will fight like the dickens to avoid a vote. Quisling Lieberman won't want a vote either.

Go Feingold! Go Reid!

Posted by: Nixon Did It on March 12, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Pushing for a censure over the NSA program would backfire; both the law and public opinion are on Bush's side

Public opinion, maybe. But the law definitely isn't on his side -- he clearly broke the law, and on this the con law experts are almost unanimously agreed.

Posted by: Otto Man on March 12, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Roxanne - This is the dumbest question of the week.

Nobody thinks a censure resolution against Bush will pass.

Posted by: MountainDan on March 12, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Roxanne - This thing will backfire on the Dems.

Can you imagine John "Sour Grapes" Kerry rushing to the Senate floor to whine about Bush? Can you imagine half the Demo Senators giving speeches on how Bush tricked them into voting for the Iraq war.

Posted by: MountainDan on March 12, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I heart Russ Feingold!

Posted by: beth on March 12, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Frist calls Feingold's bluff - bring the resolution up for a vote.

Half the Dems would head for the tall grass and the resolution would get no more than 25 votes.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on March 12, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Firstly to the dolts who don't understand hypotheticals. The question was... IF it passes. NOT "do you think it has a snowball's chance in hell?" Sheesh.. my apologies to Ms. Cooper for this garbage from a normally half sane bunch.

Now, passing would mean some serious R defections, and not just the centrist standards. IIRC, there are 44 D's in the Senate right now. A 2006 passage would indicate a huge rift in the R party and certainly spell the doom of the R control of both houses of Congress and a long spell of R disunity. Not because of the censure, but rather because of what it indicates.

More interesting (and likely) in my point of view, is what happens if D's take the Senate back and censure occurs in 2007. I think you get a lot more 're-reform' R's on the bandwagon in that case, and you see the R party bouncing back very quickly from the sting of the Bush Presidency and a probable hammering in the midterms.

Posted by: Dilapidus on March 12, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Roxanne, God bless you and your naivete. The chances of George W. Bush being censured by this Congress are about the same as Kirby Puckett rising from the dead and leading the Minnesota Twins to victory in the World Series. It ain't gonna happen.

And not just because of the mindless fealty of Republicans to the reptile-in-chief. With Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller, Bush could be a serial killer and they would be praising about how decisive he is in choosing his victims....

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 12, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I hope it does pass but the spineless cloture club democrats and the cloak and dagger republicans won't do a durn thing. (speculating)
~~~~~~~~~
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,

Beasts of every land and clime,

Hearken to my joyful tidings

Of the golden future time.


Soon or late the day is coming,

Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,

And the fruitful fields of England

Shall be trod by beasts alone.


Rings shall vanish from our noses,

And the harness from our back,

Bit and spur shall rust forever,

Cruel whips no more shall crack.


Riches more than mind can picture,

Wheat and barley, oats and hay,

Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels

Shall be ours upon that day.

Posted by: one eye buch tooth [X^B on March 12, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

on another tangent did ya'll see dis movement?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Electoral Movement One Man One Vote
http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=3403&IssueNum=144
Wall know theres been something less than straightforward about the past couple of presidential elections, but here, perhaps, is the most alarming thing of all.

In 2000, George W. Bush and Al Gore focused their campaigns on about 18 states they deemed to be remotely competitive. California, being solid Democratic turf, was not one of them. In the end, the race boiled down to four key states Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida with Gore snagging the first two, Bush snagging Ohio and well, we all know what happened in Florida.

In 2004, the number of states seriously contested by Bush and John Kerry had gone down to about 13. California, once again, was not one of them. This time, the race boiled down to just three key states Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio.

In 2008, the presidential race is likely to be more restricted still. Pennsylvania is currently shifting from marginally Democrat to comfortably Democrat as Rick Santorum knows all too well. Ohio, beset by monstrous Republican Party scandals, is trending Democrat, too. Most of the other states are hardening their partisan allegiances rather than softening them. Which means the whole contest could come down, once again, to the swampy, alligator-infested electoral turf of Florida.

What this means, in practical terms, is that while all voters in this country are invited to participate in the crowning ritual of their electoral democracy, most of their votes are meaningless, and growing more meaningless all the time. In 2004, only a quarter of the electorate lived in states where the candidates bothered campaigning at all; fewer still were in the big battlegrounds. And in 2008 those numbers are set to dwindle further.

The fault for all this, of course, lies principally with the Electoral College, the system of indirect presidential election that was born out of messy compromise at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and has been a thorn in the side of American democracy ever since. On five occasions, most recently in 2000, the colleges arcana have allowed the loser of the national popular vote to enter the White House, and on all but one of them it has prompted some sort of constitutional crisis. In nine or 10 other elections, including 2004, there have been extraordinarily close calls.

Beyond that, there is the clear problem of de facto voter disenfranchisement in all but a handful of battleground states. California has the largest population of any state, and the largest number of Electoral College votes, but its voters were reduced to little more than spectator status in 2000 and 2004. While the Bush and Kerry campaigns made a total of 61 trips to Florida in the last month of the 2004 campaign, they barely gave California voters a thought, and traveled here only to raise money they could then spend elsewhere.

The obvious solution to this blatant unfairness would be the abolition of the Electoral College and its replacement with a direct, nationwide presidential vote. Its hard to overstate the advantages of such a change. Candidates would be forced to campaign everywhere, and address the big issues, not just the parochial concerns of a few swing constituencies. (No more pandering to Miamis Cuban exiles, for example.)

Voters everywhere would be valued equally, giving them far greater incentive to turn out. (California Republicans, or Texas Democrats, or blacks in the white Republican-dominated Deep South would suddenly have a reason to vote in far higher numbers.) Crises like the post-electoral struggle in Florida in 2000 would be a thing of the past.

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 12, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

mudwall: on the contrary, the Democratic position on the Monica Lewinsky matter was to censure Clinton, rather than impeach him. They were quite willing to censure a Democrat, and they had done it before with any number of Congressmen caught with their hands in the till.

The origin of MoveOn.org's name was "Censure and move on"; it was started in opposition to the move to impeach Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 12, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Stephanopoulos this morning, it dawned on me right in the middle of his first answer that Frist is Al. It was the same mindless parroting of talking-points, the same absence of true human affect, the same ability to announce the absurd with a straight face! Frist is Al, I tell you!

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 12, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

I find it fascinating that the Bush apologists in this thread are posting as if he were still a popular wartime president, and not a chief executive with an abysmal approval rating and who has utterly lost credibility -- indeed, even likability -- with everyone but the Bush Cultists. That's a fantasy even more intense and deranged that the surveillance program Bush is twisting arms for the Congress not to investigate is legal.

Unfortunately, I agree with those who presume that the feckless Senate Democrats also cling to the illusion of Bush as a popular wartime president, so I don't find even the hypothetical very engaging.

Posted by: Gregory on March 12, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

if the resolution passes (which, as someone above reminded us, was the actual question), the effect on the '06 elections is likely to be a leftward shift, albeit slight. Or a rightward shift. albeit slightly. the trouble with crystal ball gazing is that it is entirely uselss. Come up with strategies on how to deal with all possible outcomes in the aftermath of such a resolution. Avoid the temptation to sit back and gaze.

Posted by: Chris on March 12, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Feingold '08!

Posted by: In search of tossed lime (formerly peejay) on March 12, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Ace. Apropos of not a lot, how do you comment on a blog with a straight face ?

Posted by: opit on March 13, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Feingold's point is simply correct: Bush broke the law, the very thing he swore to uphold, and some of We the People believe this is wrong. Rather polite, under the circumstances of his chronic dissembly. Get it on the record: Who'll stand for Dubya's l'tat, c'est moi, and who won't.

Posted by: sadderbudwiser on March 13, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Keep trying, opit, maybe you'll catch on. Off to a poor, pointless start, though.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 13, 2006 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

The obvious solution to this blatant unfairness would be the abolition of the Electoral College and its replacement with a direct, nationwide presidential vote.

The electoral college will be here forever. The small states enjoy the fact CA doesn't matter. It's why they designed it in the 1st place. Any change would require a constitutional amendment with 75% of the states supporting it. NO CHANCE. The thought will never even be seriously discussed

Posted by: rdw on March 13, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Public opinion, maybe. But the law definitely isn't on his side -- he clearly broke the law, and on this the con law experts are almost unanimously agreed.

Not true! A large number support GWB.

Posted by: rdw on March 13, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

zzzzzzz. Ha HA. Vote and make jackasses out of yourselves. The vote won't even carry the dems. Illegal? What law?

YEAH! Come out forcefully against.....uh, electronic surveilance against purported terrorists..(?)...opps, never mind. (slink away)

Posted by: Californio on March 14, 2006 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

Check out our gumball vending machines http://gumball-machines.blog-city.com/

Posted by: Gumball Machines on March 15, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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