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Tilting at Windmills

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March 16, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

CENSURE UPDATE.... Via Taegan Goddard, here's an American Research Group poll sounding out support for Feingold's censure resolution. The results among Democrats aren't too surprising, but the 29% support among Republicans is higher than I would have expected. Another sign of the coming conservative crackup?

Kevin Drum 1:04 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (80)

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If all 45 Dems were solid on this motion, I would be large $$ that they could find a few Goopers to come on board. Maybe not enough to pass it, but enough to really put the cat among the pigeons.

Of course, I used the phrase "Dems were solid" in a sentence, so I await a falling ice cream truck landing on my head.

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said yesterday, I don't know why any Democrats would be afraid to vote for it, if they actually believe that Bush violated the Constitution--which he did.

Posted by: Ringo on March 16, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting how this contrasts with the result of the WSJ/NBC poll. Some people seem to favor censuring the president for something that they support. Go figure.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on March 16, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

argh! "I would bet large $$$"

I would love to actually be large $$$, but that's something else entirely.

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if we combine these results with the Pew poll, then clearly a majority of the public would be in favor of a motion calling the president an "idiot" or a "liar".

So let's start with that, and then move on to the important issues...

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Look you guys don't understand. Having won the Presidency and the two houses, Republicans are like pirates who successfully commandeered a ship a year ago. They are just fighting among each other to divy up the loot. Just normal for a party in power.

Democrats are jealous because they have not been successful at piracy.

Posted by: jonah lucianne on March 16, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

I am Republican and I want to see the Resolution come up for a vote!

Nothing would be sweeter than to watch the Dems head for the tall grass. The resolution would get no more than 25 votes - and the Dems would pay a price in November.


So yes, Kevin, lots of us Republicans support a vote on the resolution!

Posted by: MountainDan on March 16, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

More Independents support Impeachment than Censure?

There is something particularly interesting about the opinions expressed by Independents.

42% support censure while 47% do not.

But look at the next question on the poll.

Do you favor or oppose the United States House of Representatives voting to impeach President George W. Bush?

47% of Independents support impeachment while 40% do not.

I gather that the impeachment question includes broader potential reasons, then just the NSA issue, but the difference is interesting none-the less.

I would like to see a poll question on whether or not most people know that Federal law expressly made what Bush a crime punishable upto 5 years and that no one disputes it was a crime unless you belive A. The statute is unconstitutional and congress cannot limit the President to requiring a warrant or B. the AUMF authorized the President to do so, despite no legislator Democrat or Republican having agreed with that position.

Posted by: Catch22 on March 16, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

All question-parsing aside, 70% of Democrats support censuring the President.

Only 4% of our Democratic party representatives in Washington support censuring the President.

Where is the representation here? Come on, people in Washington, this should be a no-brainer.

I just called my Senator and told him to get on it.

Posted by: erica on March 16, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The energy with which the ill-wishers of America in the liberal blogosphere are pursuing the censure of our commander-in-chief during the time of war would be enough to solve the peak oil problem that Kevin like so much to blog about.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 16, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed infuriating. And the way you start changing the mind of those undecideds is to start and keep pointing out that the President broke the law, and must be held accountable.

Right now, a plurality of the country supports censure despite the fact that its been an opinion expressed by one senator and essentially no one else. Start fighting for it, dammit.

Posted by: JoshA on March 16, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

This just proves how cowardly and idiotic our Democratic senators are. How much a public opinion majority do they need before they scare up the courage to do what's right??

Posted by: bruce k on March 16, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

> but the 29% support among Republicans is higher than I
> would have expected.

Despite the troll comments above about a Repub sandbagging strategy, this number suggests that a much larger proportion of Republican *voters* have some integrity, compared to the representatives they elect.

Posted by: troglodyte on March 16, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Yes! That 29% is a clear sign that Republican independents are ripe for the picking by Democrats -- IF, that is, IF supposedly "responsible" "moderates" stand beside Russ Feingold and adhere to a substantively principled standard of conduct.

Otherwise, the major allegation by Republicans against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats -- that they're "political," wishy-washy, and go whichever way the wind blows -- will be proven true.

I just called my two senators today and told them in no uncertain terms (i.e., gently but firmly) that if they did not have enough leadership instinct and political acumen to stand on principle, exploit Bush's 33% approval ratings, and uphold the law adn the Constitution by holding Bush accountable before the law -- that they'd not be getting my votes.

If they are politically afraid to take a patriotic stand FOR the Constitution -- when they have principle and patriotism on their side, and when the polls are on their side -- then when will they stand up for what's right about America?

Feingold's move was brilliant, in that it exposes them as frauds, cowering politicos of the worst stripe, if they do not stand with him.

If they do stand with him, Bush's downfall accelerates.

The only explanation for their behavior is that they want Bush holding the bag for all of his mistakes. Too bad -- it means more dead American soldiers.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 16, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Generally good, but you misapplied some key GOP-approved talking points:

1) "our commander -in-chief during the time of war" must always be followed by "who is not running for re-election."
2) "ill-wishers of America" is a bit wordy and nuanced. Egg-headed, if you will. "America-haters" is fine in this context.
3) "peak oil" must always be preceded with "liberal concept if" or "left wing pseudo-scientific theory"

Thanks.

Posted by: HeavyJ on March 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter tbrosz: blah, blah, blah.

The "ill-wishers of America" line has jumped the shark, just like the "standing up for yourselves is a move to the left" line has jumped the shark. Nobody's impressed anymore.

70% of Democrats and 48% of all voters favor censuring the President. And that's without significant leadership on the issue from Democrats. Pretty compelling numbers in favor of commonsense at last.

Posted by: erica on March 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

That's a big undecided group, too, Kevin. Only 57% of Republicans disapprove?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on March 16, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The energy with which the ill-wishers of America in the liberal blogosphere are pursuing the censure of our commander-in-chief during the time of war...

I think I'm going to throw up on my keyboard, you loathsome toad.

Posted by: Baldrick on March 16, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's a sign that it's time for the Democrats to grow a pair and start acting like an opposition party.

Posted by: sburnap on March 16, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

MountainDan : "I am Republican and..."

Gasp. I am shocked.

Posted by: tron on March 16, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "...our commander-in-chief"

tbrosz, a little civics lesson for you, cribbed from Glenn, who cribbed it from Digby:

The president is our public servant. He is *not* the Commander in Chief of Americans; he is only the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Art. II, Sec. 2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States"). Constantly referring to him as the Commander in Chief is to imply that we have the obligation to treat him the way that soldiers are required to treat their military commanders -- i.e., with unquestioning obedience. That is appropriate for a military dictatorship, and for people as obedient and compliant as you are, tbrosz, but it is not appropriate for a constitutional republic.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 16, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Can you really say that Americans support the censure resolution by this poll if both its measurements (All Adults and Voters) are within the margin of error of the poll? I'd say the poll showed a technical tie (I don't know if that's the term for it in English).

Posted by: Brazil Connection on March 16, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, while it kills me to say this, check the tbrosz email address. Helical is a fake. Don't waste your time on a fake, the real tbrosz is target enough.

Posted by: Tripp on March 16, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Dammit, I bit on the fake one. I shouldn't even bite on the real one. Dammit.

PM

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 16, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know that we can afford to censure a president who still has such tremendous personal popularity -- after all, there's still about 30% of this country which doesn't think he's a lying incompetent idiot....

Posted by: Stefan on March 16, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Note that supposedly "centrist" Dems not only are letting Russ Feingold -- but John Murtha, twist in the wind, too.

A conservative and a progressive Democrat -- both strongly in favor of national security, adequate support for our troops, and the prudent and lawful use of military force -- are both more responsible than any DLC-"centrist" -- but have both been left to take their patriotic stands alone, and without any flanking support of fellow Democrats.

And what happens? Bush gets to call for a timed withdrawal in that political vacuum.

Make no mistake: When Bush is at 33% approval ratings, but the Democrats can't figure out how to exploit the available political capital -- then something is very, very wrong.

Without the leadership, the principle, or the political acumen to harvest that political capital, they have no legitimate hold on our affiliation or votes. They are in no position to presume to lead.

And in particular, they have no basis for claiming their political judgement is effective, or consists of a realistic winning strategy, or that their political acumen even exists.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 16, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

folks...check the email addy...that is the fake Tbrosz you are responding to.

Posted by: Edo on March 16, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I shouldn't even bite on the real one.

Mmmm, tastes like chicken...

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

In light of the fact that a plurality of Americans support Feingold's censure motion, I eagerly await Kevin's retraction of the implication he made three posts earlier that Feingold's motion doesn't resonate with the American people.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on March 16, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Look you guys don't understand. Having won the Presidency and the two houses, Republicans are like pirates who successfully commandeered a ship a year ago. They are just fighting among each other to divy up the loot. Just normal for a party in power.

Well, the analogy would be more accurate if you'd said "they are like pirates who successfully commandeered a ship a year ago, promptly ran it aground on a reef, sent half their men into a futile fight that they're now losing, tossed overboard their reserves of food and water and then hocked their treasure to foreign bankers."

Posted by: Stefan on March 16, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: The results among Democrats [70% in favor] aren't too surprising

Not surprising either is that you failed to strongly endorse something 70% of Democrats are for. Instead, rather than focusing on the merits of the issue, you side with the Republicans and with their tactics by criticizing Feingold for his motives. What the hell are your motives? And what have they ever accomplished? Aside from increasing your salary, that is.


Posted by: jayarbee on March 16, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

The president is our public servant. He is *not* the Commander in Chief of Americans; he is only the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Art. II, Sec. 2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States"). Constantly referring to him as the Commander in Chief is to imply that we have the obligation to treat him the way that soldiers are required to treat their military commanders -- i.e., with unquestioning obedience. That is appropriate for a military dictatorship, and for people as obedient and compliant as you are, tbrosz, but it is not appropriate for a constitutional republic.

Yes! I've written academic papers about this, and it constantly irks me how Americans go on referring to the President as the "Commander-in-chief." The fact is, if you're not in the military then he's not your commander-in-chief, he's your president.

The reason the c-in-c language was put into Article II was not to imply that the President would be the supreme warlord over all Americans; it was meant to make clear that the civilian political authority, in the body of the President, and not the military generals, would have supreme commande of the armed forces during a conflict. The Founding Fathers had all studied their Roman history and they wanted to make sure that a general did not seize the excuse of wartime to declare himself in charge and take power away from the civilian authorities.

Posted by: Stefan on March 16, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan

Believe it or not, that's from Jonah Goldberg piece in the LA Times today.

Posted by: lib on March 16, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's pretty easy to detect the fake, even without the e-mail address. Look for a lot of sweating as he attempts to negotiate complex phrases in the English language, along with use of clunky terms like "ill-wishers."

BTW, anybody notice information missing from that poll question?

Posted by: tbrosz on March 16, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

So much for your theory about this being "certain to fail"

Since polls seem to be the only thing asshat dems listen to, maybe they will sign onto Russ' thing now?

Posted by: media in trouble on March 16, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's pretty easy to detect the fake, even without the e-mail address.

But, be honest tbrosz, you agree with the sentiments expressed, don't you?

Posted by: Baldrick on March 16, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Look you guys don't understand. Having won the Presidency and the two houses, Republicans are like pirates who successfully commandeered a ship a year ago. They are just fighting among each other to divy up the loot. Just normal for a party in power.

Well, the analogy would be more accurate if you'd said "they are like pirates who successfully commandeered a ship a year ago, promptly ran it aground on a reef, sent half their men into a futile fight that they're now losing, tossed overboard their reserves of food and water and then hocked their treasure to foreign bankers."

A couple more suggestions.
They haven't neglected to salt away huge portions of the gold for themselves instead of sharing with their lowly crew. And they've never hoisted the Jolly Roger to show their true identity. Instead they've left the conservative flag flying, thereby draining all the meaning out of the term "conservative."

Posted by: cowalker on March 16, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, anybody notice information missing from that poll question?

Excellent! It's "Where's Waldo?" for politics! Anything to distract from the actual issue, eh?

Yes, I noticed something. I noticed that it failed to mention that "All Adults" and "Republicans" are tending to be mutually exclusive groups.

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing I say is not the opinion of the real tbrosz.

I am just a bit less full of myself. I will strive and try harder in the future.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 16, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Believe it or not, that's from Jonah Goldberg piece in the LA Times today

Yes, when I read it, I thought "well, at least we agree on something." He then makes another astonishing admission, which I can't link to and can't quote because I don't have it in front of me, but essentially it is: full blown conservative policies would not be popular, and Republicans would lose if they adopted them.

So that's two things we agree on. I may have to lie down.

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, anybody notice information missing from that poll question?

Posted by: tbrosz on March 16, 2006 at 1:55 PM

Could you elaborate on that?

Posted by: Brazil Connection on March 16, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

The 29% of Republicans polled who want the president censured outnumber the 11% (5 of 45) Democratic (and Independent) Senators who support censure.

Posted by: Grumpy on March 16, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, I noticed something. I noticed that it failed to mention that "All Adults" and "Republicans" are tending to be mutually exclusive groups."

nice one!

Posted by: EM on March 16, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK
BTW, anybody notice information missing from that poll question?

"...in violation of the statutory provision prohibiting such wiretapping without a warrant?"

Posted by: cmdicely on March 16, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Rant warning, rant warning, rant warning...

So it's a bold, principled stand that a clear plurality of Americans support. What a awful idea! Seriously, the response over the past few days to Feingold's measure has been maddening. Sure, I expected most Democratic Senators to run and hide, and a bevy of "impartial" analysts to question the wisdom of the move, neatly ignoring its merits. But I've been surprised to see normally solid bloggers like Artrios, Drum, and Marc Cooper go flacid. They worry that Russ undercut Reid. Dear Heavens! Or that it will be a distraction from the war in Iraq (the two issues dovetail quite nicely, I feel). In their fear that not enough Americans will support the move, I smell condescension. I mean, at this point, Bush has launched a massive PR campaign to defend his spying program, Democrats have run away from it, yet a plurality still want him censured. Imagine what might have happened and what might still happen if everyone to the left of Joe Lieberman--from Atrios to Hillary--were to follow Russ's lead. Repeat after me, people: BUSH BROKE THE LAW. This is as clear as the smirk on his face, and if we don't have faith in the ability of Americans to recognize this, then we might as well all pack it up and move to Toronto, where the music's supposed to be great.

For the record, I don't believe that Russ was shocked--nor esepcially saddened--by the lack of support from other Senators. He's got a aw-shucks thing going, but he's quite savvy. May I remind all those questioning his move that HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. If you ask me, I'd say he's content not to get support for his censure measure from Hillary and Bayh and Biden. While official Washington and some possibly overrated bloggers weigh the wisdom of his move, Russ is turning himself into a factor in the Democratic Primary. It's funny: liberal bloggers are always urging Democratic politicians to be bold, but here one actually does something bold, and they go wobby because not everyone is on board. But a bold move, by definition, polarizes and makes David Broder furrow hius brow. Atrios, Drum Cooper: please get on the right side of this issue, NOW, and maybe then we call all pretend that the pertinent posts were never posted.

Posted by: david mizner on March 16, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, KD et al., think the caucuses will get strong leadership by sitting on their thumbs waiting for the leadership to decide to be strong.

You get strong leadership in a caucus when people start standing up and being strong on their own, and the leadership realizes that they run the risk of being irrelevant if they don't get with the program.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 16, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Look for a lot of sweating as he attempts to negotiate complex phrases in the English language,

Yeah...the real tbrosz sweats as he attempts to negotiate complex feats of intellectual dishonesty in order to carry water for the Bush Administration, and sweats as he contemplates that the implosion of the Republican Party might spell the doom of his sweet, sweet tax cuts.

along with use of clunky terms like "ill-wishers."

Yes, the real tbrosz is more succinct, using phrases like "rooting for America to fail." By the way, tbrosz, did you ever come up with a single example to justify that loathsome straw man? I thought not. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on March 16, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, who needs "ill-wishers of America in the liberal blogosphere" when we have a government dedicated to cornholing the public? Bend over, Republicans, and spin yourselves to sleep.

Posted by: Kenji on March 16, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a shot of courage for Kevin and all the other so-called progressives who are wringing their dainty, well-manicured hands about censuring this criminal of a president. Enjoy:

GoMolly

Posted by: John on March 16, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Republicans think about the influence of George Bush's unpopularity on the chances of Republican candidates in 2006 and 2008, shouldn't they be doing some soul-searching on the question of WHY he is so unpopular? He squeaked by with a small margin of the popular vote in 2004. What happened?

The Bush agenda and its outcome:
Social Security Privatization flop. Harriet Miers flop. John Roberts and Sam Alito success. Katrina disaster flop BIG TIME. Medicare Drug plan flopping. War in Iraq flopping. Changes to bankruptcy laws favorable to huge corporations success. UAE company port deal flop. Continued tax cuts for the rich success. Efforts to control deficit spending flop BIG TIME. Economy for wealthy investors success. Economy for wage-earners and those looking for work flop. Gaining control of illegal immigration flop. Unprecedented interference by the feds in the private lives of citizens (Schiavo, fed blockage of medical marijuana use and state allowed physician assisted suicide, warrantless spying on citizens)a success.

These are substantive issues, not just media fuss. The results of Bush's push for his agenda don't have any proportionality to the expense in money and blood except for the gains by the very wealthy. They have been served, and can use their money to insulate themselves from Bush's other failures. Is this what Republican John Smith who works at GM and Mary Jones who works in retail voted for? I'd think it would lead real conservatives, as opposed to this administration, to ask themselves what they've been supporting and apply lessons learned. What are they going to do next time to ensure that they run a competent candidate who isn't a covert nation-builder and big government spender? How will this candidate deal with the legacy of chaos in Iraq and debt while sticking to conservative principles? How will they re-build the government into something that is not entirely run by corporate boards and CEOs?

I wish I thought this thought process was going on inside of Republican heads, rather than silent gratitude that Bush can't be re-elected, and baseless confidence that the next Republican candidate will be adequate. (Adequate looks pretty good right now, compared to what we've been seeing for the last five years.)

I know the events of the last five years have gotten me out in the streets working for Democratic candidates and sending them money. We Democrats have to examine our consciences about why we can't candidates elected. But I swear we haven't run anybody for high office who can approach Bush for letting himself be used by the corporations and making horrible decisions when left to himself.

Posted by: cowalker on March 16, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Republicans think about the influence of George Bush's unpopularity on the chances of Republican candidates in 2006 and 2008, shouldn't they be doing some soul-searching on the question of WHY he is so unpopular?

That's an interesting point. And you'd think so. But your sentence contains the idea of "Republicans" doing something called "soul-searching." As if.

Since they own religion, their souls are presumably squeeky clean. QED

Perhaps you meant sole-searching. Because there is a lot of shit on their shoes...

Posted by: craigie on March 16, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you meant sole-searching. Because there is a lot of shit on their shoes...

Time to stop web-surfing for the day, for no one can match this.

LOL!

Posted by: lib on March 16, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I already read about this poll over at Greenwald's blogspot.com.

Posted by: Hostile on March 16, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The 29% may represent the small gov't/libertarian element of the Repub coalition. I believe that the censure issue is a great wedge. Sadly, Demos do not know how to drive wedges, even when 70% of their party support the effort. That level of ineptitude is stunning.

Posted by: chad on March 16, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK


Somebody over at DailyKos wrote the passage below.

At this point, even speaking up in defense of the Constitution (and thereby, of America)
is a full-throated victory.
And a substantive one. The vote on the floor of the Senate is meaningless, and not because it will not carry the day. Because to speak at all is to end the lie that everything is alright, that all is fine and no laws are being broken. For as long as Arlen Specter can mumble some half-hearted, disingenuous, contorted excuse for not
preserving the Constitution, and fulfilling his sworn duty to uphold it, without objection, then we are in big, big trouble.

And all it takes is the littlest Hoo in Hoo-ville. Just hope Russ stays off of small planes! So, remember, "I mean what I say, and I say what I mean! The Constitution matters, and every citizen should loudly insist that it does -- whether they win or not -- and especially, whether self-appointed members of the Political Menagerie are poor theater critics, and equally poor judges of political acumen and strategy, or not

Consult your conscience. The censure resolution will fail in the full Congress, but the success to be had is that the Democratic Party, in unison and in unwaivering voice, declares that the rule of law still means something in the United States of America. That our party is not willing to unravel the Constitution thread by thread to weave the Emperor's clothes.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 16, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

david mizner!

You got that right! (below)

A "bold move" by definition is one that strikes out on its own, that takes a risk, and does not receive universal support.

The groupthink sheep that pose as centrist Dems are currently taking a beating for NOT being bold, decisive, and for NOT taking a principled stand.

Feingold takes a stand -- and what happens? It's Eeeek! a Mouse! from these "realist" Dems. Never let it be said they are the voice of reason or effective strategy.

It's funny: liberal bloggers are always urging Democratic politicians to be bold, but here one actually does something bold, and they go wobby because not everyone is on board. But a bold move, by definition, polarizes and makes David Broder furrow hius brow.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 16, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

"The president believes that we must remember the clearest lesson of September 11 -- that the United States of America must confront threats before they fully materialize," national security adviser Stephen Hadley said.

The president has just provided our enemies with the perfect justification for the 9/11 attacks, as well as affirmed the justness of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Why does Bush hate America so much that he would establish a principle that justifies such attacks?

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 16, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be a rationalist...rather than my normal agitpropagandist:

But again...

Censure is more about the rule of law versus the rule of Kings.

It really is that simple.

And yes we need a paper trail on those who favor kingship.

And no Kevin... this is actually good politics. Because in the future, either the paper trail becomes important or it doesn't.

If it doesn't... who wants to live in American anymore?

If if does: People will continue to fight to live here.

So dammit... let's have a vote on this...

(bashing Bush badly is merely a fun side issue)

Posted by: koreyel on March 16, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican number is interesting, but the key number to move a few points is the independents. If we can get that number to be about even or weighed towards censure, then the momentum will be hard to stop.

This poll suggests that Feingold made a good move, and that the Democrats need to position and vocalize hard on this. This is the stuff of real politics and winning strategy.

Do it!

Posted by: Jimm on March 16, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

kevin:
Now, with these polls, can we seriously discuss the censure option? As much as i would personally like to impeach this moronic incompetent liar (yesterday's consensus agreed-upon descriptors of dubya by most americans) from his stolen office, i will decline the pleasure because we are at war. Reluctantly i say take impeachment off the table immediately.
Thus censure is the proper response to the prez admission in december 2005 that he had authorized warrentless wiretapping of american citizens. It is a neccessary first step to stopping these neo-fascists from trashing the rest of the Constitution and pointlessly putting more american troops in harms way without a strategy.
No sane person can still be waiting for senator roberts to investigate and determine the facts? His inaction is prima facie evidence that these neo-fascists are in violation of the constitution!
Action in the form of censure is appropriate first step and statement that the American people will and must appoint adult supervision over these incompetent moronic liars.
Chad is correct, you can seperate the principled small govt-libertarians from the bushco crime family-it is both good politics and responsible citizenship required to save the Republic from the quagmires of a faux empire.

Posted by: tonyjoe from baltimore on March 16, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

i will decline the pleasure because we are at war.

It's a very curious kind of war, with tax cuts and no draft. Unfortunately, the consequences of failing in Iraq will be more serious than GWB's effort to wage it properly.

You don't change horses while crossing a stream, unless said horse is shitting on your head while taking you under.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on March 16, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

i will decline the pleasure because we are at war.

We are? Who with? Just when did Congress declare this war?

Posted by: Stefan on March 16, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the movie "Braveheart?"

The democrats and republicans are Robert the Bruce, Bush is Longshanks, and we peons are William Wallace.

Posted by: Tripp on March 16, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hear me now, believe me later.
Censure now, impeach later.

Posted by: Cassandro on March 16, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

The Rule of Kings vs the Rule of Law really gets to the heart of this issue.

Kevin says, "Oh, well, if you don't have the votes to successfully depose the King/carry off an impeachment proceeding, then it's pointless, you might as well resign yourself to serfdom, peasant!"

But concrete foundation of this country explicitly states that quite the opposite is the case. The whole lesson of the Rule of Kings vs the Rule of Laws tells us precisely the opposite.

Under the Rule of Laws, it's precisely your obligation and your entire hope, that, even if you don't have the votes, it's necessary to strive to fulfill your obligation to your country. Even where doomed to fail, it's necessary to be that one small voice in the wilderness calling your "government" to account, and insisting that your country live up to it's legal and social contract.

For then there will be a record that Men of Conscience stood up against a Tyranny. Bush has merely implied, merely asserted his dictatorship with words -- and barring any contradiction that poltroons in Congress dare to utter out loud, he may succeed. So it's precisely EVERY voice that matters, whether the votes are there or not.

Because if one child hears Feingold's voice, then it is not in vain. If one hopeless Patriot hears Feingold stand up and defend the Constitution, then he or she will know it's possible to join with Russ, with a neighbor, in order to form a more perfect union, in order to bring this tyranny to its knees, in order to force our "leaders" to be responsive to the people of this country from whom they draw their power, to their oaths of office, and to the Constitution they presume but fail to serve.

Yours is a recipe for putting every American in shackles.

As long as we live under the Rule of Law

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 16, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Yours is a recipe for putting every American in shackles."

The text of that post would make for a good Chick Tract.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on March 16, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

...was not to imply that the President would be the supreme warlord over all Americans

Darn it!

--W

Posted by: W - The PrezDent on March 16, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

29% is high. It's probably because many of them didn't realize they could vote "Undecided".

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on March 16, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Yours is a recipe for putting every American in shackles."

The text of that post would make for a good Chick Tract.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on March 16, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Because of the use of the word "recipe"?

I don't know what a Chick Tract is -- a parcel of land dedicated to raisin' pullets I presume -- but you sir, are an idiot.

Posted by: somberfall on March 16, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think the fake tbrosz is the real tbrosz making fun of himself. I have yet to see a fake tbrosz that wasn't followed soon after by a real one.

Posted by: Boronx on March 16, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Another sign of the coming conservative crackup?

More like another sign that some supposed political "experts" are out of touch with reality...

I guess the Terri Schiavo ordeal didn't teach some Democrats anything...

I wonder how that political theater thing is working out...

You win by leading, not by following...whats the old cliche...if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything...

Posted by: justmy2 on March 16, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

And the walk back in begins...

And the sad part is, those who want to watch polls and are more concerned about "political theater" than leadership will learn nothing....

Can anyone remind me the original position of this blog on the war, Terri Schiavo, and the Hurricane Katrina aftermath? (real question)

And you know the worse part, when Democratic leadership decides to take a risk, it will likely be the absolute wrong time....

Amazing

Posted by: justmy2 on March 16, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: our commander -in-chief during the time of war

I am sorry...where in the constitution does it state that President Bush is our commander-in-chief?

I am not a member of the military...are you?

Posted by: justmy2 on March 16, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

According to the person answering the phone in Senator Boxer's San Francisco office, she intends to "support the motion if it comes to the floor," and "will be issuing a statement shortly."

This is in contrast to Senator Feinstein who, "believes it is premature" and "want it to go before the committee." I was particularly curious about how Feinstein would compare her support for the censure of Clinton with her lack of support for censuring Bush. The phone screener had no idea, but she "will pass it on to the Senator."

Oh and tbrosz, what if Bush and bin Laden are on the same side? Should be keep supporting Bush, even it time of war (which I dispute - this is some low level police action) if every act he takes gets another step closer to the terrorists agenda?

Posted by: Ray on March 16, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone been watching c-span and the H.R. 4939 ammendment? Do you see how much Bush cares about this nation? When there are no more jobs here what do you think will happen? One can only wonder if some people are being blackmailed or bribed or maybe even threatened from doing the right thing. All Presidents should be held accountable period. At the rate this President is going, we will be living in the abomination of desolation spoken of in the book Of Daniel. What's to keep Him from taking everything and leaving the country?

Posted by: Lola26 on March 16, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

"I was particularly curious about how Feinstein would compare her support for the censure of Clinton with her lack of support for censuring Bush. The phone screener had no idea, but she "will pass it on to the Senator."

She probably needs to consult with Unholy Joe first...

But damn good work Ray...

Posted by: koreyel on March 16, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

"you sir, are an idiot." Posted by: somberfall

I think I like this down-home personality more than your previous Teenage Thomas Paine; got any others?

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on March 17, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Too bad we don't have better Dems in Congress. If they can't even get together to censure a president who has done what he has, how can they claim to have tried to do anything to stop him?

Posted by: catherineD on March 17, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The poll question is obvously inaccurate and sloppy/slanted in referring to "wiretaps of Americans within the United States" rather than accurately referring to "the electronic monitoring of conversations between a person located in the United States and a suspected terrorist outside the United States." I don't even think the word "wiretap" is accurate, although that inaccuracy may not affect the appropriateness of the poll question. I think a fair and accurately worded question would produce far different results.

I assume American Research Group is a reputable organization, but the question is so bad it makes you wonder about the organization's competence.

Posted by: brian on March 17, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Rassmussen released a poll with a more neutral, although also not very informative, question, that produced results of 45% No and 38% Yes.

"Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a measure to censure, or publicly reprimand, President Bush for authorizing the NSA wiretapping program. Should President Bush be censured for authorizing the NSA wiretapping program?"

It is yet another example of how the phrasing of the poll question affects results, even though I don't think the Rassmussen question is much good because while it explains what censure means, it makes no effort to explain the NSA wiretapping program or the court order issue.

Posted by: brian on March 17, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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