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Tilting at Windmills

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November 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SIGH....Mukasey is in:

A divided Senate narrowly confirmed former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey last night as the 81st attorney general, giving the nominee the lowest level of congressional support of any Justice Department leader in the past half-century.

The 53 to 40 vote came after more than four hours of impassioned floor debate, and it reflected an effort by Democrats to register their displeasure with Bush administration policies on torture and the boundaries of presidential power.

I suppose the glass-half-full position is that no Bush nominee would ever have declared waterboarding illegal, so it's not like we could have done any better. And we really do need someone running the Justice Department, since it's basically been on autopilot for the past year or so. And most of the Democratic caucus voted against him.

And the glass-half-empty position? We've got an attorney general who acts like a refugee from a communist reeducation camp, dutifully reciting party-line nonsense dictated by his superiors even though he plainly doesn't believe a word of it. What a shameful episode.

Kevin Drum 2:09 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (100)

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Maybe he was just saying what he had to so Bush wouldn't pull his nomination. Maybe he intends to prosecute the criminals now that he has the office.

Yeah, I know. I'm a dreamer.

Posted by: TheOtherWA on November 9, 2007 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

The reason that the Mukasey nomination needed to be opposed, and how it will now bite us on the ass that it was not, is credibility. A confirmed attorney general has it, an appointee serving as acting AG does not. By confirming him, knowing that he has no intention to oppose waterboarding, no intention to oppose illegal wiretapping, and no intention to reverse the past seven years of turning the DoJ into an arm of the RNC, we give a tacit approval to all these things. And so, when he continues to do them, we'll be left trying to defend ourselves from charges of "Well, he's just doing what he said he was going to do. Don't like it? The Senate shouldn't have confirmed him then."

A sad day indeed, in a run of sad years.

Posted by: Imaginary on November 9, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

The shameful part is that the Dems didn't even demand anything of him, other than the fact that he not be Gonzales -- a quality he shares with just about every other being on the planet.

Sheesh!

Posted by: Kenji on November 9, 2007 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Your last sentence is tragically correct.

Posted by: MFB on November 9, 2007 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

I predict he resigns by March.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on November 9, 2007 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

The Other WA: "Maybe he was just saying what he had to so Bush wouldn't pull his nomination. Maybe he intends to prosecute the criminals now that he has the office. Yeah, I know. I'm a dreamer."

Who knows? Mukasey might surprise us. I'm not going to hold my breath, but certainly stranger things have happened in the world of politics.

Eliot Richardson appeared the weak and timid sister when he was up for confirmation as Attorney General in 1973, but his tenacious behind-the-scenes resistance to his boss Richard Nixon's machinations regarding the Watergate investigation really provided the turning point in that scandal; his principled resignation during the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" was in retrospect the death knell of the Nixon presidency.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 9, 2007 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii: I knew Elliot Richardson, and Michael Mukasey is no Elliot Richardson.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 9, 2007 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

I suppose the glass-half-full position is that no Bush nominee would ever have declared waterboarding illegal

For good reason. Intensive questioning is used all of the time. As Rudolph Giuliani pointed out, he used the same kind of tactics to hunt down and destroy the Mafia. It is certainly absurd we can't use the same tactics against the Terrorists that we're using against the Mafia. Only liberals could be irrational enough to believe we should coddle the terrorists with rights even Americans don't have.

www.nytimes.com/2007/11/03/us/politics/03torture.html

"Mr. Giuliani said: 'Now, intensive questioning works. If I didnt use intensive questioning, there would be a lot of Mafia guys running around New York right now and crime would be a lot higher in New York than it is.'"

Posted by: Al on November 9, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

The glass-half-empty position is that the US Senate, at a time when the Democrats were in majority, voted for a pro-torture Attorney General.

Actually, the glass is not half empty. It's completely empty.

Posted by: JS on November 9, 2007 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

They could have demanded a Special Prosecutor to look into ... well pretty much everything this administration has done over the last 7 years

Posted by: XYZ on November 9, 2007 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

As Rudolph Giuliani pointed out, he used the same kind of tactics to hunt down and destroy the Mafia.

What, appointing them to run the Police Department? Hm... Actually, it's true. Appointing movement conservatives to run the Justice Department has almost succeeded in destroying the Republican Party. Now you put it that way, it starts to make sense.

Though I still don't get the part about how all the street crime in New York was the fault of the Mafia.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 9, 2007 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

Al said: "Intensive questioning is used all of the time. As Rudolph Giuliani pointed out, he used the same kind of tactics to hunt down and destroy the Mafia. It is certainly absurd we can't use the same tactics against the Terrorists that we're using against the Mafia. Only liberals could be irrational enough to believe we should coddle the terrorists with rights even Americans don't have."

1. Define "intensive questioning."
2. Prove it. I never heard of a policy of torturing criminal suspects in this country--although it wouldn't be terribly surprising if it had become policy in the last seven years, given the depraved criminals in the Cheney/Bush junta.

Posted by: Helena Montana on November 9, 2007 at 5:25 AM | PERMALINK

Mukasey plans to do nothing. They already know that; they have a tap on his phone.

Posted by: parrot on November 9, 2007 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

Mukasey clearly passes the qualified and competency criteria for the job, something Senor Gonzalez didn't - the problem is the ideological bent. Bush will never appoint anyone but a Kool-Aid drinker who has bought into his unAmerican, fascist worldview that torture is justified, civil rights take a backseat in the mythical "War on Terror" and corporations have more rights than human beings.

What have we become?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 9, 2007 at 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, your And we really do need someone running the Justice Department channels what Sen. Schumer said in supporting the nomination. A fair point, I suppose, although Mukasey as well as any other nominee wasn't going to declare Chinese water torture illegal because if he did all those people working for the US who used it in the past could be prosecuted.

Schumer went on to say he was confident that if the Congress passed a bill declaring waterboarding anathema Mukasey would support that ban even in the face of a signing statement from the President continuing its use (which is, of course a self-serving statement and intended to be so). Such legislation would presumably contain the premise that waterboarding is illegal as of the date of passage.

Posted by: TJM on November 9, 2007 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

Mukasey's not a refugee from a reeducation camp; he's a proud, diploma-waving graduate. So how will his appointment take the DOJ off "autopilot"?

Posted by: sullijan on November 9, 2007 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

And we really do need someone running the Justice Department, since it's basically been on autopilot for the past year or so.

You know, I've heard this point used a lot lately. But I've never heard anyone explain why this is so. I've never heard anyone explain why having an AG who has made plain that he will not enforce the law against his superiors is a better choice than not having an AG at all. Morale at the Justice Department? Give me a break. Morale there is going to suck for the next 360 days or so, regardless of whether it's Mike Mukasey or Atticus Finch in the top job, because they'd still be working for the same administration.

So I'd still like a real explanation of this.

Posted by: bucky on November 9, 2007 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

Imaginary at 2:38 summed it up elegantly.

The lack of a permanent AG was on Bush, who brought us the walking scum called Alberto Gonzales and refused to nominate someone who wouldn't support his own continuing program of atrocities. (And it wouldn't have been too difficult, if the Dem caucus could learn to get on message, to remind the American people why it continued to be on Bush.)

Now Mukasey is at least partly on us.

Schumer was absolutely wrong on this one, and now we have compromised our credibility on the torture issue.

Posted by: shortstop on November 9, 2007 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

Richardson came to Washington having the experience of being the Massachusetts AG, a separately elected and completely independent office under the state constitution. Mukasey comes in as a career political appointee, albeit one used to a great deal of latitude.

He may be honest and he may have a spine. God, I hope so.

Posted by: Xenos on November 9, 2007 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

"What a shameful episode."

—Kevin Drum 2:09 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sort of applies to everything that's happened since November of 2000, doesn't it?

Posted by: steve duncan on November 9, 2007 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Voting yes: Bayh, Carper, Feinstein, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Schumer.

Not voting, our fearless presidential candidates: Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Obama.

I want to know what the hell Chris Dodd was doing last night instead of voting no.

Republicans voting no: none.

Republicans not voting: Alexander, Cornyn, McCain.

Posted by: shortstop on November 9, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

Some years ago, I commented to my then-boss, a 28%-er, and only partly to get his goat, that the Republican party was quickly morphing into the old Soviet Communist party, where all decisions were made by the Politburo, all dissent squashed, and elections tended to yield results like 20% for the opposition and 99% for the Party. "Hah," he leered, taking off his shoe, "we wlll bury you."

Of course, there were some charms to the old system. Who among us wouldn't like to see the revival of Show Trials, with Dick Cheney on his knees in rags before a tribunal, forced to recite a list of his crimes against the people before being led off to the gulag?

Posted by: jprichva on November 9, 2007 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

for those of you who refuse to vote for sen clinton should she get the nomimation think about what you're doing. helping elect a repug will only make a bad situation worse.

Posted by: grumpyoldvet on November 9, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

The torture position I can understand, if not condone. You don't want to start off a job by admitting in public that your boss is a war criminal.

What's worse is that he believes, as Gonzales did, that the president has inherent powers to ignore laws if he thinks it's in the national interest.

Posted by: anandine on November 9, 2007 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Helena Montana: I never heard of a policy of torturing criminal suspects in this country--although it wouldn't be terribly surprising if it had become policy in the last seven years, given the depraved criminals in the Cheney/Bush junta.

Police brutality may not be a national policy, but it has long been common in jurisdictions all over the country. Remember Abner Louima? Sodomized by New York cops.

Posted by: anandine on November 9, 2007 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

As Glenn Greenwald asks today, what happened to the 60 vote majority? For months Reid and Pelosi have been telling us that they can't accomplish anything because they have to have 60 votes. We've seen articles in the NYT and the WP saying that Democrats lost the vote, with only 57 in favor (the Webb amendment). How is that the filibuster light option only exists for Republicans.

And what happened to Dodd?

The fact that Obama, Dodd, Biden and Clinton were allowed to miss this vote is really shameful.

Posted by: jayackroyd on November 9, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

I had the same thought about the 60-vote majority. Where was it? And also, didn't one of the candidates (Dodd?) talk about a filibuster? What ever happened to that?

In any case, I don't think we've seen the end of the waterboarding issue in AG hearings. It is sure to come up when a Dem president names the next AG. If the appointee says waterboarding is torture, the next question will be who do you prosecute.

The Reps won't let anyone in who might go after Bush admin officials. Not without a filibuster. It'll be interesting.

Posted by: JJF on November 9, 2007 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it is immaterial that no Bush nominee would ever declare waterboarding what it IS: torture. What IS material is the Dems (Feinstein and Schumer and Bayh, et al) have made torture not only OK, but guaranteed for all US soldiers caught anywhere in any conflict. And there ain't jack the US can do about it legally. What am I talking about? The so-called reason Schumer gave for caving in to Mr 25% AGAIN was that Mukasey, in private, assured Schumer that if Congress passed a law banning waterboarding, then Bush would have to abide. ???!!!

So, torture is merely a matter of US statute rather than international law and treaty now. Clue train folks, NO ONE but the US is bound by US law. Passing a law banning waterboarding simply makes it illegal for the US to use it, rendering it merely an unacceptable, but available otherwise, technique. No other country is bound to follow suit. Worse still is ex post facto. Passing a law to specifically render waterboarding illegal means that those that ordered that torture in the past, and those that carried out the torture, are forever safe from prosecution: ex post facto protection.

Perhaps that was the plan all along? The Dems haven't done ANYTHING to reign in President Coockoocrazy. They FEAR doing anything. Or they simply don't WANT to do anything because they are totally fine with it all. In any case, Schumer, Feinstein, Bayh, etc, have betrayed every US servicemember by ensuring that they WILL be tortured and there is no recourse for the US. WE torture and Schumer seeks to simply ban certain types of torture by mere statute.

Cluetrain folks. The Constitution explicitly states that any and all treaties to which we are signatories (Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, Abuse, and Inhumane Treatment, etc) are the SUPREME law of the land. We don't have to pass any silly statutes after that fact. Torture IS illegal and waterboarding always has been and always will be torture. Just not as far as Bush, Cheney, Mukasey, Schumer, Feinstein, Bayh, etc, etc, etc are concerned.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Throw in the towel every chance you get only guarantees the Dems will never win any fight. They don't even try, they give up and surrender so easily.

"so it's not like we could have done any better"

So than I guess, with Kevin Drum at least, it makes it totally okay that Sen. Feinstein is now saying this:

"Some people, I think, want to keep the issue [of torture] alive rather than solve the problem. I am not one of those people,"...

Heaven forbid the nation talk about Bush's torture policy, better to let Feinstein hide it all under an "accessory to torture" carpet just LIKE the morally bankrupt GOP has been doing all along in loyal lockstep with the Bushies ever since the Supremes put little Bushie in command.

Bush hides torture policy = bad, Dems do it and it's = "not like we could have done any better".

Hillary is going to waltz into office with paritsan bloggers totally appoving of her right to torture those "emeny combatance", because it's like liberal voters "could not have done any better" and thus approve Hillary simply on basic application of a label change, and not policy change.

That so-called "nut case" Ron Paul is looking better all the time. What is his views on torture and wiretapping, because, you know, Dems don't seem to actually have a problem with it.

Posted by: Me_again on November 9, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

It WOULD be a loverly world if Mukasey turned the tables on B/C and went after their sorry asses...but the past seven years of BUSH RULE has finally squashed any HOPEFUL feelings I've ever had...and no one on the DEM list is doing anything to change that...pardon me but wasn't it Dodd a couple of weeks ago getting all the attention about how he WOULD filibuster this nomination...??? So much for his SPECTOR LIKE behavior...

Posted by: Dancer on November 9, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

And we really do need someone running the Justice Department, since it's basically been on autopilot for the past year or so.

Is this a joke? Autopilot or torture enabling, take your pick. Seriously, the only thing Alberto Gonzales ever did was stand there and take heat for Bush. Why the fuck should we bless him with a new whipping boy?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on November 9, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I never supported, nor would support, Hillary. Biden, Dodd, and Obama, by skipping out on the vote entirely, have lost the chance to win my support. Dodd's betrayal is especially grievous given his filibuster promise. They were all to busy to support the Rule of Law, the Constitution, national honor, and basic human decency.

Well then I am too busy to vote for ANY of you for president. Assholes and criminals, every friggin one of them.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

TJM said:

"Schumer went on to say he was confident that if the Congress passed a bill declaring waterboarding anathema Mukasey would support that ban even in the face of a signing statement from the President continuing its use (which is, of course a self-serving statement and intended to be so)."

There isn't really scope, it seems to me, for the President to claim an inherent Article II power being infringed by a law banning waterboarding explicitly (which is really all the much-ballyhooed signing statement represents). Making rules for interrogations would certainly seem to be a quintessentially executive function, but it is neverthelesss one of several powers which would have seemed quintessentially executive at the time of the framing that the Constitution deliberately and expressly gave to Congress rather than the President ("The Congress shall have power ... [to] make rules concerning captures on land and water," Art. I, �8, cl. 11). In the absence of Congressional rules, the President can doubtless make such rules, but when Congress legislates specifically, I'd be quite dubious of any kind of inherent power getout.


"Such legislation would presumably contain the premise that waterboarding is illegal as of the date of passage."

Of course it would - anything else would create ex post facto problems.

Posted by: Simon on November 9, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK
"Such legislation would presumably contain the premise that waterboarding is illegal as of the date of passage." Of course it would - anything else would create ex post facto problems.

You seem to miss the bigger point. Such a law is worse than doing nothing. It turns waterboarding, which IS torture and ALWAYS HAS BEEN torture, into a technique merely banned by US statute. No other country must obey US statute and thus, they are ALL free to waterboard American citizens or soldiers with wild abandon...all they have to do is declare it an available interrogation technique.

There MAY be a way to pass such a law and still leave Bush, etc, criminally liable: rather than pass a law that specifically bans waterboarding (BAD idea, see above), pass a law that simply reiterates reality: Waterboarding was and remains torture and as such has been and remains illegal according to Treaty and US law.

There. In no uncertain terms waterboarding is illegal AND was illegal in the past so Bush, Cheney, etc, are NOT safe via ex post facto.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

If I am not mistaken, Dodd never threatened to filibuster the Mukasey confirmation--only the FISA bill containing telecom immunity. However, he did issue a public statement strongly condemning Mukasey's confirmation.

So I'm thoroughly disgusted at his failure to vote last night, and feeling like Charlie Brown watching the football of American lawfulness, principle and basic human decency get pulled away one more time.

Posted by: shortstop on November 9, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

I see Praedor and I used the same phrase: basic human decency. That's really what this is about, senators, regardless of how Schumer wants to cast it as "Mukasey is the best we'll get."

Is there no principle at all for which these guys will stand immovably?

Revolting.

Posted by: shortstop on November 9, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

There is no glass half-full/half-empty here, Kevin.

The fact of the matter is, we COULD have done better. We could have by sending a message that this guy was still unacceptable. Even with a recess appointment, we could have hung an albatross around Bush's neck, and solely his neck. Now, the confirmation is 'bipartisan'. The Republicans held firm and voted party line. Again, it's the Democrats who caved to some sort of wayward principle that makes no sense. It doesn't matter that MOST of the Democratic Caucus voted for him, because if those who voted Yea had voted Nay instead, we could have stopped it. Instead, enough voted to give it that indelible sheen of 'bipartisanship', thereby undermining almost all Democratic criticisms we can muster against him at this point. Face it. WE FAILED.

And like someone said above, how much better is it to have an AG who will approve torture than to not have one at all? Again, if Mukasey didn't go through, we'd have a recess appointment, and at the very least, he could be hung over Bush's head as even worse than someone we rejected and how utterly unacceptable this is. Pratically, it makes no difference since the guy's running the show already, but at the very least, we shine a light on the horrid people in charge, and without the charge that we supported him too.

This whole ordeal is bloody depressing, and again, passing a law explicitly against waterboarding does nothing but hurt things, because THERE'S ALREADY FREAKIN' LAWS ON THE BOOKS AGAINST TORTURE. THEY'RE CALLED THE ****ING GENEVA CONVENTIONS.

But no, we debate this with validity and give it credence, and our moral standing continues to crumble beneath our feet. And rather than show it for what it is, we just had our Democratic representatives help push a man who won't call a spade a spade, and we're supposed to laud this according to Schumer.

No. No. No. NO, ****ING NO.

Posted by: Kryptik on November 9, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

There's a 3rd option in the glass half-empty/half-full response list. It's, "Aiieee!! the Alien has escaped!"

So, the correct response to the Mukasey confirmation is "Aieeee!!! The Alien has escaped!"

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 9, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

The glass is fucking broken.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 9, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

If you are in the military...it is time to get out. You WILL be tortured if you are captured, and NOT just captured by Middle Eastern insurgents, but by ANY country. The Senate has rendered waterboarding OK unless restricted by LOCAL statute. You WILL be waterboarding and no remedy exists for the US to deal with it.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey - I thought Wolfowitz was gone for a while now...oh, wait.

Anyways, the more apt analogy is 'half-empty/half-full/empty, full? There's not even a glass!'

You can't see a glass half-empty or half-full when there's not even a glass. There is no two sides of a coin here. It's the emperor's new clothes here, except we're the ones that are buck naked, and our leaders are marveling at our new threads while we're fighting frostbite.

Posted by: Kryptik on November 9, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

There. In no uncertain terms waterboarding is illegal AND was illegal in the past so Bush, Cheney, etc, are NOT safe via ex post facto.

Like Bush, Cheney etc. would be the guys who get whacked for waterboarding. Like Abu Ghraib? Fat chance. Only Iranian heads of government are responsible for their minions work.

The fact is that you can fantasize impeachment all you want,but the reality of your climax will be forever just out of reach. Probably by 50-43. There.

Posted by: TJM on November 9, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is that you can fantasize impeachment all you want,but the reality of your climax will be forever just out of reach. Probably by 50-43. There.

This isn't about impeachment. Bush and Cheney are STILL legally culpable AFTER they leave office. Impeachment or no, they CAN be prosecuted for their crimes unless the ham-handed Democrapic Congress gives them ex post facto protection by passing an ill-advised law explicitly banning waterboarding.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Schumer, Feinstein, Pelosi, Hoyer - And the difference between them and the Repugs is.....?

Posted by: bert on November 9, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK
Schumer, Feinstein, Pelosi, Hoyer - And the difference between them and the Repugs is.....?

Not. A. Thing.

I will be voting accordingly in 2008.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

As much as I value the power of the vote, I've honestly reached a point finally where it feels pointless. It feels powerless to cast a vote now since it seems like such power is dwarfed by the 'sensible' leaders we have, those who seem to know so much better than we dirty rabble do, because they're told so by the great sages like Dean Broder or Robert Novak.

All the talk I heard before about having a veto-proof or filibuster proof majority, or once we have a Dem president it'll be alright seems moot. Because there's no fight. There's no actual opposition. It's all become a stage show, and I'm honestly convinced that not even a Dem President and a filibuster-proof majority would not keep our great 'leaders' from capitulating in the face of Republican Boogeyman #294181. Again, it seems like only Democrats seem to value 'bipartisanship' in votes like these, only they deign to cross over for the sake of 'prinicple', when Republicans hang together monolithically. Even with a 'Filibuster-proof' majority, I'm honestly convinced that we'd still find half our Democrats in Congress crossing over to vote with the party-line Repubilcans to filibuster any meaningful Democratic bills, and to help pass ridiculous Republican bills.

Nothing's ever going to change until our leadership changes, until we get people with ACTUAL ****ING POWER to listen to people, rather than the WaPo Editorial Boards and Fox News.

God, I want to cry I feel so helpless right now.

Posted by: Kryptik on November 9, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Prove it. I never heard of a policy of torturing criminal suspects in this country

Come visit Chicago some time.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

So I'm thoroughly disgusted at [Dodd's] failure to vote last night

I'm not inclined to beat up on the POTUS candidates who didn't leave the campaign trail to fly back to DC to make a last minute late night vote the outcome of which they could not have effected.

I reserve most of my disgust for Schumer. He was the linchpin (or should that be "lynchpin"?) that got this nomination passed.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not inclined to beat up on the POTUS candidates who didn't leave the campaign trail to fly back to DC to make a last minute late night vote the outcome of which they could not have effected.
---

Not so fast. Any one of them, or all of them, COULD have effected the outcome. A 53-40 vote? Filbuster city. With numbers like that, a filibuster was a possible success...but Rule of Law, national honor, the lives and safety of our service men and women, the CONSTITUTION, are just annoying flies causing discomfort on the campaign trail.

They were too busy to vote against TORTURE. It is as simple as that.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not inclined to beat up on the POTUS candidates who didn't leave the campaign trail to fly back to DC to make a last minute late night vote the outcome of which they could not have effected.

Perhaps not all of them, but Dodd has made a point of standing for the rule of law and against the tide of 9/11-changed-everything-so-might-makes-right thinking in Washington. The "outcome wouldn't have been affected" line of thinking cuts both ways--Dodd isn't going to win in Iowa or anywhere else, so he might as well stand for something going forward. If his goal is to influence the public dialogue, skipping votes like this isn't doing much to that end.

I know I'm being pissy, and perhaps petty, given that Reid apparently blindsided these guys. (Why? As someone at TPM asked, because he knew the netroots would flip out and candidate least hurt by that is his fave, Hillary?) And it's not like any of them can publicly say, "Look, the majority leader screwed us on this one." But I am really, really frustrated this morning.

Posted by: shortstop on November 9, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Let me start by stating that I think Bush and Cheny deserve impeachment. But I don't think it pays dems to prolong the debate over torture. As I suggested on a previous thread, this is the debate that repugs want to have for the next year. It is a proxy for the debate over who will best protect America against terrorists -- who will do whatever it takes? If this is the issue in the 2008 election, repugs think they have a shot at the White House.

Before I get flamed, let me state that I oppose torture and waterboarding is torture. But I think some of our usually-courageous leaders rolled over on this because they did not want to prolong the confrontation over torture. We're they right in doing so? Only time will tell.

But I think we are witnessing a perhaps repugnant but possibly practical political calculation that the litmus test over torture is -- unfortunately -- a losing one in the presidential race.

It is very sad however.

Posted by: Econobuzz on November 9, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

DO we really need somebody permanent running the Justice Department? Considering what they have been trying to do (look at civil rights and voting rights, for example), the less effective the department is, the better for the country.

Posted by: Peter on November 9, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Not so fast. Any one of them, or all of them, COULD have effected the outcome. A 53-40 vote? Filbuster city. With numbers like that, a filibuster was a possible success.

Exactly. They weren't even needed to prevent cloture. What was needed was for someone to initiate the filibuster, and the burden of blame for that falls on those who were there for the vote.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

related fake news

President Bush came to the defense of his embattled nominee for the post of Director of Military Detainees. The nominee, General Hucksby, has come under fire from Democrats for ambiguous answers regarding a form of interrogation known as fingernail-pulling.

General Hucksby refused to say whether this practice constituted torture, as he had not been briefed on the subject. Several Democratic Senators said that they would have difficulty confirming a nominee who did not recognize torture when he sees it.

In his news conference today, President Bush excoriated the Democrats for ignoring national security in the midst of a war on terror and instead focusing on extending the federal government into health care for poor children. He pointed out the gross unfairness in asking General Hucksby to decide whether fingernail-pulling is torture, saying, "because, you see, the use of this technique is classified".

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on November 9, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I will be voting accordingly in 2008.

That worked very well for us in 2000. Suck it up, write letters, give time and money, and fantasize about primary challenges. It would be nice to get enough of a majority to demote Lieberman to the assistant chairperson of the pocket-lint regulations subcommitee (heck, if I were in charge, I would ensure that such a committee were formed just for that purpose).

Posted by: dr2chase on November 9, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

we really do need someone running the Justice Department

I disagree. The W. Bush Justice Dept. can do no good for the country. Mr. Drum offers no reasons why or what he thinks Justice will do that needs to be done. Justice will not be going after corporate or environmental criminals, or any law breakers of great consequence. Mostly Justice, under Mukasey, will be providing legal cover for increased domestic surveillance, more torture and political prosecutions.

Political prosecutions will increase. W. Bush and his Republicans, led by Mukasey, will desperately try and use the power of political prosecutions to save their political power.

Posted by: Brojo on November 9, 2007 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid that even your glass-empty position is excessively optimistic. As I put it elsewhere:

Kevin is apparently consoling himself with the idea that even though Mukasey won't declare waterboarding to be torture, in his heart of hearts he believes it and is therefore OK.

http://letters.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/09/filibuster/permalink/5449ef6fd9f47b77ae897fac58c4520f.html

Posted by: Paul Dirks on November 9, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

The W. Bush Justice Dept. can do no good for the country.

Posted by: Brojo

I agree. And it was a huge tactical error to make waterboarding and torture the central issue in Mukasey's confirmation and then when he, predictably, hedged his position on whether waterboarding is torture, go ahead and confirm him anyway.

Posted by: Econobuzz on November 9, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

It really is incredible that this far away from the 2008 election, the Democratic presidential candidates could not break away from schlepping across the cornfields of Iowa or the forests of New Hampshire for one day to return to Washington D.C. for the Mukasey confirmation vote.

It either says the process of being elected trumps working on the business of running the American government (which is owned by the people, by the way) or the Democrats are too cowardly to take a stand on an ideologically flawed nominee.

Either one tells me that our democratic republic is in serious trouble...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 9, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK
I will be voting accordingly in 2008. That worked very well for us in 2000. Suck it up, write letters, give time and money, and fantasize about primary challenges. It would be nice to get enough of a majority to demote Lieberman to the assistant chairperson of the pocket-lint regulations subcommitee (heck, if I were in charge, I would ensure that such a committee were formed just for that purpose).

I don't give a fig about your judgement on how well or poorly that tactic worked last time. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO YOU VOTE FOR BECAUSE THE OUTCOME IS THE SAME. The Dems are in the "majority" but they are behaving precisely as if they are in the minority (and yes, they DO have the votes to stop most bad bills and appointments, plus OTHER tools). The GOP is behaving precisely the way they did in the majority and it works. NOTHING changes, nothing is going to change. The old saw about weak Dems IS TRUE. That, and the Dems are just as corrupt as the GOP so of course outcomes will be corrupt.

I will NOT vote the lessor evil anymore because there IS no lessor evil.

I will NOT vote Dem anymore.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

It either says the process of being elected trumps working on the business of running the American government (which is owned by the people, by the way) or the Democrats are too cowardly to take a stand on an ideologically flawed nominee.

Or C) that Reid didn't give them enough lead time to get back to DC for the vote:

Thursday’s vote came as bit of surprise. Earlier in the day, Reid said he was not sure whether there would be a filibuster on the nomination, which would have required 60 votes to break. The majority leader signaled that a vote could even be delayed until after the two-week Thanksgiving recess, which starts at the end of next week.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly so-called progressives are to dump on any or all of the Dem candidates at the least provocation.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with a little extraordinary rendition amongst friends?

Posted by: steve duncan on November 9, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

What can we do to Schumer and Feinstein for this? This is beyond anything else. This is treason to the country.

We need to do something besides spit on them.

Posted by: MNPundit on November 9, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

The dark night has descended upon us, permanently! No point in dreaming about your next vote, prisoners in the detention camps are always deprived of voting rights. I just hope the suffering will build character.

Posted by: adroit on November 9, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 9, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Look at it this way. At least we didn't get the outright lying answers of Roberts and Alito. As to Schumer and Feinstein,we should be used to the weasel reasoning of politicians by now.

Posted by: wlgriffi on November 9, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

If you are in the military...it is time to get out.

I thought that time had long since past.

Posted by: ckelly on November 9, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

As far as we know, waterboarding has been used to question 3 enemy prisoners, high-level terrorists all. However, it's also been used as part of the training on a substantial number of our own service personnel.

Kevin and most posters here claim to believe that waterboarding is torture, but I think they're spoofing. If they were serious, would they not be railing against widespread torture of American servicemen by our own military?

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 9, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal, the only thing to be railing against is your tortured logic.

Posted by: Xenos on November 9, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, ex-liberal...so you are on record calling out the two military men, one a Navy SERE trainer who has done the waterboarding for the survival training, liars? The USAF interrogator called it torture and ineffective, as ALL torture is ineffective (in fact, one of the "facts" used to get us into the Iraq war was made up out of whole (wet) cloth by one of these "high value" detainees in response to this torture. It was bogus). The Navy guy flat-out said it IS torture. Full stop.

So Mr Rambo, are you on record calling true interrogation experts and torture experts liars? Will YOU undergo waterboarding to bolster your words that it isn't torture? You can you know. It has been done and in EVERY case, the voluntary test-driver declared it most assuredly torture.

You are a coward and a sociopath.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I totally agree with Kenji upthread when he wrote:

"The shameful part is that the Dems didn't even demand anything of him, other than the fact that he not be Gonzales -- a quality he shares with just about every other being on the planet."

What? They are in power and they couldn't wring one little concession from him? I don't know, like a real investigation into what went down during the former AG's tenure? That's what they got during the Nixon administration.

But they couldn't get ANYTHING?

p.s. Glad to say my Senator, Jim Webb, voted against. That's about the only bright spot for me. Otherwise, the glass is pretty much empty.

Posted by: LAS on November 9, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

p.s. Glad to say my Senator, Jim Webb, voted against. That's about the only bright spot for me. Otherwise, the glass is pretty much empty.

Heh. Yet he didn't stand so strongly against torture that he voted "nay" on cloture did he? Not a single Democrat voted "nay" on cloture. They let this whole thing pass all sneaky and quietly as possible with no real resistance.

None of them are clean.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin and most posters here claim to believe that waterboarding is torture, but I think they're spoofing. If they were serious, would they not be railing against widespread torture of American servicemen by our own military?

In addition to the obvious bad faith of this post -- it must have givent you a special, sick thrill to post it, "ex-liberal," you disgusting neocon scum -- it must be pointed out that "ex-liberal" has been told, repepatedly, that there hasn't been any question about whether waterboarding is torture since the Inquisition, until the 28%ers needed to defend the craven and abohorrent behavior of the Bush Administration. (Bonus points for using the buzzwords "enemy prosioners" and "high level terrorists"; did anyone get Wingnut Bingo on that one?

One wonders when Kevin's moderator(s) will find "ex-liberal"'s dishonest repetition sufficiently annoying.

Posted by: Gregory on November 9, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO YOU VOTE FOR BECAUSE THE OUTCOME IS THE SAME.

Do you honestly think that President Gore would have pulled all the crazy shit that President Bush did? We would not even have ended up in Irq, never mind the torture, mismanagement, and corruption. The national guard, and all their equipment, would stiill be available for helping out during natural disasters. We would not have blown quite such a hole in the federal budget, we would not be quite so badly in hock to China, the dollar would not have drifted to exciting new lows against the Euro and the Loonie. Perhaps we would have moved towards improved automotive fuel economy (seems likely, given Gore's history) which would take some of the sting out of the current oil price pinch.

If you can't see the difference, maybe you shouldn't be voting for anyone. My guess is, you're really a new breed of Republican troll, who's realized that the only hope for the next election is to get as many liberals as possible to sit on their hands.

Posted by: dr2chase on November 9, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Do you honestly think that President Gore would have pulled all the crazy shit that President Bush did?

Not at all, but the world (and country) is now a TOTALLY different place. It is unrecognizable now. The same rules don't apply and there are NO redeeming Dems in the field. They ALWAYS vote the way to ensure a GOP victory. Or at least on things that TRULY matter.

This isn't 2000. Not by a LONG shot. We are now a country that tortures and that is A-OK.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

dr2chase, why has Gore not been the leader for the antiwar movement? Why hasn't Gore led every antiwar march?

Global warming is an important issue and I am glad Gore has brought attention to it, but I would have preferred he use his national leadership position to lead the antiwar campaign. Gore and Edwards have shunned the antiwar movement and left it without a legitimate nationally recognized leader, even though they no longer held office. This lack of real leadership by Gore diminishes your expectations of what his presidency would have been like, not to mention Robert Rubin's influence on him.

Posted by: Brojo on November 9, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

We are now a country that tortures and that is A-OK.

Remember all those movies where the hero was tortured by the villain to show just how heinous the villain really was? War movies, Rambo, Chuck Norris... Now we "split hairs" as to the definition of torture and cheer Jack Bauer.

Posted by: ckelly on November 9, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

dr2chase, why has Gore not been the leader for the antiwar movement? Why hasn't Gore led every antiwar march?

How on earth would I know that? My point is simply that it is completely incorrect to declare that there is no difference; President Gore would almost certainly have been a better choice, President Kerry would almost certainly have been a better choice. When the next election comes, there is NO Republican candidate that would be a better choice than ANY Democratic candidate. Staying home because you thought someone else should have won the primary is counterproductive and stupid, and anyone who didn't learn that in 2000 is just too damn stupid to argue with.

I am unclear on exactly what games are being played right now by the D's; I don't understand why they let this one slide, but I am guessing that they figured they had more to lose than to gain. I do know that if the Rs were still in charge, Mukasey would not be AG, because Gonzalez would still be there.

Posted by: dr2chase on November 9, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming is an important issue and I am glad Gore has brought attention to it, but I would have preferred he use his national leadership position to lead the antiwar campaign.

GW is *the* issue of the century; as important as the Iraqi War is, it pales in comparison, if for no other reason than being an oil war, it is a subset of the GW issue.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

OH MY GOD.

From Josh over at TMP - (I can see why he doesn't allow comments on his own post.)

I don't think there's any question that President Bush will not allow an AG to be seated during his administration who will not at least tacitly okay the use of torture. If he didn't get Mukasey we more than likely would have stuck with the even worse choice of Keisler. The contrary argument would be that the Senate did not need to affirm lawlessness in principle as it arguably now has.

We now know that Bush is waterboarding people, why else would Bush need a lawyer who refuses to say it's illegal to torture people, in fact, we also know why Bush bypassed the FISA court(Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) because Bush was wiretapping domestic calls and emails and not merely foreign survellance, and Bush was doing so without a warrant, and so, when you find the president is breaking the law - you set forth rules of impeachment.

NOT go find a torture approving and wiretap approving lawyer/ex-judge and than say, it could be worse as an excuse.

Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum are simply making cheap partisan excuses for congressional Dems to support all of Bush illegal activities.

If a Sheriff in TX must do 10 year in the pen for Waterboarding, why can’t Bush also be prosecuted for this act? The fact of matter is Bush is above the law precisely and ONLY because Dems are allowing Bush to be above the law.

If we agree with Josh and Kevin - than we agree that Bush and Cheney can torture and wiretap whenever they want.

We cannot say we are a nation of laws, if Bush is not required to follow the law. Torturing people is a particulary heinous act, that this president and his VP have most definitely had their hands in the approving of it. AND lets face it, Nixon was impeached for much less. MY GOD, how many rules of US Constitution does Bush get to openly break before we impeach and prosecuted him and law breaking VP?

Posted by: Me_again on November 9, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

an oil war

That probably is the best answer to my question about why Gore has not led the antiwar movement.

Why has Gore not been the leader for the anti-Bush movement? Why hasn't Gore led every anti-Bush march?

Posted by: Brojo on November 9, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

What I wonder is now that Mukasey is in the office, what will come of the Contempt of Congress citations the AG has been stonewalling? As someone said in the debate before the vote last night, it is a matter of law, not a matter of convenience or whim or opinion, that a Contempt of Congress citation MUST be acted upon by the Justice Department.

So will those who "held their noses" because Mukasy was "the best deal we could get" actually, you know, press ahead with getting some results from those Contempt actions? Just like I wonder if a law will be proposed outlawing waterboarding; it was one of the talking points by Shumer, if I recall, so will he even make that gesture? Of course, as someone has pointed out above, passing such a law might narrow the scope of torture regulation, but, since the international outlaws are already doing it, perhaps it will finally be brought to a head.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on November 9, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

With the telephone companies immunity offer looming on the horizon, want to bet Kevin Drum and Josh Marshalls will give us the same old autopilot, glass half-full dance routine?

Why do we elect Dems when the give Bush everything he wants the same as Republicans did?

Congressional Dems don't give a damn what we voters think, don't give a damn about the law and that Bush is torturing, and it's turely nasty that they have gone out of their way to find a nice torture okaying lawyer for Bush.

Mukasey is NOT ANY different that Gonzale and he is certainly worse that Ashcroft.

Posted by: Me_again on November 9, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

They coulda been contenders. They had 44 votes,they coulda filibustered..but they wimped again!

How do I hate thee? Let me list the ways…

No spines,chickenshit, backbone of a chocolate eclair, wimps,republican enablers, wine-drinking, hedge-funded surrender rabbits, toads.

Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on November 9, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

After the Committee vote, the members gave final statements that were on C-SPAN. Well worth watching -- it will probably be on again during the weekend. Among the highlights:

Senator Cardin gave one of the best anti-Mukasey speeches, including these points:
- After WWII, the US prosecuted Japanese soldiers specifically for using waterboarding on US personnel.
- The Army Field Manual specifically prohibits waterboarding.

Feinstein, Schumer, and Graham (who is anti-torture but voted for Mukasey) justified their votes by saying that, if Congress specifically outlaws waterboarding, Mukasey will accept that as law. Cardin cried foul, saying that Congress cannot pass legislation on every possible form of torture. In his words: "are we going to have to outlaw the rack, specifically, too?"

Posted by: JS on November 9, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
. Liberal Democrats have lost agan. meathead republican at 11:32 AM
Decent Americans, the rule of law, and justice have lost. Posted by: Mike on November 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Feinstein, Schumer, and Graham (who is anti-torture but voted for Mukasey) justified their votes by saying that, if Congress specifically outlaws waterboarding, Mukasey will accept that as law.

Since waterboarding is already specifically outlawed (by treaty), and Mukasey doesn't accept that as law, I'd say that Schumer et al are being either stupid or disingenuous.

Posted by: Disputo on November 9, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you see people? If they specifically outlaw waterboarding then ex post facto protections go into effect and NO ONE involved in ordering the torture or conducting the torture before the law is passed can be prosecuted for it. This is Schumer's, Feinstein's, and Graham's way of getting Bush off the hook, granting amnesty, for their illegal actions. I'm sure we can count on more of the same as Bush's term winds down. All sorts of sneaky ways to ensure that Bush/Cheney can NEVER EVER be held to account for ANYTHING they've done.

Disgusting. There must be NO LAW addressing the legality of waterboarding. So long as it remains illegal (though "ambiguous" only to Bushites) then they are culpable and nicely prosecutable.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Waiting for Schumer and/or Feinstein to introduce a bill outlawing waterboarding.

Posted by: JS on November 9, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

I have written to Senator Cardin, who expressed outrage that Schumer would suggest passing a law to expressly ban waterboarding. He stated that it is outrageous that we should have to single out waterboarding or any other torture technique for a ban and that does this mean we also have to pass legislation banning the use of the rack?

He is absolutely correct, but there is more. Passing such a law would give ex post facto protection to all the guilty parties involved in waterboarding (torturing) prisoners up to the time of the law's passage. Unacceptable. I asked Cardin to do whatever he can to prevent such a bill from coming forward and, if he fails at that, I asked that he poison it by adding an amendment demanding that the Japanese convicted specifically for waterboarding US troops in WWII be exonerated.

There must be NO LAW BANNING WATERBOARDING OR DECLARING IT TORTURE. It IS torture, has always been torture, and it is redundant and destructive to come back and now re-declare it illegal. No immunity for anyone involved in any way with waterboarding!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 9, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK
Since waterboarding is already specifically outlawed (by treaty)

Waterboarding is clearly within the scope of the US statute implementing the Convention against Torture (&c.), too. Its not just treaty, its U.S. domestic criminal law.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 9, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK
If they specifically outlaw waterboarding then ex post facto protections go into effect and NO ONE involved in ordering the torture or conducting the torture before the law is passed can be prosecuted for it.

More importantly, then the goalposts get moved again, as a slight variation of the procedure is applied, and it is asserted that the new procedure isn't waterboarding, but if you want to outlaw this new one, we'll enforce that law, too...

Ad nauseum.

The real problem, of course, is that, fundamentally, criminal law alone is an ineffective check on the executive branch. The only way to check the executive branch is for the legislative branch to do its job, not to rely on the executive branch to self-police when the legislative branch won't impose any consequence for the deliberate failure to do so.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 9, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone, please, QUICKLY, instruct the Democrats in the Senate on how to use a filibuster, aka vote on cloture?

The didn't use it to stop Bush's tax cuts, they haven't used it to stop funding this insane war, and now they can't use it to stop a perjurer? (WHO the F doesn't know "the details" of waterboarding?)

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 9, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, this is why there was all that hoopla about "illegal enemy combatants". The idea was to define these prisoners in a way that made both treaties and US law inapplicable to them.

And I think that this point will be used again if any prosecution regarding US torture is ever pursued by any party.

Posted by: JS on November 9, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Both of Montana's senators voted against Mukasey. Neither of New York's did.

Posted by: Ross Best on November 9, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

time to give harry reid the hook? har to see any real leadership here, just accomidation after accomidation, get along go alone.

Not the right leader for these times.

Posted by: jimmy bob on November 9, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

He should have been disqualified on the second day of hearings, when he came back with a whole new look on life. The administration clearly go to him. He isn't independent, and rejecting him was just the slap in the face the Bush Adminstration needed. That, and putting impeachment on the damn table, where it belongs.

Posted by: cmac on November 9, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, I think it's sheer fantasy to consider the Democrats as anything but complicit in the fiasco of the past 7 years. Not architects perhaps, but enablers decidedly.

I feel expecting opposition from Democrats borders on the mentally ill.

The Democrats made a deal to confirm Mukasey in exchange they received the ability to continue to fund the war.

as a poster from TPM said:
Sadly, this makes perfect sense.

Posted by: jackifus on November 9, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "We've got an attorney general who acts like a refugee from a communist reeducation camp, dutifully reciting party-line nonsense dictated by his superiors even though he plainly doesn't believe a word of it. What a shameful episode."

The folks I know who spent over two years in "a communist reeducation camp" refused to recite party-line nonsense upon release.
Better men than I, and perhaps you.

Posted by: majarosh on November 10, 2007 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

We only get recess appointments when Congress is not in session. Vote the torturers down, and keep Congress in session. (Bonus-- no more recess appointments for ambassadors, US attorneys,...)

Posted by: jamie_2002 on November 10, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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