Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 24, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

FILIBUSTERING FISA....So after a full year of allowing Republicans to filibuster every bill in sight by merely declaring their intent, Harry Reid has finally decided that he's going to start demanding real filibusters from obstructionist senators. You want to stop a bill, then get out the phone book and start talking, boys and girls.

And who's the unlucky target of this newfound show of backbone? Fellow Democrat Chris Dodd, it turns out. If someone can explain this in words that make sense, I'd sure like to hear it.

Mark Kleiman suggests that Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton, if she's also willing) should make a statement by leaving the campaign trail and returning to Washington to stand together with Dodd on his filibuster of the FISA bill. I wouldn't count on that happening, but it's a good idea. It would be nice to see one or both of them showing a little leadership on this.

Kevin Drum 2:06 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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"It would be nice to see one or both of them showing a little leadership on this."

It'd be nice to see Coke and Pepsi following Edwards' lead on the issue.

Posted by: Petey on January 24, 2008 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

"I wouldn't count on that happening, but it's a good idea."

Kevin,

It's not a good idea, it's a great idea. If people are tired of hearing about leadership from any of our presidential candidates, here's a case for each of them to put some strut in their talk. I'd like to see Hillary and Obama join Dodd, and I'd like to see Edwards do a presser in front of the capital. It'd actually be nice to see all of them use their fame and prowess, to change the media narrative on this subject.

Posted by: KC on January 24, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

First one to do it gets my vote Feb 5th.

Posted by: Robert Earle on January 24, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

No way that Clinton or Obama will even speak up on the issue.

Posted by: luci on January 24, 2008 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

A spineless conclave of money grubbing whores.

The lot of'em!

Posted by: TB on January 24, 2008 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

I think the Dodd approach only works when there's already a real groundswell of support for significant change (as in the 30s, 60s, and 80s, for example) — and as much as I hate to say it, I just don't see that at the moment.

Posted by: antiphone on January 24, 2008 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid--traitor to his own Senators--has been shoring up the Republican slime machine without forcing their hand. What a maroon!

Posted by: parrot on January 24, 2008 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Harry Reid has finally done something useful. Good for him.

Posted by: Brian on January 24, 2008 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

As a Nevada resident, I have written to Reid - calling on him to respect the rule of law by using the power of his office in forcing the issue in the FISA bill and in issuing contempt citations to presidential advisors in the AS Attorney firing scandals. And stop being Ol' Harry spineless republiscum collaborator.

The twit's e-mail message system is at reid.senate.gov Give him both barrels.

Posted by: natural cynic on January 24, 2008 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

Reid has jumped the shark, and it's time for him to get tossed.

Posted by: Jimm on January 24, 2008 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

Reid wants to be able to speak out against telecom immunity while allowing it to go forward. Not saying it makes sense, but thats whats going on.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: Carolyn Kay on January 24, 2008 at 4:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary will never support the filibuster. If Obama were smart, he would. His campaign needs a little spark and he'd get plenty of free national media coverage. Hillary has put Obama off his game. A little break from the campaign would do him well.

Posted by: fostert on January 24, 2008 at 5:08 AM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid is utterly worthless - no leadership skills whatsoever. Pelosi the same. In a decent world, Obama and Hillary would be taking time out from campaigning to vote on the impeachment trials of Richard Bruce Cheney and George Walker Bush. Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 24, 2008 at 5:49 AM | PERMALINK

I will personally pay for the catheter that Dodd will unfortunately have to wear in order to filibuster the FISA obscenity.

Is there really only one politician in the House and Senate with some shred of decency??

Posted by: Anon on January 24, 2008 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't count on that happening, but it's a good idea. It would be nice to see one or both of them showing a little leadership on this.

Boy, that's real support right there Kevin. Why do we demand so little of our senators and candidates?

How about Kevin you use the power of the blogosphere to boycott any and all donations from the netroots of any candidate that doesn't support the filibuster and Dodd? How about presenting a list of campaign stops and asking the netroots to show up with posters and signs at each one demanding they support Dodd?

Posted by: jerry on January 24, 2008 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

Your post could be read to suggest that Reid will demand real filibusters from Republicans int he future -- but I think Reid has made it clear that it's only on this FISA bill that he's going to demand real filibusters from Democratic senators.

He's more of a tool than your post implies.

Posted by: Tom Burka on January 24, 2008 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I believe the term is: "Hoisted by your own, Petard."

LOL, I love it!

Posted by: egbert on January 24, 2008 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

"First one to do it gets my vote Feb 5th."

Ditto.

Stop talking about leadership and start leading.

Posted by: TR on January 24, 2008 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

I believe the term is: "Hoisted by your own, Petard."

Actually, it isn't. Not grammatically, and not metaphorically.

Posted by: Bryan on January 24, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

The dynamics of a filibuster make it far more of a PITA for the non filibustering side. All the side making the filibuster needs do is to have one Senator on the floor at a given time. So add in a couple of backups and you can do it with three people.

To stop the filibuster you need to make a quorum call whenever it is made. So the GOP is going to really rather expect McCain to be in D.C. for a quorum call for an unpopular bill rather than stumping in Florida.

Opponents of the bill can stump in Florida, go to Davos, whatever they like. Supporters have to be in the Senate offices to make the quorum calls.

Posted by: PHB on January 24, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck Reid, and fuck the Dems. Geebus, what pathetic losers.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 24, 2008 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are without question the worst legislators in the country's history. Are they being paid by the Republican party? At this point it's gone so far beyond calling to ask them not to be criminal anencephalics, it's just pointless--what would you ask them? "How, when you look yourself in the mirror late at night, can you not have the decency to kill yourself?"

Posted by: q on January 24, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats: Useless as tits on a boar

Posted by: Helena Montana on January 24, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

If someone can explain this in words that make sense, I'd sure like to hear it.

Me too.

The usual answer is that somebody is getting paid. Who's filling Reid's pockets?

The answer really needs to come from Reid and the rest of the so-called Democratic leadership. They have taken dives before, and a few kindhearted people have stepped forward to explain how their apparently craven behavior is actually part of the larger Democratic strategy. That may temporarily calm Democrats who feel betrayed, but it won't work in the long run.

If Reid, Pelosi, Clinton (OK, both Clintons), Obama, and Edwards can't stand up and publicly justify their behavior on the basis of democratic (small-d and big-D) principles, they can't build the party and they are squandering their privileged positions. Kucinich has no problem with this, let the chips fall where they may. He shouldn't be marginalized when Democrats gather to talk about what matters to them and to the country.

Posted by: Boolaboola on January 24, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

If someone can explain this in words that make sense, I'd sure like to hear it.

It's easy. The telecom companies are the Senate's actual constituents.

Posted by: neil on January 24, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Loathsome as the effect of his 2000 run was, Nader was right.

Posted by: gregor on January 24, 2008 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

In 363 days, a democratic president can use those powers against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Not that I think there is a vindictive bone in any democratic candidates body, but still it is nice to have those arrows in their quiver should they wish to listen to the plans of the enemies of the democratic party.
Surely a little thing like ex post facto immunity for crimes commmitted is a small price to pay.

Posted by: CK on January 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Stop talking about leadership and start leading.

Talking works better than acting.

Reid could run for President in 2012 by campaigning as an "experienced fighter who will change DC politics by standing up for the little guy" and people would vote for him.

Dodd actually did run for President in 2008 and hardly anyone voted for him.

Posted by: ao on January 24, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

If someone can explain this in words that make sense, I'd sure like to hear it.

Step1: Cheney used his pals in the telcos to listen in on Harry Reid's phone calls, and got some really damaging dirt.

Step2: apply blackmail pressure on Reid to get a telcom immunity bill passed, blame can be directed to telcom lobbyists, no one likes them anyway.

Step3: Profit!

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki on January 24, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

First one to do it gets my vote Feb 5th.

Ditto.

Posted by: lobbygow on January 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Why are tits on a boar useless? If I understand correctly, boar is a mammalian species with both male and female members, so tits would probably be very helpful....

Posted by: jerry on January 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Hoisted by your own, Petard."

Egbert, a "petard" is a long pike or spear. When someone is said to have been "hoisted on his own petard" he is said to have been stuck in the belly and picked up with his own pike. For a pikeman there was no more humiliating way to die. It meant the enemy was able to grab his long weapon out of his own hands, turn it around and kill him with it. Only a real loser would let that happen.

In modern parlance it means somebody who has been beaten with his own argument.

There is no comma between own and petard and "Petard" isn't a proper name.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 24, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

PETARD-
-- A small bell-shaped bomb used to breach a gate or wall.
-- A loud firecracker.
[French pétard, from Old French, from peter, to break wind, from pet, a breaking of wind, from Latin pēditum, from neuter past participle of pēdere, to break wind.]

WORD HISTORY The French used pétard, “a loud discharge of intestinal gas,” for a kind of infernal engine for blasting through the gates of a city. “To be hoist by one's own petard,” a now proverbial phrase apparently originating with Shakespeare's Hamlet (around 1604) not long after the word entered English (around 1598), means “to blow oneself up with one's own bomb, be undone by one's own devices.” The French noun pet, “fart,” developed regularly from the Latin noun pēditum, from the Indo-European root *pezd–, “fart.”

Source: Answers.com

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 24, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal I learn something every day, explain the use of the world "hoisted?"

Posted by: corpus juris on January 24, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

I seen now, when you step onto your own bomb you are hoisted into the air by the explosion. Damn, although I have always understood the sense of the phrase, (falling into your own trap) I have been wrong as to the precise meaning of the phrase for 50 years. Ex-liberal thank you for setting me straight.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 24, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is absolutely dead on balls right on this one.

No way should the same standard apply to Democrats as to the Republicans. If Harry Reid wants to force filibusters, it should be on the Republicans only.

He is the majority leader isn't he? He can do this, can't he?

Posted by: dave on January 24, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

foisted with a Nevadan retard

Posted by: B on January 24, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, like it or not, so long as you continue to warmonger, the question is legitimate.

How many deferments did you ask for and receive during the ten years you were draft-eligible?

Do you ever stop to think about the men who went in your place?

When you lay awake at night does the realization that you are a pathetic coward ever come creeping in to haunt you?

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 24, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

In 363 days, a democratic president can use those powers against all enemies foreign and domestic.


While the Repubs play hardball to win every battle, the liberals, completely ignoring the dissonance between their stance and their leaders', are always saying that just wait for the next victory, and all will be well.

I don't think that the things will change all that much with Obama or Hillary at the helm, if at all that happens.

Posted by: gregor on January 24, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

This FISA bill is a perfect example of what is wrong with American democracy. As far as the beltway Democrats like Harry Reid are concerned the telecoms are their real constituents. We rank and file Democrats are all just suckers who they regularly con.

Are you beginning to understand why Huckabee's evangelical supporters are disaffected from the mainstream Republicans? They are expected to do all the work and cast all their considerable votes for Republican officeholders while the elected Republicans do what they are told by the corporations.

It's the same with Harry Reid and the Democratic beltway leadership. We are expected to send them money, organize locally and do all the voting, while they do the bidding of the big corporations.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 24, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's less complicated (and less craven) than everyone is making it out to be.

The Dems, Reid included, don't support immunity for the telcos. But they have likely been promised that the GOP will play nice if and only if the FISA bill contains a provision for retroactive immunity.

OK, whatever, says Reid. Better to put through what they consider to be the essential parts of the FISA bill (even with the odious immunity rider) than to face the ads in the fall: "Senator X voted AGAINST listening to terrorists' phone calls!"

Of course, for all this bipartisan comity, I think the Dems are kidding themselves if they expect any quarter to be given come November, cooperative bipartisan legislation or not.

For the life of me, I can't understand why the lefty talking heads don't keep hammering away at the message that the GOP have been obstructing everything of interest to the people for the past year. But with this upcoming filibuster they will have a great opportunity to remind people who the real obstructionists are.

Posted by: Ben on January 24, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Edwards at least has made a statement.

Early in the campaign season, I was looking and waiting for Clinton or Obama to step forward on FISA and similar issues, and they kept waffling and tiptoeing. I finally gave up on them both.

(I realize Edwards isn't a sitting Senator and can't take the floor, so it's easier for him to step forward, but it still matters to me that he does).

What I see in Obama and Clinton is that they're willing to lead if other people do it first and take the heat....

Posted by: zmulls on January 24, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Egbert, a "petard" is a long pike or spear.

Actually, no. A petard was the medieval name for a small bomb or grenade, most commonly used to blow up castle walls. To be hoisted by one's own petard is to be a bombmaker blown up by one's own bomb, as we see in Shakespeare's lines "For 'tis the sport to have the engineer/ Hoist with his own petar"

In present day French "petard" is a firecracker.

Posted by: Stefan on January 24, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Reid has been an unmitigated, miserable failure. A political invertebrate. Dodd should have gotten majority leader. Can we have a re-do?

Posted by: Tom in Houston on January 24, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

My God such ignorance. I have to give ex-liberal (and others) props for knowing what a "Petard" is, and it is NOT the Captain of the Enterprise.

"Hoisted by one's own petard" is a joke, a pun by Shakespeare.

As ex-liberal's answer shows, it comes from the French word for fart, so it can also mean "lifted by one's own fart." Haha. Scatological humor. Now go look up scatological.

Geeze, all the resources of the internet and people still don't use them.

Posted by: Tripp on January 24, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

the issue is surely on the radar of the candidates' camps but I doubt they will act unless enough noise is made by concerned citizens aka voters

Reid's handling of the matter has taught me Washington is even more rotten than I imagined.

And there's no advantage for corporate owned media to highlight the story, is there?

Posted by: don'tknow on January 24, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see one or both of them showing a little leadership on this.


Dream on. They're both probably waiting to see what the other will do.

Posted by: kc on January 24, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Why is Reid so afraid?

Posted by: al on January 24, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

q: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are without question the worst legislators in the country's history.

Let's see, Tom DeLay, Phil Graham, any senator from Mississippi ... Jeez, not to defend Reid, but there's a long list of worse legislators in the last 200+ years.

Posted by: anandine on January 24, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats: Useless as tits on a boar

That's not fair. They've been very helpful to the GOP.

Posted by: kc on January 24, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, et all: it's "Hoist" by one's own petard. While "petard" may be a French slang term for fart, it is an old word for a bomb, common long before Shakespeare.

See wikipedia" "A petard was a medieval small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications. In a typical implementation, it was commonly either a conical or rectangular metal object containing 5 or 6 pounds of gun powder, activated with a slow match used as a fuse. It was often placed either inside tunnels under walls, or directly upon gates. When placed inside a tunnel under a wall and exploded, large amounts of air would often be released from the tunnel, as the tunnel collapsed. By securing the device firmly to the gate, the shape of the device allows the concussive pressure of the blast to be applied entirely towards the destruction of the gate. Depending on design, a petard could be secured by propping it against the gate using beams as illustrated, or nailing it in place by way of a wooden board fixed to the end of the petard in advance."

Posted by: anandine on January 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Confucius say must bend like the Reid.

Posted by: Luther on January 24, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

[dishonesty deleted]

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 24, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Disappointment with Democratic Congressional and presidential leaders for supporting authoritarian policies is something that progressives, liberals and leftists had better become used to. Supporting 'electable' candidates, rather than candidates who actually do the things progressives, liberals and leftists desire, will inevitably lead to a continuing erosion of equality, liberty and egality.

Why the supporters of conventional Democratic politicians should expect their chosen leaders to deliver anything but Republican policies is the real question that should be asked. Despite continued failure and betrayal, progressives, liberals and many leftists are unable to expand their political choices from either the neoconservative Republicans or the conservative Democrats. Their opponents, both Republican and Democratic, are counting on them to continue to have such a limited view of the political world.

Posted by: Brojo on January 24, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

However, during the Vietnamese War, liberals like Lucy claimed that the war was unjust. They excoriated American soldiers who did serve. They called our soldiers "baby-killers" and accused them of outrageous atrocities. Liberals spat on returing soldiers.

You are a liar in addition to being a loathsome coward.

It was the American Legion who spat on returning veterans, not liberals. And you know that. But you lie effortlessly.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 24, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

[dishonesty deleted]

Where "ex-liberal" is concerned, deleting dishonesty will keep the mod(s) busy...

Posted by: Gregory on January 24, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

anandine,

So it has come to citing Wikipedia as a source?!

As ex-liberal's cite from answer.com says, the word petard entered English about six years before Shakespeare used it, and it came from the old French and ultimately Latin word meaning 'to break wind loudly.'

You may choose to believe that Shakespeare was unaware of the origination of the word and was not intending to pun. I hope you can concede that the French were aware of the original meaning when they used the word to apply to small explosives, or perhaps it was just a happy coincidence.

Okay, so the French were punning (oh those French) and Shakespeare, being an ignorant hack, inadvertently used the same pun.

Believe what you want, it is no matter to me.

Posted by: Tripp on January 24, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

We sit here in our little blogoshere circle jerk while Bush and a complicit media and tacit congress burn the the place down.

How many graphs should we gape at before we are truly agents of change? How many data points do we rub massage into our temples before we think we are better than Chris Matthews? How many polls are we going to compare as we pretend are considerations are so superior to Maureen Dowd's?

We have a real issue here and all we can muster is that it would be a good idea if the next president of America should show a little leadership before allowing the Rule of Law to be further eroded?

Really? You think that would be a good idea?

Full disclosure: I too and am card-carrying clown.
And I have, and will continue to have the government I deserve.

Posted by: John Stephen Lewis on January 24, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan, Tripp

You all didn't read my next post. I acknowledged my error.

If you are simply rubbing it in, I am a big boy, I can take it. Next time read a few posts further before you demonstrate your broad knowledge.

No Tripp, I don't always go to the internet to verify every statement. I knew the meaning. I was mistaken about the context. I am an old man. I first studied Shakespeare 40-45 years ago. I guess Mrs. Moore didn't want to talk about farts.

For you moderators who like to stifle him, in this particular instance ex-liberal got it right first.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 24, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary will flat out not do this or even consider it. Reid just delivered her the Nevada state caucus(yes there is an argument over that, but she owes him a lot regardless.) His son was here state chair!

So what an opportunity for Obama. The Clintons are pounding him over the Reagan comments, trying to paint him as not really progressive, as too naive and bi-partisan. He can steal a march on her and make a huge leap with the netroots and the base. While she is handcuffed (and too cautious by a half), he can seal up the nomination in one fell
"Mr. Smith goes to Washington" swoop....

Posted by: BLH on January 24, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Don't hold any petards waiting for any of the leading Democratic candidates to even mention FISA, let alone support Dodd, it causes bad breath.

Posted by: Brojo on January 24, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

corpus juris,

I guess Mrs. Moore didn't want to talk about farts.

I am on old man too - old enough to finally express my frustration at ignorance when I see it. FWIW my HS Latin teacher didn't explain what irrumpere meant either. It took college to learn that.

I rail against a high-school level of knowledge passed of as if it is authoritative. I rail against the short-sightedness of our culture. This will sound incredibly arrogant but sometimes I feel like Cassandra.

Anyway, I gave props to ex-liberal. That is what is so maddening about him. He clearly is able to think and yet has closed his mind to anything but discredited talking points.

Posted by: Tripp on January 24, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal ate W. Bush's shit and liked it.

ex-liberal's knowledge of Middle French is worthless for political discourse, and the leading Democratic presidential candidates' are worthless opponents to the authoritarian petards of Republicans.

Posted by: Brojo on January 24, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here are a couple of Senator contacts:

When filling out the contact page, I generally use a variation on their office address for streets and zipcodes that the forms require.

Harry Reid's contact page

Carson City
600 East William Street, #302
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-7343 / Fax: 775-883-1980

Las Vegas
Lloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: 702-388-5020 / Fax: 702-388-5030

Jay Rockefeller Contact page

Beckley
220 North Kanawha Street
Suite 1
25801-4514
(304) 253-9704
(304) 253-2578 Fax

Martinsburg
217 West King Street
Suite 307
25401-3211

Posted by: Mike on January 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

"First one to do it gets my vote Feb 5th."

Ditto.

At this point I'm currently undecided, and may not bother voting.

Posted by: DR on January 24, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's office is saying that he supports the issue and is going back to Washington to support it.

I called Boxer, Obama, Clinton and Kerry this morning regarding it (although Hillary's number was busy).

* Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553
* Sherrod Brown: (202) 224-2315
* Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323
* Ted Kennedy: (202) 224-4543
* Bill Nelson: (202) 224-5274
* Ron Wyden: (202) 224-5244
* Joe Biden: (202) 224-5042
* Hillary Clinton: (202) 224-4451
* John Kerry: (202) 224-2742
* Bob Menendez: (202) 224-2742
* Barack Obama: (202) 224-2854
* Ben Cardin: (202) 224-4524
* Norm Coleman: (202) 224-5641
* Dick Durbin: (202) 224-2152

and try this service as well
http://committeecaller.com/

Posted by: hector on January 24, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Reid has been a Democratic traitor while Rockefeller is a Republican tool .
I would love to see a party purge of these people.

Posted by: Mike on January 24, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I would love to see a party purge of these people

Me too, Mike. I had some harsh words for Claire "Major Disappointment" McCaskill this morning.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 24, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I am a supporter of Obama, but this is definitely where the rubber needs to hit the road. If he wants to prove to people that he does more than give good speeches, this would help.

Course, my guess is that he will just keep giving good speeches and not doing anything substantive. I still support him, but I am definitely starting to get tired of all the high falutin' talk. If he is REALLY different from Hillary (and therefore moderate Republicans), then he needs to take a stand.

Posted by: Frank on January 24, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The term is "hoist by his own petard," not "hoisted." Hoist was the past participle of "to hoise," which roughly meant what "to hoist" means now.

Posted by: anoregonreader on January 24, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone here support telecom immunity,Have you moved to qwest comm. yet.NO you still sending AT&T a monthly bill so don't expect other people to go out of there way if you won't bother to drop AT&T and go with qwest comm.When millions of people start to change there long distance carrier then whatch shit happen.

Posted by: john john on January 24, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I discontinued my AT&T long distance after their huge layoff back in the mid Nineties.

Posted by: Brojo on January 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

anoregonreader,

Thanks. What does the word "hoisted" mean? Is it the mega-past participal?

Posted by: Tripp on January 24, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

qwest doesn't serve most of the u.s., john john.

Posted by: shortstop on January 24, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

that is to say, in most of its covered areas, qwest goes mostly over at&t-owned lines...

Posted by: shortstop on January 24, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

What Reid did is worse than that. He killed the Senate Judiciary Committee bill (extension WITHOUT immunity) in favor of the Senate Intelligence (sic) Committee bill, which DID contain immunity for telecoms.

Thus he is clearly, on record, in favor of immunity, but just doesn't want to say so.

A complete hypocrit, and an ineffective leader, too.

Making his OWN team actually filibuster while just feinting that way (remember the one-night stand?) is a true sign of a DINO.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 24, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Better to put through what they consider to be the essential parts of the FISA bill (even with the odious immunity rider) than to face the ads in the fall: "Senator X voted AGAINST listening to terrorists' phone calls!"

This is just another one of the explanations that gets me.

NO, NO a thousand times NO.

The BEST thing to do is keep passing the darned thing WITHOUT immunity, let the Little Idiot (aka Bush the Lesser, aka The Shrub) veto AND THEN shout long, hard and often that the BUSH Administration cares more about undercutting our civil liberties than listening in on terrorists.

AND more about their Big Business buddies than listening in on terrorists.

The ONLY way Democrats can win this Blame Game is to start arguing that the VETOs (or is that vetoEs) show who is soft on terror: the Preznit.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 24, 2008 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see ANYONE showing a little leadership on ANYTHING. I am not, however, holding my breath. (The historical comparison to Britain's two parties during the 1930s is getting downright eerie.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on January 24, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary or Barack can't vote to protect our 4th Amendment rights, then how can you vote for them to be president?

Posted by: MarkH on January 24, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
You're no better that all the big corperate news media. They're three candidates for the Democratic nomination. You never mention John Edwards. Probably the most electable of the three. It's probably too late to start giving him a chance now. If the Dems lose and we have to put up with another Repug, I'll blame you and the other bought and paid for media. Disgusting!

Posted by: Don on January 24, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

As I understand things, All of congress will be in D.C. on Monday for the State of the Union Address so there is no excuse for skipping the vote (or voting 'present').

Posted by: Merg on January 25, 2008 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid is the most pathetically flaccid, impotent, and incompetent Majority Leader the Democratic Party has had in its long history. The man could not be more useless. He is the major reason why I have refused to donate anything to the DNC since the 2006 elections. I'm donating to individual Dem candidates, but until Reid is replaced, no more $$ from me to the DNC.

Posted by: bluestatedon on January 26, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Word. Reid is as worthless as a bubble gum machine in a lockjaw ward!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 26, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I appreciate the political aspects of the situation, but still do not see the value of interfering with the courts in such an important matter. It's an insult to the intelligence of every American to assert that telco immunity has anything to do with national security. The only ones even suggesting it are lobbyists and their think tanks and politicians.

Surely this is not an example of the sound judgment Mr. Obama touts.

Moreover, consider that the only telco CEO to reject the warrant-less searches ended up fighting for his freedom after the government brought charges that he inflated his company's outlook. Meanwhile, that CEO says his company's outlook only changed after his rejection of the warrantless searches resulted in lost contracts with the government.

Claims of civil and criminal acts against citizens should be resolved using lawyers, not lobbyists. To provide the colluding companies with immunity is the worst message that could possibly be sent to executives of any other company that may be confronted with illegal demands in the future. Just as the Qwest CEO will still have to prove his case in court, the others should have to defend their actions in court as well.

And what of equal protection? Should all citizens apply to Congress for retroactive immunity from their civil or criminal behavior? No, this is a paid-for law to protect those in a better position than most to defend their own actions, if they are defensible. Providing them immunity would create the perfect model for old politics and abandons the very concepts that have placed Senator Obama in his current position.

Surely, he must have his own data on this. Democrats clearly do not support it at all. So the question becomes, is Mr. Obama going to demonstrate leadership and represent Democrats in this matter, or is he going to disregard Democrats to facilitate the Republican representatives of telco Washington lobbyists? After all, these are the very type of Washington lobbyists that Mr. Obama says he will not be influenced by.

In conclusion, one may safely assume that a single vote for immunity will translate to tens of thousands of votes for Nader or other protest candidates, something I'm sure Al Gore would tell you, is not a good thing. And if you think people will vote for Senator Obama just because they disagree with the other guy, you may be surprised to learn that more than anything else, people need to believe that candidate is not lying to them; that the candidate really does believe in what he or she is saying and is willing to stand up when required. (Senator Clinton tapped into some of this during the last leg of her campaign.) Obviously, collapsing under pressure and abandoning your principles is likely to have the opposite effect.

How right Mr. Obama was to criticize Senator Clinton's war vote. Is this to be his example of standing up when others will not?

Posted by: Just Anuther Citizen on July 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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