Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 12, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

RANTS....This has been a pretty good week for righteous rants in the blogosphere. Highlights include:

  • Brad DeLong on Grover Norquist. Sample: "I am not paid enough to deal with this lying bullshit. I am not paid enough to deal with Grover Norquist and his willful stream of defecation into the global information pool."

  • David Appell on the decline of the blogosphere. Sample: "So I am wondering why I am reading it any more, or why I am even writing meaningless tidbits in this blog (and that's all they are). Or why anyone is reading. Is this seriously the future of this magnificent medium?"

  • Larry Lessig on the immunity hysteria. Sample: "Please, fellow liberals, or leftists, or progressives, get off your high horse(s)....To start this chant of 'principled rejection' of Obama because he is not as pure as we is, in a word, idiotic (read: Naderesque)."

  • Glenn Greenwald on Larry Lessig. Sample: "That is the mentality that has allowed the Bush administration to engage in this profound assault on our national character, to violate our laws at will. Our political and media elite have acquiesced to all of this when they weren't cheering it all on. Those who object to it, who argue that these abuses of political power are dangerous in the extreme and that we cannot tolerate deliberate government lawbreaking, are dismissed as shrill Leftist hysterics."

I'm sure I've missed some good ones. Feel free to leave your favorites of the week in comments.

Kevin Drum 10:51 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (54)

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Comments

Domino's rant "Feed me"

Posted by: keith g on July 12, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jesse Jackson's rant threatening to cut off Barack Hussein Obama's nuts.

Posted by: Nathan on July 12, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

If there is a decline in the blogosphere it surely must be a result of language like this, used to characterize political thinking not to one's liking, "lying bullshit," and "a wilfull stream of defecation into the global information pool." In grammar school we were taught that resorting to scatology is a childish attempt to paper over an inability to frame an argument in a rational, adult way. That last quote merits inclusion in a collection of the most inept metaphors ever. It would never have printed- anywhere.

Posted by: mhr on July 12, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

That last quote merits inclusion in a collection of the most inept metaphors ever. It would never have printed- anywhere.

Yes, but you're forgetting that Grover Norquist advocates that Americans should be entitled to keep more of the money they earn. There is no greater thoughtcrime.

Posted by: Al on July 12, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

That last quote merits inclusion in a collection of the most inept metaphors ever. It would never have printed- anywhere.

Yes, but you're forgetting that Grover Norquist advocates that Americans should be entitled to keep more of the money they earn. There is no greater thoughtcrime.

Posted by: Al on July 12, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Greenwald is on the money. It's hilarious, the left's love affair with the constitution and the rule of law lasted like 5 minutes. Eh, at least they faked it for a bit, the right doesn't even bother with that anymore.

Posted by: Ben on July 12, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

My favorite rant this week is the one by PZ Myers about the willingness of some religious people to threaten the life of a college boy who did not consume his communion wafer. After all, folks won't respect a religion unless its adherents are willing to kill, right? [Link]

Posted by: Zeno on July 12, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hi Kevin --

At Open Left, I linked to a CalPundit post on the Pentagon Ice-Age-caused-by-Global-Warming study (via the Wayback Machine) to smackdown David Appell's whiney BS.

http://www.openleft.com/showComment.do?commentId=85338

Short answer: an in depth discussion of the scientific background behind the Pentagon Report took place on the blogs, and nowhere else.

Posted by: -ck- on July 12, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Al did a double post! His skills have deteriorated. Al's GOP paymasters need to send him back to troll school for retraining.

Posted by: Zeno on July 12, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

First here's a rant for you.

mhr who gives a rat's ass what you say or think? In the past you've proven yourself to be an unprinciple piece of shit. Oh yea did that word bother you. Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! and more Shit! That's what these criminal assholes in the Bush administration have been feeding us for going on 8 years. It's about time people started expressing unadulterated outrage. And if that includees references to feces then maybe that'll get some of the sheep's attention.

Posted by: Gandaalf on July 12, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'd normally be sympathetic to mhr's comment above, but it's GROVER NORQUIST DeLong is writing about. There is no rational, adult way to argue with him. That's the point. He has contempt for truth or reason, and is a pure propagandist. That's why DeLong has been driven to such crude language. I don't find DeLong to be making a poor argument. It seems like a precise description of Norquist's rhetorical SOP.

Posted by: biggerbox on July 12, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Ben:

I take it you will be voting for Bob Barr then?

Posted by: Nathan on July 12, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'm actually voting for Obama, heh.

Posted by: Ben on July 12, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin had a hard hitting piece on the Obama's elitist eating habits.

The Obamas also invited 60 Minutes to come film the family making tuna fish sandwiches earlier this year–you know, to show what a regular guy he is. Question: Who the hell puts Grey Poupon and gherkins (don’t ask me what those are, I have no idea) in tuna sandwiches for kids?
Posted by: enozinho on July 12, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bats Left Throws Right's wine connessuir diatribe was good stuff:

link

Also, anything else written by IOZ or "Bats Left Throws Right."

Posted by: A Different Matt on July 12, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure Greenwald is as well. I was commenting on the left's hilariously brief Rule of Law phase.

Posted by: Ben on July 12, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I will say it again. Read Richard Rorty's "Achieving our Country: Leftist Thought in America." It's a fantastic overview on the split within the left. The New Left always go for this "purity" BS, a direct result of misreading too much Marxism. And for 30+ years it has torn the party apart. If so-called "progressives" keep up this crap and pull another Nader-like win for McCain, I will personally hunt them down in San Francisco and Ithaca and Berkeley or wherever progressives have gone to hide.

Posted by: Christopher on July 12, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just wondering -- does Greenwald do anything other than righteous rants?

Posted by: junebug on July 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

i'm going to add my rant: larry lessig can go fuck himself.

so can christopher at 12:07....

Posted by: howard on July 12, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody ought to tell Greenwald that what goes around comes around. The now legal ability of the US government to spy on virtually all of our communications may be the tool Obama's Justice Dept. uses to convict Bush and Cheney after they leave office and finally put them in prison. Not to mention about half of the Republican party.

If and when that happens expect to see a newfound dedication to the 4th amendment from all members of congress and another rewrite of FISA that will please Glenn.

Posted by: markg8 on July 12, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ben:

At least you can laugh at yourself.

Posted by: Nathan on July 12, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

VOTE DIGBY FOR PRESIDENT---VOTE THE INTERNET, Obama has ALREADY said he will not persue Bush and Cheney, no-one will, ONLY IMPEACHMENT will do that job.

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 12, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

gherkins (don’t ask me what those are, I have no idea)

Obama eats elitist pickles!

Posted by: kc on July 12, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Meyer, yes of course throw your vote away and give the election to McSame. That makes a lot of sense. Impeachment takes over a year and would be doomed to failure. There aren't enough Repub senators who'd vote to convict.

Taking Rove and company to court over ignored subpoenas to appear in congressional hearings would wind up in the Supreme Court where Roberts and company would cement Cheney's theory of the unitary executive into precedent in US law.

Besides the new FISA bill there is already US law on the books that the telecoms would use to skate even if they didn't have FISA immunity.

All of that can be changed but not until we have the political power to change it. You're only shooting us all in the foot with that nonsense.

Posted by: markg8 on July 12, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Please, fellow liberals, or leftists, or progressives, get off your high horse(s)....To start this chant of 'principled rejection' of Obama because he is not as pure as we is, in a word, idiotic (read: Naderesque)."

If the FISA vote were but one instance, the Lessing would have a point.

However the Democrats have a track record of "caving" time after time after time since at least 2000. FISA is but the latest episode.

Accordingly, the heavy burden in on Obama to prove that this is not another such "caving" and that his presidency will not feature more such "compromises" and "bipartisanship." ( During each of which episodes the Lessig's of this world will be calling for people to "look at the big picture" and so forth. )

No. The time has come for the Lessigs of this world to put up or shut up. If the Democrats - including Obama - actually are these marvelous fellows, then they must produce results and they must do so now. The mortgage is now due - and either they pay up or they are in default.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on July 12, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

You should see the rant I wrote to my brother after he forwarded Rove's WSJ Op-ed to me, saying it was "interesting".

I'm terribly upset with him because he's seriously considering voting for McCain - spouting the usual media talking points - maverick, straight talking.....

We are Democrats and it troubles me greatly that he would seriously consider voting for McCain.

Posted by: mo on July 12, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with GG. I'll vote for Obama, but calling him on this is important, IMO.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 12, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I enjoyed both Lessig and Greenwald's essays. Both had excellent points to make, and I think they articulated them quite well (except for the need of both of them to occasionally descend into needless name-calling). This is honest and real debate between two intelligent people, both capable of framing and illustrating their arguments well. For one, I hope this keeps going. You gotta admit - it's a hell of a lot more entertaining and thoughtful than the Ice T/Soljah Boy beef :)

Posted by: Frank Jacobs on July 12, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

First, Michael Lind attempts a neoliberal rehabilitation of Jesse Helms. And fails, straw men and all.

Second, here’s my take on Pat Buchanan writing mythology and calling it history; I’ve already received one anti-Semitic hate e-mail.

Third, for sports fans, I support the Pack calling Brett Favre’s bluff. If Brett thinks he’s really valuable enough to play for another team, then he’s valuable enough for the Packers to get something in trade. Get down off the cross, Brett.

Fourth, yet another shoddy made-in-China product: low-cost CFLs.

Fifth, the Dallas Morning News editorial board is dumb enough to suggest back-bencher Texas Democratic Congressman Chet Edwards as Obama’s Veep.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 12, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

About creep Malkin picking on Obama and "elite" eating habits: Isn't it funny how the right picks on "the left" for "envy" of rich successful people, yet thinks it's just great to suck up to the cultural chauvinism and contempt of the masses against those same (well, bad rich liberal people) upper crusties?

Posted by: Neil B. on July 12, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Would that the invisible hand of the moderator had an itchy trigger finger for the never-ending & shameless pimping of inane blog posts.

Posted by: junebug on July 12, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I endorse what Glenn Greenwald said about Larry Lessig's rant. Quadrupled, in spades with whipped cream on top

Posted by: Helena Montana on July 12, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

I endorse what Glenn Greenwald ranted about Larry Lessig's rant. Quadrupled, in spades with whipped cream on top. I am sick and tired of being told to climb off my high horse. It's the CONSTITUTION, goddam it--it's fundamental. If we don't have that, we don't have anything. And I hate George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama or anybody else crapping all over it. I am also sick and goddam tired of the creeping fascism that so-called liberals seem to be just fine with, as long as they get a Democrat elected. Bullshit. And that's my rant.

I'm still voting for Obama but I am no longer happy about it.

Posted by: Helena Montana on July 12, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

But Greenwald doesn't come within ten miles of Lessing's basic point.

Lessig argued in the post (which it looks like many of you above didn't actually read) that making certain amendments to FISA that established a Congressional consensus that the President's interpretation of the statute (and of Presidential wartime powers) was progress that justified an imperfect bill and temporary acquiescence to telecom immunity.

That is, re-establishing the rule of law in the abstract was more important than some particular details that could be fixed when Obama was elected (see Russ Feingold on this, for chrissakes). Lessig was arguing that that call might have been the wrong one, but it wasn't obviously stupid, venal, and crazy.

Greenwald then proceeded to throw a hissy fit about the "rule of law," ignoring that that the rule of law was precisely Lessig's point. Greenwald's response to Lessig is just pure name-calling which misunderstands the basic point of Lessig's argument.

I like Greenwald, but he is embarassing himself here.

Posted by: PTS on July 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Should read "president's interpretation...was incorrect and rejected...was progress"

Posted by: PTS on July 12, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I am also sick and goddam tired of the creeping fascism that so-called liberals seem to be just fine with, as long as they get a Democrat elected. Bullshit. And that's my rant.

If this be ranting, let us make the most of it.

Bravo!

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on July 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Greenwald is on the money.

Actually I think Greenwald got it wrong too.

Because Greenwald, in a partisan manner, has said that Obama's flip-flop on the FISA Bill was done because Obama was "Tracking Right" - and I went along with this too at first, thinking he was right, but it simply isn't true.

I think that when Obama mentions MoveOn.org over the Gen. Betray US ad, well that was "tracking right" and the faith based programs was also tracking right, (Al Gore supported faith-based projects to in his campaign) but the FISA Bill - that was a whole another ball field baby.

I think you have to call a spade a spade.

Conservatives don't like the government snooping anymore than do liberals and so, it adds fuel to the fire that allows the media and the press to pin anti-FISA Bill sentiments (which are basically, I think national sentiments) as ultra-liberal disenchantment - thus the FISA bill loses traction as our corporate control media claims and then dismissed this bill as a problem that only lefty liberals are disgruntled over.

I’ve ranked my brain over why the heck Obama would vote for, or support the FISA Bill. It just makes no sense at all but if indeed corporate American controls Obama the candidate, wouldn't it be better to find out now what happened rather than wait for any other amendments to be eviscerated too? I mean, if Obama has decided to run, I think that logic dictates that Obama will be running forever more and doing more damage as he runs away.

In the real world of yesteryear, we would have had a press that would have smelled blood in water and hounded Obama on this FISA bill - but that too has been severely eviscerated. So anyways, I know that Greenwald wants Obama to be elected but he also wanted the blogs and Dems to standup to Obama's decision to vote for FISA with clear-cut unity in order to change events. It didn't happen AND that is why we can't paint this FISA Bill as "going to the right".

Greenwald uses the Assocated Press as an example of this "weakness" - but I hate tell Dems, the AP isn't your're friend anymore so we can't afford to paint the FISA Bill as "going to the right" - not anymore and we can't pretend that Obama made some little mistake on this bill.

Posted by: Me_again on July 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Len Hart on the psychopathic origins of Bush/GOP wars, torture and injustice. Sample: “That, of course, brings me to yet another symptom to be found in abundance among members of the Bush regime and his many supporters throughout the GOP: delusions! Delusions are typically associated with 'psychoses' --schizophrenia, global psychopathology. I am inclined to assign Bush and his supporters into one of two camps: those who are truly 'delusional' and those who exploit delusions for political gain, i.e, those who know better but tell the lies anyway knowing that they will be eagerly lapped up by those whose belief in them is irrational and symptomatic. The GOP thus feeds upon its own insanity.”

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 12, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't read the posts in question but, much as I like him, I've been thinking for a few days now that Greenwald needs a vacation, like a lot of us.

The FISA bill was bad, no doubt about it, but I'm not sure the emotional intensity that Greenwald continues to whip up, with ripples throughout the liberal blogosphere, is justified or salutary in any way.

As I've written before, the see the intensity of some of the writing (not GG's) about this, you'd think the bill was the Dredd Scott decision, the Alien & Sedition Acts, and the Reichstag Decrees all rolled into one.

Posted by: Bob on July 12, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oooh sorry - the FISA bill WAS bad. It was VERY Bad.

NO two ways about it, and like the Newsweek poll said, Obama lost 15 points from independents when he violated his oath of office to up hold the US Constitution. Lots of police officers, people that work state and federal government take those oaths pretty seriously. The people in conservative communities really are God, Guns and country. All those dead Soldiers' in Arlington National Cemetery! That bill was NOT "tracking right".

It was very, very stupid of Obama to sign on to that FISA bill because of those issues right there. That FISA bill in and of itself can shink Obama's ship and it may yet do that. You liberals want to make light of that bill, fine. but independent votes have no such partisan blinders on, they'll dumb Obama in minute.

Obama showed Indy voters that he wasn't brave enough to be president. That he was a coward and it was a stupid move indeed.

Posted by: Me_again on July 12, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

We live in righteous times.

Posted by: Brojo on July 12, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ah-Oh, here is the leading news over at Huffington Post.

New Group Wants To Overthrow Obama At Convention

It's the Hillary women.

Because, you know, Hillay didn't vote for that nasty FISA Bill but Obama did.

Maybe this is why Obama voted on the FISA Bill to begin with, because Hillary sent out her thugs, like Nancy Soderberg who was a deputy national security advisor and an ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton to write that stupid Op-Ed in LA Times.

And this poll at the LA Times:

Will Obama's vote for the FISA bill help or hurt him politically?

Help him. 3.1 %

Hurt him. 76.1 %

Help Hillary 6.7 %

Have no effect. 14.1 %

Yeah, I don't know why he voted on that stupid bill but it's too late now. Hillary is dangling her money and female troops and Obama is falling in the polls and needs money.

I'm thinking Hillary got Obama to sign that damn bill but Obama ultimately is the one that got caught being stupid, and he had to be pretty stupid, pretty scared or very corrupt to sign tht stupid bill.


Posted by: Me_again on July 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

We live in righteous times.

Yeah, I guess cause we have been living in wrongeous times for soooo Long.

Too bad Obama isn't the anti-corporate, Re-regulation fix doctor we all dreamed that he would be. Oh well, at least Hillary will be in her 70's in 2012 because I sure don't want any repeats of her again.

And I just want to bitch-slap that guy Obama. Obama couldn't listen to anybody and isn't that Bush's problem too come to think of it.

Posted by: Me_again on July 12, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

And I just want to bitch-slap that guy Obama.

Now that's what I call a rant! In all seriousness though, how are the Dems going to hold onto their majority in congress now that everyone that voted for FISA is going to under perform in fund-raising and polling? And now that the mighty Netroots has woken, they will surely put up challengers for all those Constitution-haters up for reelection right?

I mean, the Netroots is nothing if not principled, in a totally masculine* and not whiney way at all.

*Obligatory Rampant Sexism

Posted by: enozinho on July 12, 2008 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Christ. Obama votes wrong on FISA and, of course, it's Hillary's fault. You guys are worse than the Republicans who have been blaming Bill Clinton for everything for the last 16 years. Just exactly how long do you suppose the Obama cultists will be will explain away every mistake Hopie makes by blaming Hills?

Posted by: Pat on July 12, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

My rant, every day:

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Pat on July 12, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

PTS @ 4:31 PM wrote: "...That is, re-establishing the rule of law in the abstract was more important..."
The "new and improved" FISA will not re-establish the "rule of law". The original 1978 FISA staute clearly stated that that FISA legislation was the exclusive means for the collection of electronic intelligence by the government. It clearly states that in the original 1978 legislation. There was no doubt about the intention of Congress concerning FISA being the only authorized channel for the government's use in wiretapping until various politicians wanted to try to give themselves some cover for their abandonment of their oaths of office.
The only way to "re-establish the rule of law" is not by passing legislation that enables the lawbreakers; it is by having the House of Representatives employ the one method that would enable them to enforce the law by discovering what actually took place and, if needed, by then initiating impeachment proceedings based on those findings.
Of course, the members of the House might not be invited to all the cool parties and all if they did that. The MSM might pick on them, too. And some of the bribes, I mean political contributions, would probably dry up as well. So I guess it's a fair trade - the Constitution in exchange for continued membership in the Capitol "gang".

Posted by: Doug on July 12, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Doug, you might think that is what the statute says, and I might think that what the statute said. But Congress and the President haven't interpreted that way. If they did, the President would be impeached.

Posted by: PTS on July 13, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

A few points for anyone that feels targetted by and offended by quoted part of Lessig's blog post. Also entered in comments at his blog. I apologize for the length.

1) Every single Republican in the Senate vote FOR the FISA bill, AGAINST the ammendments to remove telcom immunity, except for John McCain (and maybe others?) that didn't bother to vote on it at all. Most of them supported the President's version of this bill which was significantly worse.

2) While the Democrats are technically the majority party, effectively they are not, particularly on so-called national security issues. Lieberman is an Independent who caucused with the Democrats when selecting Chairman, etc for the current congress and who supports them on most economic and many social issues, but has been siding with the President on Iraq and national security issues both in his votes and his public statements for several years. There are several other Democrats who while not pubicly attacking the party the way Lieberman does, have always voted with the Republicans on certain issues more often than any Republican will cross over to vote with the Democrats on any party-line issue.

3) Because of 1) and 2) there was virtually no chance that Obama could change the outcome of this vote. If he had taken a particularly forceful stand and persuaded the party leadership to oppose this bill, then maybe they could have gained enough votes to block cloture but this was very unlikely once the bill made it out of committee. Feel free to rant and rave about Rockefeller and any other Democrats on the Intelligence Committe that helped craft this compromise.

4) Just as George Bush has been horrendously worse on every possible issue that the Green Party cares about than Al Gore would have been, John McCains record shows that there is no possibility that he will be better than or even as good as Barrack Obama on consitutional issues. He has already reversed himself on torture policies, gone from statements supporting habeus corpus to calling the recent Supreme Court decision on this issue "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.". As I mentioned earlier, he didn't even bother to vote on the FISA bill, and there is nothing in any of his recent statements or voting history to support the idea that he would be any better than Bush, much less Obama, on constitutional issues from FISA to the "unitary executive".

5) As for leaving the Republicans in control until things get so bad it sparks a backlash, how many years or decades are you prepared to wait and how bad are you willing to see things get in the meantime?

6) Telcomm immunity may be worth opposing on several grounds, but using the discovery process to reveal executive branch malfeasance is not one of them. Civil lawsuits are subject to dismissal by the courts on a number of grounds and are long, drawn out affairs at the best of times. Public disclosure as a result of such suits is not going to happen for months or even years, if ever. Meanwhile, President Obama would be in a much better position to investigate all of the activities of the Bush administration than either the courts or Congress.

7) Therefore the best course of action to take if you really care about accountability and rule-of-law is to do whatever is necessary to elect Barrack Obama as President and to elects as many Democrats as possible to Congress so that the Blue Dog Democrats in the House and their counterparts in the Senate have less influence. Note that among other things, this group bore primary responsibility for siding with the Republicans to help pass the bankruptcy reform bill.

Then keep up the pressure up on both Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership to revisit FISA and all the other issues where you feel the party has betrayed you. If Obama becomes President and the Democratic party has 55 or more Senate seats and a 100 seat edge in the House and it STILL caves to the Republicans on multiple issues, then feel free to give up on them.

8) In the meantime, the over-the-top "Obama can't be trusted on anything" rants that are appearing far too frequently on liberal blogs ARE hysterical and counterproductive and many of them are clearly the work of right-wing trolls. Please note: most of the posts criticizing Obama over FISA are not excessive and most of the ones that are are still not the work of trolls, take a close look at your own words before deciding whether you need to be offended by this post. The one example I will point out is Me_Again who has been derailing virtually every thread on several blogs with multiple extended rants against Obama and not contibuting any new information or ideas to the discussion in any of them.

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

You know what?

I learned this week that it's actually "titbit" not "tidbit".

Really.

Or is that just a Brit thing?

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on July 13, 2008 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By golly, what a coincidence! That's exactly what your Mom moaned to me the other night!

Posted by: Pat on July 13, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I want my next president to fulfill his oath to defend the Constitution. Defending the constitution is a president's single sworn duty. Obama's FISA vote tells me I can't depend on him for that.

Maybe Larry Lessig is right; maybe I'm an idiot for demanding a president who has not already proved that he will sell out the job's one requirement.

Posted by: William Slattery on July 13, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Fine, what is your alternative?

Right now, the choices are Obama or McCain. There are no others.

None of the 3rd party candidates have a snowball's chance in hell of winning. Recent elections that giving them your vote as a protest won't accomplish anything except to throw away your chance of choosing between the major party candidates. Both Perot after 1992 and Nader after 2000 became lost influence on policy issues after those elections.

Throwing open the Democratic convention and selecting someone other than Obama is NOT going to happen. There is no provision in Democratic party rules to allow this, so you would need to convince a sizeable number of Obama's superdelegates to switch candidates at the last second. I guarantee that if this happens (which it won't) it will have a devestating impact on the Democrats chances in both the Presidential race and in down-ticket races.

So what's it going to be? Do you really want President John McCain?

If not, then go ahead and continue to speak out about why the FISA vote was wrong. Try to build the strongest possible pressure on both Obama and the Democratic Congress to revisit these issues immediately after the 2009 inauguration. But STOP suggesting that this one vote disqualifies Obama from becoming President.

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 13, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

No, Pat's posts are all/some/one of the following:

1) I fucked your mother last night.
2) Obama's the nominee and it makes me really, really, really mad! Watch me turn over furniture in impotent rage!
3) I demand that Brojo always get behind the Democratic nominee but will cry like a little girl if someone asks me to.

If you didn't know he was a tired old man, wouldn't you think he was about 15?

Posted by: better spoofer than t. on July 13, 2008 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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