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View Diary: Frist office lies about lynching roll call (102 comments)

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  •  What this leaves out... (none)
    is that Alexander's resolution honoring Black History Month also condemned the country's history of lynching.

    I'm no Lamar! fan, but this is just a silly interpretation of what his statement meant.

    •  Thanks for pointing that out. (none)
      But what rule is there in Tennessee against a senator speaking out against it more than once a manth?
      •  Nothing. (none)
        But consider how the cosponsorship thing played out.  The bill was introduced with 36 original cosponsors. Then, ten days later, six more Senators join. Still stuck in committee with no action, 11 days later, two more Senators join.

        Then... for four moths... nothing happens.

        So, over those four months, two competing anti-lynching bills are sitting in committee with nothing happening. One with 44 cosponsors, and Lamar!'s with 35.

        Then, all of a sudden, a deal is in the works to free Landrieu's bill from committee and brings it to the floor. Bam! Landrieu picks up 16 more cosponsors on June 7th, 8th and 9th. Then, woohoo! It gets discharged and voted on in the same day! Suddenly, 18 more cosponsorships! Then, all hell breaks loose on the blogs! Five more cosponsors, after the bill is passed!

        You see what I'm getting at? By the time Lamar! knew the jig was up and his bill was gonna die, the Landrieu bill was outta there, and he was being forced to answer loaded questions about why he's "pro-lynching."

        •  Did the 18 know something Lamar! Didn't? (none)
          Funny how 18 other senators (using your count) were able to learn about the deal in time to consponsor the bill before the vote, while Lamar! [sic] somehow did not.
          •  And what did they learn? (none)
            Did they learn that joining as a cosponsor was the only principled way to get your bona fides as "objectively anti-lynching?" Or did they learn that the only way to stay out of trouble so that nobody would ever even bother asking you about your position on lynching was to go along to get along?
            •  Going along to get along is underrated (none)
              While I'd prefer if no one in the Senate was racist, I'm glad to see that people have to behave in such a way as to not appear racist, because it makes for fewer racist votes.
              •  Me too. (none)
                My feeling is that Landrieu made the right deal. But if that's true, then the blogosphere needs to acknowledge that instead of having people call and harrass the interns in the Senate offices of people who didn't cosponsor.

                I mean, if we want to be logically consistent and productive activists, that is. Maybe we don't, or at least, not for the moment. Maybe we're just exacting a little revenge.

        •  I can't speak for kos. (none)
          But nothing was stopping Alexander from latching on to the Landreu bill after it was clear that his own bill was going to die. What's more important for Alexander, his anger that his bill was not going to make it, or the need to speak out against lynching?

          Given what you say about Alexander, I do NOT think he is pro-lynching. But he doesn't recognize the importance of speaking out against it and recognize the government's failure to act to stop it.

          •  Doesn't he? (none)
            He sponsored a bill that did that.

            And, just as clear as the fact that his bill was going to die was the fact that Landrieu's would pass... unless he came to the floor to oppose it.

            Which he didn't do.

            At some point, it becomes a redundancy to cosponsor a bill that's going to the floor on a voice vote in a matter of hours. Or at least, in a straight-dealing world, it would be a redundancy. Now, you have to come and perform a symbolic gesture about a symbolic gesture that's going to be passed by a symbolic gesture just to not be called a racist.

            Not that far from the dynamics of the pie fight, either. In the sense that it's "not about the bill."

      •  This just occured to me... (none)
        Consider this issue in terms we can all understand: the dynamics of Daily Kos.

        This issue -- the engineering of the voice vote -- was already diaried today, and the dynamics of the competition between the Landrieu bill and the Alexander bill were already discussed.

        Then, kos does his own front page story based on the same article. The question for me, now, is: Do I go and have the same discussion all over again with people who didn't see it the first time, or is that a waste of my time? I've already made my point. But now I have to do it all over again because kos wants to discuss it elsewhere, in a place that will draw much more attention than in a diary. So what do I do?

        Would I be right in telling myself that I've said my piece, and I don't have to prove my worth to anybody, since I'm on the record? Or do I have to start all over, and take my message to the new forum?

        •  Kos Does Not Equal Senate (none)
          It's not necessary to add your voice to a Kos forum thread when many others have said the same thing, that's true. But the Senate is not a blog, and senators are not bloggers (mostly). Each Senator is obliged to speak up on matters of importance, not just let it slide because several other senators got there before him.

          One more blogger speaking out does not add weight to the message. One more senator does - the weight of his office, the weight of his state and his constituents, the weight of the Senate.

          •  But suppose... (none)
            Suppose later on I'm accused of being "objectively pro-lynching" for explaining why Lamar! might not be completely out of his mind?

            Could I simply say, "that's not true?"

            No, I'm not trying to pretend that Kos equals the Senate. I'm drawing a parallel. I'm asking you to compare dynamics. On Daily Kos, we place a heavy emphasis on linking, on providing objective proof. I'm simply positing that just saying in the second thread that "everybody knows I'm not pro-lynching" wouldn't be enough. I'd have to demonstrate it.

            Just as Lamar! is being asked to do, though the record is there.

            •  No the record is not (none)
              there; his bill never got anywhere and no one is paying attention to it. OTOH, everyone IS paying attention to Landrieu's bill, and once Lamar? saw that, he should have signed on as well. That sort of thing happens all the time -- similar, competing bills get introduced, one makes it to the floor, and the sponsor of the one that didn't make it signs on to the one that did.

              Methinks Lamar?'s defenders really are protesting too much.

              •  I like that question mark. (none)
                But do you think you're talking to a Lamar! defender?

                The record, though, is there, but nobody is paying attention to it.

                And nobody was paying attention to Landrieu's bill between February and June.

                The real rush to cosponsor only came when the deal was done and the bill was discharged, at which time many Senators were still out of town. Remember, almost all of this happened in one day. In all likelihood, most of those last minute cosponsorships were authorized and signed for by Chiefs of Staff, and not the Senators themselves. Easy call for most, tougher one for the chief sponsor of the competing legislation. Especially when the issue is merely cosponsorship, given that the deal cleared the way for the bill to pass unopposed, affording everyone the cover to say they supported it.

              •  Several things (none)
                "everyone IS paying attention"
                No, pretty much you, me and Kagro X are paying attention to it.  No one else really is.  The rest of the country is still wondering what to do with that big hole left from the end of the Jackson trial.

                Kagro's point, and mine, is that we should not demand cosponsership of every bill you agree with.

                To attempt to further Kagro's analogy, I don't go back and look at who recommended a diary to decide who thought that diary was correct or not.

                It is my opinion that many here are over playing the importance of sponsership of a bill.  

                Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

                by bawbie on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 12:47:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sponsorship Varies in Importance (none)
                  It is my opinion that many here are over playing the importance of sponsership of a bill.

                  Well, that depends. In this case, it is important because Frist's game-playing deliberately deprived the voters of any other way of knowing where their senators stand on this issue.

                  Normally, you have a few cosponsors who show by their sponsorship that they feel this is a particularly important issue for them. The others may not feel it is as important, or may have other priorities, but they will still cast their vote when the time comes, thus establishing their position. Frist eliminated that option.

                  Over 85 senators (80 or so before the vote) cosponsored the bill, knowing as they did so that this was an unusual number, but also knowing at the same time that the bill was important enough and the circumstances unusual enough that such action was called for.

                  It is that high number which makes Lamar?'s absence stand out. And it stands out more than the others' BECAUSE he had introduced a similar bill. Nor does he have the excuse of lack of notice any longer, given the attention the bill and its list of sponsors has received. Also, he must know by now that he can add his name to the list after the fact, as others have done.

                  I would not harp on Lamar? were it not for the fact that he had introduced his own bill. I can understand (if not excuse) most of the other absentees from the list. I do not understand his continued absence in the light of the changed situation.

                  And if Lamar? does add his name to the list, I will withdraw the ?.

        •  I guess it's your call ;) (none)
        •  Left out one more thought.... (none)
          Lamar's failure to endorse wouldn't matter so much if Frist had allowed a roll call vote; that counts almost as much (but not quite) as sponsorship, since it puts each Senator on record.

          With the roll call vote eliminated, however, the only way we can know where each senator stands is from the list of sponsors. First's manuever raises the importance of sponsorship far beyond what it would otherwise be. So, yes, we are right to focus on it.

          •  But... (none)
            Does "Frist's maneuver" happen without Democratic complicity? No, it does not. So we might as well ask whether Lamar!'s failure to endorse is as important as any Democrat's failure to insist on a recorded vote.
            •  Only way to get a vote at all (none)
              Frist had made it clear he wasn't going to let the bill get to the floor unless there was a voice vote rather than a roll call. Landrieu made the decision that a voice vote was better than no vote at all. You can call that complicity if you want, but it got the motion passed.

              And FWIW, I think Frist lost this one, too. If he'd allowed the usual roll call, he might have gotten a few senators upset, but those are the ones whose constituents would not abandon them for refusing to support an anti-lynching bill - they could say, well, it was a waste of time, or duplicates other leigislation, and so on. But by playing the game the way he did - and especially being caught lying about it - Frist opens himself to yet more charges of pandering and incompetence.

              Add that to his miscall on Schaivo (which he had no business making in the first (frist?) place, and Doc Boy is not having a good week.

              •  It is complicity. (none)
                It's just the kind of complicity we can forgive.

                And in fact, it's the kind of complicity I've already forgiven in many comments. You'd know that if you examined the record. But you didn't do that, for precisely the same reason that most Senators didn't bother -- until the last possible minute -- to pretend they'd been keeping up with the record.

                Because it's not worth the time, when you can always just proclaim a deathbed conversion.

                Similarly, I didn't bother reasserting the evidence already on the record, for precisely the reasons I gave at the outset of this part of the conversation.

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