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View Diary: On Censure: 'Reasonable' is NOT What 'They' Say It Is (176 comments)

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  •  Ports deal breaks only minor law (1+ / 0-)
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    The ports deal only broke the 45-day consideration law, and is far less serious than the NSA's warrantless spying, which breaks the Constitution. Further, the polls clearly showed that a majority believe Bush should be impeached if he broke the law on this, while the plurality of legal scholars agrees he broke the law.

    But impeachment (1) is a distracting process, especially in wartime, and (2) wouldn't pass in this Congress. Meanwhile it's important to take some action on the president's lawbreaking. Which is why censure is the appropriate action. It will at least put whatever Republicans and Democratics don't really care about the Constitution on record, where the popular will can deal with them.

    •  Okay, making a point on NSA is great ... (1+ / 0-)
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      ... as long as you don't care about winning anything, but just care about making a point. After all, we Democrats love those kinds of moral victories. It really excites our base.

      I fall into the more practical Democratic camp where I want to use a Dubai ports deal censure to unify Democrats in the public mind as the party who won't sell our national security to make some dollars, cause division among Republicans and make them look weak on national security if they don't back a Dubai ports censure, and embarrass Bush as an incompetent idiot who is not up to the job of protecting us.

      In other words, I like winning and looking like a winner with the public, and we could have had a win, a really big win, if we had worked together and had a winning strategy. NSA wasn't that strategy, Dubai ports was. So, yeah, I'm frustrated with the lack of leadership and strategic planning in Washington among our Democratic members in Congress.

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing is more important than saving the constitution.  Saving the constitution means not allowing its provisions to be eaten away.  Once you lose one freedom protected by the constitution, how can it protect your other freedoms?  The only power the constitution has is that there has been a national political agreement to live by it.  Once that agreement is broken without penalty by people in power, none of our rights means anything.

        •  It's more important to make political points ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that will help in the elections later this year. A big win on a Dubai censure vote would be a great momentum builder. The 2006 elections will be a referendum on Bush. Bush can wiggle out of a NSA censure by claiming he was protecting us from terrorists even if he did fudge the rules a little to do it. Many in the public will buy his explanation. Bush can't get out of a Dubai censure by claiming he was defending national security. The public doesn't believe that he was. Plus, we could actaully get a Dubai censure passed (we'll never get a NSA censure passed), and that would help us in November. Once we get a majority in the Senate or House, we can hold Bush responsible on NSA.

          •  Without the constitution (0+ / 0-)

            What guaranty is there of elections?

          •  Dubai is not going away. Dubai is not going away. (0+ / 0-)

            Repeat after me.

            Let some of the Senators who aren't brave enough to challenge Bush in this way talk about Dubai. Ad nauseam if they want to--I agree it's an extremely important issue, and one of the few that divides Bush from his base.

            Let different people do different parts of one unified strategy. Unified message=culture of corruption (not that I think that's the greatest possible message in the world). Different pieces: Dubai. Lying about Iraq war. Lying and criminal negligence in response to Katrina. Lying and illegally spying on American citizens.

            It is simply not true that the American public can only think about one thing at a time. No one has forgotten Katrina. No one has forgotten Iraq. Americans can deal with hearing about four or five separate issues at once--they can--*if* the issues all touch them deeply.

            So, let different Senators take different roles to advance the same agenda. Like on a team. What a concept.

            •  This week ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the Dubai ports issue has already gone away. Senator Feingold saw to that with his ill-timed focus on NSA wiretapping. With 70%-80% of the American people coming to the conclusion that the president was compromising our national security for free trade with Dubai on the ports deal, I would have hoped someone would see it was time to go for the political jugular and get Congress on record as bucking the president with a vote of censure on Dubai ports, or at the least ask why we should change the subject to NSA? Oh well, it's changed now, and we stopped short of real victory and real defeat for the president. Time for me to drop the subject and go back to accepting that we Democrats have reached the point where we can't tell the difference between posturing and genuine political victory.  

              •  The number of appearances (0+ / 0-)

                an issue has in the MSM is indeed important. Very much so.

                But the MSM is not in fact in complete control of people's minds. People remember that Bush wanted to give control of our ports to a dangerous Middle Eastern nation. That action hit deep into both American anxiety (well-founded) and prejudice (ill-founded.) Such primal emotions, already well bolstered and developed by decades of propaganda, do not simply go away because the MSM stops emphasizing it.

                The right wing--the right!--was howling for Bush's blood on this issue.

                He made Americans (other than just us) feel unsafe from terrorists.

                They will not forget that. It will take only a mention to bring it all back.

                •  If we could have censured Bush ... (1+ / 0-)
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                  ... on a national security issue (Dubai ports), then that would have been a permanent undermining of Bush's and the Republican Party's preceived strength on national security.

                  The NSA censure effort is calling attention to a possible civil liberties infringement (no one knows for sure exactly what has been done, and it will not come out in any public hearings, probably ever), and, at the same time, allows Bush to emphasize that he is looking out for our national security, and thus the whole NSA issue in a strange way plays to the Republican Party's strength on national security.

                  I would rather have the mortal wound to the Republican Party's national security image going into the 2006 elections.

                  •  K.I.S.S. (0+ / 0-)

                    With the Dubai issue, for the first time in a long time the public opinion believed that the Dems showed strength. But it was a very clear cut issue.

                    On the other hand the wiretapping issue is almost always muddied. It's seldomed stated by MSM as "illegal wiretapping". In the public's mind the issue is usually promoted as wiretapping our offshore enemies - Yeh!.

                    As Roosevelt Democrat posted, it's turned into an argument against Dems. That we are against finding out what our ememies are doing and infrequently whether it's being done legally.

                    Is it clear that Bush actually broke the law? Many legal experts think he did, but others are not so sure - even Dems. Also, we don't actually know whether he bugged anyone not considered an enemy.

                    Until and unless it can be proven that he pulled a "Nixon", censuring will not help our cause with John Q. But, constantly questioning his actions in public and emphasizing that our interest is in whether what he did was illegal is the only sensible way to go to keep the topic before the public in the simplest terms and bring them to our side.

                    George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

                    by auapplemac on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:31:30 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Do both! (0+ / 0-)

        What's the freakin' problem?

        You are creating a false dichotomy and kvetching about it.

    •  We are NOT at war (0+ / 0-)

      We are NOT. War requires that Congress declare it, and they haven't. War requires sacrifice, from EVERYONE, not just the poor and the military. War means you go after war profiteers, because nobody should get rich off our soldiers' deaths. War means you provide equipment, take care of the wounded no matter how much it costs, and raise taxes if necessary. War means you watch out for our borders, and our infrastructure.

      You don't tell people to go shopping, cut taxes for the rich, refuse to fund veterans medical care, and sell whatever somebody will buy, no matter how important it is to national security.

      We are NOT at war. Bush is NOT a 'war president'.

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