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Update [2005-5-8 18:32:59 by Armando]: From the diaries by Armando. Hagel admits what we all know. Good for him. Sounds like he is a no on Frist's nuclear option.

Today on This Week, Hagel strayed way off the reservation, to the point of completely undermining the Republican argument about judges in this one, beautiful sound-bite:

"The Republicans' hands aren't clean on this either. What we did with Bill Clinton's nominees - about 62 of them - we just didn't give them votes in committee or we didn't bring them up."

So much for the argument that Democrats have engaged in unprecedented obstruction by blocking 10 nominees.  As Hagel makes clear, the Republicans' hands are even dirtier because they blocked six times as many Clinton nominees.

And so much for the argument that Republicans believe in up-or-down votes.  When it came to over 60 Clinton nominees, the Republicans "just didn't give them votes."

Of course, this information is nothing new to any of us -- but to have it directly from the mouth of a "leading Senate Republican" gives us a perfect opportunity for an effective TV ad:

VOICE OVER:  For months, radical Republicans in Washington have been trying to rewrite history about judges.

Images on Screen: Pictures of Frist, DeLay, Santorum.

VOICE OVER:  Finally, one leading Republican has admitted the truth.

Text on the Screen:  The quote "leading Senate Republican" from the AP story above -- preferably under the masthead of a local newspaper that ran the AP story.

HAGEL VIDEO CLIP:  "The Republicans' hands aren't clean on this either. What we did with Bill Clinton's nominees - about 62 of them - we just didn't give them votes."

VOICE OVER:  That's right -- the Republicans blocked votes on more than 60 of President Clinton's nominees.  And now they're complaining about Democrats blocking just 10 of President Bush's most extreme nominees?

Who do they think they're kidding?

TAG LINE:  Tell the Republicans in Washington to stop whining about judges, and start focusing on the real issues facing Americans.

Text on Screen:  "Stop Whining"

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (none)
    Brilliant, we need to make it happen. But if Frist pushes the button this week, will we have the time?
  •  What I'm wondering is.... (4.00)
    ....why none of the Democratic talking heads on the interview shows brought this point up (or, if they have, I've missed it). Instead, Hagel does. That's fairly pathetic. But it is good news that we've got some Republicans with a smidgen of intellectual honesty on this issue.
    •  The Democratic talking heads... (4.00)
      have been saying this over and over again. The significance here is that a Republican with honor is saying it.  He's saying it because he loves the Senate and what it is meant to be.
      •  they haven't been as specific (none)
        as Hagel was.  Why not?  If the situation was reversed, you would hear the republicans spouting off that number over and over again.  Why is that the first time we heard a specific number?  Why can't the dems get their message straight?
        •  You want specificity? (4.00)
          Here you go:

          This blog completely debunks the GOP's "activist judges" philosophy:

          1. The Rehnquist Court has ruled over 36 congressional laws unconstitutional -- very high.

          2. The "Constitution in Exile" movement espoused by Bush's extremist judges is a form of right-wing judicial activism.

          3. The "Constitution in Exile" is radically different from the actual Constitution.

          Please read this article; it is very direct and specific about what is wrong with Frist's arguments.
          •  The word "Activism" (none)
            ... is just a pejorative that now means pro-gay and pro-abortion to them.

            It bears no relation to a judge's actual voting record or to the extent to which the judge defers to Congress.  It bears no relation to the extent to which a judge creates or respects rights not specifically included in the Constitution.  

            In other words, it bears no relationship to the reality of ANY specific judge's voting record.

            It's too late now, but I'd be asking Frist and his ilk to name names.  You have a problem with a judge?  Who?  Why?  Prove it.  What decisions support that opinion?  How does that record compare to other judges that you find acceptable?

            This is nothing more than more GOP-Fear-Mongering 101.    We've seen this technique over and over.  Create an illusory Bogeyman (Al Qaeda, WMD, Social Security, activist judges) and use the ensuing panic that you whip up to try to jam through your agenda (Patriot Act, regime change, private accounts, conservative judges respectively) ... even though your agenda bears little relation to the problem.

            "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

            by gsbadj on Mon May 09, 2005 at 02:22:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good point... (none)
              the best way to stop them in their tracks and watch the verbal train-wreck is to demand the prove it, with specifics.

              During open comments in a Portland City Council meeting some years ago, the freaks from Concerned Women of America was giving testimony on a proposed non-discrimination ordinance, and during the insane rant, the CWFA looney was busy railing about how their were known homosexual and communist infiltrators into the government that are a threat to our nation, etc. etc. and the city councilman interrupted and asked for a name of one of these commie homosexual saboteurs... in which point the CWFA instantly devolved into a dissembling, sputtering fool going well.. ah.. there... ah... we don't have those documents with us... ah... we... uh.... the entire chamber burst into laughter.


              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Mon May 09, 2005 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  They have... (4.00)
          Especialy folks like Biden and Schumer. As others have said, the reason this is news is that it's coming from inside the ranks of the Republican Party...and not from somebody low on the totem pole, either.

          This once again begs the question, "how long until these guys can't take it any more within the Republican party?"

          It is a difficult question  to examine, and probably  worthy of its own diary, but Hagel, McCain, Snowe, Collins, Chaffee, etc.--even folks like (to a much lesser extent) Grassley and Graham--just don't stand  for the same things as the rest of this right wing party.

          I suppose the answer is a Zell-esque they don't want to leave the party, but the party's leaving them.  They are all, by and large, pretty conservative, which gives them a home in the GOP. They're also, frankly, classic old school republicans and would cearly have a hard time in the Democratic party. The question becomes, do we try to make them welcome in "our" caucus, or do we wait for them to realize on their own that, frankly, they have no place else to go?

          Look, the Republicans haven't been the "party of Lincoln" since the New Deal and the Civil Rights Acts. The issue here is that they're not even the party of Nixon, Eisenhower, etc. any more.  The Republican party has been bought and paid for by the James Dobsons, Fred Phelpses and Gary Bauers of the world, and sooner or later, that's got to make a lot of Republicans with at least a loose grasp on reality very, very nervous.

          Am I crazy here?

          •  the point is (none)
            The lack of a democratic message machine is evident here, as it's been in so many other debates over the last 6 years.  We should be hearing every democratic talking head, not just Biden or Schumer but everyone who talks to the media, we should hear them say the number 62.  They should pick three points about this debate:  
            1-  62 judges were prevented from having an up and down vote by the congress during the clinton administration.
            2- The republicans are extremists who look to change the rules when legitimate means are ineffective.
            3-  Wasting all this time arguing over 10 of over 200 judicial nominees endangers are national security-- congress should be spending their time and money protecting us instead.
            •  For reasons we've all discussed (none)
              The MSM don't listen when we talk. That's a whole different set of diaries.
            •  Sad but true (none)
              We should be hearing every democratic talking head

              Frankly stated, we should own more of the media.  Only then will we hear more of what all of the democratic talking heads have been saying.  

              •  We should be picketing CNN right now! (none)
                The other side is going for an all out win, and we're fighting back with one arm behind our backs.
                If they're going to make us feel pain with their
                nuclear option, we should be inflicting a little pain of our own.

                You'd think there would be some media saavy spokesman for our side who could break the MSM
                blockade. An Abby Hoffman incarnate.

                At our Move-on rally, in Portland Or, we had about 50 interested onlookers on the other
                side of the street, who stayed for the whole rally. We were able to pass out the contact information after the rally. What if we had a
                general Progressive rally at Pioneer Courthouse
                Square, with speakers on all Progressive issues.
                I think would could attract new people to the fold and send out a positive Progressive message.

                "Together we will stand, every boy, girl, woman and a man."

              •  Al Gore and AAR (none)
                Al Gore's network and AAR are starts, but we need more. Al Gore's network is more grassroots-based and will not have talking heads like the other three news networks. And we need to fight to keep NPR and PBS neutral in the face of CPB interference.
                •  it's not that complicated (none)
                  we need a few intelligent, disciplined people at the DNC (think Clinton war room, circa '92) who can come up with a coherent rapid response to the repub talking points, then distribute them to all dems who have interviews scheduled with MSM.  That group should coordinate the message, and drive it home consistently.

                  Only by picking fights with the thugs, staying on the offensive, and being consistent can our message be heard.  But it starts at the top, and the same issues we had in '04 with campaign organization are the issues we're having now.

                  It's not the MSM's fault (granted, they are awful).  It's our fault.  The rules are the same for each side in these debates-- we just don't coordinate and communicate effectively enough.  That has to change or else the losses will just keep piling up......

      •  Specter has been saying for some time (none)
        that there's blame to go around on both sides.  He's been saying it on the Sunday talk shows.  I've heard him say it.
      •  Perhaps I cynical, (none)
        but I'm trying to figure Hagel's motives.  Maybe, as you say it is his love for the Senate, but I can't help thinking that it has to do with his own plans for 2008.
      •  Speaking of him geing a.. (none)
        "Republican with honor", you oughtta see how right-wingnuts are frothing at the mouth over this. Hagel is lower than dogshit with them right now! So much fun to watch:)
    •  Becauase the Democratic talking heads are morons (none)

      Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

      by LionelEHutz on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:00:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is Hagel trying going to switch... (none)
      .... parties? Or his he merely trying to torch what little chance he has at a nomination? Maybe he's just pulling a Lieberman.
      •  hagel is like mccain and even o'reilly (none)
        obscenely ambitious, and willing to do socipathic thing when things don't go his way. curiously endearing to many casual observers for this reason. but, a true snake underneath.
  •  Outstanding. comment from Hagel. (none)
    Everyone needs to hear about this.  Recommended.

    Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

    by by foot on Sun May 08, 2005 at 02:59:52 PM PDT

  •  Excellent job (none)

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:00:05 PM PDT

  •  They will never air that ad, it takes balls (none)
    If I had any influence we would sling mud on GOP every day every hour. Won't happen. We're taking the high road instead, getting crushed by Republicans in election after election.

    Let's smoke out the Republican Jihadists

    by Joe B on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:00:47 PM PDT

    •  What? (none)
      Quoting Hagel is the low road? How do you figure?

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:02:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what we've come to (4.00)
        There's a genuine perception, even among Democrats and progressives, that any fighting hard by Democrats and progressives is "the low road".
        •  And that is why we keep losing. (4.00)
          Kerry's biggest mistake was that he should have came out the day the Swift Boat book came out and just stated forcefully that these guys didn't serve with him, and that they are just liars and crooks.

          Did he do that?  No.  They had their hatchet machine revved up all summer, as we sat by and took the "high road".

          I'm tired of watching dems and libs sit back and take the high road.  You can't bring a knife to a gun fight, and expect to win...

          •  Agree (none)
            The truthful road doesn't need to be the low road.  The truthful road can be extremely aggressive and effective as well. I think it's the aggressive part a lot of Dems/libs struggle with.  

            Public Interest Law: Twice the schooling - half the pay.

            by chassit on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:21:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yup (none)
            We've kicked this around for months (some friends and I). And essentially, it has to do with the point I made earier.  Since the Republicans can somehow say whatever they want and get away with it, they do.

            Democrats examine all the possible outcomes, decide they "can't say that," and get our asses kicked. We're so worried that if we say "68% of Americans don't want this," somebody will say, "You're's only 67.4%. There go the Democrats, lying again."

            It's bullshit, but it's essentially castrated us for a while now.  Let's see if Howard has the balls everybody claims he has. This one is as clear-cut as they come. There's no low-road. There's no risk. It should be an ad that gets run in EVERY district with an undecided Senator.

    •  Not Reid. (none)
      But the plan to kill the filibuster is not the end. Phylis Schlafly is planning to push legislation to deny funding to unsympathetic courts and pass laws saying courts can't rule on issues like school prayer and posting the 10 Commandments inside government buildings:

      I can picture Schlafly in her cold, haughty tone complaining about the spinelessness of the GOP if they succeed in passing this legislation and refuse to act on her proposals.

  •  I'd like to promote (none)
    But i don't like the "cut the ad now" in the title. Can I take that out?

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:00:50 PM PDT

  •  Ha ha (4.00)
    We can propose a compromise.  We'll vote on their 7 judges after they vote on the 62 judges they blocked.  After all, they deserve an up-or-down vote.

    What color are your pajamas?

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:01:25 PM PDT

    •  That's not going to get us very far (none)
      Seeing as how some of the judges are nominated for the same seats as have since been filled by Bush appointees (or are open for these 10). Further, there's no getting around their majority, so what do you think the chances are we'd get ANY of those judges.

      I mean, it'd make a nice talking point. But it'd be pretty easy for them to call our bluff.

  •  Here's the real question (4.00)
    When Frist pushes the button, assuming he does, how will Hagel vote? Will he actually buck his party for the first time when it matters, or will he pull a McCain and cave because he wants a shot at the Presidency and the wingers won't forgive him for selling him out?

    "The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people." Bill Maher

    by incertus on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:03:24 PM PDT

    •  Presidential Considerations (3.91)
      I'm not sure that "caving" is what either McCain or Hagel will decide is in their best interest when it comes to their presidential aspirations.

      Here's how I figure it:  

      Both McCain and Hagel are already despised by a sizable portion of the Republican establishment.  Thus, under ordinary circumstances, neither has much chance of actually winning the nomination.  In other words, caving in hopes of picking up sufficient support from the wingers is pretty much hopeless.

      However, it is far from clear that 2008 will present "ordinary circumstances" for the Republicans.  If both the ecomony and Iraq continue on their current paths, and if the Republicans continue to overreach on issues like Social Security and judges, Bush's approval could conceivably be at around 35-40% at the end of his term.

      Under those circumstances, the Republicans may be faced with the prospect that the only real way to win is to bite the bullet and choose a nominee who has demonstrated their independence from Bush and the wingers.  That brings us back to Hagel and McCain, who will want to be able to demonstrate to the American people that they have not caved to the wingers on every issue.

      •  That makes sense (4.00)
        for the general election, but you've got to get there first, and at least for now, the wingnuts have way more power in their primaries than the moderates. I suppose that could change between now and 2008, but I can't see that large a change happening. I'd welcome it, to be sure, but considering how much the party as a whole owes the wingnuts, I doubt it happens. Without them, the Republicans would lose every national election by 10+ points.

        "The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people." Bill Maher

        by incertus on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:35:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But who's the competition? (none)
          And how much power do the wingnuts really have? Enough to elevate someone like Frist? I don't think so.  

          As for the competition: first of all, McCain. He's got much more of a 'name' than Frist, and after some of these Frist-led fiascos, he's going to be far more palatable to the non-wingnuts of the party. And he does hold 'traditional conservative' viewpoints, including being anti-choice, without being a complete wingnut about it.

          And then there's the 800-pound-gorilla--Giuliani. Rudy makes things interesting--because he has far more 'star-power' than anyone else in the Republican party. He's also got executive experience, and I'd consider it high-level; hell, I think mayor of NYC is a harder job than governor of a weak-governor state (like, oh, Texas). But he's a northeastern moderate--hell, he's downright liberal on social issues. He'd be anathema to the wingnuts.

          If Rudy runs, who beats him? Not Frist. No way. There's not that many wingnuts. I think the only guy that can beat Rudy is McCain. Will that lead the wingnuts to hold their noses and vote McCain to 'stop Giuliani'? It's possible.

          Hagel's bonafides is foreign relations, and that gives him a particular niche. That'll give him something to carve out vis-a-vis any of the rest, and I think that's the tack he'll take. But I don't think going for the Nuclear Option will help him--he's not going to out-Frist the Fristoids.

          "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

          by ChurchofBruce on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:35:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rudy won't run (none)
            Come on, you really think the religious right will accept a pro-choice, pro-gay rights candidate anywhere on a presidential ticket?  Besides, his political career is over anyway--taking a partnership in an Enron law firm?
            •  neither will mccain (none)
              well mccain will run be he won't get the nomination.  he voted against the bush tax cuts, he believes in global warming and the fundies have never liked him.  he is more well liked by dems then by republicans.  he has no chance.  i mean c'mon, he has a black baby from an adulterous liason!!!

              "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

              by tmendoza on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:42:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, I don't (none)
              However, I do think the pro-business Repubs will salivate all over Rudy. Which means the wingnuts will try to find a stop-Rudy candidate. Which is what I originally said.

              I just don't think Frist will be that candidate.

              I predict, by the way, that Rudy will run.

              "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

              by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 09, 2005 at 07:15:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Forget about Rudy!! (none)
            I live in New York.

            Rudy has blood all over his hands--9/11 blood.

            He's made a fortune on 9/11 profiteering.

             Before 9/11 made him a "hero", he went on TV to inform his wife about his affair.

            He was a very unpopular mayor prior to 9/11--his polls were a disaster.

            Rudy is a 100% creation of the MSM!

            •  Um (none)
              If the media and GOP could conspire to elevate an arrogant, dry-drunk dimwit to President, I think giving Rudy a public image makeover is noooo problem.

              "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask me. And bring a TV crew."
              -Curt Schilling

              by Dragonchild on Mon May 09, 2005 at 06:06:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  McCain a `no' vote (3.66)
        He has already said publicly he intends to vote against the nuclear option.
    •  win/win for Hagel? (4.00)
      the fundies don't like him anyway--by throwing a big middle finger to the GOP talking points he provides cover for GOP senators with weaker backbones and puts Frist in a bad position with the fundies.  if Hagel does have an interest in running for higher office in '08, damaging Frist now seems like a good idea.

      and don't forget that he may just be honestly opposed to this crap and want to scuttle it.  hurting Frist's position in public, hurts Frist, Rove, and Bush in back room attempts to twist the arms of GOP senators.

      •  i think it is your second point (none)
        i think hagel is not doing this because he thinks it will be good for him politically.  it probably will be bad for him actually either in a republican primary or at home in nebraske.  i just think he is a little less nutty and he thinks the senate should retain its traditions.  

        "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

        by tmendoza on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:45:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Frist ain't no DeLay (4.00)
      I don't think Frist inspires quite the fear in the Senate that DeLay does in the House. Not that they're paragons of virtue, but I think the Senate is above horse heads in the bed and stuff like that.

      ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

      by snookybeh on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:43:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly! (3.50)
      Talking compromise is a BIG mistake on the Dem's part.  If they were smart (and courageous), they'd say:

      "Compromise?  We don't need to talk compromise.  We and you both know what you're doing is hijacking minority protections Americans have historically depended on to save them from power run amok.  One day, you will be in the minority.  Do you expect us to treat you more fairly and change the rules back?

      "What you're doing is pure and simple a power grab -- you want absolute power, thinking that will keep you in power permanently.  

      "Well, Americans are watching you and they know what you're trying to do.  And almost all of them are opposed to it.  You want to defy citizen opinion?  You think they won't make you pay at the polls?  You can't steal every election.  So we say this.  Go ahead -- make our day.  Or as the so-called leader of the free world is fond of saying, 'Bring it on!'"

      They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

      by Limelite on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:57:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Real Compromise is what Clinton did (none)
        When the GOP blocked nominees it considered too liberal, Clinton withdrew them and nominated more centrist Judges, who were confirmed.  (Of course, Clinton's blocked nominees were not nearly as far to the left as Bush's are to the extreme right.)  But in Clinton's term, the GOP, seeing possible GOP light at the end of the Clinton tunnel, wouldn't even accept these more moderate Judges and held out the vacancies so that the hoped for GOP Pres. would be able to fill them.

        (And, BTW, in 2000, Nader was arguing that the S. Ct. moderates like Breyer were no different than the Republicans on the  Supreme Court.  Of course that in itself is utter crap.  But few pointed out the consequences of a Bush win for the hundreds of appointments to the lower courts.  We're now seeing the consequences of that.)

      •  Here's a 4 (none)
        You deserved more....that was nicely done.

        The rain covering most of the country? That's Jesus Christ crying over the abuse of his name by the wingnuts.

        by wolverinethad on Sun May 08, 2005 at 11:45:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hagal doesn't want a vote (4.00)
      He doesn't want to vote "yay", and he doesn't want to vote "nay", and he doesn't want to have to abstain, and it would be very obvious if he just didn't show up that day.

      That's why Hagal just blasted apart the foundation of Frist's underlying justification for this power grab. He does not want Frist to call that vote, and he doesn't want to have to chose sides in this. Anyway he votes, including abstention, will hurt him later. But if there's no vote, then he's cool.

      Furthermore, if Frist fails on the nuclear option it will seriously damage his Presidential ambitions, alienating him from his theocon base. This means that Hagal's attack was effectively a two-pronged one -get out of having to come down on the nuclear option, and take one of his most likely rivals for the GOP primary to the woodshed.

      As far as I'm concerned what Hagal said today was nothing short of an announcement of his presidential candidacy.

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  instead of whining (4.00)
    what about:

    TAG LINE:  Tell the Republicans in Washington to stop making up stories about judges, and start focusing on the real issues facing Americans.

    I think whining is too partisan and disrespectful for the larger audience of the tv viewing public.

    •  Even Better (4.00)
      Tell your Senator that it's time to fix the economy and health care, not the Constitution.

      "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

      by Adam B on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:24:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting division (4.00)
      Higher up in the thread, Joe B writes:

      "If I had any influence we would sling mud on GOP every day every hour. Won't happen. We're taking the high road instead, getting crushed by Republicans in election after election."

      By contrast, you write:

      "I think whining is too partisan and disrespectful for the larger audience of the tv viewing public."

      For good or for ill, I suspect Joe is right.  Nine months of partisan and disrespectful attacks on John Kerry seemed to work with the tv viewing public.


      •  I was about to say.. (none)
        It's as if we are trapped between the facts (which are on our side) and the obsene (the forte of Republicans everywhere).

        Using 'whining' to describe the majority is not innacurate, and it's certainly more tame than calling half the country un-American. However, I can see the reaction from here, and so can you. How do we finesse the truth into a mudfight?

        The true irony is when they complain we're being 'semantic'.

        "Nothing destroys irony like having to explain it." (?)

        by liberalis on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:59:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I pointed out (none)
          in a half-ass diary of mine worrying about perception wont get you anywhere. While you strive to give a non-condescendig perception out there the only thing that emanates is the perception that you worry to much. I guess that's pretty much why the repugs got away with calling Kerry a flip-flopper.

          No, as I said in my earlier diary playing by the rules don't win the game for you. The republican tactic of accusing their opponents of not playing by the rules gets them a win every time. See the difference?

          Playing the underdog gets the repugs all the sympathy. If they aren't called on it effectively they always will get away with it.

          The problem when dem's try to call the repugs out though, is they do it by nitpicking, meticiously taking their arguments apart. That shows the falseties of the repugs' arguments one by one all right but it isn't effective. You have to repeatedly point out the overall mendacity of the repugs. The only merit of dissecting each and every argument is you getting good at doing information autopsies.

          Restore Democracy!

          by high5 on Mon May 09, 2005 at 01:16:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        Nine months of partisan and disrespectful attacks on John Kerry seemed to work with the tv viewing public.

        I think it only worked because the Repug loyalists -- who don't like to think about issues for more than about 60 seconds at a time -- had a script written for them that they could memorize easily and parrot whenever they got in a large group and had the cameras rolling.

        "Flip.  Flop.  Flip.  Flop."

        They only needed a few handlers in the crowd to demonstrate the proper arm motion.  Viola!  A perfect tv moment is born.

        You just can't make progressives or "independent" voters do shit like that.  They realize how stupid it looks.

        The reason I like stop telling stories better than whining is that it speaks to the one kind of feces that will, finally, stick to the Repugs.  They lie repeatedly.

        I think telling the truth is one of the bedrock ideas that Americans respond to.  Think Washington and the cherry tree; think Honest Abe.

        I think, I hope that Americans are finally understanding that Bush isn't a straight shooter; he's a straight bullshitter.

        If we are going to sling something, as Joe B suggests, we should be slinging the Repugs bullshit right back at them.  It's dirty work, but someone has to do it.  The SCLM unplugged their bs detectors a long time ago.

        Call bullshit I say.

    •  How about this (none)
      A 51% election result does not entitle the victor to 100% of the spoils

      Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

      by corwin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:45:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What planet are you on? (none)
      Here on earth, not towing the BushhCo/Theocon line 100% of time brands you are a traitor, and if you are a liberal Democrat and non-heterosexual, you are evil incarnate.

      That is the rhetoric of the GOP and the Fright-WingTM, and you think if we say they are "whining" it is "partisan" and being too "disrespectful"...?

      Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

      These freaks literally want me and many others here dead and you think we are being too mean with our "partisan" rhetoric and our "disrespect"...?

      Again I ask, what the fuck planet are you on?


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon May 09, 2005 at 12:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that would be the planet dKossia (none)
        A place were progressives/liberals/Democrats and progressive/liberal/Democrat-curious people with internet connections hang out.

        My comment referred to the wider television viewing audience.  Sure, it feels good to call Bush an asshat here on planet dKossia.  He's a hateful, lying prick who has fucked up our country for years to come and I hope we can repair the damage in my lifetime.  

        I'm of the opinion (knowing many people who have no idea what dKos is but who can give me the pros and cons on all the various ways you can pay for tv and the current prices and special deals for my area) that people on Cabletvia and Dishtvia would find this approach partisan and disrespectful.

        If you don't see that, I guess maybe we do live on different planets.  I'm on your side, just strongly disagree on the most effective tactics.

        •  If the peope that visit dKos... (none)
          to read that we here call it whining, then that audience does know what dKos is, and can read the arguments as to why.

          Your argument is circular nonsense.

          You claim that some abstract "wider television viewing audience" will somehow find what we post here on dKos as "partisan" and "disrespectful" how exactly if they don't even visit the site, or are able to get to those comments without being exposed to the extremely corrosive and hate-filled language and numerous examples f such of the radical-wrong?

          People that can possibly be exposed to what we post here on dKos, don't get here in a vacuum of ignorance about the type and tenor of the language used by the radical right, who literally want people like myself dead.


          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon May 09, 2005 at 08:11:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why are you inventing an arguement with me? (none)
            My comments have been in regard to a television commercial.  Do you just want me to say you're right?  Okay, you're right.  People who watch TV may, or may not read these diaries.  For fucksake, I hear that you are pissed off and fear what may happen next.  My point, my only point, is that people prefer to be talked to in a nice way.  Since this diary is about a commercial (not how we refer to Bushcorp on dailyKos) my two cents is that "whining" comes off as partisan and disrespectful in the context of the proposed commercial.  If you disagree, fine, but I don't think you win anything by asking me what planet I'm from or calling my ideas circular nonsense.  While this may make you feel better, all it's done for me is make me discount everything you are saying.  This is sorta my point.  
  •  Where is (none)
    I thought they had gobs of cash and the staff to put an ad like this together.  So - when do we start to see some counter-spin from them?
    •  Moveon is 7 yrs old, WHERE are the Dems (4.00)
      For as much as give 'em hell harry is out there battling, I fear that there are too many milqutoasts in the leadership of the party, worried that they'll appear partisan / liberal / unmoderate / unpatriotic ... and when they appear partisan / liberal ... the middle moderate voters will get scared and then they'll lose their house / senate seat.

      Of course, the only reason you appear as anything is because you've allowed yourself to be painted that way by the Ailes, Atewater & Rove media.  Also, running tepid campaigns to avoid scarring the middle and then losing has resulted in how many winning campaigns?  

      maybe Dems who aren't attacking should be chucked over the side for real leaders, instead the Dem habit of coddling real excuse makers? (enabling the victim ... ??)  


      •  watch out (none)
        beware when you cross the Vichy Dems.

        They would be more frightening if most of them knew what Vichy meant but that's the way it goes. I'd give a primer but Madman has done it already at madman_in_the

      •  Sort of my point (none)
        Maybe you're right that the Dems are too chicken.  On the other hand, perhaps Senate Democrats won't run with Hagel's comment because feel that it's too risky for them to do so directly.  They DO have to be careful about what they say publicly lest they provide more ammunition for the RWNM.

        However, the Republicans have been using surrogates in the RWNM for years (think tanks, right-wing pundits, outside Conservative groups, Fundamentalist Christians) to attack Liberals and Dems.  We have some surrogates like moveon and others who have significant resources and the know-how to produce and air clever ads.  Why are they waiting to get into the game? Where is our Liberal Noise Machine when we need it?  Posts to Kos and other blogs, LTEs and phone calls to Senators by themselves won't get this done, won't get our point of view out to the general public.  

        Our side needs to counter with publicity that won't be freely provided by the SCLM, so the only solution is paid advertising.  Does moveon feel the need to hold back until they get some go-ahead signal from the DNC?  What the fuck is the deal here?

  •  Tell them to wash their hands, (4.00)
    roll up their sleeves, go back to the drawing board for better nominees, and generally get back to work on the real issues, etcetera, etcetera.
  •  Yeah, but... (4.00)'s okay to block Clinton's nominees because he was out of the mainstream.  And besides, he got a blowjob.  And did I mention Hilary's a bitch?

    "...your grasp has exceded your reach/ And you put all your faith in a figure of speech..." -- Warren Zevon

    by Roddy McCorley on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:35:08 PM PDT

  •  well done! except for the 'whining' part (4.00)
    an effective presentation of the actual situation.  however, i think that invocation of 'whining' is a distraction.  i don't like to invoke 'whining' as a wrong.  'whining' is what bullies call protests against their injustices.  when people have complaints, they should express them, and the others should hear them out.  the problem with the republicans is not that they are 'whining' or complaining, it is that their complaints are false, not done in good faith and are aimed at hurting the public interest -- and that they cannot hear the just complaints of others, which they categorize as 'whining'
  •  Say it isn't so... (none)
    Somewhere on the right-wing noise machine (I can't remember where) I heard someone say the Democratic congress bottled up many of George H.W. Bush's nominees in committee. The upshot (this source said) is that Bush Herbert Walker Bush left office with more judicial openings than Clinton did. Does anyone know whether this is true?
    •  "Bush Herbert Walker Bush"? (none)
      is that like Sirhan Sirhan? Or Boutros Boutros-Ghali?

      Sorry, don't have the answer to your question.

      ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

      by snookybeh on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's factual (none)
      but it isn't true. Poppy had more openings, but not because of the Democrats holding up nominations. He had more openings because 85 new judgeships were opened up in 1990, and Poppy couldn't get them all filled.

      "The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people." Bill Maher

      by incertus on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:55:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why couldn't he get them filled? (none)
        Didn't have time to interview?

        Saw somewhere today that one of the seven (can't remember who, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the three from Michigan) was actually first nominated by Bush Sr., and never got a vote?  Is that true?  Any chance he was nominated in the months before the 2002 election, when no one realistically would expect the Dems to take a vote?  (Please don't do research for me, I plan to do so myself later this evening if I have time, but if someone already knows the answer, you'll save me some time).

        A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

        by JakeC on Mon May 09, 2005 at 11:00:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who knew SenDr Bill Frist... (none)
    and Mohamed Atta were cat-murderers-in-arms?  And if you believe that one, have I got another for ya...  

    ... and the truth will set you free.

    by RJR on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:42:36 PM PDT

  •  thank you senator hegel! (none)
    i hear he's going to make a presidential bid.  Him vs. Frist could get interesting in 08.
    •  He's running, all right. (none)
      I just saw him on Road to the White House 2008 (oh god, no) on c-span, gladhanding in NH.

      At least he's a large cut above Allen, Frist, and Santorum (gag).

      " I went to war for George W. Bush; I came home to vote for John Kerry." - Sam Poulton

      by whometense on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:59:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  • (none)
    had a clip of an exchange between George Allen and Russert last week, when Tim(who was pretty good) said the same thing "Republicans blocked 62 judges in committee, didnt let them on the floor even" and asked: So how is this different??" And Allen said he was wrong. Russert replied, "These are the facts, these are the numbers" and Allen said, "I have different numbers." Really?? Wow. That might make another good commercial especially if Allen runs for president(shudders).

    Alan Keyes is so anti-gay he doesnt even believe in same state office seeking- Lewis Black

    by jj32 on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:53:56 PM PDT

    •  From last Sunday's MTP (none)
      MR. RUSSERT:  Let me turn to federal judges.  Court of Appeals:  Bill Clinton nominated 51 people to the Court of Appeals.  Thirty-five were confirmed. Sixteen were blocked by the Republicans by not giving hearings or not allowed out of committee.  George Bush nominated 52.  Thirty-five were confirmed because the Democrats threatened filibuster.  They don't run the committees, so they can't block it in committee.  What's the difference?

      SEN. ALLEN:  I think you'll find on the Circuit Court judges that President Bush has the lowest percentage of Circuit Court judges...

      MR. RUSSERT: I just gave you the numbers.  Clinton nominated 51; 35 were confirmed.  Bush nominated 52; 35 were confirmed.  Those are the numbers.

      SEN. ALLEN: Well, I have different numbers than that.  The reality is that some of President Clinton's nominees were blocked in committee.  They did not--and a lot of them were also brought up at the very end of his term.

      MR. RUSSERT:  These are Court of Appeals.  This is what we're...

      SEN. ALLEN:  Right.  And they were brought up at the end.  Here's where we are today.  I wasn't part of what was going on back then.  In fact, one of--my first speech on the Senate floor was asking my colleagues to rise above partisanship and political gamesmanship and support Roger Gregory, who President Clinton put in as an interim judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and President Bush put forward Roger Gregory.  He rose above all this partisanship and this worship of process in the Senate and nominated Roger Gregory, along with Miguel Estrada and Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown and others who have not been accorded the fairness of a vote.

      My view is that these nominees, outstanding nominees, should, after they've been vetted and people look at their judicial philosophy--and I like judges whose will apply the law, not invent it...

      MR. RUSSERT:  Yeah.  Right.

  •  STOP THE PRESS! (none)
    A repug told the truth!
  •  Filibuster the Saviour / What Does Frist Know? (none)
    Considering both how the nuclear option will solidify the GOP's position as the power-abusing extremist party AND allow Harry Reid to introduce those policy proposals espoused a couple week ago as debatable items in the Senate, I can't say as how I would mind too much if the Republicans kill the filibuster. They'd get 10 judges and we'd get a boatload of new and popular Dem policy initiatives being debated on the Senate floor, and a bunch of unpopular Republicans with tarnished national reputations having to fight against them.

    In order for Reid to justify "breaking the rules" and introducing Dem plans for actual floor debate, the GOP has to break the rules first to provide him with cover -- the filibuster is a shaping up to be political Saviour, it may have to die so that the Dems, and good domestic policy, might live.

    That said, if Hagel is out of Frist's camp -- and this sort of public repudiation of a months long Republican dissembling campaign indicates he is -- how many others have silently defected? Does Frist have the votes? Does he even know whether or not he has the votes? The best possible outcome is that the Republicans vote to break the rules and kill the filibuster but Frist miscalculates and comes up a few votes short. In that case we can have our cake and eat it too.

    So any updates or recent head counts on whose for what --  and is there any indication that Frist actually knows the exact head count?

    GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

    by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:55:38 PM PDT

    •  then you don't get it (none)
      The Supreme Court. Ring a bell?

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sun May 08, 2005 at 03:59:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Risk Analysis (none)
        Who's Bush going to nominate to the Supreme Court that the Dems would filibuster? Likely Scalia wouldn't get the treatment if nominated for Chief, and Gonzales wouldn't get that treatment if nominated for the court.

        Anyway, are you so sure that the same reasons Democrats either would or wouldn't filibuster a SC candidate are the same coterminous reasons that would make a candidate a good or a bad judge? From past experience, filibuster extant or not, whomever Bush nominates -- unless it's Owens or one of the 10 filibusterable judges -- will be met with a great deal of committee and floor squawking by the Dems and then a given a 65-35 affirmative vote, the Biden's and Liebermans deciding to give the president the benefit of the doubt yet again. I just don't think the pool of filibusterable judges (judges that Reid could portray as poor to the American public, and that he could get 40 Dems to oppose steadfastly) is all that enormous.

        So losing the ability to filibuster a Supreme Court nomination might end up being a catastrophe -- although again I think the number of potential nominees the filibuster's death actually effects is minimal -- but isn't that risk in part counteracted by a concrete rule-breaking example of Republican overreaching that both repulses Americans ahead of the 06 midterms and allows Dems to force floor debate on Dem policy proposals that the GOP will look terrible fighting against?

        It's wrong for the GOP to kill the filibuster, ethically and politically, and it's our duty to fight against it regardless of what we think the unintended benefits to us might or might not be. But we need to have a parallel discussion about the myriad benefits of the GOP's stupidity and brashness on the issue, should they win and confirm everyone's worst fears and characterizations.

        GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

        by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:23:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  public awareness (none)
          "judges that Reid could portray as poor to the American public

          The general public is a wee bit oblivious. I would guess nearly everyone here can name all nine supreme court justices. Ask a person on the street at random if they can name the nine. Try ten random folks. The results are not pretty.

          Halley's comet and a republican telling the truth share a common trait. It happens twice in a lifetime if you are lucky.

          by primate on the left on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:39:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? / Obliviousness is our fault. (none)
            I don't understand your point. First, we're not talking about current Supreme Court justices, we're talking about nominees -- the American public's current knowledge of the SC wouldn't matter, they'd be getting to know someone new to the national judiciary scene.

            Second, if the judges were really egregiously awful (and therefore filibusterable) then Reid would have an easier time making them into cartoons that the American public could recognize and recognize as bad. If they don't have a bad record that would really stink through the cable news net coverage, maybe they aren't really all that bad to being with. In other words: the worse the nominee is the more Reid and other Dems should be able to inform the American public clearly about their incompetence and/or malfeasance.

            Thirdly, any argument that is based on the general obliviousness of the American public is dead on arrival. That ignorance is our fault because we don't pressure our side to speak up enough and we don't (apparently...) do enough to hold the media responsible. Maybe we don't advocate enough direct-to-citizen pamphletting and advertising. Or generate enough local TV stories (in the starved-for-news affiliate market) that persuade people on a regional basis and occasionally go national.

            Though you didn't use the term the idea that we're simply losing, will lose, or are held back by the uninformed "sheeple" is the most asinine deflection of blame one can imagine outside of the many example of said deflection found in the current White House. It's like Quaker Oats whining, "but we're healthier, stupid Americans!" when they get outsold by Doritos. Well, Quaker Oats, maybe you should've done a better job advertising, a better job indicating why it's better to eat healthy. It's our job to sell Dem ideas, and it's our job to inform people. If they're uninformed that's on us, and looking down our nose at them is like a math teacher saying a kid is a lost cause cause they can't add.

            INFORM, don't accept or mock IGNORANCE, and especially don't use it as an exculpatory rationalization for lefty hopelessness.

            GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

            by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:52:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  a little sensitive, perhaps? (none)
              You made a point of saying Reid informing the public about poor nominees.

              A couple if not more Supreme court justices are in line to step down in the near future.

              It isn't a matter of accepting or mocking ignorance. It was simply an observation for the pot. You can deride it as DOA, but by ignoring pieces of the landscape now, down the road you'll spend countless hours analyzing what happened, engaging in what I would call "Lefty hopelessness."

              Halley's comet and a republican telling the truth share a common trait. It happens twice in a lifetime if you are lucky.

              by primate on the left on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:41:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Huh? (none)
                I don't understand the points (as they argue against my points or as they articulate any viewpoint) in any of the three paragraphs above.

                Your first paragraph: I made that point about Reid, and then said that American's current cluenessness about the SC has nothing to do with his ability to inform Americans about the new nominee. So why are you parroting what I said back to me as if it's an argument against what I said?

                Your second paragraph: I know about the supposed vacancies this summer, I linked the Drudgereport news in a response to Armando. Did I ever say there weren't going to be vacancies? Where? So why is this fact in your reply?

                Your third paragraph: It's a vacuous and -- more importantly -- useless observation if all you're doing is noting that Americans are ignorant. And no, in fact, you're the one who is destined to spend countless hours pondering what happened. My point is entirely that what happens is up to us (as far as clueing the American people into what the nominees stand for and qualifications are), and so we need to spend countless hours analyzing what must happen.

                Nice little wordsmithing and arbitrary usage with the "lefty hopelessness" thing. Apropos of absolutely nothing I said (more useful in describing your statement that Americans are ignorant), but certainly gave the reply an ending providing a glossy sheen of smarts...

                GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

                by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:58:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  blip bleep bleep (none)
                  Are you always this defensive? I must confess to being intrigued at how a single comment can illicit such a reaction.

                  Halley's comet and a republican telling the truth share a common trait. It happens twice in a lifetime if you are lucky.

                  by primate on the left on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:09:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm confused (none)
                    Why you would interpret someone making a well-thought out, reasoned, measured response to your fairly trite "observations" as "defensiveness." It's rather sad to see a person deriding another for attempting to engage them in a productive discourse.

                    Your response to Addison is both condescending and needlessly confrontational, as well as patently unproductive.

                    And if you're going to go around accusing others of over-sensitivity, I would look in the mirror. Someone who would interpret thoughtful argument as defensives certainly would qualify as over-sensitive.

                    Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

                    by Goldfish on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:05:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Your intrigue... (none)
                    Your original "point" against my comment, I felt, was wrong. I wanted to convince other people realized as to just how wrong it was. Hence the original comment. Then you, for some reason, decided to respond to that argument against your point not with silence -- which, since you had nothing to say would've been the appropriate response -- but with a mix of non-sequiters and whining about how I'm being defensive.

                    Look, if you want to argue against people's comments with drivel and then whine when said drivel is itself argued against, I suggest you try limiting your comments, which come automatically with a "reply to this" hyperlink for a reason.

                    GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

                    by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:13:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  okie dokie (none)
                      Thank you so much for your advice!!! It's terribly kind of you to instruct me!!! I feel blessed that you of such superior ilk would take the time to help me through these troubled moments!!! How can I ever thank you?

                      Halley's comet and a republican telling the truth share a common trait. It happens twice in a lifetime if you are lucky.

                      by primate on the left on Sun May 08, 2005 at 09:01:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Empirical test close at hand... (none)
        Though whether the filibuster lives or dies looks like we'll find out how vital it is/was pretty soon.

        GOP = Grandstanding Old Party

        by Addison on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:30:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does it really matter? (none)
        Seriously, the most likely vacancy in the court is going to be Rehnquist.  If he is the one, it really does not matter that Bush would get a nominee of his choice since Rehnquist is already squarely on the side of the judicial philosophy that Bush agrees with.

        The only way that removing the filibuster becomes and issue is if one of the moderate/liberal members of the court steps down.  I know that this is a possibility, but it's a big IF.  I also would like to think that the members of the court look around and see the atmosphere in the country and use that as a marker of when it's time to retire as well.  If any of the moderate/liberal members have any sense of duty to the country I'd like to believe that they hold off on any retirement announcements.  I don't have any facts to back that up, but I believe that it is a likely scenario.

        "When all that you aspire to is mediocrity, then you shall surely achieve it" - The New American Motto

        •  Rehnquist has been somewhat critical (none)
          of Republicans trying to assert power over the courts. Although most votes would go the same way with Scalia as CJ and some new associate judge appointed by Bush, it is likely the new judge would give in to Congress on some things. Let's not forget that the votes themselves are not the only thing decided by the SC. Opinions and dissents are probably more important for deciding future cases, both at the SC and the lower level courts.

          Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

          by corwin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:56:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd give my left nut... (none)
          "When all that you aspire to is mediocrity, then you shall surely achieve it" - The New American Motto
          I'd give my left nut for the Bush administration to rise to a level remotely resembling mediocrity.
  •  If we get Warner and Hagel (none)
    We're sittin' pretty. And now it seems like we have them both, based on the above and this little tidbit which some of you might not have seen yet:

    •  Head count (4.00)
      All 44 Dems + McCain + Chafee + Snowe + Jeffords = 48

      Add Warner and Hagel and we're at 50. Add Collins (almost a lock) and we win.

      On top of the fact that Murkowski, Sununu, and Specter look like they might tumble to our side, especially in a scenario where it becomes apparent that Frist has already lost. On this sort of issue, if it looks like the tide is running in our direction, we'll run the table with the moderate Republican senators since they won't want to be on the "wrong" side of the proposed power-grab.

      •  I really think the Bolton nomination may affect (none)
        I figure people may be willing to defy BushCo twice if they're willing to defy them once--some of the issues are the same (particularly if Bolton's nomination gets it to the floor without a Committee recommendation). So other possible no on nukes would be Voinovich, Domenici, and again Murkowksi.
      •  I live in PA (none)
        And we've been organizing to get people to call, email, fax and write Sen Spector for a couple weeks now.  Last time I spoke to his office, the person said he was against the nuclear option. I pressed her, as to when he was going to come out and make his position clear, but got nowhere.
  •  This issue will never be completly resolved... (none)
    Because as Hagel says "The Republicans' hands aren't clean on this either"

    This is one issue where both Republicans and Democrats are hypocrites and noone is right.  Go back and read the comments made by Democratic Senators when Republicans were blocking nominations from being voted on and the rhetoric is exactly they same.  

    Republicans and Democrats alike accomplish the  exact same things to block votes on certain judges using slightly different tactics but when those tactics are used against them they whine and complain about judges deserving up or down votes.  This is a perfect example to illustrate why many Americans don't trust our Congress whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge...  Both are guilty of the same exact things in slightly different context.

    •  Sorry (none)
      Dems never threatened the nuclear option.

      Totally disagree with you.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:15:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correct on the nuclear option (none)
        Yes, I completly agree w/that - I wans't as clear as I should of been - I was only referring to the approach on stopping judges...

        The nuclear threat is way out of line - its taking the whining to the next level.  I'm referring to strictly the blocking of judges where I think both parties accomplish exactly the same thing and both parties whine incessantly when the exact same things are done to them.

      •  the republicans did not do wrong by . . (none)
        by not allowing the vote in the clinton admin

        they did wrong by being wrong, by being for the wrong kind of jurisprudence

        it was a wrong that could best be overcome by getting more good people elected, instead of by changing the rules

    •  Hypocrisy? Not for all (none)
      There is a very principled position that says, Controversial issues should require more than a simple majority in the Senate for passage. That can apply to legislation, executive appointments, and judicial appointments.

      Yes, it is hypocritical to suddenly announce the discovery of a right to an "up or down vote" after preventing such votes for centuries. Frist and Hatch have done that. It is not hypocritical to grumble but accept the rules in 1992-2000, then object when those rules are discarded.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:26:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd submit... (none)
        that judges should bear an even higher level of scrutiny.  Executive appointments last only as long as the Presidency (one of the reasons I was not particularly hot and bothered by people who voted to confirm Rice et al), and legislation can be overturned by a new majority later, but judges, once they're on, they're on for good.
  •  The war, health care, economy, US poverty... (none)

    ...declining dollar, deepening oil crisis, bungled international relations, rising terrorism, chronic insecurity, government repression, malaise and despair...

    ...and those fuckers in Washington talk about Schiavo and the 'nuclear option'.

    I can imagine an borrowed Onion headline:

    "Bush, Delay, Frist, Ashcroft, Cheney, wake up after death and are surprised to find themselves in hell."

    "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." -- Walter Benjamin

    by quaderni on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:21:55 PM PDT

    •  And the media doesnt help (none)
      rather than saying, "Is this really a top priority??" They are showing that damn woman who ranaway from her wedding. Ugh, and here in Georgia it has been worse since this is where it happened.

      Alan Keyes is so anti-gay he doesnt even believe in same state office seeking- Lewis Black

      by jj32 on Sun May 08, 2005 at 06:09:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can hear.. (none)
    the Alleluia chorus!!!
  •  Hilarious (4.00)
    My mother who is not into politics saw Bill Maher and said he looks like Woodstock from Charlie Brown.

    "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

    by independentchristian on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:46:59 PM PDT

    •  Maher... (none)
      also reminds me of the Miracle Max character (portrayed by Billy Crystal) in The Princess Bride.

      "But then I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and the oomny ones use, like, inspiration and what Bog sends." -- Alex de Large

      by rgilly on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:15:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hagel.. (none)
    ..must have a Dem constituency in Nebraska to be constantly acting "centrist."  I just wish those Nebraska Dems would ask such party members to get off the pot or take their shit:  are they repubs in sheep's clothing, or are they repubs?

    Hagel is going to be up against centrist McCain in the repub primary, so he can't be outdone with McCain's moderate stance on the filibuster, so we might actually get a victory out of this showdown.

    Or we are falling right into another trap laid by the radical right.

    Jesus: Destroy this temple - Gospel of John

    by The Gnostic on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:49:06 PM PDT

  •  Hagel is dangerous. (4.00)
    If he were a little more telegenic, he'd stand a good chance to continue GOP domination of the White House.

    "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

    by upstate NY on Sun May 08, 2005 at 04:56:09 PM PDT

    •  Hagel is VERY dangerous (4.00)
      Typical right-winger masquerading as a moderate. As far as I know he has supported all of Bush's agenda, has a ZERO LCV score and mouths a few platitudes, gives Chimp a little grief on the war and is setting himself up ever ever so slightly less wingnut than the others.

      Beware and don't be taken in by him.  We are all so frickin' hungry to see ANY Rethug who is not certifiably insane that we trip over each other with joy when one of them utters a complete sentence that makes sense!  

      •  Good point (none)
        I guess even a broken cliché is right twice a day, or something like that.

        "What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin' on here?" -- Slim Pickens in "Blazing Saddles";
        "I have more than 2 problems." - the Coach Z

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:39:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  right (none)
        If we can get him or some like him to vote against things like this, or Bolton or something else, then I applaud it. But I sure as hell won be voting for Hagel come 08.

        Alan Keyes is so anti-gay he doesnt even believe in same state office seeking- Lewis Black

        by jj32 on Sun May 08, 2005 at 06:11:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't underestimate him (none)
      He is there best chance, and then some. Look at what he did today to Frist (which as I explained up thread has as much to do with `08 as the nuclear option). This guy magnum caliber politician, and not someone I want to be up against.

      My hope is that either the fundies derail Hagel in the primary, or if he wins the stay home, or even run a spolier.

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Sun May 08, 2005 at 06:00:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  true (none)
      although from what I've seen on they hate him as much as McCain.

      Alan Keyes is so anti-gay he doesnt even believe in same state office seeking- Lewis Black

      by jj32 on Sun May 08, 2005 at 06:12:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So does this really mean Hagel is anti-nuclear? (4.00)
    I wonder.  He could use the "everyone's hands are dirty" argument to justify a vote to end filibusters: "We've all corrupted the process. Let's move forward and execute our constitutional duty to vote up or down on all judicial nominees..."

    Maybe I'm being too cynical, but we have been royally burned by GOP centrists before. And I believe Hagel said on the same show that he saw nothing so far to make him vote against John Bolton...Or maybe he's trading a vote for Bolton to keep the dogs off him on the filibuster. Sorry.  There are many, many better things to do than sparse the comments of a centrist Republican Senator.  But it's important to read the situation carefully; be too shocked if that's what today's filibuster comment was all about.

    •  I heard Graham of S.C. (none)
      make essentially this very argument in the last 48 hours. Basically, he said both parties have dirty hands, it all started with the Democrats' mistreatment of Bork, and this is the way to fix the problem.

      By the way, Graham has been on some folks' lists as maybe being persuadable. Forget it. He's definitely voting with Frist.

      •  Bork (none)
        The only mistreatment he received at the hands of the democrats was that they went after him personally. He never should have been nominated in the first place given his role in Watergate. If democrats had gone after him for that and his overall record and philosophy, he might still have gone down, and it would have sent a clear message that radical judges need not apply.

        Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

        by corwin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:03:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Really...? (none)
        So somehow Bork used a time machine to somehow be shot down to the SCOTUS earlier than Abe Fortas, then fly back more than a decade and a half later to be nominated by Reagan...?

        Time to load up the way back machine with Upsidaisium.

        Also, Bork wasn't even filibustered, unlike what the GOP did to Fortas.

        Same old same old... the GOP trying to mitigate one lie by telling another lie.


        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Sun May 08, 2005 at 11:59:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes.... (none)
      I think your thinking is exactly right. Hagel says "boo-hoo, we all have our hands dirty" so let's just fix this broken system by eliminating the filibuster and allow these good judges the up-or-down vote they deserve. Allows him to do the devil's work and appear bi-partisan at the same time. Don't count on him voting against the nuclear option.
  •  An honest Republican (none)
    I guess they're not extinct after all!

    "What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin' on here?" -- Slim Pickens in "Blazing Saddles";
    "I have more than 2 problems." - the Coach Z

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:11:48 PM PDT

  •  THIS WEEK transcript? (4.00)
    has the THIS WEEK transcript been posted yet?

    by n69n on Sun May 08, 2005 at 05:47:36 PM PDT

  •  Beware Hagel in '08 (none)

    Hagel would play pretty well after Bush-

    Imagine a Hagel/Guiliani, Guiliani/Hagel ticket???


    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Sun May 08, 2005 at 06:15:01 PM PDT

  •  By my count, Hagel gives us 51 (none)
    We have all 45 Dems plus McCain, Chafee, Collins, Snowe, Specter (I can't imagine him essentially pissing on the Dem groups who helped him beat Joe Hoeffel) and now Hagel.  I'm even inclined to throw Warner in there.

    So Frist is gonna decide to pull the trigger and find himself wondering, "Why are all those Democrats smiling?"

  •  Video of Hagel comments (none)

    has the video posted from This Week!
  •  The finished flyer (none)
    Just uploaded a fleshed out design, which some of you lent a hand in creating the text for. The image below is the front side of a two-sided, downloadable, printable PDF file, that I encourage everyone to use freely, print up and flyer around your community. Hitting any local shopping mall parking lot, is a easy thing to do. Just download it, print it, copy it and place under windshields.



    Why oppose the ‘nuclear option’...?

    A filibuster is a common tactic used in the Senate, where debate time is unlimited, to prevent the legislation on the floor from passing. It is part of the Parliamentary Procedure used in the Senate since its inception.

    During Bush's first term, 10 of his judicial nominees were stopped with the threat of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. This month, when the 109th Congress convened, Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist declared war, calling the filibusters an “unfortunate break with more than 200 years of Senate tradition,”  and adding “...we cannot be certain judicial filibusters will cease. So I reserve the right to propose changes to Senate Rule XXII and do not acquiesce to carrying over all the rules from the last Congress.” In other words, if Democrats don’t rubber-stamp all of Bush’s judicial nominees, even those that were previously rejected, and  which Bush resubmitted, Frist reserves the right to destroy the Senate rules by invoking what GOP Senator Trent Lott termed a few years ago as the “nuclear option”, a parliamentary ruling that eliminates judicial filibusters by fiat, without a vote of the Senate.

    The reality
    • Republicans claim that there's no precedent for using the filibuster on a judicial nominee, but in 1968 GOP members successfully filibustered Lyndon Johnson's promotion of Abe Fortas to replace retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren. To avoid embarrassment, Fortas withdrew his name and remained an Associate Justice.

    • Not only have filibusters been attempted against judicial nominees in the past, but Frist himself has even voted for one. In 2000, after Senate conservatives had held up Bill Clinton's nomination of Richard Paez to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for four years, Frist joined in an unsuccessful attempt to filibuster Paez  — a judge who was favored by a clear majority of the Senate and who won confirmation after the filibuster was broken by a vote of 59 to 39.

    • The Democratic Minority Leader Senator Harry Reid offered to confirm all but 2 of the controversial Bush appointments — in addition to abstaining from a filibuster on any future Bush Supreme Court replacements — as long as the current rules remained intact. Frist couldn't accept that overly generous compromise.

    • 62 judges nominated during the Clinton Administration never made it to the floor for an up-or-down vote, either because they were stalled in committee or were victim to other procedural slow-downs.

    Given this history, fair-minded Republicans would be better served in protecting the rules they themselves once defended fervently. This check against unfettered executive or legislative power, has served our nation well for over 200 years, and protected the voices of all Americans regardless of political camp. The filibuster is arguably the last line of defense, keeping our courts strong and independent, not the servile rubber-stamping judiciary that the GOP demands.

    Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose the `nuclear option'


    Click here to download the printable PDF.



    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Sun May 08, 2005 at 11:53:42 PM PDT

  •  Easy question for the GOP? (none)
    Filibusters are bad....but what about when Orrin Hatch holds up nominees....
  •  Hagel in '08? (none)
    Hagel's running for President. I know it is a bit too soon to be running for President, but he is. I saw him on CSPAN speaking at a function in, you got it, NEW HAMPSHIRE! I think he sees the division in the country and is gunning for the middle of the road folks. From a Democratic party perspective, Hagel is a dangerous guy. He is experienced and hasn't drunk the right wing Republican kool aid. It's unclear whether he can could get the nomination, but if he did, he would be a formidable opponent.
  •  Here's another point (none)
    ..and I'm asking 'cause I don't many states have open primaries?

    MA does.

    Here's a scenario: the MA primary rolls around. The Democratic nomination is already decided. The Repub nomination is a dogfight between Giuliani and Frist.

    Since I consider the Christofacsists the biggest danger to this country, I would have to at least consider voting for Giuliani in the Republican primary instead of voting in an already-decided Dem primary. Put 'McCain' in instead of 'Giuliani' and it still applies, though a little less so.

    I am an American before I am a Democrat. The thought of even the merest possibility of 'President Frist' makes me want to puke. If I can stop that, even at the risk of having Giuliani be the Repub nominee, I will.

    I wonder if I'm alone. And, as I said, I wonder how many other states have open primaries. Anywhere where independent/non-enrolled people can vote in Repub primaries, Giuliani would have a good shot at beating Frist, and McCain would have a good shot at beating anyone.

    "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

    by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 09, 2005 at 07:26:23 AM PDT

    •  Say what? (none)
      I'm almost certain MA doesn't have open primaries.   I was  registered as a Libertarian when they had major party status in MA, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't allowed to vote in any other primary instead.   Maybe something's changed, or maybe I'm misunderstanding you.
      •  You can change your registration (none)
        ...right at the polls; vote in a primary; then change back on your way out.

        "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

        by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 09, 2005 at 02:09:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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