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(From the diaries -- kos)

Former GOP Congressman, Bob Barr of Georgia, has penned a second op-ed column condemning Bush's illegal wiretap scheme. It appeared in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This time the former US Attorney explains how Bush will try to avoid a well-deserved impeachment proceeding. It's a good primer for what to expect as the coverage progresses.

Barr covers the expected plan of lying, word-parsing, stonewalling, smearing the accusers and utilizing partisanship in defense of his "illegal spying on American citizens" that has already begun.

Selected snippets from the column below:

Bob Barr can be a self-important blowhard. His antics during the Clinton years were borderline obscene, as the thrice-wed Barr sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act and then became infatuated with Monica's stained dress. But since the GOP gerrymandered him out of office, his venom has been less toxic. Of late, the by-the-book prosecutor in him has turned its sights on the abuses of BushCo. This is his 2nd AJC column on "the Bush administration's defense of presidentially ordered electronic spying on American citizens". His first column made it clear that he views the spying as illegal and unconstitutional.

Barr starts with pointing out the parsing of words which he views as Clintonian:

President Bush responded to a question at a White House news conference about what now appears to be a clear violation of federal electronic monitoring laws by trying to argue that he had not ordered the National Security Agency to "monitor" phone and e-mail communications of American citizens without court order; he had merely ordered them to "detect" improper communications. This example of presidential phrase parsing was followed quickly by the president's press secretary, Scott McLellan, dead-panning to reporters that when Bush said a couple of years ago that he would never allow the NSA to monitor Americans without a court order, what he really meant was something different than what he actually said.
Then, from parsing to lying and attacking:
First, we get a president bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali. He knows he can't really tell the truth and he knows he can't rely only on lies. The resulting dilemma leads him to veer from unintelligible muttering to attempts to distract, and then to chest-beating bravado and attacks on his accusers.
Then an excape:
Soon, he begins taking trips abroad and appearing at the White House podium with foreign leaders with minimal command of English, allowing him to duck for cover whenever scandal questions arise.
-Not that W has such a firm grasp on the language either.

Then the stall:

The next actors to enter the stage typically are the president's press secretary and the White House counsel's office. By using the White House counsel's office to bury investigators in a sea of motions, pleadings and memoranda, an administration can drag out an investigation to the point of exhaustion. By the time the investigation actually slogs through this legal maze to bring real charges or issue a report, the courts, public and media are so sick and tired of hearing about it that the final charges fall stillborn from the press.
Then the favorite tactic of BushCo- partisanship:
A critical component of White House Scandal Defense 101 is rallying the partisan base. This keeps approval ratings in territory where the wheels don't start falling off. The way to achieve this goal is you go negative and you don't let up. If you're always attacking your accusers, the debate becomes one of Democrat vs. Republican, rather than right vs. wrong. Anyone who questions the legality of the decision to wiretap thousands of Americans unlawfully is attacked, as either an enabler of terrorists or a bitter partisan trying to distract a president at war.
And lastly, Barr recommends we elect a Democratic Congress:
Yet another tactic is to shore up your congressional base in order to avoid or at least control pesky oversight investigations. A president's job here is made far easier if his party maintains a majority in one or both houses.
The pattern has begun. The plan is in place. As it unfolds, let's write letters, make phone calls and call B.S on BushCo every step of the way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Barr is despicable, let's use him! (3.80)
    Bob Barr is a despicable jerk whose fascination with consensual sexual acts between adults led to the impeachment of Clinton.  His only road to any sort of respect is to work just as hard to impeach the criminal Bush who has violated US laws repeatedly.

    Will Barr have any effect on the drive to impeach?  Probably not, the RWCM will just shunt him aside, forgetting that they championed his every word when he was attacking Clinton over trivialities.

    I dropped my ACLU membership when they announced that they were paying Bob Barr and Dick Armey, two champions of the Repub-Bush noise machine who now claim to have a conscience.

    If Barr can deliver substantial attacks on the Bushite scum, that's great, but he should never be trusted since he was a big part of the Bushite scum machine.

    •  I wonder how much of (3.97)
      Barr's loud posturing has to do with any plans to run for Congress again. It would be a pretty smart play to be a voice for impeachment, thus clearly distancing him from Bush before he runs in a GOP primary against a sitting BushCo shill.

      But even if his motives are suspect, I agree with your sentiments. Who cares why, let's just use the mouthy bastard while we can to get some good things done.

      Then bury him back in the sewer he crawled from.

      "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

      by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:18:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Faux Impeachment Hearings? (4.00)
        Do you suppose the Republicans would rush through an impeachment, or censure measure, ahead of the 2006 elections, looking for the same deal that Clinton got. Bush would continue to govern just as badly and irresponsibly as he does now, and Republicans would get a big laugh out of that. Can you imagine O'Reilly, "So he's impeached, so what?" Curious that it is mainly Republican columnists suggesting impeachment, George Will, Donlan at WSJ.
        Let Bush be Bush, and the American public will be screaming for change, and the Democrats can rather sheepishly offer to make those changes, after the elections.

        "Republicans hate the French Revolution, and everything it stands for; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, but they love the Guillotine.

        by agent double o soul on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:17:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just as Stephanopolous... (none)
          ...was (I believe) the first to mention impeachment of Clinton when Georgie S. was a mere panelist on ABC's This Week; he's now the sole host.

          "We, the people..." [shall] "establish justice!"

          by trupatriot on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:06:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why All The Yaking About Impeachment? (none)
          Until very recently, the present Congress hasn't been much different than the Nazi Reichstag or the Supreme Soviet - a mere singing society for the Great Leader, who can do no wrong.  No impeachment from these bums.

          Assume by some miracle we can win back both houses of Congress come November.  Assume we can get enough Democrats in the House to pass an impeachment resolution.  

          To remove a president, you need 2/3 of the Senators voting to remove.  There is no chance in hell we could get those votes.  The public won't put up with the second impeachment in 10 years doomed to failure.

          Why not just support a censure motion following a Democratic victory next fall?

          "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

          by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:59:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A trial by the Senate (4.00)
            can produce some surprises.  All the senators have to come, and sit through it all, it seems.  After they acquitted Clinton, the Senate was said to have 'bonded' -- I suppose they were more cohesive for a while.  If you got all the senators together and they had to listen for several weeks to all the dirt on Dubya, PLUS all the ways he's tried to steal power from Congress, especially the Senate, a lot of Republicans might be willing to convict.  This could be especially true if Cheney had resigned and been replaced by a palatable moderate.  

            Clinton's Senate trial led to a number of Republicans voting the right way, not the partisan way.  The same just might happen in Dubya's case: the more senators and their constituents hear, the less support for the dictator.

            We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better.

            by david78209 on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 02:23:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent remark (4.00)
              and along the lines of what I was going to say.  After all the evidence was laid out, even with a bare majority in the Senate for Democrats (assuming a great 06 election), I can name quite a few Republicans who would vote guilty.  McCain, Specter, Snowe, Collins, Warner, Graham for starters.  IT's not a partisan knockdown in there once you get past the crazies.  Frist leaving in 2006 might be the Senate's salvation.

              There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. -5.25, -4.67

              by wolverinethad on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 04:11:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  McCain would NOT be among the angels (none)

                He is bought and paid for.  I can only suspect that the NSA spying, along with other illegal spying, has allowed the Bushies to get something on McCain.  Why?  Because anymore, you can count on McCain to fall into line behind Bush in virtually anything and everything he does.  McCain will make a little noise here and there, trying to make himself stand out a bit purely for Presidential wannabe reasons, but when rubber meets road, McCain becomes roadkill every time.


                His recent "triumph" with his anti-torture and abuse bill?  HAH!  Purely a hollow "victory" of no substance whatsoever.  It not only still allows torture and abuse, it gives cover to the Bushies for doing it!  The Army Field Manual has been modified with secret appendices describing torture/abuse tactics that can be used...and the bill is wedded to the Field Manual!  Whatever that "hallowed" manual says is A-OK with McCain.  It gives McCain a "victory" to taught to "moderates" while he seeks to curry favor with the Bush Loon Base by ramming a particular version Jesus and Mary statue (each wearing fatigues and waving "'Merican" flags) up his ass to passify the loons in the GOP Right

                "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

                by praedor on Thu Dec 29, 2005 at 06:48:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Guaranteed, no impeachment hearings from Reps (none)
          See, if the Reps start impeachment hearings (even "Faux" hearings), it practically hands the Dems control of both houses of Congress in 2006.  

          Nothing easier for a Dem to run on than, "Look--even Republicans could see that Bush was out of control, but they were too crooked to nail their own man!"  Especially if the hearings are obviously bogus, this will backfire.  Besides, if the hearings were really HONEST (imagine that!), it would bring down a lot more than just BushCo; it would also bring down large numbers of Republicans in both houses of Congress.  No Rep wants to start rolling that big, dirty snowball downhill.

          Reps are in a pretty bad spot for 2006.  Dems should and will start pointing at their amazing lack of integrity regarding all the crooked dealings of BushCo, and this should be the main line of attack.  

          The only thing that could rescue the Reps for 2006 is to have another 9/11.  But this time, BushCo will have to be extra-careful to make it look like they didn't provide at least passive assistance to the terrorists du jour.  Ten-minute hesitations and thirty-minute delays won't cut it next time around.

          Unfortunately for them, they've now earned such a reputation for screwing up the Homeland Security efforts that it already looks like they're being criminally negligent.  What will be their excuse this time--not enough Quakers on the NSA's spy list?

          Impeach the Duffelbaggers!

          by jimbo92107 on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 04:03:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  crooked dealings, especially the double talk... (none)
            since Roberts said in his nomination hearings that (paraphrasing) "what you do/support/argue for as a private lawyer represents mainly the ideals of your employer and not your reasoned judgments regarding the constitution.  

            So, why do we trust W just because he talked to his lawyers?  They work for him and presumably tailor info to make him look good.

        •  Yes (none)
          That is very interesting! Good point!

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 04:13:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Clinton didn't get a deal (none)
          Clinton was impeached in the House.  He was not convicted in the Senate.  The Senate had to get 67 votes for guilty, and that was never going to happen. And the Repubs knew that.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 05:03:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is not politics as usual (none)
          • The Republican Congress will (make a mock) sacrifice (of) Bush if only the Democrats will forget about Abramoff, Scanlon, Delay, Libby, Cunningham, et al...
          • Fitzmas, Fitzeaster, Fitz O' July... they'll never get to the bottom without making every non-partisan member of Congress a special investigator.
          • Impeachment hearings trump everything, but an impeachment investigation would narrow itself to a few issues. The Democrats need to keep all the balls in the air. The real danger is that Democrats sign some kind of oath in blood that this is politics as usual.  

          "Republicans hate the French Revolution, and everything it stands for; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, but they love the Guillotine.

          by agent double o soul on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:48:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it has much to do about... (4.00)
        ... getting back into politics. Barr has been a vocal opponent of NeoCon policies nearly from the get-go. I can't find it now, but he's written several (and one in particular) good pieces for Creative Loafing. He's conservative, but he's more of an old school guy than the crowd in the White House.

        hink

        •  Old-school indeed (none)
          Barr is an avowed, die-hard Reagan-worshipper. One of those folks who want everything to be named for the Gipper.

          "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

          by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:09:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He seems to be popular (4.00)
            in libertarian and paleo-conservative circles. Both he and Dick Armey have been opposed to the current Republican administration for quite awhile, rather in the same sense that Pat Buchanan is opposed to them. For now I say more power to him. People who won't listen to us might listen to him. He's a sort of antidote for Kool-Aid.
            •  Or at the least (4.00)
              He could provide cover for Repugs to get on board. They can avoid appearing as stooges of the Democratic party by saying they are just heeding Barr's impressive logic and doing what another Repug says is the right thing to do.

              "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

              by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:03:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed - while I would prefer he not run again (none)
          I will give the man this: he's an old-school conservative, for better or worse.  He absolutely can't stand the current fiscal policies for example - while he likes the tax cuts, the deficit spending kills him.

          I've never had much use for the man (not that it matters, he's not in my district) but have been pleased that he has taken a vocal stance against this administration.

          Let me get this straight: My father fought in WWII so George Bush could eavesdrop on my phone calls?

          by EeDan on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:46:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As the old saying goes... (none)
            ... politics makes for strange bedfellows. I haven't had much use for him either, especially during the Clinton impeachment. But for this issue, I have plenty of use for him.

            hink

            •  I like.... (none)
              this quote by Barr.

              "Anyone who questions the legality of the decision to wiretap thousands of Americans unlawfully is attacked, as either an enabler of terrorists or a bitter partisan trying to distract a president at war."

              It's true; anyone who stands up for the rule of law is called an "enabler". I personally think that anyone who supports lawbreaking is an "enabler". All anyone wants to ensure is that our civil liberties are protected in the process of protecting the country.

              "The priest has always been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." Jefferson

              by RichardG on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 06:50:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think he's running (4.00)
        He lost big time against Linder.

        I'd imagine his only plausible options would involve independent/Libertarian runs against either Linder or Gingrey.

        Of course, the catch is that Linder and Gingrey are both in safe Republican districts.

        I don't see him running as a Democrat. It would be a bit awkward.

        Maybe Barr is stepping out of the shadows for what he thinks is right, and not because he wants to go back to Washington.

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:31:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Despicable, but useful (none)
      Barr was the first House member to introduce a resolution of impeachment against Bill Clinton. The charge: abuse of power. I believe it was even before Ken Starr dropped his stinkbomb on the Capitol steps.

      Every Saturday, there's a new weekly roundup of Michigan politics here on Daily Kos.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:18:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What can Barr do now? (none)
        So now Barr is out of office, what can he do for his country?  Whatever it is, I hope that he attacks the Bushite scum with all the venom he used on Clinton, what a jerk Barr was with his Clinton-bashing over sex with an adult intern.  
      •  Barr is the poster child for abuse of power (none)
        and he's no civil libertarian, either.

        A few years back, D.C. residents put a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot. Barr freaked at the propect, but he didn't move fast enough to exert  "congressional oversight" and prevent the actual voting.

        Since DC's budget is technically under control of congress, he decided to push through legislation making it illegal for the city to FUND the vote count. Halfway through the counting, election officals were forced to stop, as their office supplies, equipment, electricity and pencils were supplied by the DC government.

        It took a court order and 3 weeks before the final tally showed the referendum passed 2:1.

        To claim secular societies are rejecting God, is to concede that religious societies are rejecting reality.

        by Kudos on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:11:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Despicable" (4.00)
      Barr is not our friend, of course.  This does not make him one of us.  We do not need to clasp him to our metaphorical bosom. Barr here is akin to the canary in the coal mine, a sign that things are getting really bad.  

      Mr. Bush, you have managed to royally piss off Bob Barr and Burt Bacharach.  Do you have any idea who spectacularly shitty you have to be to do that???

      "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

      by Roddy McCorley on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:20:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he's serious (none)
      He'll support Democratic candidates for Congress in '06.

      I think he just wants to be right, and perhaps re-elected to something.

      •  Unlikely - the only real chance here for (none)
        Demos is in McKinney's district.  There are really no other congressional districts in the state where we are competitive.

        Let me get this straight: My father fought in WWII so George Bush could eavesdrop on my phone calls?

        by EeDan on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:49:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Conversatives are Perverts (4.00)
      They, of all people, don't want the government spying on them, exposing their hyprocrisy and deviant behaviors.
  •  Normally... (4.00)
    ...I wouldn't trust Barr as far as I could throw him, but that's a killer op-ed.  

    And aggressiveprogressive?  Nice diary and recommended, but it would sure be easier on the eyes if you could put the excerpts from the op-ed into the grey quote boxes.  

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:18:00 AM PST

    •  The boxes. (4.00)
      Yeah, I know that's true. I just haven't figured out how to do it. I'll head over to the FAQ and such and work on it. I'll re-do it and post an edited version as soon as I can.

      "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

      by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:19:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's really easy. (4.00)
        just put < blockquote> before the text you want in the box & < /blockquote> at the end.

        Eliminate the spaces I put in after the first bracket (so I didn't create blockquotes myself).

        I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

        by GTPinNJ on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:21:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Done and done. (4.00)
          I'm very proud of the look now. You folks make me work so hard. (Wahhh) Good thing it sooooo slow at the office this week. Thanks for the help and the push to change the format.

          "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

          by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:27:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Easy (none)
          Eliminate the spaces I put in after the first bracket (so I didn't create blockquotes myself).

          You mean like this?

          <BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE>

      •  Thanks (none)
        And I'm sorry I didn't bother to include a quick "how-to"...oops.  :-P

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:29:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't, don't and never will get (3.68)
    over the smear bullshit done to Clinton. The entire guv'ment shoulda fell into each others assholes during that. Barr still is trying to play that fucking game. Trying to compare an intern and a dress as the endgame after years and years and what, $60mil, to Chucklenuts' overtly hatred of this country is sick and sad and fucking odd. Yeah, let us use him. After we are "through" he can put HIS dress in his fucking closet and go take a damn shower! Take your pills ya'll, we've got work to do!

    "What the Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs. Then this becomes a different town," Grover Norquist, 1995.-7.88, -7.13

    by bebacker on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:21:42 AM PST

    •  The Clinton smear BS (4.00)
      is what ultimately gave us President George W. Bush.

      If Gore didn't have that crap to worry about, he would probably not have distanced himself from Clinton during the campaign & would not have chosen Joementum as a running mate, but somebody like Bob Graham, who would have guaranteed a win in Florida.

      I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

      by GTPinNJ on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:24:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        GTP, you expressed what I had been thinking back in 2000. I agree.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 04:16:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree as well (none)
        You said it. The Starr/Whitewater/Lewinsky/Tripp/Stains/Etc sideshow the Repubs created and exploited is what earned us the embarrassment now occupying the White House.

        I'll not be able to forgive or forget. Ever since then I've made it my mission to identify and shit on Republicanism everywhere it rears its ugly head.

        Who died and left you Elvis?

        by Agent of Fortune on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 06:50:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  hey droliver- you want step up and (3.40)
      defend your 1 you "Center-right political junkie from the heart of Dixie" pissant little dweeb. Get off this site and go home. Jesus these right-wing fuckcakes really are like 5yr olds. Step up you Dixie-cup.

      "What the Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs. Then this becomes a different town," Grover Norquist, 1995.-7.88, -7.13

      by bebacker on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:13:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good bona fides (4.00)
    If Barr can be half the prick he was in the Clinton spectacle, I'll take him.

    Let the fireworks begin.  Maybe some Dems will get on the Impeachment bandwagon.

    It would be truly satisfying if Bush is impeached by Repubs, but that's a pipedream.

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Berra

    by x on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:23:42 AM PST

    •  The enemy of my enemy is my friend? (none)
      Politics makes strange bedfellows.

      Yes, he's a Republican, but not a NeoCon.

      Just watch out for him and his ambitions.

      Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:06:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd call a repub led impeachment (4.00)
      more of a nightmare. It means they are smart enough to throw Dumbya over the side, and it gives them a chance to claim they are the party of honesty and accountibility. I'm afraid if they did dump the chump they could pull off staying in power.
      •  Not only that, but.... (none)
        ...they'd avoid the possibility of a President Pelosi if, in 2006, the Dems got back the House and appointed her as its Speaker. With Hastert as the Speaker, the Repugs would still get a Republican President if'n both Bush and Cheney went down.

        Reason I'm bringing this up is that--something tells me if they took down Bush, they'd have to go after Cheney as well. He and Rove really are the brains of this Administration.

        •  bush can't go down without cheney (none)

          You're exactly right. They either move quickly now, or they risk getting stuck with Pelosi. Unsure what they'll choose. They might weather the storm, or they might not. Maybe it would be better to take their lumps now rather than having it be so much worse in 2007, or maybe they'll just try to weather it and get creamed. Who knows, but there's a lot of room for strategy here.
      •  yes but every time (none)
        I say this I get accused of being a cynical political opportunist who doesn't care about the Constitution. Thanks for saying it before I got to this thread.
      •  I don't care. Our country is at stake. (4.00)
        No matter what happens, there is no guarantee of a Democratic Congress in 2006, nor of a Democratic President in 2008. I say let the Republicans impeach away.

        Republicans, I wish you well, you disgusting slimeballs. Get that moron out of office. God wants you to do it, fools. Get moving.

      •  Another possible scenario... (none)
        ...Democrats could win both houses of congress in 2006. Between the current and next session of congress, November to January, the still Republican-led congress impeaches the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld junta. The Republicans can still exert control over the executive because it's unlikely that a second impeachment would happen so soon after the first.
      •  Not in their game book... (none)
        No way.  Not going to happen.

        What might happen is for cheney to resign on health reasons, and an acceptable vp steps in with the intention of running in 2008; but cheney is too much of a power hungry egotists to resign.

        If that worked, bush could resign at the 6 year mark so the new prez could run for two full terms.

        Even that's a pipe dream.  Nope, they will stall and crawl their way to 2008, and hope for a strong candidate coming out of the primaries with all the air power that modern lobbyists and pacs can provide.  

        The repugs still control the game.  No hearings or serious investigation can occur without the house in dem control, and no impeachment can succeed without the dems gaining control of the senate (the committees and procedures would be stacked to acquit otherwise giving moderate republicans no cover to vote to convict).  And even if we do get control in 2006, it would take quite a while to pull everything together.  Would an impeachment vote in an election year make sense?

        But without control of at least the house it's just talking heads blathering about.  That works for them.

        •  especially considering (none)

          that a new VP needs 2/3 of BOTH houses to be installed. The dems could definitely stop anyone they don't like, and the repubs wouldn't install anyone acceptable to both parties. If Cheney goes, the VP slot remains empty.
          •  traditionally though..... (none)
            A replacement vp is not challenged.  As long as they don't choose someone who is implicated in plamegate, or the intelligence scam on iraq, the dems would be hard pressed to oppose the candidate.

            It's not the supreme court or a lifetime appt.

            Just a thunk.

            •  traditionally? (none)
              this has only been done once, in 1973, and Ford was considered acceptable to both houses of Congress because of his long service there and his many friends on the Hill.  
              •  hmm... Not quite (none)
                Actually, it's happened with the assinated and died in office presidents as well.  Or did lbj go without a vp for the remainder of his term?  Poor hubert.....
                •  VP nomination didn't exist in 1963 (none)
                  In 1963, there was no Constitutional sanction for dealing with sudden vancancies in the office of Vice President. The details of succession -- even to the Presidency -- had been left rather vague by the Founders.  

                  When William Henry Harrison became the first President to die in office in 1841, Vice President John Tyler decreed that upon succession to the office, the Vice President becomes President both in name and in fact. Despite there being no explicit mention of the question in the Constitution, and despite the grumbling that Tyler's action caused at the time, it became accepted tradition, and the precedent Tyler established was respected for well over a century.  

                  Johnson completed Kennedy's term without a vice president under him -- according to the understanding of the Constitution at that time. From November 22, 1963, to January 20, 1965, the Speaker of the House, John McCormack, was next in line to succeed to the Presidency.  In August 1964, Johnson nominated Hubert Humphrey not to Congress to be Vice President (an action which would have had no Constitutional basis), but to the Democratic Party to be his running mate for Vice President on the ticket in 1964.  That ticket won in November 1964, and Humphrey's term as Vice President began on January 20, 1965.  

                  The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified February 10, 1967, writes into the Constitution the Tyler interpretation of presidential succession in section 1, and outlines the process for filling vacancies in the office of Vice President until the next scheduled election in section 2, which reads:  "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."  (emphasis mine)

          •  only a majority of both houses is required (none)
            Amendment 25, Section 2.  
  •  That's just bizarre... (none)
    That's just like a retired player from the opposing team jumping in from the crowd in the championship game and giving an assist to your team... who exactly do you cheer for?

    "If I dip my finger in purple ink, does that mean the Republican Secretary of State will count my vote?"

    by steppenwulf on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:34:44 AM PST

    •  who/what to cheer for? (4.00)
      the constitution!  that's what...

      i really DO believe there are some republicans who are finally realizing that they owe their allegiance to THAT document - and not to an individual politician.  

      i am hopeful that the veil is finally lifting from the eyes of the beguiled and those mesmerized by the bushco rhetoric will finally wake up and return to their oaths!

      i disliked bob barr - actually loathed him for his behavior during the clinton impeachment.  IF he is standing for equal justice now, then i will lose the revulsion and just settle for intense dislike.

      if he is CONSISTENT in his behavior on this topic, then his marriages can become his personal problem - for, perhaps he, too, has come out from under the gingrich, lott, delay, bush, hyde, et. al. spell.

  •  Link to Barr's first op-ed on this subject, (4.00)
    published 12/21/05, here, and related diary, here.
  •  Barr's libertarian streak (3.78)
    is showing, but I think that we ought to take his words as meaningful and with a good deal of credibility. He has to know as well as any what a White House in scandal will do to protect itself.  But I seriously doubt that Bush will be able to rally enough support to keep the people behind him as Clinton did -- and for as much as the Right lamented Clinton's ability to remain popular in the face of a partisan imeachment, Bush will not have the advantage of a serious inquiry into his actions as being seen as nothing more than just such a partisan attack.

    The stakes here are much more serious, and the fact that GOP libertarians such as Barr are on board early is a good sign that there may yet be a justifiable impeachment discussion that this country will have.  

    -6.13, -5.90 The New York Times: All the news that's fixed to print

    by GOTV on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:44:34 AM PST

    •  Good points, but... (none)
      ...I'm not sure what's so libertarian about being obsessed with people's private lives the way Barr was (as supporter of DOMA and Clinton's impreachment). I thought true libertarians weren't supposed to give a shit about those kinds of things...
      •  Just because he has (none)
        libertarian tendencies doesn't mean that he isn't also a partisan slimeball. By the way, why the "2" for GOTV? His comment seems fine.
        •  i agree (none)
          thats an odd rating. the comment seems completely germane.

          undercaffeinated

          by odum on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:18:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It might be time to reread the rules (4.00)
          Here is an excerpt about ratings:

          Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

          So, please don't downrate comments just because you disagree with them!

          taken from the DailyKos FAQ

      •  Marginal? (none)
        Perhaps you should read more about where Barr comes from on this issue and not be so quick to simply rely upon label.  Beyond that, I believe that mosesfreeman's comment answers your question.

        -6.13, -5.90 The New York Times: All the news that's fixed to print

        by GOTV on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 02:33:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (4.00)
    It's hard to trust someone of Barr's likeness since he played an important part in the impeachment debate of Clinton.

    You do have to wonder though if maybe just maybe this isn't ego related and truly is a GOPer who really understands what a incompetent and dishonest president can do to hurt America.

    Let's hope his intentions are pure and that he eventually brings up the "i" word.  

    Never have so few taken so much from so many for so long.

    (-6.75, -3.85)

    by mapKY on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:53:36 AM PST

    •  I agree that he... (4.00)
      played an important part in Clinton's impeachment. Unfortunately however, Bill played the most important part.

      I read this entire thread and other than Beyond God's comment above there wasn't a good word to be found for Barr. Some even blamed him for Bush being elected. This is what I think of him.

      First of all he is a conservative in the true sense of the word. Many years ago I called myself a conservative before the word came to mean even though I've never been a Republican and my voting record is left of center. When people started associating me with things that have nothing to do with conservatism I switched it to fiscal conservative. It didn't take long before I got tired of having to explain myself and dropped it all together. The funny thing is that exactly the same thing caused me to quit calling myself a liberal when discussing my social beliefs. I haven't changed. I was proud then of both terms and I'm still proud of what they mean to me. What's changed is the vasy majority of Republicans and Democrats alike decided that the most important thing is their political party, not their political beliefs. He also has always been adamant in his defense of the Constitution and has been a strong advocate of civil liberties.

      There's not much else that I like about him or I would mention it. But I can say that there are a whole lot of congressman currently in office, from both parties, that I can't think of that much good to say about.

      I think he wrote those articles for the same reason he did what he did in 1998. When Bush goes down, and I believe he will, it's going to be because of people like Barr, Feingold, Kucinich, Hagel, and others who place the interests of the country above their own political party.

      "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

      by Jim Riggs on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:22:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rootin-Tootin (4.00)
        A year or so ago, I finally had an epiphany about Bob Barr. After years of being puzzled by his behaviour, I finally found a context in which to view him that makes everything sensible:

        He's Yosemite Sam. And Bill Clinton is Bugs Bunny.

        That's the problem — every time Barr saw Bill Clinton, he would turn red, and steam would shoot out of his ears, and he would pull out his six-shooters (or not — sometimes they'd start firing away while they were still in his holster) and begin blasting away, shouting "Tarnation!" at the top of his lungs. All sense and perspective went out the window — and that's all that people know about Barr to this very day: Bob Barr is the guy who wanted to impeach Bill Clinton because of just because is why.

        Subtract Bill Clinton from the equation and Bob Barr would have been, I dunno, Ron Paul maybe.

        •  Good analogy. (none)
          I always pictured him as a Georgia Bulldog who had his teeth sunk into Clinton's ass and wouldn't let go.

          He has started to loosen up a bit. Back in '98 he had the sense of humor of a turnip.

          "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

          by Jim Riggs on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:17:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  can i defend barr? (4.00)
    there are certain right-wingers who sincerely believe what they claim to believe, and who do not aggressively try to hide those beliefs. barr is one of them. (ron paul is another). at least the guy is honest about who he is- a gun-loving libertarian borderline white separatist, notably thus like many of his once-constituents in suburban atlanta.
    •  revenge is a dish best served cold (none)
      he did not like getting screwed by the Bushes.
    •  I'm cool with it. (none)
      I can abide people who sincerely and openly take issue with the practice of abortion, since (for such persons) that's a value choice made in good faith. Sort of like being absolutely pro-choice; hey, if that's you, do your thing.

      What chaps my hide is people (see: SCOTUS nominees) who make out that they respect pro-choice but in secret intend to get rid of it, without any discussion whatsoever with all the people it will affect.

      And there sure are a lot of Republicans who speak in tongues for the benefit of their secret allies these days.

      That's just not cool.

      Mr. Barr, carny congressman that he was, played it straight...and maybe a little crooked, too, but you knew what you were getting. :)

      It's not a special interest, if you're especially interested in it. :)

      by cskendrick on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:55:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just read a little on Barr (none)
    Didn't realize he had abandoned the Repubs and turned agaisnt the Patriot Act since he left office. Strange dude, with his "Defense of Marriage" and all.

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:09:52 AM PST

    •  He mighta got fleeced (none)
      or cuckholded, or maybe just ignored.  Doesn't matter.  All that matters vis-a-vis Barr is whether he might be working for someone with something to gain; a latter day Alexander Hag, or Henry the K.

      I mean, does he seem like an altruist?

      Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

      by nailbender on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:13:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He LOOKS like a catfish (4.00)
        However, he's been off of the Dubya bandwagon for quite a while now hand he's been associating with the ACLU, which may have been helping to cure his subversive tendencies (snark).

        I think he means it.

        The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

        by dabize on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:29:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe Kevin Phillips got to him (none)
          As to his looks, I have known some very honorable catfish in my day.  And some bad suckers, also.

          Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

          by nailbender on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:15:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I predicted this (4.00)
    (or a close approximation) kind of, more or less, here.

    The sad thing,  as I mention in that diary (though I haven't reread it to be honest, and I might just be making this up), is that the Democratic Party is screwing itself by not getting the jump on this monumental issue.  Donkeys? More like Mules.

    Yes, by all means, let the Republicans conduct yet another sham, "limited hangout" investigation.  We can impeach anyone they don't decide to sacrifice when we get in, except that...

    The only imperative now should be to, through the courts, remove any non-transparent voting machinery from every precinct in America. A class action suit maybe.

    Otherwise, we may not achieve a majority large enough to overcome the fraud, manipulation, and intimidation.  Or maybe by November, it won't matter.  

    Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

    by nailbender on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:16:36 AM PST

  •  another tactic (none)
    they will try is to suspend rule 6(a) in the House and ram through, at 2am on a Sunday, legislation affirming in the House the president's authority to trample all over our Constitution and laws.

    Impeachment begins in the House.

    by raisin on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:19:57 AM PST

    •  It won't make any difference (none)
      whether the House (or the Senate or God Almighty) votes to affirm the president's right to trample all over the Constitution.  The House can't grant powers it doesn't have.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not whatever the houses of Congress decide to pass into law this week.

      Of course the SCOTUS would have to remind Congress of this fact, but even with the current makeup of the Court, I believe they would.  Scalia has already taken issue with the administration's quoting the Iraqi War Resolution as grounds for its NSA spying authority.

      (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

      by SueDe on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 02:31:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barr on C-SPAN earlier this year (4.00)
    during senate hearings, I believe, over the patriot act (something privacy related) and he was railing against it - big time.
    http://www.pen.org/...
    In his statement, Barr called on Congress to "improve the Patriot Act by carefully inserting modest checks against abuse. In particular, I urge the members of the committee to support the bi-partisan SAFE.... While it would retain every expansion of law enforcement and intelligence authority in the Patriot Act, the SAFE Act would incorporate modest -- but essential -- new safeguards against abuse."

    Either you're wit' us or a Guinness -- Brilliant!

    by Unforgiven on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:23:18 AM PST

  •  "Monitor" -vs-"Detect" (4.00)
    The difference between motitor and detect is like the difference between I "shit" on the constitution and I took a "crap" on the constitution.

    Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

    by strengthof10kmen on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:39:38 AM PST

  •  Thanks for Post (4.00)
    I am glad you posted this.  I knew there were conservatives out there who have had problems with the current administration on civil liberties and I knew Bob Barr was one of them.  I didn't however get to read this and am glad I did.

    Mighty Proud Of My Liberal Heritage

    by mighty on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 09:44:50 AM PST

  •  Churchill said (none)
    about Britain's alliance with the Soviet Union that, if Hitler marched against Hell, he would find some kind words for the Devil. That's something like what I think about Bob Barr.
  •  Southerner (none)
    I am glad to see some of these southern GOPers giving hell to this White House.  If we can make some gains in the South in 2006, it will be very symbolic for 2008.

    What I see as the greatest obstacle is actually getting much done to fix the massive mess this country is in in just a year or two if we are able to retake at least one house of Congress.  Let's face it, it has taken 5 years to get us into this and it may take 10 mimimum to get us out.

    As for Barr, I generally don't care for him but find him a credible voice when speaking on Congressional matters, though he is usually not saying something I agree with, so this is unusual and refreshing.

    Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

    by Pennsylvanian on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:45:23 AM PST

  •  The old adage (none)
    "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" keeps running around my head.

    Barr is a bombastic, opportunistic turd, but if he can rally the repugs towards impeachment, so much the better.

    I'll resume ignoring Barr once the "mission objective" has been achieved.

    What the hell is it NOW?

    by TigerMom on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:45:37 AM PST

    •  At the least he is cover (4.00)
      for Democrats, when we are accused of the horrid word "partisianship" for proposing impeachement of  president who violated his oath the uphold the constitution, we point to Barr and others to say see there is one republican so its bipartisian...seems that it works in reverse.
    •  he's not on the payroll anymore, (none)
      he probably doesn't get the talking points, and maybe his period of servitude is over.  deathbed conversion?  or is he worried about his own private conversations?  i think i recall he was against the traffic control cameras set up in the dc area.  he may have a lot to hide.  help, i'm starting to sound like bush!!!

      (about:-2,-2) "Welcome to the Monkey House" Kurt Vonnegut.

      by realheathen on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:57:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's not your friend (none)
      The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, but can be very useful for ensuring discord in the enemy camp.

      A Republican-led impeachment wouldn't lead to a clean slate for the Repubs in the next election, like someone upstream was worrying about. The White House would sure as hell fight back and fight ugly, and every bit of dirty laundry would be on the table. They'd be conceding the next election and maybe the future of the party, and it would have to be the worst kind of existential crisis for this to actually happen.

      I'm thinking that the stench from the White House would really have to get so obviously bad for either party to start impeachment proceedings, that the impeachment itself would be almost an afterthought. He'd be so discredited already that impeachment would be almost a favor to him.

    •  I don't know if I agree with that 100% (none)
      .. he appears to really value some aspects of freedom as outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights that fall in line with what I agree with.

      If that part of an act, it's pretty good. Maybe he took lessons at the Ron Reagan school of Bonzo Acting.  

      But he is probably probably someone I'd want to stay the hell away from my daughter.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 04:53:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, I'm aggressiveprogressives! (none)
    That's my ID on Yahoo. When did you start using "aggressiveprogressive"?

    I've been "aggressiveprogressives" for a few years.

    Nice to meetcha!

    "I ain't no stinkin' monument to justice."

    by menodoc on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:52:06 AM PST

    •  I started using it (none)
      about a year or so ago. I can't recall exactly, but I'd been just reading dkos for a while, but then needed to post when the 2004 campaign came around.

      I love the name since it is in opposition to the notion of wimpy Dems and also because it rhymes. It just occurred to me out of the blue.

      "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

      by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:11:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not a black and white world, folks. (4.00)
    Geez - as if one has to LOVE a person body and soul to support them on a particular issue.

    From what I can tell - Barr is on the right side on this one. I applaud him for speaking out against Bush.

    I guess its understandable that people feel a need to point out Barr's past sins - but think its short-sighted to get too hung about them. Bushco is a terrible threat to our nation - and any potential ally in getting rid of him is a plus in my book.

  •  The NSA Scandal Resource Center (none)
    The NSA Scandal Resource Center:
    • latest Bush spying scandal news
    • important DOJ memos
    • FISA, War Powers Resolution and other key laws
    • Supreme Court cases
    • relevant Constitutional provisions
  •  Barr a paradox (none)
    I hated his guts back in the Clinton Impeachment days and I still don't trust him but as they say any port in a storm. Barr has been working for the ACLU these last few years so who knows maybe he's had a change of heart? He always came off to me as an American Nazi so I still am weary of him.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

    by Blutodog on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:25:49 AM PST

  •  Sure (none)
    Bob Barr looks like a weasel, and he acted like one while in Congress.

    But he's hitting the mark here.

    I'll file this under "people I dislike making accurate arguments".

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:28:42 AM PST

    •  He looks like a pig (none)
      but he has been a stand-up defender of constitutional rights against threats from Bush and the Patriot Act. Considering how much of the mainstream media supports Bush spying on Americans, I say we should wholeheartedly embrace Barr on this issue...we need all the friends we can get. Anyone who thinks impeaching Bush on the FSIA violations is some kind of slam-dunk is simply not paying attention.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:17:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody should trust Barr... (4.00)
    any farther than they can throw him.  Some observations.

    1.  Barr is offering nothing new here.  He's only stating the obvious, even though the obvious is something the MSM strives to avoid or obscure.

    2.  Barr correctly calls it, "the Clinton impeachment scandal."  The scandal was the impeachment itself.

    3.  Barr began waving the impeachment flag about five minutes after Clinton took the oath of office in '93.  He didn't wait for any acts by "President Clinton" to call for impeachment.  He asked for impeachment based on acts Clinton had allegedly committed (later disproved) as Governor Clinton more than 10 years before.

    4.  And, boy, Bob, I'll tell ya... I'd really love to go back to the days where we were all in a twizzle about a cum stain on a blue cocktail dress.  But you helped bring us to where we are... almost complete apathy about the "President" lying America into an illegal and immoral war; spying on Americans; torture, including on Americans; usurpation of the Bill of Rights...

    Bob's trying with all his might to spin his legacy.  Writing a couple of articles and bashing Bush on TV he hopes will paint him into a nonpartisan light, and make his childish and infantile displays under Clinton seem almost noble as the underdog "David" who battles power stealing presidents.

    Up yours, Bob!  I don't want your help.  There's no credibility to it.

    Certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man. - OWH

    by blockbuster on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:46:18 AM PST

    •  I don't care about Bob Barr's legacy (none)
      But I do care about the Constitution.  And if Bob Barr wants to argue that GWB has acted illegally and unconstitutionally and needs to be stopped, I'll welcome his voice.  I don't forgive, I don't forget, I don't think this in any way lessens his share of guilt in bringing us to this sorry pass, but I'll take his help now.
  •  It Takes a Rightist to Confound the Right (none)
    Barr's position can be very helpful. Many right-wing people tend to reject liberal and even centrist positions out of hand, with no respect for logic, reason, or fact.

    They use the "it's so because I say so" approach. If you can cite other right-wingers supporting your own argument, it's harder for want-to-know-nothings to resort to the total denial they usually employ.

    Though they might just say "Bob Barr never said that," and you're back at square one.

  •  Bob Barr, Tammy Baldwin, and me (4.00)
    In the Spring of 2000, I was in high gear in an effort to kill censorship and "Secret Search Warrant" provisions of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act which had unanimously cleared the Senate, and was pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

    I first persuaded my Rep, Tammy Baldwin, a Committee member to remove the Bill from the Consent Calendar, putting it on the non-expedited review track.

    Next stops were the Libertarian and Firearms web boards, where I pointed out that the Search provisions would impact firearms as well as drug investigations, and the censorship provisions provided a structure which, under a future Democratic Congress, could be applied to restrict discussion of firearms.

    Next time Tammy returned to Madison, she asked "Ben, How did you get Bob Barr to call me?" It seems that thru the first 3 years of their service on the Judiciary Committee, he'd rebuffed all her efforts to engage him outside formal session, going so far as to turn his back when she'd try to approach him in the hallway, due to her sexual orientation.

    Berr playedf a key role in stripping the offensive provisions, along with Conyers, Nadler, Frank, Sensenbrenner, and Hyde. Barr and Baldwin remained on relatively good terms, while usually disagreeing on policy, until Barr left the House.

    The "strange bedfellows" grouping on Judiciary formed during the Meth Act resurfaced in the original PATRIOT Act debate, getting a unanimous draft out of Committee which was much milder than the Senate's version. Hastert  responded by reneging on a promise to Sensenbrenner, by then Committee chair, to bring the Committee draft to a vote before the Senate's version, which passed the full House.

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 11:51:32 AM PST

    •  Privacy as a Second Amendment Right (none)
      A good while back, the government was hassling a guy named Phil Zimmerman about his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) crypto program, which allowed ordinary folks (well, ordinary folks with an above-average understanding of computers for the time, but still) to encrypt their data with stronger encryption than the government was particularly comfortable with.

      At the time, cryptographic algorithms were governed by the same laws as military weaponry, which meant that, among other thigns, they could not be exported without a government license. Since Phil Zimmerman made the source code for PGP publically available, anyone from anywhere in the world could download it (of course, this was pre-Web, so it would have been a slightly more difficult). This really freaked the government out, and the FBI and DOJ were sniffing around with aggressive intent.

      Much to my surprise, Bob Barr was one of the few Congresscritters at the time to come to Zimmerman's defense, and argue that the restrictions on PGP were wrong, and that the FBI and DOJ should formally cease their "ongoing investigation" of the case.

      At the time, I joked that it was because the law considered PGP as a munition for export purposes, and Barr was just being a 2nd Amendment absolutist; but subsequent circumstances have demonstrated that, for all his faults, Bob Barr really does take Privacy very seriously.

      If someone had asked me to name one Republican who would be vocally outraged at the current NSA spying, I would have said Bob Barr.

  •  Not a chance (none)
    There's no way Bush will be impeached. People have no stomach for another impeachment circus. Even I don't want another impeachment ordeal, though I would love it if Bush were impeached. The spying and lying doesn't register high enough on the warrant-to-impeach scale to move beyond the fuss and fume stage politically. And lastly, whatever motivation people and Congress may work up to do the right thing will be overwhelmed by Rove's counter tide of muck and dreck.
    •  You hit the (none)

      nail on the head. As much as I would like to see Bush out of office now, Congress will not bring impeachment hearings against him unless he is found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

      Seriously, I agree that the majority of the nation has had enough of impeachment hearings. Nixon (R) barely missed being ousted by resigning and Clinton(D) weathered the storm in Congress. Let's call it even Steven and get on with the important task at hand that is within reach; electing a Democratic Congress in '06. all the talk about impeachment, as sweet as it is, seems to place the emphasis on the wrong sylLAble

      •  One of history's ironies (none)
        The impeachment clause was provided as a way to punish the president for criminal behavior, but it's always been one of history's ironies to me that the two times Congress impeached a president--Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton--it was for political reasons.

        Impeaching and convicting Nixon would have been a just and proper use of the power, as it would be in the case of W. The man has admitted to breaking a federal law! But unfortunately politics once again gets in the way.

        "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

        by AustinCynic on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:14:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As to impeachment, (4.00)
    I think this might just rise up to the point where the Republicans will have to impeach their own sitting President or face such a thorough defeat in '06 that they wouldn't recover for half the century. There are certain things that trump partisanship in the minds of the electorate. The GOP doesn't have a majority in congress solely on GOP base votes. They have strung along enough indys (and cheated, lied, intimidated, yada-yada-yada) to win. They'd keep their base strapping the lid down on the "I" word, but they can kiss the middle buh-bye, and they can't get elected without them.
    This brings up the quandary, "President Cheney????" People have said that won't be any better, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Flushing the rat from his hidey-hole is the best thing we can do. It's not as though he's not running the show already. He's just got a grinning fool to cover for him. Not to mention Cheney can't pull off the "cult of personality" thing like Bush does. A lot of people might want to sit down for a beer with Bush, but I'd think the number of folks with a desire to have a chat with Cheney over a cup of fresh infant blood is a bit more limited. That means, for the first time in five years, people might actually start looking at policy, and that can't but help us.
    So yeah, I'm all down for President Cheney. Keep the bastard in plain sight where he can do the least damage.

    Res Ipsa Loquitur, and you know what I'm talking about.

    by justme on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:13:00 PM PST

    •  It's not as if he'd be more harmful (none)
      as Pres than he already is as VP. Hell, I don't think there's been anything or anyone stopping him from doing everything he's wanted to do for the past 5 years. The only change would be that he'd have to get up and mumble a national address from time to time. So maybe having the spotlight on him would help.

      Besides, after an impeachment, no politician will dare go near him, so no "political capital" to spend on harmful projects. And he's already the most unpopular elected official in the nation, except maybe Ohio's Gov. Taft.

      So, OK, I'm convinced.

      "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

      by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:36:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  no... hell no! (none)
      We impeach BOTH of them... We can do it... and please don't ever believe we can't.  We're going to do it... both of them, Delay is down, Frist is in jail,etc.  

      I predict that they are BOTH GONE!

  •  Did Barr get a brain transplant w/ Z Miller? (none)
    I wouldn't drink the water in GA...
  •  I was in the (none)
    "only if we take back Congress" camp until yesterday.  MSNBC had a series of long interviews and panel discussions on the domestic wiretapping issue and the most persuasive argument I heard as to why it will be investigated by Congress is because Bush essentially shit all over Congress by ordering the secret wiretapping in the first place.

    I posted a diary earlier on the whole FISA subject (see my sig line for a link).  I have been writing my Congresspeople (and some that aren't mine) taking the tack that the legitimacy of their entire institution is on the line.  I think an appeal to ego, power and importance will work best.

  •  Bob Barr has made a political career (3.50)
    out of faux outrage and political hypocrisy. That which we find annoying in others, they find annoying in us, my old man used to say.   Squeezed out by Lindner at the last hustings, Barr is now attempting to get in a few licks at the Bushies.  

    Bob Barr is an odious little white supremacist cloaked in the borrowed mantle of the ACLU these days, once again blasting a few sour notes on his rusty bugle.  While these eloquent little diatribes are right on the money, describing Bush's machinations, they are all so much political posturing, as Barr once again morphs, this time into a Principled Republican.

    mendacem memorem esse oportet = the liar has a good memory.

    People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

    by BlaiseP on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:20:20 PM PST

  •  nixon (none)
    left office in almost gentlemanly fashion.  i doubt whether creepy, cowardly george is capable of the same demeanor.

    (about:-2,-2) "Welcome to the Monkey House" Kurt Vonnegut.

    by realheathen on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 12:37:20 PM PST

  •  Barr's piece just serves to ... (none)
    ..perpetuate the Clinton "scandal" myth.

    Most Clinton "scandals" only occurred in the tiny minds of Republicans like Barr, licking their political wounds.

    Read Joe Conason's "The Hunting of the President" for a full dissection of the Clinton scandals that never occured.

  •  Bob Barr sucks elephant tools (none)
    He is one of the most loathesome, vile, disgusting, hypocritical American politicians living.

    But any port in a storm. I'll take it.

  •  "Raising the Barr?" (none)
    on Impeachment, that he lowered so drastically for Clinton?

    For political egos, motives are always mixed, but as long as we're going in the right direction together, we need to welcome all passengers (and even a few loco drivers?) on this Bus.

    This may actually be the Final Exam on whether this nation has enough backbone left to maintain itself as a Constitutional Republic, or slide into Feudalism, or whatever it was Rome had with its last few dozen worthless Emperors.

    "Even a Republican can see..." -- or at least I would credit those conservatives who developed out of the Goldwater era as having finally savored enough of the taste of long-sought-after VICTORY, and are now getting scared at what it has turned into, and at the strange bedmates they've found themselves sharing the covers with...

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:41:10 PM PST

  •  Here's his plan: (4.00)
    Dau Report (from Salon.com) -
    "The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)"
    by Peter Daou
    The third button on the Daou Report's navigation bar links to the U.S. Constitution, a Constitution many Americans believe is on life support - if not already dead. The cause of its demise is the corrosive interplay between the Bush administration, a bevy of blind apologists, a politically apathetic public, a well-oiled rightwing message machine, lapdog reporters, and a disorganized opposition. The domestic spying case perfectly illuminates the workings of that system. And the unfolding of this story augurs poorly for those who expect it to yield different results from other administration scandals.
    Here's why: the dynamic of a typical Bush scandal follows familiar contours...
    1. POTUS circumvents the law - an impeachable offense.
    2. The story breaks (in this case after having been concealed by a news organization until well after Election 2004).
    3. The Bush crew floats a number of pushback strategies, settling on one that becomes the mantra of virtually every Republican surrogate. These Republicans face down poorly prepped Dem surrogates and shred them on cable news shows.
    4. Rightwing attack dogs on talk radio, blogs, cable nets, and conservative editorial pages maul Bush's critics as traitors for questioning the CIC.
    5. The Republican leadership plays defense for Bush, no matter how flagrant the Bush over-reach, no matter how damaging the administration's actions to America's reputation and to the Constitution. A few 'mavericks' like Hagel or Specter risk the inevitable rightwing backlash and meekly suggest that the president should obey the law. John McCain, always the Bush apologist when it really comes down to it, minimizes the scandal.
    6. Left-leaning bloggers and online activists go ballistic, expressing their all-too-familiar combination of outrage at Bush and frustration that nothing ever seems to happen with these scandals. Several newspaper editorials echo these sentiments but quickly move on to other issues.
    7. A few reliable Dems, Conyers, Boxer, et al, take a stand on principle, giving momentary hope to the progressive grassroots/netroots community. The rest of the Dem leadership is temporarily outraged (adding to that hope), but is chronically incapable of maintaining the sense of high indignation and focus required to reach critical mass and create a wholesale shift in public opinion. For example, just as this mother of all scandals hits Washington, Democrats are still putting out press releases on Iraq, ANWR and a range of other topics, diluting the story and signaling that they have little intention of following through. This allows Bush to use his three favorite weapons: time, America's political apathy, and make-believe 'journalists' who yuck it up with him and ask fluff questions at his frat-boy pressers.
    8. Reporters and media outlets obfuscate and equivocate, pretending to ask tough questions but essentially pushing the same narratives they've developed and perfected over the past five years, namely, some variation of "Bush firm, Dems soft." A range of Bush-protecting tactics are put into play, one being to ask ridiculously misleading questions such as "Should Bush have the right to protect Americans or should he cave in to Democratic political pressure?" All the while, the right assaults the "liberal" media for daring to tell anything resembling the truth.
    9. Polls will emerge with 'proof' that half the public agrees that Bush should have the right to "protect Americans against terrorists." Again, the issue will be framed to mask the true nature of the malfeasance. The media will use these polls to create a self-fulfilling loop and convince the public that it isn't that bad after all. The president breaks the law. Life goes on.
    10. The story starts blending into a long string of administration scandals, and through skillful use of scandal fatigue, Bush weathers the storm and moves on, further demoralizing his opponents and cementing the press narrative about his 'resolve' and toughness. Congressional hearings might revive the issue momentarily, and bloggers will hammer away at it, but the initial hype is all the Democrat leadership and the media can muster, and anyway, it's never as juicy the second time around...
    Rinse and repeat.
    It's a battle of attrition that Bush and his team have mastered. Short of a major Dem initiative to alter the cycle, to throw a wrench into the system, to go after the media institutionally, this cycle will continue for the foreseeable future.
    ###

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

    by Blutodog on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 01:56:10 PM PST

  •  You think that's bad? (none)
    Read this:

    Rep. Conyers: Bush leaked classified intel to make his case for war.

    This could be fucking huge. Between this and Plame, how could Bush possibly wriggle off the treason hook?

    JP
    http://jurassicpork.blogspot.com

    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 02:04:02 PM PST

    •  Simple... (none)
      he declares his actions non-treasonoous, the Press and the majority of the public buy-off on his declarations and the "Republican" world keeps rolling along pushing the country towards the inevitable precipice.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 06:16:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impeachment... (4.00)
    Folks... don't be so negative.  Trust the American people.  Talk about it and keep talking about it day after day.  Once the American people start to hear it over and over, they will put pressure on the media.  They will be forced to talk about it if it's NEWS.  Then when they get it out there, the Repubs will be scared about getting reelected and more of them will join us.  

    Have faith oh yeeeeeee... disbelievers.  The American people will demand an inquiry.  Keep getting the word out there.  No matter what their tactics are, WE HAVE THE POWER OF THE TRUTH BEHIND US... not hate... truth.  We will get him out.

    So be it!

  •  John Dean (did time for Nixon's errors) (none)
    lets ask him about impeachment  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
  •  Nice pipe dream... (none)
    ...can I have some more of what you are smoking?  Let's face a bit of reality here.  Impeaching King George would be like removing the head of a very big pimple: there is still all that pus underneath the surface (read: Cheney).

    Even if enough Representatives could pull their heads out of their asses long enough to see the Constitutional Crisis upon us, do we really want to see a President Cheney?  Even if the eventual proceedings grabs both the puppet and his master, does anybody on the Hill and elsewhere really want a President Hastert?

    Energy is better directed at creating a Democratic House and Senate in 2006 to reinforce a true "lame-duck" pResident until January 20, 2009.  With a majority in the House and/or the Senate, it won't be as hard as it is now to force this Administration to answer up to their ever-increasing string of scandals.

    •  We already have a Pres Cheney. (none)
      W is just a figurehead, too stupid to understand his own arguments and speaches.  Cheney is the one driving the program.  He'll go down (or not) with W.  Cheney did the Congressional "briefings", and received the Rockefeller letter.  He won't skate if W impeached.
  •  Can you spell 'conflate'...? (none)
    ...boys and girls?  Bob Barr was agitating for impeachment long before the term 'lewinsky' entered the contemporary sexual lexicon; it is past disgraceful that he continues to promote the notion that Clintonian pecadillos rise to the level Bushite  shredding of the Constitution -- apropos of which, Barr and his ilk may not have shredded that document, but were certainly willing to make of it a bumswipe, with which to capture their drippings of partisan bile.
  •  If You Impeach Bush (none)
    he is no longer the anvil the Republicans have thrown at themselves.  It is not yet apparent that there is a specific high crime or misdemeanor for impeaching Cheney, unless you wish to criminalize advice, and replacing them with Hastert might leave us longing for Bush.
  •  Can you impeach an administration? (none)
    I want the entire administration tarred with their crimes, their corruption, their incompetence.
    count 1:  Bush swore an oath to defend and uphold the constitution. Bush, Cheney, and Alberto Gonzalez broke that oath by directing subordinates to relax restrictions to certain interrogation methods ie. to torture in violation of the 8th amendment forbidding cruel or unusual punishment.

    count 2. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld; and Rice violated congressional law enacted to prevent executive abuse of power in use of domestic surveillance.

    count 3: Bush and Cheney committed treason by intentionally revealing the name of a covert operative in order to enact a political punishment for the op-ed piece written by Joe Wilson.

    Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

    by Dave the Wave on Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 10:45:16 PM PST

  •  Republican motivation (none)
    Could be based on the recognition that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Who's to say that if the next president is a democrat, and the war on error drags on, that a dem. president, citing a past president's precedent, will invoke the "It's all Good" rule, and eavesdrop away!!! The Republicans will want to bitch and complain about how wrong it is,(whiners) but will be told, that's not what you said LAST TIME!! So... get over it. Mayhap they have some reasons why they wouldn't want a nosy rosie takin' a peek, now and then, besides aren't reps. the ones saying, "well if you haven't done anything wrong, what do you have to worry about? What indeed? Red rover, red rover, send wiretaps right over!
  •  correction noted... (none)
    Ok, so ya learn something new every day I guess.  I humbly stand corrected.
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