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Dear [Name]:

Thank you for writing about Senator Russ Feingold's proposal to censure President Bush. I understand your strong feelings on this issue. While I share your frustration and anger, I do not think censure is justified at this time.

I agree with Senator Feingold that the Administration's attitude toward congressional oversight and the FISA law has been cavalier and arrogant. We are a nation of laws, and those laws should be applied to all of us, from humblest citizen to the president of the United States. No president should be allowed to knowingly and willing flout our laws, and I believe the President exceeded his authority with his domestic wiretapping program. The justifications offered - that the president possesses inherent presidential authority under Article II, or was granted that authority in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force -- seem to contradict prior precedent and our constitutional design.

But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists. The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows. Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts.

Also, a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power. It would not force the president to modify his domestic surveillance program or force the Senate Intelligence Committee to do its job. In order to do that, Congress must reassert its constitutional role in overseeing the domestic surveillance program. And it should bring the warrantless wiretapping program back under the authority of the court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Therefore, my focus is on crafting an effective surveillance program that both combats terrorism and contains meaningful judicial review of wiretapping, which is the most effective way to restore balance between the battle against terrorism and the rule of law.

Finally, I can assure you that your opinion is important to me, and I hope my opinion is important to you. I will continue to try to bring my best judgment to the issues before the Senate, and let the people of Illinois make their best judgment on my service to the state.

Again, thank you for writing. I will closely follow the hearing on Senator Feingold's bill taking place in the Judiciary Committee this week to see if any further information surfaces that might impact my decision.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama
United States Senator

P.S. Our system does not allow direct response to this email. However, if you would like to contact me again, please use the form on the website: http://obama.senate.gov/...

Stay up to date with Barack's work in the Senate and on issues of importance to Illinois. Subscribe to the weekly podcast here: http://obama.senate.gov/...

Originally posted to mdbiscan on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:02 PM PST.

Poll

What do you think of Sen. Obama's Response?

11%210 votes
13%246 votes
72%1301 votes
2%42 votes

| 1799 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I voted (12+ / 0-)

    adequate.

    I'm not thrilled.  I disagree.  I think he missed the boat.

    It's not an issue that should ultimately be resolved in the courts.  This is PRECISELY the sort of issue that the courts customarily duck... though not always.

    It IS the sort of issue that the Congress is entirely entitled to take up and consider.

    I think he's wrong.

    But it's not the same vapid crap that many of the rest are dishing.  He at least makes a sane point.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:00:34 PM PST

    •  Obama missed the boat on earlier opportunities (30+ / 0-)

      voice moral support for the Conyers House Resolutions.  

      I vote for the third options.  

      No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

      by Torquemadog on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:05:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This (8+ / 0-)

      Along with other reasons, is why I reregistered as a Green and won't waste my time nor money on these pussies.

      •  And it's why I'm now an independent (15+ / 0-)

        I really must object to your calling the Democrats "pussies."  You should have called them "fucking pathetic pussies."

        And Obama is one of the biggest pussies of the whole sorry lot.  So much potential; such a huge disappointment.  The Democrats are a total waste of oxygen.

        "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

        by asskicking annie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:03:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, Democrats are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, Brian Nowhere, Nancy in LA

          "fucking pathetic pussies" and a "total waste of oxygen".

          Ann Coulter couldn't have said it any better.

          (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

          by Sam I Am on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:37:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The naked truth (0+ / 0-)

            The Democrats, with a few notable exceptions, ARE a bunch of "fucking pathetic pussies" and also ARE a "total waste of oxygen."  They have utterly failed their country.

            I have no idea whether Ann Fucking Coulter would say that or not, but if she did, it would not -- unfortunately -- be any less true, so your bringing that stupid bitch into this is pretty much spurious and irrelevant.

            "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

            by asskicking annie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:24:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Another one calling us pussies (0+ / 0-)
          Obama is extremely careful and meticulous in his choice of words and usage and applications. He is not a man of action, not a wave-maker and not presidential material. That's all. He's fine for the Senate. If Obama had been around in the 90's --yeah, that would have been his day in the sun. But, those days are gone.

          Feingold has the DLCers in a knot.  He has a commanding presence, extremely telegenic. That some of our own would leave him hanging in the breeze at that censure hearing is a dirty shame.

          [kos, we need the 2's back.]

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:53:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Extremely TIMID and TRIANGULATING (0+ / 0-)

            And I disagree that these qualities make him "fine" for the Senate.

            What is the point of electing Democrats if all we're going to get is, say, 60 out of 65 Democrats refusing to stand up against Bush instead of the current 42 out of 44?

            "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

            by asskicking annie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:19:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because sometimes the fact that stalemate arises (0+ / 0-)

              is NOT a bad thing. So, the Senate is slower and more studious as it was intended to be. Obama, the Democrat, is fine there. If he'd stay there and not come out for the DLC's dirty work.

              And, yeah, I agree with your t's.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:52:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  don't forget the primaries! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, sidnora, drewfromct, Jordan LFW

        i am entirely sympathetic... but, may i ask you to reconsider?

        here's why - by registering as a democrat, you can vote in the primaries.  just think how much fun registered democrats in connecticut are going to have voting for ned lamont this summer when he runs against joe lieberman?

        you don't want to miss out on that kind of fun, do you?

        p.s. i went through the same phase, and registered briefly as a green (in protest)... but then re-registered back as a dem.... because primaries are where the action is, if you want to have better choices than obama.

        •  Well, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          selise, skippy, ChemBob, blueoasis

          That would be lovely, if we could have some more primaries. Ask Hackett about that, wouldja?

          Don't get me wrong, Lamont all the way. I'd just like some more choices as well. Frankly, this week, I'd love to see Feinstein have to defend her unfortunately impenetrable position a bit earlier than November and from somebody other than a weak winger. I'm in a quandry as to how to vote this year. Everybody on Kos seems to be very pissy about Pelosi, who is my Rep, but DiFi is the one who is giving me agita.

          10. Magic Imperial Authority. Kitty. Box fan. -driftglass

          by justme on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:21:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or if the primaries weren't (0+ / 0-)

            interfered with by Rahm et al.  Obama with Durbin were, from what I've read, responsible for recruiting Tammy Duckworth who ran against the local grassroots candidate Christine Cegelis.  Now neither Obama or Durbin may have made the decision to run Duckworth in IL-06--that could have been Rahm--but they, along with other national democrats, decided to corral their resources to swamp the candidate who had not only developed a ground team, but who built up the local democratic party in the process.  No, I don't live in Illinois, but I followed that race and have a great deal of respect for Cegelis and I am still sick about it.  

          •  but, in Hackett's case... (0+ / 0-)

            he withdrew before there was even a primary.

            I love Hackett, and I think his anger toward the Ohio Democratic Party has some justification. But if he disagreed with their contention that Brown would be the better Senate candidate, he should have stayed in the race. Nobody held a gun to his head and forced him to quit. (And, frankly, I think if he put the party ahead of his own political future, he would have run again against what's-her-name in the congressional race, and supported Brown in the senate fight.)

            We've got a similar problem in KY-3. Two excellent candidates running against each other for the opportunity to knock off an odious winger in "moderate's" clothing. I hate the idea that I'm going to have to vote for one of them, and basically vote against the other.

            sometimes, primaries are overrated.

            -8.25, -6.26 "Joe Scarborough - not retarded. Tucker Carlson? Jury's still out." - Stephen Colbert

            by snookybeh on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:41:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  First, Schumer (7+ / 0-)

              and Reid went to Hackett and asked him to run for the senate because Brown had not committed to running.  Second, they did hold a gun to his head.  Like it or not--and I don't--we do not have publicly funded campaigns.  That is, candidates for office, particularly the senate, need to raise a huge amount of money to be in the game.  Hackett got calls from donors telling him that they were called and told not to give to his campaign.  He knew what that meant, and he either couldn't or wouldn't self-finance his campaign.  Cutting off his source to funding is the equivalent of holding a gun to his head.  That said, I didn't think a senate run for Hackett made sense--I wanted to see him run against Mean Jean again.  But when I heard that he was actively recruited and then quietly scuttled, I understood his disgust.  Personally, I think Hackett did us a great favor by dropping out and telling us why he did.  Yes, we need to get the republicans out of office, but this democratic party needs to know that they are accountable to us.  I am tired of this top down, we know what's best for you bullshit.

            •  Against (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gmb

              It's one thing to stay in a fair fight, but Hackett's charge was that the party apparatus was actively working against him. I don't know if he was right about that or not, but he obviously thought that they were trying to keep their thumb on Brown's side of the scales.

              Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

              by darrelplant on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:21:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but in Obama's Illinois (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          selise

          you don't have to register as anything and can ask for any primary ballot you like...

          •  well, in that case... (0+ / 0-)

            by all means, register (haha) your protest.

            i withdraw my request.

            but, for those of us who are limited to voting in the primary of the party for which we're registered.... i think we need to take that into account.

      •  You're lucky the 1's are gone (0+ / 0-)
        So.  The answer here is just don't waste your time or money on DLCers.  Good call.  But, geez, don't go off into the outfield where we can't get anything done.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:39:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You might as well (26+ / 0-)

      hoist the flag while you're at it

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

      I had great hopes for Senator Obama. It seems he's taking the route of the simple over the route of the proper, just another politician.

      We are a nation of laws, and those laws should be applied to all of us, from humblest citizen to the president of the United States. No president should be allowed to knowingly and willing flout our laws, and I believe the President exceeded his authority with his domestic wiretapping program.

      No shit? Ya think? Guess whose fucking job it is to make sure that doesn't happen. Hmmmm?

      But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous.

      So the obvious response is to roll over and stick your butt up in the the air begging for more?

      The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it,

      Actually, there's not much of a question there. Going by his own statements, there is little if any doubt that the President and his advisors understood that this was illegal and didn't give a rat's ass.

      Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts.

      Umm, no. Did somebody bother to mention the word "oversight" to you when you were running for the Senate?

      Congress must reassert its constitutional role in overseeing...

      I'm just going to leave that open ended.
      That, Sir, would require a Congress that had some interest in its Constitutional role, not to mention some stones.

      It is responses like this that make me worried we actually are fighting a losing battle. Here we have a rising star within the party, and we get about as much fight out of him as you'll get out of the puppy cage at the local ASPCA.
      Sorry, Senator, I understand you're trying to cover your ass and all, but this brand of utter inability to take a stand where it is clearly appropriate makes me think quite a bit less of you.

      10. Magic Imperial Authority. Kitty. Box fan. -driftglass

      by justme on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:09:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beautiful Obama Parsarama ! (7+ / 0-)

        I expect my representatives ( I live in WA.) to NOT need my input for when they should piss, where they should park their car, or how they should part their hair.

        For a "Democrat" to:

        NOT oppose these bastards 24*7*365,
        NOT fight the bastards 24*7*365,
        HAVE to wait to see where the polls are on everything

        well, I suppose it is a "Democrat" in today's spineless sack of shit U.S. Senate, BUT

        they ain't "Democrats" I am going to make 1 phone call for, 1 door knock for, or 1 donation for.

        rmm.

        Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

        by rmdewey on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:01:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bing- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rmdewey

          fucking-go. We have plenty of careful statesmen. They keep getting chewed up, spit out, and flung like monkey poo at the walls. What we need are scrappers, down and dirty.

          10. Magic Imperial Authority. Kitty. Box fan. -driftglass

          by justme on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:37:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sigh (25+ / 0-)

    It's a really GOOD thing that you posted this half-assed response - at least Obama isn't COPLETELY trashing Feingold - but it's kind of nauseating that the plan he's hard at work on seems to be - one would hope inadvertently - a means of completely saving Bush's ass on this whole issue.

    •  He's being a politician through and through (8+ / 0-)

      He's trying to walk the fence and not be offensive.  He's got his eye on the White House and is kissing up to whoever he needs to to get there.

      I'll say one thing....he is smooth.  But now we all see he can talk the talk but doesn't walk the walk....how disappointing.

      I guarantee you that the DLC types are eyeing a Hillary Clinton/Obama ticket....he's sounding a lot like her.

    •  He's playing all sides (7+ / 0-)

      And no sides.  He is the quintissential DLC Democrat.  Hillary must be very VERY proud of her young protege.  "Don't take a real position.  Make it SEEM that you have a position but make it so pliable that no matter the outcome, you can claim victory and claim that THAT was your position all along.  Keep your finger in the wind, ignore the little people, follow your inner Rove."

      We need a primary challenger for Obama.  He must NOT get a pass-through on his next bid.  He MUST be opposed.

      Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

      by praedor on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:22:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant... (24+ / 0-)

    Denial, excuses, triangulation everywhere!  Hell, good thing Euclid never listened to any of that ilk.

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:18:06 PM PST

  •  Delete and post again in the morning (45+ / 0-)

    This deservs attention.

    Also, a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power. It would not force the president to modify his domestic surveillance program or force the Senate Intelligence Committee to do its job

    What? What? Censure is not about forcing somebody to do something, it is about the Congress asserting its power as one of the three equally powerful branches of government through a symbolic act. Using the excuse that it would not force the modification of behaviour is like saying "There's no use giving my kid a talking to about ethics and the law--he'll just go out and do it again!"

    Congress can still, and must, after the fact, "reassert its constitutional role in overseeing the domestic surveillance program." Censure does not inhibit that in any way.

    But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists.

    So what is the point of your view if you're not going to stand up and stand behind it? Leaders are not made of "Well, this is my view, but it's just a view, it's not that important."

    This is weak weak weak weak weak weak weak weak. You should have had that as a poll choice. It's extrememly disappointing.

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:22:44 PM PST

    •  No need to delete (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Earl, Karma for All, blueoasis

      It's on the rec list.  Just everyone make sure to keep it there.  Rec, rec, rec.

      "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

      by LithiumCola on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:16:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  also Earl (16+ / 0-)

      He is totally contradicting himself in saying that censure does nothing to reign in unchecked executive power, but also saying that he is crafting a program that will do just that. Uh, no Barack, it don't work that way. Any law you can make, this president WILL break it. How naive!!!

      Seriously, do they think we are this stupid? I can't wait to hear my Senators' take on this.

      Looks like this year up through November won't be so busy for me after all, as I will not be volunteering any of my time to get someone elected who doesn't give two shits about our fucking privacy and civil rights. Good, I have things to do.

    •  Also John Dean said (8+ / 0-)

      paraphrasing  "If Congress had censured Nixon watergate might never had happened"

      (-7.50 -6.31) Preventive war is like committing suicide out of the fear of death - Bismarck

      by arkdem on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:39:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  please forgive me if I was wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      selise, Earl

      I cut and pasted your comments into an email to Senator Obama. You said it so brilliantly in my opinion and I'm a lousy writer.  I didn't credit you by name, just said it was from DailyKos  I hope I didn't do anything inappropriate....now I 'm totally feeling like an asshole

    •  Here's how I see it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, StrayCat

      These guys are eyeing a Democarctic Win in 2008 and they want that power for themselves to do whatever they want with no oversight.

      That's my interpretation.

    •  Censure is a symbolic act (4+ / 0-)

      amd it's only applicable to the previous Patriot Act which did not explicitly spell out that Bush could do warrantless wiretapping.  If you consider the new Patriot Act which allows Bush to wiretap for 45 days before getting reviewed by a dummy Repub-dominated panel then Sen Obama statement makes perfect sense.

      The Censure law is intended to reprimand the President for a breach of the law and remind him not to do that again so it does have a forward-looking purpose based on some action in the past.  In this case, censure or not, Bush will be able to do warrantless wiretapping as if nothing happened.  I believe that's what Sen Obama meant when he said:

      Also, a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power. It would not force the president to modify his domestic surveillance program or force the Senate Intelligence Committee to do its job

      Taking your analogy:

      Using the excuse that it would not force the modification of behaviour is like saying "There's no use giving my kid a talking to about ethics and the law--he'll just go out and do it again!"

      Let's say your kid got a driver license last month and you just earned that he had a fun ride in the car last year.  Telling him "Don't you dare to drive without a license again" won't change much of anything (unless your kid gets DUI and gets his license revoked.  I would love to have Bush's presidential license revoked also but that's a different story).

      Even John Dean, a strongly anti-Bush person, admitted that censure carries with it a political baggage.  In the odd chance that the censure passes, this "political baggage" will hurt both parties, not just the Republicans, since the majority of people consider the censure as mere partisan politics that serves no other purposes.   In the most likely case that it will be defeated (or even worse, dragged on to be served as the Republican propaganda on the "angry, leaderless, impotent and partisan Democrats" so we can't get out our own messages on other issues), then it will hurt only the Dems.

      A heroic last stand based on principle is heroic if it hurts only those participate in that last stand. However, when it hurts the allies who don't agree to fight that battle in the first place while making those who fight the hopeless verbal battle look like heroes then it might be mere demagoguery, or worse.

      Are there any result-oriented people around ?  Other than expecting OTHER people to do this and that (and then feel angry because they disagree), what kind of results so you expect to get from all of fuss about the censure ?   Reality-based, of course, not wish-based.

  •  Oy (36+ / 0-)

    My senator has been nothing but a disappointment. All downhill since that first electrifying speech of his. I never thought I'd say this, but his reasonableness is really starting to grate on me. Some problems call for torches and pitchforks instead, and fighting for your principles with everything you've got. It's like he's happily puttering along thinking he's in the old normal world, not noticing it's been switched with bizarro world.

    And apparently he doesn't even know the difference between flaut and flaunt. Bleah!

    There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

    by Alien Abductee on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:33:20 PM PST

    •  This statement (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Porfiry, celticshel, adigal, FireCrow

      from him is bullshit weak, IMO.

      But I'd like to say for the record that I still have hope. He's still getting his C-legs, y'know? I still have hope.

      You didn't do it.

      by Earl on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:35:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hope dims on Barack (17+ / 0-)

      Barack Obama's future as a Democratic leader hung on his willingness to fight for his principles and articulate a fresh vision for America. Instead, he's become yet another overly-cautious purveyor of conventional wisdom and by-the-book Congressional Democrat ... Hillary Lite. Sad, because he had so much promise.

      •  Anyone remember Weideman Light? (7+ / 0-)

        I was in high school in the early 80s in York, Pennsylvania and we used to drink this awful watered-down "light" beer called Weideman Light.  I could drink eight of them and still recite the alphabet.  Backwards or forwards.  For my friends OR for the cops.

        Hillary reminds me of Weideman Light.  Obama, I guess, must be Weideman ULTRA light.

        Obama might be a lot more "liberal" than a guy like Brian Schweitzer, but I'd rather have a stand-up guy like Schweitzer in Illinois' Senate seat than another useless, utterly passive, triangulating don't-rock-the-boat jellyfish like Obama.

        "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

        by asskicking annie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:16:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Drank this local beer at a conference (4+ / 0-)

          in Boston once - we all did - lots of it, lots and lots, we all agreed it was the best beer we'd ever tasted.  Next day, we all had the sorriest head-achy hangovers ever, seriously, it was worse that a hangover, it was as if we'd been stealth-poisoned.  It had initials we couldn't recall, so the next day we started calling it ICU.  See?  You've inspired me with your analogy, 'cause that's how I feel about Obama.  I was tricked.

          •  Hmmmmm... interesting (0+ / 0-)

            Sometimes it just works out that really good beers result in titanic hangovers.  

            Before my boyfriend knocked me up, I would occasionally get carried away with too many Guinness or Smithwicks or even Heinekens, and be incapacitated until midafternoon the next day.  And I REALLY have to watch it if I'm drinking something strong like Resurrection Ale (local Baltimore brew) -- last time I overindulged in that I ended up puking in my bathtub because I got disoriented in my own bathroom and mistook it for the toilet, then had a truly seismic hangover the next day (one of those "I really need to quit drinking" hangovers...).

            But back to Obama -- my point is that we need some good, hoppy, high-alcohol-content Dems right now, and Obama is a watered-down O'Douls with the ash from someone's cigarette floating on top.

            "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

            by asskicking annie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:14:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hope is Blonde (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Karma for All

        ....and Barack Obama is the same double-talking shill he's always been.

        After all, Lieberman was his mentor.....

      •  Obama 08? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm interested in knowing if there's still a sizable number of Kossacks that want Obama to run in 08...

        REPUBLICANES EUNT DOMUS

        by PanzerMensch on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:56:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's been hanging out with Maria Cantwell too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        celticshel, rmdewey

        ...I just got an email by Obama extolling her as a heroine and urging me to donate to her.

        I replied HELL NO, NOT UNTIL SHE DECIDES TO BE HONEST ABOUT IRAQ.

        I know he won't receive it, but someone on the Cantwell staff should.

        The next day, Cantwell sent another request for funds--I replied the same.

    •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

      People need to stop worshipping politicians and see them as the humans they are (except Dean, I still got a little of that Dean worship thing going on, can't help it).

      Seriously, what is different about Obama from his book to his campaign to now?   He is about carefully thought-out justice.  He is about gathering certain evidence through the proper process before making accusations.  He is quite possibly the only active elected official who actually says he is willing to change his mind.  

      Obama actually looks at all sides of every issue.  He sincerely believes that being open and listening will lead to more progress.

      The thing is most people have some democratic and some fascist tendencies.  Why do people support tyrrany?  Out of fear.  The Coburns and McCains of the world are very scared.  Put them in a corner and they will hurt you.  Show them something better and while during the process they may hurl insults and call you weak and try to tear you down (because they're actually going after the weakness in themselves...psychology & all that...) they eventually are won over by real strength of character and by consistancy in leadership.  Bush is only capable of leading by fear because he is inconsistant, doing the politically expedient thing of the moment rather than actually leading the American people to a better place (Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, FDR...)

      What is Obama but consistancy?  Personally he's a little to the left for me but he is very consistant in every political thing he does.  I respect that rare trait tremendously.  In that convention speech he talked about finding common ground.  We live in the same country as Repubs.  We NEED to show them that our way is better for them.  We NEED to make them understand that their strong arm tactics will destroy them in the end.  The right does what it does out of fear.  What Obama's political career is about is taking away that fear.  When that fear is gone, we become a healthy democracy again.  

      When one is consistant in their leadership, true to their character they actually gain a following.  Then they can lead to wherever they want.  Obama's vision of us being more united than divided is better than Bush's vision.  And it is more consistant.  As long as we show a forward direction for America, the right's leadership becomes about going backwards and then they lose.  If we remain consistant, they will take care of Bush themselves.

      Bush's presidency is finished, there is no way he can climb out of his 30ish percent approval hole now.  We have the majority in our grasp and talking about the future, talking about an America where people are free from fear of their own Government, where people have real employment, where people have real security, where we don't hear about our kids dying in Iraq every day for a yet-to-be-defined purpose will give it to us.  When we present it about justice, Bush goes.  If we allow it to look like revenge, we're finished ourselves, possibly replaced by Greens and the Republicans fully taken over by Fascists (no its not quite there yet).  That would be an ugly America and I don't want that.

      "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

      by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:55:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spot On. (10+ / 0-)

        The folks who claim to be "disappointed" by Senator Obama moderate style need to ask themselves where they ever got the idea that he was going to be anything different.

        As you pointed out, his '04 Convention speech was a call for national unity and not a partisan diatribe against the GOP.  As a state Senator he worked with GOP legislators to get bills passed.  

        Obama is a strong liberal as evidenced by his voting recording yet his political instinct is to try and form coalitions with political moderates and conservatives and to avoid strident rhetoric or actions that will poison the political environment.  It is this quality of his that 1) will continue to infuriate the liberal blogosphere and 2) probably get him elected President someday
        in a landslide.

        (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

        by Sam I Am on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:21:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely (4+ / 0-)

          I've met the man, I stood out in the hot sun for 4 hours to see him along with 1000 other people when he came to Rockford along with Durbin during Obama's campaign a few days after his DNC speech. I watched him very closely before and after his speech here. I watched him interact with the regular folks like myself. I have a highly developed bullshit detector and every bit of my instincts tell me he is the real deal but I can't help but be very conflicted in my judgments about him. I believe this is because I let my emotions get in the way of my logic. When Barrock came on the scene I was ecstatic to see someone who spoke so well and exuded so much charisma. I knew he could appeal to a huge audience. I knew he could out think any repug anywhere. Obama is armed with all the intellectual, social and educational assets needed to take on anything. So why the fuck isn't he "doing" anything I keep asking myself ?
          I think I had hoped in the wake of his DNC appearance and his subsequent
          election victory that he would ride into washington and slay the beast in a matter of a few short weeks. I was naively "sure" he could single handedly turn things around. That is how profounfdly impressed I was with him. In hindsight I think I projected all of my hope, fear and anger onto him subconsciously  annointing him with the task of saving the damn world. Of course he failed from that perspective, anyone would. I forgot that he was just one man. I still believe in him and will do everything I can to support him, I think long term he is one of our best hopes. I just wish from an emotional point of view that he'd start kicking some ass sooner rather than later!!

          Impeach and Imprison!

          by FireCrow on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:53:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is true (0+ / 0-)

          But I'm still disappointed, for the reason I state above. His attempt to find unity is happening within a severely distorted environment, not a normal range of views, and he doesn't seem to be taking account of that enough. At least not enough for me.

          There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

          by Alien Abductee on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:13:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  ... I'm the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        Queen of England!

        I'll do a little dance.

        and if you don't believe me,

        I'll punch you in the pants!

        •  Oh (0+ / 0-)

          So you're a fan of my work?  Excellent!

          "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

          by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:13:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To paraphrase ... (11+ / 0-)

            Moderation in the pursuit of truth is no virtue, extremeism in the defense of the Constitution no vice.

            Don't fall victim to the Koolade of Moderation as dispensed by the DLC.

            •  Not falling victim (5+ / 0-)

              I emailed Dean in December of 2001 asking him to run for POTUS -- I'm sure that deletes the DLC accusation right there.  But who knows?  I'm more a fan of politicians who are true to themselves and honest than anything else (favorite politicians: Dean, Gore, Florio, Rush Holt, Obama, Harkin...)

              Obama is not seeing moderation for the sake of moderation. From political moment zero in his life, he has been about bringing people together.  We need people like that in the party.  We need people like Dean and Feingold who point out what's wrong with the other side just as much.  

              If Obama acted differently, he would be dishonest.  He is being exactly who he is.  He is not one to jump to a conclusion before he has all the evidence in front of him.  Perhaps he is a victim of not being as good at making fast connections as Dean is.  Unfortunately Dean is easily accused of being  "crazy" because often he is on top of things a year or two away from the public conscience.   Obama is more reserved and always has been.  

              Extremism in the defense of the Constitution is no vice but how much extremism?  Where do you stop?  What's the best way to go about it?  

              I believe we should present our plans for the future and work WITH the media in uncovering how far Bush has gone.  To make unsubstantiated accusations (no matter how right they are) will make them get tossed aside and ignored.  Remember the whole Dan Rather incident?  The argument became about the memos being a photocopy and altered, etc.  What was in them was never thoroughly investigated.  Rather moved too quickly and possibly if he had spent another month or two, could have brought Bush down by being prepared.  We must use that as an example.  We must remember that the media today is very different from yesteryear.  We have to be 100% right with everything we bring up.  If we go after Bush with unquestionable evidence not mired down in emotion and partisan accusation, we win and bring him and philosophy down.  If we aren't careful, we fail and might very well lose this country.  We have to strike and strike hard but make sure we are 100% prepared for in that lies victory.

              As far as the "fan of my work" comment, didn't quite get your response and figured you had uncovered some of my absurdist writing and film work thats around the internets.  I now get what you meant.

              "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

              by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:12:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you're describing (6+ / 0-)

                him accurately, Obama is someone we need in a leadership position after we defeat the Rethugs and impeach Bush, but his voice of compromise and moderation is precisely the wrong tone to set while we are in the fight of our lives with a cabal of the most vicious and corrupt politicians to come along since the Robber Barons.

                As for consistency, I think we've seen enough of consistently rolling over for the Rethugs and never seeing it payoff in either the polls or the halls of congress.

                At a speech in CT this past week, Joe Lieberman "was afforded a polite, though tepid, response as he introduced Obama. At least twice, he had to shush the crowd, once when he shared what had been a private connection to Obama:Lieberman told the crowd that Obama had chosen Lieberman as his mentor"--(Hartford Courant)

                If Lieberman was truthful in this story, I think that Obama is definitely the wrong man at the wrong time.

                Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                by drewfromct on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:42:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  perhaps (0+ / 0-)

                  but Obama is not trying to take the leadership of the party -- he is not cutting in front of Feingold and going on TV denouncing him.  He was asked and responded with his view.  Right now Obama should be where he is and continue to grow as a Senator.  Not everyone can or should go after Bush.  Those who are most skilled at being attack dogs should.  Feingold and Dean are two.  I wish Reid did more, he's quite good at it when he does.

                  Frankly with the damage this party has sustained, Dean's goals of rebuilding it are going to take time.  As a TV & Movie editor I've come to realize that in our media driven society people expect things "now now now" when it might take years.  Television has completely corrupted our view of reality.  It sucks but that is how things work.  Dean has already spent about 5 years working towards rebuilding the party and it may not seem like much to many but look at it as a whole.  Without what he has done, there might not even BE a Democratic Party right now but it does exist and it is coming back.  But still, there is so much to do.

                  We have self made leaders like Feingold (and as brave as he is he SHOULD be minority -> majority leader but I kinda like Reid too) and elected leaders (Reid, Pelosi, Dean).  Some are taking responsibility (Dean) some are not (Pelosi).  Obama does a lot but I think people expected Jesus like miracles and are angry that they haven't come.  He is just starting his second year as a Senator!  Lets focus on others and know that for a few more years Obama will be a follower rather than a leader.  We have great leaders whose skills allow them to point out the illegality of what Bush does.  Others are better suited for other things.  We should really look at what each of our elected Democrats are good at and get them there.  When we need an attack, Ho-ho is ready.  When we need diplomacy and consensus, there's Obama.  If we want toughness we have Hillary.  If we need someone to outtalk a Republican there's Schumer.  Rights?  Boxer.  Poverty?  Edwards (not currently elected to anything, but he IS a Dem) The list goes on.

                  It is Lieberman who is always offering his opinion when it is not wanted and causing us great harm as a party.  Biden too.  I also bet that Lieberman misunderstood something Obama said (like McCain).  They're so used to other politicians that they no longer understand specific positions and assume other elected officials are like them.  I'm betting that Lieberman will soon denounce Obama when it comes time for Obama to disagree with him.  Frankly Joe Lieberman is a nut who doesn't get we are in an era where we need party unity and every man for himself will lead to every man drowning alone.

                  "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

                  by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:11:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gmb, blueoasis

                    turns down 250 invitations to speak every week, according to the article I quoted from. If he's not looking to be a leader, it at least appears as though quite a few folks are looking to him for leadership. For that matter, if does'nt want to lead, why in hell did he run for the senate? Why go into politics at all if you're not "seeking leadership"?

                    You're right about people being impatient with the pace of change, but I don't think its asking for miracles to expect Obama, if he is to be a follower and not a leader, to make the right choice and follow Feingold rather than Lieberman. By the second year in the senate, he should know better than he's doing.

                    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                    by drewfromct on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:45:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Consistent consistent consistent (15+ / 0-)

        Please.  The only thing consistent about Obama is his consistent banality.  Barak prevaricates while America burns.

        You talk about "progress," "leadership," "moving forward."  I challenge you to show me where Obama has led anybody in this party anywhere.  He's a sideliner.  I'm not saying he's a bad guy; he's clearly smart and (apparently) concerned, but he's no bastion of reform and leadership.  You like his style, fine.  But don't confuse consistancy with content.

        So Obama got elected by being a "uniter" not a "divider."  That's just swell.  You say he wants to find some "common ground" well I have news for him (and you), there is no common ground to be had with these Republican basatrds in congress.  I would argue the same for most Republicans in general.  Barak's leadership style - such as it is - does not rise to meet the urgency of the threats against our democracy.

        Its time to wake up, Barak.  Its time to act.

        •  a year (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ademption

          What did Feingold do in his first year as Senator?  Dean in his first year as Governor?

          Obama is not leading yet, but he brings up things we need to think about.  Look, I'm afraid of losing the democracy as much as anyone here.  I'm reading, watching, writing emails, talkig to people.  The thing is we do something immediately without being prepared we become a source of amusement and lose.  This has happened again and again since 2000.

          The biggest problem in our party is people like Biden and Lieberman, people who know not where they stand, who jump to do what they think pleases people.  Obama doesn't.  Obama is exactly who he was when he ran.  If you worshiped him then and dislike him now, perhaps you forgot he was a human and an uncommonly consistent one.  However he needs time and expecting everything of him right away is stupid.  We have some brave leaders in our party who "know the ropes" like Dean & Feingold.  I'd say that they are the ones we should look at for leadership and let Obama become the leader he will be.   I know I didn't spell that out earlier but am thinking of making my quote at the bottom state that I am a piss-poor communicator with the writing skills of a child.  I know that and hope y'all bare with me as I try to get these ideas across.

          Obama's style and substance will be CRUCIAL after we take back Congress.  We will need to make many Republicans who fell into a Bush cult of worship know there is life on the other side of darkness, there is such a thing as not being afraid of your neighbors.  Obama will be good at that, but he is NOT one to lead the "revolution".  Don't make him be something he's not and don't act all disappointed that he is not.  He is who he is.  For now we do have some brave leaders and they are putting the pieces back together of a damaged Democratic party.

          I really look at Dean's 50 state strategy as the winning one.  Why are so many Repubs retiring?  Why have all the W bumperstickers disappeared from the roads?  (I used to see 10 a day, now I see one a week).  This is a sort of revolution we're trying to pull off (a revolution against the fear mongering of the far right) but remember that most revolutions fail when the revolutionaries don't plan for the post-revolution period.  That's what makes the American revolution special, we did plan.  Lets make sure that the Democratic Revolution in 2006 also has a plan for 2007, 2008 and beyond.

          "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

          by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:25:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama's problem (6+ / 0-)

            The problem with Obama is not that he's a junior senator, or that he's too inexperienced or that he "needs more time."  Obama's problem is that he's smart enough to know better.  I refuse to believe he does not recognize the peril in which this country finds itself.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have seen him speak, and yet from this narrow sampling I can tell you without a doubt that this man has an intellectual leg up on 90 percent of the US Senate.  For him to vacillate on issues of such pressing importance, and pander to the DLC "triangulation" schtick is unforgivable.

            That is what irks me the most.  I expect that kind of behavior from the likes of a Biden or (worse) a Lieberman.  They've shown their colors.  Obama, on the other hand, has an opportunity to avoid stepping into that "DC insider" mold, and so far as I can tell he's squandering it.  He may be a politician for a different season, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't do the right and just thing and support his colleague in holding a criminal accountable for his crimes.

            (And if you're still confused about the crime, I suggest you take a look at the 4th amendment.)

          •  After (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gmb

            Obama's style and substance will be CRUCIAL after we take back Congress.

            And when is that going to be? It's not as if winning Congress back this year (or 2008 or 2010 or...) is a sure thing.

            The most important thing at the moment is making sure that the Democrats actually do win back Congress. Nearly half of all voters (of all stripes) support censure. 70% of Democrats support censure. 29% of Republicans support censure.

            Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

            by darrelplant on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:33:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but far more (0+ / 0-)

              But far more people support getting out of Iraq, improving national security, keeping our basic rights and fixing the healthcare crisis.   We can poke at Bush but our focus MUST be about what we as Democrats will do for this country.  Bush has taken the easy way on National Security, making it seem like he's doing something by limiting our rights when he has only made us more likely to be attacked.  We need to show that we actually will make our country safer by inspecting 100% of shipments, security on airlines (without the silly no-fly lists), etc.  Most people think Bush is incompetent and not a criminal and will continue to do so until we can present evidence that is understood in 1 sentence.

              "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

              by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:47:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Lieberman is his mentor - no shit. n/t (7+ / 0-)

      Patriot Party 08: Feingold, Murtha, Boxer, Harkin, Conyers, Kucinich, Sanders & Dean.

      by dkmich on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:01:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  or flout ... ;) n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alien Abductee

      Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

      by OLinda on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoops - ha ha (0+ / 0-)

        At least I'm not a U.S. senator sending it out in an email to my constituents trying to excuse my inaction on our constitutional crisis.

        There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

        by Alien Abductee on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:23:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  EXACTLY. this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia, Alien Abductee, blueoasis

      "It's like he's happily puttering along thinking he's in the old normal world, not noticing it's been switched with bizarro world."

      describes my feelings perfectly; thank you.

  •  This has been diaried earlier (6+ / 0-)

    aloha and mahalo's diary Obama on Censure

    with a good thread of comments, worth looking at.

    But Obama's statement shouldn't fall off the page. I hope it's here when more people are around to contribute.

    Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? -- James 2:6

    by BobzCat on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 11:38:02 PM PST

  •  They almost sainted the guy. (9+ / 0-)

    And now he's just another weak, status-quo, Congressional Dem.

    That was one quick love affair.

    •  They who? n/t (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia, blueoasis
      Hidden by:
      Sam I Am

      I don't trust any politician until he earns it.  Did you see Obama earn anything?   I didn't.  Oh, a young, black Dem = shining Dem.  Not here.  Needs more that race and party affiliation to get anywhere with me.  I'm a Deaniac.  It isn't about race, gender, yadda, yadda, ya - its about Americans.  Obama is an American and a waste.

      Patriot Party 08: Feingold, Murtha, Boxer, Harkin, Conyers, Kucinich, Sanders & Dean.

      by dkmich on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pathetic: Barack NoBama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ed in Montana, thor


    "And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night." Matthew Arnold

    by Cantinflas on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:13:29 AM PST

  •  The Good Senator... (13+ / 0-)
    ...lost me on September 3rd, 2004 when, without investigating a single instance of the myriad types of fraud perpetrated the day before, proclaimed that he believed King George II had won an honest re-election.

    "Wonderful things can happen ... when you plant the seeds of distrust in a garden of Assholes" -- Elmore Leonard

    by Blue Shark on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:14:03 AM PST

  •  like a man afraid (15+ / 0-)

    This is reminiscent of Obama's reluctance to sign on to Kerry's call to filibuster Alito. Again, Obama is behaving like a man who is afraid.

    Of what, I don't know. Perhaps he is afraid that if he does not "moderate" himself he will be turned out by the voters of his state as another one-term Moseley-Braun. I'm sure he deeply understands what we sometimes forget: that he attained his seat through a series of almost magical events, nearly unprecedented for an aspirant to the US Senate, that pretty much amounted to a "free ride." Perhaps he fears that faced with real opposition the voters of his state will reject him, as they did Moseley-Braun, if they perceive him, as they did Moseley-Braun, as a loose-cannon left-fringe black.

    His missive makes little political sense. Of course the courts will eventually determine whether George II's attempt to disinter the principle of the "divine right of kings" can somehow be squared with the Constitution. But it is clear that so long as Souter, Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kennedy remain alive, such a principle will remain buried, as these justices made abundantly clear during oral arguments on the "Osama's driver" case heard earlier this week.

    Meanwhile, congressional censure is the legislative branch equivalent of the slap the judicial branch will eventually deliver the "president." For Obama to argue that the Congress should eschew censure in favor of "reassert[ing] its constitutional role in overseeing the domestic surveillance program," is nonsensical. Bush, in acting as he did, already gave the back of his hand to the explicit congressional understanding of FISA. Bush has said repeatedly that he will continue to act as he has, regardless of what Congress may or may not do. Bush is asserting that in this arena the hopes and wishes and even explicit directives of Congress are immaterial: his understanding of his role as "the unitary executive" trumps all. In such a standoff, Congress has no choice but a resolution of censure.

    Or impeachment.

    •  Get your facts straight. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      perro amarillo, FireCrow

      Obama voted to sustain the Alito filibuster.

      Your asertion that Obama's position in driven by fear of voted out after one term like Mosley-Braun is absurd.  Obama's popularity in Illinois extremely high; he probably has the safest Democratic Senate seat in the nation.  

      Also, thanks for pointing out that Obama and Mosley-Braun are black.  I am sure that a lot of Kossacks were not aware of that fact.

      (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

      by Sam I Am on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:31:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, he's popular (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, ChemBob, blueoasis

        Obama's popularity in Illinois extremely high

         All the more reason for him to take a strong stand once in awhile.

         Moseley-Braun got sunk by a peripheral scandal. Didn't have anything to do with her ideology or her voting record.

         I don't get it. Obama's still five years away from facing the voters. Lots of things can happen in five years. What's wrong with taking a stand, however symbolic, now and then?
         

        Of course Republicans oppose abortion. If you kill them in the womb, they're not available to be killed on the battlefield.

        by Buzzer on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:30:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  straight as narrow (0+ / 0-)

        Obama did vote to filibuster Alito. In my post I referred to Obama's "reluctance" to embrace that filibuster. That reluctance was real. You will find evidence of it documented both here on kos, and in the MSM.

        You say that Obama occupies "the safest Democratic Senate seat in the nation." I fervently pray that this is true.

  •  felt the response (3+ / 0-)

    was adequate and compelling. You can disagree with him without trashing him. I've seen some disgusting responses in this thread.

    My body is not a condo!

    by GunsCantHug on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:32:49 AM PST

    •  No, it would appear people can't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thor, perro amarillo, Sam I Am

      I respect his decision and agree with it, myself. Even if that wasn't the case I'd applaud him making up his own mind on the matter and standing by it. I had thought that was the admirable quality we were looking for in senators.

      That must not be the case, though, if the poll is any indication. Afterall, the only thing better than individuality and a brain is blind obedience. I mean, he couldn't have come to a different conclusion on this matter by his own right, must be a puppet of some sort to come up with that response. Well...maybe a robot. Maybe.

      Dare to be naïve. -R. Buckminster Fuller

      by Moniker on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:49:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  funny how those who are calling the rest of us (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, Earl, Karma for All

        "disgusting" and saying we're blindly obedient aren't providing any analysis of Obama's letter. How about engaging in the conversation? What exactly do you agree with? Blockquotes are good, use them.

        •  I did, actually (0+ / 0-)

          Down below a ways. This is why I prefer forums to blogs. You get a more chronological structure to an overall conversation rather than writing down what you think and having it get lost in the ether. Ah well.

          I feel that censure serves no purpose in this beyond scoring cheap points with idealogues and that an investigation is required before anything can actually happen. Obama said as much and so I agree with him. But what do I know? Damn the man that dissents.

          Dare to be naïve. -R. Buckminster Fuller

          by Moniker on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 11:11:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Where? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thor, vivacia, missreporter, blueoasis

      Where were the "disgusting' responses?

      You didn't do it.

      by Earl on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:36:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's from those (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, GN1927, Earl, blueoasis

        Filthy liberals.

        •  You state you're a Green above. (0+ / 0-)

          I think you might have interests other than helping Democrats get elected.

          "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

          by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:59:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rmdewey, blueoasis, BalkanID

            .....just a few interests like slowing global climate change, preserving open space and biodiversity, ending population growth, stopping the use of depleted uranium, protecting the endangered species act, ending suburban sprawl, developing functional mass transit systems, encouraging organic and sustainable agricultural practices, ensuring the safety of the food supply, ending the failed war on drugs, and last but not least, actually standing up for all ten of the Bill of Rights, something most Democrats -- Obama included -- just can't bring themselves to do.

            •  And (0+ / 0-)

              making sure people accept everything you want whether they like it or not, whether they'll be better off or not.  Because you are right and they are wrong.

              Sorry everything about Greens has shown me they are no different from the far right, tyrants who seek not the betterment of all but power for themselves.  Those who think the Green party is about democracy are deluding themselves as much as conservatives who think Bush has their best interests at heart.

              The Green party claims to support the Bill of Rights (like the far right) but in practice wants Green ideas made absolute at the sacrifice of the individual -- which the BOR protects.

              The Democratic party is about trying to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of society in the best way possible while including as many as possible in the process.  I currently see no similar ideals within any other party, save for a few old school Republicans who like their country enough to be seeking completely new leadership for their party.

              "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

              by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:56:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great Handle.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis

                .....bad programming.

                GIGO.

              •  Old School My Ass (0+ / 0-)

                Actually these old school Rethuglicans for whom you shill are covering their asses. They went along enthusiastically with all the GWB administration bullshit until they pulled their heads out long enough to see the trainwreck that it has caused. Now they are scrambling to distance themselves, claiming that it was the personalities (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.) involved that have caused the trainwreck, rather than their overall goals. These "old school Republicans" are too intellectually dishonest to admit that it is the conservative philosophy and ideals they have hammered us with for the past 50 years that have been the root of the problems we are experiencing and that what we see is the logical consequence of their beliefs.

                •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                  They're embarrassed at what they helped cause.  They're embarrassed by the fascist tendencies of a lot  of their fellow Republicans.  They didn't want this.  They don't know what to do but will follow whoever "seems strongest."  I'm talking about the few people I know who like their country, don't read Free Republic think Limbaugh is entertainment they personally avoid and happen to be Republicans because they don't trust government.  

                  A lot of people were deceived by their own naive ideals thinking there was no difference between Bush & Gore.  A lot of Democrats too.  I wasn't but what does my pride get me?  Do I want to make these people feel badly about themselves?  "Ha ha I was right and you were wrong and now we're all suffering...uh, wait a sec..."

                  Isn't it better if we show them we're better for them?  Don't we win then?  Don't we get the America we want, the free America where all her people are respected?  Don't we want victory without a third of the population feeling like losers, or do we need them to be losers for us to be winners?  Or do we need to punish to feel good about ourselves?   I don't want to punish them, just keep the outright supporters of tyranny away from the reigns of government.  Lets not become our enemies and lets give the few who don't understand what is going on but are basically good people know that our ideas are for the betterment of all.

                  "Having Ann Coulter on your network debating the 'meaning' of the Fitzgerald investigation isn't relevant...It's like watching a dog crap to music."-Hunter

                  by Last Robot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:35:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  This was diaried before. (14+ / 0-)

    I will ask this again -- Who are these so-called Constitutional scholars who oppose censure and think the President can do his illegal wiretaps? What are their connections to the President, if any, and what are their arguments?

    •  I'm sure they'd did up (10+ / 0-)

      ..some crusty old scholar sitting in an unused corner of the library of congress ready for 15 minutes of fame. But as to it being valid, I'd like to hear the opinions of say, top legislative scholars and lawyers.
      I'm thoroughly sick of being told the President is above the law.  

      How anyone can equate agreeing that a resolution to invade Afghanistan = Wiretapping Americans is beyond me.

      Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

      by Kira April on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:18:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, Little Red Hen

      Washington Times

      A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
         The five judges testifying before the committee said they could not speak specifically to the NSA listening program without being briefed on it, but that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not override the president's constitutional authority to spy on suspected international agents under executive order.
         "If a court refuses a FISA application and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review, the president can under executive order act unilaterally, which he is doing now," said Judge Allan Kornblum, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and an author of the 1978 FISA Act. "I think that the president would be remiss exercising his constitutional authority by giving all of that power over to a statute."
         The judges, however, said Mr. Bush's choice to ignore established law regarding foreign intelligence gathering was made "at his own peril," because ultimately he will have to answer to Congress and the Supreme Court if the surveillance was found not to be in the best interests of national security.
         Judge Kornblum said before the 1978 FISA law, foreign surveillance was done by executive order and the law itself was altered by the orders of Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan.

      [...]

      Of course, the program should still be put under scrutiny and the past 4 and a half years needs to be investigated as a part of congressional oversight. It would be nice to know about some of the details rather than relying solely on assumptions. Or to know that a committee had the details, anyhow. That way we'd know what direction we should go with it.

      Dare to be naïve. -R. Buckminster Fuller

      by Moniker on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:28:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  legal scholar (7+ / 0-)

      You will love this line from my letter from Sen. Allard (R) Colorado:

      Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales explained the legal justification of the program to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on February 6, 2006.

      Bwwwaa! They do think we're idiots.

      (He does not go on to say what Gonzales said in the letter.)

      Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

      by OLinda on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:02:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, Obama. We hardly knew ya. (11+ / 0-)

    What a perfectly good waste of a progressive senator.  To go get himself infected by the RWNM like that.  What a waste.

  •  Cavalier and Arrogant? (12+ / 0-)

    Obama classifies the president's actions against the people and the law of the land as cavalier and arrogant?

    While I share your frustration and anger, I do not think censure is justified at this time.

    What on earth would the president have to do to JUSTIFY censure????  That is the ONLY question I have for Obama. He is a major disappointment. Major.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:03:27 AM PST

  •  Big fucking letdown (6+ / 0-)

    "Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question!" -Roddy Piper

    by McGirk SF on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:12:35 AM PST

  •  censure for the court (15+ / 0-)

    Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts.

    Perhaps, but the intent of Congress has some weight in court, no?  What could be a clearer indication of the violation of congressional intent, than congressional censure?

    Obama's answer is a cop-out.  A well-worded, tactful cop-out, but a cop-out nonetheless.  He seems to be trying to not offend anyone, but in the process appears to have no conviction.

    Isn't the good senator also a lawyer?  Didn't he swear to uphold the constitution?  Wanna talk about intent?  Exhibit A, aka The Fourth Amendment.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  •  I agree with (34+ / 0-)

    many of those posting comments on this.

    I was impressed with this spirited new senator when he first presented himself at the Dem convention.  He offered hope, inspiration. I've seen nothing about him I've been impressed with since then.

    Lately, Obama reminds me more of Feinstein than he does of someone who will provide new life and new hope for the Dems.  He wants to be the negotiator, the compromiser, the facilitator.  The problem is, there are some positions, some issues that defy compromise and require a principled stand instead.  A good negotiator also must recognize who he/she is negotiating with.  If they have all the cards, you don't keep giving more ground, you stand firm.  (This Administration, and this Congress clearly have all the cards in their hand, and we know their treachery, corruption, and duplicity knows no bounds.)  

    At least one blogger asserted that Obama is just demonstrating the kind of principled, individual judgment we say we want.  I'm not buying that.  Obama's argument seems like the same old tired rhetoric, based more on politics than on principles.  There is the investigation, and there is the censure.  The investigation (which, of course, is likely to be just a sham) should determine the fine points of legality of Bush's actions, and the possible legal consequences.  Censure, however, is not the same thing.  Censure is the way Congress speaks to an elected official--in this case the President.  Bush lied to the public, he lied to Congress, he did not comply with Congressional procedures.  This he has admitted to PUBLICLY.  He said he was complying with FISA laws ("wiretaps require a court order, constitutional safeguards are in place . . ." etc.).  He assured the public that FISA requirements were being followed.  This is not a scene from 1984.  I HEARD HIM SAY THIS.  Bush said this even though he was not complying with FISA law, knew he was not complying, and had been doing it practically from day one.  So, he blatantly lied to ME (the public, the citizens).  He admitted this.  His admission came from exposure, not from respect of the honesty he owes to the people.  Bush furthered his affront by stating he would continue to ignore the law, damn the people and Congress!

    Excuse me, but if Obama fails to see clear justification to back a rebuke of  this President for the actions he's taken in regard to the public trust and his responsibilities to Congress, I say Obama is acting out of political gaming and not out of strong principles.  And, I feel he does not present the hope we originally saw in him.  He's a disappointment.  I don't expect to see him leading any charges.  Too bad.  

  •  add Senator Obama (11+ / 0-)

    to the list of Democratic collaborators. They're either all cowards or all suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

  •  Senator Obama does not seem to be in real world (13+ / 0-)

    Congress must reassert its constitutional role in overseeing the domestic surveillance program

    Ha! In what world is he living in that this is going to happen?? I am not being disrespectful here - I am simply saying that any accountability is going to be hard fought, with tough tactics, and not nice, soothing words.

    We have had enough of those.

    The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

    by adigal on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:53:57 AM PST

  •  I missed the part (11+ / 0-)

    where Senator Obama explained why Censure is a bad idea.  Oh, wait . . . that's because he never stated one.

    He writes:

    Also, a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power.

    So what?  What does that have to do with anything?  Senator Obama, you know better than that.  Censure can do nothing but help get the issues on the front page of the newspaper, which is where they belong.

    Respectfully, Senator, I think you need to rethink this.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:01:44 AM PST

  •  Why do you think (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter, ChemBob, blueoasis, schlouse

    he chose LIEberman as his mentor? Does the apple fall far from the tree?

    If we are a nation of laws, why are they both excusing bush? Too bad the apple wasn't a cherry - then they could have had George Washington as a mentor.

  •  A friend of mine got the same type of letter, (7+ / 0-)

    from her Rep. in Minnesota. It seems that it is a Democratic template that is used by all ball-less wonders on the democratic side.  

    I don't hate my counry, just what they did to it.

    by ABA on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:04:34 AM PST

    •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia

      "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

      by LithiumCola on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:11:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I got the same type of letter from my senator (10+ / 0-)

        Patty Murray's Reply to My Email to Support Censure

        I'm realizing that they're mostly neither clueless nor cowardly. They simply do not care. If it isn't about advancing their interests, it just doesn't register. Not all of them, but certainly most of them. Which, given today's corporate-funded campaigns, makes perfect sense. They work for their donors, not for us.

        So I think it's simply futile to expect them to show some courage, because that's almost besides the point. The only way to get them to act is to scare the living shit out of them by running strong progressives against them, who will either force them to shape up, or better yet, kick their asses the hell out of DC.

        Unfortunately, we're mostly stuck with them for now if we want to take back the house and senate. But once we do that, the next step is to start cleaning house. Big time.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

        by kovie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:29:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh no (5+ / 0-)

      If this is a Dem template, it says everything about the depravity of Dems trying to be all things to all people and nothing to anyone, not to mention what it says about Sen. Obama to use it and not his own words. Even if not a template it expresses template thinking.

      Is there any chance the Dem Party can split into the Dumb Dems and the Good Dems, keep the latter, let the former join the Republicans, and pick up the (few) Good Republicans to come join the Good Dems and when all's said and done, with excellent leadership we'll have an unafraid, smaller and stronger Democratic Party to build on?

      If Sen. Obama and his mentor Lieberman (per comment above) are any indication, the party we have now is not going to be strong enough to rebuild America after the Bushites are gone, starting with  the rule of law and the Constitution.

      "It's 1776 all over again"--One-minute video, two turning points in history: 1776 American Revolution and 2006 elections.

      by wardlow on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:30:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A template? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ABA

       Imagine how different our nation would look today if the Dems put as much effort into stopping the Republicans as they did in drawing up these mealymouthed "templates"...

      Of course Republicans oppose abortion. If you kill them in the womb, they're not available to be killed on the battlefield.

      by Buzzer on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:35:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pardon my french (17+ / 0-)

    but when the fuck is it appropriate?  In 2008? 2009?  After he's gone and the damage is done?  This is bullshit.  A president got inpeached because of oral sex and lying about it under oath and this president can't get censured despite spying on AMERICANS?  Spare me the wiretapping terrorists bullshit.  Greenpeace and some Quaker group are not terrorists.  Using seven degrees of Osama Bin Laden to justify wiretapping our phones without warrants is ILLEGAL.  PLAIN AND SIMPLE.  There are so many things that this president has done that violate our basic laws and the Democrats can't muster some fucking courage to stand up to him on ONE GODDAMN THING.  The Democrats are gpddamn cowards and as long as they remain to be cowards they won't run the country.  They were cowards when Clinton was impeached and are even bigger cowards now despite having all the right to impeach this piece of shit who is ruining our country, let alone censuring him, which is nothing more than a fucking slap on the wrist.

    I'd like to know if I rob a bank to feed my family will you rewrite the laws and make them retroactive so that my actions are no longer considered illegal?  After all my actions are for a noble cause, I'm protecting my family.  Because that's what you guys are doing.  You're allowing Bush to break the law and rather than punishing him you're looking for ways to bring him under the law by REWRITING it.  Enforce the existing laws and grow some gaddamn courage.

    -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:14:41 AM PST

  •  Shares my frustration? (8+ / 0-)

    I got exactly the same letter (of course) and my immediate response was "No, Senator, I don't think you do share my frustration, because if you had anything like my level of frustration, you could not sit still and do nothing."

  •  If you catch a man speeding.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, GN1927, Little Red Hen, ChemBob

    ...driving 120 mph in a school zone, clearly you need to change the speed limit to 120 mph before he wears out his brakes. You should probably even thank him for pointing out how ignorant you are, wanting to protect children and all.... sniveling little liberals.

  •  I sincerely hope this is an April Fools joke. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, missreporter, goodidealist

    Cause if it isn't a majority of the Democrats are the fools and a joke (a sorry one at that).

    God I hope Russ runs for president in 08.

    -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:35:23 AM PST

  •  There's no there there (5+ / 0-)
    Finally, I am not arguing that we "unilaterally disarm" in the face of Republican attacks, or bite our tongue when this Administration screws up. Whenever they are wrong, inept, or dishonest, we should say so clearly and repeatedly; and whenever they gear up their attack machine, we should respond quickly and forcefully.  I am suggesting that the tone we take matters, and that truth, as best we know it, be the hallmark of our response.
    Now, who would say that? Sen. Obama, meet Sen. Obama. And here I was thinking that censure was a true and forceful response to an dishonest administration that "screws up" ...
  •  Obama's letters from the future (20+ / 0-)
    Dear [Name]:

    Thank you for writing about ex-Senator Russ Feingold's proposal from exile to censure our Glorious Emperor Bush. I understand your strong feelings on this issue. While I share your frustration and anger, I do not think censure is justified at this time.

    I agree with ex-Senator Feingold that the Administration's attitude toward congressional oversight and the FISA law has been cavalier and arrogant. We are a nation of laws, and those laws should be applied to all of us, from humblest citizen to the Imperial Majesty of the United States. No Saudi Regent should be allowed to knowingly and willing flout our laws, and I believe the Emperor exceeded his authority with his domestic "rendition" program, internment camps, and the cancellation of the elections. The justifications offered - that the president possessed inherent presidential authority under Article II, or was granted that authority in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force -- seem to contradict prior precedent and our constitutional design.

    But my and ex-Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in his role as Grand Pontiff of the Faith and Commander in Chief and Royal Decison Maker. The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows. Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts and many judges are now in re-education camp.

    Finally, I can assure you that your opinion is important to me, and that's why I have turned over your address and name to the Secret Service. I will continue to try to bring my best judgment to the issues before the Senate, and let the people of Illinois make their best judgment on my service to the state.

    Again, thank you for writing.

    Sincerely,

    Barack Obama

    United States Senator

  •  what good is a calculating wimp? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, missreporter

    W - all boots & hat, no cattle .75, -7.54

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:06:27 AM PST

  •  They Just Don't Care (13+ / 0-)

    I'm finally starting to get it. Calling these Dems clueless cowards because they won't stand up to Bush is totally besides the point, because what it really comes down to is that THEY JUST DON'T CARE!

    If it doesn't directly benefit them or one of their political allies, THEY JUST DON'T CARE. That's what it ultimately comes down to for the vast majority of our so-called Democratic leaders.

    This isn't about being politically cautious. This isn't about keeping their powder dry. This isn't about focusing on health care and education. This isn't about first taking back the house and senate and only then standing up to Bush. This is about taking care of number one first, and screw principle, because THEY JUST DON'T CARE.

    Sure, they say they care, and perhaps on some level they do have some sense of concern about the lies about WMD and the illegal wiretaps. But again, so long as it doesn't personally affect them or threaten their seat in the house or senate, THEY JUST DON'T CARE.

    What else can explain their continued and amazing refusal to stand up to Bush on these issues? They have everything to lose (as they see it), and nothing to gain (short term, which is all they care about). It's pure political calculation, and principle doesn't even enter the picture.

    So yet again, between the GOP and Dems, we're forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, between the monumental evil that is the GOP and the everyday evil that is today's Democratic party.

    The party of FDR has been taken over by a bunch of self-interested and special interest-beholden political hacks. Even if we do take back the house and senate, while that will certainly be an improvement over the GOP, our work will have only just begun, because until we take back the party and replace this bunch of faux Dems with real ones, we will not have taken our country back as well.

    First we take back the house, senate and white house, then we take back the party, and then we take back the country, and kick these phonies out.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:20:02 AM PST

    •  if we don't care, neither will they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little Red Hen

      It's not that THEY JUST DON'T CARE. It's that they have yet to be presented with sufficient evidence that it is no longer true that WE JUST DON'T CARE.

      These people are weathervanes. True, they are weighted on one end, by the largesse they receive from the rulers. But they will nonetheless swing their vane our way, if we but muster enough strength and gumption to let them know that, if they fail to pay to us enough attention, they're out.

  •  The third paragraph is a classic garbage (9+ / 0-)

    The question is whether the president understood the [law/lie] and knowingly [flaunted/perpetrated] it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their [authority/WMD intelligence] more broadly than I and others believe the [law/facts] allow[s]. Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the [courts/historians].

    There you go.

    •  good faith (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, ChemBob

      That's what impeachment hearings are there to determine. Republicans are waiving off any impeachment hearings claiming that it's clear the president acted in good faith. Well it sure as hell ain't clear to me- especially when he insists that he is going to continue breaking the law.

      And another thing congress needs to get into their head, it's a matter of JUDICIAL oversight. This attempt to validate the program retro-actively by including congressional oversight is just garbage. The constitution requires judicial review. Congress cannot unilaterially change the constitution any more than the president can.

    •  Bush just didn't know any better... (0+ / 0-)

      just like the Iraq war and Katrina.  What utter bullshit.  

  •  Utter bullshit (6+ / 0-)

    "Therefore, my focus is on crafting an effective surveillance program that both combats terrorism and contains meaningful judicial review of wiretapping, which is the most effective way to restore balance between the battle against terrorism and the rule of law."

    We don't need this. This was done back in 1978 -- the greatest year ever, by the way (hint, hint, check my sig).

    Obama and the rest of them are giving these guys too much credit. Do they fucking read the Internets? Do they know what the hell is going on in this world? Is Mohammed El-Baradei a terrorist?

    Goodness gracious man, open your eyes! This AIN'T about terrists!!

    •  Classic political bullshit and spin (6+ / 0-)

      to evade actually doing anything meaningful (i.e. politically risky). It's pretty clear by now what kind of game Obama is playing, and it's not doing right by us or the public at large. He's out to become a political heavyweight, and principle be damned. I should have known it by how smooth he was when he first hit the scene. One should never trust someone who smiles that much or so easily. Pleasers never come through. They'll always break your heart--if you let them. (Damn, I almost sound like a bad rock ballad!)

      Sadly, we have to put up with these ass-kissers for now, until we take back the house and senate. But not a moment longer than we have to.

      Oh, and you became a 28 year old female from New Jersey in 1978? How odd.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by kovie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:35:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so right (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, bws, zett, Karma for All, ChemBob

        I should have known it by how smooth he was when he first hit the scene. One should never trust someone who smiles that much or so easily. Pleasers never come through. They'll always break your heart--if you let them.

        It's like my approach to dating. I used to be attracted to the hottest, most charismatic, most successful guy in the room, and of course he ate it up because I was all about him and would do anything to win his heart. And of course they always turned out to be cheaters or totally undependable ("oh you're violently ill and by yourself with no medicine? sorry, the drugstores not on the way to the bar and the NBA finals are on"). After a series of bad relationships, I said to myself, "all that glitters is clearly not gold," and I gave some of the "regular" guys a chance. When I met my boyfriend - a regular guy - I wasn't mesmerized, but you know what, he's a genuinely nice person who would do anything for me and we're still together.

        So Obama is like the hot, wealthy, successful, flashy guy who would only break my heart. Feingold is the dependable regular guy who doesn't try to be in the limelight all the time, but when I need him, he's there for me.

        Did I take the rock ballad metaphor too far? Sorry. But you see how it makes sense, I'm sure.

    •  Utter Bullshit. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia, gmb, ChemBob

      Exactly my reaction too.  Just what we need, another Democrat that fancies himself a political genius and does nothing.  At what point do we call it complicity?  I think we're well past negligence at this point.  

  •  Just another empty suit (5+ / 0-)

    He proved that months ago when he came here.

    I'd love to know why the Democrats have no balls.

    And why they don't care about the fact that the most corrupt President ever gets away with pretty much everything.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:39:05 AM PST

  •  Here's the key (9+ / 0-)

    But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists. The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows. Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts.

    While I know of some constitutional scholars who have supported the president's twisted interpretation of both FISA and Article II, I have seen no Federal court decision cited as a precedent to uphold what he's done.  The one that gets bandied around a lot, that In re sealed case, has been intentionally misquoted and Anonymous Liberal (and others) have done a pretty effective job of destroying those specious arguments.

    What else is Obama referring to?  Is is he just pulling it out of his ass?

  •  What kind of b.s. is this? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, 88kathy, rabel, Karma for All, ChemBob

    "Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists."

    Either a president (or any official) has inherent authority or it is outside the bounds of the law.  It can't be both.  Putz.

  •  Any fan of Obama (including myself) (0+ / 0-)

    needs to look to someone else for honor and integrity.  

    Mr. Webb?  Mr. Lamont?  Mr. Tester?  

  •  looks like Obama's response is too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, Karma for All

    cavalier and a bit arrogant, though he tries not to show it too much. He can't count on people falling for him on the basis of being "charming".

    I guess it's time to read the source material. Too much for me to able to comment and make up my mind.

    A country is not only what it does - it is also what it puts up with, what it tolerates. - Kurt Tucholsky

    by mimi on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:08:57 AM PST

  •  Another weeny on the Hill!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    All the Kossacks that thought this guy was so great...he's just another privileged attorney who is after the glory and money...bet his nose is already nice and brown!

  •  What's the word I'm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, greenskeeper

    looking for? Could it be Gelding?

    The qusetion is was he desaced before or after the election?

  •  Obama's in the wrong debate (15+ / 0-)

    Obama’s got it all wrong – the censure resolution is not about making the president act legally – that is clearly impossible – it is about reasserting congressional independence and oversight.  As such, it is a symbolic gesture, but one that has consequences.  The charge of “playing politics” is accurate, in a sense -- this is about politics, not in a partisan get-a-leg-up-at-any-cost sense, but in the sense of checks and balances stemming from the jealous self-interest of the separate branches the founders envisioned.   The resolution says “we notice you broke the law,” and without this noticing, the issue will never even get to the courts, or to the public.  Obama’s suggestion that we figure out a way to make the program legal makes no sense, for the reason mentioned above in several posts – Bush already has shown his willingness to flout or ignore the law – and because what is at issue is the limit on presidential power itself, not whether this is a good and necessary program (which I doubt).  If the democrats want to argue it the latter way, they will lose, they will have already lost, since arguing the worth of the program, however illegal and imaginary, already admits the possibility that the president is not bound by law or the other branches.  The democrats are turning a grotesque distortion of the constitution into a quibble.  Dumb fuckers.

    •  Exactly right! (0+ / 0-)

      what is at issue is the limit on presidential power itself, not whether this is a good and necessary program (which I doubt).  If the democrats want to argue it the latter way, they will lose, they will have already lost...

      This is a pretty clear issue.  Unbelievably disappointing that Obama has fallen on such the wrong side of it.  I second your "dumb fuckers" comment because there are several members of our leadership who are being very fucking stupid right now, played for fools.

  •  Coward (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    Senator,

    You're on the same train as your colleague Joe Lieberman.  And that train has been pulling away from the Station of the American People for some time now.  We all wave you a fond farewell as you pass by your responsibilities and duties as a member of the Seante, ignoring the work of the people, your head held high, gazing in the distance at an '08 Clinton/Obama ticket.

    It's a trip to oblivion.  You will never reach your destination by ignoring the people you're passing by at high speed.  We will throw the train.

  •  another cautious negro tip toes into the fight (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Bill O Rights
    Hidden by:
    Sam I Am, NeuvoLiberal

    when's a brotha gonna preach some fire?

    I'm not cheerin till Turd Blossom goes.

    by omfreebogart on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:19:12 AM PST

  •  Looks like Obama has found a home in the Senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Sharon in MD

    Going along to get along

    His finger must be constantly wet as he must lick it at every opportunity to test which way the wind is blowing

    Is it any wonder why Governors tend to get elected President?

  •  One has to wonder ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, gmb, Karma for All, drewfromct

    what would our two defining documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States , look like if written by the DLC Democrats? Would they even exist or would we start football games with God Save the Queen?

  •  Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb

    never fails to disappoint. Just another do-nothing
    pol with a phony smile and a load of bullsit.

  •  I do not agree with Obama's cotention (7+ / 0-)

    that:

    The qustion is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows. Ultimately, this debate must be resolved by the courts.

    I fi break a law without knowing it, such as turning right at a red light with a sign forbidding turning on red, I still break the law. And if I willingly break a law, I still break the law. There's no shell game of intent here.

    Bush and Co are clearly acting in direct violation of FISA, which, with its retroactive approval, is no real protection of our right not to be subjected to arbitrary search and seizure as it is.

    No, Senator, this isn't unclear at all.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    More fun than talkin' about Anne Counter's giant Adam's Apple ! [Cue Austin Powers] "It's a MAN, baby!"

    by Cenobyte on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:45:57 AM PST

    •  Isn't the Law for reg folks (5+ / 0-)

      "Ignorance of the law is NO excuse"?

      (-7.50 -6.31) Preventive war is like committing suicide out of the fear of death - Bismarck

      by arkdem on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:45:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not *entirely* true.. (0+ / 0-)

      There are lots of cases where intent (or knowledge) make for viable defense.  The one that pops to mind (because I had to deal with it myself):  In Oregon, if you're driving with a suspended license, and you have no reason to believe that it is suspended ("I didn't get the letter, your honor."), you've a defense.

      I really do think you could make the defense that "Everyone I talked to said it was fine" -- which would be just dandy for the first bit of law-breakings, when everyone was agreeing with him.  But with Constitutional scholors and lawyers and the general public started saying, "Hey, bitch, that's um.  illegal..." I don't think the argument stands.

  •  he's gotta see these posts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, missreporter

    I emailed his office, please do the same. Look, I don't normally try to rally people to action, but this young senator is making a big mistake, and we need him to become what his great speech once promised.

    I'm not cheerin till Turd Blossom goes.

    by omfreebogart on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:49:25 AM PST

  •  Mr. Fish (8+ / 0-)

    has the best response to Obama:

  •  One Term Senator? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    Will he even run for reelection in 2008?  With his eye on a spot for the pres ticket in 2008, and his apparent lack of interest in actually being a force for good at his current job, I can't see him sticking around.  Obviously, he already sees being a U.S. Senator as being a stepping stone.

    His constituents should step him right out of office.

    Perhaps it's time to start fielding primary challengers.

  •  playing both ends against the middle. again. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter

    what a disappointment.

    but Obama did not get where he is by being a firebreather, and he wants to position himself for a long tenure in the Senate.

    The only thing I can say in support of this statement is that Rs already have a target on his back, and he is making it harder for them to attack him.

    note to Obama staffers if you are monitoring this thread--you want the word FLOUTED instead of flaunted in paragraph three.  "The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flouted it..."  Look it up.  A Harvard Law School graduate should be held to the standard of a sophisticated use of words and a graduate school level vocabulary.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:55:18 AM PST

    •  I think the (0+ / 0-)

      playing it safe because the Repubs have a "target on his back" is an excuse we throw  out there to soothe our wounds of disappointment when our heroes fail to live up to our expectations.  Yes, strategy is important to stay in the game.  But too often we throw that excuse out there to keep our hopes up when the spirit and integrity we hoped for just isn't there.

      Other than his inspiring speech at the convention, Obama simply hasn't separated himself from the pack.  Over and over again, on issue after issue, I've seen the excusing comments from those who were ignited by his initial spark.  I think it isn't there.  We shaped our hopes, he didn't.  He's not bad, he's just not special.  Just like the rest, he hesitates, he tests the winds, he wants to play it safe.  These are his standards, and they're not exactly the "principles" we were hoping for.  He's simply not one we can count on, and it's best to recognize that.  When his career plan aligns with our "cause" issues and we get a favorable vote, then we should look on it as a gift rather than an expectation.  Like many of the others, he will be defined by his position, he is not looking to define.

      (I'm reminded of someone I used to work with who quit his job to become a priest.  Before he left for his training, all he could talk about was the great benefits the job offered, all the neat dinner conversations he would be enjoying with various higher ups--you see, this person was planning on rising to the top levels.  No real inspiration here or burning causes, just fitting in with a particular slot where certain givens define your goals and actions.)  

  •  wrong. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, GN1927

    let me say that again:  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  and wrong.  mr. obama, kindly remove your head from up your ass & join us in the real world.  until you do, you get no respect from me.

    let me add that this is a no-brainer.  either we live in a monarchy or we live in a society based on laws.  i, sir, prefer to live in the latter.  but so long as congress condones unlimited executive power, what we're getting is the former.

    also, your appeal to authority argument ("some lower courts have ruled") is shit & you know it.  read the fucking constitution.  what part of unwarranted search & seizure do you not understand?  that's the fourth fucking amendment to the bill of rights.
    s.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

    by synth on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:04:28 AM PST

  •  And totally misses the point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, GN1927, drewfromct

    that passing a modified FISA in response to the president's abuse is only complete submission to the administration. Directly in contrast to Obama's claims, his actions do nothing to restore the balance between the branches and gives tacit approval to more abuse.  A censure resolution, on the other hand, would be an assertion of the the congress' position.

    Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

    by mik on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:07:20 AM PST

  •  Shorter Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, shpilk

    "I don't mind when Republicans give it to me up the ass, and I'm willing to put my foot down and say so."

  •  217-492-5089 (0+ / 0-)

    the Springfield Illinois office, which has a message service.

    I'm not cheerin till Turd Blossom goes.

    by omfreebogart on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:21:47 AM PST

  •  Ergo Sum (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, arkdem

    If Bush genuinely thought he had the inherent constitutional right to ignore FISA then he would not have tried to insert language into the enabling Homeland Security legislation to do just that.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:22:00 AM PST

  •  It's about brains, not balls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, GN1927

    It's not Obama's sex drive that I wonder about, but rather his understanding of history and of proportion, and of the Republican majority in the Senate. Censure is not something that comes after a trial, it is a statement be the Senate. It ain't gonna happen, but to have a vote and have some Democratic semi-unity would show strength and show voters that if they want an investigation, they need to get more Democrats in.

    As long as the GOP can dominate and cow even solid progressives like the senators from Illinois, there will be no real investigation, no public airing of all the facts. Shame on Obama. I was expecting him to join thel ieks of Feingold, Harkin and the departed heroes Simon and Wellstone as a great, brave midwestern progressive populist, but he's proving to be just another second tier mainstream Democrat. Oh, I'd vote for him if I lived 50 miles to the south, but I'll not be sedning his campaign any scarce dollars in 2010 unless he improves.

  •  So you want scholars Mr. Obama? (10+ / 0-)

    How about Fourteen of the nation's top constitutional scholars, from across the political spectrum who concluded that "the Bush administration's National Security Agency domestic spying program... appears on its face to violate existing law."?
    Or Robert Reinstein, dean of the law school at Temple University, has asserted that the warrantless domestic spying program is "a pretty straightforward case where the president is acting illegally...
    Or Edward Lazarus (Yale) who opined on this issue that "Unilateral executive power is tyranny, plain and simple"
    Or Jonathan Turley, a professor at The George Washington University Law School, who said Bush is "dead wrong. It’s not a close question".
    So you wanna talk scholars Mr. Obama? Bring it.

  •  Translation (11+ / 0-)
    • I'm a very popular Senator and have a safe seat from Illinois, so there's no reason for me to rock the boat.
    • If we attack the President, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will say we hate America and want the terrorists to win. If we don't attack the President, they'll say nice things about Democrats in November.
    • Bob Shrum is advising me.
    • Eventually, I'm sure the Republicans will wake up and start becoming moral, honest, honorable, competent stewards of the public good -- as opposed to the lawless, corrupt cash-whores they are currently. It's better to wait until that happens naturally than actually force the change.
    • The Republicans are very unpopular, so the American people will vote for Democrats overwhelmingly -- even if we stand for nothing, refuse to take on the opposition, and reinforce the perception that we won't get tough with anyone.
    • Despite not stopping 9/11, lying the country into war in Iraq, failing to provide body armor, declaring the war over when it was just starting, not sending enough troops, sanctioning prison torture, giving us the largest fiscal and trade deficits in our history, and playing air guitar while New Orleans drowned, we have every reason to trust President Bush. He's the President, so we have to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to wiretapping.

    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

    by IndyScott on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:36:20 AM PST

  •  Obama hrows support behind Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon in MD, BB10

    By STEPHANIE REITZ
    Associated Press Writer

    March 30, 2006, 10:20 PM EST

    HARTFORD, Conn. -- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama rallied Connecticut Democrats at their annual dinner Thursday night, throwing his support behind mentor and Senate colleague Joe Lieberman.
    Obama wasted little time getting to that point, calling it the "elephant in the room" but praising Lieberman's intellect, character and qualifications.
    MORE

  •  here's an excecise for ya... (7+ / 0-)

    Read Obama's letter again and pretend a republican senator wrote it about a sitting democratic president.

    Having trouble yet?  You should be, because words like this would never even cross their minds.  If the tables were turned, rethugs would be hammering the pres over and over, in unison.  If a there was a hearing on censure, they would be falling over each other trying to get on TV.  

    hell, they wouldn't even need an open and shut legal argument - which by the way we have here.  The president's misleading statements alone would be enough.

    they play offense, all the time.  it's not difficult to figure out why they're in power.

  •  I have three words for the good Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia
    Rule.Of.Law.

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

    by shpilk on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:51:35 AM PST

  •  Obama is a prick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie
    He was also against the Alito filibuster.
  •  Obama's comments... (7+ / 0-)
    The justifications offered - that the president possesses inherent presidential authority under Article II, or was granted that authority in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force -- seem to contradict prior precedent and our constitutional design.

    Sheesh, talk about understatement...    

    The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

    OMG... please don't insult my intelligence Senator.  In yesterday's hearing, even the 2 supporters of W's position admitted he's flaunted law in similar occasions: presidential interpretation of McCain's torture prohibition for example.  And as was pointed out yesterday by Fein, GWB's Attn Gen has stated their legal position is has "evolved"... eg: no indication whatsoever either what their original position was, or if they even had one.  Not to mention absurdity of their claims Aghan Invasion resolution "authorized" domestic 4th ammendment violations.

    And why is nobody talking about determining, under threat of congressional subpeona, just exactly what GWB's NSA intercept activities are?  We already know they've targeted peaceful groups in the US.  We know they'll appoint graduates of GOPUSA "how to be a pundit" weekend certification courses to positions overseeing editing of  NASA(climate), FDA, CDC (etc etc) scientific determinations, ensuring their political view is not compromised in any way.

    After watching yesterday's hearings, I'm utterly amazed nobody asked the obvious question: by what means would congress ever know if GWB has/is in violation of the 4th ammendment?  You think he's going to give you a phone call?

    And in case you didn't notice, your repub "colleagues" on yesterday's panel were not accommodating your "differing views" assertion regarding opinions of GWB's constitutional powers.    They were, to a man, steadfast in...
    * denying any suggestion of wrongdoing (depsite massive evidence to the contrary)
    * In agreement that FISA is unconstitutional (Spector, incredibly and with a smirk, asked if congress should be censored for writing FISA).
    * Steadfast in asserting their intent to alter/rewrite/ammend (eliminate?) FISA to accomadate GWB's unknown NSA activities... all w/out any mention of 4th ammendment considerations or the implications of 4th ammendment violations.  NONE.  

    Did you happen to notice any of this, Senator?

    a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power.

    This one galls me the most.  AFAIC, dem lawmakers have done nothing to confront the multitude of various GWB "underlying problem"(s)... NOTHING.  NADA.  ZILCH.  Big Fact -0-.  It started with their "promise" to not investigate 2k election (cough) irregularities, and it's been a smooth downhill slide from there.  Can't imagine what you're thinking.  

    That all of Bush's incremental (in big bites) constitutional, legal and ethical (not to mention good o'le fashioned common sense) leaps towards monarchial authority are greeted by our dem representatives, in this ho hum "oh well" manner you exemplify... it's frightening and depressing.  Almost enough to make me concede Nader was right. :(

    Lastly, I would point out to the Senator GWB's  actionable offenses as layed out by Feingold are (again, as Feingold repeated several times) a pattern: torture, habeus corpus policy (and dem support for throwing it out... argh!!!! ), WMD claims and (IMO) criminal CPA ations... and whole host of other deceits (Enron/Ca. Energy Crisis, crony incompentant appointments to policy/law making postions across Fed Gov, etc. etc)...

    That any citizen of the US, no matter how asleep, (including certain dem lawmakers) could still entertain  any

    Incomprehensible.

    I feel like Sen Obama is bs'ing us.   So what's their plan?  Wade through hype of dem gains in '06 only to get fucked by Diebold and strategic Sec of States doing what they've done last 3 elections?

    You've got impressive style Senator, maybe best I've seen in recent years.  That a meaningful, principled substance underlying your delivery increasingly seems vapid, is dissappointing and depressing.  

    GWB has fucked up the entire ME with this same kind of secretive, unaccountable shit cloaked in statesmanlike verbage.  And every single time, when the cloak is removed, we find lies.  Again, and again, and a'fucking'gain.  

    Personally, I've had my fill of REAR VIEW MIRROR DEMOCRATS.  

     

    Unless you're the lead dog, the scenary never changes.

    "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." -- Steven Wright

    by jdmckay on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:07:38 AM PST

  •  that obama gets so much attention and credit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, stodghie

    is beyond me.  sounds like lieberman II with his pan-constituency blather.  [sigh]

    such a beltway boy.  this guy is so freakin' scared to stir the pot bc of his greater ambitions....

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. - Samuel Johnson

    by sedrunsic on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:08:59 AM PST

  •  Ironic, symbolic, I don't know... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    I replied to Obama through his website and when I clicked contact>other issues which includes "ethics", the message would not go through.  

    I resubmitted through "national security" topic.  

    I thought it was ironic and symbolic.  I hope he "gets it".  

    Anyway, I sent this:  

    Are these your words?

    "But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument.....Also, a censure resolution does nothing to deal with the underlying problem of unchecked executive power. It would not force the president to modify his domestic surveillance program .... I will continue to try to bring my best judgment to the issues before the Senate, and let the people of Illinois make their best judgment on my service to the state."

    This is your best??  Since when do you require a unanimous view in order to act?  This arguement also implies that if you censure you can do nothing else, such as reform. It isn't either/or. You can do BOTH!

    -4.63, -5.59 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by Divertedone on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:26:52 AM PST

  •  Does he think we're stupid? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, Karma for All

    Bush stood behind a podium and implied for all Americans to hear that he got warrants for wiretapping. He willfully lied and mislead us to believe that he was complying with the law.

    He misled Congress and even expected those he told to keep it a secret and not even discuss it with other members of Congress or even judges and lawyers.

    If Obama doesn't see that as an indication that Bush thought he was breaking the law then he is an idiot or thinks we'll fall for his explanation. He should certainly know we are not stupid.

    This is why I'm mad as hell at Democrats. We have good ones like Conyers and Feingold who treat us like rational adults but most are like Obama who treat us like children who are incapable of understanding issues like this.

    Fuck 'em. He's lost me.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:29:21 AM PST

  •  I'm very disappointed in him. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    So far he has been all smoke and no fire.  The words I loved in the convention speech have turned out to be just words.  I'm starting to think he lacks any substance at all.

    To all the Hilary/Obama dems:  STOP TALKING AND START DOING SOMETHING!

  •  Nixon thought he had the inherent authority... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    to do what he did, too.  Would Obama have let him off the hook, too?

    W broke the law, knowingly and willingly.  End of story.  Either you're willing to hold him to account or you're not, and Obama, like the vast majority of the rest of the caucus, clearly is not.

    The idea that the courts will step in is not only a cop-out, it's totally unrealistic.  Did Obama pay attention during the Roberts and Scalito hearings?  Does he really think that the current SCOTUS will rein W in here?

    Obama is a compelling speaker w/ a compelling life story who apparently has a deft comic touch.  I'm sure that he has a great Senate career ahead of him.  I just wish that he had a little bit more of Russ Feingold and Paul Wellstone in him.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:37:18 AM PST

  •  Obama is a worthless piece of shit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, kingsbridge77

    There isn't any doubt that the wiretapping was illegal, no doubt that it shreds the Constitution Bush swore to defend, no doubt that it is worse than anything Nixon ever did and he can't bring himself to support a resolution to formally criticize Bush? All he can do is call for an investigation that will be run by Republicans and/or judged by Republican judges? How's that investigation into the misuse of pre-war intelligence coming along, Barack? How'd you like that "bipartisan" 911 investigation?

    And for what? Saving his manhood for Hillary and a vice-presidential nomination?

    This is time for Democrats to stand up and be counted and if they don't, they stand for nothing. I'd just as soon vote for Republicans so that when the country inevitably goes down the toilet, turns into a bankrupt, Latin American shithole with no civil liberties and a tiny ruling class of billionaires everyone else serfs for, some Guatemalan paradise for plutocrats, it'll be on their watch.

    You'd think that if Obama couldn't bring himself to do the right thing on principle he could do the right thing politically. Christ, can't vote to criticize a president with a 40% approval rating? Not acceptable, Barack, you worthless piece of shit. You COWARD. You FUCKING coward. And how about your oath of office? Some defender of the Constitution you are. You make me sick. What a fucking weasel.

  •  My Letter to Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, The Termite, Karma for All

    Dear Senator Obama,

    I hope this email or its message will reach you.  I think you're at an important milestone in your Senate career.  From a recent form letter you've been sending out regarding your position on the illegal warrentless surveillance by the President, you should be aware that momentum and support for your efforts as a Senator has shifted significantly.  Consider this message a fair warning, or a "heads up" that the wind has shifted -- against you.

    I live in Kansas, but if the old adage was "all politics is local" the new adage in today's information-based society is "all politics is global."  The opinions in this letter may come from the rural heartland (I'm originally from the inner city a large east coast city), but I assure you that many, many of your constituents share my sentiments.

    In a recent letter stating your non-support of the obvious and necessary measure to censure President Bush, you said:

    "No president should be allowed to knowingly and willing flout our laws, and I believe the President exceeded his authority with his domestic wiretapping program."

    ...

    "But my and Senator Feingold's view is not unanimous. Some constitutional scholars and lower court opinions support the president's argument that he has inherent authority to go outside the bounds of the law in monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists. The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows."

    I can't believe that a sitting U.S. Senator, a senior member of the legislative branch has deferred his power, putting his hands in his pockets, and willing to risk our very system of check and balances on "whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it."

    That is utterly ridiculous, and is dangerous in the extreme.  This country is in a constitutional crisis, and we need the Congress to make a clear and bold rebuke of the complete abuse of power that is happening, and censure is the mildest of remedy's considering the massive abuse of power by this President.

    We cannot count on the Republicans to act responsibly, leaving it to the Democrats to be the sole voice of reason.  America is literally in your hands.  You are the opposition party, and appeasement is not the proper course here.  You are seen as weak.  By doing nothing, despite your true feelings, makes you look even weaker.  Come election day, wartime America is going to want to elect strong leaders.  This is not the way to look strong, and provide leadership out of the Bush abyss that polls say Americans think we're in.

    Now yes, I'm sure that you think that if Democrats en mass support censure, that this will somehow rally the Republican base in November in support of Republicans.  Or perhaps that if the Democrats regain the Presidency that Republicans will take revenge, and that this will somehow buy you their mercy.  

    I hope you do not believe in either of these fantasies.  In today's politics, force needs to be met with force.  And if you and other similar Democrats will ignore their responsibilities in favor of their political advancement, or in favor of some murky ill-conceived long term political strategy, then we simply must vote you out of office at our next opportunity.  There is simply no more time for incompetence or treachery when it comes to our Democratic representatives.  The stakes are too high.

    Your colleague Joe Lieberman is learning this the hard way.

    It's heartbreaking to see such a promising voice for change take a downward turn.  Your future in the Democratic party was so bright just a year ago.  So many of us are just heartbroken to see you eaten up by the political machine, but your free ride is over.  There are no more free passes to be given.

    If this is your position, if this is the best you can do, you are not worthy of being a U.S. Senator.  The Democratic party simply must have higher standards.

    Disappointed in the extreme,

    Avian

  •  I live in Chicago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    Two thumbs down, Sen. Obama.  Two thumbs down...

  •  Senator Dayton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    I actually got a very specific response to an email request from Senator Dayton.  I appreciate  that he gave the issue the importance.  The response was essentially the same and stated that the only President that has been censured was Andrew Jackson and that that was later reversed.

    I understand Senator Obamas argument to be two-fold.  First, we should not censure over a legal argument.  Legal arguments need to go to court.  Second, censure doesn't do anything to address the problem (and then here is the fix).

    I have a real problem with the last part of that.  There is nothing to fix here folks.  Rinse.  Repeat.  There is nothing to fix.  If you need to wiretap Americans, then you need to show reasonable cause to a court within 72 hours.  This, "Here is what we are going to do" frames the issues for them.  In particular, that is why censure works.  It is a "timeout" for bad behavior.  Which takes us to the first argument.  If the Senator believes that this should go to court, then put together a resolution to take it to court.  But I don't see that happening - we are back to fixing.  There is a disagreement on whether to censure as well - that's why you vote.

    It doesn't upset me that both Senators would not vote for censure.  I just hope that a vote takes place.

  •  The president says... (6+ / 0-)

    "Oh, and by the way, anytime you talk about wiretap...a wiretap requires a court order...and nothing has changed by the way..."

    Except, of course, that everything has changed.  In secret.

    As Hunter said yesterday, just watching politics is exhausting.  Obama's letter is one reason why.  A black-and-white issue has, thanks in part to our own party, become gray.

  •  The worse part about Obama's response is that he (5+ / 0-)

    thinks you're stupid.

    He's talking down to you. Obfuscating.

    We know that Bush's own lawyers told him he was breaking the law. We know that some resigned because of this.

    There are political hacks out there from Conservative think tanks who are ready and willing to pervert an interpretation of the law. We all know this.

    The trouble is, Obama thinks you're stupid enough not to realize the difference when you cite them.

    It's disappointing when our Democratic leaders treat us as idiots and lie to us. It is actually unforgivable.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:06:28 AM PST

  •  This should serve as a wake up call to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie, gmb

    everyone who thinks that the Democratic Party is not in deep, deep trouble. This Obama idiot is a ReThug enabler pure and simple.

    If he will not stand in opposition to Mr. Bush's transparent attempt to declare himself Dictator of America what would he oppose? Would he oppose:

    Deportation of all non-white folks?

        "I will take that under deliberation..."

    Mandatory personal loyalty oaths to President Bush?

         "This will require careful study..."

    Internment of all "dissenters" in detainment camps?

         "We all want to protect America."

    All responses I can see Obama making to Bush proposals which I have no doubt he and his cabal of fascists are considering. After all under "Torture Boy" Gonzales's theory of the Unitary Executive Bush is empowered to do anything his dope and booze damaged brain sets upon.

    Bah, Obama is a useful idiot for Bush nothing more.

    He will get no respect or support from me. Ever.

    If we in the democratic wing of the Democratic Party ever hope to see a real progressive agenda put in place in this country we need to drive the ReThug enablers such as Obama, Liebermann, Biden et. al. from the party.

    Maybe they can get jobs on K street.

    I don't want them representing me.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:09:14 AM PST

  •  The ignorance defense. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, larryrant, Karma for All

    " The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it..."

    Ignorance of the law is no defense.  Everyone knows that.  Why is Obama attempting to use it on Bush's behalf?

    Call me a flip-flopper again, and I'll kick your ass.

    by NambyPambyPinkoCommie on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:12:34 AM PST

  •  Good reply, IF IF IF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, StrayCat

    IF there wasn't already a mile-long track record proving this administration lies and hides.

    IF there was no such thing as signing statements.

    IF the Dems had some dream legislation going and IF all the R votes were lined up to support it and IF it happened in two days....

    Yeah, April Fool's.

  •  Obama disapproval is slowly increasing (0+ / 0-)

    His approval is 70% according to the latest SUSA survey, but disapproval is at 25%, an all time high for him. As people get to know who he really is, they will dislike him more and more.

    10/17 11/14    12/12 1/16 2/13 3/13/06
      21%    20%   23%  20%  23%        25%

  •  Look, I understand your disappointment (0+ / 0-)

    At least, those of you who are not so personally invested in Obama as Savior that you can see reality and accept that Obama is NOT a hero, nor a paragon, nor even remotely as "great" as you originally thought and just believed.  Obama, at first, appeared to carry great promise.  He appeared to be a new face for the Democratic party.  Those of you who are actually members of the reality-based universe are capable of accepting reality at face value and can deal with heaps of evidence that part of your worldview has been contrary to objective reality.As a true reality-based individual, you have the intellectual honesty and strength to adjust your beliefs to fit with what really is rather than what you desperately want.

    What is impossible to understand are those of you who STILL hold religiously to the view that Obama is "the savior" who will help lead the Democrats out of the darkness.  No amount of getting reality-checked will change your view.  You can and will get hit in the nose, again and again, with the facts of Obama, and even though those painful jabs that are in direct opposition to your faith-based perception of Obama will draw blood and make your eyes continuously water, you will STILL think Obama the savior.  You are NOT members of the reality-based universe no matter how much you protest.  You are just the opposite side of the tarnished coin that holds the neocons on the opposite face.  You are NOT members of the reality-based universe, but rather, are deep in faith-based sewage.

    Obama is just another tired old establishment Dem with a young face.  He is a dracula, giving a false face of vitality and vigor when in fact he is just crusty, dried up, and incapable of going beyond what "the right way".  It matters not that "the right way" is no longer viable and is even a myth.  Obama is a has been and he has barely started.

    I invite those stragglers among you to free yourselves.  Free yourselves of this insane faith-based world-view.  If you do not, then you will ALWAYS be saddled with cognitive dissonance and disappointment.  You will ever try to pass the buck of blame for why things just dont go the way it is supposed to go when you walk the Obama path.  Give up the need to seek reason for failure elsewhere.  It is NOT always someone else who is at fault and NEVER Obama.  Trust in the reality-based universe AS IT IS:  Obama's worldview is wrong.  HE is at fault for why your faith-based Obama universe never ever goes the right way.  HE diverts from the winning path all by himself - it is NOT someone else pushing him down that path.

    Obama sucks.  Deal with it.  He's a moral and physical coward with no competence for dealing with objective reality.  He IS the establishment Dems that ALWAYS LOSE.  LEAVE HIM!

    Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

    by praedor on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:16:57 AM PST

  •  Awful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    menodoc, milofischi, gmb

    I'm highly disappointed. I got to meet Obama at a rally for Joe Hoeffel in Philadelphia in September 2004, and he was highly inspiring. I don't doubt that he can still deliver a rousing speech, but his wishy-washy reasoning has become extremely grating. Am I glad to have him as a Democrat in the Senate? Yes. Do I want him becoming the standard-bearer for the party anytime soon? Based on his first year or so in office, absolutely not. Hiring Daschle's chief of staff as his own and having Lieberman as his 'mentor' were quite possibly two of the worst choices he's ever made.

  •  sad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb

    Yet another Heros of the Democratic Party card I have to tear up.

  •  Not the question. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, larryrant, menodoc

    The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

    The president is responsible, perhaps more than anyone,  for knowing the law and working within its confines. The only question here is, did the president break the law or not? "Good faith" has nothing to do with it. If he interpreted the law incorrectly, he needs to be punished.

  •  What the fuck is wrong with him? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant, menodoc

    The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

    Bush routinely issues his memorandum of understanding, meaning that he decides 1) what a law means, and 2) whether he will follow it or not. That's a tyrant, not a President in a Republic. There's no honest debate about whether any person has this power in America. Besides being an electrifying orator, what the hell good is this guy?

    Media has a monopoly on content. Bust the monopoly, good things happen.

    by Jim P on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:31:31 AM PST

  •  I didn't like Obama from his 1st vote to confirm (0+ / 0-)

    Condi "Imelda" Rice as Sec. of State.  He has disappointed me ever since.

  •  I have a song for the Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, blueoasis

    C is for "censure," like pie in the sky

    H is for honor, let's kiss it goodbye

    I is for idiots, the Senate has scads

    C is for centrism, the DLC fad

    K is for K Street, its influence lingers

    E is for eunuchs who won't lift a finger

    N is for nincompoop surrender monkeys

    S is for scum sucking compromise junkies

    H is for hemmerhoids like Mr. Obama

    I is for "I'd rather vote for Osama"

    T is for this triangulating twit

    Put it together, you get C-H-I-C-K-E-N-S-H-I-T.

    Some things are not for sale. Send the Republicans home in 2006.

    by The Termite on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:37:21 AM PST

  •  Obama...read my lips (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milofischi

    Senator Obama,
    Im dismayed by both your response and explanation with regard to Sen. Feingold's censure resolution.  While it may in fact be too soon to gauge if the President knowingly or unknowingly broke the law, if he broke it, he violated the law period.  Good faith means nothing when it comes to obeying the law of our lands...while it may help paint a rosier picture of the President's intentions to some, it does not exempt him nor his advisors from following the law of this nation.  The "inherent authority"  you and others discuss has never been established and to be clear, Congress to date, has NEVER authorized or made any formal declaration of war that such authority would fall under. Besides, one could clearly argue that if the President does possess such inherent authority, then the FISA courts which have served this nation for decades, should have been consulted.  Instead President Bush's actions make it clear that FISA is obsolete, redundant, and should be disassembled.  What purpose are the FISA courts if they are not used for the very process they were created for?  Currently, the FISA system allows warrants to be issued for up to 3 days after any operation so again, I ask you Senator Obama,  why this President was above going through a process that has been established precisely to make sure the President could carry out his national security duties but do so within the guidelines of our Constitution?
    I am extremely dismayed that you nor most of your Senate colleagues have even bothered to ask this very simple question.  At the very least, Senator Feingold's resolution attempts to hold the President accountable for his actions whether you agree with that or not.  What solution do you propose instead sir?  It seems evident to me that you are content on allowing a sitting President to continue circumventing the laws because its become apparent that this nation's intelligence gathering capabilities are pitiful.  So instead of cutting corners around this nations laws, modify the intelligence gathering capabilities.  I submit to you that instead of everyone making excuses for the President ,that you and your Senate colleagues apply the same standard of obeying the law to this President as were former President Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon. NO ONE in this country is above the law.  Its sad to think that you  think otherwise.  

  •  The key issue re: Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it,

    Whether the president "understood" the law? Bush is an IDIOT! He doesn't "understand" how to swallow pretzels!

    or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

    This sounds like a talking point, possibly being used by the Repubs in the halls of Congress, to presage the defense the Bush team will be using.

    HOWEVER: It may be premature to be talking censure when the investigation is unfinished. (So the Repubs will make sure the investigation never finishes???)

    We need to be loudly clamoring for Congress to do its job and review this issue in open hearings.

    I am comforted that my view is proper when I hear that Sandra Day O'Connor has already warned that the Bushies are pushing this country into dictatorship with their approach to the law and the courts. We ARE right in this.

    I believe Impeachment will take place eventually.

    And I appreciate Feingold and all he's doing.

    -6.63, -6.05 "I ain't no stinkin' monument to justice."

    by menodoc on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:49:15 AM PST

  •  This part pissed me off: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    I agree with Senator Feingold that the Administration's attitude toward congressional oversight and the FISA law has been cavalier and arrogant. We are a nation of laws, and those laws should be applied to all of us, from humblest citizen to the president of the United States.

    Should be applied?  No, they do apply to all of us, without exception.  Yes, I know he meant that no one should be above the law, but the wording just rubbed me the wrong way.  

  •  to all those who voted with the majority... (0+ / 0-)
    Thanks. It gave me great big smiles when I saw that over 70% respondents agree, Obama looks like the rest of thos Dems that will not take any risk to improve out country. I am so happy that there are so many that agree on this point. I guess that is why I keep coming back to the Kos.

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. - Thomas Jefferson

    by american pastoral on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:03:47 AM PST

  •  Obama is correct (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sam I Am

    Imagine the embarassment if the voted to censure, and the investigations of the Judiciary Comittee and the Supreme Court came back in support of the White House's position.

    Nope, you need to actually have been found to have bent the law too far, if not actually breaking it, before you censure. There must be a legally binding decision before any such action can be thought of.

    Anything else is suicide for the party, though it MIGHT help Feingold in his bid for the 2008 nomination.  But the election would be lost by then.

    If Congress and especially the Supreme Court find in favor for the Administration programs...

    Republicans maintain control of Congress.
    AND

    the WHite House.

    •  I disagree!! (0+ / 0-)

      The censure vote is not a conviction for a crime, or the statement of a known fact, rather it is a statement of disagreement with the presidnet's demeanor.

      The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

      So, Obama is clearly stating that censure intones some idea of the interpretation of motive and that he does not believe that Bush's motives were in bad faith.

      Fair enough.  But the censure vote is a statement on what the individual Senator believes about Bush's motives.

      I know what I believe, and now I know what Obama believes.  And I disagree with Obama because, to me,  Bush's body of work betrays his motive.

      "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

      by Grodge on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Censure vote is contingent on the president (0+ / 0-)

        doing something unethical, immoral, or exceeding his own powers.

        That is still questionable, at least from the constitutional standpoint

        THe fact that YOU beleive he did and YOu beleive he knew he was doing so is in fact inacurate.

        Obama does NOT beleive that the president acted in good faith.

        He beleives that without EVIDENCE that he knew he exceeded the boudanries of his power or in fact the he DID exceed the boundaries of constitutionality and law, one can not make the assumtion of guilt.

        YOu cannot CENSURE someone for what they have not done, even if you BELIEVE they have done it.

        YOu must provide concrete evidence that they did so, through investigation or testimony of those present at the time the acts were being decided.

        Y ou cannot make the claim that you can CENSURE the president for in your own words:

        The question is whether the president understood the law and knowingly flaunted it, or whether he and his aides, in good faith, interpreted their authority more broadly than I and others believe the law allows.

        No matter what, censure STILL must revolve around beehvior thought to be unethical or beyond the bounds and limits of the powers given to the president by the constitution first, and then by the law.

        THAT cannot be ascertained until AFTER an investigation.

        You must PROVE this before starting on a course of correction, in its various stages, from censure, to impeachment to conviction for "high crimes and misdemeanors"

        The president cannot be censured because Congress doesnt like his attitude.

        Again your statement that:

        I know what I believe, and now I know what Obama believes.  And I disagree with Obama because, to me,  Bush's body of work betrays his motive.

        Is rather revealing...

        It is mere opinion based on opinion, not fact.

        One of the most difficult things to prove in any act, and in particular in attempting to weed out a crime is MOTIVE.

        If I  had your psychic powers, I still could not prove this sufficiently with available evidence.

        I know what I believe, and now I know what Obama believes.  And I disagree with Obama because, to me,  Bush's body of work betrays his motive.

        Is a clear indication that you base your attitude about Bush based on beelif, rather than fact.

        This ALONE is one of the factors that has allowed Bush and Rove to stay in power.

        That the left does not diligently pursue FACT, but continually bases its actions on a type of FAITH.

        It was not faith that is sending Abramoff to jail, got Scooter Libby indicted, and is painting Tom Delay slowly into a corner.

        It is pursuit of FACT and evidence.

        •  Actually, you're getting even more wrong... (0+ / 0-)

          with wild deductions that my attitude is what has kept Bush/Rove in power.

          1. Bush admitted that he spied on Americans without FISA warrants.  he admitted that he broke the law (and may still be doing it).  His only defense was that he did it for good reasons, ie, the reality changed regarding civil liberties and safety.
          1. Obama fully agrees, as do every reputable legal scholar and Bush himself, that Bush's actions were outside the scope of his power.  No "investigation" is needed for that because Bush has admitted it.
          1. The censure has everything to do with the perceived "motive" of the president, and since no one can ever know a person's motive, it has to be determined based on circumstantial and corroborating evidence.
          1. Since much of a censure vote is based on such conjecture, it does not carry the same consequence as an impeachment, namely, removal from office.
          1. I conclude that censure is very appropriate in this instance, and in fact, it is exactly why the idea of censure was created.  I understand your appeal for reality vs. faith, but in this instance, Bush needs to be censured, and yes it's totally based on a reasonable judgement of his behavior.
          1. I can also see why Senators may not want to make a stand on this issue: primarily because of voters such as yourself who will see this as brow-beating a damaged lame-duck president, which will not accomplish anything substantive.
          1. I take strong issue with your accusation that my "attitude" is somehow counterproductive.  As John W. Dean, Nixon's WH Counsel said two days ago, if the Senate had censured Nixon early on, it may saved this country a lot of trouble.

          "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

          by Grodge on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:29:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again. (0+ / 0-)

            He admitted that he speid without a warrant.

            he DID NOT admit that he broke the law.

            Period.

            Nor have the ONLY folk who can absolutely state that the law has been broken STATED that the law has been broken...The courts.

            NOR do the judges on the courts AGREE on whetther the law has been broekn or NOT.

            YOu have only personal opinion to back up EVERY claim you make...

            I can give yu an ENORMOUS list of REPUTABLE scholars who DO NOT agree with you.

            However like all partisans YOU define reputable on your assuemtions of reputable, much lijke a Republicans. THose who agree with you are "reputable" those who do not, are not.

            Those who know the law know that things are a little less ONE SIDED than that. Certainly SCALIA would not appear to agree with your "reputable" scholars.
            And Scalia will be one of those who make the determination, like it or not.

            He will do so on LEGAL and NOT these vague and one sided grounds that you keep pulling up.

            You remind me of a guy I knew once who hated being around cigarette smokers and INSISTED that he had a constitutional right to NOT have people be allowed to smoke around him.

            Of course, there is NOTHING in the constitution about it, and he extrapolated that his right to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness meant that others could NOT smoke in his presence. ANYWHERE.

            The law RARELY means what the average schump with an axe to grind beleives it to.

            There are times you can read a statute, believe it means one thing, only to find that those who interpreted it have stated in the administrative code that it meands the EXACT opposite of what common wisdom would have it mean.

            Again, Nixon engaged in ILLEGAL acts.
            THose acts WERE deemed ILLEGAL well before he left office. Before anmyone suggested impeachment.

            And Dean does NOT suggest that Nixon should have been censured BEFORE investigation whether the grounds for censure exist or NOT.

            Though the censure procedure is not outlined in the Constitution - as is impeachment - it is well-established in the history and traditions of the Congress. Jackson was censured in 1834 for refusing to cooperate with a Congressional investigation, and there have been many moves over the years to use the procedure to hold presidents to account.

            Feingolds attempts to censure do NOT follow the long established traditions in Congress by whish it is used.
            and that is purely and simply that there is some action that is either unethical. Congressional tradition and actions in the past regarding censure have required that some investigation, by a standing or select comittee of Congress to review the actions of the president.

            Even Feingold's Act to censure is based on assumtion.

            He is being censured for MISCONDUCT.

            Yet there is not proof of Misconduct.

            He is not taking bribes, and has not violated any of the ethics rules of the government, which is about the only thing that censure can be used for, because anything illegal would be impeachable.

            To censure alone would also make another statement.

            And that is that Bush has done nothing.

            For a high crime or misdeameanor would MANDATE impeachment under the constitution.

            Which is why Feingold is working his own person political ploy and why most of the other democrats will not support it.

            They want NOTHING that can diminish the possibility of impeachement in the future.

            Censure can and will be most certainly used by the presidents council in any such attempt.

            •  Truly, I appreciate your sense (0+ / 0-)

              of fairness and "investigation."

              In a perfect world the Senate Judiciary Committe would investigate the NSA spying, but we hardly live in a perfect world.  

              Chairman Specter's promises to investigate notwithstanding, I can hear Bush/Cheney already making cockamamie invocations about national security considerations to avoid testifying.

              Censure has no Constitutional basis and it carries no rules or punishment.  It's a political ploy, pure and simple.  The Senate can censure anybody for anything; don't like Cheney's flack jacket?  Censure him.  Rumsfeld's haircut is objectionable? Censure.

              So what's the big deal about censuring the president for spying on the American people without the court's consent?  The courts cannot investigate ot bring charges and the Executive branch certainly won't bring charges, so what's the recourse?  Wait for Specter's committee to "investigate"?

              In my opinion (and that's all any of this is), I say censure him now.  I am not a Constitutional scholar or a political operative, but I can still have an opinion.  (And you still have no references on which "scholars" disagree with me.)

              "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

              by Grodge on Sun Apr 02, 2006 at 01:20:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Brings us back to the consequences of censuring (0+ / 0-)

                him now, and having both the congressional investigation exonerate him of ALL wrongdoing and the Supreme Court Rule that his actions were completely legal

                The consequences:

                the Demand that the leaders of the  Democratic Party be CENSURED for abuse of their power to censure.

                •  Well, I guess you're right... (0+ / 0-)

                  the Democratic leadership and their constituents should just shut their yaps and quit all this sniveling about the Fourth Amendment.

                  (in falsetto, mockingly)"Oh, you're violating the Constitution.  Please stop it."

                  You're right.  How dare we have an opinion about the violation of our laws; if we censure the president, then the terr'ists win.

                  And, oh my God, they might censure US for censuring them.  The horrors!!  I never thought of that!  Wow.

                  Somewhere George Orwell is smiling.

                  Like I said, I'm not making a political calculation like the individual Senators must, but I see censure as the only move available to the Senate; otherwise, it all blows over-- just like it has for the last two years.

                  "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

                  by Grodge on Mon Apr 03, 2006 at 04:03:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                    you acn be right, and howl all you want about violatinv the 4th amendment...

                    If the 4th amendmnt has ACTUALLY been violate.

                    Until the courts rule on it, its just opinion.

                    And a bad call BEFORE the ruling occurs is STILL a bad call.

                    Feingold's call for censure could prove to be as harmful to any Democratic chances to retake one house of Congress as TOm DeLay's behavior has been harmful to the Republicans...

                    Remember, DeLay says he has done nothing wrong EITHER.

                    But the appearance of being and doing something wrongs largely been what has started the Republican control of Congress on a knife edge of tumbling down.

                    It takes very little to undo the advantages that Democrat snow have, and put the ball right back into the Republican side of the court, and HANDING them game point.

                    All it took waws a few Swift Boat Ads to turn Kerry LARGE lead in Mid July 2004 to an ENORMOUS adavantage for Bush.

                    There is an oldc saying in politics.

                    If you have to say these few word...

                    "HAT I MEANT WAS"

                    You have already LOST the nect election.

                    Right now, it is the Reublican who must explain EVERY action that their commander in Chief has taken.

                    The Democrats do not have to EXPLAIN anything.

                    Do not have to apologize to anyone for anything.

                    There are NO media cameras covering Democrat Lobbyists being sent to jail fr for 70 months.

                    No Media Cameras pointing at any minority leader for questionable money raising activities in relation to that lobbyist

                    NO high ranking Democratic Official on trial for obstructing justice for outing a CIA agent.

                    Except for Abramoff, none of these people have been found GUILTY of anything, but the appearances of doing something wrong has resulted in DeLay losing power, Libby having to resign, and an investigation of higher officials still ongoing.

                    No media cameras pointing at DEMOCRAT corruption, are there?

                    No cameras pointing out Democrat plots to illegally use their power or authority, are there.

                    The Republicans are just DYING to get those cameras pointed at Democrats.

                    IN desperation they attempted to link DEMOCRAT to Abramoff as well, but they just could NOT make it stick.

                    Censure is the ONE sure thing that the Democrats are jumping the gun on, or at least ONE democrat is jumping the gun on.

                    If comitees rule that BUsh has IN FACT exceeded his constitutional authority, then censure away.

                    If the courts validate that opinion, censure away.

                    But if he has NOT exceeded that authority, the next question becomes, have the Democrats EXCEEDED their constitutional authority.

                    Do you want to go there, just before the 2006 election.

                    If so, get used another few years of neo-con control of Congress, and whine and moan when they use those years to further advance their agenda.

                    Everything in politics is a matter of choices.

                    And censure is at best the worse of ALL choices

                    •  You may very goo points... (0+ / 0-)

                      and I'll concede that the Dems are wise to keep the cameras trained on the corruption and incompetence of the Repubs.

                      But I'll also maintain that the censure proposition was one more bulb Kleig lights trained on the malfeasance of the administration.

                      After thinking about your posts (and I do appreciate your points), I guess I feel that it's not that imporatant whether the censure proposal passes, or even gets a vote.  The imporatnt thing has been that the word "censure" is now part of the news vernacular.

                      Two items I'll take issue with, however:

                      1. The president did violate the Constitution, and has admitted as such, by sidestepping the FISA court.  he states that he did for  anational emergency, but he did it nonetheless.
                      1. Your statement: But if he has NOT exceeded that authority, the next question becomes, have the Democrats EXCEEDED their constitutional authority.  is not accurate.

                      Censure is not a Constitutionally defined motion, and therefore, one who censures cannot be in violation of the Constitution.  It's a political move plain and simple.

                      One further comment.  I understand your point that the Dems may be perceived by the electorate of over-reaching and may pay at the polls.  But two points on that:

                      1. The 37% of voters who still approve of Bush's job performance are never going to be convinced otherwise.  So who cares if they think the Ems are overrreaching.
                      1. Kerry and Gore lost the last two elections in large part because they did not stand up to the onslaught of negative campaigning flung at them.  

                      The Dems are percieved as wimpy and afraid, and a ballsy move like censure may win some support from fence-sitters who see the repubs as corrupt and Bush as incompetent, but have not been enamored enough in the past to get out of bed to vote against them.

                      Over-reaching has not been the Dems problem so far.  They have backed the president on almost every BS move he's proposed.  It's time to say "enough."

                      Your points are good.  I just disagree with them.

                      This is a Democratic version of "the 1994 moment" (when the Repubs took over Congress with their Contract with America) and the Dems have the Repubs on the run.  It's no time to call off the chase.

                      This can be the New Contract with America: we'll stand up for your rights and censure the president when he breaks the law... and it's too important to wait for Specter to get off his dead-ass to "investigate."

                      It might be more popular with the "undecideds" than anybody can predict.

                      Take care.  Keep fighting the good fight.  I'm out.

                      "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

                      by Grodge on Mon Apr 03, 2006 at 08:56:28 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  One Repulican House leader down. (0+ / 0-)

                        Yup, Tom DeLay is OUT.

                        That ALONE is half the battle to take over the HOUSE.

                        Lets win the battle to regain Congress by getting rid of the PROVEN corrupt, and lose the war by engaging in useless censure.

                        WRONG

                        Bush's CAN go down evne lower, down to the core base of the Republcan Party alone, which constitutes a total of 30 percent of the electorate. DEmocrats make up 39 percent the rest are independents.

                        Bush has alienated the largest percent of Democrats in recorded history, where most of the time ten percent of Democrats will support a Republican president in polls, that figure is now down below 5 percent.
                        Bush has far less support among independent voters than past Republicans have had as well.

                        Bush can still be pushed down below 35 percent, and in several polls he has gone as low as 36 percent.

                        If censure happens, ANd I doubt it will, thank God, Democraswill LOSE again in November, and EVERY pundit will point DIRECTLY as censure as the cause.

                        They would of course be correct.

                        The only freason polls show a TINY support for CEnsure is that 39 percent of registered Democrats, 96 percent of whom support CENSURE.

                        While the independents are more evenly divided, in most polls they REJECT censure.

                        AND SUPPORT the Presidents NSA spying program....

                        Democrats CANNOT win without majority independent support.
                        Create an issue the Republicans have the independent favor on and Democrats LOSE Congress again.

                        Censure is the ONE issue that favors a Republican win in the fall.

                        That WIMPINESS issue does not hold water, though it is the convenient argument given by fools who get up on their high horses in ofrder to allow them to be seen well enough to make a very GOOD target.

                        So is the argument that Kerry and Gore lost becaue they didnt defend themselves against negative attacks.

                        Attempting to RESPOND to those attacks is what cost them the elections.

                        THe FIRST, the MAJOR and PERHAPS the ONLY real rule in politics is "NEVER EXPLAIN YOURSELF" when it comes to rumor and innuendo.

                        Just treat is as irrelevant if it CANNOT be proven.

                        Kerry lost because the Bush Administration got almost 100 percent of the EVANGELICAL base mobilized and OUT TO VOTE,

                        The ONLY reason Kerry lost.

                        The other reasons given by high horse single issue progressives is merely BULLSHIT.

                        I have my suspicions that the wimpiness argument was invented by the Republicans National comittee in order to get Democrats to raise their heads high enough to get a clean shot at Democrat heads.

  •  I got the same letter from Obama (0+ / 0-)

    I had been writing to him for several months now about the illegal wiretapping with no response.  I supported Obama's campaign, I gave a monetary contribution, I voted for the man, but he is becoming more and more disappointingly Republican-lite.  I didn't vote for Gore for this reason, I won't vote for Hillary Clinton for this reason, and I won't vote for Obama if this is his strategy.  

    Yesterday I heard part of Lindsey Graham's statements in the censure hearings.  It sounds to me like they are using an excuse of ignorance of the law to justify Bush breaking the law.  I hear them saying that Bush acted in good faith and believed he had the authority to authorize warrantless wiretaps and therefore shouldn't be censured.  It's absurd.  I don't know of any average citizen who could use this defense in a court of law and not be found guilty.    

    Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

    by AMcG826 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:13:57 AM PST

  •  He beat Bean (0+ / 0-)

    It took Melissa Bean about a month to become a tired old politician -- it took Obama about a year.  I guess from that perspective he has done well.

    But his letter is the product of a well educated mind that is already isolated from the real world.  He wants to address real world problems such as the misuse of executive power by not addressing them at all.  It is nothing but inside the beltway mumbo jumbo.  We'll solve this problem through "the committee" -- yeah right.  

    Obama missed his calling: he should leave the Senate and become the head of a homeowners association.

  •  exactly when are these idiots going to get it (0+ / 0-)

    that they are not the ruling elite they think they are. duh! they work for us. are you listening senator?

  •  The ship's sinking and you bring a tea cup (0+ / 0-)

    to bail with Obama? In the illustirous words of our VP, 'go fuck yourself' or if you prefer our lovely Supreme Court, 'va fangoul.'

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:26:30 AM PST

  •  Obama's Stock Crashes (0+ / 0-)

    ...at least with the progressive base.  Too much caution, not enough fresh air.  Strike one - Alito.  Strike two - Centure.  Strike three - ???

    What the Washington Dems DON'T seem to get:  disappoint the base = low GOTV!

  •  hey it's 2006 (0+ / 0-)

    are we allowed to be mad yet?

    or are we saving our powder keg for 2008? 2012?

    why oh motherfucking why can't people understand that being mad and caring about this shit isn't the same as being a "leftist"?

    do we REALLY have to take everything said on corporate news at face value?

    V for Vendetta anyone?

    Fixing Republican screw-ups: it's what Democrats have been doing for 100 years

    by SonofFunk on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:29:26 AM PST

  •  Am I missing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Earl

    something?  Obama devotes two paragraphs making the case that censure is justified.  Then he seems to be making the case that censure by the senate, however, would preclude any further investigation into the issue on which censure was invoked.  In other words, the act of censuring automatically negates any further investigation into Bush's crime. Is that true?  

  •  So maybe he did screw over McCain? (0+ / 0-)

    Back in The Day.

    McCain's a pretty unsavory character, but Obama's letter just screams "I'm a crass politician!"

  •  If the mangling of the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

    is not censurable, then what the hell is?

    Before the deed comes the word. You expect us to believe this Senate that can't even get it together to 'tsk, tsk' the gutting of the Constitution will be up to the task of checking the monarchical impulses of this administration?

    Pull the other one, ringadingding.

    One of the points John Dean made in his appearance both before the committee and on Keith Olbermann last night is of vital importance to understand.

    This is not about partisan politics.  This is about institutional prerogative for the co-equal branches of our government.

    Hell, they don't even think they need you to make laws.

    So, Senator, the question really is are we a Republic or a dictatorship?

    We're not suggesting y'all get together and knife Caesar. We simply suggesting that saying "No!" is at least a start.

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

    WAtR

    by boadicea on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 10:20:56 AM PST

  •  Forward the poll results to Obama (0+ / 0-)
    He deserves to know how many of us think he is a do-nothing.  While a good orator, he toes the line too, too often and seems to make decision based on career moves instead of good law.

    He coulda been someone.  He coulda been a contender.

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