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Can someone tell me what the hell just happened with the Gonzo story?

Seriously, what better way is there to reinforce the notion that Democrats are spineless wimps than to filibuster (at the drop of a hat, no less) a meaningless, insignificant, nonbinding resolution that has already been declared moot by the one guy it would theoretically make a difference to?

Democrats in congress, I am ashamed of you.  This stupid ordeal is the straw that broke the camel's back.  

If you care to win back my vote, you can read my suggestions below the fold.  For all others, a tasty rant.

First of all, the whole "No Confidence" thing?  Absolute waste of time.  Pure political theater.  The result of the vote didn't even matter, and everyone knew it going in.  So you express no confidence in the acting attorney general.  Big Whoop, life goes on.  Your time is better spent on more important matters.  Maybe instead of expressing your reservations about Gonzo holding prosecutorial powers, you should do something about them.  Hint: starts with "I", has a fruit in the middle.

And even worse - despite the utterly pointless nature of this resolution, the minority party filibusters it?  Let me get this straight - you guys didn't want to rock the boat to filibuste an Alito nomination, which brought us dangerously close to a supreme court with the conservative fundamentalist notion that women ought be brood mares and just shut up about it.  You wouldn't use the filibuster to stop the military commission act, which threw habeus corpus in the gutter and peed on it.  But when the shoe is on the other foot, the loyal opposition will use the tactic on the tiniest little bill that doesn't specifically benefit them and their base?

Pathetic.  Utterly pathetic.  You have given the president what he wanted on the war with no enforceable benchmarks or oversight for three more months, because you are too afraid of your own political shadow to do what's right.  There has been no meaningful progress toward the restoration of our Congressional rights.  You continue to turn a blind eye toward the glaring neon signs being held up by over 50% of the electorate that read like the latest Neil Young album cover.  My own democratic legislators are sponsoring bills to neuter environmental standards in other states in the name of American competitive advantage, despite the idiocy of sticking your head in globally warmed sand.

Enough.  I'll have no more of it.  If you want me, and I imagine millions of disenchanted independents like me, to throw your candidate du jour our vote come next cycle you need to straighten out those vertebrae and do the following.

  1.  You are no longer allowed to listen to any right wing talk radio.  It does not matter what they say.  Rush will slam you no matter what you do.  Hannity will always find a way to call you wimps.  It is we, the people, who mandated congressional majority for you, and it is we, the people who will decide your fate based on your actions and your voting record.  Don't listen, don't appear, don't respond to the right wing spin machine.  They are the Polonius to your Claudius; The Wormtongue to your Theoden.  Just ignore it, and leave the 28% who love it to stew in their own juice.
  1.  Find a testicular horticulturist and grow a pair.  You don't need to tack your bills onto legislation that panders to the right.  The public wants a minimum wage increase.  Republicans interfere with it at their political peril.  There is no need to rider it in with war spending.  Last time the Republicans amended the proposal with poison pills.  This time you stuck it IN a poison pill, turning a potentially moderate positive into a significant negative.
  1.  Fight, Dammit!  Republicans portray a strong image by being mean and nasty.  You don't put up your dukes when your opponent is aiming for your crotch.  Don't bring a knife to a loving gunfight.  They slander you, you slander them right back.  They want to cry and bawl on the senate floor, you call them a pussy.  They filibuster legislation that's good for America, you question their patriotism.  You ram progressive bills down their throats and dare them, DARE them, to filibuster or veto.  And make damn sure the public knows what the bill means.  Air America has a bunch of hosts ready and willing to take your call.  Daily Kos is open format.  Use it, and leave the spin in DC.
  1.  I want the skeletons in their closet out for the world to see.  I want vigorous, aggressive investigations tootsweet.  I want our Constitution back.  I want subpoenas handed out like pez from a special black-suit edition spiderman dispenser, with lovely little bobbed impeachment tails for the criminals among you.

Trust me, it's for your own good.  You're digging your own political grave right now.  Put down the shovel already.

Well, looky there.  The day after I post an indignant rant, the House makes me eat crow by issuing subpoenas for senior White House staff.  Way to go, Congressman Conyers!  

Originally posted to aludlam on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Baby steps (9+ / 0-)

    We managed to peel away some Republicans. Can you remember the last time seven Republican senators voted against Bush on anything?

    Let the beauty we love be what we do. ~Rumi

    by redlami on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:24:01 AM PDT

  •  Gonzo Vote - Make Great sound bites (4+ / 0-)

    Come on. You knew the repubs and joe would not allow the resolution to pass.
    The objective was to keep piling up evidence of the lawlessness/incompetence of the bush admin and the way the repubs in congress approve and support it.

    Now we just need to find the Democrats some great PR people to start a smart rollout about gonzo, gsa, contractors in iraq and cia, military hospital blunders. We need the hits for them to "keep on coming". We don't need passage of the immigration bill now to break the rhythm and give bush political vicotry and cover.

    I do want a good immigration bill to pass, I just don't want bush to get the victory.

  •  More Paris Hilton (0+ / 0-) time to Impeach Gonzo, I need more Paris.

  •  This sort of diary disgusts me (9+ / 0-)

    I can only conclude the diarist did not watch the Senate Hearing yesterday on CSpan.  Never have I been more proud of the Democrats who presented their arguments for a Lack of Confidence vote with reason, logic, and passion.  

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:37:50 AM PDT

  •  ahem (5+ / 0-)

    First of all, the whole "No Confidence" thing?  Absolute waste of time.  Pure political theater.  The result of the vote didn't even matter, and everyone knew it going in.  So you express no confidence in the acting attorney general.  Big Whoop, life goes on.  Your time is better spent on more important matters.  Maybe instead of expressing your reservations about Gonzo holding prosecutorial powers, you should do something about them.  Hint: starts with "I", has a fruit in the middle.

    hate to spoil your rant, but the Senate cannot start Impeachment all on their own.  in fact, the Senate cannot impeach at all (but that's semantics).

    as for the rest of your diary, i can't tell if it's a gbcw since you announce you're leaving the party, or a concern troll because they didn't exceed their constitutional powers to give you a happy ending.

    I got nuthin (-6.88, -6.15)

    by guyermo on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:43:18 AM PDT

    •  Pardon the rant (0+ / 0-)

      It's certainly not GBCW, because I'm not a Democrat, per se.  I'm slightly left-leaning independant.  I voted Democrat because they said they were going to make progress on ending Iraq.  Haven't seen it.  Not a whiff.

      Everyone always says voting third party is throwing away your vote.  Based on what I've seen the past six months, I may have well done so.

      •  Progress (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I voted Democrat because they said they were going to make progress on ending Iraq.  Haven't seen it.  Not a whiff.

        They passed a bill. It got vetoed. And not by a Democrat. Those are your choices... support the side that passed a bill to withdraw the troops and get us out of Iraq, or support the side that vetoed the bill and voted to uphold the veto.

        It didn't succeed, but if that isn't a "whiff", get your nose checked.

  •  In retrospect, the reason the Democrats are a (6+ / 0-)

    majority now is because of the republican party's own doings, not because the Democrats are good at what they do.  They just happened to be there when the ball was dropped.  Unfortunately they don't have the game skills to score any points on their own.

    True leadership would have done some behind the scenes arm twisting and convinced those republican lites that they're Democrats and unless they begin to act like Democrats, they won't get the committee assignments or gratus appropriations to bring home the bacon for their constituents.  There's only so much that can be laid to not enough votes, especially when your own team members undermine your goals.

    I am sorely disappointed in our leaders, and in those people whose only concern is the next election.

    In six months they've given the voters a minimum wage hike.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:47:21 AM PDT

  •  People should take a (6+ / 0-)

    civics 101 class before spouting out in anger.  We have a DIVIDED government, our party CANNOT do much when you have over 40 republican senators willing to filibuster EVERYTHING!.   Take a deep breath, this sort of harping does no one any good.  

    •  The Republicans somehow managed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, costello7

      Unless my memory is catastrophically failing me, the Democrats had 40 senators when the Iraq war was funded, the Military Commissions act passed, etc.  

      In my view, there is no such thing as a political high road.

      •  40 senators including a few right wingers (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cici414, ZappoDave, aludlam, willb48

        Having people who aren't really loyal to your party leaves you subject to a lot of unexpected backbiting. Sorta like having an left-leaning independent posting on a Democratic blog.

        We need a real working majority, and I'm proud that the dems in Washington are doing as much as they have so far to discredit the way the country's been run for the last 6 years. I've noticed the change in news coverage, and the loss in status of Fox "News."

        Let the beauty we love be what we do. ~Rumi

        by redlami on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:56:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ouch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sorta like having an left-leaning independent posting on a Democratic blog


          I don't want to make it seem like I'm backbiting, but I don't believe in doing what's right for Democrats.  I believe in doing what's right for the country.  If Democrats become corrupt like Republicans, I'll jump ship in a heartbeat.  At the moment they appear to be trying, but I want to see them shake things up and stop pandering to the minority for the sake of avoiding a little harsh rhetoric.

          There is too much capitulation.  They don't have to get every little piece of progressive legislation passed, they just need to get on the right side of the big issues.

          •  Democrats will in all likelihood become corrupt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            after regaining and holding power for a while. It's what always happens. Progress, if any, occurs in the interregnums and I pray that we're heading for one now.

            And yes it is harsh, because I feel that right now the best and only hope for our nation and the world is to elect Democrats. I'm not against criticism but I think the current political landscape needs to be considered as well.

            Let the beauty we love be what we do. ~Rumi

            by redlami on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:12:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They managed (0+ / 0-)

        b/c they didn't have a minority party filibustering every damn thing.  I'm not saying the Dems were right not to filibuster everything, but thats neither here nor there.  We are in the MAJORITY now, not the minority.   You're criticim here means absolutely NOTHING in the present, nothing.

    •  Maybe so, but.... (0+ / 0-)

      There is nothing wrong with having high expectations.  Yes we have a divided government.  It's true that democracy is built so that no one gets everything they want.  But that should not stop anyone from expecting more.  

  •  Continue the Debate (4+ / 0-)

    If the Republicans want to continue the debate, they should be allowed to do so.  For as long as they want.  24/7 even.

    Continued pointed attacks on the Bush administration for the debate in favor can be made.

  •  You're Being Unfair. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cici414, redlami, willb48

    How often do we all rant that the Dems are too spineless to take a stand even if it will lose (e.g., impeachment, war funding bill)?  So now, probably well aware that the Republicans had enough votes to fillibuster on their own, the Dems nevertheless pursued the no confidence vote.  

    Would you have preferred that they forego the possibility of a no-confidence vote because they feared it would be defeated?  Or that they did what they did, tried anyway?  Do we damn them if they do, and damn them if they don't?

    The Dems stood solid on this.  Please give them due credit here.

    It is the folly of youth to think they can change the world; it is the folly of old age not to try. -- Winston Churchill

    by penguins4peace on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:11:21 AM PDT

    •  I don't mind a loss (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If it's for something that matters.

      The Iraq war, impeachment - those have meaningful consequences.  A no-confidence vote has no legal ramifications in our system of government.  Had it succeeded, it would have done nothing.  Bush already said ahead of time he didn't care about the vote, and ultimately he's in charge of whether Gonzo stays or goes, absent impeachment or resignation.

      If this is a sign of backbone to come, I will praise the day.  But there is a quantitative difference between standing on principle for something that matters versus standing on principle for a gesture with no consequences.

  •  The Last Straw (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cici414, willb48

    Funny - that's the title I used

    But I didn't blame the (D)s - It's all on the (-R)s.

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:12:55 AM PDT

  •  Another "grow a spine/testicles" diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redlami, aludlam, willb48

    This is all such b.s.

    Let me get this straight - you guys didn't want to rock the boat to filibuste an Alito nomination,

    You can't POSSIBLY compare the situation where the Democrats had only 45 senators, including Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, and many others representing hardcore red states where Bush had just won 58% or more of the vote, and NO ally in the White House or to break a tie, to a situation where Republicans have effectively 50 senators, a President on their side, a Vice President who can break their tie, and a lot to lose on this issue.

    Republicans had the votes to go nuclear in 2005 and would have done it. Democrats do not have the votes to do so, even if we wanted to, and I don't think Robert Byrd is going to flip-flop on this issue.

    Our position as a bare majority in a Senate facing a hostile President is very different from the Republicans' old position as a large majority with a popular allied President. Our Democrats are fighting their asses off to get shit done and stop Bush with the tools at their disposal. I am sick to death of people who don't understand Civics looking only at the bottom line and cursing our brave senators for not having a spine/testicles/ovaries WHATEVER to somehow overcome the rules of the Senate and make the world better overnight.

    News flash: Elections have consequences. Not just the 2006 elections. The 2004 and 2002 elections gave the Republicans a President and a ton of conservative senators while we were wiped out. We still live with those consequences today, which is why we could sweep last year and still have only 50 senators.

    Grow your own damn spine, get off your couch, and walk to the library and learn something about how the Senate works before spouting off about leaving a party you don't even identify with in the first place.

    •  Mea Culpa (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'll cop to it - yeah, I'm a political novice.  I read what I can when I can, visit my library often, but I have to temper politics with other aspects of my life, or it will consume all my spare time.  If you choose to dismiss my opinion because I am not a civics wonk, I'll understand, but my sentiment is not unique.  You win elections by getting results, not by telling America to get off their butts and take a government class.

      That said

      • The "nuclear" option I guess I may not understand.  I understood it as applicable to judicial nominations only.  As I saw it at the time, it didn't make sense to say "we won't filibuster" to preserve the ability to filibuster (or not) in the future.  If you never use the power, there's nothing to blow up.  Besides, its not as if Bush hasn't been recess-apppointing all over the place, anyway.
      • I understand the current limitations.  Clearly they can't override a veto and they can still be filibustered on bills, but I believe that is all the more reason to be concentrating on progressive legislation that is strongly supported by the public which the Republicans might be hesitant to pass.  If you know they're going to block everything anyway, it's better strategy to make them do it to things they'll be ashamed of blocking - and for which they will have to answer to their constituents.  

      Perhaps this is the strategy Democrats are trying to follow with the no-confidence vote, but it doesn't seem to me like a winning issue to have vetoed or filibustered, because it is too easily spun as partisanship.

  •  "the last straw" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aludlam, Unique Material

    Sadly, it is probably NOT the last straw, but just one more in a continuing line of straws.

    Not to wish the camel ill, but I think we still have a few straws to go before the poor beast's back is broken.

    Get more straw...

  •  Thanks for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aludlam, Unique Material

    I want to think you for writing this.  Even if the Democratic senators did all vote for cloture that does not mean we should let up on them.  This diary is about more than that.  So they throw us a couple political scraps via a no confidence vote.  I say thanks to them, but they have to do more.

    I want them to do something with substance.

    • Repeal the Patriot Act.
    • Repeal the Military Commissions Act.
    • Pass the Webb amentment requiring the administration to get congressional approval to attack Iran.
    • Fund the war in Iraq with some controls that MUST be met.  None of these toothless benchmarks.

    That would be some meat we could sink our teeth into.

  •  Thank you for writing this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aludlam, Unique Material

    I'm a registered Democrat, and I'm right with you.  It's no accident that Congress' poll ratings have gone down 10% since they Iraq supplemental vote.  Americans voted for Democrats to CHANGE THINGS, not to wimp out with nonbinding resolutions and handwringing.  It's 1994 time, folks.  That doesn't mean they need to overplay their hand, but it's time for a purge, and it starts with Gonzales.  And if this bunch of spineless, consultant-driven, corporatist hacks won't do it, then let's throw the lot of them out and elect people who will.

    I will never, ever again be a "good soldier" for wimpy Democrats.  The notion that "Any Democrat is better than a Republican" doesn't hold water when any Democrat will do the Republicans' bidding because Bob Shrum says they should.  At least with Republicans I know I'm going to get screwed and not even get a nice dinner and a callback.  At least with them I know where I stand.  They don't sweettalk me and then stab me in the back.

  •  The losers are HERE (0+ / 0-)

    The losers are not in the Senate, they are here, on dKos, and on this thread.

    What a smashing victory! An almost unprecedented majority of the U.S. Senate indicated a lack of confidence in a sitting Cabinet member!

    This victory was won by a united Democratic Party in the Senate. Leader Harry Reid brought along all the weaker members -- we were not undercut by defections from the Nelsons of Florida and Nebraska, not by Pryor or Lincoln of Arkansas, not by Louisiana's Landrieu -- and we picked up votes from six stressed out Repubs defecting from Bush's side!

    Instead of hailing this solid 53-vote majority, loser-hearted postings to this site have picked up the MSM talking points and echo along that the Democrats somehow failed! What a sorry state of affairs. Pathetic indeed.

    •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

      If you're being deliberately inflammatory, but I think you missed the point of the diary.

      I don't care that there was a 53-seat majority who wanted a vote of no-confidence.  We know the attorney general is crap.  The Republicans knew it.  Getting 6 senators to flip on a meaningless gesture with a predetermined outcome does not mean that they will vote with Democrats when it counts - it just means they calculated a chance to score cheap political points and not have it affect the powerstructure.

      Having it filibustered did not help the Democrats' image.  Republican obstructionists who block meaningful progressive legislation suffer a political penalty.  Republican obstructionists who block a symbolic gesture against one of the president's men are fighting against partisanship.

      You and I know it's not about partisanship, but not everyone is keeping up with AGAG's disgrace.  Your average American might do research and find out what's going on, or they might see a Democratic majority trying to nitpick administration officials out of vengeance.

      There are better, smarter battles to fight.  This one is high risk with little to no payoff.  Once again, I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see this helping the Congressional approval polls.  I don't think this was a smart thing to try in the first place.

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