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It’s clear that you feel compelled to make these theatric, meaningless gestures to satisfy the clamoring base’s screams for real action. They don’t work, on every level. The administration laughs out loud when they are announced; it clearly doesn’t consider them serious, and will never comply. The group you attempt to placate with these empty acts becomes more disgusted with each successive motion. It fails, give it up.

The censure measures, and the so-called filibuster, the Miers contempt are each worse than nothing. If the Miers contempt even it gets to court the Democrats will lose, the courts are a now a stacked deck, but it may not even get to a judgment since the AG isn’t going to prosecute. It’s hollow, it won’t work, you know it, we know it, and the administration knows it. These charades make matters so much worse because each successive loss only serves make the Democrats look even more impotent.

Please, someone tell them to actually do nothing, no more fake hearings, no more embarrassing letters, no more feigned outrage, no more nonbinding resolutions, just stop. Stop. It is horribly demoralizing. If Congress truly believes it has important legislation to pass, then go ahead and work on that. Miracles happen, maybe something worthwhile won’t be vetoed or filibustered, you never know. Who knows? Maybe things really will change with the election cycle, but even if they don’t just please end this farce. It’s torture.

Originally posted to protectedmode on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Looking for that elusive Republican majority? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    It's over there in the "do nothing" corner.

    Blogatha! The political, the personal. Not necessarily in that order.

    by ksh01 on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:00:00 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for you concern. n/t (6+ / 0-)

    "...the Edwards folks do not endorse Brittany's crotch."

    by Pager on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:00:03 AM PDT

    •  Let me try it from a different perspective. (0+ / 0-)

      You think it’s trollish of me to suggest they stop with the nonsense, but truly it isn’t. Maybe they should act toward something they can accomplish.

      Since, for whatever reason, they can’t take action which will cause physical results to control the administration, maybe it’s better just to avoid the problem entirely. It isn’t working, wouldn’t it look better if they were fighting to accomplish something positive?

      •  Okay. Frustrated. Then WHAT would YOU do? (0+ / 0-)

        Since ALL big and small Democratic initiatives are BLOCKED by Republican filibusters?

        The Democrats must have 60 votes to invoke cloture.

        They have 49 Democratic votes. One independent from Vermont votes with them. So that's 50 votes.

        Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, is not with the Democrats on Iraq (or Iran, for that matter). He voted with the Republicans against cloture on the pullout.

        So if you don't have the votes to pass anything that the Republicans in congress don't like, then what do you do??

        You hold hearings, you force unpopular filibusters, and you call members of the administration to testify.

        You can't do much more right now.

        What are you saying? That if the Democrats don't have the votes to invoke cloture - then it's their fault?

        If the Democrats don't have a veto-proof 67 votes in the Senate - then they are the ones to blame (AND they should only expect the voters 'wrath' in 2008)?

        Grow up. With just 50 or 51 votes, and an a president of the opposite party, the only thing that is going to happen is going to be the result of some sort of bipartisan 'deal.'

        The result will offend you, no doubt.

        What would YOU do?

        After all, if the Democrats did succeed in invoking cloture and passing an unpopular measure, then the only thing that would follow would be:

        (A) a presidential veto;

        (B) a presidential signing statement.

        •  That's helpful. (0+ / 0-)

          Since I’m sure you’re sincere, I’ll answer. They could use inherent contempt. They could impeach Gonzales, because their investigatory powers would be enhanced. Yes, it would likely lose after the trial, but at least they exposed the lawlessness, and it’s possible they could have the votes; Bush is a very unpopular President after all.

          To argue that they don’t take meaningful steps because they might lose begs the question as to why they then make meaningless efforts? Just do nothing if the prospect of failure is what stops them. If both will fail, why not go down with a blast? Get some publicity, stir the gut of the Nation, but instead they chose the worst of both worlds. It sucks.

          Last night it was plausibly explained to me that they don't act credibly against the administration because they plan to run out the clock and begin anew with larger margins in a year and a half. That is a huge gamble, but if that’s the strategy, then they should go with it. Just stop the nonsense, it embarrasses them and makes them look weak. They should work hard on legislation that will also fail, at least its failure isn’t a humiliation the way these paper tigers are.

          •  I think you see the problem. (0+ / 0-)

            And you are coming close to being able to argue both sides of the issue now.

            The problem with the sorts of apocalyptic blowouts you suggest, i.e. an impeachment that would fail, an inherent contempt trial that would go nowhere, a censure motion that would get filibustered, etc. is this:

            The public would conclude, as the author of the diary has begun to suspect, that 'congress' is just a 'do-nothing congress,' that it is not really accomplishing the peoples' business," but is just engaging in endless partisan wrangling.

            And the Democrats will be punished at the polls in 2008, and the Republicans' rewarded for their preventing the passage of measures they oppose.

            After all, not every voter is as partisan as you or I.

            But the problem is not that the Democrats in congress are weak-minded, or that they don't really believe in health care or in ending the war, etc.

            The problem is that they have a narrow majority in the Senate, and that they are being blocked.

            For this the author of this diary denounces them. This is what seems to me to be terribly wrong-headed about this entire entry.

            By the way, a trial for "inherent contempt" would bring ALL other work of congress to a halt. Do we really want that? Is Harriet Miers so important? How about Josh Bolton??

  •  In a way I feel sorry for them... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enough already, corvo, protectedmode

    their hands have been tied in so many ways.

    But they could get serious if they wanted to...but for some reason they won't.

    I won't speculate on what that reason is (any more than I already have).

    Something with teeth sure would be nice though.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    Check out the Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:04:04 AM PDT

  •  Something I've observed in politics: (4+ / 0-)

    When a politician or a political party belives in something, stands for something and fights for something, they will energize and attract more voters than politicians who act like they're afraid of a fight and do nothing.

    Although the Levin-Reed amendment was denied an 'up-or-down' vote by the minority GOP filibuster, the all-night debate served to make it even more clear which party wants to get our troops out of Iraq and which party wants them to stay and die. There's not a problem with fighting for what you belive in, but this should go hand-in-hand with an effective messaging operation ('Wurlitzer'), which the Dems don't have yet.  IMHO, not fighting at all is an even worse option.

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:14:32 AM PDT

    •  Not fighting is preferable (0+ / 0-)

      if they aren’t fighting to win, which is what’s going on now. These stands are only supposed to be messages, not a real attempt to accomplish anything. But because they know that it’s all an act, it makes them look weak, that's the message. It also frustrates the hell out of those of us who wished they’d fight hard.

      It’s like the war in Iraq is now, we aren’t going to win, and continuing is just suffering. The Democrats should find something, anything; they can accomplish and work like hell to get it done. Clearly, it's not righting the wrongs of the administration, but then pick a single important legislative action, even a popular one, and do it. This drip, drip, drip, of sound and fury does not rally the public, it gives them nothing to support, and devastates those who want something done to stop the administration.  

  •  You're giving up. Don't. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite, corvo, protectedmode

    Congress is doing a bang-up job of letting themselves off the Constitutional hook.  Why are you letting them get away with that by telling them to just stop?

    They want us to believe that their legislative work is oh so important.  Well, check out Red Bean's diary on the rec list right now, and you'll find a comment that details the "important legislative work" that Rep. Diane Watson is so busy with that she can't even allow her damn staff to respond to calls from constituents asking her stance on impeachment.  You'll feel like puking.

    Don't let them off the hook like this.  Just don't.

    "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:39:15 AM PDT

    •  I know they do not avoid (0+ / 0-)

      real action because of a supposed legislative agenda, but I’d still rather have them actually start to pursue a single worthwhile law than continue on this insane treadmill. My suggestion is that they change direction, work for something, anything. Pretending to go after the administration is a Kafkaesque nightmare at this juncture, the Democrats don’t want to do it, so they must stop the act. It’s maddnes.

      •  And my suggestion is that (0+ / 0-)

        they do their damn jobs.  They didn't swear to pursue important legislation when they took their oath of office.  They swore to uphold the Constitution.

        "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

        by Mehitabel9 on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:49:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's like seeing headlines from the Enquirer: (4+ / 0-)

    "DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY!"  "SEE CENSURES GALORE!"  "A NEW SUBPEOENA MIGHT COME!" "STILL MORE HEARINGS TO COME!"

    All 99.999999%  a bullshit waste of time.  Worse, actually, because they're insults:

    "Hey, the masses want action -- Heh, heh.  We'll give 'em action.  We'll focus on throwing Miers in jail and then ask Gonzalez a thousand more questions -- and then maybe go after Rove, and those dumb fucks'll forget all about impeachment and the war.  And before you know it, Bush'll be out of office anyway."

  •  I just disagree with the followthrough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, protectedmode

    Take the "no-confidence" vote on Gonzo.
    It came on a Monday-no fanfare or talk about over that weekend before or even week before-it just came up with no drumroll or coersion of the public for support.
    It's just stuff like this that frustrates me-the momentum is allowed to be stopped-the Dems do it to themsleves.When you have the momentum-you keep driving-you don't sit back and wait for a rebuttal by the opposition. these "I don't recall" investigations-why aren't Dems doing a montage of all the "I don't knows" and run it in commercials.
    I don't think candidates should be buying airtaime-but I would like to see the DNC and Dean do more to put all of this corruption together and the bad decisions on the war at the GOP feet.

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