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Dear Congressional Democrats,

Let's do the math together.

Bill Foster just won the special election in IL-14 -- former GOP Speaker of the House Denny Hastert's seat, and birthplace of Ronald Reagan. Running as he did in what was until Saturday, a deeply red and thoroughly Republican district, what's Foster's view on the new FISA bill and telecom immunity?

"The President and his allies in Congress are playing politics with national security, and that's wrong.  Nobody is above the law and telecom companies who engaged in illegal surveillance should be held accountable, not given retroactive immunity.  I flatly oppose giving these companies an out for cooperating with Alberto Gonzalez on short-circuiting the FISA courts and the rule of law."

And what was the tack taken by Jim Oberweis, whom Foster defeated in this solidly Republican district?

"So today I ask my opponent -- if you had been a Member of Congress this week, and you had sat in that Democratic Caucus meeting on Wednesday, how would you have voted to instruct your leaders? Would you have sided with the trial lawyers, or with America's intelligence community? Would you have voted to protect trial lawyers' wallets, or to protect America? Would you have defended the extreme, or the mainstream?"

That's as direct a contest between the competing lines on the issue as you could imagine. And the fearmongering and trial lawyer baiting lost, on its home turf, to the rule of law.

Who'll hear the message from IL-14?

Will the Democratic leadership allow the Bush Dogs to make a fool of Foster in his first weeks on the job, and facing reelection so soon?

Or will they read the tea leaves and hold firm, maybe even sending a message back to Illinois that Foster's true to his word?

Why not make a show of it? Send the Senate back immunity-free FISA legislation and let it be called the "Foster bill."

What a shame it would be to waste a win like this by letting the Bush Dogs' worry -- that is, that no marginal seat can be won or defended with the very position with which Foster just did it -- hold the rest of the Caucus, and the country, hostage to their fear.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good stuff, Kagro (11+ / 0-)

    I'd like to think our leaders would listen to this but their cowardice knows no bounds.

    •  I Think This Is, Sadly, Fundamentally Wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dclawyer06, jck

      I honestly don't believe our Representatives are really AFRAID so much as corrupt. They really ARE on the side of the Telecoms and not on the side of the rule of law.  To make it worse, the Telecoms don't even WANT amnesty! Their lobbyists have emphasized that point repeatedly. This is just representatives caving to the Bush administration. So, why do it?

      To believe that the Representatives are just stupid and are misreading their political position is WRONG. Whenever you don't understand them, you're making a WRONG assumption. They just fundamentally don't agree with us and the rule of law means nothing to them. They are on the side of the Telecoms, because they are reflexively on the side of business. They can't afford to be seen as "anti-business" on such a "symbolic" vote as this.

      We don't want to believe that because to believe it means that we will have to replace almost all of the moderate Democrats before we will have anything like a functioning Democratic party. And we will have to primary lots of them as well to put the "fear" into them to keep them in line.

      In short, it's a LOT bigger task than we have been making out.

      Back in the 1980s what were then fairly traditional democrats (liberal on social issues, "fiscally conservative" but with moderate reformist tendencies) all started getting trounced as Reagan Democrats throughout the South and mid-west started voting Republican.

      Those that survived tended to be big-business allies. They just instinctively side on any issue with business, even when business doesn't really want or need their help.

      •  Uhmmm. (0+ / 0-)

        We don't want to believe that because to believe it means that we will have to replace almost all of the moderate Democrats before we will have anything like a functioning Democratic party.

        Oh, I believe it and have no problem replacing a lot of the non-functioning DINOs in the Democratic Party.

        If we can replace a Republican in a dominant red district, I don't see any reason why we can't do the same on a targeted district-by-district bases as certain DINOs prove that they want to stick to a Republican agenda rather then adopt to a progressive one.

      •  It's a mix of cowardice and corruption (0+ / 0-)

        I wouldn't go so far as to suggest the majority of those who voted for Telco immunity were doing it solely for corrupt purposes. The dems have proven over and over that they're frightened of republican attacks on any issue especially anything related to terrorism or national security.

        The cowardice I spoke of is opportunistic. They see the republicans self-destructing and are willing to let Bushco get away with anything (how are those contempt citations for Bolton and Miers coming along?) for the next few months with the hopes of scoring huge in November. Hardly a profile in courage.

        That said, I agree that there are many genuinely corrupt or right-wing dems who support immunity. Our task is indeed huge.

      •  Damn Straight!! (0+ / 0-)

        I say we keep sending Bush a "no amnesty FISA" and everytime he keeps threatening a veto, just say,

        "BRING IT ON!!


        "Hell Hath No Fury Like 52% of The Population Scorned!!!"

        by Fireshadow on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:15:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just heard something disturbing on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pescadero Bill

      news about this.  They said there is now a question as to when Foster will be sworn in.  Foster wants to be sworn in as early as tomorrow, but whatever forces are at work here said he cannot be sworn in until all the absentee ballots are counted and the election can be certified----which may not happen till April or May.  What?  This nonsensical.  Someone needs 2 months to count absentee ballots?  I think there's some funny biz going on here.

  •   The "Foster bill" (5+ / 0-)

    Fostering Democracy in a country that is supposed to be a Democracy. I think I get it; does Congress?

    If it is spelled correctly---it's a typo

    by alasmoses on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:55:21 AM PDT

  •  I'm afraid I can't let you do that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, zhimbo, slksfca, Ab2kgj
    Or is it, "I'm afraid; I can't let you do that"?

    Your choice, Congresscritters.

  •  seems A democrat winning Haserts seat (15+ / 0-)

    and an anti retroactive immunity candidate at THAT would be all the message the blue dogs need to finally realize THEY are on the wrong side of this issue.


    by KnotIookin on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:56:47 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patriot spear, Samer, leonard145b

    Call it the Foster Bill, and tell both the president and the Senate to take it or leave it.

    "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." -RFK

    by jfarelli on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:58:50 AM PDT

  •  need to change Denny Foster to (6+ / 0-)


    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:59:41 AM PDT

  •  The Dems should just do nothing. (5+ / 0-)

    Don't pass the new bill. Don't pass squat. Every day that passes without a new bill, and without anything going wrong, the better off we all are and the weaker the GOP argument gets.

  •  Huzzah! (5+ / 0-)

    I was a little worried about Foster when the Chicago Tribune endorsement had him saying he'd be a blue dog.  But at least on this issue it appears he's on the right side.

    Sounds like I need to send out another round of emails.

    It's a little depressing, because even the front pages stories about FISA don't seem to get that much activity around here anymore.  Grassroots is so hard to maintain over a long period of time...sigh.

    Keep emailing people!

    "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." ~Voltaire

    by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:01:23 AM PDT

    •  Here's why (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209, eaglecries

      It's a little depressing, because even the front pages stories about FISA don't seem to get that much activity around here anymore.

      The only path to effectively challenging this whole matrix of the Unitary Executive and the scuyttling of constitutional protections such as the FISA Deform assault on the Fourth Amendment ultimately required some sort of impeachment proceeding to be in any way meaningful.  But the water-carriers for party leadership made resistance to actually trying to enforce the Constitution, made the refusal to defend the constitutional liberties of the people against the usurpations of the Unitary Executive a virtual "litmus test" of partisan loyalty purity.  After months of fighting that right here, and against the Dem Party leadership, people simply gave up, hopeless about our ability to pass on the blessings of liberty to our posterity in the face of such utter recalcitrance not just from the GOP but from the Democratic leadership and their proxies.

    •  The dem capitulations are depressing (4+ / 0-)

      Maybe that's what the constant cave-ins are supposed to do, sap the progressives of any hope. These days when I see FISA I usually feel a moment of pure nausea.

  •  Great post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and know how much we all appreciate the excellent work you do in these areas!

    And as much as it pains me to nitpick one of my favorite FPers, it's Denny Hastert :^)

    Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -- Ambrose Bierce

    by OkieByAccident on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:01:46 AM PDT

  •  Pelosi and Reid are cowards. (10+ / 0-)

    They can't help it, they cut their teeth on being subservient to republicans and that's all they know id how to knuckle under.

    We need some Democratic leaders who managed to keep their balls after 9/11.

    Just my two cents.

    •  Who Is Running Against Nancy Pelosi Besides (0+ / 0-)

      Cindy Sheehan in the primary?

      Washington State has Cheryl Crist running against turncoat Brian "Lets Vote For The Surge" Baird

    •  I think it's worse than that. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think they have much faith in the American people.

      DC is very political and R v D might as well be life or death.

      Out in the "real" world, R & D is often just a shorthand that lets you take a quick cut at where people stand.

      They might be surprised at how many -- and which -- people would listen to a plain and non-hysterical pitch on the costs and benefits of FISA.

      Lotsa Rs do not want the government in their business no way no how.

      Maybe they just don't know how to talk the talk so that people will listen.
      Beats me.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:29:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why, Kagro X (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, leonard145b, RickMassimo

    . . . you speak as if the Dems only have elections to worry about.

    I think the Dems are smart enough to know the ramifications of choosing the phone companies over the people.  It's a question of who they're in bed with, and who they really fear.

    FYI, arrogant leaders don't ever learn lessons.  They're not stupid, but learning also requires humility.

    So, we can't teach them the truth, or teach them a lesson.  We'll just have to get rid of the bums, and kos has done a pretty good job shining the spotlight on some key primaries.

    The media is essentially bacterial, adapting to each environment to make the most of an opportunity without killing its host - penumbra (FARK)

    by Dragonchild on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:02:12 AM PDT

  •  I Am Concluding That Many Democrats Are Using (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    these issues as ways to drum up donation of campaign funds for their personal re-election campaigns.  They are using "lets have impeachment hearings" and "lets fix FISA" as carrots to entice supporters to send money in, but they have no intention of ever really doing anything about either issue.

  •  what is the message that Nancy Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

    takes from Bill Foster's win or the above quoted comment?

  •  Who'll hear the message from IL-14? (0+ / 0-)

    The Cone of Silence has descended over the Beltway (some years back) so I'm fairly certain no one will hear a peep out of us rubes out here in the hinterlands that are ignorant naive purists that believe in limited government power and the constitutional liberties of the people and not sophisticated DC insiders that know political success today depends on the destruction of the protections from totalitarian repression at home and imperialistic warmongering abroad.

  •  It's not fear, Kagro (7+ / 0-)

    You can only use the "incompetent and spineless" argument for so long before it no longer makes sense.  And with Foster (and Salazar in CO), we see that being afraid no longer makes sense.

    Yet the Bush Dogs still hold firm.  Why?  Because they believe in warrantless surveillance, that's why.  There are no plausible explanations that remain.

    They believe in warrantless surveillance, they believe in rewarding/protecting corporations that enable warrantless surveillance, and no amount of opposition from their "base" is going to change the minds of Bush Dogs.

    Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

    by cfaller96 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:10:44 AM PDT

    •  More likely... (0+ / 0-)'s that they believe in those fat telecom campaign contribution checks that help keep them in office...

      I want my Two Dollars!

      by Ken in MN on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:28:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

        I just posted on this below.

        "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

        by thresholder on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:40:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt much $ are we talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        I suspect that not even a few checks from telecom executives is enough for these guys to violate core privacy principles...unless you never believed in those principles to begin with.

        No, the Bush Dogs aren't THAT stupid, and they saw how much money Dodd got when he took a stand.  They of course realize the Netroots would more than compensate for lost revenue from the telecoms.

        The Bush Dogs are simply taking a stand for more government power.  And I think it's time we stop tearing our hair out trying to figure how to get through to them- they're not listening, and they never were.

        Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

        by cfaller96 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:40:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chhhh! Math geeks. (0+ / 0-)

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:11:21 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant point.. (0+ / 0-)


    But I think we all know that re-election concerns have been a red herring all along.

    If we don't plan for the worst, the greatest disaster will not be climate change itself, it will be our response. -- TocqueDeville

    by Sidhe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:11:28 AM PDT

  •  Trial lawyers scare me. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm going to go hide in a closet now where they can't get me.

  •  Being a lawyer, I'd side with the lawyers who (6+ / 0-)

    are fighting to preserve what's left of our Constitution rather than Big Brother every single time.  

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:12:52 AM PDT

  •  I forwarded the whole diary to the congressman (0+ / 0-)

    in whose district I work.  (My home district congressman is hopeless and Republican.)

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

  •  Great thread (5+ / 0-)

    Go Foster. "Foster". Soon to be a verb. As in, "that DLC Democrat just got Fostered out of his/her district:.

    The DLC has robbed Democrats of their voice.

    by Data Mining Telecom Fascist on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:18:22 AM PDT

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

    Bill Foster just won the special election in IL-14 -- former GOP Speaker of the House Denny Foster's seat,

    Oopsie. Change Foster -> Hastert.

  •  Dennt Hastert. (0+ / 0-)

    not foster.

  •  "LALALALALALALALA!!!" (0+ / 0-)

    "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LALALALALALA!" said the Bush Dog to the very silly liberals of the party...

    I want my Two Dollars!

    by Ken in MN on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:23:27 AM PDT

  •  What exuse do the Dems use... (0+ / 0-)

    ... for caving in to the president?

    What is it they point to to justify their fear of opposing him?

    •  A. "Pragmatism" (0+ / 0-)

      The Democratic leadership and their proxies have, in their infinite wisdom, determined that joining the Republicans in the Constitution-shredding orgy that guts our once-inalienable rights shall be known as "pragmatis," while to stand up for the constitutional order, the fundamental liberties of the people, the separation of powers in government and the limited reach of executive authority represents the fundamental political eeeeeevil-doing  of "purism".

      •  Actually, the Dems are afraid Bush would win (0+ / 0-)

        in a Constitutional showdown.  It is the Dems that are, possibly, "shredding the Constitution" as you  put it.  It all depends how you view this "Unitary executive" idea.

        The ONLY way this will ever be settled is for it to go to the Supreme Court.  But that is exactly what the Dems do not want.

        The Dems are afraid, quite rightly, that the interpretation of the Constitution that Bush is using (and many President's in the past have used) will be upheld.  So they bluster about Bush "throwing out the Constitution" and finally have to give in to him, because they know he's possibly right and they will lose what little powers they have in this regard.

        I view all this FISA fight stuff as so much bullshit.  Either fight it to the Supreme Court, or just sit down and shut up.

        •  But why is there a possibility.... (0+ / 0-)

          ... of a constitutional showdown?  They need simply not pass the law that Bush wants.  No one has to sue a telecom right now.  Just refuse him the law.

          I think most people understand that companies and politicians should work within the law.

          •  But what is the "law"? (0+ / 0-)

            Bush's interpretation is that he doesn't even need a law passed to enable him to do these wiretaps.  I'm sure Bush would rather have it approved by Congress, but by no means do I think his administration believes it enables him.. it just approves his actions that are already Constitutionally granted.

            •   "law" in question is telco immunity.... (0+ / 0-)

              ... Bush wants it and not giving it to him does not trigger any constitutional issue.

              Yes, Bush may believe that he has the right to work outside the law but that wouldn't explain the constitutional showdown that would be triggered by not providing the law that Bush wants.

        •  hmm, (0+ / 0-)

          the entire question of FISA would be moot had our representatives; (in chronological order) A. correctly refused to allow any of the bigoted, prejudiced, imbecilic bush I&II bastards on the Supreme court, and B. started IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, which is the real fight that should be taking place! This FISA fight is nothing more than a scapegoat for dereliction of duty, IMPEACHMENT! COWARDS!!!

          "No one can make you inferior without your consent."
          --Eleanor Roosevelt

      •  Is it not MORE pragmatic... (0+ / 0-)

        ... to strengthen the line between Bush and the Dems?  

        I know some feel that the Dems are complicit in all this mess and the Dems strengthen that view when they act as though they are.

  •  Great question, Kagro X. Unfortunately... (0+ / 0-)

    ...lots of Democrats are going to cave to this phony security issue around telecom immunity, just as they have caved when it comes to rewriting - in toto - the 1978 FISA law in the first place.

    We have real security issues. And Democrats need to be strong in making them a top priority. But they need to avoid falling into the trap of trying to out-GOP the Republicans on phony security. So, to reiterate your question, is there any chance after 15 months as the majority party that the Democratic leadership will not cave in this matter? Any chance at all?

    The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:33:03 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Kagro! (0+ / 0-)

    It's good to hear that FISA without Amnesty is resounding well even in Republican territory! Maybe they just heard the word Amnesty and thought Immigration was being discussed! ;)


    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

    by Wynter on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:36:55 AM PDT

  •  Why do we always fail to see that ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, nagamaki

    The Democratic Party is at least half as corrupt as the GOP?

    The whole point of this post is a hand wringing grapple with the inability of DC DEMS to see that politics would be on their side if they voted for the people and the Constitution.

    But why assume that they care about that?

    The DEMS who vote for the Telcos are motivated by the same thing that motivates the GOP even as it watches its support evaporate.

    They owe support to their Korporate masters.

    Reid et all are not foolish, stupid, or gutless.

    They're just owned by the Korporations.

    It's that simple.

    "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

    by thresholder on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Kagro - Is a MtR limited to the pending bill? (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks as usual, Kagro.

    Your post yesterday on the "virtual filibuster" power which the Blue Dogs have use of motions to recommit was typically excellent and timely.

    And it only underscores the question I made in a comment I made to mcjoan's diary on Friday:

    Can someone explain to me how the geniuses in House Leadership plan on dealing with the certain "motion to recommit with instructions forthwith" (see here for background from Kagro) that the Republicans will inevitably propose (as is their procedural right) which would amend the text of the "compromise" bill by adding back the immunity language, and why they think they can keep a sufficient number of Bush Dogs from siding with the Rs to keep it from passing?

    Unlike the obstructionist crap they've been doing over the past week, if Pelosi (aided by the Rep. Slaughter and the Rules Committee) has the FISA "compromise" called up, then at that point a motion to recommit with instructions, effectively amending the bill by adding the telco amnesty language to the bill would be germane and thus in order.

    And a secondary but crucial question: would it be expected that this "compromise" would take the form of a "new" bill with a new H.R. number -- in which case it would need to be passed again by the Senate?  Or would the House be more likely to take up the bill as amended by the Senate, and vote on a "new" version (I guess an "Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute" to the Senate-passed version?) sans telco amnesty?

    And if its the latter, then would not a successful motion to recommit forthwith (instructing the committee to conform the language of the Bill as passed by the Senate) result in an identical bill having been passed by the House and the Senate, so it would then be enrolled/engrossed and sent to W for his certain signature?

    Alternatively, if its the former, (new H.R. #), is the scope of a motion to recommit limited to the Bill in question, or can a motion to recommit order the committee to basically take the language of the pending bill, modify it, but then report it out under a different bill number (i.e., S. 2248) -- once again leading to identical language having been passed in both Houses under the same Bill Number?

    (Maybe it's a moot point, since in any case if House passes the Senate language, even under a new H.R. number, presumably the Senate could just take that H.R. bill up and pass it again -- but at least it would require one more vote in the Senate and one last chance for Dodd, Feingold, et. al to try to stop it in the Senate.)

    Now, Say what you will about the cravenness and shortsightedness of Pelosi and Hoyer on this issue, but one thing they're NOT is idiots when it comes to House parliamentary procedure.  So if I've figured this out, then presumably they have as well.  Is that the real game-plan here: to call up a "clean" (amnesty-free) bill and then profess shock and outrage when it gets turned into the Senate-passed bill via a motion to recommit, caving while preserving the illusion for the DFH rubes that they tried their hardest, they really really did, to stand up to President 19%, but they just weren't able to stop it?

    •  Ahh.....let's see... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      packerland progressive
      1. There is probably no plan for dealing with a MTR that would substitute the Senate language. There was no plan for it in August, and I don't know if there is one now. Well, it's not entirely true that there was no plan in August, it just wasn't a workable one. Originally, they thought they'd worked out a deal with the White House to accept the House bill, and they were going to bring it to the floor under suspension of the rules, which requires a 2/3 vote to pass, but allows no MTR. That deal, if it ever existed, fell apart, and the bill got 218 votes (of 290 needed) on suspension.
      1. Yes, the Republicans could bring a MTR that would substitute the Senate language for the House bill. That's what the threat was in August.
      1. I don't know exactly what's planned in terms of what vehicle the House might use to bring a compromise bill to the floor. If they're planning on changing the substance of the bill from their original RESTORE Act, they'll probably designate a new bill number for it.
      1. I don't think a MTR can instruct the committee to simply change the bill's number. At least, not to the number of a bill that's already been given that number. The House can opt to substitute the language of one for another, but a MTR refers only the pending bill back to committee. The committee can't later pretend it's reporting out a different one.
      1. Yes, it may well be the plan to profess shock at what they know will happen. That's not terribly dissimilar from the plan of a week or so ago, to split the bill into two separate parts, allowing members to oppose either or both parts separately, and then throw up their hands helplessly as the rejoined bill passes.
  •  hostage to their fear (0+ / 0-)

    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.
    H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

  •  dkos <3 kagro x (0+ / 0-)

    I've tried various approaches and little angles in calling, emailing, and faxing senators so far on this. This morning, I'm just printing this and faxing it off to some 202 area code numbers. Thanks for the continued effort, Kagreezy.

    "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

    by pylonsound on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

  •  Nice call Kagro (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And the Dems should expand upon it.

    The American public is being CONNED.

    It's a con with a trillion dollar price tag.

    We must spend HOW MUCH money to defeat thugs hiding in caves or "on the run?"

    The "War on Terror" is a con with such ridiculous claims, that surely, Bushco will go down as one of the most successful racketeering operations in human history.

    And how did we get there? Well, there's a small matter of a $40 million dollar payment to the Taliban in April 2001, personally delivered by Colin Powell. This is not speculation or an obscure, unprovable allegation. It's a fact.

    If Bush can get away with bringing up unrelated things in the same sentence (9/11 & Iraq), then he has set the frame, and mentioning the $40 million dollar payment and the terrorist attack that followed is a fair comparison.

    How can anyone accuse an American president of such murderous treason? Well, there's the trillion dollars....

    If it's not the truth (and I think it is the truth), then, it's close enough.

    Time to take off the gloves. There are at least 33 members of the Bush cabal who deserve the DEATH PENALTY for the crimes they have committed. Treason and war crimes are just the tip of the iceberg.

    This despicable regime has declared that they can make laws by fiat (signing statements), make treaties without Senate ratification, decide what's legal and constitutional for themselves, and has institutionalized whole categories of crimes as policy, as well as institutionalizing anti-republican policies across the board. They are brazenly fascist and their actions constitute acts of war against the sovereign power of the United States.

    Let Barack Obama remain above it all, giving stirring visions of hope and unity, but let the foot soldiers of the left continue to beat the drums: These criminals must meet their judgement.

    It is absolutely necessary to fight the fascist movement and tear it out root and branch. We can destroy this cancer on the republic now, or we can do it later, but IMO, later will be bloodier, and will follow even more wars. These fascists will turn the entire world against the United States. We must put them in their place or risk the world doing it for us.

    The United States has an unprecendented opportunity to lead the whole world toward a rejection of authoritarian rule and an embrace of democracy. These evil, small minded fools are trashing that opportunity for the sake of their own warped ideas about military glory and riches. They are mercenary traitors who deserve the firing squad.

    The few hundred followers whom these fascists have placed into power deserve life in prison, and the few thousand foot soldiers who have carried out their schemes deserve to be barred from ANY kind of power for life.

    The anti-republican foundations of corporate power must be stripped from our laws by constitutional amendment. We must never again allow a path to power for fascist interests. Our corporations must have republican structures, internally and externally. We must never again allow a system of aristocratic titles to emerge from our society.

    Those of us on the left can adopt a new political lexicon. We should refuse to call the "Republican Party" by it's name, and instead ALWAYS refer to it as the "AntiRepublican Party." We must refuse to call the "conservative movement" conservative, and instead call it by what it has become: the fascist movement. We need to go back into the archives, and look at how the fascists under Mussolini labeled their corporatist policies, and then refer to the policies of our homegrown fascists by those labels.

    THIS election represents the opportunity to kill the fascist movement in it's cradle. We have an opportunity to sweep the Senate races and build the supermajority needed there for the changes that are needed. We have the opportunity to get near the constitutional amendment threshold in the House. And of course, win the presidency.

    THIS election represents the best opportunity in 30 years to face down the corporate aristocrats and put an end to their vicious and treasonous attacks on our republic.

    Just changing ONE of the myriad anti-republican practices by corporate entities will bring unprecedented change: NO MORE MULTIPLE CORPORATE TITLES. Instead: One person, one title. Just THAT change will widen the franchise of corporate power and begin to check the power of the fascist movement.

    Practical, reasonable changes must be made, and criminals must go to jail or to their deaths.

  •  We've still got a long way to go, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we've taken another step in the "more and better Democrats" fight. Foster appears to be both. There's now one more Dem in congress that's not afraid of Mr. 30%.

    •  one more Dem in congress (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My fear is that even though by the end of 2008, the Dems could be looking at an overwhelming, filibuster proof majority, that they will continue playing defense, that is no different than they do now.

      "Its the for profit lobbyists, stupid!"

  •  Great Point (0+ / 0-)

    Opposing disregard for the law, opposing abuse of government power, and defending the constitution and individual liberties tends to play well in elections with most voters. Especially in "red" districts.

    Republicans have been using that kind of rhetoric for years to successfully get many people to even vote against their own economic interests.

    Any time the government tries to do something to benefit average Americans, whether it's gun control, minimum wage laws, or environmental regulation, Republicans cry about individual liberties and constitutional rights--often imagined ones. They even vest corporations with rights that were meant to be granted to individuals.

    And the Bush Dog Democrats continually join with them in this. They insist that individuals rights must come with "responsibility and accountability", and use these arguments to support bankruptcy and welfare "reforms" which in reality hurt millions of ordinary Americans by burdening them with mandates and red tape which restrict their access to measures which traditionally were designed to allow people the opportunity to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get out from under the burdens of poverty or debt.

    But, when it comes to corporate accountability and responsibility, these same voices are now silent.

    Voters in these states have little reason to support this type of Bush Dog Democrat. Maybe 30 years ago some voters were concerned that the Democrats, then the party in power, were too inclined to over reach in some ways as far as the use of that power. And this perhaps is why some of those more individualist voters in smaller states were then attracted to Republicans and their promise of less government.

    But nobody wants less enforcement of the law or less defense of the Constitution. And with the current generation of the Republican party having proven to be more corrupt, more abusive of government power, and more a burden on taxpayers than Democrats ever were, voters in these states would now be flocking to Democrats if they only bothered to stand against all of this and offer a real progressive  alternative that is respectful of constitutional rights and individual liberty.

    This is why the Obama campaign has had such unprecedented grass roots, 50-state, nationwide support.  He's substantively addressed these voters and their concerns. But these Washington Democrats still don't get it. It's baffling how out of touch some of them truly are with the country and its current mood.

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