|But, but, but... I was a .|
I haven't seen this emphasized yet-
|Fox News Sunday 11/9/08
WALLACE: Does Mr. Obama feel he won a mandate in this election?
PODESTA: I think he feels like there was a strong vote for change. And I think that if you look at that from the perspective of where he won across the board, his appeal to independents, to Republicans, which I think will be reflected in the kind of government he builds — and you saw not just red states turning blue.
You saw red counties turning blue. You saw young people embracing the Obama presidency in great numbers, a lot of people going to the polls and then voting for President Obama. Again, across the board, across the country, Democrats, independents and Republicans...
WALLACE: But the question...
PODESTA: ... voted for him. So I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set.
WALLACE: But the question, of course, is what kind of change. I want to put up something that the liberal economist Paul Krugman wrote in a column in the New York Times this week. Let's put it up.
He wrote, "This year's presidential election was a clear referendum on political philosophies, and the progressive philosophy won." Do you agree?
PODESTA: Yes, I do. I think that the program that that — again, that was — that — that the Obama-Biden ticket put forth in the campaign focused on providing opportunity for everyone, focused on the common good.
And I think that's in the progressive tradition in this country. It was alive and well in both parties. It sort of got extinguished in the Republican Party over the course of the last couple of decades, but I think that that progressive vision of providing opportunity for people who work hard, providing for the common good, to helping people succeed in their own lives — I think was what he laid before the American people.
It's in that great tradition of progressive politics in this country. And it's a tradition of reform. And I think he'll deliver on all those elements.
Well. That's some good news, isn't it?
Yes it is. But that's no reason to relent on the pressure you slacker. If you want to end war and stuff you've got to sing loud.
The next time it comes around on the guitar.
Paul Rosenberg over on Open Left had to define Versailles today to someone who hasn't been keeping up.
|The Versailles consensus has been wildly out of touch with the American people at least since Ronald Reagan came to Washington. That's when they began promulgating the myth of how the American electorate had moved sharply to the right, when the underlying polling data showed nothing of the sort-in fact, it showed the American people becoming increasingly liberal and pro-activist government throughout the 1980s. But Versailles remained oblivious to all that, and lionized Reagan for bringing about a transformation in public attitudes that had very little on-the-ground reality.
On the other hand, the American people shared virtually none of Versailles' hated of Bill Clinton. While they were disgusted with his involvement with Monica Lewinsky, they had no desire whatsoever to impeach him, and his approval ratings during the impeachment drama remained higher than Ronald Reagan's were throughout most of his presidency. When they couldn't bring down Bill Clinton, Versailles did the next best thing: they initiated a smear campaign against his Vice President, Al Gore, when Gore ran for the presidency in 2000. Manufacturing a bogus record of lies and exaggerations, they made Gore out to be exactly the person that George Bush really was, and we have suffered eight long years as a result of Versailles' mendacity.
Last year about this time I wrote a piece called The Village that kind of highlights how people like Sally Quinn and Joe Lieberman and Andrea Mitchell and David Gergen feel about it-
|"This is our town," says Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the first Democrat to forcefully condemn the president's behavior. "We spend our lives involved in talking about, dealing with, working in government. It has reminded everybody what matters to them. You are embarrassed about what Bill Clinton's behavior says about the White House, the presidency, the government in general."|
|NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell adds a touch of neighborly concern. "We all know people who have been terribly damaged personally by this," she says. "Young White House aides who have been saddled by legal bills, longtime Clinton friends. . . . There is a small-town quality to the grief that is being felt, an overwhelming sadness at the waste of the nation's time and attention, at the opportunities lost."|
|"We have our own set of village rules," says David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, who worked for both the Reagan and Clinton White House. "Sex did not violate those rules. The deep and searing violation took place when he not only lied to the country, but co-opted his friends and lied to them. That is one on which people choke."
"We all live together, we have a sense of community, there's a small-town quality here. We all understand we do certain things, we make certain compromises. But when you have gone over the line, you won't bring others into it. That is a cardinal rule of the village. You don't foul the nest."
Petty little things like the indefinite detention of American citizens, not allowing them access to courts of law, torturing them even to death, killing thousands in fact, and hundreds of thousands of brown people and making millions of them homeless refugees don't matter.
Neither does spying on all uf us, giggling like frat boys over pornography when they run out of naked prisoner pileups and more exotic sadism like videotaped waterboarding.
|"(W)hen you have gone over the line, you won't bring others into it. That is a cardinal rule of the village. You don't foul the nest."|
Thanks for nothing assholes.
Oh, here's Rahm Emmanuel's quote which leads the WaPo article-
|"There are a lot of people in America who look at what we do here in Washington with nothing but cynicism," said Emanuel. "Heck, there are a lot of people in Washington who look at us with nothing but cynicism." But, he went on, "there are good people here. Decent people on both sides of the political aisle and on both sides of the reporter's notebook."|
So petty things don't bother them, but our scorn and derision sure do.
Glenn Greenwald has been having some correspondance with Orin Kerr who is employed by George Washington University as a Law Professor and who purports to be an expert on the 4th 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.|
Seems that Wednesday Glenn wrote this-
Three huge, immediate reasons to be happy about last night
Wednesday Nov. 5, 2008 08:21 EST
|George Washington University Law Professor Orin Kerr -- a leading apologist for many (though not all) of the lawless and radical Bush policies of the last eight years -- last night smugly predicted that Democrats who spent the last eight years opposing executive power expansions and an oversight-free Presidency will now reverse positions, while Republicans who have been vehement advocates of a strong executive and opposed to meaningful Congressional oversight will do the same. I have no doubt that he's right to some extent -- some Obama supporters will become overnight believers in the virtues of a strong executive, defend everything he does, and will resent "intrusions" into his power, while huge numbers of Republicans will, just as quickly, suddenly re-discover their alleged belief in checks and balances and a limited federal government.
But I genuinely expect that those who have made the restoration of our Constitutional framework and preservation of core liberties a top priority over the last eight years will continue to pursue those goals with equal vigor, regardless of the change of party control. And few things are more important in that effort than having a Supreme Court majority that at least minimally safeguards those principles. It's hard to overstate the importance of last night's election outcome in ensuring a reasonably favorable Court majority and, even more so, in averting what would have been a real disaster for our basic rights and system of government had John McCain been able to replace those three Justices with GOP-approved nominees. By itself, maintaining the Court more or less as is won't reverse any of the Constitutional erosions of the last eight years, but it is an absolute prerequisite to doing so.
Apparently Professor Kerr objected to Glenn's characterization of him as "a leading apologist for many (though not all) of the lawless and radical Bush policies of the last eight years", so in an update Greewald laid out two policies Kerr had supported-
|Those are policies that are radical and lawless. Kerr repeatedly served as an apologist for them -- hence, my characterization. The fact that someone uses professorial and caveat-filled language when defending indecent policies like these may make them civil, but not decent.|
|The Bush administration was able to get away with its extremism and lawlessness over the past eight years because elites and "experts" sat around oh-so-civilly and self-importantly and reasonably debating these actions as though they were legitimate, as though support for those policies was worthy of serious and respectful consideration, as though the advocates of these policies were Serious People within our political mainstream, and -- most of all -- as though outrage and anger and revulsion over what the Bush administration was doing was only for the shrill, irresponsible and uncouth rabble.|
And now today-
Orin Kerr and the responsibility of elites for the last eight years
Sunday Nov. 9, 2008 08:40 EST
|As the Bush administration comes to a close, one overarching question is this: how were the transgressions and abuses of the last eight years allowed to be unleashed with so little backlash and resistance? Just consider -- with no hyperbole -- what our Government, our country, has done. We systematically tortured people in our custody using techniques approved at the highest levels, many of whom died as a result. We created secret prisons -- "black site" gulags -- beyond the reach of international monitoring groups. We abducted and imprisoned even U.S. citizens and legal residents without any trial, holding them incommunicado and without even the right to access lawyers for years, while we tortured them to the point of insanity. We disappeared innocent people off the streets, sent them to countries where we knew they'd be tortured, and then closed off our courts to them once it was clear they had done nothing wrong. We adopted the very policies and techniques long considered to be the very definition of "war crimes".
Our Government turned the NSA apparatus inward -- something that was never supposed to happen -- spying on our conversations in secret and without warrants or oversight, all in violation of the law, and then, once revealed, acted to immunize the private-sector lawbreakers. And that's to say nothing about the hundreds of thousands of people we killed and the millions more we displaced with a war launched on false pretense. And on and on and on.
Prime responsibility for those actions may lie with the administration which implemented them and with the Congress that thereafter acquiesced to and even endorsed much of it, but it also lies with much of our opinion-making elite and expert class. Even when they politely disagreed, they treated most of this -- and still do -- as though it were reasonable and customary, eschewing strong language and emphatic condemnation and moral outrage, while perversely and self-servingly construing their constraint as some sort of a virtue -- a hallmark of dignified Seriousness. That created the impression that these were just garden-variety political conflicts to be batted about in pretty conference rooms by mutually regarding elites on both sides of these "debates." Meanwhile, those who objected too strongly and in disrespectful tones, who described the extremism and lawlessness taking place, were dismissed by these same elites as overheated, fringe hysterics.
Some political issues, including ones that provoke intense passion, have many sides, but not all do. Not all positions are worthy of respect. Some actions and policies require outrage and condemnation, to the point where it becomes irresponsible to comment on them without expressing that. Some ideas are so corrupted and dangerous and indefensible that they do reflect negatively on the character and credibility of their advocates, on the propriety of treating those advocates as though they're respectable and honorable. Most of all, elites who seek out an opinion platform have a responsibility to accept that their ideas and arguments have consequences and they should be held accountable for what their actions spawn (see Atrios' related point yesterday about Tom Friedman's responsibility arising from his advocacy for the Iraq War).
Over the last eight years (at least), we have not only crossed the line of what ought to be within the realm of reasonable, respectful debate, but we have crossed it repeatedly, severely, and with great harm to our political system and huge numbers of people. And one of the prime reasons that happened is because those with the most vocal platforms and with the greatest claims to expertise failed in their responsibility to oppose it passionately and to describe its extremism, and, instead, eagerly served as apologists for it. Those who seek now to depict their tepidness in the face of all of that as some elevated form of enlightened reason are merely illustrating one of the key mechanisms that enabled all of it to happen.
What I like about Glenn is that he writes like Tom Paine-
|Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him; and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.
There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them.
They solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful.
It is the madness of folly to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war. The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both.
A shorter version of this is published at DocuDharma.