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March 16, 2006

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"What a lunatic. What a traitor. What a cynical opportunist."

By this logic, Feingold could call for the assassination of Bush and you'd mock senators who didn't sign on.

And yay for Katherine! I feel clearer and saner for having read this post.

"In this historic hour, we German Social Democrats solemnly profess our allegiance to the basic principles of humanity and justice, freedom and socialism. No Enabling Law gives you the right to annihilate ideas that are eternal and indestructible. The Anti-Socialist Law did not annihilate the Social Democrats. Social Democracy can also draw new strength from fresh persecutions. We greet the persecuted and the hard-pressed. Their steadfastness and loyalty deserve admiration. The courage of their convictions, their unbroken confidence, vouch for a brighter future." -Otto Wels, 23rd March, 1933. What a lunatic. What a traitor. What a cynical opportunist.

By this logic, Feingold could call for the assassination of Bush and you'd mock senators who didn't sign on.

Not even close to following that there, rilkefan; mind expanding?

And by "mind expanding?" we mean to say "Are you stoned?"

I read that as "do you mind putting on a little water weight"?

It's probably because I'm looking at it from the Right, though.

Speaking of which, I'd like my stake medium rare, please.

all those honorable Republicans had better hope W wraps-up the tWoT before his term is out. since they've demonstrated they believe nothing can limit the President's 'wartime' powers, and won't lift a finger to stop him from doing so, they might be in for a rough ride if the next president is a *gasp* Democrat.

While I agree that these are the issues, I think it's important to keep in mind that they're not necessarily "at stake." That is, the Congress is not voting yea or nay on Yoo-ism. It's just making sausage. (Or not making sausage, as the case may be).

A failure to censure is not the same as an endorsement of the theory. It's only a failure to censure, for reasons as varied as the interests a legislator must balance in doing her/his job.

I think it's a little more than that, CC. A failure to pass censure is less important than whether Senator Smith voted his convictions. If you've got various congresscritters testifying in the media that Bush definitely broke the law but then not following up in the vote to censure, I think that says something.

cleek: all those honorable Republicans had better hope W wraps-up the tWoT before his term is out. since they've demonstrated they believe nothing can limit the President's 'wartime' powers, and won't lift a finger to stop him from doing so, they might be in for a rough ride if the next president is a *gasp* Democrat.

So long as Diebold is in power, how could that happen?

. If you've got various congresscritters testifying in the media that Bush definitely broke the law but then not following up in the vote to censure, I think that says something.

I don't want to go ballistically pedantic on you, but I am not sure how many congresscritters are on record as saying that the admin broke the law. I admit to not keeping track of who is saying precisely what, but you seem to be sure that this is the case. In fact, a google news search has stuff like this

GOP political analyst Mike Baker went further: "Feingold is obviously oblivious to the US Constitution. He claims the president broke the law yet where's the president's due process that Feingold so quickly bestows on terrorists detained in Guantanamo?link

It seems to me that if other senators had been so forthcoming with these kinds of statements, the usual suspects would have been on it like white on rice. Also, I'm sure that the leftside bloggers would have had a field day with people who are not going to censure, but say that Bush broke the law. Permit me to rant a bit here, but it is this damned if you do damned if you don't ploy that I find disturbing. Saying 'congresscritters do X' is good for a chuckle, but when the question is something as serious as this, it comes off as blatant propaganda.

I should add that when I say

It seems to me that if other senators had been so forthcoming with these kinds of statements

I don't mean statements like Mike Baker's, but statements like "Bush definitely broke the law"

If the GOP candidate loses in 2008, but the GOP keeps control of Congress, the Bush Admin will spend its last months in office declaring victory in the WoT, and pulling troops out of the ME.

The GOP Congress will then pass a resolution stating that all authorizations of power granted to the President in wartime are suspended, because "the war is over! and we won!" Then it will begin an investigation of the new Democratic Administration on January 22, 2009, to make sure not a single NSA surveillance is ongoing, not a single person is still incarcerated in any of our gulags, and no one anywhere is using any illegal, extra-legal, questionable means to do anything at all. Then the GOP Congress will begin impeachment proceedings.

If a Republican wins in 2008, and the GOP keeps controll of Congress, none of the above will happen. The war will continue, the Supreme Commander Leader God-King powers will stay in place, and the GOP Congress will say, "Yippee."

Well, there's always Feingold's former partner in folly.

But, point taken. Certainly there's a lot more Senators expressing doubt as to legality than there are Senators saying that it was illegal without a doubt.

If the GOP candidate loses in 2008, but the GOP keeps control of Congress, the Bush Admin will spend its last months in office declaring victory in the WoT, and pulling troops out of the ME.

Or maybe he'll take a page out of Poppy's book, invade Iran, and let the Dems take the fall.

Or maybe he'll take a page out of Poppy's book, invade Iran, and let the Dems take the fall.

Ok, I'm scratching my head over that one. What does that mean?

Slartibartfast:

Somalia, Dec 1992

Ah. I guess I was confused because I couldn't remember when GHWB invaded Iran.

Democrats took the fall for that? I wasn't paying attention at the time.

Haiti, too, wmr. Bush I sent US troops into Haiti his last weeks in office. Two little housewarming prezzies for the Clintons.

Slarti: Clinton took the heat after the Black Hawk incident. Both for "cutting and running" and for being there in the first place.

Hmmm...so "Clinton" and "Democrats" are interchangeable? Useful, that.

Maybe it's all part of the payback for Nixon taking the fall for Vietnam, eh?

Slarti, do you think Nixon took more of a fall for Vietnam than Johnson? That's not how I remember it.

Absolutely, ral. I mean, not by smart, in formed people, but neither would such people be blaming Clinton for getting us into Somalia so much as for the way he got us out.

"Hey, hey, LBJ
How many kids did you kill today?"

Nixon resigned in disgrace because of Watergate.

It was LBJ who withdrew from the 1968 Presidential electon because of Vietnam.

Nixon resigned in disgrace because of Watergate.

Thanks for the update.

"Maybe it's all part of the payback for Nixon taking the fall for Vietnam, eh?"

"Thanks for the update."

Always happy to provide annotations, history refreshers, and other happy meanders down Factual Memory Lane.

Excellent post! Thank you.

So, here's the thing with Clinton and Somalia: instead of being credited with a (arguably) highly successful humanitarian response in Somalia, he's instead remembered for this.

I haven't seen anyone argue to any good effect that Somalia was a complete debacle, but I have seen many people argue that the events leading up to and immediately following the slaughter in Mogadishu were, as a whole, CF. And of course there are ill-informed conservatives who think of Somalia as one extended Black Hawk Down, just as there are liberals who associate Nixon with the worst of the Vietnam War, for escalating our presence in Vietnam, etc. It's probably wise to relegate all of the above to a single bin labeled "ill-informed", but this whole subthread wasn't my idea to begin with. Plus, I really hate to harp on the ill-informed business because any minute Gary will show up and point out where I have all my information wrong.

Anarch, I took Katherine to be criticizing the D senators in my quote, based on the following and on the context of the previous thread where the issue of Feingold's possible opportunism had been noted from a liberal perspective. If instead she was just referring there to the response on the right, my comment should have quoted the next bit. I have little doubt about the merit of Feingold's accusation - but unless I'm confused the "running and hiding" of the Ds is in response to the censure resolution, not the accusation, and conflating the two is unfair.

Slarti, one final (maybe) comment on the subthread. Unfortunately, I think the :ill-informed" label can be readily applied to people on all sides of the political spectrum.

I have begun to think the "ill-informed" far outnumber the "well-informed" in this county. Of course Gary is the exception that proves the rule.

I have begun to think the "ill-informed" far outnumber the "well-informed" in this county

welcome to the club! the chips and soft drinks are over there....

Me: It's probably wise to relegate all of the above to a single bin labeled "ill-informed"

john: I think the :ill-informed" label can be readily applied to people on all sides of the political spectrum.

That's as close to complete agreement as I ever hope to get.

"the exception that proves the rule."

Dangerous phrase to use in this context, as few people understand its real (or if you prefer, original) meaning...

I remember a joke about prime numbers where that phrase made an appearance... alas, I don't remember it well enough to find it.

So, the square root of negative one walks into a bar...

Not to derail, but...

"the exception that proves the rule."

I thought I knew what this meant until I googled.

From here:

Let us say that you drive down a street somewhere and find a notice which says “Parking prohibited on Sundays”. You may reasonably infer from this that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week. .... So, in its strict sense, the principle is arguing that the existence of an allowed exception to a rule reaffirms the existence of the rule.

Interesting... I've been misusing/misreading a phrase for decades!

"exception proves the rule"

way back in the early 80's when i was majoring in math/computer science, i learned that the phrase was correctly used as follows:

establish a general theorum. establish a generic exception. Prove the exception to be false. QED. The exception proves the rule.

of course, that was a long time and many alcoholic beverages ago, so everything i wrote could be wrong.

Anarch, I took Katherine to be criticizing the D senators in my quote, based on the following and on the context of the previous thread where the issue of Feingold's possible opportunism had been noted from a liberal perspective.

I tend to agree. What I don't get is what logic necessitates Katherine agreeing with calls for assassination.

The logic that X having done A in reaction to claim C, and obviously claim C, and Y having reacted [to A, which we elide], Y is mockworthy.

In Gary's case, I would think it would be "the exception who proves the rule".

Wish that Katherine had her own log-in. She's only an occasional poster, but then, so are Von and Charles and Edward ....

...and me, at most.

Charley, I meant more in a general sort of way.

I'd rather real hearings than censure, frankly. I want to see the original OLC memo about this & the rest of those OLC memos too. Give me a subpoena before a ritual denunciation any day. But to say we're waiting for the outcomes of hearings that we know won't happen, to make it sound like Roberts' intel subcommittee will do anything, to say that we have no idea whether it's legal....And somehow we've gone from the commander-in-chief argument being a crazy fringe position to actively denouncing it being a crazy fringe position.

Rilkefan, the differences between the censure resolution and the accusation seem to be:
1) a bunch of whereas clauses
2) the words "we do hereby censure blah blah blah"
3) the fact that it's an official statement by the full Senate rather than an individual statement of one person.

Those aren't nonexistent but they're not nearly large enough to explain the fearful reaction. And assassination? Come on, that was ludicrous.

(Re-reading, I now see why Charley thought I meant specifically with this resolution. Sloppy first line. What can I say, it was late.)

If censure is no big deal beyond Feingold's statement, why bother to hide it in your argument? If points 1) and 3) matter, why not propose a sense of the senate signing on to the accusation?

Re assassination, reductio ad absurdam requires an absurd endpoint; and really from a logical point of view I see no difference in the arguments.

We're just going to annoy each other if we continue this. More so.

BTW, re: the first line: when I said "what's at stake with the Feingold censure resolution" I was thinking--this is what Feingold believes is at stake in the NSA scandal. That's why he's being such a pain in the a*s, and why I'm glad he's trying.

Not: the fate of the Feingold resolution decides the fate of the commander in chief override.

Is it bad form to change your post around 24 hrs later to make your meaning clearer?

Just add an update, Katherine. No bad form in that.

"Wish that Katherine had her own log-in. She's only an occasional poster"

I presume that this is Katherine's decision, and reviewing the amount of time I spend on blogs, I might have some sympathy.

rilkefan (or anybody else who's figured this out):

Since Katherine didn't put numbers in her post, I'm not sure what "1)" and "3)" are supposed to refer to. Also, aside from seeing that "Y" msut refer to the Democrat Senators who haven't rushed to support censure, I can't figure out what or who the other letters are supposed to refer to.

How about a version for those of us who aren't poets, engineers, or mathematicians?

Slartibartfast: just as there are liberals who associate Nixon with the worst of the Vietnam War, for escalating our presence in Vietnam, etc. It's probably wise to relegate all of the above to a single bin labeled "ill-informed",

Well, Gary Farber hasn't shown up yet, so I'll have to stand in for those liberals and ask you to explain just how it is "ill-informed" to associate Nixon, whose efforts resulted in the killing of at least as many people in Indochina as those of his late, unlamented predecessor, with the "worst of the Vietnam War." It is true that he didn't "escalate our presence in Vietnam," but he did expand the war into Laos and Cambodia (both nominally neutral) and he bombed North Vietnam more heavily than LBJ ever did. And, as the historical record makes painfully clear, he did all of this knowing that the US had no chance of winning the war, whereas LBJ at least stumbled about for a while in ignorance of that depressing fact.

Of course, as I always tell students in my Vietnam War classes, there's plenty of blame to go round for everybody. (Including Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, & Ford.)

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