Crocodile Tears for Congress

Congress' lamenting the heat and their need for a vacation leaves me cold.

"It's hot, it's humid, people are tired and ready to go home," says Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) as he sucks on a cigarette at the Cantina Marina event. "Most of America wants us to go home. It's like this every summer."

But it's not every summer that lawmakers take to cots in the Senate to dramatize an all-night debate over the Iraq war. Nor is it every summer that angry Republicans march off the House floor in the wee hours to protest a parliamentary maneuver by Democrats.

It's hot everywhere. In the past ten days I've been in Denver, Omaha and Chicago. I'm tired of 95 degree humid weather too, but I didn't let it affect my work.

The Democrats caved on FISA and who knows what else -- we'll probably have to wait until the fine print of the passed bills with last minute amendments becomes available to see what they really did.

Why? Because Bush said he'd exercise his unitary power to deny them a recess and force them to cancel or rebook vacation plans?


Here's some whining by Lanny Davis:

I've been in Washington for 37 years, and the only time I've seen more partisan vitriol was during the post-'98 impeachment," says lawyer Lanny Davis. "This includes Watergate. Everyone I talk to wants to get out of town and take a shower because we're all feeling depressed and dirty."

Davis, soon headed to a dude ranch in Wyoming with his family, says the language has definitely changed.

They wouldn't have felt dirty if they stood up to Bush and the Republicans. They feel dirty because they sold us out and they know it.

One of the joys of Yearly Kos is the knowledge that we are Democrats, doing what we can to see them take back the White House and keep Congress in 2008. After the Senate and then the House pulled their last minute votes to gut FISA, enabling them to get out of town, I don't much feel like celebrating Democrats now.

The justification that the new FISA-gutting bill will sunset in 6 months is bunk. The Patriot Act had sunset provisions too. Congress voted to extend most of them.

Remember the Feeny Amendment, that raised already draconian sentences that got tacked onto the Amber Alert bill a few years ago? The Dems voted for that too. They were afraid not to pass the Amber Alert bill. Sen. Edward Kennedy promised to lead an effort to repeal it. It didn't get repealed.

Once we give the Government power, it rarely gives it back. Shame on the Democrats for putting their desire to go on vacation above the best interests of those who elected them.

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    I'm Just Sick... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by TomStewart on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 02:04:39 PM EST
    ..over these damn Democrats. No excuse will cut it this time. They were tired and wanted a vacation? They were afraid of what Bush and his enablers would call them? Oh, just grow up! There is a nation of ignored, angry voters out there and I don't see why they would do a hurry-up panic vote on this bill just to go home to a hot of heat-stroked disappointed and pissed voters.

    If I were them, I'd stay and work, either skipping their vacations or cutting it waaaaay back, because I can assure you, that is what their constituents are doing.

    You shouldn't be surprised (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Al on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 02:08:33 PM EST
    I don't think the  term "Democrat" means the same to you as it does to a professional politician. I think the professional Democrats are happy to get free support from the left, including influential bloggers. Why would they bother to carry out any real political opposition when they already have your vote and your public support assured no matter what? Or are you saying that you're going to vote Republican in the next election? Or abstain?

    The glaring omission in the American political spectrum is a populist movement. And it most certainly isn't the Democratic Party. Although the professional politicians have done a fantastic job of making everyone believe that they are.

    As long as the people who like to think of themselves as "left leaning" continue to support the Democrats no matter what, nothing is going to change. Why should it?

    Redo? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 04:49:18 PM EST
    Once we give the Government power, it rarely gives it back. Shame

    Here is what Pelosi is saying:

    Washington, D.C. - In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested that the Committees report to the House "as soon as possible after Congress reconvenes," legislation to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    Pelosi said that S. 1927, the bill passed tonight by the House to temporally amend FISA for six-months contains many provisions that are "unacceptable" and she does not believe that the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken.

    Letter from Pelosi vIa think progress

    i suggest recalling nancy pelosi (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by skippybkroo on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:37:31 PM EST
    that would be corretive action.

    FISA-gutting bill will sunset in 6 months? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 05:24:30 PM EST
    Oddly enough, even though his dictatorship very quickly became complete, Hitler returned to the Reichstag every four years to renew the "temporary" delegation of emergency powers that it had given him to deal with the Reichstag-arson crisis. Needless to say, the Reichstag rubber-stamped each of his requests.

    Whew... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by desertswine on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 09:55:59 AM EST
    Cool. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    That should calm things down...

    Where were we? (4.00 / 1) (#4)
    by koshembos on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 03:22:38 PM EST
    Illegal wiretapping was done before FISA was amended and before Congress was notified of it. So, what is this huge outcry and the jilted lover behavior? What have we done to stop wiretapping? Did we march on the hill? Except some feeble law suits we did absolutely nothing.

    Now we scream bloody murder! Even without an amended FISA, Bush would have done whatever he wants.

    One flaw in that argument ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ellie on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 03:47:24 PM EST
    Our right to honest, forthright, and thoroughly constitutional representation shouldn't hinge on how much we march, or on keeping politicians (who can't help their poor lil' old selves from being self-serving douches) in line.

    Eternal vigilance, yep. Engagement, absolutely. But we shouldn't have to exist in continual tortch-bearing mode to get it nor be to blame if we don't. The fault of their disgusting behavior and indefensibly rotten performance is 100% theirs.

    And since I'm in the rhetorical neighborhood:

    Today I heard once again the bar set for Repulsive  admin behavior -- in this case, the Pat Tillman atrocity and coverup -- as critics being unable to prove criminal wrongdoing. That's come up again and again in a myriad of Rethug scandals and leadership douchebaggery. In Scooter Libby's case, it's even been extended to STFU with the criticism till the appeals process is done.

    For Pets's sake, when did actual criminality become the low bar for questionable behavior??? Interested parties, it was during This Week in Iraq (Aug 05 2007 broadcast for backtracking researchers) and it was a Barbara Starr report.

    So it's actual criminality that's frequently being cited in the media as the starting gate for outrage.


    oh dear (none / 0) (#3)
    by s5 on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 02:41:03 PM EST
    All this means is that there's more work to do, not that it's time to give up. Even though the dems won in 2006, there's still a right wing noise machine that needs countering, and there are still Lieberdems taking up seats. We need more progressive voices, more primary challenges against sellout Democrats, and more Republicans voted out of office. 2006 was an exciting election, but it would be foolish to think that 10+ of creeping fascism can be undone in a single election cycle.

    You want tired; hot? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dulcinea on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 03:58:48 PM EST
    You want tired, you pampered, spoiled louts. You want hot!  On 90 plus degree days, try working in a garage; delivering mail, furniture, parcels, foodstuff; putting up a roof or a house; mowing lawns; or standing on your feet much too many hours a day teaching school, nursing; try any of the boring, bone-tiring jobs American workers do daily, some without any vacation, benefits, healthcare, decent pay, or respect.  Madness, madness, madness.  May your day come--and soon.

    It's 75 degrees at Holman Field (none / 0) (#7)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 04:07:06 PM EST
    You can hang out here, it's only 75 degrees, and we are entertained here by both vetoed bridge bills and collapsing bridges.

    If I were Nancy Pelosi, there would be no vacation, and we would right now be getting ready to try Harriet Miers and Karl Rove. Bush couldn't call a special session, because I would already have done so.

    For the FISA bill I don't know what would happen. Not what did, but I don't whether I could get cooperation from the Senate on sending a bill guaranteed to be vetoed. If not, so be it. If the caucus revolts, let them throw me out; nothing lasts forever.

    ya think, jeralyn? (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 04:33:37 PM EST
    I'm tired of 95 degree humid weather too, but I didn't let it affect my work.

    and you know this how, exactly? by what quantifiable methodology have you ascertained that your work hasn't been affected? do share your formula with the rest of the class.

    sure, congress still has lots of work to do, no question about it. however, not all of them are going on some dude ranch vacation (what normal person goes on vacation, to a place that insults you before you even get there?), some will be going home, to face their constituents head on. i think that's a good thing. maybe, those constituents will tell them, face to face, to just have a big cup of STFU, and get the damn job done!

    perhaps, the R & R might help some of them regenerate the parts of their backbone that have been worn down in the past few months; they'll come back, stiffened with fresh resolve, ready to actually put the screws to bush and his cronies.

    hey, i'm the eternal optimist! :)

    tired of your snark but here's the answer (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 08:15:37 PM EST
    cpinva, I'm getting tired of your negativity. If you only want to criticize, please visit another blog.  

    As for your question, "and you know this how, exactly? by what quantifiable methodology have you ascertained that your work hasn't been affected? do share your formula with the rest of the class"

    How about: Results in court. Client satisfaction. Meeting deadlines. Praise from peers.

    To name a few.


    Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:43:00 PM EST
    So now we know. There is not an unending reservoir of good cheer and patience in J.

    As the ornery one, I say HURRAH!


    Until I started reading you (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:55:07 PM EST
    I was sure that I was the most ornery person in America under 80.

    You guys are both amateurs at being ornery. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 10:04:56 PM EST

    You have not seen (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 10:11:44 PM EST
    my A game.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 10:29:25 PM EST
    And you're right. I usually try to refrain from snapping at commenters.

    They been on vacation (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 04:53:04 PM EST
    since they were "elected" last November...

    Crocodile Tears for the Crocodiles (none / 0) (#11)
    by Doc Rock on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 05:18:35 PM EST
    Your 'vacation'analysis is on the money.  They're all crocodiles, red and blue.  Cry, rather, for America and its 'underlings' too 'soma'd' out to understand what these power wielders are doing to us all!

    A/C !! (none / 0) (#13)
    by RedHead on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 06:25:37 PM EST
    It's hot everywhere. In the past ten days I've been in Denver, Omaha and Chicago. I'm tired of 95 degree humid weather too, but I didn't let it affect my work.

    Don't you have A/C ??

    That's it, my husband (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 06:29:40 PM EST
    isn't going to vacation in Baghdad now!  He is going to stay right here and show these wussies how to not let vacation plans "F" up yer principles and not go on vacation and stay right here and show the Dems how to do it.............don't I wish ;(