Holding Democrats To Account

Writing about the Steny Hoyer-led Democratic capitulation on FISA, Glenn Greenwald makes an important point:

This is about whether the Democrats who control the Congress are even minimally accountable in how they exercise that control, whether they'll be permitted to trample upon the most basic principles in order cravenly to preserve their own power. Right now, [Democrats] perceive that the only political cost comes from opposing the Far Right on matters of constitutional protections and civil liberties. Thus, they're willing -- eager -- to trample on those protections and liberties in order to protect their own power. That dynamic needs to be reversed. They need to know that there is a bigger price to pay when they betray the promises they repeatedly make, the principles they continuously espouse, and the duties that they have to preserve basic precepts of equality under the law and core constitutional protections.

This is true about EVERY issue, especially on Iraq. But I will say what Glenn will not - it starts with holding BARACK OBAMA to account. His silence about this proposed capitulation is deafening. Want to be the leader of the Party? Of the Nation? Senator Obama, the time is now. And let's start with a denunciation of this cowardly capitulation by the House Democratic leadership on FISA.

Speaking for me only

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  • Bravo! n/t (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Coral on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:36:03 PM EST

    Feingold and Dodd (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:40:07 PM EST
    are on it (PDF). If there's so much as a mumble out of Obama, I will be surprised.  

    O/T But isn't Dodd in a bit of trouble (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:19:06 PM EST
    having to do with Countrywide Mortgage?

    So? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:26:52 PM EST
    I assume the point of bringing that up (4.50 / 2) (#70)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:37:01 PM EST
    was that it's hard to be taken seriously on an issue if you're doing a perp walk. Or if not that extreme, at least in an embarrassing situation like he may be in. Of course thats not fair and is completely unrelated, but that's politics.

    As noted below....was curious about it... (none / 0) (#91)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:46:49 PM EST
    I was surprised when I heard there might be some
    impropriety, because Dodd doesn't strike me as that type.

    No, I don't think so. (4.75 / 4) (#77)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:39:07 PM EST
    I heard him speaking to reporters today who asked a bazillion questions about this.  Essentially, he already had mortgages with Countrywide - one on a house in CT he had owned for 27 years and one on a house he and Wife #2 bought in DC.  In 2003, rates were dropping, so they looked into refinancing.  Shopped it around - got quotes from WaMu, Wachovia, Lending Tree, etc, and decided to stick with Countrywide.

    Apparently, Countrywide put them in their VIP program, but Dodd says he just assumed it was because they were already customers, and there wasn't any benefit that he could see to being in that "program."

    Swears that he does not do business with people who want to give him deals because he is a Senator, says he doesn't know Angelo Mozilo - although he would not rule out having shaken his hand at some event or another.

    Doesn't look like there is any "there" there on this.


    Just curious....didn't get the entire story, (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:45:22 PM EST
    missed part of it and knew I could get an answer from someone....thanks Anne.

    We should also thank those who are standing up (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jtaylorr on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:40:10 PM EST
    Harry Reid, specifically, today reaffirmed his opposition to amnesty.

    Reid's personal opposition (5.00 / 10) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:42:23 PM EST
    has never stopped him from allowing various things to happen.

    Let him use his customary control of the Senate calendar to prevent  retroactive immunity. Heck, let Pelosi do that in the House.


    If He Were Really Against It (5.00 / 13) (#11)
    by BDB on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:57:27 PM EST
    there wouldn't be a vote.  Same thing for Pelosi.  She can vote against it, but if she wanted to stop it she could.  

    Exactly (5.00 / 9) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:59:17 PM EST
    It's a game they've played repeatedly with Iraq war funding.

    Exactly! (5.00 / 9) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:59:58 PM EST
    I used to say "why aren't they fighting this!?" (regarding whichever thing they weren't fighting).

    The answer is, because they want it too!  It really is as simple as that.  They pretend to be about certain issues to get themselves elected. They are not about those issues.  And that is why I don't have to feel the least bit guilty or "loyal" in regards to how I vote.


    I remember all the Kos and the other FP (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:05:38 AM EST
    diaries that said you had to help get the Dems the majority because no matter how much you disagreed with an individual candidates position once the Dems got the majority legislation like this would never get on the floor for a vote.

    Yah, sure.


    I wrote to... (5.00 / 10) (#75)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:38:32 PM EST
    I was so utterly annoyed at the Dems in Congress over telecom immunity last night that I wrote a rather pointed letter to Kerry, telling him that if Barack Obama wants the votes of former Hillary supporters like myself, it may be possible to get them, but he needs to show us what he stands for by taking action amounting to leadership, with case in point being the vote on telecom immunity. Will he stand up for no immunity or just pay lip service to changing the politics as usual in D.C.?  I sent a copy of the e-mail to Al Gore in response to 1 of 2 e-mails he sent (within 12 hours of each other) asking for $ for the Presidential campaign.  I got a polite response from Kerry's office indicating they wanted to review my letter before responding & -0- from Al.
    Tonight I got yet another e-mail from Howard Dean, this one asking for support of the DNC's filing a complaint against McCain with the FEC. My response:  The Dems' priorities should be to begin at home -- end talk of telecom immunity.

    give us your money and then be quiet (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:09:55 AM EST
    is what it sounds like to me. or pelosi's now famous comment about we need to understand they are the leaders. yeah right over the cliff, nancy.

    I took my name off of the Democratic fundraising (4.83 / 6) (#109)
    by hairspray on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:00:58 PM EST
    machines.  The DNC asked me why I was leaving so I told them.  I'm now registering as an independent.  Let them get their loose change from the Obama ATM machine.

    nicely done (4.50 / 2) (#89)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:45:40 PM EST
    Thanks from all of us for those (from what I read here). I think I may do the same. Sure seems an open and shut issue to me.

    BTD, (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:50:12 PM EST
    Senator Obama, the time is now.

    don't hold your breathe.

    and as a bonus, win over Hillary supporters (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:51:02 PM EST
    too. It's a twofer. Being a leader can be very rewarding. I for one hope he'll give it a try some day.

    Honestly, I'd like to hear Hillary say something (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:00:01 PM EST
    about this too.

    although... (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:09:58 PM EST
    although I doubt that she would take a leadership role if she could, its pretty obvious that Team Obama has told her that "unity" means "low visibility" for her...

    Since when does she have to listen to him? (3.00 / 5) (#33)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:11:45 PM EST
    If she cared to say something about this, she could. It's obvious that she doesn't especially care about this issue. Unless, that is, she bothers to lead on the issue.

    Oh c'mon (5.00 / 9) (#39)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:16:56 PM EST
    Really.  If Hillary dared say anything about anything Obama hasn't already taken a strong stand on, she'd be jumped all over for trying to 'outshine' him or continue to fight the primary or whatever other kind of crap folks are making up out of their butts this week.

    This is Obama's fight now.  It's been Pelosi's and Reid's and rest of their fight for a while.  They wanted a Fightin' Dem and they got one (or many).  The problem is they decided to fight with their own team.  And forgot to fight with the other side.


    Last I checked, Hillary is still the junior (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:44:11 PM EST
    Senator from New York and speaking up, taking positions, is part and parcel of that job, and she has every right to do that job, even if some will characterize it as trying to outshine Obama.

    Obama can fix all that, simply by also doing his job as the junior Senator from Illinois, and by extension, showing something that resembles presidential-type leadership.


    So what? (3.50 / 4) (#44)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:19:18 PM EST
    If she cares more about being "jumped all over" than the issue, then she deserves our scorn.

    She deserves a rest (4.85 / 7) (#72)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:37:53 PM EST
    Don't you think???

    Yes. (5.00 / 12) (#98)
    by madamab on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:49:28 PM EST
    And so does the rest of the Senate, according to this article.

    She is on vacation for a month. She has voted often and correctly on the FISA issue.

    Let Obama take the lead. If he doesn't, can we please, pretty please, not resort to blaming Hillary?

    Just once?


    Isn't that the truth. ITA. (5.00 / 7) (#148)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:14:10 AM EST
     Here we are only two weeks after the last  election and people are blaming Hillary already  for the stuff Obama may not want to do or doesn't care about or whatever, for heavens sake. Isn't that the stuff we expect from the Obama supporters or Clinton haters? Besides, why would anyone listen to Hillary now? As IF. The Olbermanns would seethe should she give her two cents about anything considered Obama business. She gave a speech strongly supporting Obama and even that wasn't enough for the haters ...

    Now The Dems got their nominee, the one they picked right from the start - and they deserve anything they get and do not get from now on ... not that I, one of the little people, had anything to do with it. I did my very best to  work for a different outcome.

    I am very happy to hear Hillary and Bill are taking a vacation together. Finally they  enjoy a much deserved rest. Lets not forget Hillary had to work at least twice or thrice as hard as Obama who enjoyed the love of the media folks thruout and he could do no wrong as hard as he tried whereas ...

    I can only imagine how Hillary and her family must be feeling after all the nonsense they had to endure during this long campaign. Glad they are away from it all. Its the very best thing they could have done for themselves. I have been doing the exact same thing btw. No TV news, no newspapers, no blogs.

    It is all up to Obama now.



    She didn't even show up in Feb. (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:55:08 AM EST
    It was more important to her to personally thank Alegre.

    (Lest this be interpreted as Obama partisanshikp, I'd posted here, and elsewhere, that if Obama diudn't make the vote before flying to Madison for his rally I'd be outside picketing. I still have the sign, unused, "Playing hookey on the FISA vote?")


    You're wrong on this. (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by tree on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:41:22 AM EST
    She did show up  but left for campaign commitments   before the Dodd/Feingold amendment to the bill was voted on. Obama showed up and voted on the Dodd/Feingold amendment but LEFT for later campaign commitments BEFORE the vote on the FISA bill itself. Clinton missed two votes, Obama missed one, the one on passage of the FISA bill WITH telecom immunity.

    You apparently forgot that Obama missed that vote. You left a comment in the thread that I linked to above, where Jeralyn mentioned that Obama missed that final vote, so you were aware of it at the time. Maybe you weren't aware before the rally  that he hadn't voted on the final bill, and that's why your sign went unused. Most of the usual suspect blogs made a big deal about Clinton missing the votes, but little about Obama missing the final vote. Such was the biased coverage back then.


    And of course (none / 0) (#196)
    by tree on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:45:50 AM EST
    neither of their votes would have made a difference in the results on either the amendment to the bill or the bill itself. So the high dudgeon at the time was  the usual kabuki used to trash Clinton while exalting Obama. Silly.

    HRC deserves the Presidency. (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:18:26 PM EST
    I think that's a little insulting to her (2.50 / 2) (#79)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:40:54 PM EST
    Or are you saying that she isn't capable of doing her job?

    Stop putting words in other people's mouths (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:46:40 PM EST
    or keyboards.

    I think that it's more... (none / 0) (#204)
    by kredwyn on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:51:55 AM EST
    That sometimes people just need a spate of downtime to recharge.

    Normally, we'd call it a vacation. I always take 2 weeks after the Spring semester before starting in on the freelancing.

    Me? I almost fell asleep at pool last night. And it was 11:00.


    Let it go (3.66 / 3) (#47)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:22:13 PM EST
    She's not running anymore.

    i don't think (4.75 / 4) (#73)
    by boredmpa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:38:25 PM EST
    he's even a hillary supporter(?), or that it even matters.

    it certainly didn't matter for edwards to continue to advocate.

    regardless, silencing criticism by claiming to know other's real "motives" is unacceptable.  It's frank rich territory.


    I should frame your response (4.40 / 5) (#50)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:24:24 PM EST
    "How we excuse our leaders"

    This desire we have to protect politicians we like from all criticism makes me feel ill, honestly.


    That really isn't fair (5.00 / 7) (#82)
    by hairspray on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:42:43 PM EST
    I don't see how she can come out now when all the leaders are gathering around throwing roses and shouting "see we are united", for her to try to say something that might be seen as upstaging. I feel really certain about these dynamics.

    hillary has lead and spoken to those who (none / 0) (#188)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:23:00 AM EST
    were listening. thanks

    It's Sexist and Misogynistic (none / 0) (#209)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:32:24 AM EST
    To think that HRC would knuckle under to the Obama campaign and hold her tounge on an issue so fundamental to our civil liberties.  That is, I guess, if the Obama campaign actually told her to keep quiet about it, for which there is no evidence.

    I'm calling out this sexism right now.  I won't "be shut up about it."


    last time I checked (5.00 / 7) (#35)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:12:24 PM EST
    she's not running for president. Well, unless something really politically wild happens before Denver, which I'm sure won't. Anyway, I think she will certainly help where Obama wants her to help, but I don't think she will make any unsolicited remarks that effect the campaign. After all, we wouldn't want KO and Tweedy and others to rabidly focus on her again would we. OK, a bit snarky. But seriously, if she jumps into the dialog on her own, there will be much screaming and gnashing of teeth from the OFBs. And that would be a distraction. She and Bill should just have some fun at this point.

    Nonsensical (4.33 / 3) (#37)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:15:32 PM EST
    She's a duly elected member of the most exclusive and--arguably--most powerful body in the world. There is no excuse for not leading on this issue if she thinks it's important.

    Just because we pressure Obama, and we should, does not mean that we ignore other power brokers.


    good point, but (4.00 / 1) (#48)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:23:10 PM EST
    because of the close primary and because of all the feelings out and about, I think the Obama team would very much like it if she kept a low profile. Of course I think for fear she would out lead him as she did for the last four months of the primaries. But anyway, if that's what they'd like, I think she will do that to help.

    But generally, yes, she's a senator and they always should lead when they have an opinion and/or the guts to say what it is.


    I think it's hilarious (4.33 / 3) (#51)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:25:18 PM EST
    that you are suddenly so concerned with what camp Obama wants.

    oh, I'm not (4.66 / 3) (#61)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:31:04 PM EST
    I could give a rats ... I'm just saying what I think may be going on. I do think Hillary cares what the Obama campaign wants and will go along with it because she's a good party player no matter what.

    Me, I'm more interested in actual policies and issues and the secondarily the players and what gangs they're in. I tend to like the blue gang better than the red gang, but neither is loyal to me, so I'm not really that loyal to them.


    Let it rest. (3.00 / 2) (#171)
    by margph on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:59:28 AM EST
    Curious, Andgarten, how the point BTD was making had to do with Obama.  You have tried again and again and again to make it about Clinton.  Too transparent for me.  When is that approach going to be discarded.  You got the nominee you wanted, so let it rest.

    yawn! hillary hate is so yesterday! (1.00 / 1) (#189)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:27:05 AM EST
    Echoing cpinva... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by NO2WONDERBOY on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:47:25 PM EST
    Don't hold your breath!

    Get real (5.00 / 6) (#163)
    by makana44 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:07:09 AM EST
    Obama is not a leader. He's a front and a power broker. He's not passionate about anything except gaining power. He's not a compassionate anything, or been a leader on any issue. Expertise in political expediency, coldness,  and ruthlessness are his strongest traits, ones for which he is widely admired by his followers.

    He wrote position papers (or had them written for him), but he wasn't even deeply familiar with what they contained. It's disheartening that the Democrats picked an empty suit who lacks integrity, leadership, compassion, or any real caring interest in improving life for average Americans, or making this world a better place for all. Just politics. No heart. And no leadership.

    The Democrats picked money, ruthlessness, and hunger for power...talking BIG money. The reason why Hillary quit at the end was the vast differential in their respective bank accounts. She couldn't compete...why would they choose a candidate in debt versus one sitting on a pile of gold? That was the real issue all along. The big money was behind Obama. Wonder why?

    BTD and jeralyn can defend the Democratic party choice all they want, but the only reason he's a Democrat is because that presented the most direct path to the White House. No principles involved here. If he wins we're looking at 8 years of  frustration, seething, disappointment, and permanent damage to the party that once represented something hopeful and real to its faithful.

    Rest assured that plenty of the self professed creative classers stand to cash in and have plenty of fun with the trappings of power and will willingly have their strings pulled, along with those of the main puppet standing behind the podium.


    Obama is a lurker not a leader... (4.93 / 15) (#38)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:16:47 PM EST
    ...always in the picture, but never out front, never leading the charge.  Even his "famous" speech resulted in not a single attempt by BO to end the war once he got into the Senate.  But then, he was so busy on day one running for his next promotion he forgot that little issue, didn't he?

    I remember reading about him running into
    committee members on their way to a press conference about something they had just accomplished.  He said, "What's up" and they told him and he said, "Can I come along"?  They said sure - they wanted people on the podium for pictures and then he had the audacity (whoops!) to take the mic and speak as if he had been personally involved in the accomplishment.  Staffers were pissed as hell at what he did.

    He lurked in CT in 2006 (never really coming out and supporting Ned Lamont).  He lurks on pro-choice (using weasel words and voting present).  He lurks on race (demanding a dialog and now saying we should all move on - pun intended!).  Condemning the Gas Tax Holiday proposal when he supported other such proposals three times.  

    Where in the world does he really stand on things?  I don't know.  And I'm not willing to take a chance.

    If we elect a lurker then Repugs will rule the day anyway because he lurks right as much as he lurks left.

    NOT what we must have for this country if we are expected to move forward.



    Just wondering, (none / 0) (#17)
    by jtaylorr on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:00:33 PM EST
    what makes you think that making clear his opposition to amnesty would win over Hillary supporters?
    After all, Hillary was absent for the vote on the bill and its amendments.

    you win them over (5.00 / 8) (#26)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:06:19 PM EST
    not by being just like Hillary, you win them over by being a great leader and being clear on your positions, and by coming out with policy details. That is, imagine it's a national campaign and every vote you want you actually have to earn. And when the position is a tricky one, you just have to be brilliant at explaining it.

    OMG! (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:18:16 AM EST
    That sounds like real work!

    Earning votes sounds almost as hard as earning a paycheck!  


    the thing is... (4.87 / 8) (#36)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:14:47 PM EST
    that opposition to telecom immunity isn't hard to explain....AND has popular support.

    I mean, this would be an overall plus for Obama...

    then I remember that Jello Jay was one of Obama's first big Super-Delegate "gets"...


    are you implying he's (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:27:15 PM EST
    yet another slimy politician. Say it ain't so. Snark. Yep, that and many positions would be very easy to come forward with and lead on. And it would be great to see a politician do the right thing on those issues. Funny how they don't.

    One more time (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:19:34 AM EST
    We are/were Hillary supporters not because we think Hillary is the be-all and end-all, but because we came to dislike Obama intensely and found Hillary much more to our liking. (Speaking I think for most of us, but not all.)

    She is not the alpha and omega, OK?

    If Obama is to have any hope at all of getting the votes of the profoundly disaffected -- like me -- he has to stand up and show some real leadership on issues of major concern.  So far, I have almost nothing to put in his corner.  Actually leading on the FISA bill would be one thing.  Not enough by itself, but a start.

    I do not expect him to lead on the FISA bill.  I expect he will simply confirm my opinion of him.


    but, but hillary hate is more fun and (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:38:38 AM EST
    it is a way to divert the comments away from "what in the heck is going on in the obama campaign as in where is the leadership and what are they going to do about this country's problems".

    It isn't merely (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:59:27 AM EST
    to pacify Hilary supporters. Immunity has been a major rallying point for the entire progressive community. He should do it because it's the right thing to do. Every poll I've read shows the public is against immunity. What good is a progressive leader that doesn't support the progressive agenda. Would you accept this from any other candidate?

    Who are the experts who advise him (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:51:19 PM EST
    on how to duck tough political issues? Their services are required now.

    He doesn't need any help, (5.00 / 7) (#29)
    by FlaDemFem on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:08:02 PM EST
    he is very good at it on his own. Look at all the "present" votes in IL senate and how he manages to have very high absenteeism in the Senate, and that was even before the campaign. He had 41% as many votes as Hillary did in the same term. So he has had lots of practice in avoiding issues. Taking a stand on something isn't what Obama seems to be very good at.

    How ironic (1.00 / 2) (#52)
    by jtaylorr on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:25:56 PM EST
    that you bring up absenteeism when we're talking about FISA.
    Obama voted for Dodd's and Feingold's amendments to FISA. Hillary was absent.

    goodness me (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by boredmpa on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:00:18 PM EST
    Please don't spread BS that I actually have to look up because it's a rehash of a talking point from the dark ages.

    Clinton may not have been a leader on the issue, and isn't leading now, but she was a sponsor of that bill and simply wasn't there to vote on an issue that was obviously not going to carry.  And yes that's a valid rebuttal to your post because all you're doing is changing the topic from Obama's leadership to hillary's vote record.

    And for the record, obama didn't vote against the final amendment.  Whether he was voting present or was actually absent, I don't know.  It doesn't really matter, cause I'm not running old talking points.


    He was actually absent.. (none / 0) (#144)
    by tree on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:03:05 AM EST
    She missed two votes. He missed one. Neither one's votes could have made a difference. She was heading out to Wisconsin for last minute campaigning as I recall and Obama was still in DC campaigning that same evening. He had less excuse to miss the vote than she did. But, as I said, they both missed the final vote, and it wouldn't have mattered to the final outcome if they had voted.

    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by boredmpa on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:13:24 AM EST
    and that's why i think strong, vocal support or work over a period of years is so important.

    Whether it's Dodd filibustering, or creating and advocating for a universal health care plan, or meeting night-after night on immigration issues...

    those items tend to show leadership and actual positions because they show how a person spends their own most valuable resources--time and heart.

    votes themselves can be difficult to analyze because they're known ahead of time, they can be killed in conference, they can be for and against, and on and on.


    Link for the FISA vote: (none / 0) (#162)
    by tree on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:06:45 AM EST
    From Glenn Greenwald

    UPDATE: The Dodd/Feingold amendment to remove telecom immunity from the bill just failed by a whopping vote of 31-67 -- 20 votes shy of the 50 needed for a passage. A total of 18 Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for immunity: Bayh, Inouye, Johnson, Landrieu, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Stabenow, Feinstein, Kohl, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, Carper, Mikulski, Conrad, Webb, and Lincoln. Obama voted against immunity, and Hillary Clinton was the only Senator not voting.


    UPDATE V: Final passage in the Senate of the Cheney/Rockefeller bill was 68-29. 19 Democrats joined all Republicans to vote in favor of warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty: Conrad, Rockefeller, Baucus, Webb, Kohl, Whitehouse, Bayh, Johnson, Bill Nelson, Mikulski, McCaskill, Lincoln, Casey, Salazar, Inouye, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Carper, and Landrieu. Neither Obama nor Clinton voted on final passage.

    According to Alegre's kos diary that day (none / 0) (#172)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:59:43 AM EST
    she was 12 miles away thanking volunteers at one of her MD Hqs.

    excuse me where was obama (none / 0) (#194)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:41:26 AM EST
    when his committee was meeting on europe? oh that's right, he never ever had one. he was too busy.

    Hillary, Hillary, Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:26:50 AM EST
    My goodness, what are you people going to keep your minds occupied with once the general really gets going?

    Get. Over. It.


    In a nutshell (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Coldblue on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:53:19 PM EST
    it's about holding on to power/gaining power.

    There is so much to do, and I'm getting too old to go along with the power struggle.

    You Can Not IMO Hold Dems To Account (5.00 / 17) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:53:47 PM EST
    and at the same time hold your nose and vote for them regardless of what they do because they are the not quite as bad as the Republicans. Corporations and high rollers are willing to shell out the bucks. Politicians don't really care how many phone calls you make, letters you write or threats you make as long as they know in the end you will vote for them anyway.


    Don't buy into 'they have nowhere to go' argument (5.00 / 6) (#64)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:32:56 PM EST
    I shrugged off considerable frustration by declaring Independence from the Dems. Now they HAVE to talk to me.

    I'll still support worthy individuals and reward good behavior but AFTER I see it -- not before, like I used to and wait forever for the party as a whole to do as it promised.

    I'll withhold my support for Obama unless I see tangible leadership besides nice speeches, questionable judgment and no-shows on issues which allegedly matter to him. I don't care what he's considering, or whether he plans at some point to have a good long think on it.

    Independence won't suit everyone and I wouldn't advocate that for, eg, longtime insiders wanting to restore the health and future of the party by activism within it. I applaud that. (I wouldn't abuse the TL space for wrangling support for my issues either, but they dovetail so I'm not working against TL's mandate.)

    I'm issues oriented more than politics oriented anyway and will go to the mat for human rights and franchise and constitutional integrity.

    For a D or an R not so much.


    Your post is kind of funny to me (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:31:50 AM EST
    I've always been a Democrat, but I've voted for plenty of Republicans in my time.  Why?  Because they were doing a good job.  

    I've never believed that you vote for someone simply because they are a Democrat.

    Of course, I voted for more Republicans when I lived in a rural area and you knew more about what each politician was doing.  Once I moved to the city, well, it's a lot harder to find out what they are doing.  Big newspapers like the LA Times and the NY Times don't report on local politicians much, unless they screw up bigtime.  (Then the Internet came along and you check up on them, but for years, we didn't have that luxury.)  

    Another reason to NOT replace a politician who is doing a good job?  Because the public pays for politicians' pensions, and that money adds up!  If you can keep the same Congressman for 30 years, that's ONE pension versus 15 Congressmen who serve two years each and get FIFTEEN pensions.  If you can't get someone better, you might as well keep the old one.  

    Anyway, this election has pointed out to me, more than ever, that this country needs another party.  A big party.  A third party.  Our politicians are NOT doing a good job for us and we deserve BETTER!!      


    This is why I am getting (4.80 / 5) (#14)
    by Coral on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:59:57 PM EST
    more and more attracted to third parties. I just wish they had the staying power and clout to hammer some accountability into the Democrats.

    3rd parties are irrelevant. Full stop. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:00:37 PM EST
    On Some Important Issue So Are The (5.00 / 10) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:04:03 PM EST

    on the contrary (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:06:11 PM EST
    Dems, by virtue of their ability to be elected and influence/control the process, are always relevant.

    But (5.00 / 8) (#123)
    by echinopsia on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:22:28 PM EST
    by virtue of their ability to be elected and influence/control the process

    They never do.

    What good is having the power if they never use it? What good is control? What good is voting to give them the power if they don't use it the way they promise they will?

    I'm getting more and more attracted to the idea of being a non-democrat.


    That's what the Whigs used to say (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:29:38 PM EST

    Sure they control the process. Yeah, right.

    They have been so far, Andgarden (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:28:46 AM EST
    Doesn't mean they always will be.  I don't see one in this election, but there really is the makings of one right now, if somebody would come along to lead it.

    Absolutely. (none / 0) (#166)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:27:46 AM EST
    The Time is Now.

    I always amazes me. Such a huge country. So few great leaders ready to step up ... and inspire and do the right thing for the people. It only takes one right person. One.


    Ah, not really (none / 0) (#87)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:44:11 PM EST
    Florida, Nader.

    But (none / 0) (#147)
    by Claw on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:13:05 AM EST
    Gore still won.  And most people didn't realize what a disaster Bush would be.  I fear some may be falling into the same trap with McCain.

    Or Obama n/t (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by echinopsia on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:53:17 AM EST
    not necessarily (none / 0) (#165)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:23:40 AM EST
    Perot had 20 per cent of the vote and he didn't even try hard and ran his whole campaign from Larry King's show ... then he lost interest and the Reform Party meant nothing anymore and evaporated.

    It only takes the right person, a real leader who has the ability to inspire the voters who right now are pretty unsatisfied with the choices they have. The time is right after seven years GOP. That's why Obama was sold to the voters as some kind of inspiration although faux but it did the job. Obama could never make it as 3rd party leader  - he was picked and supported by the Big Dems from the start so his "movement" is nothing but a word.

    We need another Bill! That would do it.

    Third parties are not relevant in the US because they have no representation in congress unless they win the majority. In European countries a party needs about 6% of the vote in order to make it - and it makes a big difference in government because their voices are heard. I wish the US party laws and regulations would be changed but this is not in the interest of the Dems and Reps so it will ever happen. But it should  be IMHO.


    and so are the republicans and (none / 0) (#195)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:43:54 AM EST
    democrats when they don't do their jobs. so far i'd say the democrats have done a lousy job since o6. the public agrees if you bother to look at their poll numbers. take it up with reid and pelosi. they are supposed to be accountable. and as the new head of the party, the buck now stops with obama.

    One step at a time....will take awhile... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:02:30 PM EST
    Our congress is completely accountable! (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:57:10 PM EST
    And if you ask, "to whom?" the answer can be found in the list of corporate sponsors (loophole climbers) who sponsor the DNC/RNC conventions!

    Our politicians will bow, ring kiss and answer to those folks anytime. The silly little voters on the other hand?  Not so much.

    And about Obama, he won a primary by not exercising any leadership in the senate.  Worked for him then, why change course?

    I got troll-swarmed here for posting Obama's ... (5.00 / 7) (#30)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:08:25 PM EST
    ... rhetorical position vs. senate vote on the (allegedly) deeply important issue to him of detainee treatment / torture.

    The facts weren't disputed or refuted by the oPods. Merely criticizing Obama on delivering a lofty opposition to torture despite his senatorial no show now qualifies as "trolling".


    That's ok (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by sociallybanned on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:30:30 PM EST
    I got troll rated by Tchris because I read his whole article (last night) and posted the more important information. IMO, He was baiting to the Hillary supporters for McCain about how McCain attacked Chelsea. I guess to point out it might be hypocrisy if we cry sexism when McCain was quoted years ago.

    I just posted the following paragraph to debunk what he had quoted.  Troll rating doesn't do nothing for me.  I don't understand why so many get upset.  No offense dear!  

    The rating triggered the blog titled below.
    The New Democratic Party: You're Either With Us 100% or Against US
    blog at http://politicallydrunk.blogspot.com/


    in an ideal world we would having (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:00:33 AM EST
    a discussion about the important issues. we would hold both candidates feet to the fire for either their leadership or lack thereof. for those who seek even higher leadership, more is expected and cannot be ignored at their own peril. our country has become so partisan and so pc that real discussion is shouted down or shut down. names are called and the issues ignored. where is obama on this and when does he plan to show leadership. he is now the leader of the party. where are reid and pelosi? hold them accountable and demand that they rally their congress critters. if they don't even before the convention, that should tell you a great deal about your future.

    hey ellie (2.00 / 4) (#76)
    by tben on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:38:46 PM EST
    wanna have some fun? Try criticizing Hillary!
    Ever so gently. See what happens.

    I actually have -- I was dubious about both (5.00 / 10) (#83)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:42:57 PM EST
    And remained neutral until she earned my vote. I became critical of Obama based on his actions during the campaign.

    BTW, troll-swarming isn't an individual pursuit. You have no idea of what you're pontificating about regarding me or the daily pester squadrons.


    On FISA and new politics (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Yotin on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:58:05 PM EST
    Obama talks about new politics. He can prove it right here. Where does he stand?

    Ugh. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Coral on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:02:01 PM EST
    I am committed to voting for Obama, but it keeps getting more and more difficult. He is a huge disappointment. Why can't he stand up for a couple of things I think are important.

    This small problem (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:50:46 AM EST
    (figuring out exactly where he stands on any issue) is why some of us don't want to vote for him.

    His voting record in the Illinois State Senate is not outstanding.  

    He was never an activist for anything.  

    He's been a Senator for about 1/3 of a term before he starting campaigning for President and his record there is nothing to talk about.  

    He does give wonderful speeches.

    He's campaigned 7 times for office, so he should be considered a professional at campaigning.

    I've been unable to find any evidence of him every taking a tough stance on ANY issue or ANY person.  Seriously.  He even threw Reverend Wright who was a friend for 20 years away like it was nothing but a hinderance to him to stand up for the man a second time.  (To me, the Reverend Wright issue was a test, a test to see what kind of mettle he had.  He failed bad.)        

    Hillary had testicular fortitude.  I think that is something Obama is lacking.  


    obama usually stands on a pedestal (5.00 / 9) (#24)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:05:44 PM EST
    in front of his adoring fans, many of whom know nothing about what he stands for, unfortunately.
    He has not shown much in the way of leadership on anything so far.

    Look at his voting record. (none / 0) (#23)
    by jtaylorr on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:04:43 PM EST
    (Hint: he voted with Finegold)

    Are you sure? (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:36:00 PM EST
    Maybe on some things but I think Obama voted for the Patriot Act and Cheney's energy bill and I don't think Feingold did.

    Is Obama like Coke Zero? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:02:23 PM EST

    Nope....Coke Zero is better (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:17:14 PM EST
    50 State Strategy (5.00 / 10) (#27)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:06:53 PM EST
    Reading a summary of the 50 State Strategy the other day (no jokes, please), I was struck by how encouraging it sounded.  Yes, get Dems in at every level, local, state, federal, etc etc.  End years of Republican hold over the country.  Great.  Fabulous!  Sounds like a great idea.

    But the flaw is that it doesn't matter one whit who holds power where if the name of all that consolidation of power game is Capitulation.  They forgot the part of the plan that comes after winning seats.

    I note Greenwald's full link has the text of a letter from Pelosi et al objecting to a pardon of Libby on similar grounds -- violation of the public trust -- to what Greenwald argues capitulation on FISA would be.  Does that woman do anything besides sending sternly worded letters?

    I just don't see any way to fight Congressional cowardice short of voting them out, or not voting for the most egregious individuals.

    Geez, great minds.... (5.00 / 12) (#28)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:07:01 PM EST
    I was working on a post on this very subject for Corrente and Confluence, and by the time I finished it Lambert had posted his own take on Corrente, and someone had just posted something else (entirely different) on Confluence...
    (So I just threw the thing into the comments section at Corrente under Lamberts post)

    and now you post THIS!

    My non-post took a somewhat different tack -- how people like Kos, and Greenwald, and the FDL crew have all be screaming bloody murder about Hoyer and Jello Jay....but somehow never bothered to mention that the ONE person who was enabling this to happen by his silence was Mr. Unity Pony.

    It so great to see that BTD consistently maintains his integrity!  

    Can he claim that he's following (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:11:55 PM EST
    Hillary's lead? That worked in the primaries.

    what she said (snark) n/t (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:17:45 PM EST
    Where's the media? (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:17:59 PM EST
    I would expect the media to be focused on this issue. I also would expect all the progressive blogs and even Olberman to be on this now. This was a passionate issue to all progressives. If Obama is their candidate then let him show it. Stand up against amnesty or tell us why you think the telecoms should get it. He shouldn't be allowed to escape this vital issue.

    There's more important stories for them to cover (5.00 / 4) (#149)
    by Dawn Davenport on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:14:12 AM EST
    ...like whether Cindy McCain plaigarizes recipes.

    I think BTD hits the nail on the head when he asks after Obama's leadership. Where's his leadership when it comes to any important issue for which the party can (and should) stand strong?

    Where's the speech pushing the national dialog on funding the war? Where's the speech pushing the true healthcare reform we need? The media and his fans fall all over tripe like his telling parents to turn off their TVs and read to their kids--a noble effort, but I don't want Mr. Rogers for president, I want someone who can lead on the issues affecting most Americans.


    There is no evidence that Obama (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:06:04 AM EST
    has ever been a leader.  Seriously.  

    I can't think of one thing ever that he has been a leader on EXCEPT for the Harvard Law Review and it's been noted that that represented one of the worst years for the Harvard Law Review (in terms of getting citations, etc.)

    Aside from that -- anything?  


    I just posted on the issue of leadership (5.00 / 12) (#56)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:27:42 PM EST
    at the bottom of the McCain thread, and it seems very relevant to this discussion.

    What Obama ought to be doing, where the conversation needs to be directed, is drawing a line for the American people that connects what is being allowed with respect to so-called terrorist communications, to what that makes it possible - or at least easier - to do to the Average Joe who thinks he's just minding his business, living his life.

    For most people, just the word "terrorists" invokes images of people who are presumed to be doing something wrong, but in kind of an abstract but sinister way, and the assumption is that we have a reason to be intercepting their communications.  Most people have no idea the extent to which the definitions have been broadened and what that means for them.

    The whole various collection of Acts and other legislation, combined with executive orders and signing statements and end-runs around substantive oversight have placed us all closer to being snatched off the street, never to be seen or heard from again, than your average person would ever imagine.  For most people, the government is still the great protector and steward of rights and privileges and they have no idea how much has been chipped away from the very foundations of the democracy by the Bush administration.

    There is still this belief that "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear," but too many people fail to understand that it will not be their own interpretation of what is "wrong" that will protect them.

    The Democrats have squandered opportunity after opportunity to educate the American people to the fact that there is a great deal more at stake than just a possible terrorist attack on the nation; really, it just kills me that they have just whiffed on this issue over and over and over.

    Obama has the opportunity to make this real, to "connect the dots" for people, and if he can do that, he can peel away the thin veneer of national security credibility that McCain will otherwise be able to capitalize on.

    The FISA bill is another such opportunity - and while Obama has the microphone and the utter adoration of the media, he should lead on it.  Lead.  Be presidential.  Invoke his constitutional law background and put it to the best use it's seen in years.

    Come on - someone has to lead!

    I'm dreaming of a (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Blogblah on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:46:59 PM EST
    My own personal dream is that we'll see McCain, a ranking member of the committee, speak for the bill on the Senate floor followed by Obama against.  Screw "town halls", this is the United States Senate and oratory and hard arguments are supposed to happen there and between who better than the two parties' presidential nominees?

    Think of the ratings for C-SPAN!

    Oh, and I think Anne, above, is spot on.


    "Someone has to lead" (none / 0) (#175)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:13:51 AM EST
    this is such an odd yet utterly important (and scary) question considering we just went thru this exhausting long campaign which ended w. the victory of such a stunningly vague candidate who lacks deep convictions and prefers to vote present and even presses the wrong button on occasion ... or is absent when decisions have to be made for the country.

    Did anyone even care to listen to all these debates which should tell us all about Obama we need to know but seemed meaningless for his fans and Big Dems alike! Who are all these people who constantly remind us what a talented and intelligent politician Obama is cause I just didn't see it. Where? When? Why?  What do they know that I don't. What???

    I never read Obamafan blogs -
    Are the Obamafolks think he is a great leader for the country? And why? Are they completely content with their choice now?



    This is Obamablog stuff (5.00 / 5) (#80)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:41:14 PM EST
    Well actually it was Crashing the Gates stuff long before it became Obamablog stuff.  

    It's good to see some have remained consistent, and I doubt the Obamablogs are taking the same approach towards Obama's "leadership" now that he is the standard bearer for the party.  They have NOT remained consistent.

    It takes some getting used to.

    Now that I'm an independent, in the interest of consistency, I think, I mean my honest opinion for what it's worth, this kind of approach here is misguided (I mean, in the interest of consistency, that's what I thought when Obamablogs posted this stuff then), but it takes some getting used to and I think, as I get more and more "over it" I find myself taking great pleasure in seeing Dems call other Dems capitulators and other pejoratives.

    I hope folks keep it up.

    I was wondering about the Obamablogstuff (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:20:07 AM EST
    they have not been consistent

    but what do you think: Do they really believe Obama can be a strong leader. Do they really feel secure with him at the helm of the ship NOW?


    Remember, next to the War, it's FISA.... (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by jerry on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:02:56 PM EST
    We couldn't vote for Clinton, because she voted for the War, or so said the netroots....

    It's time for the netroots to ask Obama to give some back.  And it would be smart politics too.

    In case you didn't notice (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:24:54 PM EST
    there are no hidden comments here.
    There's no need to worry about all the low ratings you get, as everyone will be able to see for themselves how they are deserved.

    If voters won't hold (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by miriam on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:25:10 PM EST
    these people accountable then they can and will do anything to feather their own nests.  The only way to bring them to account is to NOT VOTE for them.  Every Dem congressperson that votes for this terrible bill should be notified by our letters and faxes that we will NOT VOTE for them but will support and work for their challengers.

    I disagree with an above poster who claims a third party would be fruitless.  Now is precisely the time to seriously encourage the formation of another party, since there are so many disaffected voters now that I can't imagine either Obama or McCain bringing crowds to the polls in November.  And a viable third party is the only means of making the current Dems and Republicans so fearful of losing power that they might actually pay attention to something other than their own advancement.  Obama's history makes me expect nothing from him that differs in any substantial way from what we've gotten from Bush.

    eh... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Alec82 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:35:06 PM EST
    And a viable third party is the only means of making the current Dems and Republicans so fearful of losing power that they might actually pay attention to something other than their own advancement. Obama's history makes me expect nothing from him that differs in any substantial way from what we've gotten from Bush.

     Unfortuately our system as it exists is fundamentally hostile to third parties and only every once in a while friendly to independent candidates.  

     Nothing different about Obama and President Bush? That's ridiculous.


    Today they are very different, but (5.00 / 3) (#134)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:39:29 PM EST
    Obama is very similar to Bush 2000.

    In what way? (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:38:38 AM EST
    Their themes ir their policies? President Bush was threatening to veto sodomy reform as governor and was sending all the signals to social conservatives and business interests.  Maybe you bought the Green Party line at the time but I could see the writing on the wall.  

     Indeed, he did a complete 180 on so-called "nation building," and given the dynamics of his administration I cannot say I found that surprising either.

     The only thing that saved him from being a one term washout was 9/11 and the Iraq war.  Without that he would have been toast in 2004.  


    Obama and Bush 2000 (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:34:16 AM EST
    have very similar themes.  

    Bush was a "Uniter, not a divider."  Bush saw Washington as a very divided place after the Clinton Impeachment and he was going to reunite the entire political world and teach them all to sing (just like Coke).  He was going to bring Unity to us all.  This was his major theme.  (The equivalent is Obama's "Hope & Change" which are his major themes.)  

    Bush said we were heading into a recession, a terrible recession and he would do things to fix it (just like Obama is saying now).

    Bush was from "outside of Washington" so he wouldn't be bringing us the same old thinking but something "new and different."

    Bush was going to pick "experienced advisors."  Gosh!  How many times have I heard this from Obama supporters when anyone laments about Obama's lack of experience?    

    Bush didn't know much about foreign politics (and neither does Obama -- though Obama thinks he knows a whole bunch about it, the lack of knowledge is evident almost everytime he opens his mouth.  An "undivided Jerusalem" anyone?)  

    There are a LOT of similarities.  Too many for me.  We already had "President with Training Wheels I."  I don't need to see the sequel.

    If this was a reality show, we'd be off the air by now.    


    But Bush was a liar (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Newt on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:43:46 AM EST
    Did anyone here actually believe Bush was about uniting or doing what's right?  

    Even if Obama is flat out lying and fooling every one of us into thinking he cares about and will work for what we care about, he's still got millions of progressives with big expectations who will be involved and pushing for change.  

    That's the difference between Bush and Obama.  Us.


    Huh??!! (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:13:54 AM EST
    Of course!  Everyone believed Bush was a Uniter, not a divider!  That's why they voted for him!  (And that's why I remember his stupid slogans to this day!!!!)


    Even if Obama is flat out lying and fooling every one of us into thinking he cares about and will work for what we care about, he's still got millions of progressives with big expectations who will be involved and pushing for change.  

    Hehe!  You sure know how to give a girl a good laugh, yes?  Sure!  We'll push like we're pushing Pelosi and Reid... and Gephardt and Daschle and um, um, those other guys...  Hahahahaha!!!  

    That's the difference between Bush and Obama.  Us.

    OMG!  And then you put candles on the CAKE!!!!  I am dying over here!  Just dying!  Hahahahahaha!!!!!  


    Millions of progressives are pushing? (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:36:24 AM EST

    when? who? where?

    What do you know that I don't?


    Whatever (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Newt on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 03:36:13 AM EST
    You can laugh at me but it doesn't change what's going to happen this year.  And next year.  And hopefully for a long time after that.

    Obama is very similar to Bush 2000 (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Left of center on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:58:12 AM EST
    Yeah, Because they both won with less votes.

    Nothing different about Obama and President Bush? (5.00 / 4) (#137)
    by miriam on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:44:12 PM EST
    And you know this because....?  Obama has been nothing but talk.  And that's all I expect in the future.  He can't even choose members of a vetting group, for god's sake, without getting into trouble.  He takes no stands, equivocates about issues, is secretive if not lying about his own history, and has the most questionable associates of anyone who has ever run for Chief Executive.  At least Bush was the governor of Texas.  WHAT has Obama done that makes you confident of his ability to do anything...other than "win" cacauses?  

    ITA the time is now (none / 0) (#180)
    by bridget on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:30:38 AM EST
    to encourage the formation of a third party

    people of both parties are not happy with the choices they have and want to take a stand. NOW.

    I wrote about it upthread too but the third party does have power even without gaining majority or representation in congress (as in European countries).

    A viable third party with the right strong candidate with solid convictions will make all the difference.  People will respond. If Perot could do it it can certainly be done again ...


    Maybe the Democrat's in Congress are for immunity (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by masslib on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:37:29 PM EST
    for the telco's.  Has that occurred to anyone?

    Yes It Has (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:17:55 AM EST
    It has also occurred to me that maybe they want to have the same cooperation from the telcoms as Bush for the very same reasons.

    Me too. I actually think resistance (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by masslib on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:12:24 AM EST
    to immunity from congressional Dem's is theater for us little people.

    Some Dems have said that straight out. (none / 0) (#135)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:40:31 PM EST
    The liability for the telcos, in dollars, would be astronomical.

    astronomical? (5.00 / 5) (#145)
    by p lukasiak on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:06:28 AM EST
    you mean they spied on THAT many Americans illegally?

    the primary reason that I don't want telecom immunity isn't to punish the companies, but to throw a whole slew of the Bushco slime in jail for illegal spying on Americans.

    And without the cooperation of the telcos, we're never going to find out who belongs in jail.  And if they get immunity, they ain't gonna cooperate.


    Well, I agree with your point (none / 0) (#146)
    by MarkL on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:08:55 AM EST
    even more than Edgars!
    But it's all moot, apparently.

    That depends on the type of immunity (none / 0) (#206)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    I don't think that immunity from prosecution includes immunity of records as well. So if someone wanted to sue Cheney or Bush, for instance, for violating their constitutional rights, they could still subpoena the records from the telecoms. I think limited immunity is what the telecoms should get. Leave them their assets and go after the asses of the people who agreed to violating the rights of Americans. Let the people running the telecoms pay for it, not the shareholders. Someone in each company made the decision to allow the use of the telecoms for spying, let them go to jail, get fined, etc. but keep the companies as separate entities that cannot be held responsible. The company itself did not decide to do this, the people in the company did. I am fine with not going after the telecom assets, I just want the people to go to jail.

    They should have thought of that before... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:49:33 PM EST
    ok, I won't even go there.

    If Congress/Bush can give them immunity, then can't they limit liability to some painful yet not bankrupting amount?


    that's my position (none / 0) (#140)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:55:56 PM EST
    I'm all for doing something about this FISA abuse issue, but if all this results in is lawsuits and layoffs, then I'm inclined to calculate the progressivity of the transaction as a negative.

    it's not like any investors or upper management would be taking a hit here.


    Itt's not the main issue, I agree. (none / 0) (#142)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:57:08 PM EST
    So what about the other 99% of your (5.00 / 4) (#133)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:38:42 PM EST

    I wanted them to be accountable (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by nellre on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:43:27 PM EST
    when I was a dem.
    Since I have divorced that party, it is less painful to watch.
    Why are we always stuck with the lesser of evils?

    I googled for Huff Post column of (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:56:22 PM EST
    Cass Sunstein's that I remember reading some months ago.  Haven't found it yet.  But, as I recall, kind of like Obama's Roberts vote, Sunstein spoke of telling Obama prior to this campaign he should speak with certain people about FISA and telecomm immunity.

    Anyway, here's what I did find.  Armando on DK writing about Sunstein, Tribe, FISA, and habeas.  Quite intense and quite interesting:


    Need I remind that Sunstein is a consultant to the Obama campaign.

    Here's the Sunstein article to which (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:38:00 AM EST
    I referred above.  Doesn't discuss telecomm immunity.  Does discuss legality of FISA.  Also, no indication Sunstein is either on the Obama campaign payroll or an unpd. advisor.

    Sunstein on Huff Post


    Well, what about holding (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by oldpro on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 12:30:13 AM EST
    someone to account re the increasing uproar over Afghanistan and NATO?

    Are we waiting for McCain to ask when/if Senator Obama intends to call a subcommittee meeting and hold a hearing or two on the subject?  Finally?  At long last?

    Maybe when he gets back from McCain's suggested trip by Obama to Iraq?

    If that's the new Democratic brand of leadership...reactionary response and not that rapid...we are all doomed.



    When I discussed FISA w Feingold Friday (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:13:09 AM EST
    He said he and Dodd would do "everything they could" to stop the deal, but didn't sound hopeful.

    When (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:11:27 AM EST
    has Obama shown leadership on an issue? Maybe once or twice his entire legislative career? I certainly don't expect any leadership here.

    Money (4.50 / 2) (#46)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:21:39 PM EST
    Another point that has been ignored through all of this is how much is the government paying the telecom's for their patriotism? Maybe that's the prime reason for all this support. The telecom's are using the money they get from the government (from our tax dollars) and then they give it to the politicians. Nice work if you can get it.

    Honestly, some of you people (3.00 / 2) (#45)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:20:49 PM EST
    are really so bitter over a finished contest that your standards are out of whack. Perhaps they always were.

    I don't understand why you are (5.00 / 9) (#49)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:23:23 PM EST
    attacking Hillary for not doing something.
    Obama is the putative leader of the party.

    And Hillary is not a leader? (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:26:17 PM EST
    Must you be the foremost leader to lead?

    Is Hillary now beyond criticism?


    Do I have this right? Are you unwilling (5.00 / 6) (#57)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:27:58 PM EST
    to criticize Obama because Hillary did not lead??
    What kind of screwed up priorities do you have?

    What are you talking about? (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:29:34 PM EST
    I endorse the criticism of Obama in this post. I also criticize the unwillingness of some to criticize Hillary.

    Ordinarily I would agree with you (5.00 / 7) (#92)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:46:52 PM EST
    however, if Hillary were to make a strong public statement against telecom immunity now, the Obama campaign, the media & the Dem "leadership" in Congress would all attack her for getting ahead of Obama, trying to take control of the Fall campaign, interfering with Obama's right to determine campaign issues and timing, etc.  Obama, as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, is expected to lead.  His silence appears to be complicity in the move by Congressional Dems to give the Administration the immunity it wants.  I agree with Greenwald that this is not an issue that should not be pressing to anyone but the current Administration, and therefore the Dems in Congress should insist on leaving it for the next Administration to handle as it sees fit.  I would think Obama would want to be in a position to have input on this issue once elected.  

    Ok. I will strongly (5.00 / 7) (#118)
    by LoisInCo on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:14:45 PM EST
    scold Clinton for her lack of leadership and pretend to believe it is her responsibility; of all the Senators alone, to lead on every issue that no one else does. Do you hear me Senator Clinton? Why, I should threaten to with hold my primary vote for her to make her lead....oh wait.....

    Hillary is not relevant. (4.90 / 10) (#60)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:30:42 PM EST
    She is less important than Reid, Pelosi,  or Obama now.
    Obama's failure is worse. If Hillary were the nominee then she would be more culpable.

    This Obamaton (4.80 / 5) (#106)
    by Blogblah on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:59:54 PM EST
    I give Hill a pass on this.  As important an issue this may be, Sen. Clinton has earned a rest.  I mean that literally.  You can't imagine how exhausted she is.  She's got a lot of other stuff to do.  I really mean that, and it is not snark.  She can address this when it comes to the Senate floor, if that's called for, but she has no special reason to get out in front of this issue.  I think at some point, Obama must do so, but that it's a tough decision about when, how and in what way to be made when one speaks for one's office, the party and a presidential campaign.

    Of course she is relevant (none / 0) (#63)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:32:31 PM EST
    Her vote total alone makes her relevant.

    I think the Obama camp might disagree (5.00 / 5) (#85)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:43:38 PM EST
    Look, I have criticism for anyone on the wrong side of this. Hillary may be hamstrung because of not wanting to upstage Obama, but I still wish she were on the right side of this issue. However, I can guarantee you that if she got out in front and led on this, and embarassed Obama because he wanted to duck it (if he does) the media narrative would be all about how she was continuing to tear the party apart. She can't win on this. That said, I doubt she wants to lead on this. It's one of the things I disagree with her on.

    The difference is... (5.00 / 9) (#105)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:58:46 PM EST
    that I think that Hillary's supporters would be demanding that she take a leadership position -- and that she'd respond.  

    With the notable exception of the always exceptional BTD, I haven't seen any of Obama's big blog boiz club holding Obama's feet to the fire on this.  

    Hell, you see how the Obots here are trying to make this about Hillary -- even though the whole point of BTD's post is that the Party has a new leader whose obligation is to lead.   At best, Hillary could speak out forcefully -- but she's not in a position to say "this is what the Party stands for"....ONLY Obama can do that.  

    Its indicative of how pathetic Obama supporters tend to be that even AFTER Obama has "won", they are still using the "but Hillary is just as bad" crap.


    The Staunchly Pro-Obama (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:04:55 PM EST
    Markos did have a piece on telecom immunity yesterday; the emphasis though was how dare the Dems in Congress support it.  Other posters at dailykos, however, did raise the issue of Obama's position on the issue & call for him to publicly oppose immunity.

    Is she on the wrong side? (none / 0) (#107)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:59:55 PM EST
    I thought her and Obama showed up for a vote and she missed the second one, but her vote wouldn't have made a difference?

    I may have been misinformed (none / 0) (#116)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:11:37 PM EST
    I'd very much like it if I were!

    Yes (none / 0) (#119)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:15:26 PM EST
    it was going nowhere no matter who showed up.

    I don't see it (4.75 / 4) (#104)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:55:37 PM EST
    Hillary is a junior senator with very little seniority. Yes, she garnered 18 million votes, but does that give her actual authority over anything?  It gives her credibility, I agree, but not actual power. Heck, Obama is not even courting her supporters that I can see. I did get a recent mailing from his campaign looking for money.  Is that how he is courting Hillary supporters?

    Well, he did say that (none / 0) (#208)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:32:21 AM EST
    the people don't matter, it's their checks that he wants. So why would he court Hillary's supporters when he can just get their checks? It's not like we matter, after all. (sort of snark, but not really)

    why isn't hillary leading here? (none / 0) (#207)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:21:48 AM EST
    Like Bill did when he raced home to Arkansas in 1992 to oversee the execution of a mentally retarded man?  Was Bill more concerned with the safety of all americans by demonstrating his belief in capital punishment or was he running for president? hmm?

    You know, you really should (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:39:09 AM EST
    get your facts straight. I believe you are talking about Ricky Ray Rector?? He was not mentally retarded, he shot a cop in the back when allegedly turning himself in for a killing in a nightclub. Then he shot himself in the head, effectively lobotomizing himself. To claim he should be afforded  the same consideration as someone who is born mentally handicapped is like saying that the Menendez brothers should have been released on the grounds that they are orphans. Ricky Ray was mentally handicapped through his own actions, taken to escape the consequences of the crimes he had committed. That is not the same thing as being mentally handicapped because you were born that way. To claim it is means that any criminal can do themselves harm after a crime and claim clemency on the grounds of their "handicap".

    at the time of his execution (none / 0) (#212)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:41:19 AM EST
    he was retarded.  Period.  I don't give a rats arse how he got there.  Bill oversaw this for political purposes and nothing more.  Murder is murder, even when the state does it.  Back to the question, why isn't Hillary leading here?  

    Because Barack Obama (5.00 / 1) (#214)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:54:15 AM EST
    is now the de facto head of the Democratic Party and it's his job to lead, not Hillary's. He wanted the job, now he has it. Let's see him do it.

    Bitter (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:28:57 PM EST
    And clinging.

    To my knitting n/t (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:34:48 PM EST
    LOL the bitter knitting brigade n/t (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:38:28 PM EST
    Our problem is not with (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by FlaDemFem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:41:50 AM EST
    losing. It's with our standards. You see, the current nominee simply isn't up to them. That is our problem. And soon it's going to be yours too. Heh.

    Another great unity post BTD (2.00 / 4) (#95)
    by riddlerandy on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:48:12 PM EST
    throw some more  red meat to the Obama haters

    Obama will (5.00 / 8) (#99)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:49:59 PM EST
    stand or not on his own.  What is posted here does not by itself support or detract from Obama's chances in the Fall.  Obama's chances will be determined primarily but what he does between now and then and his record.  

    And P.S. (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:51:53 PM EST
    Markos had a story yesterday decrying the actions of the Dems in Congress on telecom immunity and I read one or more posts on the same issue at dailykos, with many commentators from this pro-Obama site calling on him to take a strong stand.

    the race is over, remember (5.00 / 11) (#102)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:52:30 PM EST
    now we're onto the national scene and the big issues and wanting some leadership from Obama and congress. And we don't see it and we're complaining. What would you want us all to do? Just bite our tongue and support Obama to win no matter what he really stands for, and without demanding anything in return for our support. That would be crazy.

    Tell me how this works (5.00 / 11) (#112)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:03:24 PM EST
    We're all supposed to vote for him because he's the effing Democratic nominee, but we're not allowed to criticize him because -- why exactly?  Because we shouldn't criticize our elected officials? Because we shouldn't expect them to reflect our interests? Because we should just accept their views and not try to influence them?  Please explain, because I seriously don't understand. Unity does not mean we all become brain-dead. I'm definitely not interested in unifying with someone that I'm not allowed to criticize when they are wrong.

    Grass fed naturally raised please. (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:08:45 PM EST
    BTD, lllllleavvve barrrrraccckkkk allllonnnne (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:51:43 PM EST
    All the poor guy wants is to move into the White House be lllllllefffftttt allllonnnne to consider actions, and come out occasionally to bask in applause.

    It's a dirty job ...


    You're right. (none / 0) (#192)
    by lilburro on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:41:12 AM EST
    BTD should just post that picture of Obama running on the beach until November 5th.

    Please hold on here (none / 0) (#62)
    by Blogblah on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:31:39 PM EST
    I think a few of you are a little off track.  The reason for Pelosi and Obama acting the way they are on this bill is purely political and party-oriented.  There are "blue dog" Dems from conservative districts that can't vote against this bill.  If Pelosi or Reid or Obama put their feet to the fire, it would mean big trouble for the coming majorities and the 50-state strategy by jeopardizing votes needed for lots of other things.  Also, consider McCain's ties to the telcom committee and industry and the lobbyists inside his campaign structure.  There's an EXACT time for everything.  Too many of you are still fighting the last war.

    Capitulate so we can grow the majority? (5.00 / 8) (#65)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:33:28 PM EST

    So you are a writer of satire. (5.00 / 8) (#67)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:35:23 PM EST
    I wasn't sure before.

    I beg to differ (5.00 / 6) (#96)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:48:17 PM EST
    Polls show that a majority of Americans are against telecom immunity.  

    There's an EXACT time for everything? (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 02:14:05 AM EST
    A couple of questions:

    Will I still be alive when that EXACT time gets here or will my grandchildren have grandkids before it arrives?

    Will there still be anything left of the Constitution or our democracy  when that EXACT time gets here.

    IIRC elections happen every two years and the Dems are always keeping their powder dry and capitulating to increase their chances for the next election.


    Unbelievable logic (4.90 / 10) (#84)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:43:11 PM EST
    We should concent to trashing the Constitution to maintain a majority. If the only way to keep power is to corrupt it, then I give up. And this isn't the "old Battles" This is here and now. I know there are people out there that believe in the 50 state strategy but if it means we throw away our core values what is the point of it?  

    Pelosi just declared (4.83 / 6) (#78)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:40:51 PM EST
    that there will be a vote on FISA before July 4th on a bill that will be signed by the President.  Bush won't sign anything without telco immunity.

    All Pelosi and Reid have to do is make sure there's not a vote.  Just wait until after the GE, when there will be more Dems in Congress.  They don't have to put anyone's feet to the fire.


    if they capitulate on this one (5.00 / 5) (#97)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 10:48:34 PM EST
    I'm not sure there would be more dems in congress. Why should there be? What would be the difference? Well, there are lots of differences, but you get the idea. I'm ticked.

    Seriously. (5.00 / 6) (#114)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:05:40 PM EST
    Why should we have to sit here and cater to the conservatives? If we're going to let Dems in safe areas vote like conservatives, what the heck is the point in controlling congress, or anything for that matter? Geeze, don't sit there and tell me I have to vote Dem to fight off the scary Republicans, LOL!~ Damn they're getting pathetic!

    that seems to be the party line. (none / 0) (#198)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:03:54 AM EST
    vote for a democrat no matter what or you'll perish. true the repubs have been an awful party especially these last seven years, but i have to tell you there is a reason congressional poll numbers are so low. they aren't doing their jobs.

    Wasn't Pelosi's Statement (none / 0) (#110)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:01:18 PM EST
    from yesterday?

    the question is whose interest are they (none / 0) (#199)
    by hellothere on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:07:37 AM EST
    serving? it would appears ours is very low on their list. and i should be loyal to what may i ask. come on some of ya'll who love to post. please tell what i should be loyal to now. i would like to know. in fact i rather believe americans want to know as well. the argument that i'd better vote for the democrat had a lot of merit with me. but now? i am not so sure.

    oh now now hairspray (none / 0) (#121)
    by tben on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:19:13 PM EST
    Have you ever read anything I have written? Sounds like you just want to get in a little snarky comment. Thats not very big of you.

    Countrywide (none / 0) (#124)
    by WakeLtd on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:24:27 PM EST
    "Not sure I know him but maybe I do. Not sure I got preferential treatment but maybe I did. Not sure being a powerful Senator has anything to do with it but maybe it does. Not sure of one damn thing but you can't prove anything." Bottom line: he knew Angelo, got a sweet deal from Angelo when average Americans were having their throats cut by the mortgage meltdown. Let's stop allowing party loyalty to obscure reality.

    When the people lead... (none / 0) (#167)
    by Newt on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 01:33:37 AM EST
    I think the problem we have with our elected Democrats is that we can't expect them to take a lead on the hot button issues that will basically get them fired if they vote in a way that can be used against them.  How do you vote against funding the war and not end up in ads that say you didn't support the troops.  Sure, it's a big old lie when the right wing distorts their votes, but Dems really can't do what's right unless we are SO behind them that they can safely stick their necks out.  
    We have a great guy from Oregon, Rep Peter DeFazio, and he takes very progressive stands.  He always votes against congressional pay raises, then when they pass (they always do, of course), he donates that percentage increase in pay to some charity.  He's also taken a stand against the war, against FISA, against torture, for equal rights for gays, and for many other progressive issues.  But he's a rep from Oregon.  We happen to a large group of active progressives here, and ACTIVE is the key piece.  Otherwise, he'd have been swiftboated and fired long ago.
    When it comes to things like the war, terrorism and campaign finance reform, it's really up to us to make a stand.  When 80-95% of us actually vote, we'll see real change.

    I hope this year starts a whole new pattern of citizen involvement and progressive change, because that's the only way we can salvage our country and our democracy.

    I agree (none / 0) (#191)
    by lilburro on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:39:10 AM EST
    that Clinton's feet should be held to the fire, as well as Obama's.  Knowing that Obama doesn't find Daily Kos particularly interesting, or any other blog presumably, I'm not exactly sure how that will be done.  

    It amazes me that Dems have to be pushed into doing this.  Why are they ripping off the Republican brand?  Are they letting this slide so Republicans cannot propogandize with it in November?

    Reaaallly weak.

    Suggestion: let's ask Ben Masel to (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:37:03 AM EST
    call Russ Feingold again and ask Feingold, who supports Obama, to pose our challenge to Obama.

    Accountability rather than Escape Legislation (none / 0) (#210)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:33:53 AM EST
     Mr. Bush deliberately ignored FISA requirements of a warrant to intercept domestic communications; bypassed FISA court proceedings (before or after); authorized warrantless wiretaps, intercepted emails and international calls; and superseded laws passed by the Congress and the Constitution's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.  Moreover, Mr. Bush lied in a speech stating that we need not worry about such things, since a "court order" is obtained. The retroactive legal shield for communication giants is a critical step to protect the administration from discovery of the extent of it lawlessness. The Congressional Democrats should not be considering ways and means to legalize the illegal,  but to convert the charges into Articles of Impeachment.  This would be a great leadership pathway for Senator Obama to take with Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.