I mean it, that’s it.
Chris Dodd for president.
I said I couldn’t pick and I couldn’t commit and you know what? It wasn’t me, it was them. I just hadn’t heard anything that got me enough. I heard ittoday:
If this disastrous war has taught us anything, it is that the Senate must never again stack such a momentous decision on such a weak foundation of fact. The decision we’re asked to make today is not, of course, as immense. But between fact and decision, the disproportion is just as huge.
So I rise in determined opposition to this unprecedented immunity and all that it represents. I have served in this body for more than a quarter-century. I have spoken from this desk hundreds and hundreds of times. I have rarely come to the floor with such anger.
But since I came to Washington, I have seen six presidents sit in the White House—and I have never seen a contempt for the rule of law equal to this. Today I have reached a breaking point. Today my disgust has found its limit.
I don’t expect every one of my colleagues to share that disgust, or that limit. I wish they did—but had that been the case, we would never have come to this point.
I only ask them to believe me when I say if I did not speak today, my conscience would not let me rest.
(I know, I know, I know how badly this is gonna hurt, but right now, I’m drunk with it, spinning, crazy, intoxicated, up in the air, don’t talk sense to me, don’t you dare say one sensible word about thinking about my future and weighing all my options and going to college instead of running away with the handsome man in the green tie. I want this moment to be worth the hangover I can already feel nibbling around the edges of that second glass of red. Don’t talk me down, I like it up here.)
I think my favorite moment of the approximately 12 billion hours of Senatorial nonsense we sat through (you and me and everybody else crammed into the crack van, calling Harry a fucker and talking about Scout’s Christmas ham), I think my very favorite moment came at the end. When Harry Reid, beaten and pissed off, told Dodd the bill would just come back in January, and Dodd said fine. Bring it back. But if it includes retroactive immunity, again, I’m just gonna filibuster it. So bring it back.
I’ll come back, and my supporters will come back, and their friends and families and co-workers and neighbors will come back, and Feingold and Kerry and Boxer and Cardin and Wyden and Nelson and Kennedy will come back, andmy country tis of thee the United States of America will come back and we’ll keep doing this until you get it. I don’t care how long it takes. Until you get it, until you stop this, we will keep pushing, so just shut up and take it like the man you say you are.
(I may be paraphrasing a bit there. But only a bit.)
Harry’s displeased. But if he really opposed retroactive immunity, he’d have honored Dodd’s hold. He’d stop knuckling under. He’d stop compromising. He’d stop giving the president everything the president wants. He’d stop backing down. I’m really sorry Harry’s pissed off, I am. But I’m sorrier, you know, about ALL THE LAWS BEING BROKEN, and until Harry figures out that there are harder things than this, he’s just gonna have to stay pissed off, and that’s the end of that.
While we’re at it, man, was the Republican ass parade in full swing today. Kit Bond, saying we weren’t granting the telecoms immunity because they didn’t do anything wrong, but even if they didn’t, they still needed immunity. For stuff. That they didn’t do. Mitch McConnell, autowittering on about how senators had worked all weekend on their pretty
diorama bill, and how dare Dodd and Feingold point out where the glue was showing! Jeff Sessions, who … I don’t know, his mouth was moving, but all I heard was “9/11 made my penis small” and then Saxby Chambliss showed up at which point I thought it best to go clean the litterbox. All the greatest assholes of our time, one after another, talking about how difficult it was for them to see our country so defiled by those dirty fucking hippies and their insistence on debate.
Obama didn’t come out of itlooking too bad, I do have to say:
It’s not clear whether he can return for the vote, but under the Senate rules, the side trying to end a filibuster must produce 60 votes to cut off debate. Whether he is present for the vote for not, Senator Obama will not be among those voting to end the filibuster.
But Dodd … his campaign forwarded around thisassy thing the Chicago Tribune did, full of their usual smugly superior tone, that “aren’t you activists just socute” thing that’s like their institutional default, about how he was doing this to make a splash for his campaign. Because, yeah. What you want to do to attract the attention of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire is to stand in a near-empty Senate in Washington a week before Christmas giving speeches about a bill most Americans couldn’t identify if you stuck it in a lineup with Siegfried, Roy and a breakfast pastry. That’ll get all the girlies wanting to scream. I am not entirely un-self-aware. I realize a handful of people are paying attention to this.
That doesn’t make it worth less, though. That makes it worth more. Dodd should get some turkee out of this. He should get some blogospheric love. But in the end? Is that gonna put him in Clinton-Obama-Edwards poll territory? Fuck no. I’m not that round the bend, that I think this will be the thing that begins a wave of nationwide Doddmania that sweeps the country. He won’t win the presidency based on this.
But he should. Oh, he should. Because what he did today was to stop trying to convince me he should have the job, and just start doing the job. He did what leaders do: Get out in front of the thing nobody else even notices is happening, and take it where it ought to have been in the first place. He made an example out of himself. He could have done this thing, where he went on the Sunday shows and talked about how Democrats really ought to be strong leaders and they ought to put aside their own interests and work for their constituents and they really ought to do this, that and the other fucking thing. He could have talked all day long about what Democrats should be doing.
Instead he got up, as a Democrat, and did it.
The bill will come back in January. He’ll be there.
We’ll all be there.