You’ve Got Someone To Blame

Thanks. Thanks a million.

A comment exchange over at the Great Sherbert Satan I found interesting:

[At any rate, it’s the Blue Dogs, not Pelosi] who should be blamed, and maybe not even Hoyer, from what I can see. What’s the matter with those guys – how could they possibly want to let this slip by without action against the violators? This is like a big fat completely undeserved gift for Bush and Cheney. Did you notice that even the Republicans were surprised they were able to get so much in the negotiations? Disgusting.

The blame for this absolute travesty and capitulation of the lowest order rests squarely on Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Harry Reid’s shoulders. The blue dogs don’t get to determine what bills are brought to the floor to be voted on. That’s the House Leadership’s job. This is all their (Hoyer in particular) fault and every last one of them or any other Dem. who votes for this fascist bullshit should be ridden out on a rail, tarred and feathered and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law for violating the Constitution and lying to the American people.

Follow the ladder upward. Pelosi and Hoyer are supposedly grown-ups, displaying an astonishing level of self-absorbed crap for which a 12-year-old would be grounded for a week. I just heard Hoyer say on the floor that “this was the best bill we could get in the current environment.” What environment would that be? The one in which the president who pushes this bill has a 24 percent approval rating? The one in which Republicans can’t hang on to seats in Mississippi? The one in which the Republican nominee can’t find his ass with a searchlight and a posse? That environment? Is that the one you’re talking about? The environment of stunning electoral pwnage marred only by the lack of realization on your part that you’refucking in charge right now?

Wait. No. Silly blogger. You mean the environment in which your “Blue Dogs” are able to tell you, Mr. Majority Leader, Madam Speaker, what to do. You mean the environment in which a couple dozen members of your party are able to do whatever the fuck they like because you, and Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Reid, lack the ability to tell them to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down on issues of fundamental importance to Constitutional authority in this country. That’s the “current environment.” That’s where you’re at, scared of your own shadows. Unable to get your own people to follow you.

Nice job, really, nice job. What did you want to be when you grew up? And why, for the love of heaven, aren’t youthat?

Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold, it’s in your hands now. Fuck this up and I will be writing you both letters asking for my $50 back.

And speaking of my $50, anytime Sen. Obama would like to come striding back into the halls of power with righteousness in the soles of his shoes and give a blistering, thundering, lift-the-house-off-the-ground speech (something I’m told he’s good at, just a rumor I heard) in support of the rule of law and in defiance to the president whose policies he opposes every day on the campaign trail, that would be appreciated:

At this point, Barack Obama is the nominal leader of the Democratic Party. He’s opposed to retroactive immunity for the telecoms, and everyone who was opposed to it before this so-called “deal” was struck is, you’ll notice, still opposed to it, though some have opted to throw up their hands and pretend they’re being forced to vote on it.

But a word from Barack Obama at this point would have the potential to change everything. A word from him saying that this “deal” stands in direct contradiction to the agenda he’s bringing to the presidential race would weigh heavily on Majority Leader Harry Reid, who’s really only getting heavy pressure from Intelligence committee chairman Jay Rockefeller on this, and thus is likely to be inclined (despite his own opposition to immunity) to grease that particular squeaky wheel. There could be a counterbalance from Judiciary chairman Pat Leahy, but so far, we haven’t heard that squeak. He’s issued a statement saying he opposes the “deal,” but he’s not pushing the way Rockefeller is pushing. And though Reid is the Majority Leader, that’s as much a service position as it is a leadership position. His membership just isn’t telling him no. The voices that are speaking with conviction are the voices saying yes.

Barack Obama, though, is the heavyweight in the arena right now, and his voice, properly applied, could be worth a dozen chairmen. But he’s not using it, and in fact, there’s no guarantee he ever will.

But get us into next week, pitch a fight in the Senate, back the Congress up against the recess wall, and call in the biggest gun we have, and we just might have that snowflake’s chance in the hot place.

Yes, I know he’s spoken against telecom immunity before, and it was appreciated muchly. This is professional short-attention-span theater. He needs to do it again, and he needs to do it now, and he needs to pick up the chair and he needs tohit ’em again, harder, harder. Five months until the election. Crunch time. Chair’s right in front of you.


11 thoughts on “You’ve Got Someone To Blame

  1. Yeah, athenae, this is how I blogged it:
    For All the Marbles:
    Someone, maybe Alice Walker, said once that we all get a chance to show how courageous we can be–its not something that happened just for someone else some other time, or for our grandparents–our opportunity is going to come along in our own lifetimes, if we recognize it. Well, its FISA time and, to me, its Obama’s chance. I expect him to muff it. But if I could write any speech for him I’d write two speeches–one for the Democratic Senators caucus and one for the Republicans. Hide The one he would give to the Democrats–with Lieberman listening at the keyhole–would go like this. “There’s a very, very, good chance that I am going to make it all the way to the White House in this election. We are playing now for *all the marbles*–control of the Executive, Senate, House and Judiciary. This is a huge fight and we win or lose together. If you want me on your side, campaigning for you this fall or any other year, you will do what I ask you now. Vote against telecom immunity. Its bad for this country, its bad for the rule of law, and its bad for your standing as respected member of our new majority party. ’nuff said.” To the Republicans he should say “I’m calling a press conference and I’m going to be utterly frank with the people. I’m going to say “your republican leadership is accusing me of being a stealth dictator, some kind of robert mugabe clone who is going to drag this country down to misrule and an utter failure of law and governance. Well, the democrats and I stand for exactly the opposite. We don’t think any president–no matter how popular–should have the right to make new laws or break our old traditions. We don’t think the president should decide who gets spied on, or who gets arrested–we think our traditional liberties and our laws should remain inviolate. But I believe that I will win the next election so let me put this in language that even your current republican representatives can understand–if you think that I, as president, will be such a tyrannical autocrat what on earth are you doing give the president and the telecoms unlimited power to break the law–unlimited powers of search, seizure, detention and torture? Either you are lying about what you think I’m going to do with these unlimited powers, or you just don’t know what you are voting to destroy. The Democrats stand for the constitution and our historic liberties–what do the republicans stand for?”
    Now is the time. DC is the place. We’re waiting for you, Senator Obama.

  2. If Obama surprises me and speaks out loudly and forcefully against this bill I’ll know he’s for real. Otherwise, it’ll confirm what I already suspect – that he’s just another corporate tool who won’t make a differece. You just can’t be too cynical.

  3. He needs to do it again, and he needs to do it now, and he needs to pick up the chair and he needs to hit ’em again, harder, harder. Five months until the election. Crunch time. Chair’s right in front of you.
    But why is Obama still supporting John Barrow (who’s FOR immunity) over Regina Thomas (who’s against it)?
    That fucks him re being in a position to speak out against telecom immunity. He’ll be an open target.

  4. Great post Athenae. That just about sums it up.
    Do you think Dodd’s troubles with his mortgage deal will hobble him in this fight?

  5. In this particular slice of time, I’m less concerned about Obama’s public action/reaction than the Yay votes of the pants-wetting, morally retarded assholes in the House.
    But. I hope to god he’s doing something behind the scenes to stop this BS from becoming law.

  6. Senator Obama needs a lot of us to continue donating to his campaign now that he has opted out of federal financing of the campaign. I plan to donate, but I agree that if he has the balls to be president he has to demonstrate it right now. He has to at least make a strong attempt to stop this abomination in the Senate.
    In private he needs to point out to the other Democratic senators that he will most likely become our president, and will have the ability to help out many senators in getting reelected. That help will not go to those who would rape the constitution with this vote. Nor can they presume he will speak well of them to their constituents if they don’t stop this bill. LBJ knew exactly how to play that game. Obama needs to learn and learn very quickly.
    As Athenae pointed out in an earlier post, sometimes leadership requires courage. Let’s see if Obama has any.

  7. I just called the Obama HQ (866-675-2008; Call now!) and said I wanted to get a message through to the campaign. The volunteer (I assume) who answered immediately asked, “About the FISA bill?” I answered yes and then said my piece (“Obama needs to step up to the plate because the congressional leadership is failing to do what they should; this issue is of fundamental importance to the country.”) The volunteer then said, before I hung up, “Just to let you know, We’ll be releasing a statement on the bill this afternoon.” FWIW

  8. i was feeling so good about obama that two days ago i contributed to his campaign.
    my first political contribution in my life (over half a century).
    i’m sorry now i did. i could have made today’s contribution to ActBlue’s fund to stop the telecom immunity larger.
    this is all just so wrong.
    with this capitulation, the democrats in congress have given up any hope there may have been to compel testimony through subpoenaes and production of documents on the wide variety of very important issues.
    my days of holding back funds is over. i will be contributing to any democratic challenger to hoyer, pelosi, reid, rockefeller, etc.
    i’m marking my calendar now for when they’ll each be up for re-election.

  9. karen marie, Obama won a lot of points from me when he showed up to vote with Dodd last time around. This is a disappointment. I don’t know what it is about people in power being reluctant to use that power; he’s a US Senator, if he doesn’t want to do stuff with that, what’s he there for?
    Primary challenges are good. Keep them honest, remind them who their bosses are. Whoever runs against Hoyer is getting my turkee.

  10. I’m with you A.
    I think our champions Dodd and Feingold will let this die a quick death in the days before a long July 4th weekend the warrantless wiretapping of Americans on US soil that Feingold was ready to censure the President over will never be spoken of again in polite DC company.
    A fight isn’t really a fight unless you are willing to risk something in the fighting and on this issue I haven’t seen any of THAT from Dodd or Feingold. Or, sadly, from Obama. Blah blah blah constitution blah spying blah outrage blah blah Bush blah blah hedge blah blah blah blah epic fail.

  11. In a way, I think Senator Obama is worse than President Bush. Between Senstor Obama’s position on the telecom immunity, his rejection of public campagin financing, and his speech about Japanese and Korean beef imports, he hasn’t even been nominated and he’s turning his back on everything that made us invest our hopes in him.
    Bush at least waited until he was in office to destroy our illusions.

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