Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Franken, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn

despite my concern that he is a grade-A dick, Al Franken will be my hero this afternoon.

as described here, he read the Fourth Amendment to a DoJ official, asking him to square the DoJ position on "roving wiretaps" with the express language of the amendment.

The DoJ off'l responded "this is surreal."

I'm sure that the DoJ off'l fears he'll now be tortured in order to extract an explanation. . . .


btw -- a quick reminder: it's an official on behalf of the Obama Administration. F*scists come in all shapes and sizes.

16 comments:

Mythical Monkey said...

Yeah, but nobody's quartered troops in your house recently, have they.

Of course, it's no longer peacetime, so all bets are off.

The Jestaplero said...

Obama is literally Hitler!

I blame Bush-Cheney. They set the unconstitutional policies through fear mongering. They put the next president in an untenable political position.

Obama has scaled back some excesses, but nowhere near enough, so I don't give him credit for that.

But if he reversed Bush-Cheney wholesale and the country had another 9/11-type attack, Obama would be roasted alive for "leaving us vulnerable to teh terrorists!!!"

So he's in a pickle. I get that. I don't think it's fair to call him a fascist. I don't think he had that inclination, nor if he had been president on 9/11 would he have shredded the constitution...though I speculate.

I blame Bush-Cheney.

Thomas Paine said...

I blame Bush-Cheney. They set the unconstitutional policies through fear mongering. They put the next president in an untenable political position.

They certainly did. The policy was initially established by them as they lorded fear and vaguely McCarthy-like accusations.

They are, of course, no longer administering the policy.

Obama has scaled back some excesses, but nowhere near enough, so I don't give him credit for that.

I like that we've now switched places, somewhat, from 2007-ish times, so that I can upbraid you for not being sufficiently impassioned in your denunciation. I note that you passively reserve credit -- where's the outrage, sir? How dare you!

But if he reversed Bush-Cheney wholesale and the country had another 9/11-type attack, Obama would be roasted alive for "leaving us vulnerable to teh terrorists!!!"

Yes, he would. That's why we voted for him to implement change we can believe in, and make the right decisions and take the heat.

OR he can make his best case that the roving wiretaps comply with the Fourth Amendment, take the Mild Heat (that roasts no one alive) of us "fringe" advocates for the Constitution, and then win or lose in court.

Of course, it's craven. Contemptible, considering his denunciation during the campaign. But wholly expected considering his craven response to TelCom Immunity.

So he's in a pickle. I get that. I don't think it's fair to call him a fascist. I don't think he had that inclination, nor if he had been president on 9/11 would he have shredded the constitution...though I speculate.


I guess you're right. He's a craven politician with contempt for the Bill of Rights.

I blame Bush-Cheney.

You would.


Pinko

The Jestaplero said...

I note that you passively reserve credit -- where's the outrage, sir? How dare you!

Oh, but I *am* outraged!


At Bush-Cheney


...and the entire right-wing establishment who "initially established [the policies as] they lorded fear and [not very] vaguely McCarthy-like accusations."

I don't think Obama's basic inclination is contempt for the Bill of Rights. I think he finds himself in a box with no good options. I don't like it but I know how we got here.

Wholesale recission is potential political suicide. You once told me (re: J. Kerry) a politician's job is not to uphold principle, but to get elected, so I'd have thought you would approve.

If Obama reversed Bush-Cheney completely, and we were attacked, the right-wing noise machine would crucify him -- even if policy change in no way contributed to the attack. Reasoned debate with the right is impossible in the current climate. These are people whose response to moderate health care reform is "DEATH PANELS!!!!!"

I blame Bush-Cheney.



PS I agree with you re: "mild heat" and TelCom. I don't even think that was politically expedient.

Thomas Paine said...

I don't think Obama's basic inclination is contempt for the Bill of Rights. I think he finds himself in a box with no good options. I don't like it but I know how we got here.

I think he has an excellent option -- rescind the roving wiretaps. Announce that the government shouldn't be conducting unreasonable searches, and must obtain a warrant to conduct its search.

I know how we got here, and I know that we're still here. Heroes are the people who do the difficult in the face of a lot of "reasonable" arguments not to do them.

Wholesale recission is potential political suicide. You once told me (re: J. Kerry) a politician's job is not to uphold principle, but to get elected, so I'd have thought you would approve.

I don't approve at all. I think you misunderstood the thrust of my argument. Being noble and ditching political expediency for that nobility when you haven't been elected and can't affect policy is feckless.

Having been elected and now being the master of the policy, the president has no excuse. Getting re-elected is not necessary to change the policy.

Bush and Cheney implemented the policy to get re-elected; Obama is doing the same.

If the has merit, make the argument and accept those political and legal consequences. If it has no merit, do the same.

President wants to avoid political fallout entirely -- casts himself as the man remedying those outlandish mistakes of the prior administration, then perpetuates them to avoid being roasted.

We call this "politics as usual."

If he'd run as a politics-as-usual kinda guy, or now admitted it's politics as usual, I wouldn't describe him as craven -- just wrong.

Thomas Paine said...

haven't had one of these dust-ups in I don't know how long.


Goody!

Thomas Paine said...

I forgot: craven fascist!

The Jestaplero said...

Here's the problem, re: re-election:

I don't think it's necessarily incumbent on Obama to commit political suicide to right Bush-Cheney's evils, thereby handing the White House right back to insane right-wingers who got us here in the first place.

I don't approve that many of the unconstitutional policies are still in place, but if the alternative is a Palin or Romney administration, I'd rather live in an Obama fascist police state.

Mister Parker said...

Between the two of you, you demonstrate the problem with shredding the constitution in the first place. Once you do it, it's almost impossible to go back. The majority isn't much of a fan of the Bill of Rights since it's designed to check the will of the majority so anytime we water down one of those rights, you aren't going to find much of a constituency for shoring it back up again. And since most of what we do in a democratic republic requires the consent of the governed, without a constituency for a policy, it's not going to be a policy for long.

I think Bush-Cheney didn't need to go as far as they did for political reasons. How could it have been for political reasons? They kept most of it secret for as long as they could.

But there's no going back in secret. So there's no going back.

I always blame the arsonist who sets the fire not the fireman who can't put it out.

And by the way, I can't be bothered to be more articulate than that. I'm trying to write about Le Million for the second time in a week and I don't even have the DVD handy to make notes from. And I don't get paid for this anyway, or anything else either for that matter, and life has no meaning and eventually I will die and be completely forgotten, so who cares.

Thomas Paine said...

I always blame the arsonist who sets the fire not the fireman who can't put it out.

You mean the fireman explaining why the fire is good, and defensible, and it's necessary not to check its progress, but to also roundly proclaim that you're against fire?

I said all along that the problem with the Boosh administration was its wholesale disregard for any conventions -- the working arrangements that propped up the whole system. US Attys., Fourth Amendment, "harsh interrogation methods" -- it's difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Of course, it's also not impossible.

I really did think that the guy was committed in some way to change. A decision to punt on the Bill of Rights to keep the White House is indistinguishable from Boosh. You're telling me that both embraced popular will and approval and political expediency -- or that both believe that it is genuinely necessary for the safety and survival of the country.

Of course, that's the best-case scenario. The worst-case is that Boosh & Co. did it out of safety concerns, and our current president does it out of adherance to popular will, approval, and political expediency. I can't go that far.

That would be wrong.


And Jestaplero or Myth Mon, a genuine question -- outside of the abstractions of what they "stand for," which are the administration policies and programs that you are pleased with, and that have been well-implemented and conducted? Jest has endorsed the admin over a Rahmney or Palein, and I wonder if its the policies as implemented, or the general thrust and beliefs of the opponents.

Thomas Paine said...

And I don't get paid for this anyway, or anything else either for that matter, and life has no meaning and eventually I will die and be completely forgotten, so who cares.

THIS is courtesy of Tom Rogers, as implemented by Grahame Davies. . . .

Thomas Paine said...

You mean the fireman explaining why the fire is good, and defensible, and it's necessary not to check its progress, but to also roundly proclaim that ** he's ** against fire?

Ooops; I never proof comments.

Hell, I used to never proofread work product

Thomas Paine said...

More proofing:

Jest has endorsed the admin over a Rahmney or Palein, and I wonder if its the policies as implemented, or the general thrust and beliefs of * * * the administration and its * * * opponents.

Mister Parker said...

There's probably some well-reasoned analysis of the position I adhere to somewhere on the internet. A quick google search will no doubt uncover it.

Mister Parker said...

As for assessing Obama's presidency, it's like trying to assess a football game with three minutes left in the first quarter. I'll let you know what I think of Obama's presidency in the spring of 2012.

The Jestaplero said...

I've been fairly unimpressed with Obama on domestic issues so far, but on foreign policy he's been a huge improvement over Bush-Cheney, in that he actually conducts himself like a reasoning adult.

But by far the greatest advantage of the Obama administration is that it is not the McCain-Palin administration. I'm fairly certain that by now McCain would have invaded Iran, touched off World War III in the Mideast, and then died of a heart attack thereby leaving the Wasilla Whackjob guide us gallantly through all kinds of newly-created neocon clusterfucks. Remember, we must never question anything Israel does.