Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Dumbest Move the Dems Could Make?

I missed this in the WaPo in August.

Tomasky makes the same case here, you see all over, though perhaps more clearly. It's fairly clear that Bush deserves to be impeached, but--or so goes the line--this would be politically inexpedient for the Democrats.

Since McCain has basically cinched the nomination, we're guaranteed of a fairly reasonable Republican nominee. This makes it rather less important for the Dems to win in November (though it is, still, important). This makes me less interested in arguments from political expediency. And I'm not that partial to the Democrats anyway.

More importantly, I think that it's more important in the long run to reign in rogue administrations. If the President deserves to be impeached, then Congress has an obligation to impeach him even if it will be bad for them politically. It is not optional.

Now, one might argue that Bush should not be impeached (if, say, one were from Mars...). That's a different story. But to admit that he should but then refuse to do so out of fear is craven in the extreme. The message is: if your party is mean enough and powerful enough and sufficiently willing to demagogue the issue, you are immune from impeachment. Ergo there are basically no checks on your power.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can think of two reasons to want a more-or-less reaonable Republican in the White House.

1. By and large, I don't like it when both houses of Congress and the Presidency are controlled by one party.

2. I have a suspicion that anyone, Republican or Democrat, who takes office in 2009 will be tarred with the Jimmy Carter syndrome: blamed for stagflation that was largely the fault of the previous occupant of the White House. (Nixon and Rumsfeld used price controls to keep the lid on until they got out, the dirty bastards. The Bushies instead want to 'save our economy' by bailing out crooked banks with bad loans. The dirty bastards.)

On the other hand, I don't know what kind of Supreme Court justices McCain would nominate. Some of those folks have been around a long, long time.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Although I've seen Dennis Kucinich, George McGovern and several others make laundry lists of complaints, it always hit me as trying to mash a bunch of turkeys together to try and make an eagle.

I've never seen an impeachment charge I thought could stick.

I agree with your premise, that impeachment can certainly be a duty, WS; however, we had a 2004 election that was a greater and more satisfactory test of constitutional justice.

It seems to me, then, that a successful charge would further be on a matter that occurred after the 2004 election or was unknown until after it. I've seen little or nothing that remotely meets that measure, even on the various laundry lists.

5:53 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

That thing about the 2004 election is hilarious.

I just thought I'd say that. I rarely read your comments anymore, TVD, (and unfortunately, I therefore rarely read the comment sections AT ALL since SOMEONE monopolizes EVERY ONE OF THEM) since I have, you know, actual philosophy to read, but that is just so ludicrously hilarious that I wanted to say something.


If you think a vote, nevermind the fact that there is enough evidence to at least make the belief that it was rigged a non-laughable position to hold, is a "greater and more satisfactory test of constitutional justice" than an actual congressional impeachment and investigation, then you truly are absurdly insane.

I mean, by that logic, why do we bother with grand juries and trials? Let's just have the news slap up some extremely poorly researched stuff about the allegations against a guy, with extremely poorly researched evidence given for and against it, presented in the interest of being "balanced" far surpassing and outdoing the interest of finding the truth, all combined and served up with ratings to be the first and foremost concern of the servers, and then have a vote!

We could just have weekly votes instead of a legal system! It'd be great! Surely a greater and more satisfactory test of justice.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

As a test, I leave some of WS' posts uncommented upon. They're the ones with zero comments from anyone else, either.

And if I make a comment that nobody directly responds to, I don't comment again.

Otherwise, I seem to attract discussion and discussants, for which I do not apologize.

You think partisan impeachments are better than elections? OK.

6:54 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

No, see, your claim was not "elections are better than partisan impeachments" - it was "that impeachment can certainly be a duty, WS; however, we had a 2004 election that was a greater and more satisfactory test of constitutional justice"

See, you said that the election was better than "impeachment" - not "partisan impeachment".

7:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Do you have a point?

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He just made it, Tom; the question is whether you have a response.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I put it to you, Mr. Doyle---absent any new facts, are impeachments as good as elections?

By 1996, the nation at large knew that Bill Clinton was a lying philanderer and that Gennifer Flowers had told the truth. They re-elected Clinton anyway, and charges that the GOP impeachment was trying to "undo the election" were quite valid.

The only impeachment that's not partisan is the one you don't have to actually go through with, like Nixon's which would have had bi=partisan support.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Vladimir Putin is one of the most legitimate rulers of all time then, having won two elections by wide margins, 70% of the vote the second time. I mean, it's all about elections, right?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Russia is another can of worms. I answered the challenges to my original comment, and contrary to a recent slander, I don't wish to monopolize anything.

So please, let me go. Besides, I don't know if you're the good anonymous or the one who insults me. I have no desire to talk anymore with the latter anonymous, as he's proven he is not a gentleman of good faith.


5:35 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

The fact that someone was re-elected is either poor or no evidence that he should not be impeached. Being unpopular is one thing, breaking the law is another.

7:55 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Yes. I reiterate my shock at the fact that you would suggest that an election is better than impeachment for determining whether or not someone is behaving illegally.

I'd also like to point out that, again, even when only 5 measley posts are involved, you provide various differing theses and are unable to stick to one.

I shall chart this out for you to make it as clear as possible despite the fact that I've done this before and you've ignored it.

1) Tom claims that the 2004 election was a "greater and more satisfactory test of constitutional justice" than impeachment.

2) Mystic points out that this is a laughably stupid position to hold.

3) Tom attempts to reiterate his point, but only confuses it with a second thesis, that elections are better than partisan impeachments.

4) Mystic points out that Tom is confusing this new thesis with his previous thesis.

5) Tom reverts to his previous thesis, and claims not only that elections are better than impeachments for determining the illegality of presidential behavior, but that the only impeachment that isn't partisan is one that doesn't have to be carried out, presumably indicating that any president faced with a non-partisan, proper impeachment will resign in face of the charges. This is clearly false.

6) And now here we are, to my post, where I not only reiterate the initial demonstration of the absurdity of your first thesis, but chart for you the way in which you fail to stick to one thesis, and instead are probably performing one of two likely behaviors:

Behavior 1) You don't think enough about what you're saying and you therefore don't realize that you are confusing multiple theses for one thesis.

Behavior 2) You attempt to squirm out of a poor position by trying to obfuscate it and swap it with a different one.

a. Subnote to Behavior 2: 95% of the time, your new thesis is as bad as or worse than the first, so this only frustrates all involved.

When will you be tired of wasting your time? Years, and years of your time, wasted. You could be studying logic and trying to actually get good at finding the truth, but instead, you insist on wasting not only yours, but everyone's time. This makes me sad. =(

10:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

The thesis works either way. And if I explained why, it would be lengthy, and I'd seem as psycho as you.

WS, until someone comes up with an impeachment charge that would stick, this is all abstraction. That was my first challenge, but it was ignored---as usual---in favor of "gotcha" sophistries on TVD.

2:32 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Ol' TVD thinks for himself and somehow he comes up with the exact rationale the Bushists propose to wipe away the taint of their crimes. The 2004 election was their "accountability moment." Great minds think alike, huh!

TVD, you're right about one thing. You as the house sophist do stimulate comments. But I recommend you continuing to test your effect by not posting on all the threads. In fact, you might want to redouble that effort to see whether it's a linear effect.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Crimes? Impeachable offenses?

That was my Question One. Bring it, dude.

[Crickets chirping. Loudly.]

1:01 AM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

You looking for something the Republicans would vote to convict for? Yeah, there's nothing Duhbya has done that they're not a part of.

But the Constitution lies in tatters from the usurpations and violations of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Torture is a war crime and violation of our treaty obligations, which the Constitution calls the law of the land.

Signing statements that reserve the unchecked right not to enforce the laws as passed violate Art. I, Section 1, which reserves the power to legislate to the Congress. Well, not actually just making the statements, but the dereliction of the oath of office in following through with non-enforcement. (The proper remedy for an unconstitutional law or clause is to veto it or to test it in court.)

Refusal of the lawful oversight of Congress is impeachable if Congress would actually try harder and continued to meet the stone wall the Bushists have thrown up. (Aside: Gonzales's deceitful testimony was completely impeachable - and perjury.)

Suspension of habeas corpus was unconstitutional and therefore impeachable.

The rampant, widespread, and unsupervised surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment, not just FISA.

Last, the intentional lies to get us into Iraq are impeachable.

These and others have been written up many times. Go find them. Remember, you do know how to google.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Slime over substance. Not a single coherent charge---which I specifically asked for---just the usual laundry list of turkeys. Even when I predict what you're going to say, you fire anyway.

Principled disagreement over the interpretation of the constitution is not a high crime or misdemeanor.

6:26 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

TVD, catch up a little on the meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors". It's a specific term for kingly usurpations. It doesn't mean felony possession or DUI.

Here's a small hypothetical. (Yes, I know you cons won't respond to them. I hope.) Suppose Duhbya and Cheney decided out of thin air that they had the right to continue into a third term, despite the 22nd Amendment. After all, they're not standing for election, so how could it apply to them since it uses the verb 'elect'. They're simply staying on in office because it's bad to switch leadership in time of war. Or maybe they'll rationalize that they lost the popular vote in 2000, so they still get another try.

Would you call that, too, "a principled disagreement over the interpretation of the constitution (sic)"? Principled! Well, butter my ass and call me a biscuit!

A President like Duhbya is certainly one of the cases the Founders had in mind when they framed the power of impeachment.

Now, on to the fun stuff...

Slime? Slime? Slime would be 'Duhbya has sex with Condi'. Some on my end of the spectrum have stooped to that. Not me.

Incoherent? Wha? I recommend Merriam-Webster's Collegiate. Incoherence is a charge you would best level in a mirror.

Usual laundry list of turkeys? Note, sports fans, no rebuttal.

You predicted them? In your interior monologue, which thankfully I can't hear - even if you're talking to yourself out loud. You're in California; I'm near Boston. The firmament of the stars doesn't make a 2500-mile whisper spot!

I fire anyway? You asked, or don't you remember that?

Trust a sophist to pack so much bullshit into, what, 40 words! It's a gift. Do you have a background defending tobacco companies?

9:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Actually, I predicted them by referencing Kucinich and McGovern's laundry lists. You parrot them here.

I challenged you to pick one item and only one---your best and strongest argument---because no one can argue with a laundry list, which by nature has no coherence.

Which is why you printed one, sir, as predicted. Quantity is the sophist's counterfeit of quality of thought, hoping no one notices the difference. But no number of turkeys create an eagle. You either got an eagle or you don't.

I saw this choo-choo coming from the first, and even told everyone where the tracks lay.

And here you are, right on schedule. All aboard!

10:01 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Nah, no point in it. I'm putting my coat on and going out to view the eclipse.

You can try to rebut any one of my list, but you'll need to rebut them all. Have fun.

10:04 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

By the way, I'm sure it will be a surprise to list-makers everywhere that their lists are incoherent. Somehow, I don't think a dictionary will help you.

Now, the eclipse...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

No, I don't need to rebut them all. You explicitly cheated the challenge by posting a laundry list.

One charge that will stick.

12:25 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Crimes? Impeachable offenses?


You explicitly (sic) cheated the challenge by posting a laundry list.

In the universe I live in, when someone asks for (x:x is plural) and gets x=6, that answer is a valid solution.

In fact, had you indeed asked for only 1, providing 6 exceeds rather than failing the challenge.

I have no knowledge whether these analytic propositions are true in the tobacco-truth Bushist universe you inhabit.

And, hey, you're the one with a beard.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, none of your charges will stick. They're undefined rant and cant.

As predicted.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a test, I leave some of WS' posts uncommented upon. They're the ones with zero comments from anyone else, either.

maybe people just can't stand to see such unmitigated stupidity go unchallenged, eh?

4:55 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Stick, as in get enough Republican votes to convict?

No shit, Sherlock. The corruption of the Republican Party is a lot more thoroughgoing than just Duhbya and Darth.

Maybe in the new Congress, too late to do much besides censuring the imperial executives.

5:10 PM  

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