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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Connecting Some Feingold Bush Censure Proposal Dots

Couldn't have said this better myself. Our fine reader and commenter Scarecrow hits the nail on the head with this post:
From Larry Johnson:

"Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney, who learned that she [Plame] was a CIA officer, were obligated to protect that secret. Instead, they betrayed Valerie and helped destroy an intelligence network that was devoted to trying to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

Pretty much sums it up. Relevant to today's concerns? You bet. Kinda puts a "motion to censure" in perspective, doesn't it? And if the Republicans can't allow debate on this, or give it an "up or down vote," well, gosh, guess that's just another campaign issue, isn't it?

And let's not forget it was more than Cheney's group. On the Africa trip, Ms. Rice, who is fond of telling us about the horrors of Iran's nucular ambitions, pointed the press in the direction of Ms Plame and said, "go look there." Please, oh please, put that one in the list of particulars for the motion to censure.
The intertwined mess of this Administration, it's repeated disregard for it's obligations to others outside of the malignant band of tight-knit cronies at the inner core and their political money machine pals...well, their actions speak a helluva lot louder than their tidied-up words and image projection ever could, don't they?

And the fact that the Republican-controlled Congress is acting like nothing more than a rubber stamp -- that there is no accountability, no checks and balances, no real separation of powers but more of a "whatever you want, boss" attitude...never more apparant than on the utter lack of real oversight and accountability on the domestic spying by the NSA. Shameful.

Crooks and Liars and ThinkProgress both have video up of the Feingold appearance on This Week today. Will certainly be interesting to see where this goes -- but I agree with Pachacutec on tactics with this:
You know, I think Feingold is being very smart here. I'm impressed.

He's opening the door to discussion of impeachment but doing it in a way that even Republicans can potentially discuss: censure. Starting out with "censure" is a more effective wedge than "impeachment" is, and it still gets you into the same conversation, reframing the debate the way you want it.

Start with "impeachment," and you could still see some few points of bounce for the president. After all, while under impeachment threats, Clinton's numbers stayed stubbornly high. There was a rally to the president effect, because people saw the impeachment effort as overblown and partisan.

Bush would not be that popular, but you could still see some coming home to him if "impeachment" becomes the agenda, particularly if the public is not prepared for it.

Censure gets you the conversation you want, wedges the other side, keeps our momentum going for '06 and puts us in a better position to arrive at impeachment later if necessary, especially if we gain a majority in either side of the Hill.

I think this is very smart work on Feingold's part. I'm impressed with his ability to mix principle and aggression with canny politics.
Tactically, this is very impressive stuff. Some of the bigger Senate egos on the Republican side have been bruised and battered lately by the Rove "shut up and stay in line" machine. The President's tanking poll numbers and the drive to distance themselves from him prior to the mid-terms and as a set-up for their 2008 Presidential ambitions is awfully tempting.

If nothing else, it sure opens the door to a whole lot of discussion about law-breaking by this Administration in the press -- and at the water coolers and lunch tables and pub counters around the country. And that is some public discussion that is music to my ears.

The fact that this discussion will go hand in hand with one about how even a censure resolution won't be able to get traction, despite the President and his Administration repeatedly breaking the law and admitting it publicly...because Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress...well, that's a good move right before the 2006 mid-terms.

Nothing like driving home the point that there will be no oversight of the Administration and that Congress is currently functioning like a rubber stamp with a very concrete, very real world example like trying to hold the President accountable for breaking the law and repeatedly admitting in public that he is doing so...guess the common man gets his ass arrested, but the President gets a pass, is that it? Not exactly the sentiment I remember coming out of GOP mouths when Clinton was in office -- perhaps they need a refresher on ethics and the fact that the laws apply to everyone? (Note: chalk that up as the understatement of the year.)

Maybe the DSCC could put together a montage of quotes from the same Republican Senators who wanted to impeach Bill Clinton -- and what they thought about accountability and responsibility of the Chief Executive all the way back then, as compared to today? Now that would be a commercial worth seeing.

And whether or not censure ever gets off the launching pad, the public and Congressional discussion has now been framed as "how do you best hold President Bush accountable for breaking the law?" Boo yah.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the commenters on our site?

UPDATE: Reuters has a "last throes" summary of incidents just from today in Iraq. Scary stuff. (Found it via Atrios).

UPDATE #2: Via the good folks at Wampum -- they are having some problems with their servers today which is causing some sort of weird in-and-outage and really messing with their comments and their ability to update. I've been informed that they are extending the Koufax voting dealine at least until tomorrow (Monday) due to the server issues. Just wanted to let our readers know and, hopefully if the server gods smile upon Wampum, they can go back to having only moderately insane lives instead of seriously insane ones. Since they haven't even been able to get in to do an update post on the Wampum site, if everyone could pass the word along on other blogs where they read, it would be most appreciated, I'm sure.