Ah, nice post from KFM. I think a lot of the political decline of the last ten years or so involves moments of realization along the line of "sure, things are done that way traditionally but...we don't have to." There's a sorta-Wittgensteinian point here about rules not being self-interpreting or self-enforcing-- Hobbes made a point about this in Leviathan as well-- and it's at moments like this where the Kripkensteinian "skeptical solution" falls apart simply because it's drawn to our attention.
The post is great, and I think it nails how much there is a myth that the checks and balances function absent any good people making them work. It leads to an implicit blessing on almost anything: if something were bad, one of the checks would have caught it.
On the other hand, I'm not sure that this amounts to a terribly substantial criticism of the system. Any system of rules only works insofar as it's followed. There's no counter in chess to someone upending the board. It's hard to see what sort of check could counter something like political apathy.
All right, hivemind. I'm going to go stand in the middle of the Fourth of July celebrations tomorrow with a sign. What should it say?
I want something like Joseph Welch's "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" moment.
I mentioned in the other thread that I pwn'd the KFM on that one a year or so back.
His post is a good one, though.
The chief bit of genius in KFM's piece comes at the end. That image of Nixon and Cheney will stick in my mind forever.
What if the problem is at least as much with our particular system of checks and balances as with the spineless Democrats? Modern parliamentary systems have much more robust opposition parties than we do, because being robust in opposition is the only way those parties can hope to gain power. Irregularly timed elections function as a sword of Damocles that constrains would-be lame-duckery. Proportional representation makes third parties viable and expands the ideological playing field.
Clearly, shame + our current constitutional structure are not enough.
It's not shame, though. Or it's not personal shame. It's that the community that supports them doesn't think the behavior is shameful. There are plenty, plenty, plenty of Democrats who think that what Libby did was a perfectly natural thing for government officials to do, and that he shouldn't go to jail. I can't even pretend I don't believe the first part.
7: What? Plenty of Democrats? Sorry, thank you for playing, not buying that.
I CAN HAZ COUNTRY BACK PLZ? over a kitten suitably decked out in red, white, and blue.
Nah, it's a political slogan attempting to make a joke -- Labs would hate you for it.
The part that frustrates me is that the same people behind Libby are also fighting to make sentencing "guidelines" mandatory.
Punishment is for the other guy.
Prison is for those other people.
"My friend doesnt need to do any jail time. It is those "other" criminals who need to be put in jail."
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard similar comments from family members or defendants. "I'm not a criminal!" uh, yes, you are.
11: Exactly. I griped about it in another thread, but Bush's mention of the fact that Libby's sentence was based partially on facts not presented to the jury made me sick. Yes, Mr. President, that happens to every federal defendant. Yes, it can lead to what appear to be some terrible injustices. Oh, it only bothers you when your buddy runs into it?
I had similar feelings about Paris Hilton: Paying to stay in a nicer jail should tell us about the quality of our jails.
Your exposure to the criminal justice system influences your perspective. Inner city juries often understand that the police can get the wrong guy. They have seen some police officers treat people like dirt. They recognize that some officers are excellent, some are horrible, and a lot are average.
Their whole moral system is based on who you are, not what you do. And they've appointed themselves The Good Guys, so they can do whatever the fuck they want.
No one wants discretion unless its their family.
"I cannot help but think that as Nixon walked to the chopper, somewhere in the darkened hallways of the White House Dick Cheney shook his head, spit, and whispered: "Pussy.""
Great finish to the post.
It isnt that they want discretion for their family member.
They do not view their relative as being similarly situated. They are different situations. Their relative isnt a criminal like those other people (despite their conduct.)
10: no, it's ok when Cala does it, LB.
Sure. And shouldn't the judge know that and use his discretion because Johnny isn't like those other boys?
I don't mean to be a dirty hippie about this, but this is one of the reasons that dirty hippies get so frustrated with regular democrats. The least little familiarity with any kind of marxism, or even with any kind of radical theory about power, or hell, even Roman history would have kept everyone from being all gobsmacked. But nooooooo, the Bush administration means well, even if we don't agree with their goals and vision.
Of course, it simply isn't in the interest of Democratic politicians to take down corrupt Republications most of the time--after all, once the Democrats get back into office they want the same freedom to be corrupt. But regular people don't need to be suckers about this.
Republications! Republicans again and again and again! Always the same!
Who the heck around here is saying that the Bush administration means well? You might have gotten some waffly types (coughTimcough) saying that sort of thing back in 2003, but not lately.
I'm an ineffectual liberal, but that doesn't make me naive.
But you see, waaaay back when our biggest problem was election fraud, and then when everyone rolled over about 9/11 and the war, and the Patriot Act and all that stuff..."since 2003" isn't really that compelling a track record.
I was against the Bush administration before they signed to a major label, you see. Those early gigs....
I wish there were some organized progressive caucus within the Democratic party for ordinary voters: Democrats who aren't about to go off and join the Greens, but who've just had it w/ the lack of courage from the party leadership. We could call it the "Liberal Democrats" & pretend to be British.
23: Oh, sure, but since 2003 is only for the waffliest. Most Democrats you're going to find on liberal blogs have been sick with disgust and fear since December 2000. Not doing anything effective about it, mind you, but aware.
There used to be a caucus like that, but the DLC squashed it and it ran off to join the Greens. And then Wellstone's plane went down, and kaput.
In a few years you'll be telling people how you remember the liberal Democrats.
Most Democrats you're going to find on liberal blogs have been sick with disgust and fear since December 2000.
Really?There are commentators *here* who still sometimes say those waffly things.
Waffly things like 'burning shit down may not be a well-advised response', sure. But who on the left at all is attributing good faith to the Bush administration? (I mean, baa may be, but he's not a Democrat, so I'm not talking about him.)
Well, perhaps not assertions of good faith, but less than outright condemnation.
I'm just a little irked by Frowner's comment (very mildly irked, and in a not personal way at all. Just that it seems unproductive) because it seems to assume that the problem with mushy Democrats is that we don't see how bad things are. I am a mushy Democrat, and I'm not doing anything useful, but it's not for lack of knowledge and understanding of the situation, it's just that I have no idea what to do. What do you burn down, when it comes to burning shit down?
it's just that I have no idea what to do
Ditto, btw. I've done the letter-writing, petition-signing stuff. It gets us nowhere. But what next?
Let's meet in coffeehouses & bars and bitch together! That way, when it doesn't work, we'll at least be drunk...
I'm increasingly convinced that the key building block for political movements is peer pressure. People get involved because their friends are involved.
ou might have gotten some waffly types (coughTimcough) saying that sort of thing back in 2003
Spare me. I suggest the lightest informal polity policing I can imagine--Blue parents telling their kids that it's wrong to beat up other kids, but if Yoo's (nonexistent, it appears) kids happen to fall down a lot on the playground, well--and everyone shrieks that it would be a crime against humanity.
Rogers is probably right: it is about shame. But I think you people are really putting your hopes on guilt.
My apologies for calling you waffly. Would mercurial work better? (that is, yes, often surprisingly harsh. But sometimes surprisingly unharsh. I'm more comfortable with a steady level of surly resentment.)
Seriously, what's the downside for the Democrats in calling these guys out, clearly and repeatedly?
36: In what way that they aren't already doing?
What do you have in mind, slol?
33: Sounds like fun, although I think the main social benefit may be the 'at least we'll be drunk' bit. On the other hand, that was how we got through election night last fall, and it worked magnificently, barring a painful hangover.
it's just that I have no idea what to do.
That's because there's nothing to be done. I realize this gets into topics that have already been covered in other threads where I wasn't paying much attention (as well as countless other discussions), but as long as Bush has 40 Senate watching his back, nothing matters. The KFM post's ending is great, but it gets the comparison wrong. Nixon would have stayed just as long as Cheney or Bush--but the Senate Republicans told him that he wouldn't avoid conviction. If Goldwater came to Nixon with a different message, he wouldn't have resigned. I dislike mushy Democrats as much as the next blogofascist, but blaming them gets away from the bottom line.
So being able to veto, to count on no conviction in the Senate for anything, to pardon or commute any legal sentence, signing statements that reject the will of Congress and get heeded (at least at times) by the bureaucracy, and their followers throughout the same and the courts working to bend the system--that's it. That's all they need to ride it out. And they will. Just: let's try and not lose the next election.
it's just that I have no idea what to do.
Our party we voted into the majority is supposed to be doing this stuff. Fuckers.
Well, I keep reading stuff like this KFM post, in which it is said that Americans are not ready to confront the idea that the President has done Bad Things, and there's an abyss beyond that, etc. What? Really? I think people are more than prepared for this.
Let's grant that it takes some time. Let's grant that in 1972-3 Americans were giving their President the benefit of the doubt. But by 1974 they were more than ready to see him go. That was two years, in a culture much more steeped in mores of shame than ours -- a culture that, remember, couldn't bear to imagine its President saying undeleted expletives.
We've had more than two years. I think people are ready.
Nothing new under the sun department: last sentence, third paragraph. You can't trust these Clintons, can you? (Via PNH).
I think people are ready.
For what? Impeachment of the President?
20: I'm not sure what this adds to our discourse, beyond, "Nyah, nyah, we told you so!"
The idea that it isn't in the interests of Democratic politicians to take down corrupt Republicans is the same kind of bullshit that Ralph Nader spewed in 2000 and 2004. The eagerness of Democratic politicians to make Republican corruption an issue is one of the main reasons we took back Congress last year. Whether or not Democrats will be as corrupt when in power as Republicans remains to be seen, but to say that Dems don't want to go after the corrupt GOP so they can be the corrupt Dems is, frankly, utter and complete nonsense.
Impeachment of the President?
You don't start with impeachment, and you aren't necessarily going there. What you're doing is, you're investigating a crime that the executive branch clearly isn't investigating very well. And you don't do it with committee reports and studies, you do it in open hearing. You subpoena people to testify. You start getting them in a position where they have to say something or suffer a contempt citation. You begin to accumulate information, and you start to find out -- or to let the public, via public hearings, find out -- what's really going on. Committee hearings become a press event. Reporters can't help covering them, and as you move up the chain of witnesses, you become more and more newsworthy.
In the case of the Watergate hearings, unless I'm misremembering, it only came out incidentally that there were tapes. Who knows what might incidentally come out, once you start?
Sure, when you start, there will be pundits saying nasty things about you on teevee. You can live with that. Get a Senator who's not up for reelection and who lacks presidential hopes to chair a special select committee. For heaven's sakes, get your act together.
47: Isn't this what Katherine was advocating, or advocating that presidential contenders advocate? This seems perfectly sensible to me. What not to do: lead with the raving about impeachment.
You'd think, if you needed a medical exam for a visa, and you paid for it and the proof of vaccination, when it came time to file for the green card, you'd either be able to use the results so as to avoid having to do the same thing all over again, or if you had been declared not the rightful owner of your own medical information, that the fact that the government is said owner of the vaccination information would mean you wouldn't have to fill out the damn form again.
47: yes! Thank you. The answer to the question about impeachment is "if the President has committed high crimes and misdemeanors he should be impeached. We are investigating what the President did. We are waiting for him to produce the evidence. It's irresponsible to speculate until we see it."
Some of the committees are trying but they're not being 1/3 as aggressive as they could be.
47: Maybe. Aren't they already doing stuff like this with DOJ and a few other things? I'm not sure that Libby is the best opportunity to pursue. I haven't seen anything suggesting that Fitzgerald wasn't diligent.
They've been halfhearted (is "quarter-hearted" a word?) and weak with the NSA stuff & the detainee stuff.
Seriously, what's the downside for the Democrats in calling these guys out, clearly and repeatedly?
36: In what way that they aren't already doing?
I kind of agree with Tim here. We are calling them out, clearly and repeatedly. It just takes a long, long time for these things to soak in and become established facts. Over the past three years, "The Bush administration is corrupt and misguided" has become part of the American dialogue, and I think that's success. And it'll show up in the next election.
And then we'll forget about it by the election after that, and repeat the whole process, but hopefully with Republicans like Bush Sr, not W.
49: Congratulations -- you've just been placed on the terrorist watch list. Send us a postcard from Guantanamo!
I'm not holding my breath. Before the NSA, before the detainees, there was the war and the fabrication of evidence that bolstered the case for war, and there's not been a single executive branch government official held responsible for that. I don't understand why 47 doesn't work or isn't working already. Frankly, I don't understand why 47 isn't the de facto state of government. I want my government perpetually hamstrung by investigation or whatever it is that the conservatives say: That is how you know they aren't doing wrong.
Isn't this what Katherine was advocating
Oh, could well be. I haven't been paying attention much lately and it's quite likely someone sensible like Katherine said this already.
What not to do: lead with the raving about impeachment.
Fair enough. I'm sure that's true.
So instead of the "impeach Bush now" stuff, people should be exerting pressure on the type of Senator mentioned by slolernr in 47, to open hearings and etc. Who are these Senators?
Also, while we're on the subject of the Democrats, Carl Levin had better not fucking fall for this one.
(although it includes zero Senate Democrats -- come on, not even Barbara Boxer?)
Slol, I didn't mean that as a criticism. It just seems like the right way to proceed because it keeps options open without some of the baggage of (overt) calls for impeachment.
"The Bush administration is corrupt and misguided" has become part of the American dialogue
But see, that's not good enough. The beauty of Watergate is not "Nixon was a crook," it's that you can go along in sordid detail and say, then x did this, which is a crime, and for which he would go to prison before long; then y did that, which is a crime, and for which he would go to prison before long....
Nixon did, in a vague way, achieve some rehabilitation in the minds of journalistic know-nothings, but all you have to do is re-open the book and recite, "I don't give a s**t what happens, I want you to stonewall it," and people kind of get the point what kind of guy Nixon was.
What I'm saying is, it's vastly more persuasive to show than to tell.
It just seems like the right way to proceed because it keeps options open without some of the baggage of (overt) calls for impeachment.
No, the press determines what the "baggage" is. If the Republicans respond to this investigation by saying "ZOMG THIS IS THE DEMOCRATS' IMPEACHMENT PLAN", the press will say that too. Since it is, sort of.
59: I knew there were some sorts of Progressive caucuses--I could swear there was a Senate one too, but maybe it was an informal thing--but I was talking about something that *I* could affiliate with.
the press determines what the "baggage" is.
To a degree, but only to a degree. Look, this is a gamble. You start hearings, you know the press is going to come down on you. So that's a sure downside. The potential upside is, as you go seriously about your business, you begin to expose serious wrongdoing in the executive branch. And eventually the press come around to your side, because you have the better story.
Your senator's calculation has to be, how likely is it that I can turn up real wrongdoing and put together a narrative compelling to the press, so compelling that it will compensate for the certainty of near-term criticism? At this point, given what we already know or have reason to suspect, I'd think your chances are pretty good.
63: I don't think so. "Impeachment? These are just congressional hearings on issue X. They'll lead to impeachment only if they reveal high crimes & misdemeanors." And so on. Besides, if the press is as in the tank as you say, the firebrand approach is no more realistic.
The trick is phrasing it in terms such that saying that "OMG THE DEMOCRATZ WILL IMPEACH" is an effective admission of guilt. "I'm not leaping to any conclusions. I just want to see the evidence. The Republicans are the ones who seem certain that these subpoenas will uncover evidence of crimes."
It's not as if "these guys are clowns and need oversight" is a message that's outside mainstream opinion.
"Ah, but as we unfortunately saw back in 1998, impeachment can be used as a partisan weapon in cases where there is no underlying crime, by corrupt individuals like Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi. We would hate to see that happen again, and it certainly would not prove any sort of guilt."
On the other hand, since the press is useless, slorekl is correct that actually uncovering the actual truth is the important issue.
Here are the things we know:
1. The press are lazy.
2. The press are also in the habit of responding to GOP pressure tactics, the "working-the-ref" stuff.
3. The administration will stonewall.
4. The Congressional GOP are nervous about 2008.
5. There's a lot of stink coming from various parts of the administration, and best of all, people have clearly been tracking that stink from one part to another.
Now, 2 and 3 seem to me to go in the debit column for D's, while 4 and 5 go in the asset column. 1 has historically gone in the debit column, but could swing your way if you leverage 4 and 5. You start in on Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame, it won't be long before you're into Iraq and Karl Rove's secret emails and the US attorneys and for that matter the California energy crisis (remember that?). It's all of a piece. And the more you put your story together, the more 1 swings your way and once that happens, so does 3.
69: but then the proof would be in the pudding. 1998's impeachment wasn't popular because of the substance. Whether 2007's would be (and whether there would be one) will depend on what investigation reveals.
There will always be something an imaginary interlocutor can say. Whether it will have any traction can't just be stipulated.
I think slol is right. It's easy to overstate how much the press kowtows to Republicans. Remember how negative stories on Iraq became much more common right after the '06 elections? If the Democrats investigate, the press will come around.
53: And then we'll forget about it by the election after that, and repeat the whole process, but hopefully with Republicans like Bush Sr, not W.
Ah. You mean the sort of Republicans who use their pardons for Iran-Contra rather than for perjury, then?
One imagines George the Elder, the responsible, respectable-and-merely-misguided figure, shaking his head in disgust and despair about how his son is mismanaging things. But realistically, if he's doing so, it's probably just because he feels a personal affiliation to the CIA, and/or regrets how George the Younger is ruining the family name.
The press *is* lazy, but the Democrats are also exceedingly bad at feeding them stories. They cover hearings & subpoenas. Remember the recent reaction to Cheney's claim to be a 4th branch of gov't? I had known about that for months & he'd been making that claim for years--but Waxman made it a story.
There you go. Henry Waxman, a man who will never be President and who shouldn't have to worry about his seat. Go, Henry, go. California's Senators are kind of useless in this regard, unfortunately.
What I like about the linked piece is its insight that American exceptionalism, the idea of what the country is, I'm not talking about what it might be, as held by most people is now part of the problem. They just don't want to think of their country that way, even though some formidible minds have been willing to see the country that way, at least in part, since it was founded.
The part at the end, about what Cheney thought when Nixon resigned, was priceless, and expressed what a lot of us have concluded and said to one another lately.
Among the weird paradoxes we are seeing is this: Because the president has already admitted to high crimes and misdemeanors, any discussion of Congressional oversight leads to the retort: "The Dems are talking about impeachment ! Extremists !"
It's very difficult for Dems to say with a straight face: "We're going to look into wiretapping and FISA, and see where it takes us" because we already know the law was broken with presidential authorization.
But yes, I'm with the others here. Investigate. Pretend that there isn't sufficient information in the public domain to justify impeachment and conviction. Then impeach.
If the Democrats investigate, the press will come around.
They are investigating. There have even been stories in the press about subpoenas and hearings.
On the other hand, an Atrios-inspired point is in order here: we're not the ones deciding, so holding out for one's own ideal plan is a little silly, in the event that positive progress is made in a slightly different direction.
Yes, Tim, and they are investigating a fraction of what they could be. Paul McNulty, for example--central to the U.S. Attorney scandal. Maybe not as bad as his boss but quite political.
Well, he was in charge of the "special task force" in E.D.Va. that they started referring every prisoner abuse charge to. He didn't bring a single prosecution, even in cases where I know for a fact that there's strong evidence. 0 for 19. The only other U.S. attorney's office to handle a prisoner abuse case, the Eastern District of North Carolina, is 1 for 1. You think that's a coincidence?
Did the Democrats ask McNulty a single question about this, hold a single hearing on DOJ's treatment of detainee issues? They did not.
I also plotted out a whole hearing on rendition at the request of someone who was in touch with Congressional staffers. Suggested witnesses, & several of them were prepared to testify. The staffers lost interest.
Katherine, you're kind of heroic. Just saying.
The first thing the Democrats need to do is to decide on an overarching story. (I like Banana Republicanism, but it could be anything likely to be greeted as credible by the electing public.) Then they need to investigate toward the end of advancing that story. I'm not sure that the Libby matter--which, again, has been investigated by a prosecutor whose integrity and diligence has not been questioned by Democrats to date--is a particularly good opportunity to advance the narrative. But, again, I don't know what the narrative is supposed to be, so who knows? First things first.
Oh, here's another one. A couple of months ago, the DoD Inspector General came out with a report which more or less confirms that Special Forces task forces in Iraq: (1) were exempted from following the Geneva Conventions; (2) were subjected to a separate chain of command from all other U.S. forces in Iraq, which almost certainly reported directly to Donald Rumsfeld; (3) tortured prisoners with impunity as a result; (4) when other U.S. military personnel complained about this, the special forces task forces threatened them, & a Pentagon investigation sided with the special forces. All of this directly contradicts testimony that Donald Rumsfeld et. al gave to the Senate about Abu Ghraib. You might think this would be worth the Armed Services Committee investigating--you'd be wrong.
Tim, we're not making a movie. The right storyline emerges from inquiry.
Years ago, a wise man with a large cock said that the Democrats should be saying "George Bush doesn't play by the rules," because the upcoming scandals would prove them right, and make their narrative that much more powerful. Did people listen? No, they did not.
The right storyline emerges from inquiry.
Gawd, we're doomed. Did you miss the last six years?
The Congressional GOP are nervous about 2008.
I doubt enough of them will ever feel nervous enough to break from the administration in a way that matters, at least for these purposes. Maybe if someone got evidence that Cheney regularly ate human flesh; but I wouldn't count on it even then. More likely they'd go on Hardball to talk about how it proved he was a real man.
The Gonzales situation seems to the point. Hearings held? Yup, with surely more to come. Embarrassing, perhaps criminal acts committed? You betcha. Mockery of our system of government, gross incompetence? In spades. Consequences? Zero. A few Republican senators grumbled that the AG should resign, but would they vote to do anything about the situation? No. You've got some senators who are true believers (perhaps not many at this point), some who just want to deny the Democrats a scalp, and many others who remember that before they'll face the general public they have to get by Republican primary voters. And so it becomes a national embarrassment that we're forced to live with.
And time is running out. If I remember correctly, the Plame investigation began in 2003; I think the odds that any process would move far enough along to put anyone in real jeopardy before Bush starts handing out pardons like candy is extremely remote. I'm not saying that all this stuff--hearings, testimony, subpoenas, etc.--shouldn't go on. To borrow a phrase that I believe has gone out of fashion, I say, "Faster, please." But it should be done for the historical record and for the argument in the next election, not because anyone (or anyone of note) from this administration will face consequences.
The storyline is "the Bush administration does not believe it has to obey the Constitution, the U.S. criminal code, or the laws of war." Or "the Bush administration doesn't play be the rules." Or "the Bush administration shows contempt for the rule of law."
Or "the Bush administration doesn't play be the rules."
I'd say "Republicans" rather than "Bush Administration," but I'm fine with that. The others sound like "no controlling legal authority" to my ears.
90: wtf? are you really incapable of understanding those simple sentences, or do you just think the voters are?
It's not "understand," it's "care." I was thinking about voters, though I think that level of specificity (specifically, the first) of a broad overarching story is mistaken.
"In my administration we will make it clear there is the controlling authority of conscience."
Tim is the very face of what's wrong with Congressional Democrats...
How do you know voters won't care? That's my entire political life: assume the worst about the American people and make it come true.
I don't know that "doesn't play by the rules" is quite the optimal characterization for rhetorical purposes, because it runs up against the "good-looking loner who plays by his own set of rules" archetype.
94: They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.
And I don't care if I sound like fucking Aaron Sorkin.
Remember the Schiavo case? Remember how all the Democrats in Congress assumed that the public would agree with DeLay et al.?
97: I'm more of a 30 Rock guy.
oh God, don't get me started. The new show is not only bad but makes me question ever liking the West Wing as much as I did.
Don't mind Tim. He's the Bill Laimbeer of the Democrats. Or is it the Rahm Emmanuel of Unfogged? I forget which.
20 shows the limits of a purely cynical world-view, I think. If the roles were reversed, would the Republicans do nothing so that they could preserve the same corrupt prerogative for themselves? Of course not. They would bury Scooter Libby under the goalposts at Texas Stadium, and call it patroitic justice. The Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally different, a difference that does not always redound to the Democrats' credit.
Ok, this is where my "conservative" side really can't sit still. There used to be a thing called "honor". Duels were fought (and lost) by some of the Founders over alleged damages to their honor. The Declaration of Independence pledges "sacred honor" last not in the sense of least, but as the most important. Japanese politicians not only resign in shame, but commit ritual suicide in a last stance for their honor. i'm afraid that character does count afterall.
101: Are even very traditional people, much less the usual scum and villains of the political class, in Japan enthusiastic about seppuku these days? Yukio Mishima is the last prominent example that I have heard of.
That sort of honor seems incompatible with the rule of the masses (or the assembly of an effective team) anyway: Cultural Revolution-style self-incrimination and reeducation seem more the order of the day, with Oprah, Larry King and the Today Show being stations of that particular cross.
Japanese politicians not only resign in shame, but commit ritual suicide in a last stance for their honor.
Well, as a policy prescription I can see some problems with this. Not sure what the enforcement mechanism would be.
i'm afraid that character does count afterall.
Not to worry. Nobody has accused W of accepting any extra-marital blowjobs, so the Republic is safe.
Not sure what the enforcement mechanism would be.
The American way would be to hand the perp a .45 with one bullet, and shut the door for a little privacy. The guards remain outside the door until they hear the tell tale report, then discreetly open the door a crack to check. The family does not need to be billed for the bullet, a la PRC.
He's the Bill Laimbeer of the Democrats. Or is it the Rahm Emmanuel of Unfogged? I forget which.
104 Doesn't Peter Wimsey participate in something like this in "The Unpleasantness at the Balogna Club?"
I'm not sure about that one, but something similar is the end of Murder Must Advertise; the sympathetic murderer is sent off where the gang that wants to assassinate him can get at him, so that his family doesn't have to go through the trial.
The family does not need to be billed for the bullet, a la PRC.
Bah! You procedural liberals are always willing to settle for half-measures.
I can't read this thread, because it makes my stomach hurt.
But this--Their relative isnt a criminal like those other people (despite their conduct.)--I think demonstrates why people react the way they do. Because we judge *actions* by defining *character*: so and so *is* "a criminal." Getting mad because people resist doing that to their near and dear is precisely the wrong way to go about solving the problem--what the stupid-ass criminal justice system needs is a complete overhaul to make it less about punishing "bad people" for being "bad" and more about simply managing risk to society.
109: I predict that there will be people who enjoy being managed for the protection of society. Black leather "upper management" costumes. Conventions. Etc.
You can pull those two things apart, though. You can take a fairly hard line view on moral culpability and think that people who behave in certain ways are fully to blame and. thus, on some account of 'bad' are bad, but still believe that an appropriately structured criminal justice system ought to be concerned with rehabilitation and risk management.
So, I can think that a junkie who robs someone to feed his or her habit is a total fucking bastard, but still believe that the appropriate response of the criminal justice system ought to largely be structured around treatment and rehabilitation.
Part of the problem, I suspect, is that "risk to society" correlates weirdly with socioeconomic status. I seem to recall that Bill Bennett said/admitted that drug use by well-off kids was unlikely to harm them or society, but that (and I think he appropriately said "unfortunately") that wasn't true for poor kids. (I don't know how accurate his specific information was.)
112: Easily solvable. The main reason why drug use in and of itself creates crime is because people have to steal to get the drugs. So, provide 'em with the damn drugs and/or good, thorough, rehab. Cheaper than jail.
106: Yes, only "Bellona".
I go thru this whole thread...goddamit, I swear I will immolate himself in front of the Dallas City Hall just to spite y'all.
Nothing can be done? What can be done needs to have direct and powerful institutional ramifications?
Jaysus on a stick, folks.
Gandhi walked many miles and made salt. He fasted. Rosa Parks. Mad John Brown. Cindy Sheehan. Someone is carrying a sign tomorrow. This isn't rocket science, this isn't crazy dreaming.
What is shocking in human history is just how easy it is for a determined minority to change the world.
What can be done? What is to be done? Anything.
Politics is not the law on the books or the representatives or the procedures and processes or institutions. What hurts me so much, why I am crying right now, is how unfree the best of us feel.
Fuck you, Tim Burke, this is what you have done.
Politics is a fucking shout in the street. Just do it, and the world will open up like a mushroom cloud.
115: Take a Ritalin.
Gandhi walked many miles and made salt. He fasted. Rosa Parks. Mad John Brown. Cindy Sheehan.
Yes, yes, fuck you, Tim Burke, for the Republic fell while you wrote those long posts.
113: Not, in fact, easily solvable In fact, very hard. Rehab failure rates are, IIRC, really, really high. Much higher than 50%. And it may well be--this is less than half-remembered--that the structures in place, family and otherwise, for more well-off people make it rehabilitation success more likely.
I suspect Kleiman would be the go-to guy here. But I'm unwilling to trawl his blog (or even google) for these things you call "facts" at the moment.
Rehab definitely isn't a guarantee. Anyhoo, this convo is so far off topic that even I'm not terribly interested in it. Sorry.
Can't the Calabat find a better target than Tim Burke?
121: Is that a very, very dry joke?
Than which there is none drier. Desiccated, even.
112,113: Ex recto, but part of the problem is just that if you're well off you have more room for mistakes. If you get into drugs a little bit, it probably doesn't affect your grades at Stellar Prep. If you develop a problem, your parents can afford some private rehab for you. If you develop a legal problem, they can afford good counsel who can arrange a lighter sentence/charge for you, in part because you're such a good kid. It's not just a crime thing or a drug thing but a more second chances thing.
115:Wish I had some. Not really. Come to think of it, my diazepam prescription got filled a couple days ago and it would be interesting to compare my comments of last week when I was out. Weird brain chemistry.
But more likely a blogosphere of rage and frustration and useless moral calculation.
It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.
Further, Gandhi didn't really change very much. Heresy, je sais.
Montagu-Morley was passed before WW1, then the Government of India Act 1917. The GoI Act '35 would have passed then if it hadn't been for the super-right of the Tories (and Winston..), and that meant the same position as Canada or Australia.
He didn't really want to deal with the Muslim League or the Sikhs, except if they became wonderful spiritual angels on his model.
I went out and got some Robert Henri, Maxime Maufra, Stanislas Lepine, and Walter Launt Palmer and I feel much better now. Kitsch hath charms to soothe the savage breast.
I now embrace authoritarianism, and wonder why I ever wanted freedom anyway. I am so glad I am not an Alpha.
127:"Further, Gandhi didn't really change very much. Heresy, je sais."
Not really. Changing the world may not have even been his primary purpose. Making it bearable with internal adjustments is all that can be done.
Somebody at Henley's said my politics was kitsch. Duh.
129: Not necessarily your entire politics, just the part that makes you Tsongastastically adjure the rest of us to march, chant, etc., etc., et tedious cetera. Get thee behind me, organizer.
Making it bearable with internal adjustments is all that can be done.
Welcome to reasonable, moderate social democracy, Bob! Don't make any sudden movements, and we'll put you in the cabinet.
Anyway, here's the news: the founders operationalised the Crazification Factor. Even with 20%, you have a good chance of getting a third of one house. So no impeachment.
How many blogs does Bob troll, anyway?
133:La/b/ /i/s/ /a/ real/ /p/i/ece of wor/k, i/s/n/'/t he./ /S/o/m/e/b/o/d/y/ tel/l/ /h/i/m to/ /g/o/o/g/l/e/ /m/e/ /i/f/ /h/e //wa/n/t/s/ /t/o/ /s/t/a/l/k/.
Okay. I f/e/e/l/ /t/h/r/e/a/t/e/n/e/d/. Fon/t/a/na Lab/s/ is /d/oin/g re/s/e/arch/ on /my ac/t/i/vity and life outside of this blog. He has de/m/on/s/t/r/a/ted ho/s/t/ility in the past.
I can only pres/m/e/ /t/hat /th/e ab/ov/e pu/blic aspect is the tip of the i/ce/berg, and that he is /using the usual tools to determine my hom/e a/d/d/r/ess, pho/n/e/ nu/m/b/er, /e/mp/l/o/y/m/ent.
D/o/ /y/'all/ /ha/v/e a/n/y/ su/g/g/e/st/i/o/ns o/n /w/h/a/t I/ ca/n do? I have nev//er had ///to de/a/l/ wit/h /a p/e/r/s/o/nal /t/hr//ea/t b/e/f/ore.
I also reme.m.b.er Font'a'n'a' 'L'a'b's' 'g'r'a't'u'i't'o'usly go'i'n'g a'f't'er D/e/n B/e/s/t/e. He h-a-s- -a- -h-i-s-t-o-r-y- -o-f- c-/-r-/-u-/-e-/-l-/-t-/y and s/l/a/n/d/e/r. Is his p/l/a/c/e of e/m/p/l/o/-y-/-m/e/n/t still in the a/r/c/h-/-i-/-v/e/s?
I really don't need L/a/b/s c/a/l/l/i/n/g my n/e/i/g/h/b/o/u/rs and otherwise spreading rumours that I am...well I won't leave an expression that can be g/o/o/g/l/e/d. But we remember what he t/r/i/e/d to do t/o D/e/n B/e/s/t/e.
FL is one of the most p/e/t/t/y and v/i/n/d/i/c/t/i/v/e people I have ever met on the Internets. I really am f/r/i/g/h/t/e/n/e/d.
Please. My n`a`m`e is m`y o`w`n`, my email address accurate. In five+ years I have never contacted anyone in the blogosphere outside of a comment section, even via email.
I h\a\v\e n\e\v\er e\n\g\a\g\e\d\ in the kind of personal i\n\n\u\e\n\d\o that L\a\b\s is i\n\f\a\m\ous for. Y'all remember how difficult it was for Sc`o`tt K\aufm\a\nn when he was ha``ra`s`s`ed under cover of anonymity. I need help.
Whoever on this blog has the r/e/l/e/v/a/n/t p/e/r/s/o/n/a/l i/n/f/o/r/m/a/t/i/o/n/ about "F/o/n/t/a/n/a L/a/b/s" that will allow me to take d/e/f/e/n/s/i/v/e action against a v,i,n,d,i,c,t,i,v,e s~t~a~l~k~er please send it to my email adress, where I swear it will remain unread in a separate folder unless needed. Thank you.
Wow, this is getting pretty entertaining. I think you broke our revolutionary, FL, by doing absolutely nothing.
138:N/o/t/h/i/n/g? 1/3/2 was certainly not just a rhetorical q/u/e/s/t/i/o/n, but a q/u/e/s/t for in/f/o/r/m/a/t/i/o/n with, I must presume, a p/l/a/n of a/c/t/i/on behind it.
I take it v/e/r/y se/r/i/o/u/s/ly when s/o/m/e anonymous person starts asking q/u/e/s/t/i/o/ns of other people about my life o/u/t/s/i/de of t/h/e i/m/m/e/d/i/a/te forum. In fact, I d/o/n/'t t/h/ink /i/t ha/s ev/er h/a/p/p/e/n/e//d to /m/e/ /b/e/f/o/r/e/.
He hasn't asked any questions about your personal life. You're freaking out over a joke about you trolling other public blogs with your incessant let's-build-a-barricade comments. A joke. Okay?
140: I think he might be having a spot of fun himself.
I thought you were joking Bob, but 139 is making me wonder.
C/a/l/a, /L/a/b/s/ /a/l/s/o/ /t/h/o/u/g/h/t/ /w/h/a/t/ /h/e/ /d/i/d/ /t/o/ /D/e/n/ /B/e/s/t/e/ /w/a/s/ /r/e/a/l/l/y/ /f/u/n/n/y/./ /I/ /d/o/n/'/t/ /n/e/e/d/ /t/h/a/t/ /k/i/n/d/ /o/f/ /h/u/m/o/u/r/ /i/n/ /m/y/ /l/i/f/e/./
H/o/w/ /w/e/l/l/ /d/o/ /y/o/u/ /k/n/o/w/ /h/i/m/?/ /I/ /h/a/v/e/ /m/a/d/e/ /s/u/c/h/ /a/ /p/o/i/n/t/ /o/f/ /r/e/s/p/e/c/t/i/n/g/ /p/e/o/p/l/e/'/s/ /i/n/t/e/r/n/e/t/ /p/r/i/v/a/c/y/ /I/ /a/m/ /n/o/t/ /e/v/e/n/ /s/u/r/e/ /i/f/ /F/o/n/t/a/n/a/ /L/a/b/s/ /i/s/ /a/ /"/h/e/."
I.f I s.t.a.r.t. .g.e.t.t.i.n.g. .c.a.l.l.s.,. or my neighbours start g/e/t/t/i/n/g/ /a/n/o/n/y/m/o/u/s/ /l/e/t/t/e/r/s, there is really no way for you to know for sure it isn'/t/ /f/r/o/m/ /"/F/o/n/t/a/n/a/ /L/a/b/s/"
Sc/ott Kau/fmann's s/t/a/l/k//er was protected by his friends, if I remember the story correctly.
141: I'm leaning that way, too.
141:Of course, we are all f/r/i/e/n/d/s here, and t/r/u/s/t each other. So there is no h/a/r/m in someone h/e/l/p/i/ng me/ by doing /1/3/7/c/. As I said, I have never even emailed anyone, let alone engaged in a meet-up. I don't even check my email, which is on a separate computer.
And I think it would r/e/a/s/s/u/r/e/ /a/n/d/ /c/o/m/f/o/r/t/ /m/e/ /g/r/e/a/t/l/y/./ /N/a/m/e/,/ /a/d/d/r/e/s/s/,/ /p/h/o/n/e/ /n/u/m/b/e/r/,/ /e/m/p/l/o/y/m/e/n/t/.
ZOMG TEH BOBINSANITY LOL
Bob, if you're kidding, I admit it's pretty funny. If you're not, shut the fuck up and go away. Labs doesn't give a shit who you are, neither do I, neither does anyone else on this blog with access to your IP address.
From ogg/ed or y/o/u/ /C/a/l/a/ or mo/s/t/ /o/ther p/e/o/ple I /m/i/ght t/a/k/e/ /i/t/ /a/s/ /a/ /j/o/k//e/,/ /o/r /f/r/i/e/n/d/l/y rib. But that supe/r/c/i/l//io/u/s prick co/u/ld n/o/t e/v/en l/o/w/er /h/i/m/self t/o a/d/d/ress/ me/ di/r/e/ctl/y/,/ /k/n/owi/n/g I w/o/u/l/d/ /r/e/a/d/ /i/t.
Her/e /"L/a/b/s": Ezra Kl/ein, Ma/t/t Yg/l/e/sias, Ma/r/k Tho/m/a, A/ng/ry /Bear/, Tyler Cow/en, r/are/ly /at C/roo/ked/ Ti/m/b/er/, occa/s/i/onally at many of the 130 blogs on my blogroll. In the past at Obsidi/an W/ings, an//d I think Br/ad Del/ong has b/a/n/n/e/d/ me, but Delong is famous for i/d/e/o/l/o/g/i/c/a/l/ deleting. But check the archives of them all.
And /I /was/ h/a/v/ing/ /f/u/n, b/u/t I /a/l/so p/a/r/tly m/e/a/nt al/l/ /t/he above. I don't l/i/k/e or t/r/u/s/t/ t/h/a/t asshole, a/nd/ be/l/i/eve /i/t/ /or /n/ot,/ /I/ /l/i/k/e/ /a/l/m/o/s/t everybody. That is wh/y I have 130+ blogs on my blo/g/r/o/ll. I/ /j/u/s/t play a misa/nt/hrope on the n/ets.
Part of the fun was leav/i/n/g ph//r/as/es that will be g/o/o/g/l/e/a/b/l/e.
Ah, McManus joins D/en Be/ste in the ranks of the great victims of the blogosphere. For the record, Bob, my interest in you extends only as far as ridiculing your comments on this blog.
150:Thank you for the c/o/u/r/t/e/s//y.