OLC: The Question We Must All Ask

Because Dawn Johnsen’s known as a straight shooter who not only does not play fast and loose with the letter of the law, but is also blunt about what is required to uphold it? 

Is this why Johnsen’s nomination is really on hold?  Via The Nation:

What [Bybee] does with the law is as bad as what he does with the facts, but he does it differently. He presents sentences that judges wrote in cases and interprets them in an astounding way.

He interprets the words of statutes by taking unsupportable extreme positions–the most radical reading of a sentence or a decision of a court.

He makes one plus one add up to seven.

From their first days of law school, through moot court and examinations, writing briefs and presenting argument in court, lawyers are trained to be able either to put in or take out facts, take the opposite side–or both sides–of a legal position….

What Bybee has done here is different. He has made himself blind, deaf and dumb–he hears no evil, sees no evil, smells no evil.

By failing to lead on having a rule of law stalwart at the helm of OLC, and on too many more counts to even begin to mention here, Senate leadership as well as the Obama Administration are playing the same see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil game that Bybee and his Cheney-ite cronies continue to play.

Earlier this week, AG Eric Holder appeared at an NAACP Legal Defense Fund event at the National Press Club, where he was asked about torture.

He added that while he still doesn’t think the department should prosecute those who acted on the guidance of torture memos, but he declined to rule out prosecutions for those who drafted them. “We’ll go wherever the facts and the law take us,” he says.

Words are simply that — just words. Unless and until actions give them meaning through real accountability, it’s nothing but PR fluff and spin cycle kabuki. 

If not now, then when?

(H/T to reader wb.)

 
77 Responses to "OLC: The Question We Must All Ask"
phred | Friday May 15, 2009 05:47 am 1

I have to admit Christy, I feel a profound sense of betrayal. Pelosi can hold all the press conferences she likes, but where is the real leadership on questions regarding the rule of law and its equal application to all citizens?

Obama is re-starting the military commissions, the DoJ continues to assert sweeping legal exemption by virtue of state secrets, Obama rescinds his pledge of open and transparent government in a multitude of ways (no you don’t get to see the pictures, no the WH visitor logs aren’t subject to FOIA, …), the DoJ appears to still be acting in the political interests of the President, and Greg Craig unashamedly states that now that Obama is in office his duty to to “protect the institution of the Presidency” (really, I missed that section of the oath of office, maybe those were the words Roberts tripped over), and the best legal nominee that Obama had made is being left to fend for herself, because he and Congress can’t be bothered to expend any political capital on the rule of law. I feel sick.

But this isn’t all about Obama, where is Congress? Why aren’t they tearing into the National Security Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendments Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Detainee Treatment Act? Why aren’t they champing at the bit to get Johnson confirmed for OLC? Why haven’t they created an independent commission to thoroughly investigate the potential criminal conduct of the Bush administration?

Well, at least we’ve got the courts… with Bybee, Alito, and Roberts all on the bench… Fabulous.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 05:51 am 2
In response to phred @ 1

I’ve been feeling the same way, phred. But I’ll be damned if I’m ging to throw my hands up and walk away without at least trying to hold them accountable. Someone has to, you know?

The question is, how to best do that? What’s the most effective course? I’ve been ruminating on that a LOT lately. If folks have ideas, I’d love to hear them.


phred | Friday May 15, 2009 05:58 am 3
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 2

Oh I’m with you completely. I’m not about to give up, but man this has been a one step forward, four steps back kind of week…

I wish I had a bright idea for you, calling, writing, and continuing to raise a public stink on-line does seem to get the MSM’s attention eventually, even if they come along kicking and screaming. Perhaps our tortoise-y ways will eventually win the marathon against the Village hares ; )


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:05 am 4
In response to phred @ 3

Here’s hoping. It’s beyond frustrating to have to keep fighting the same battles over and over and over and over…


Crosstimbers | Friday May 15, 2009 06:09 am 5

Still, it seems to me that there is an increasing chance of investigation and prosecution, and that if it occurs, it will result from “popular demand”, rather than from anything which can be portrayed as Obama/Democrat political retribution. If so, I think that would prove to be the best possible way of bringing about justice, while allowing our form of government to continue with it’s tradition of peaceful change of power.


JimWhite | Friday May 15, 2009 06:09 am 6

Good morning, Christy. I’m doing my small bit for Johnsen. I’ve put up an Oxdown calling for a hold on McChrystal’s confirmation until Johnsen is confirmed. Just imagine the message the Senate sends if it confirms McChrystal, who is known to be involved in torture, hiding prisons from the ICRC, massive civilian deaths and the cover-up of the Pat Tillman murder while we still wait for Johnsen’s confirmation.

I’m going to call Hapless Harry’s office with this idea this morning. I’m trying to think who else to call. Right now I’m thinking Levin (Chair of Senate Armed Services) and Whitehouse (multiple statements in favor of Johnsen and leading anti-torture voice in the Senate).

Anyone care to join me in pushing for this? Any other suggestions on Senators to call?


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:12 am 7
In response to Crosstimbers @ 5

The key is how to leverage that “popular demand” into action on the part of a very slow-moving governmental behemoth whose tendencies are toward protecting themselves rather than accountability.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:12 am 8
In response to JimWhite @ 6

You might also want to include Leahy on that request list.


alank | Friday May 15, 2009 06:14 am 9

Yes, but will she make sure Obama understands the importance and necessity of prosecuting and disbarring OLC war crimes enablers of Christmas past?


SanderO | Friday May 15, 2009 06:14 am 10

This makes no sense… or what is implies is that, if these are honorable ethical people, someone has them by the short hairs. Or if they aren’t, we’ve been subjected to a stream of used car salesmen who talk smooth and are ethically challenged.

Maybe it’s both. May they have god intentions and simply are afraid to fight the status quo – the big boys back there with all the power who run the show and let the kabuki go on for show.

I don’t believe we have a democracy here. It’s mostly an illusion with feints to it. Objective analysis shows that.

Whenever you get someone to deconstruct whats going down Marcy Wheeler, Naomi Klein instead of shaking up the nation and inspiring a house cleaning – they are marginalized and nut cases. That’s very troubling and depressing.


foothillsmike | Friday May 15, 2009 06:15 am 11
In response to JimWhite @ 6

Why not hold up the Iraq/afghanistan spending bill instead.


phred | Friday May 15, 2009 06:18 am 12
In response to JimWhite @ 6

That’s a great idea Jim, really a great idea. Add Feingold to the list, too.


jlamkin | Friday May 15, 2009 06:18 am 13

Why are we all surprised? I date these problems back (at least) to Truman’s creation of the CIA. Our government is, essentially, a crime syndicate: financed by Wall Street corruption, directed by the dirty tricksters at the CIA, and backed up by the military and domestic police apparatus. We can keep our heads down and settle for lots of bright shiny objects (consumerism run amok), but we CANNOT call this a government of, by, or for the people. It’s an oligarchy, and we’re just the cogs that keep it running.

All this hand wringing will amount to nothing without revolutionary change. You think Obama’s gonna lead that charge? Tell me another story, Mommy!!


Crosstimbers | Friday May 15, 2009 06:19 am 14
In response to SanderO @ 10

I don’t think we all agree, even here at FDL, on how much of our system is baby and how much is bath water.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:20 am 15
In response to jlamkin @ 13

Surprised? No. Disgusted? Yes.


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:20 am 16

Morning Christy and all Pups,
Some days I feel encouraged to make phone calls, and other days I just wonder how much good it does. A couple of summers ago, when Christy encouraged us to meet with our reps, Loo Hoo and I visited with Issa’s Chief Deputy and one of the questions I asked was Do you really care about and listen to what your constituents have to say? He answered Well, of course. This from the man who didn’t see a problem with the plans that Black Water had at that time to put in a facility near San Diego.
I’m feeling extremely skeptical this am.


DLoerke | Friday May 15, 2009 06:21 am 17
In response to jlamkin @ 13

All governments are crime centers. It’s why the Founders tried to keep limits and why many are resisting the efforts to create an incredible Federal bureaucracy. The only purpose of government is National Defense. Governments shouldn’t be DOING anything else


phred | Friday May 15, 2009 06:21 am 18
In response to foothillsmike @ 11

I don’t want to speak for Jim, but what you are asking for is an apples-to-oranges exchange and it would be very hard to do. What Jim suggests is definitely an apples-to-apples arrangement and could be played beautifully. I wonder whether Harry would honor the hold on McChrystal?


foothillsmike | Friday May 15, 2009 06:24 am 19

Whew give me strengthto not feed the trolls.


leftdcin72 | Friday May 15, 2009 06:24 am 20

This post seems to suggest that Johnsen’s nomination is not being supported by the BO administration. There does not seem to be any factual basis for that position. Hopefully Johnsen will get through and be confirmed although I must say that all these institutional summa Yalies could be complemented with some of those who have real world practice of law accomplishments.


JimWhite | Friday May 15, 2009 06:25 am 21
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 8

Done.


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:25 am 22

Oh, ha. I was thinking the same thing. When was the last time we were surprised by anything?


Crosstimbers | Friday May 15, 2009 06:27 am 23
In response to DLoerke @ 17

I think you must be looking for the Ron Paul family. They live down the street.


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:27 am 24
In response to foothillsmike @ 19

Sending you circumspective strength, Mike. *g*


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:28 am 25
In response to leftdcin72 @ 20

The factual basis is this: neither Obma nor anyone in the Administration hierarchy has made calls or twisted arms whatsoever on the nomination up to now, according to numerous sources on the Hill that I’ve asked. Additionally, aside from her nomination announcement, the sole public statement in support of her out of anyone in the Administration came last week from AG Holder.

There has been no priority placed on this nomination by the WH, no push, and no efforts beyond what I detailed above. None. And the Senate Democratic leadership has been even more paltry, efforts from Whitehouse and Leahy being the sole exceptions thus far.

While it would be nice to think there is a flurry of activity no one is talking about…it just is not the case. Benign neglect is a kind term for a wholesale failure of leadership on this nomination. And as I’ve been writing in detail on this for months, if you need more than that, feel free to peruse the archives.


SanderO | Friday May 15, 2009 06:28 am 26

With each passing day I am more depressed by the Obi administration. We seem to have had so much hope that was misplaced with this crew.

It’s only gonna happen when the people take things over. Never gonna come from the top down.

No change for any good ever has.

Read Howard Zinn.


jlamkin | Friday May 15, 2009 06:29 am 27
In response to DLoerke @ 17

I now have to sadly admit that the old bromide about liberals and conservatives is true. If you’re young and conservative, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re old and liberal, you haven’t got a brain.

Didn’t Thomas Paine claim that government was designed to prevent us from following our worst impulses? Wrong again.

I used to believe in government as a force for good. I cannot make that claim any longer. I am slowly coming around to join the “drown the monster in the bathtub” crowd.


JimWhite | Friday May 15, 2009 06:30 am 28
In response to phred @ 18

Actually, you said it better than I could have. Thanks.


WarOnWarOff | Friday May 15, 2009 06:30 am 29

Hmmmm…I did not know this:

Three monkeys covering eyes, mouth and ears with their hands are the most likely known symbols of Kōshin faith, a Japanese folk religion with Chinese Taoism origins and ancient Shinto influence.

It is not very clear why the three monkeys became part of Kōshin belief, but is assumed that the monkeys caused the Sanshi and Ten-Tei not to see, say or hear the bad deeds of a person. The Sanshi (三尸) are three worms living in everyone’s body. The Sanshi keep track of the good deeds and particularly the bad deeds of the person they inhabit. Every 60 days, on the night called Kōshin-Machi (庚申待), if the person sleeps, the Sanshis will leave the body and go to Ten-Tei (天帝), the Heavenly God, to report about the deeds of that person. Ten-Tei will then decide to punish bad people making them ill, shortening their time alive and in extreme cases putting an end to their lives. Those believers of Kōshin who have reason to fear will try to stay awake during Kōshin nights. This is the only way to prevent the Sanshi to leave their body and report to Ten-Tei.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_wise_monkeys


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:31 am 30

Did I miss some sort of announcement of an Eeyore convention this morning? *g*


perris | Friday May 15, 2009 06:32 am 31

open left has a great quote;

With President Obama doing everything short of switching parties to try to shut down any questioning of what went on during the last Administration, it seems clear that we need to mount an intense push in support of those, like Whitehouse, who still believe in the rule of law.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:33 am 32
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 29

Well, that’s fascinating. Who knew?!?


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:34 am 33

(I’m looking d-d-down, Pooh). *G*


jlamkin | Friday May 15, 2009 06:36 am 34

Guilty as charged. I have tried, for so many years now, to “keep hope alive.” Somehow, seeing the very embodiment of Hope (minus the audacity part) simply roll over like this is beyond demoralizing, though.

Thanks for the (gentle) elbow in the ribs. If you keep your head up, I’ll try to, as well.


JimWhite | Friday May 15, 2009 06:37 am 35

Well, even if the administration isn’t doing much for Johnsen, it’s clear that other folks are noticing what you are doing for her. Troll attention just means you’re making progress.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:37 am 36
In response to demi @ 33

I really do get the feeling lousy about where things are this week. Truly I do. But we have to find a way to turn that disgust into action — otherwise, the failure is ours as well. I’m struggling to find some action to take.

Truly, if folks have any ideas, let me know.

Mr. ReddHedd and I will be in NOLA next week on a trip, and I’m hoping a little vacation time will revitalize my weary brain and spark a great action idea. Here’s hoping. Because I could use it — and I get the feeling a lot of other folks could as well.


foothillsmike | Friday May 15, 2009 06:38 am 37
In response to perris @ 31

He definitely is having a make me do it stretch here.


perris | Friday May 15, 2009 06:39 am 38
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 29

Ten-Tei will then decide to punish bad people making them ill, shortening their time alive and in extreme cases putting an end to their lives

but only the good die young?


ralphbon | Friday May 15, 2009 06:40 am 39

When I called Chuck Schumer’s office earlier this week, there was still no response on whether he’s voting for Johnsen or even for cloture. I mean does this Democratic leader support his goddamn president or not?


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:40 am 40

One thing I have been thinking about is that the Memorial Day recess and the summer recess times are fast approaching. Perhaps it is time to restart the “You Work For Us Summer Tour” again.

It may not make an immediate dent alla time, but it does force these people to confront the fact that the lobbyists and big donors aren’t the only people with issues that need attention. And that’s better than nothing, I suppose. *G*


SanderO | Friday May 15, 2009 06:42 am 41

People who DO things have some sort of hope – or act out of desperation or nihilism.

We didn’t break america, but we are suffering for it / from it.


phred | Friday May 15, 2009 06:42 am 42

You started it! With your call to “think, think, think think” ; ) Oh bother.


Crosstimbers | Friday May 15, 2009 06:42 am 43

I agree with your post, Christy, and will do what little I can to push for Dawn Johnsen approval. In the meanwhile, I get to go to my granddaughter’s college graduation today. Accordingly, my sky is not falling and I’m not interested in overthrowing our system just yet. If I’m naive, it’ll come out in the wash. Have a nice day, all.


perris | Friday May 15, 2009 06:43 am 44
In response to SanderO @ 41

that speaks my mind perfectly sand0


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:43 am 45

You’re right. I’ve also been feeling a little down this week because of personal stuff, but I’ll put my thinking cap on. As you say, who knows?
On a more positive note, along the Pooh allusions, The Bees Are Back!
I’ve got a large area of flowering ground cover on the side yard and they used to be covered with bees in the spring, and then they stopped doing that, but this year…there are bees. Lots of them.
How about I collect them and send them to DC, to get the buzz going?


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:44 am 46
In response to Crosstimbers @ 43

Enjoy the graduation — congrats to your granddaughter. :)


WarOnWarOff | Friday May 15, 2009 06:45 am 47
In response to perris @ 38

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad?” ;)


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:46 am 48
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 47

When God wants to punish you, he gives you what you ask for. — Isak Denisen.


oldoilfieldhand | Friday May 15, 2009 06:46 am 49

Thank you Christy.
The bottom line in this endless stream of developing controversies is that at least a part of our government, whether elected, appointed, risen to power through attrition or time in grade, is LYING to its employer (us, the American people). It’s obvious that this has been an accepted practice for YEARS! The overriding question is what are WE going to do about it? Shopping to help as mandated by GWB hasn’t really been very effective. Perhaps we should try something else…The Speaker of the House of Representatives is playing a grade school game with the CIA, “If you do, I’ll tell on you” and FAUX news is trying to distract everyone by placing the blame for all that has transpired on another woman.
Demand Dawn Johnson be confirmed. Demand Torture investigations and prosecutions. Demand open and transparent government. Demand Banking reform. Demand Universal Health Care. Demand affordable college for all Americans. Demand reduction in Military spending. If our demands are not met, every congress critter can be relegated to writing his or her memoirs simultaneously after being voted from office.
We’re running this show. Congress can always blame us in the end, and they will.
As my old high school football coach would tell me every time I made a mistake on the field “It’s not your fault! It’s my fault for putting you in the game.”

We have the power people, it will only take 6 years to change out every single elected representative in government.


foothillsmike | Friday May 15, 2009 06:48 am 50

A while back Jane teamed up with some other bloggers to form a group to push for progressive agenda. What has happened with that effort?


oldnslow | Friday May 15, 2009 06:48 am 51

Where to start?

How about the formation of a People Pac. Several million people giving just $1.00 or $2.00 a month would support an overwhelming lobbying effort. It is obvious or vote is not the voice that will be listened to. So we must beat the big money interests at their own game.

There are, I figure about 275 million of us that are being systematically beat down into poverty. (those of us not already there) A reversal of the trends of the last several decades can’t come soon enough. For a lot of us.

Oooorrrrrr, we could just take to the streets in droves. Stomp our feet and hold our breath. You know, like republicans.


WarOnWarOff | Friday May 15, 2009 06:48 am 52

Ah, and we wanted Obama… ;)


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:49 am 53
In response to foothillsmike @ 50

She’s still working on it — we’ve just been so swamped with so much stuff of late, she hasn’t had time to update. But there is work being done on targeting primaries, for one thing.


oldgold | Friday May 15, 2009 06:50 am 54

Well, as seems to be the case more often than not, I see things a bit differently than most here.

From the inception of this nation forward, from the New Deal forward and from the inauguration of Obama forward, paraphrasing McCartney/ Lennon, I see our nation getting better, a little better all the time.

Now, is it getting better fast enough? No, but it is getting better. We shouldn’t lose track of that.


JimWhite | Friday May 15, 2009 06:50 am 55
In response to demi @ 45

Okay, more diversion on the Pooh front.

We have season tickets to Gator baseball and my most constant companion at the games is my twelve year old daughter. She’s having a lot of fun with some of the names on the team this year.

We have a pitcher named Poovey. He often pitches to a catcher named Tignor. There are two brothers on the team with the last name Piggot, so of course she calls the younger one Piglet. She is happiest when all three are in the game and Poo(vey) pitches to Tignorger while Piggolet is in the outfield.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:51 am 56
In response to oldgold @ 54

We also shouldn’t stop pushing for things to get even better in the days ahead. It’s the recognition of reforms when they happen coupled with a vision for change to come that keeps us moving onward, eh?


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:52 am 57
In response to JimWhite @ 55

Priceless. I see a t-shirt sales opportunity in the making there…


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 06:53 am 58

I think that’s a great idea. I’ll call Brad Sherman’s office this afternoon and make an appointment. Why not? And, I think he’s one of the good guys. Should be a more positive and fulfilling meeting than the one with Issa’s guy.
Thanks for that suggestion.


SanderO | Friday May 15, 2009 06:53 am 59

The auto industry discovered that money lending was more profitable than making and selling cars – certainly less pesky labor issues. Make money with money.

So they all started finance arms to get people to buy their cars. Then they discovered that they could REALLY cash out in the derivative market and the lending arm became just the way to support the manufacturing biz which was failing because they couldn’t innovate and made crap. Their investors made out like bandits until the markets crashed and THE PEOPLE were asked to rescue the banks – the people who built and bought their cars and who they despise for their demands for decent living conditions – those poeple and their children and children’s children will now bail out the car makers … I mean bankers who loved money more than life.

This is pretty ugly stuff. Enter the CDS where the hedge funds – uber wealthy people placed bets that the car companies would go bankrupt – if they did they make out big time – and then buy up the assets a firesale prices – clean out all the pension and health benefits and start up again with slave wages and no worker protections.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:54 am 60
In response to demi @ 58

Frankly, anything has to be better than a meeting with Issa. *g*


cbl2 | Friday May 15, 2009 06:54 am 61

Did I miss some sort of announcement of an Eeyore convention this morning? *g*

nope. that was 4 weeks ago :D

Mornin’ Everyone.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 06:57 am 62
In response to cbl2 @ 61

LOL — I have to say, I adore Eeyore. Although I tend to be more of a Piglet and Pooh person, on the whole.


cbl2 | Friday May 15, 2009 07:02 am 63

Christy – procedural question

is OLC strictly a reactive body ? by that I mean does it only respond when queried or is it supposed to respond to constitutionally squishy stuff where it sees it ?

am just wondering in the case of these so called revised/revived military commission hearings – maybe bad example as it is Military, but would a functioning OLC tell WH ‘hold up on that’ ?


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 07:03 am 64
In response to cbl2 @ 63

It’s generally a response body in that it answers legal questions from the White House and other executive agencies on particular questions of controversy or issues that arise. But it can also do a review of prior opinions and issue corrections or updates as the law or circumstances warrant.


demi | Friday May 15, 2009 07:03 am 65
In response to JimWhite @ 55

That’s wonderful. And, no wonder you’re girls are doing so well. What a wonderful pop they have. I love the stories you share about the events you do with them. My memories of the inauguration include your sharing of the experience with your older daughter. Yay.


selise | Friday May 15, 2009 07:05 am 66
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 2

christy, i have a reading suggestion for you. it’s extremely hopeful and i think, very useful. and it may even help inspire your thinking:

doing democracy
by bill moyer
new society publishers


radiofreewill | Friday May 15, 2009 07:06 am 67

Hi Christy!

You speak Truth beautifully!

The way I see it, Confirming Dawn Johnsen is the beginning of Honorably Over-Turning Bush’s Claims to Un-Checked and Un-Balanced, Extra-Constitutional Power to Operate Above the Law.

She has both the legal chops – ianal – and the Integrity to Quash Bush’s ridiculous, but Opportunistic, Theory of Unlimited Presidential Power, while remaining fully respectful of the Honor and Traditions of the Office of the President.

In the long run, the ‘honest’ Goopers, and All Americans, will be glad if she gets Confirmed.

In the short run, however, her Confirmation Ends the Delusion of the Goopers’ Fairytale – and like a child that doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning – they just don’t want Their Dream to End.

Keep telling it like it is, Christy!


cbl2 | Friday May 15, 2009 07:06 am 68

thanks !


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 07:07 am 69
In response to selise @ 66

Thanks! Will definitely give it a read — I could really use some inspiration at the moment.


oldgold | Friday May 15, 2009 07:18 am 70

Agreed.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 07:18 am 71

btw, more on OLC issues in a fresh post up top, for folks who want a further read on Ben Nelson in particular


selise | Friday May 15, 2009 07:26 am 72

in response to reading your post and comment, i just pulled out my copy. it’s been a few years since the last time i read it and now i’m feeling inspired to read it again.

here’s the amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Doing-De…..0865714185


greenharper | Friday May 15, 2009 07:34 am 73
In response to JimWhite @ 6

Thanks for your Oxdown diary, JimWhite. I’ve both emailed and phoned my own Senators (Kennedy & Kerry) with your no-McChrystal-until-Johnsen idea. On the phone I’ve mentioned that Pat Tillman’s parents oppose McC. and why. Then did Reid, Durbin, & Feingold. They all ask me for money. Turnabout is fair play.

TC just now to Senator Whitehouse’s office with JimWhite’s proposed ploy elicited an interested tone of voice in the staffer. He said, in the interested tone of voice, that he’d pass it along to the Senator. Also called Senator Leahy’s office with the same message.

We soldier on.


sporkovat | Friday May 15, 2009 10:03 am 74
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 2

I’ve been feeling the same way, phred. But I’ll be damned if I’m ging to throw my hands up and walk away without at least trying to hold them accountable. Someone has to, you know?

The question is, how to best do that? What’s the most effective course? I’ve been ruminating on that a LOT lately. If folks have ideas, I’d love to hear them.

here is an idea: make support for the Democratic Party contingent on their enactment of policies they campaign to enact?

then if they sell you out on almost everything – phred provides a good starting list – use your bully pulpit to publicly ponder the pros and cons of 3rd parties?

maybe erode the taboo a little bit, and also serve notice to the Democrats that the support of everyone to the left of Lieberman, and now Specter, cannot simply be taken for granted, but has to be earned?

crazy I know, but how is the undying fidelity and co-dependency thing working out?

Single-payer is off the table, and Obama is continuing the flow of trillions of dollars to Wall Street, and expanding the murder of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan? How bad does the least worst have to be before people of conscience say Enough!


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday May 15, 2009 10:20 am 75
In response to sporkovat @ 74

Dude, ” undying fidelity”? How are things on the Planet Strawman today?


Blue | Friday May 15, 2009 12:36 pm 76

If not now, the when?

That’s what I thought about the last election … if after eight years of the most inept, morally bankrupt, corrupt and criminal administration we couldn’t manage to elect someone who had a chance of reversing the devastating course we were on -we would be well and truly ‘hosed’. Then Obama became the nominee. I was more than willing to be proved wrong about him but that hasn’t happened and all the data to date suggest it never will.


sporkovat | Friday May 15, 2009 01:13 pm 77

are you saying your fidelity to the Democratic Party is not the healthiest it has ever been?

well great, thats a start.

but besides the terminological quibble, how is the loyalty of the Progressive Netroots to the Democratic Party working out, post Howard Dean, just for example, which was an early high-water mark for netroots influence?

a recalcitrant congress who can’t even reward their most loyal and long-suffering constituency, Labor, with the Employee Free Choice Act?

Single Payer, widely supported and needed, off the table?

A Democrat in the White House, prolonging and extending Bush’s failed, missionless wars, and covering up for Bush’s criminal torturers, stiff-arming the vaunted ‘rule of law’ FDL has spent years catechizing?

ah yes, there is the Supreme Court nomination coming up, the trump card, the reason for voting Democratic, no matter what. we’ll see what paragon of Progressive values Obama nominates for that.


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