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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

EJ Dionne In "If I Only Had A Brain"

As you can gather from the title, I'm not a fan of this man. He lacks panache, class, style, and above all a brain. Today's entry for him is no different.

Russ Feingold tossed a political grenade at President Bush this week, but it fell into the middle of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Many Democratic senators ran away.

Yes, they did run away, but that is no different than when John Murtha made his offering of a troop withdrawal. Every Democrat in the house backed away from him, and he could only muster two more votes to side with him when the GOP forced the issue. It was a week later and then Nancy Pelosi found her spine and started siding with Murtha. Since then, she still voices her support, but if the rattling gets too raucous, expect another push by the GOP for a vote, and Murtha will be out in the cold again.

The grenade was the Wisconsin senator's proposal to censure the president for violating the law by ordering electronic surveillance on Americans without explicit congressional or court authorization. While the episode says more about Bush's political frailty than the first-blush accounts have suggested, it also underscored the frictions and tensions between passionate Democratic activists and their cautious leaders.

First of all, to Mr. Dionne: The president didn't violate the law. Were you a Constitutional attorney, you would know that. Second of all, the Democrat leadership is anything but "cautious." When Howard Dean steps up and states that "we can't win this war," or when Ted Kennedy stands up and says "Week, after week, after week, we were told lie, after lie, after lie," or when Nancy Pelosi stands up and says she's "proud" to have John Murtha serving in the House, this is anything but cautious. These "Clouseaus," to borrow a phrase froma friend, don't know the meaning of caution. However, they are quite adept at being bulls in china shops.

The president has lost so much support and credibility that Republicans were simply grateful Feingold briefly changed the political subject from the Dubai ports controversy, the mess in Iraq and Bush's anemic poll ratings.

Yes, the polls. Those blasted polls that Bush keeps looking at everyday. Those same polls that told him that he hould have waited on Iraq until his second term, that stated the tax cuts were wrong for the economy, and that stated we should get out of Iraq now. Yes, EJ can put a lot of faith in those polls. He must conduct them around his house. After all, he wouldn;t want his wife or kids calling him a George Bush cowboy, now would he? Look, the president and the GOP rarely pay attention to polls. The only ones who do are fools like McCain, Chafee, Snowe, and DeWine. But, then again, when they see falling poll numbers, there's someone out there that doesn't like them, and that's just not good for them.

As one of Feingold's colleagues pointed out, a censure proposal related to any aspect of the president's policies on terrorism would once have unleashed an unrelenting Republican attack on the sponsor's patriotism. Now, Republicans have to content themselves with using calls for censuring or impeaching Bush to rally their own dispirited troops.

I'm sorry but that's incorrect. The president's "dispirited" toops have been here all along. We have not gone anywhere, nor do we plan on going anywhere. As for the "unrelenting attacks" on their patriotism, why not call the kettle black? I'm getting a little sick of this garbage. We sit idly by, and allow them control the debate, and God forbid even the slightest move makes everyone start to question patriotism. You know what? If I were running against an incumbant Democrat, you bet I'd challenge their party's patriotism. Why? Because it's not there. They vote for the war, then complain about it and slander the troops. When they step out of line, it stands to reason that we call them on it. I want it out in the open. Either they are going to do what is right and necessary to protect this nation, or they're going to be brow-beat on the "lack of patriotism" charge. And if the Democrats don't want that to happen, I suggest they shut up.

But at a moment when Democrats have Bush on the run, Feingold's proposal was a tad inconvenient, a conversation-changer coming along when Feingold's colleagues liked the way the conversation was going just fine.

Consider the disparity between the response to Feingold's initiative among Democratic senators and the reaction among Democratic activists.

Senators mostly scampered away from the cameras earlier this week, because they didn't want to say publicly what many of them said privately. Most were livid that Feingold sprang his censure idea on a Sunday talk show without giving them any notice. Many see Feingold as more concerned with rallying support from the Democratic base for his 2008 presidential candidacy than with helping his party regain control of Congress this fall.

See, pundits like Dionne, and leaders within the Democrat Party are turning on Feingold because they don't like his move. But, in all seriousness, what is censure? Censure is nothing more than a formal reprimand from Congress. It doesn't do anything to the preisdent. It is not like impeachment, and it doesn't remove him from office. In short, Feingold is talking about wasting time and money to grandstand, which is what EJ doesn't seem to get. This is nothing more than political grandstanding. It is no different than McCain doing his torture legislation or the two of them getting together to do Campaign Finance Reform. It's a chance to say "HEY! Look at ME!" and in the process, make an absolute fool out of himself.

Some Democrats want the party to forget the issue of warrantless wiretapping, because engaging it would let Bush claim that he's tougher on terrorists than his partisan enemies. Others share Feingold's frustration with the administration's stonewalling on the program, but they think they need to know more before they can effectively challenge Bush on the issue. Both groups were furious that Feingold grabbed headlines away from those delicious stories about Republican divisions and defections.

What divisions and what defections? What faulty poll did EJ dig this one up at? Honestly, I could care less if the Democrats pulled some of the fence-sitting moderates into their camp for the time being. That's fine. Within a matter of weeks, they'll be right back up on the fence. Why? Because, in short, and not to be too rude, but those people are ignorant. They have no clue what is going on in the world today, they have no clue how this country and it's government works, and they are easily swayed by a well put together talking point. But, the Democrats have led no solid conservatives away from anything regarding the president. That's hokey. It's a lie. And I'm sure they can throw RINO's names our there to convince other people, but a RINO is nothing more than a fence sitting opportunist. They're looking for their next opportunity for noteriety.

But at the grass roots and Web roots, Feingold has become a hero -- again. They already loved him for his courage in opposing the USA Patriot Act and his call for a timetable for troop withdrawals from Iraq. Feingold's latest move only reinforced his image of being "a Dem with a spine," as the left-liberal Web site BuzzFlash.com put it in a comment representative of the acclaim he won across the activist blogs.

Well, BuzzFlash can call him "a Dem with a spine" all they want, but he's not. He's a pure opportunist. He's looking for the next big splash, and he's pretty sure he can milk this for a little while before another Democrats steps up and steals the spotlight away. And if this move can make him a contender in 2008, he's more than happy to give it a whirl, even though it may not be a step his party is willing to go through. I won't lie. The Democrats don't want President Bush censured. They want him impeached. And they want Cheney impeached. But they are never going to get it because they don't have a crime that either one has committed. That is the sticking point on this. If there's no crime, there can be no charge, and therefore, you can have no impeachment.

In an interview, Feingold was unrepentant, arguing that before he made his proposal, "the whole issue of the president violating the laws of this country was being swept under the rug."

And that statement alone shows how idiotic Feingold is. He has no clue what he's talking about. The president has not violated any law. He has acted within the confines of the laws regarding surveillance of a foreign nation or agent. In re Sealed Case 01-002 of the FISA review court specifically states the president has this power. That case upheld the power the President Clinton utilized. If the courts state that President Clinton could do it, why does it not apply to Bush in Feingold's eyes? Where were the calls to censure Clinton? They weren't there. And yet, the Democrats refused to back the impeachment of President Clinton, and he actually committed a crime. Now, like my two partners here at The Asylum, I didn't back that measure because it was doomed to fail. It was a waste of time and money for this nation to impeach the president, and be unable to remove him. And despite the fact I was not a fan of Clinton, I sure as heck didn't want Gore as president.

"We were going to sit back as Democrats and say, 'This is too hot to handle' -- well that's outrageous." He warned that "the mistakes of 2002 are being repeated," meaning, he said, that Democrats should never again "cower" before Bush on security issues, as so many at the grass roots saw them doing before the 2002 elections.

The mistakes of 2002? You people can't outrun your old ghosts fast enough. They can't distance themselves from Carter or Clinton, and when it comes to strategizing, they're going back to Gingrich's "Contract With America" to come up with "new" ideas. And of course they're going to "cower" on issues of national security because the party, for the most part, doesn't believe it should defend this nation. When we're attacked, it's our fault. When soldiers die on the battlefield, it's our fault. The Democrats waste so much time blaming America that it's a wonder they have anytime to do anything else at all.

And it's a sign of Feingold's view of some of his Democratic colleagues that he defended his decision not to let them in on his plan. Had they known what he was up to, he said, "they would have planned a strategy to blunt this."

Of course they would have! I already expalined this. They want impeachment, not a slap on the wrist. Does Feingold think that anyone will remember the president was censured when he leaves office the way we remember that Clinton was impeached? The president has done more good for this nation, and history will bear this out, than anything that could overshadow his eight years in office. The moonbats will remember him as "King George III." Democrats will remember him as the amiable dunce that made them look stupid for eight years. The country will remember him as the reluctant hero as he engaged bloodthirsty enemies that attacked and threatened this nation. The Democrats want something to put a damper on the man's legacy, and censure isn't the answer.

Here's the problem: Feingold and the activists are right that Democrats can't just take a pass on the wiretapping issue, because Bush's legal claims are so suspect -- even to many in his own party. The opposition's job is to raise alarms over potential abuses of presidential power.

I'm sorry, but EJ's wrong. The claims aren't suspect. They're backed up by court precedent. As a matter of fact, they have been backed up quite a few times. Now, I've heard people bring up Attorney General Gonzales' recent testimony before the Judiciary Committee that "he didn't cite any precedent." Well, that's Gonzales's problem then. The precedent is set in stone right now. It goes back to the 70's with Clay, Truong, and Butenko. It hits the 80's with United States v. United States District Court. And it is brought into the new millenium with In re Sealed Case 01-002. The kids did their homework on this. I did mine. It's not our fault if the attorney general didn't do his. But it doesn't change the fact that the courts have ruled on this, and tyhey have sided with the executive branch's power.

But Democrats, unlike Republicans, have yet to develop a healthy relationship between activists willing to test and expand the conventional limits on political debate and the politicians who have to calculate what works in creating an electoral majority.

For two decades, Republicans have used their idealists, their ideologues and their loudmouths to push the boundaries of discussion to the right. In the best of all worlds, Feingold's strong stand would redefine what's "moderate" and make clear that those challenging the legality of the wiretapping are neither extreme nor soft on terrorism.

No, they're nuts with no clue. And you can challenge the surveillance program. (I wish they'd quit calling it wiretapping as it is not the case.) But, once the challenge has been made, and it has been refuted, the debate is over. Thus far, our side--conservatives--are winning this argument. Feingold has no traction with it. As a matter of fact, he claims that he is doing this because the "nation is outraged." Really? Has he seen his precious polls on this issue. Does he realize that the percentage of people in favor of this program is right around 78-79%? That means a majority of America backs up the president on this issue. He had better question the facts of the moonbats gathering information for him on this issue because they're obviously not paying attention to what America has said about this, or even the courts for that matter.

That would demand coordination, trust and, yes, calculation involving both the vote-counting politicians and the guardians of principle among the activists. Republicans have mastered this art. Democrats haven't.

Turning a minority into a majority requires both passion and discipline. Bringing the two together requires effective leadership. Does anybody out there know how to play this game?

Yes, EJ; many of us do. And like always, it's obvious you do not. Nor does your party. Funny that, don't you think. The Democrats spent forty-plus years basically controlling both sides of Congress. They lose power, and they can't figure out a way to get it back. the GOP spent many years out of power, but knew how to play the game, and when they do get power they can't to figure out how to utilize it properly. That's always amazed me. The GOP in the Senate should not be acting spineless at all. Nor should they be acting like they're lost. The Democrats lack the power, but are used to being bullies which is why those tactics come so naturally to them.

It's time that the real leaders step up, and take their respective parties by the horns. 2006 could shape up to be a watershed year for either side. The GOP, if it plays it's cards right, and several of the RINOs are jettisoned, could be a potent force. The Democrats, should they pull their act together, could pull the Senate back under their control. (It's a pipedream for the Democrats to gain enough seats in the House to take it back.) But, pulling their act together means ignoring nuts liike Feingold. His ideas will only bring the party set the party back further. And with Dean helming the party, that's almost assured now; the Democrats need to get rid of these nuts. Unfortunately, too many of them are beholden not to their constituents, but to their own blind, selfish desires of regaining power at all costs.

Mistress Pundit


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