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"Never Say Die!", Said the Dead Horse that Wished to be Beaten...

Other folks have observed that Senator Larry Craig’s failure to go quietly into that good night makes him the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats. I agree, but even so, they’re missing the forest for this particularly wide-stanced tree.

Larry Craig's inability to just walk away, his perseveration and vacillation on the national stage reflects his party's general unwillingness to admit mistakes. When you get a party where ambition and image manipulation are are so highly valued, these kinds of things are bound to happen. Larry Craig's problem is that he was counting on keeping this quiet. It's clear that he wished to avoid public embarrassment, clear that he didn't want to cause political problems for his party. I doubt the Republicans in general got together and thought up ways they could dropkick their party into the toilet tank.

Trouble is, the Republicans like many people don't accept that setbacks and misfortunes are part and parcel of the natural order. If you're a closeted Republican who cruises restrooms for gay sex, those setbacks and misfortunes will eventually involve the vice squad. If you're a Congress that not only pays inordinate attention to the lobbyists, but runs an operation that gets the lobbyists working essentially for the party, there will be a reckoning. I could give some hoary old advice on how you should just not pull this kind of crap in the first place, but that's not what I'm writing about here.

Democrats have had their fun, but they don't much care that the man's gay. The Democrats haven't built up their political base on homophobia, so we don't really score any points for burning Craig at the stake. The Republicans, though, have made such intolerance a stock in trade, so they're pretty much self-inflicting this on themselves. The trouble with things now, is that Craig has just thought about himself and his own legacy, and boy is he worried about being seen as a bad boy, a bad, nasty boy. That'd be a little troublesome. Of course, hardly anybody believes him, but still, he's got to try, if only, I'd guess, for those close to him. Can't be identified with those sodomites he beat up on all those years.

Now Mitch McConnell has gotten into the game. As before, the Republicans are failing to leave well enough alone. Maybe he has little to lose, since it's exceedingly rare that anybody who pleads guilty to a crime gets to become unguilty, but it seems like he and Craig are laboring under the impression that if they can successfully challenge this in a court of law, the whole problem will be done away with, and the party will be vindicated. What they fail to see is that all this effort that it's taking to try and wipe the slate clean is just leaving the chalk dust all over them. Nobody's being fooled, besides the people who want badly to believe the best of the Republican Party.

There's a point at which redefining the debate to shore up your credibility becomes a sure sign to others that you lack it. How many Benchmarks on Iraq can the administration disregard, how many promises can they gloss over, before even some of the most faithful supporters of the war find their claims dubious? Crediblity is not a limitless resource. You waste it at your own peril.

The Republicans didn't lose become of corruption, because of Iraq, because of Enron, or even because of Katrina. The Republicans have lost because they have lost crediblity on nearly every front. With Corruption and their big-spending, government expanding ways, they undermined the morale of their base, and convinced those who bought the notion that Democrats were worse that they'd been conned. With Iraq, they proved they could screw-up a war just as well as Democrats had a couple generations before, squandering one of their true political leads in American politics. With Enron, and all the subsequent economic failures, they've undermined the supply-side economic theories that held some of their other charm, and convinced people that the heavier regulation tendencies of the Democrats were the better course of action.

And Katrina? Katrina proved that in an Emergency, the Republicans could not be counted upon to rescue and protect other Americans.

At some point, if you drain away your credibility on all these issues, most people are going to ask this question: what good does it do to vote for you, if that's all the use that I get out of you?

Now, it might seem that I'm coming down hard on the Republicans. I am. But let me give my fellow Democrats this same warning: credibility matters. We can fool ourselves with floods and torrents of party propaganda, but at that the end of the day we are just as vulnerable to anybody else to encasing ourselves in a self-serving ideology of propaganda and spin, and just as able to suffer the consequences of frustrating Americans who want the hypocrisy, scandal, and double talk kept to a minimum.

We need to take care not to so insulate ourselves behind walls of party faithfulness. We risk, if we do that, taking our party's engines of communication, and putting them to the task of seeing how far we can try American's patience before they lose it with us. Responsibility, honesty, and integrity are not merely nice things to have in a politician, they are essential things for a party that wants to keep the favor of the American people.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 4:07 PM
Comments
Comment #231883

Wow! So now the Republican leadership is protecting Craig just like they did with that pedophile Foley? After all last week saying that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans kick out their bad apples?

What a waste of spin. That’s got to really tick off the right-wing water carriers like Hannity and Limbaugh. All that work they did last week — for nothing!

Excellent article, Stephen. You’re right, of course, about the credibility thing.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 5, 2007 6:18 PM
Comment #231887

Responsibility, honesty, and integrity are not merely nice things to have in a politician, they are essential things for a party that wants to keep the favor of the American people. Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 04:07 PM

Stephen, what party and politicians are you referring to here? Certainly not the Democrats who have fallen behind the president in recent polling. Does that suggest “keeping the favor?” Linking the virtues you cite above to the Democrat party is simply hilarious. Conservatives have been accused on this site of being blind followers. Is your imitation of being blind one of sincere admiration or something else?

Posted by: Jim at September 5, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #231889

Jim:

You missed it. Stephen was warning Democrats, as well he should. We certainly need to step up and watch what we do.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 5, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #231891

Jim-
Womanmarine has it right. I’m not letting anybody off the hook.

If anything, I think Democrats are having problems because some have not caught on to just how little credibility the Republicans have left on Iraq. They’re worried that they might be given the old backstabber designation that they got after Vietnam. Truth is, they really screwed it up, and even many on the right place the blame on the Bush administration.

If it’s bad to blindly follow your own party, making excuses for its mistakes, it’s worse to knowingly follow the other side out of fear, when you’re fully aware they’re making a mistake.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 7:41 PM
Comment #231909

Stephen, you have very adeptly addressed my biggest gripe with present day government. The words credibility and integrity pretty much say it all. I might also add that honesty and accountability are some pretty important factors. The republicans have had very little of either for the last six and a half years. Of course if they had been honest and accepted accountability for their actions they could have built credibility and been viewed as a party of integrity. They broke the trust. And until they admit that ethics and campaign reform, and corruption are serious issues in government they will not be viewed as a party that is willing to work to regain that trust.

I, like yourself hope that our democrat party sees the dire need to avoid falling into the same pitiful swamp of denial and deception. I for one am holding them accountable. The trust at this point is theirs to lose.

As for Craig, I couldn’t care less if the guy is gay. So long as he can perform his job effectively who really cares. The real problem is that if he is indeed gay, the fact that he is trying to hide it, and is presumably lying about it, while advocating against it, once again speaks of a less than honest character. This is just another questionable behavior adding to what is rapidly developing into a rather shady, eyebrow raising, head shaking general perception of republican politics.

Posted by: RickIL at September 5, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #231918

If you want to take a scandal related to one member of a political party and extrapolate from it to say that it somehow represents the entire group, it would be very easy to do for anybody. But what’s the value of doing so?

John Edwards who talks about “two Americas” and protecting the enviroment while an SUV is parked outside his mansion? The Clintons taking donations from fugitives from the law? Harry Reid and Obama’s shady real estate deals? What does Ted Kennedy “represent” about the Democrats? The guy who while having an affair and drunk-driving crashed his car and left a woman to die?

I’m not saying that the actions of these people somehow represent some essential trait about Democratic policies… but then I’m not trying to make the forced argument that you are while turning a blind eye to one party and throwing muck at the other.

Posted by: Liam at September 5, 2007 11:32 PM
Comment #231926

Liam-
Edwards: The SUV is a hybrid model, and the mansion is energy star rated. Last I heard, it was no crime to be rich and advocate to help the poor.

Clintons: Do you think they would willingly associate with him if they knew? No. Did they know? Not at all. His status as a fugitive only became important after they, along with everybody else, found out the hard way about him.

Oh, and I think we can safely say they’re not going to help defend him here.

Harry Reid’s supposedly shady deal was to sell land he owned with a friend to an LLC that he owned with the same friend. The person who reported the story didn’t even get the amount of money he profited by right. As for Obama? The Deal did look bad, but Obama’s taken full responsiblity for the blunder, and he’s not trying to paint it as anything else. However, at the same time, Rezko never had any political business before Obama, so the deal never came out of any kind of political quid pro quo.

As for Ted Kennedy? Nobody can reasonably argue that he intended to get her killed. He plead guilty to what he was charged with, and stuck by that plea, unlike some we could name.

Regardless, my point was not that our politicians are going to be perfect. My point was that there really wasn’t much point in how the Republican party and its members have continued to cover for and encourage a culture of covering for such behavior.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 12:46 AM
Comment #231933

The real problem, my friends, like Stephen said is credibility. The distance of the ruling class from the governed is what is leading to this gap.

I even see this in everyday corporations. The Execs talk about the boorish behavior of their workers and their inability to think of their own futures, whilst forgetting that their workers don’t have disposable income to invest in their futures.

If you’ve never or only long ago experienced day to day living without a safety net, you likely have no concept of what it is like.

I believe we are entering a period where classism is going to be key to the politics of the future.

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 6, 2007 1:30 AM
Comment #231946

A sterling new example of the heights of absurdity that Republicans will go to avoid admitting their people can do any wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 8:27 AM
Comment #231969

Stephen, you should summarize the story because most people won’t bother to click the link,

Supporters of Sen. Larry Craig with the American Land Rights Association are calling for a boycott of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport.

Cuckoo!

Posted by: American Pundit at September 6, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #232000

Hmmmmm … what about William Jefferson?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #232010

Okay, it won’t be the first time I’ve been called stupid….. private property rights in a public bathroom????
And yet d.a.n, as David R has pointed out, the Jefferson thing does not have the R’s bouncing off the walls with demands for justice. Something in there they would rather not see get out?
And,and, today Craig is flipping again on his decision to try and hold onto his position.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 6, 2007 4:49 PM
Comment #232014

Dan-
Well, what are you expecting us to do about him? The national party’s thrown him under the Bus. Just about nobody stood up to defend him. Nobody’s boycotting airports on his behalf, or keeping him in his high position. Would you have us go put his district under martial law and force them to vote for somebody else?

We’re not circling the wagons around him, boycotting airports, keeping him in the trappings of his former glories. He lost his place on the Ways and Means Committee. He used to be very influential, now he’s marginalized.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 5:08 PM
Comment #232048

It’s just that fueling the partisan warfare seems pointless when there is so little difference between the incumbent politicians in BOTH parties; both are so covered with the mud being slung, that they are essentially indistinguishable. After all, Congress’ approval rating is now down to 18% (tied with the lowest numbers ever). Probably because Do-Nothing Congress is living up to its do-nothing reputation.

Craig’s a pervert and pled guilty. Sure he’s flip-flopping. That’s what most (if not all) politicians do best. And most voters reward them for it, as evidenced by Congress’ 90%-to-95% re-election rate since 1996. It wouldn’t surprise me if Idaho re-elected him.

Between the two though, which crime is worse? Craig’s or William Jefferson’s ? Also, I seen lot of Replicrooks saying Craig should resign. But it doesn’t surprise me that some politicians in EITHER party want to preserve seats for THEIR party.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 9:45 PM
Comment #232049
Now, it might seem that I’m coming down hard on the Republicans. I am. But let me give my fellow Democrats this same warning: credibility matters. We can fool ourselves with floods and torrents of party propaganda, but at that the end of the day we are just as vulnerable to anybody else to encasing ourselves in a self-serving ideology of propaganda and spin, and just as able to suffer the consequences of frustrating Americans who want the hypocrisy, scandal, and double talk kept to a minimum. : We need to take care not to so insulate ourselves behind walls of party faithfulness. We risk, if we do that, taking our party’s engines of communication, and putting them to the task of seeing how far we can try American’s patience before they lose it with us. Responsibility, honesty, and integrity are not merely nice things to have in a politician, they are essential things for a party that wants to keep the favor of the American people.
Wise advice. Do you think politicians are listening/heeding that advice?

It doesn’t seem like it.
Americans don’t seem to think so either.

Not if you go by an 18% approval rating.

Could be (I hope) Americans are finally getting sick of corrupt, bought-and-paid-for, do-nothing incumbent politicians in BOTH parties. If not, then the voters will continue to suffer the consequences of the government they deserve; the government they reward for growing more corrupt, irresponsible, and fiscally and morally bankrupt.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 9:54 PM
Comment #232051
Dan- Well, what are you expecting us to do about him? The national party’s thrown him under the Bus. Just about nobody stood up to defend him.
As I recall, lots of DEMs squawked and screamed about the FBI searching William Jefferson’s office and claimed constitutional violations. Those claims didn’t get much sympathy in court. There were even claims of racism.

The problem with mudslinging is that it sticks to BOTH when BOTH are so corrupt. BOTH are essentially indistinguishable. BOTH are so covered with so much mud, it doesn’t matter which is the most corrupt.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #232112

The 18% rating is for not standing up to Bush when it matters. The Democrats were put in there to be a counterbalance to the mad prince in the White House, and they haven’t been.

As for Jefferson? You don’t see our pundits defending him. You don’t see the Democrats keeping him in his formerly powerful assigments. Democrats are truly ashamed of the guy. Some in the black community support him, and obviously his district re-elected him, but as much as you’d like to believe that having him around makes us the equivalent of a party that had and still has broad swaths of its personnel under criminal suspicion, is a bit of a stretch.

Democrats have a sense of shame. We don’t believe supporting the party at all costs does us much good. Unlike the Republicans, we want good things out of government. Unlike the Republicans, there’s significant antipathy to just letting the Corporations get what they want.

The thinking that the parties are no different from one another is what got us into trouble with Bush in the first place. Anybody who thinks that the majority of violations this President committed and allowed, that his attitudes would have been replicated by a Democrat just don’t know what they’re talking about. Gore wouldn’t have sat at the feet of the Neocons to absorb their wisdom. Iraq would have been something to get bothered about by them, rather than a common cause to pursue, especially in the wake of 9/11. No Democrat would have sought so diligently to get us into that war, nor would have been such a cronyist with the staffing of important positions.

You love to equivocate about that. It’s a lot simpler than this nuanced response: “The Democrats are better than the Republicans, but we can do a lot better than them.”

The truth is, though, until you can raise an army, if you will, of viable national third-party candidates, you can’t do anything about changing that. Until you get people in there who can take seats away from the parties in Congress, you’ve got nothing to displace the duopoly, as you call it, from it’s near-exclusive power.

What’s needed from your side is patience, and the willingness to get your hands dirty in small, local politics, rather than immediately tackling ambitions higher up. I think it would do the parties good to have to face competition from below, but it’s got to be able to show up on the playing field and win for the threat to be truly real to the main parties. Otherwise, there’s literally nothing to fear.

Unfortunately, too many people believe that it’s simply a matter of riding voter sentiments and disgruntlement into success. As long as the main, viable choices remain with the two parties, though, voters will simply slosh back and forth, and really, they’ll feel they have to.

If they don’t know these third party candidates, if they haven’t seen them in action at a lower level, seen they could get the job done, it’ll be very unlikely that they’ll take the gamble and vote for them.

You shouldn’t wait for it. Build the third parties now, and build them from both sides. I’d say form new ones, on both sides of the spectrum, so you don’t have to deal with the fringe agendas that scare people off.

Don’t think this is going to be easy, or should be easy. Nobody’s entitled to an instant national presence. Even Democrats, who are a national party, well known, had to fight to get votes. This journey of a thousand miles has to start with the first step, and then follow from there. These parties need to build their bases, if they want to be formidable presences. The alternative is to remain in obscurity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2007 8:52 AM
Comment #232128
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The 18% rating is for not standing up to Bush when it matters. The Democrats were put in there to be a counterbalance to the mad prince in the White House, and they haven’t been.
Good. Admission of that is progress. There’s more to it though. DEMs are pathetic on illegal immigration, spending, pork-barrel, waste, etc.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for Jefferson? You don’t see our pundits defending him.
But they did initially. Said searching his office was unconstitutional, and even claimed it was racism.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have a sense of shame. We don’t believe supporting the party at all costs does us much good.
Could have fooled me.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Unlike the Republicans, we want good things out of government.
Ha! No bias in that statemnet, eh? Politicians want good things for themselves and to hell with the country, as evidenced by so many acts it would take libraries to list all of it. Here’s just a small sample.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Unlike the Republicans, there’s significant antipathy to just letting the Corporations get what they want.
Really? Hmmmmm … like Pelosi trying to omit the minimum wage for Guam because she represents Starkist? Like DEMs continued refusal to enforce existing immigration laws that protect illegal employers that despicably pits American citizens and illegal aliens agaisnt each other? Face it. They’re both so FOR-SALE, it doesn’t matter. And DEMs certain have a much greater affinity to pork-barrel based on the report cards at CAGW.ORG .
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The thinking that the parties are no different from one another is what got us into trouble with Bush in the first place.
Yep. And it’s true.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Anybody who thinks that the majority of violations this President committed and allowed, that his attitudes would have been replicated by a Democrat just don’t know what they’re talking about.
Really? Didn’t you just write above that Stephen Daugherty wrote: “The 18% rating is for not standing up to Bush when it matters.”
Stephen Daugherty wrote: No Democrat would have sought so diligently to get us into that war, nor would have been such a cronyist with the staffing of important positions.
Really? Like LBJ and JFK in Vietnam?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You love to equivocate about that.
Not true. Just the facts.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Democrats are better than the Republicans, but we can do a lot better than them.
Think so? There doesn’t seem to be much difference.
  • We’re still in Iraq.
  • Pork-barrel is still rampant and DEMs are the worst about it based on CAGW.ORG report cards.
  • Unemployment is rising now.
  • Inflation is rising now.
  • Foreclosures are rising now.
  • National Debt is still growing fast (just passed $9 Trillion)
  • Social Security ($12.8 Trillion in debt) is still being plundered
  • Congress just passed another BILL to allow spying on citizens without civil oversight
  • Corruption is still rampant and growing
  • Voters (even long time DEMs are beginning to ask why DEMs haven’t accomplished anything?
  • DEMs are likely to lose the White House if they run Hillary
  • DEMs tried to push through a shamnesty BILL which P.O.ed a lot of DEM voters. DEM politicians are despicably choosing to pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. Not that REPUBs are any better, but the voters perceive DEMs as weak on illegal immigration and border security.
And all DEMs can ever do is the same thing REPUBs do … blame the OTHER party, while pressing problems still go ignored and allowed to grow in number and severity.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The truth is, though, until you can raise an army, if you will, of viable national third-party candidates, you can’t do anything about changing that.
Don’t have to. With 18% approval ratings, and DEMs dismal record on Iraq and illegal immigration, the voters may finally be getting sick of both.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Until you get people in there who can take seats away from the parties in Congress, you’ve got nothing to displace the duopoly, as you call it, from it’s near-exclusive power.
It’s just a matter of time. There’s a built-in self-correction. Pain and misery. Caused by Do-Nothing Congress which consists almost equally of both DEMs and REPUBs.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s needed from your side is patience, and the willingness to get your hands dirty in small, local politics, rather than immediately tackling ambitions higher up.
That too. But the 18% approval rating doesn’t bode well for do-nothing politicians in EITHER party. Always blaming everything on REPUBs and fueling the partisan-warfare just doesn’t cut it. Not even with American voters that are so apathetic, complacent, and disinterested. Their interest level will grow proportionally with the painful consequences resulting from so much corruption in BOTH parties.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think it would do the parties good to have to face competition from below, but it’s got to be able to show up on the playing field and win for the threat to be truly real to the main parties. Otherwise, there’s literally nothing to fear.
The lack of competition just allows the corruption to grow and grow. And it is. DEMs got their turn to be the IN-PARTY, and did nothing but continue to grow the corruption and blame REPUBs for accomplishing nothing.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Unfortunately, too many people believe that it’s simply a matter of riding voter sentiments and disgruntlement into success. As long as the main, viable choices remain with the two parties, though, voters will simply slosh back and forth, and really, they’ll feel they have to.
True. Voters let the two parties simply take turns being irresponsible and unaccountable. But I’ve got a feeling the next election is going to see more anti-incumbent sentiment that may possibly start to put a dent in the 90%-to-95% re-election rates. It’s just a matter of time. Anti-incumbent voting was highest during the Great Depression.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Don’t think this is going to be easy, or should be easy. Nobody’s entitled to an instant national presence. Even Democrats, who are a national party, well known, had to fight to get votes. This journey of a thousand miles has to start with the first step, and then follow from there. These parties need to build their bases, if they want to be formidable presences. The alternative is to remain in obscurity. And they’re blowin’ it. Voters will respond accordingly when the consequences of so much corruption in BOTH parties is finally realized. Unfortunately, that raelization will come too late.
Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 10:58 AM
Comment #232200

Dan-

Unfortunately for Mr. McConnell, the scales are heavily tilted against Republicans at the moment. Republicans can point to the indictment of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, but Democrats can counter with the names of Senators Craig, Vitter and Stevens not to mention those of former Representatives Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and Don Sherwood.
Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona, another Republican under investigation, has already announced he will not seek re-election and top aides to Representative John Doolittle of California, a former member of the Republican leadership, were called before a grand jury this week.

Here’s the source on that. the lobbyists were in quite a bit of the panic as this year’s transitions came about. Wonder why? Could it be that the K-Street project entrenched corporate and special interests in their party to such a degree, that they were unprepared to start hiring people who would talk to Democrats?

It’s not as if we’re perfect, but when you start talking about us being equally corrupt, that’s a claim that doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

Especially this “Do-Nothing Congress” thing. Even A dyed in the wool Republican is citing the evidence that we’re decidedly outpacing recent Congresses in terms of legislation, and days spent in session. Many of our problems in getting stuff through relates to our slim majority in the Senate, which the Republicans have used at a literally record pace to de-rail just about every bit of legislation they can get their hands on.

This is the address:
1)http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/18218.html

Note the nice catchy graphic showing an incredible spike in obstructionism. Now, if you consider this evidence for what it is, you might conclude that Partisan Gridlock is much of what’s responsible for the negative view of the new Congress. It might be refreshing for a change that you consider such evidence instead of continuing to insist on using your patented catchphrases under counterfactual circumstances.

I said that Democrats, unlike Republicans, want good things out of government. Is that not the definitional difference between our parties on domestic issues, that the Republicans dislike using government to try and do good, while the Democrats are open to such things? Are you just wanting argue with me on even the obvious truisms I write?

As for your crack about LBJ and JFK getting us into Vietnam, let me continue with obvious truths: that was over 40 years ago. The Democratic party has considerably changed since then, into the party that I’m referring to in the here and the now. Clinton didn’t go into Iraq, didn’t want to go.

Finally, let me respond to what I think is the driving point of your argument: I think you utterly missed my point. God knows, I think you might find an ally in me if you weren’t so intent on trying to make me out to be a hypocrite.

But you’re not content to have a Democrat on your side who wants his party to do his best. You’re not content to leave party politics out of it and engage it on the level of political philosophy.

I call myself a Democrat because of where I stand on things, not because I have any great love for particular politicians. If you understood that, you would understand that I am not disagreeing with you on these points as an agent of those in power, but on account of my own disagreements with you, your tactics, and your rather rigid and partisan way of discussing issues.

I’ve found that one of the most useless things to try in politics is browbeating people into abandoning their politics. You need to consider what people believe and why, and consider how you get them to move closer to what you believe. You aren’t entitled to that shift in opinion, nor can you earn it through pages worth of statistics and self-authored words of wisdom. You have to make a connection with people. You have to find your common ground rather than attempt to exile people from the land of the correct. If you are going to tell people they’re wrong, by God, give them some evidence to back your claim up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2007 6:25 PM
Comment #232216

Really? Thanks for the link. He said in that link:

Congress Deserves Better Ratings, but Not by Much

… which pretty much agrees the label Do-Nothing Congress.htm

“… and your rather rigid and partisan way of discussing issues.”
Ha! If that ain’t the kettle callin’ the pot black.
You have to make a connection with people.
Not true. Unlike some, I know what I say, write, and do has little impact. Time and consequences will do have the much needed impact needed to bring about reforms to end corruption. It’s a built-in self correction (if it occurs in time).
I call myself a Democrat because of where I stand on things
It is delusional to believe that either party is much better that the other when BOTH are so corrupt that it makes no difference.
If you are going to tell people they’re wrong, by God, give them some evidence to back your claim up.
I do all the time. Saying BOTH parties are just about equally corrupt agrees with the link you so kindly provided, and most people agree with it too as evidenced by the 18% approval rating.

We can only hope the anti-incumbent trend continues to grow. That is the only thing that will send a loud and clear message, and remove the career criminals from Congress.

…Republicans can point to the indictment of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson,
And …
  • William Jefferson’s crime (caught red-handed on video and with $90K of $100K bribe hidden in his refridgerator in $10K bundles wrapped in tin foil in separate containers) is worse than Larry Craig’s misdemeanor.
  • Is Trafficant still in jail?
  • Dan Rostenkowski got a pardon despite pleading guilty (along with 546 pardons by Clinton; 140 on his last day in office).
  • Democrats position on illegal immigration is truly dismal, even though neither party is serious about doing anything about it. However, the reality that neither are serious about it if Democrats are preceived by most as weak on enforcing existing immigration laws and border security (which is almost non-existent; by design)
  • Clinton was impeached and disgraced the office; although, considering Hillary, it might be quite understandable?
  • : Democrats convicted between 1992 and 1999:
    • Nick Mavroules, Massachusetts Democrat: tax evasion, accepting illegal gratuity (1992).
    • Albert Bustamante, Texas Democrat: racketeering (1993).
    • Carroll Hubbard, Kentucky Democrat: fraud and corruption (1994).
    • Carl Perkins, Kentucky Democrat: fraud (1994).
    • Charlie Rose, North Carolina Democrat: financial-disclosure irregularities (1994).
    • Larry Smith, Florida Democrat: tax evasion (1994).
    • Walter Fauntroy, District of Columbia Democrat: financial-disclosure misdemeanor (1995).
    • Gerald Kleczka, Wisconsin Democrat: arrested for DWI (1995 and 1990); convicted DWI (1987).
    • Mel Reynolds, Illinois Democrat: sexual misconduct (1995).
    • Walter Tucker, California Democrat: extortion (1995).
    • Charles Wilson, Texas Democrat: paid $90,000 fine to Federal Election Commission (1995).
    • Joe Kolter, Pennsylvania Democrat: fraud and conspiracy (1996).
    • Dan Rostenkowski, Illinois Democrat: mail fraud (1996). Pardoned by Clinton.
    • Mary Rose Oakar, Ohio Democrat: financial-disclosure irregularities (1998).
    • Austin J. Murphy, Pennsylvania Democrat: vote fraud (1999).
  • This is a first in American politics: An ex-congressman (a democrat) who had sex with an underaged subordinate won clemency from a president (Clinton; a Democrat) who also had sex with a subordinate, then was hired by a clergyman (also Democrat) who had sex with a subordinate. Must be contagious, eh?
  • Most convictions and guilty pleas during their two terms: Clinton
  • Most Cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation.
  • Most witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
  • Number of individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47
  • Number of these convictions during Clinton’s presidency: 33
  • Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61 Number of congressional witnesses who have pled the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to be interviewed: 122 (9/99)
  • Estimated number of witnesses quoted in FBI files misappropriated by the White House: 18,000 Number of witnesses who developed medical problems at critical points in Clinton scandals investigation (Tucker, Hale, both McDougals, Lindsey): 5
  • Problem areas listed in a memo by Clinton’s own lawyer in preparation for the president’s defense: 40
  • Number of witnesses and critics of Clinton subjected to IRS audit: 45
  • Number of names placed in a White House secret database without the knowledge of those named: c. 200,000
  • Number of women involved with Clinton who claim to have been physically threatened: 5 (Sally Perdue, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Linda Tripp, Elizabeth Ward Gracen)
  • Number of men involved in the Clinton scandals who have been beaten up or claimed to have been intimidated: 9
  • Number of times Hillary Clinton said “I don’t recall” or its equivalent in a statement to a House investigating committee: 50
  • Number of times Bill Clinton said “I don’t recall” or its equivalent in the released portions of the his testimony on Paula Jones: 271
  • Number of times John Huang took the Fifth Amendment in answer to questions during a Judicial Watch deposition: 1,000. Larry corrected this figure and says it has grown to 1934 and with more testimony to come is expected to exceed 2000 and become “a new indoor world record”.
  • Visits made to the White House by investigation subjects Johnny Chung, James Riady, John Huang, and Charlie Trie: 160
  • The number of campaign contributors who got overnights at the White House in the two years before the 1996 election: 577
  • The a book by journalists Lynn Vincent and Robert Stacy McCain, they chronicle how corrupt Democrats in Congress outnumber corrupt Republicans by as much as three to one.
  • House Dem Committed 250 Ethics Violations, Group Says By Monisha Bansal CNSNews.com Staff Writer: April 10, 2006: (CNSNews.com) - U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) has committed over 250 violations of House ethics rules, according to a conservative legal watchdog group. The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a complaint with the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia on Feb. 28, alleging that Mollohan failed to disclose and grossly underreported his assets, loans and interests in certain companies. Ken Boehm, chairman of the NLPC, said every report Mollohan filed from 1996 to 2004 had “major errors.”
  • by GENE CRIDER T&D City Editor June 29, 2006: John Rickenbacker has been indicted by a federal grand jury and suspended from public office following allegations the longtime leader of Orangeburg County Council was caught in bribery sting. An indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges Rickenbacker took $50,000 from an FBI officer posing as a consultant for a company wanting to buy The Regional Medical Center.In exchange for the money, he gave the agent an advance copy of a study of hospital finances, along with a promise to use his influence in getting Orangeburg and Calhoun counties to agree to sell the publicly owned hospital, according to the indictment.
  • Two eyewitnesses reported about JFK’s obsession with hookers.
  • Democrats take millions from union operatives that take money from working families.
  • Hmmmm … Why are we still in Iraq? Democrats have done nothing. Not even the small things they could have to control the purse strings. Even many Democrat voters are dissappointed.
  • Who was worse? Studds (Democrat) or Foley (Republican)?

Yes. Democrats are a shining example of truth, virtue and honesty.

The fact is, BOTH are pathetic and that is why they have a dismal 18% approval rating.

And when nothing changes much after the elections in Nov-2008, the voters will grow even more disgusted with Congress. But then, the voters put them there, so the only have themselves to thank for it.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #232250

Dan-
The guy said that Congress was clearly doing much more than others before it, in terms of work. That doesn’t agree with the label “Do Nothing”.

I am a fairly stubborn guy when it comes to arguments, but I try to find facts that support such stubborness.

Tell me something: why do you bother? This is what you had to say when I said “you have to make a connection with people.”:

Not true. Unlike some, I know what I say, write, and do has little impact. Time and consequences will do have the much needed impact needed to bring about reforms to end corruption. It’s a built-in self correction (if it occurs in time).

None of us knows the impact we are capable of. I didn’t start blogging out of the notion that it would sure make me look smart and handsome to start doing a political blog. I started blogging because I was learning all kinds of awful things about what was going on that other people didn’t seem to be aware of. So, I decided, I’d do my part to communicate what was going on, to bring awareness to people.

I don’t care to wait for some built-in self correction. I got news for you: we are the built-in self-correction! Only, we have to realize that these things don’t automatically happen by themselves.

God, I couldn’t handle having your kind of attitude. Yes, I know that I’m like a small fish in the scheme of things. I don’t have near the readership of Kos, Josh Marshall, Atrios, or others like them. So what? Do I have to have people bowing down to me for me to feel like I got some purpose? No. My purpose is to get people thinking. It’s not to wait around moping for people to suddenly start agreeing with me.

The Democrats of today did not take back Congress by being resigned to the way things were. We’re fighters, and we’re just as willing to fight our own politicians over their boneheaded mistakes as we are the other side.

As for your calling my beliefs delusional? From what you write, it’s obvious you’re still thinking of my political beliefs in terms of partisan opposition to the Republicans. You’re still missing it.

The list of past Democratic Party crimes and criminals is proof of that. It’s as if you’re trying to tell me that it’s impossible for my party to redeem itself.

Why should I believe that? What’s wrong with me advocating that we make the forceful effort to put that kind of stuff behind us? I’m not saying that Democrats have been shining examples, though I would say we’re doing better than the Republicans at this point. I’m saying Democrats should be shining examples, should shed all of this bullshit corruption, make things simpler on themselves, and on the country.

So what do you do? You come on by my thread like some puritanical judge and start telling me why my party is so bad and evil. If people were to read your comments, they’d hardly know that my whole point was for the Democratic Party to take this opportunity in history to improve on what’s come before. I’d think you’d welcome such an admonishing to the party faithful, such an appeal to accountability and purity of purpose in government.

But hey, maybe you just get a kick out of beating up Democrats and Republicans instead.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2007 11:58 PM
Comment #232283
Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for your calling my beliefs delusional?
I didn’t write that anywhere. That would be a violation of the rules of participation.

I wrote: “Blind partisan loyalty is delusional” and “It is delusional to believe that either party is much better that the other when BOTH are so corrupt that it makes no difference.”
It is up to the readers to determine if that applies to them.

Congress’ 18% approval rating seems to confirm that voters are fed-up with BOTH. Whether that can trump blind-robotic-party-lever-pulling remains to be seen, since anti-incumbent voting only ousted about 5% of the incumbents in Congress in Nov-2006. It will have to be a much larger percentage before Congress takes the voters seriously.

You come on by my thread like some puritanical judge and start telling me why my party is so bad and evil.
Not true. I’m just trying to correct the myths continually perpetrated that politicians in EITHER party are better or worse than the other, and history proves that the corruption is so widespread that it’s a bit ridiculous trying to determine which is most corrupt. The DEMs fuel the partisan warfare by bashing and demonizing the REPUBs, and the REPUBs fuel the partisan warfare by bashing and demonizing the DEMs, and little (to nothing) gets done, as evidenced by all of this.
they’d hardly know that my whole point was for the Democratic Party to take this opportunity in history to improve
And I acknowledged that very thing with: “Good. Admission of that is progress.” That is wise advice.
You come on by my thread like some puritanical judge and start telling me why my party is so bad and evil.
Getting a little personal there aren’t you? Let’s just stick to the facts. I’m simply disagreeing with the assertion that one party is more corrupt than the other. History shows the corruption to be pretty equal. That’s all. Some like to fuel myths the the OTHER party is evil and corrupt. It’s extremely effective. Blind loyalists love it. It would be nice if BOTH parties were more interested in cleaning up their OWN parties instead of trying to make the OTHER party out to be more corrupt, when BOTH are so corrupt, they are indistinguishable.

And that appears to be what is happening now.
The voters tossed out a few REPUBS (i.e. 90% still retained their incumbencies). But Do-Nothing Congress still refuses to do much of anything but give themselves their 9th raise in 10 years.

And the painful consequences of the Do-Nothing Congress are growing. Especially for our troops, the growing poor, and the shrinking middle-class. Politicians in BOTH parties are FOR-SALE.

So, as the pain level increases, so does the anti-incumbency. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, by the time the pain is felt, it’s too late. Unfortunately, the same lessons have to be re-learned.

But hey, maybe you just get a kick out of beating up Democrats and Republicans instead.
Hmmmm … sounds like another personal attack.

What I do is refuse to wallow in the partisan warfare that some love to fuel.
What I do is refuse to fall for they myth that either party is MORE or LESS corrupt. History shows BOTH to be very corrupt. BOTH have started unnecessary wars. BOTH have countless convicitons (and pardons putting them above the law).
What I do is to point out that BOTH are so corrupt, it’s ridiculous to argue which is the WORST.

But here’s what I’ll do and you’ll be very happy about.

I will NEVER comment in one of your threads again.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 8, 2007 2:02 PM
Comment #232329

Dan-
You not only wallow in partisan warfare, you revel in it. Not that you think you are. No, you’ve decided that going negative on a constant basis, attacking the character of your opponents, of your counterpart in the debate is justified because of who you’re opposing.

Just because you gave up on the main parties doesn’t mean you can’t be a partisan. All a partisan needs is a cause. You have one, as everybody no doubt knows by now. You also, as many have seen, have no compunction about attacking people, stereotyping them, denigrating their efforts. Which is why I basically told you that you enjoy beating up on Democrats and Republicans.

Don’t think that, as a writer, I don’t see through the way you interrupt the quotes of those you’re arguing with. In a person debating by voice, that’s a typical means of cutting off the train of thought that the other debater is trying to put together, of breaking their stride. But when written?

First, a person might do things that way because they’re not really reading for content, but trying to put words in the opponents mouth. It would indicate, under such circumstances that you’re just looking to find fault.

Second, and this is worse in its own way, you might be reading the entire argument, and deliberately misinterpreting its thrust for rhetorical purposes.

I don’t try to do that. I usually try reasoning with people, even when they’re being exceedingly coarse in their behavior and language towards me.

The fact is, my piece is written with reform in mind, critiquing the practice among Republicans of throwing up absolute defenses to criticism, of denying the factual reality of all their screw-ups. For me, that is at the heart of much of our current pain and suffering, and it paralyzes the system from properly correcting itself.

Your kind of tactics especially bug me because they represent some of the hallmark tactics the right uses to paralyze criticism in these cases: bringing up the other party’s past corruption, challenging them on the grounds that they did nothing to stop that, or turned a blind eye, or whatever.

God, I’m sick of that. Everybody body’s a sinner here. If all the parties were pristine and pure, we wouldn’t need reform, now would we?

If the condition for somebody to criticize a corrupt practice, an incompetent politician, or a bitterly negative set of political tactics is that their party never have used them in the first place, who’s going to be left who can speak up? Nobody.

That is why, having given the Republicans the what-for, I turn on my own party, and say essentially, “what are you smiling about, wise-ass?”

Now, it might seem that I’m coming down hard on the Republicans. I am. But let me give my fellow Democrats this same warning: credibility matters. We can fool ourselves with floods and torrents of party propaganda, but at that the end of the day we are just as vulnerable to anybody else to encasing ourselves in a self-serving ideology of propaganda and spin, and just as able to suffer the consequences of frustrating Americans who want the hypocrisy, scandal, and double talk kept to a minimum.

We need to take care not to so insulate ourselves behind walls of party faithfulness. We risk, if we do that, taking our party’s engines of communication, and putting them to the task of seeing how far we can try American’s patience before they lose it with us. Responsibility, honesty, and integrity are not merely nice things to have in a politician, they are essential things for a party that wants to keep the favor of the American people.

I’m quoting quite a large chunk here, of the my original entry.

Your first entry was to try to bring my parties past into the record, and challenge me on being such a partisan, impugning the intent of my original entry as being for partisan gain. Here I am, having essentially admitted from the start my party’s imperfections, and you’re trying to rub them in my face, trying to make me look like a hypocrite. I go the distance to finish my essay off on that note, and you can’t even be bothered to depart from your script enough to notice what I actually said.

You’re quick to Bash us for our ways, to look at us as blind loyalists, slow to recognize the extent to which many, myself included, want something greater, something better. You enjoy tearing into us, telling us what horrible people we are, even as we advocate for better things.

What I said at the end of my post wasn’t a personal attack. It’s about all I can conclude after trying my personal best to reason with you. You’re obviously committed to being some kind of nemesis to those you call the duopoly. You obviously feel pretty righteous about doing it. and so far, you have been ignoring almost entirely the character of what I’ve said about what I want. You simply assume the worst of my motives, and your first post is to drag out the William Jefferson in an obvious attempt to break my rhetorical stride.

No matter how much I tell you otherwise, it seems you are incapable of admitting that I really don’t like the guy. I’m not going to defend many of these guys because me and other Democrats find their actions disgusting.

If you weren’t so intent on applying the whip to our back for our sins, you might find that the new generation of Democrats are not big fans of the kind of corruption that’s left the party in the wilderness for the last twelve years.

At the end of the day, if you were more willing to be forgiving and civil, in this regard, you might find people willing to consider more of what you have to say. People might even want to join you. Forgive the trespasses of others, so that they’ll forgive yours. That’s the price of being able to work with others politically.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2007 12:41 AM
Comment #232345

Civil? Like this …

Stephen Daugherty wrote: But you insist that pure reason alone will suffice. Good for fricking you.

Hmmmm … then perhaps we should try some impure reason ?

it seems you are incapable of admitting that I really don’t like the guy.
I never wrote that you liked him.

My point was a valid one. The corruption in BOTH parties is out of control, government is FOR-SALE, and it is making government rotten to the core. BOTH parties are so corrupt, the blame game and partisan warfare is pointless. Every time a politician gets caught, the OTHER party tries to use it to prove how corrupt the OTHER party is, but BOTH are so corrupt, it really makes no difference. And what William Jefferson did is much worse than just Larry Craig’s misdemeanor. At least Craig resigned and other REPUBs demanded it. I’ve never heard much (if any) DEMs calling for Jefferson’s resignation.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 9, 2007 2:39 AM
Comment #232354

Dan-
Your focus on Jefferson neglects the several Republicans who were not asked to resign by the party, despite evidence of their corruption. The Bush White House even helped them by firing one of the Prosecutors on the case. The Democrats in Congress have done nothing comparable in that time.

But you know, I’m not going to say that we should get a free pass on this account. I think we are just as able to end up as the corrupt and loathsome party. But I think your solution does nothing to solve the real problem: the voter’s judgment, and their confidence in their choices.

What my essay essentially says is that voter confidence and the stability of our party’s power can be ensured by an approach to the real issues which values integrity and practical results. Whether or not we have the world’s most saintly politicians is irrelevant; folks can inhibit their impulses if they see fit.

What I would tell voters is that if they are faced with two candidates, they should pick the one who is better on substance, even if:

1) They’re not in their preferred party.
2) They’re not the most charismatic candidate.

And I might add for your sake, even if they are part of the duopoly. We have to force the issue as citizens, uncovering the dirt and the muck, yet at the same time avoiding the traps of cynicism and the bigotry of low expectations.

It won’t be easy, nor quick. We have to reverse the passive political trends of the last couple generations. Your generalized approach strikes me as impractical. At the end of the day, really, if you think about, Each of us has four national offices we can really vote for: Our Senators, our representative, and the President. The problem is keeping track of those people, making sure they do their job. If we just assume that if we clear out the congress a few times, it’ll suddenly become better, we’ll be ignoring the thrust of world history, which is that such radical sweeps of politicians in and out of power, once through, generally degenerate to the same level as things before.

I really doubt that Americans can remain so committed to such a plan like yours to keep it going perpetually, and the minute we stop, human nature takes over.

What I think is going to be far easier and more productive in the long run is to focus on making our wishes known clearly to our candidates. If we enforce those wishes with enough vigor, we can force the candidates towards serving us, whether they want to or not.

If we fight this political malaise as some nebulous, generalized problem, we’re going to waste a lot of effort to minimal result. My essay is about getting the most out of our government, about not letting the lies and the partisan distractions get in in the way of our best efforts to evaluate their performance and push them towards better.

I guess the difference between you and I is that I’m looking to use smarter ammunition. I don’t want to waste my efforts. Let’s target the worst, replace them, then target the worse of those. The fear of getting caught or thrown out will inhibit far more folks than those who actually get caught. It’s how police forces of hundreds or thousands keep the peace in cities of hundreds of thousands or millions: nobody wants to get caught. If they think they stand a good chance of getting caught, of losing their position, then they don’t have to be punished to be chastened out of their bad behavior.

They have to think we’re willing to do it, though, and they have to believe that we know enough and care enough about it to kick them out. That has to be done on an individual level, though, or it doesn’t work. We can’t expect our silence towards our own local officials to speak to our needs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #232360
I really doubt that Americans can remain so committed to such a plan like yours to keep it going perpetually, and the minute we stop, human nature takes over.
Not true. It is human nature that will finally lead voters to repeat the massive anti-incumbent voting that existed during the Great Depression. The voters will eventually vote out incumbents in huge numbers. The sooner, the better. Otherwise, it’s just more painful later. It doesn’t take much effort to vote against irresponsible incumbent politicians when most (if not all) are irresponsible, FOR-SALE, corrupt, and no longer work for the Amerinan citizens, but work for corporate and wealthy interests only.

As in the Great Depression ,that is exactly what voters will do again when the consequences of repeatedly rewarding and re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians finally provides the pain to motivate voters.

Anti-incumbent voting was highest during the Great Depression. Voters will figure it out, but the danger is they won’t figure it out in time. The long-term economic outlook doesn’t look good, even though the economy is being propped up by massive money printing (driving the dollar lower and increasing inflation).

Let’s target the worst, replace them, then target the worse of those.
In my opinion, that would be most of them (if not all). Hopefully voters are catching onto it, but the voters may have to experience more pain to finally motivate them to do their duty to make government more responsible. That will never happen by repeatedly re-electing and rewarding corrupt incumbent politicians. But, again, it won’t continue. Voters will figure out eventually that BOTH parties are about equally corrupt.

The illegal immigration issue is one that is going to hurt DEMs in the next election.
Visit alipac.us , NumbersUSA.com , and a number of similar sites. They have the strange perception that Republicans are going to fix illegal immigration. It does not matter that REPUBs had a decade to do something about it and didn’t. All that matters is that they think DEMs are soft on illegal immigration. I even sent a letter to alipac.us saying they looked like a front for the Republican party. Their response was that favoritism wasn’t their plan, but asked me to please show them any DEM politicians that is for enforcing immigration laws and border security. Of course, I can’t since there are so few (if any) politicians in EITHER party that are serious about enforceing immigration laws and securing the borders. They’re both pathetic, but the perception is that DEMs are weak on enforcing immigration laws and border security. They point to voting records and it does make DEMs look bad. However, results are what matter, and NEITHER has adequately addressed illegal immigration. I was surprised and encouraged to see so many voters flood D.C. with FAXes, letters, and phone calls to stop the DEM’s shamnesty BILL.

The point is, your argument is that DEMs are less corrupt than REPUBs.

My argument is there is so little difference, it makes very little difference.

And voters are hopefully catching onto it if Congress’ 18% approval rating (tied with the lowest ever) is any measure. Also, many DEM voters are upset that the 110th Congress has failed to do much of anything to end the Iraq war. Unfortunately, voters fail to understand that ousting a mere 5% of incumbents isn’t going to change much of anything in Congress. In fact, rewarding Congress with 90% to 95% re-election rates since 1996 empowers and encourages politicians to become more corrupt and irresponsible.

So, voters have the government they deserve, until they finally reject the blind partisan loyalties and robotic party-lever-pulling that ironically empowers and rewards those that use and abuse them.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 9, 2007 2:12 PM
Comment #232371

Dan-
The argument that there was little difference between the party is what got us Bush. There was in fact a lot of difference there, when push came to shove. There are different cultures and different interest groups involved in the party. Democrats would have been willing to put the brakes on the tax cuts, or not have them in the first place. Democrats would not have stalled on Global Warming, or Repudiated Kyoto, the way Bush has. They certainly wouldn’t have been editing reports from scientists to downplay the crisis.

Iraq would not have happened. Katrina would have been handled better. Pay as you Go would not have died, and the deficit and national debt would not have skyrocketed.

Gore would have carried on the Clinton Policies. In some places, there would have been little difference, in others there would have been great differences. The real question for you is why the Republicans acted so much like the Liberals they so vociferously despised.

My opinion? Because the Bush administration and the Republican Congress had a “permanent campaign” sensibility to their politics. They were more concerned about flashily demonstrating their superiority, their rightness and righteousness than they were concerned with getting things done, and done right.

What you suggest, I think, will hardly put a dent in that “permanent campaign” sensibility. The focus has got to be on what they are doing, when they are doing. In case you didn’t notice, though Pelosi and Reid committed some errors early in the campaign, they quickly backtracked. And why? Because they knew that the bloggers on the Democratic side are no less tolerant of Democrats being corrupt than they are of Republicans. The Democrats have seen and felt too much disappointment over the past few years to so easily trust their Representatives as the Republicans have done.

You should look at the polls closer. Democrats rate higher that Republicans, and Americans are generally more glad than not that they are in charge. Democrats only began to hemorrhage support when they failed to back Bush down. If they manage to reverse that, You’ll see their approval go up.

Democrats have room to grow if they get their act together. They don’t have to reorganize their political identity like the Republicans do in order to regain support. Republicans may promise more, but people have fresh memories of how little those promises are for. I’m simply telling my people that they should make good on their promises and give the voters as little reason to doubt them as possible.

The real question here is why you wouldn’t back me on that. Isn’t reform what we’re after? I’m not above having members kicked out, or put under threat of being chunked if they don’t get with the program. We certainly have public support. I’m arguing that my fellow Democrats, in government and under it, shouldn’t wait to both take advantage of it and justify it by pushing an agenda of good government and legitimate checks and balances.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2007 5:33 PM
Comment #232382

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Dan-
The argument that there was little difference between the party is what got us Bush.
Bush is joke. But who the DEMs ran helped put Bush there too.
John Kerry? Just about anyone else probably could have beat Bush.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
As bad as Bush is, the difference in seats held in Congress by DEMs and REPUBs is very small, and has been since year 1996 (see graph).

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Iraq would not have happened.
Maybe. Maybe not. Again, Congress is responsible for this too. And Congress is almost equally DEM and REPUB.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Katrina would have been handled better.
Maybe. Maybe not. Long-time local corruption is largely the problem for Katrina. Again, Congress is responsible for this too. And Congress is almost equally DEM and REPUB.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Pay as you Go would not have died, and the deficit and national debt would not have skyrocketed.
Maybe. Maybe not. Again, Congress is responsible for this too. And Congress is almost equally DEM and REPUB. And DEMs have much worse report cards when it comes to pork-barrel (see CAGW.ORG).

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Gore would have carried on the Clinton Policies. In some places, there would have been little difference, in others there would have been great differences. The real question for you is why the Republicans acted so much like the Liberals they so vociferously despised.
Maybe. Maybe not. Those are a lot of What Ifs. It’s better to deal with the facts.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
My opinion? Because the Bush administration and the Republican Congress had a “permanent campaign” sensibility to their politics. They were more concerned about flashily demonstrating their superiority, their rightness and righteousness than they were concerned with getting things done, and done right.
I still don’t see much difference. Again, Congress is responsible for this too. And Congress is almost equally DEM and REPUB, and has been since 1996.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
What you suggest, I think, will hardly put a dent in that “permanent campaign” sensibility.
What I suggest is what voters will eventually do anyway. I’m simply saying sooner would be better than later. But that’s not likely since human nature is to learn the hard way (repeatedly).

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
The focus has got to be on what they are doing, when they are doing. In case you didn’t notice, though Pelosi and Reid committed some errors early in the campaign, they quickly backtracked. And why? Because they knew that the bloggers on the Democratic side are no less tolerant of Democrats being corrupt than they are of Republicans. The Democrats have seen and felt too much disappointment over the past few years to so easily trust their Representatives as the Republicans have done.
That back tracking must not be working. Or, if it is, just think how much lower Congress’ ratings could have gone. They might have set a new record low. It’s currently tied with the lowest 18% level.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
You should look at the polls closer. Democrats rate higher that Republicans, and Americans are generally more glad than not that they are in charge.
I have looked at the polls.

  • (1)The current 18% approval rating of Congress does not reflect much of a rating for either DEMs or REPUBs.

  • (2) DEMs currently only have a tiny majority now (see graph since 1996)

With such a dismal 18%, what difference does it make? Likewise with corruption. BOTH are so FOR-SALE and so corrupt, it simply doesn’t matter which is worse or better.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Democrats only began to hemorrhage support when they failed to back Bush down. If they manage to reverse that, You’ll see their approval go up.
I was hoping and expecting DEMs to use the purse strings to undermine Bush’s war. When they chickened out, I was even surprised. Now their poll ratings are in the toilet (as they should be).

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
Democrats have room to grow if they get their act together. They don’t have to reorganize their political identity like the Republicans do in order to regain support. Republicans may promise more, but people have fresh memories of how little those promises are for. I’m simply telling my people that they should make good on their promises and give the voters as little reason to doubt them as possible.
It doesn’t seem likely to me. They’ll pay it a bit of lip service and continue to do pretty much nothing. I think by Nov-2008, they’ll be calling it the Do-Nothing Congress again in the MSM (if they aren’t already).

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
The real question here is why you wouldn’t back me on that. Isn’t reform what we’re after?
Because repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, crooked, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians is not the solution. That’s why. The best thing voters can do is translate that dismal 18% approval rating into electing new challengers to all of the irresponsible incumbent politicians. Why won’t you back me on that?

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
I’m not above having members kicked out, or put under threat of being chunked if they don’t get with the program.
Then tell me, in the last election, did you pull the party-lever (i.e. straight ticket) ?

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
We certainly have public support.
An 18% approval rating and only a tiny lead in the House doesn’t prove that out, and asserting DEMs have more support than REPUBs isn’t sayin’ much.

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
I’m arguing that my fellow Democrats, in government and under it, shouldn’t wait to both take advantage of it and justify it by pushing an agenda of good government and legitimate checks and balances.
Well …

  • (1) the pork barrel is still rampant and DEMs have the worst report cards for it.

  • (2) DEMs have vastly more F report cards on illegal immigration

  • (3) DEMs have really made a lot of Americans mad with the shamnesty BILL they tried to ram through; and only got defeated when the majority of Americans fought it and REPUBs voted against it.

  • (4) DEMs and REPUBs BOTH refused any ethics and campaign finance reform.

  • (5) DEMs and REPUBs BOTH refuse to secure the ports and borders. Mostly REPUBs passed a BILL for a fence, but little or no money to build it.

  • (6) We are still in IRAQ and Afghanistan.

  • (7) The National Debt is still climbing (now over $9 Trillion)

  • (8) Congress is (in my opinion) violating Article V of the U.S. Constitution (and ignoring 567 amendment applications by all 50 states).

  • (9) Excessive money printing is still causing inflation and the falling dollar.

  • (10) Social Security surpluses are still being plundered.

  • (11) Congress just passed a BILL to extend spying without civil oversight.

Stephen, I know yuo have faith in DEMs. I used to have faith in REPUBs. Then I had some faith in DEMs. And now it’s all too clear that government is a reflection of the voters. Government won’t become more responsible and accountable until the voters do too. And that does not mean rewarding corrupt incumbent politicians in EITHER party because most (if not all) are corrupt and/or irresponsible, and unaccountable, and the evidence of it truly difficult (if not impossible) to explain as anything else.

And the biggest reason this argument bothers you is because it is true.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 9, 2007 8:54 PM
Comment #232400

Dan-
You’re equivocating. Democrats had little incentive to scuttle pay-go, especially with Republicans holding the House.

Clinton’s enforcement record on illegal immigration was far better, without all of Bush and the Republican’s noise about it.

Iraq would not have happened. The Neocons would have been shown the door. It’s very unlikely that Democrats would have done the Faith-based intitiatives, would have politicized the bureaucracy to the degree Bush did.

Gore would have likely kept FEMA what it was under Clinton: a professional agency able to do its job more often than not.

And please don’t tell me that ye bearer of inconvenient truths would have been the love slave of the fossil fuel industry, like Bush and Cheney have been.

The Inconvenient truth here is that Democrats, while imperfect, would have not been like the Republicans in what they did. I expect they would have had their share of mistakes, a few scandals, and some supreme screw-ups, but it wouldn’t have been the systematic failure the Bush administration has been.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 10, 2007 1:28 AM
Comment #232424
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re equivocating.
EQUIVOCATE: To avoid making an explicit statement. See Synonyms for lie.
Not true.

Show exactly what is a lie.
How about some specifics instead of nebulous conclusions and “what ifs” that are what is truly equivocal.

To write that “Gore would have” and “Kerry would have”, etc. are purely hypothetical and impossible to prove. So, all of those hypotheticals prove nothing.

Clinton didn’t do anything about illegal immigration. As I recall, INS was a complete joke, and illegal immigration was barely on the radar screen during his two terms. But, perhaps that is because he was too busy with Lewinsky in the Oval office?

  • DEMs have lousy report cards on illegal immigration. Just look through these ILLEGAL-IMMIGRATION REPORT CARDs. A staggering 98% of the F’s, and D’s are all DEMs. All of the A+ grades go to REPUBs. Personally, I don’t think either have done much on illegal immigration, but DEMs are truly delinquent, as evidenced by those report cards for all in Congress. Care to try to explain how DEMs are better on immigration? I guess you could say they’re better if the goal is to ignore existing immigration laws, eh?

While I believe DEMs and REPUBs are equally irresponsible and illegal immigration, the public sees DEMs’ record as worse since the DEMs tried to push through a shamnesty BILL that really ticked off a lot of voters. That may not bode well for DEM in 2008. DEMs politicians don’t seem to understand that 70% of Americans want existing immigration laws enforced now. But again, to be fair, REPUBS, despite public opinion, are really no better.

And please don’t tell me that ye bearer of inconvenient truths would have been the love slave of the fossil fuel industry, like Bush and Cheney have been.
Bush and Cheney are a joke. Anyone that thinks I’m defending them is crazy.
The Inconvenient truth here is that Democrats, while imperfect, would have not been like the Republicans in what they did. I expect they would have had their share of mistakes, a few scandals, and some supreme screw-ups, but it wouldn’t have been the systematic failure the Bush administration has been.
All hypothetical.

And Congress went along with all of it. BOTH DEMs and REPUBs. REPUBs had only a tiny majority from 1996 to 2006. 10 months into 2007, I don’t see much improvement. Do-Nothing Congress is still ignoring the nation’s pressing problems, as they grow in number and severity.

Thus, saying one or the other is more or less corrupt is equivocating when BOTH are so corrupt.

Yes, there are a few differences, but they don’t matter much when it all adds up to so much corruption and fiscal irresponsibility, as evidenced by $9 Trillion national debt, and $12.8 Trillion Social Security debt, and a severely bloated federal government that continues to grow and grow to nightmare proportions.

  • Also, DEMs have much worse report cards on pork-barrel spending (see PORK-BARREL REPORT CARD GRADEs). The 250 worst grades ALL belong to DEMs. How do you explain that?

When it comes to abuse of pardons, Clinton takes the cake. He pardoned 546. 140 on his last day in office.

And when it comes to scandals, corruption, indictments, abused pardons, there’s really no difference at all. BOTH are pathetic. So, if there is any equivocating, it is by anyone who thinks politicians in EITHER party are more or less corrupt than the other.

But, if you want explicit differences, please explain why DEMs have by for the worst report card grades for illegal immigration and pork-barrel and waste.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 10, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #232643

Dan-
Equally irresponsible. Jeez man, can’t you just admit that there’s no objective way to really make that claim and not get hit over the head by some countervailing evidence?

For example: Mexican Trucking. Democrat led legislature just knocked that one down. Bush promises a veto. Are they equally corrupt there? Are they equally for-sale?

For ages, independents like yourselves have sided with Republicans in the belief that while equally corrupt, one sides principles, at least were better. As it turns out, no, that side just had the benefit of good PR. Once again you cite CAGW, as if their partisan association with the Republicans and their less than stellar ethical relationship with special interests can just be overlooked.

You know what the trouble is here? Your whole political outlook is overly generalized. You’re forced to ignore a s***load of specifics in order to make the broad claims you do. It renders you rather inflexible in terms of individual issues and shifting your support to whoever comes out on what you think is the right side of the issue.

You more or less end up having to essentially just tell people that they’re wrong or out to get you. Neither is very convincing to other people.

I can explain perfectly why the Democrats have the worst report card from CAGW: the organization is run mostly by Republicans, with a skewed sense of what’s porkbarrel and what’s good and necessary. It’s a fixed game.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 12, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #232654
Stephen Daugherty wrote:Dan- Equally irresponsible. Jeez man, can’t you just admit that there’s no objective way to really make that claim and not get hit over the head by some countervailing evidence?
Ohhhh … pure logic, dictionary definitions, and now evidence are not allowed?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: For example: Mexican Trucking. Democrat led legislature just knocked that one down. Bush promises a veto. Are they equally corrupt there? Are they equally for-sale?
Good. Glad to hear that. Still, it doesn’t make up for the dismal ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REPORT CARD GRASEs (see all F’s and D’s ; they’re all Democrats) and pitting illegal American citizens and aliens against each other.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: For ages, independents like yourselves have sided with Republicans in the belief that while equally corrupt,
That could be because BOTH are just about equally corrupt. What difference does it make? Is it possible that the only objective group are independents that are not blinded by misplaced loyalties and wallowing in the petty, divisive, distracting partisan warfare?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: one sides principles, at least were better. As it turns out, no, that side just had the benefit of good PR.
Ohhhh … I see. Gee, it’s funny how ANYTHING can be explained away.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Once again you cite CAGW, as if their partisan association with the Republicans and their less than stellar ethical relationship with special interests can just be overlooked.
Trying to discredit CAGW.ORG, NumbersUSA.com, and Alipac.US does not change the pork-barrel facts (see CONGRESS’ PORK-BARREL REPORT CARD GRADEs (click on the Score column to sort by scores; the worst 250 grades are for Democrats). Study the BILLs and voting records and see the difference. Then confirm those voting records at OnTheIssues.ORG (or a number of other sites available). While Republicans start and perpetuate an unnecessary war, Democrats have a dismal record on pork-barrel and illegal immigration. Thus, there are some differences in the TYPE of corruption by each party, but BOTH are just about equally corrupt. Especially when considering the corruption over many decades. Maybe voters are catching onto it, and that’s why Do-Nothing Congress’ approval rating is a dismal 18% ?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You know what the trouble is here?
Yes. Partisan loyalties that blind judgement and shape opinion (instead of facts and evidence).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your whole political outlook is overly generalized. You’re forced to ignore a s***load of specifics in order to make the broad claims you do.
Not true. Few (if any) provide more specifics. Perhaps the specifics are the problem, and what they really mean? Who ever reveals the specifics must be a front for the Republicans, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: It renders you rather inflexible in terms of individual issues and shifting your support to whoever comes out on what you think is the right side of the issue.
Not rrue. The truth is easy to support. For me anyway, since I am not blinded by misplaced partisan loyalties.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You more or less end up having to essentially just tell people that they’re wrong or out to get you. Neither is very convincing to other people.
The truth is the truth. If it upsets people, that’s too bad. It’s better to see things the way they really are than to live in delusion.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I can explain perfectly why the Democrats have the worst report card from CAGW: the organization is run mostly by Republicans, with a skewed sense of what’s porkbarrel and what’s good and necessary. It’s a fixed game.
Not true. Have you really studied it?

All of that pork-barrel can not all be explained away as merely a partisan bias against DEMs.

More likely, those trying to explain away the voting records and evidence have the real partisan bias?

For example, consider the following:

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote:Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote:How many people curse the green party for George W. Bush getting elected?
Is there any partisan bias in those satements?

So, lets run a little experiment. Let’s look closely at the following 40 SENATORS of the 109th Congress to see who really votes on the most pork-barrel:

  • ______WORST 20 PORK-BARREL GRADES _________
    Name ___ Party ___ State ____ Score
    Dayton, Mark Democrat MN 0%
    Leahy, Patrick Democrat VT 0%
    Rockefeller, John Democrat WV 0%
    Akaka, Daniel Democrat HI 5%
    Harkin, Tom Democrat IA 5%
    Kennedy, Edward Democrat MA 5%
    Mikulski, Barbara Democrat MD 5%
    Sarbanes, Paul Democrat MD 5%
    Lautenberg, Frank Democrat NJ 5%
    Reid, Harry Democrat NV 5%
    Schumer, Charles Democrat NY 5%
    Johnson, Tim Democrat SD 5%
    Lincoln, Blanche Democrat AR 10%
    Feinstein, Dianne Democrat CA 10%
    Inouye, Daniel Democrat HI 10%
    Baucus, Max Democrat MT 10%
    Dorgan, Byron Democrat ND 10%
    Reed, Jack Democrat RI 10%
    Jeffords, James Independent VT 10%
    Byrd, Robert Democrat WV 10%

  • ______BEST 20 PORK-BARREL GRADES_________
    Name ___ Party ___ State ____ Score
    DeMint, Jim Republican SC 95%
    Inhofe, James Republican OK 95%
    Coburn, Tom Republican OK 95%
    Sununu, John Republican NH 95%
    McCain, John Republican AZ 95%
    Santorum, Rick Republican PA 90%
    Burr, Richard Republican NC 90%
    Isakson, Johnny Republican GA 90%
    Enzi, Michael Republican WY 86%
    Allen, George Republican VA 86%
    Cornyn, John Republican TX 86%
    Alexander, Lamar Republican TN 86%
    Ensign, John Republican NV 86%
    Gregg, Judd Republican NH 86%
    Bunning, Jim Republican KY 86%
    Kyl, Jon Republican AZ 86%
    Graham, Lindsey Republican SC 84%
    Sessions, Jeff Republican AL 81%
    Thomas, Craig Republican WY 80%
    Brownback, Sam Republican KS 79%

  • Even Ted Stevens Republican AK who is pretty pathetic when it comes to pork-barrel has a higher pork-barrel grade (38%) than the bottom 20 grades (all Democrats).

The Key Votes were on the following:

  • 1. 100 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Seafood Promotion. H.R. 4939: Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Seafood Promotion. Vote Number 100, 4/27/2006. By a vote of 44 to 51, the Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) an amendment that would bar the use of $15 million to implement seafood promotion strategies. TAX PAYERS WON {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 2. 104 Fiscal 2006 Appropriations - Sugar Cane Growers - H.R. 4939: Fiscal 2006 Appropriations - Sugar Cane Growers. Vote Number 104, 5/2/2006. By a vote of 40 to 59, the Senate rejected an amendment that would strike $6 million for sugar cane growers in Hawaii. THE TAXPAYERS LOST. {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 3. 105 Fiscal 2006 Appropriations - Shipbuilding Disruption - H.R. 4939: Fiscal 2006 Appropriations - Shipbuilding Disruption. Vote Number 105, 5/2/2006. By a vote of 48-51, the Senate rejected an amendment that would bar a provision in the bill regarding shipbuilding losses from 2005 hurricanes from taking effect. THE TAXPAYERS LOST. {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 4. 108 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Agriculture Funding {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 5. 109 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Hawaiian Dams and Reservoirs {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 6. 112 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Passage {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 7. 115 Medical Malpractice - Cloture {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 8. 118 Tax Reconciliation - Conference Report {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 9. 164 Estate Tax Permanent Repeal - Cloture {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 10. 165 Native Hawaiians - Cloture {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 11. 198 Fiscal 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations - Threat-Based Grant Allocation - H.R. 5441: Fiscal 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations - Threat-Based Grant Allocation. Vote Number 198, 7/13/2006. By a vote of 36 to 64, the Senate rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) that would require state Homeland Security and law enforcement terrorism grants to be allocated according to a formula based on threat assessment. THE TAXPAYERS LOST. {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 12. 210 Water Resources Development Act Reauthorization - Prioritization of Projects {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 13. 250 United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement - Passage {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 14. 271 Fiscal 2007 Agriculture Appropriations - Disaster Relief {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 15. 62 Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution - Mandatory Spending {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 16. 68 Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution - Social Security Reserve Fund {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 17. 72 Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution - ANWR Reserve Fund {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 18. 74 Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution - Adoption {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 19. 81 Lobbying Overhaul - Earmark Definition {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 20. 97 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Motion to Recommit {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

  • 21. 99 Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Rail Line Relocation - H.R. 4939: Fiscal 2006 Supplemental Appropriations - Rail Line Relocation. Vote Number 99, 4/26/2006. By a vote of 50 to 47, the Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) an amendment that would bar the use of $700 million to relocate the Gulf Coast freight line in Mississippi (“The Railroad to Nowhere”). THE TAXPAYERS LOST. {more Democrats voted for this pork-barrel}

Despite the Democrats so-called moratorium on earmarks, the siren’s song of pork is too tempting for Congress.

And, even if all of that above is not true, best case, BOTH DEM and REPUB incumbent politicians are equally corrupt and irresponsible, as evidenced by the corruption, fiscal irresposibility, abused pardons, convictions, bribes, sex scandals in the Oval Office, Secret Service bringing hookers to JFK’s hotel room, Nixon’s “Your president is not a crook”, Bush 41’s “Read my lips”, Bill Clinton’s “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”, Bush 43’s “We found the Weapons of Mass Destruction”, LBJ’s Vietnam, William Jefferson, Jack Abramoff, Dan Rostenkowski, Randy Cunningham, Jerry Studds, Foley, etc., etc., etc.. Trying to dismiss all of it as merely being human doesn’t justfify it. And it won’t get better until it finally results in painful consequences, which are probably now not that far away.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 12, 2007 5:07 PM
Comment #232656

And here’s a couple of LISTS compiled from recent votes in Congress (on illegal immigration).

Are all of these other porkbusters Republicans too?

  • Heritage Foundation

  • The Examiner

  • The Sunlight Foundation

  • Americans for Prosperity

  • The Club for Growth

  • Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW.ORG)

2006 PorkBusters Hall of Shame:
Robert Byrd (D-WV) (lifetime pork-barrel achiever)
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Ted Stevens (R-AK)

The Porker of this month is:
Rep. James ‘Jim’ L. Oberstar
Democrat, Minnesota. House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) is Porker of the Month for August, 2007. In the wake of the bridge collapse in the congressman’s home state in which at least nine people were killed, Chairman Oberstar’s immediate reaction was to propose a “temporary” 5 cent increase in the gas tax to raise $25 billion within three years for a new bridge trust fund. For seizing an opportunity to turn tragedy into tax increases and an unnecessary new trust fund, and for protecting transportation pork, Rep. Jim Oberstar is August 2007 Porker of the Month.

And these Porker of the Month Awards:
July 2007 Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
June 2007 House Ag. Subcommittee
May 2007 Rep. John ‘Jack’ Murtha (D-Pa.)
April 2007 Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
March 2007 Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.)
February 2007 Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
January 2007 7 Freshmen Senators Who Voted to Kill DeMint Earmark Amendment
2006 Porker of the Year Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.)
December 2006 Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
November 2006 Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
October 2006 Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
September 2006 171 Representatives Who Voted Against Earmark Reform
August 2006 Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.)
July 2006 Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)
June 2006 Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.)
May 2006 Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
April 2006 Rep. Alan Mollohan (D - W. Va.)
March 2006 Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)
February 2006 State Dept. Official Frank Moss
January 2006 Gov. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska)
January 2006 Porker of the Month: Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
December 2005 Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
November 2005 Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.)
October 2005 Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.)
September 2005 Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Don Young (R-Alaska)
August 2005 Defense Official Peggy Butler
July 2005 Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)
June 2005 Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
May 2005 Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
April 2005 Sen. Daniel Inouye
March 2005 Rep. Charles “Charlie” Melancon (D-La.)
February 2005 New York Sens. Hillary Clinton (D)& Charles Schumer (D)

I don’t know, but I’m not at all all of these organizatrions are merely biased against Democrats. Do you think there’s a kernal of truth in any of that above? I suppose they could all be lying.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 12, 2007 5:36 PM
Comment #232871

d.a.n._ In the case of Jefferson, his case was

overturned by a Federal Appeals Court, ruling

against the FBI. Unless the Supreme Court steps in,

you might want to avoid using Jefferson as a ponzi.


Posted by: -DAVID- at September 14, 2007 8:19 PM
Comment #233020

Ohhhhh … so ethics and morals don’t matter?

Just because William Jefferson may beat the bribery rap makes it all OK, eh ?

Thank you. That’s quite revealing actually.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 15, 2007 7:03 PM
Comment #233033

d.a.n. - When Jefferson is or may be convicted, then you can run your ohhhhhhhhhh…so quick
ethical an moral fingers over your key board to
rush to judge. Until
than, please do not critique my ethics or moral
character. I personally would not make a habit
of making any judgments until all the facts are
known, if you get my drift!

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 15, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #233104

-DAVID-,

Do you really doubt his guilt?
So you think it was a frame?
I find it interesting already that his lawyers moved to invalidate the evidence from his Congressional office.

Even if ever convicted, he’ll could probably get a pardon like the 546 pardoned by Bill Clinton (140 on his last day in office).

In addition to that, I’m not sure I understand how it was unconstitutional. But, if so, I prefer the Constitution be followed until it is amended. However, such a law basically makes all Congress persons above the law.

By the way, that court ruling only affects papers found in his office. It won’t help William Jefferson explain away (on video tape) taking bribes, and the $90K found in his refrigerator (in neat little $10K bundles).

Time will tell.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 16, 2007 7:18 PM
Comment #233130

d.a.n._ Doubt his guilt /I never implied that he

was guilty or innocent!

Was a frame/ Not ever mentioned nor implied!

Pardons-Eisenhower 1157
Nixon 926
Clinton 546
Ford 409
REAGAN 406
I guess that
has Clinton some where in
the center. I do not
care if Jefferson is
guilty or not. A judge an jury will do that job.
Attempting to spin my posts is unbecoming of
you an hopefully you will refrain from that style
of writing in the future. Sorry about our differences in opinions.


Posted by: -DAVID- at September 17, 2007 12:27 AM
Comment #233132

—-HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY 9-17 87———————

Posted by: -DAVID- at September 17, 2007 2:43 AM
Comment #233167
-DAVID- wrote: d.a.n._ Doubt his guilt /I never implied that he was guilty or innocent!
Look above. I asked a question. It had a question mark after it. That’s all.
-DAVID- wrote: Was a frame/ Not ever mentioned nor implied!
Again, I just asked a question.
-DAVID- wrote: Clinton 546 REAGAN 406 Ford 409 Nixon 926 Pardons-Eisenhower 1157
I guess that has Clinton some where in the center. Wow, I was not aware that Eisenhower pardoned that many.

However, you appear to have missed some:

  • FDR: 3,687 (that’s 1,229 per term; we have a winner; wasn’t he a Democrat?)

  • G. Bush 43: 113 ?

The point is, this pardon business is abused (by presidents of BOTH parties).

-DAVID- wrote: I do not care if Jefferson is guilty or not. A judge an jury will do that job.
I care that justice is served. Yes, a judge and jury will decide. But what is the point if they are then pardoned?
-DAVID- wrote: Attempting to spin my posts is unbecoming of you an hopefully you will refrain from that style of writing in the future.
Not true. I simply asked two questions in the last post (above).
-DAVID- wrote: Sorry about our differences in opinions.
No need for an apology. You are entitled to your opinion.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 17, 2007 11:45 AM
    Comment #233283

    d.a.n. - I did not offer you an apology, I only

    said that I was sorry that we have differences

    in our opinions!

    Posted by: -DAVID- at September 18, 2007 5:18 AM
    Comment #233284

    d.a.n. - SORRY (Adjective) Disturbing because of

    failure to measure up to a standard or produce the

    desired results “disappointing.”

    Posted by: -DAVID- at September 18, 2007 5:35 AM
    Comment #233342
    d.a.n. - I did not offer you an apology, I only said that I was sorry that we have differences in our opinions!
    No kidding?

    Do you not understand dry humor when you see it?

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 18, 2007 7:01 PM
    Comment #233376

    d.a.n.- If you were too cross a fox & a Robin, what

    would you get? A Fobin

    If you were to cross a Fox & an a Duck, What
    would you get, A F—-! Now that is what I would

    call Dry Humor. When I was a kid, that stuff was
    hilarious! Maybe there is a little kid left in all
    of us on occasion.

    Posted by: -DAVID- at September 18, 2007 10:26 PM
    Comment #233391
    -DAVID- wrote: When I was a kid, that stuff was hilarious!
    Obviously, simple minds are easily amused.

    Yes, that is so very funny. Thank you so much for that, and all of the other similar, stellar contributions. They are so substantive and fact filled. Yes, your comments demonstrate a vast skill at substituting empty remarks, name-calling, and mere opinion for facts, reason and logic. Well done! Yes, that deserves a pat on the back and a gold star. Touché! Certainly an accomplishment to be proud of.


  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 19, 2007 12:18 AM
    Comment #233409

    d.a.n.- I believe that even though you use “red
    initials for your name” you are most likely bound
    by the “Rules For Participation” just as I am.

    I would hope that our Blog. Mgr. might show you
    how to become more Professional with less experienced bloggers. There is way too much
    negativity developing here, even that we have 99%
    of the staff writers doing a great job, maybe
    better communication might help, all the way around.

    Posted by: -DAVID- at September 19, 2007 6:45 AM
    Comment #233535
    -DAVID- wrote: d.a.n.- I believe that even though you use “red initials for your name” you are most likely bound by the “Rules For Participation” just as I am.
    That’s right. As for the red letters, that is because there is a corresponding hyperlink. Click on it to see what happens.
    -DAVID- wrote: I would hope that our Blog. Mgr. might show youhow to become more Professional with less experienced bloggers. There is way too much negativity developing here, even that we have 99% of the staff writers doing a great job, maybe better communication might help, all the way around.
    What? After I just paid you a compliment on how funny your last comment was?

    Feel free to contact the blog manager anytime.

    -DAVID- wrote: maybe better communication might help, all the way around.
    I doubt it. Communication isn’t the problem.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 19, 2007 7:57 PM
    Comment #233550

    d.a.n- Your condescending, left handed compliments

    are no more than troll baiting an you know it.

    write what you like, I will not indulge any further

    with you. Keep up the good work.

    Posted by: -DAVID- at September 19, 2007 9:04 PM
    Comment #233579

    Funny that some people accuse others of the very behavior they engage in themselves.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 20, 2007 9:56 AM
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