Democrats & Liberals Archives

Some Friendly Advice

Words are cheap, folks. I think if you want a serious sense of how Democrats and others will respond, Atrios’s response on Eschaton is pricelessly to the point. There’s a strong disconnect between what strong language Republicans would like to paint Democrats with, and the actual effects of their heated rhetoric.

Atrios is one of the more sarcastic and caustic of the Liberal Bloggers, so I wouldn't blame conservatives for ignoring his perspective, but I would say that for all this snark, he's probably reflecting the opinion that most moderates and liberals in this county would have of the Republican's drive to officially take a stance of calling the Democrats names.

But I'm going to offer some friendly advice, because I enjoy friendly competition: The Republicans efforts at Rebranding are just another failure in the making, one way or another. Even it succeeds, the Republicans won't have had to re-earn their prominence, and that will only set them up for a repetition of what happened with Bush.

I can understand: you don't want to admit liberalism won, after years of successful demonization. But it did. But why? In no small part, Republicans succeeded through bad policy choices and strident rhetoric in making Conservatism radioactive. In my previous post, I essentially stated that the Republicans want to essentially strange-loop their unpopular policies and decisions back into popularity, using rhetoric to redefine the argument, and thereby win with a failed argument by changing the forum it's received in. The trouble is, though Conservatives are certainly eager to see this rationalization succeed, it won't do much good with others beyond the Far Right.

The fact of the matter is, much of the punditry in the conservative media is aimed at cultivating and keeping Republicans and folks on the right supporters of the politicians and their policies. For decades, it's been working to discourage alternative positions, departures from orthodoxy, and encourage loyalty to Republican politicians and other leaders. It's worked spectacularly, and it works even now, as it drags the party further away from the mainstream of American opinion.

The problem is, beyond it's radicalizing influence, is that generations of Republicans have become well-adapted to arguing points between themselves, to each other, on grounds that work for Republicans. This adds the hazard of the party becoming increasingly asymmetric with the rest of the country regarding what they consider good rhetoric, good arguments, and good politics.

The Bush Presidency can be seen through this lens: The GOP so strongly radicalized itself and held itself aloof from the judgment of the rest of the country on its policy and politics, even while it committed grave errors, that the majority of Americans could no longer agree with either on their merits.

They can talk about this reflecting the truth of the Democratic Party, expressing a sentiment and having people agree are two different things, and persuasion is not merely a matter of finding the right words. You have to have an actual good point. Rhetoric might persuade people temporarily of false or shaky propositions, but dishonest rhetoric tends, even if successful, to trap one in the headache of having to be continually inventive to preserve one's credibility. Even worse, people might not buy your bull anymore, except for your loyal few followers, who you then have to maintain these BS arguments for their sake.

Calling the Democrat's names did not work in the last election to discourage people. Too many people either don't remember the Cold War, and therefore have little reaction to accusations of somebody being a communist, or they do Remember the Cold War, and remember that we were much more liberal during it than after it, and we hardly called ourselves socialists or communists then.

Name-calling works best when people are already persuaded. When they're not, it's at best a neutral throwaway, and at worst, a detriment to the persuasiveness of an otherwise better argument. Which is why I tend to avoid it.

I believe that the best arguments rise up from premises that hold true across both sides of the argument, which are difficult to deny by those who you're communicating to, symmetric, if you will. Building from those, you reconstruct a pathway of inference which is made strong in its ability to support your conclusion by the nature of its factual support. People can say no, but it's something they got to do with the argument exerting considerable pull. If a person chooses to deny the argument on ideological grounds, I want it clear that my rival in the exchange is doing it mainly for those reasons.

The Republicans, though, have gotten used to supporting their politics on their politics, supporting their policies based on their own sense of what's right, rather than considering outside opinions or valuing practical experience which might rain on the ideological parade, or force difficult confrontations with fellow party members.

Unless and until Republicans recreate their party as an organization that has a pragmatic side to its policy making, until it starts recognizing that its policy and political arguments have to square with more than just the beliefs of its own membership, it won't be leaving the wilderness. It will remain a party of political esoterics, who dream up names to call their political counterparts, and congratulate themselves on their cleverness and brutal honesty.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at May 14, 2009 7:32 AM
Comments
Comment #281549

And to think that this same political party held the Country in its grip for many years, what were we thinking? The only repub worth anything, Colin Powell, has been excommunicated from the party for telling truth to the fiction that is the repub party. At least he hasn’t went sniveling back to Limbaugh afterwards. The longer the repubs continue as the party of Limbaugh then I can see why they would actually call a special meeting to come up with the same thing their witless leader has been doing on his radio show forever. It seems now is the time for a third party to enter the political playing field as the repubs are being lead towards the sidelines by the desperate fascist wing of the party. The dems are socialist, how pathetic, how Limbaughese.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 14, 2009 9:28 AM
Comment #281551

j2t2

what an interesting concept, liking repubs that think more like dems. i guess thats why zell miller is one of the few dems i can tolerate. he spoke the truth in 2004 and the dems would have nothing to do with him. lieberman broke with his party on the war and they tried to eliminate him in the primary. bit them in the ass though didn’t it. keep spouting the rhetoric though, the dems will soon be the al frankin party. thats one saturday night live skit that will bite them in the ass. LOL!!!

Posted by: dbs at May 14, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #281553

Stephen,

I suppose this will play well with the rocket surgeons that comprise the Republican’s conservative base, but it does little to change my perception that these guys are nothing but schoolyard bullies who will throw anything against the wall to see if it sticks.

This is nothing but yet another act of desperation, and I think that we all should take a cue from Michael Steele’s comment.

Who cares?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 14, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #281555

dbs lets face it when the best the repubs can do is call a special meeting for the party members to brainstorm and settle on “the dems are socialist” as their answer, they have a problem.

The old line of the far right ” they are acting like dems” is as worn out as it is inaccurate IMHO. The repubs has a specific goal in mind, starve the beast, and did what they could to accomplish this goal. The 108th and 109th Congress was not by any stretch acting like dems when they tried to get a marriage amendment passed, nor when their leader misdiagnosed a patient from the floor of the senate. When the conservative lead Congress cut taxes, went to war and kept spending that was to further conservative ideology not to act like dems. When they doubled the national debt they showed their conservative colors, when they enacted the Patriot Act and when they allowed wiretapping without a court order they were showing the inherit authoritarianism of conservatism not acting like dems.

It is time for conservatives to acccept responsibility for their actions not blame others.I believe that is the message of Colin Powell and others trying to keep the repubs from becoming a party that can’t make the ballot in some states.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 14, 2009 12:49 PM
Comment #281556
When the conservative lead Congress cut taxes, went to war and kept spending that was to further conservative ideology not to act like dems.

So just because those things are the same things the Dems do and are doing, it was just coincidence then?

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 14, 2009 12:56 PM
Comment #281559

Stephen -

Empathy. If there’s one difference between conservatives and liberals, it’s that conservatives see little sense or reason for empathy, whereas liberals know how very crucial empathy really is.

In all honesty, I think Wells may have been referring to just such a disconnect when he wrote about Morlocks and Eloi. Both need each other…but neither is willing to admit the necessity of having the other around….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 14, 2009 1:14 PM
Comment #281560

stealth -

I see how critical you are of certain flag officers. Please tell us of your military experience.

And when it comes to Richard Clarke:

“It all came together in the third week in June,” Clarke said. “The C.I.A.’s view was that a major terrorist attack was coming in the next several weeks.” On July 5th, Clarke summoned all the domestic security agencies—the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard, Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the F.B.I.—and told them to increase their security in light of an impending attack.

The FAA sent 15 general terrorist warnings to US airlines between January and August 2001. But airlines had been receiving at least one such warning a month for a long time. As one newspaper later put it, “There were so many that airline officials grew numb to them.” The Bush administration officials acknowledged that these warnings were so vague that they did not require tighter airline security. In late June 2001,Richard Clarke, the White House National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, did give a direct warning to the FAA to increase security measures in light of an impending terrorist attack. But the FAA refused to take such measures, and nothing was done about its refusal.

Yeah, Richard Clarke is SUCH a traitor, isn’t he?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 14, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #281561

“So just because those things are the same things the Dems do and are doing, it was just coincidence then?”

Rhinehold the issue is whether the repub lead Congress and President that did cut taxes, borrowed to go to war and kept spending were “just acting like dems” or whether they were doing it on their own accord. I say they were acting just like conservatives and should accept responsibility for their actions. The childish “but he did it to” nonsense is not an excuse to hide behind IMHO. It was conservatives that were the majority in both houses and the administrative branch, to attempt to say that Bush, Delay, Frist, Hastert et al were not true conservatives is a ridiculous argument to make.

I don’t recall the dem lead tax cut and spending increase you refer to but even so I don’t believe that it makes it right for a party that was voted in on the platform of lower taxes, less government to screw the pooch and then say “well they did it to”. To not learn from LBJ and his both guns and butter approach that helped to lead us into trouble in the ’70s, to advocate fiscal responsibility and then double our debt telling us “it don’t matter” and then to say it wasn’t the conservatives but the dems just says to me the cons don’t have a clue, nor a workable ideology anymore. The repub moderates are right to disavow the Limbaugh faction of the party and their inability to see the real problem IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 14, 2009 1:30 PM
Comment #281563

The most traitorist act Powell ever committed was when he parrotted the Cheney/Bush line to the UN…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 14, 2009 1:42 PM
Comment #281564

How do we define name calling was this message approved by the Dems I never seen any blogs or objection on this side and the thousands of others against John he’s not Bush or rush or Keith or even in the same light when did we all of a sudden get moral i know you Stephen have used very little name calling in your blogs if you go back you can see we’ve all done it from time to time it does not really excuse it- It’s how far a person or organization takes it and all sides are guilty of it . http://www.usmagazine.com/news/john-mccain-slams-madonna-for-comparing-him-to-hitler

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 14, 2009 1:45 PM
Comment #281565

STEALTH!

C’mon, answer my post above. Tell us about your career in the military so you can speak from authority about flag officers, and also show how Clarke is a traitor when he was trying to WARN the Bush administration about 9/11….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 14, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #281566

Marysdude -

Colin Powell was following orders from his Commander-in-Chief. That’s what we in the military do, and it’s d—ned difficult to say no when it comes directly from the CinC.

Sometimes those in the military are ordered to lie. That sounds wrong…but it is sometimes necessary. What hurts is when the orders we are given are themselves lies and we don’t know it.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 14, 2009 2:11 PM
Comment #281568

Let’s now see how much transparancy and integrety the Obama administration really has. Will they demand that the liar Pelosi step down????? Will they demand that the theif Clinton resign and pursue criminal charges against her????? Yeah, right! When Barney Frank flies!

Posted by: JandR,on the rightside at May 14, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #281571

JandR
Senator Graham, Republican head of the Intelligence Committee, tells the same story as Speaker Pelosi. He is certain- he was not briefed that waterboarding was occurring. In addition, two days of CIA briefings were said to have happened on days when they definitely did not occur. Graham pointed this out, and the CIA admitted to its error. No such briefings occurred on those days.

Posted by: phx8 at May 14, 2009 4:11 PM
Comment #281572

Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), I take his Word Phx8 he was always pretty much a straight shooter.the other Gramm was the Deregulation R- Tex. Gramm.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 14, 2009 4:42 PM
Comment #281573

Quote Wiki per Mr. Graham, Bob Graham was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

””“He has a quirky habit of keeping a detailed log of his daily activities on color-coded notebooks, which some say may have cost him a spot on past vice-presidential tickets. He keeps all of these notes in a file cabinet arranged by month and year. A great champion for his home state, Graham always kept Florida orange juice on hand in his Senate office and was rarely seen without his trademark Florida tie.”” He has no reason to Lie at all nothing to gain but everything to lose IMHO Also he Might have a Record ot it!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 14, 2009 4:58 PM
Comment #281574

Grr (Record of it)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 14, 2009 5:01 PM
Comment #281575

Great, I also have a lot of respect for Bob Graham. Let’s have a full investigation, along with full prosecutorial powers. If Pelosi is lying, let’s prosecute her and hold her as a war criminal. That is what she wants for Bush administration advisors.

Posted by: JandRon the rightside at May 14, 2009 5:29 PM
Comment #281578

Rocky,
Thanks to you, I now have this vision of Michael Steele in a pair of tights and cape, with “Rocket Surgeon” emblazoned across his chest, stuck in my head.

Posted by: gergle at May 14, 2009 6:09 PM
Comment #281579

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev also has expressed opposition I always liked ole Harry he get’s a lttle hot under the collar once in awhile but i still say he’s pragmatic, Obama Has also seemed to cool his positon on it to. Nancy is Nancy what can I say.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 14, 2009 6:15 PM
Comment #281580

j2t2

you brought up collin powell, not me. a republican,( or was ) that supported obama. the repubs turned thier backs on him, what a suprise. if a well respected democrat came out and, had supported john mc cain, do you think the dems would have kicked him to the curb? want the answer just look at zell miller. BTW looks like your speaker is about to go down in flames you know ( nancy the liar ) the one who was going to change the tone and bring openess, and honesty to gov’t. what a joke. LOL!!!!

Posted by: dbs at May 14, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #281581
C’mon, answer my post above. Tell us about your career in the military so you can speak from authority about flag officers, and also show how Clarke is a traitor when he was trying to WARN the Bush administration about 9/11….

First, Richard Clarke was not trying to warn anyone about 9/11, he was trying to warn against ‘something happening sometime that might use planes’. As you note, the FAA was getting these types of reports on a very common basis for months, if not years, leading up to 9/11.

If there had been detail, dates, people, SOMETHING, that would have been one thing, but nebulous warnings intermixed with other nebulous warnings never panning out …

Well, I’m sure you can find fault when it comes to blaming people you don’t like and praising people you do, so let’s try this tact.

*IF* the FAA had taken the warnings dead seriously, what would they have done that would have prevented 9/11 from occuring? Up until that point, the accepted wisdom of hijacking was to do what the hijacker wanted, don’t ‘scare’ them or try to stop them, and return home safe. Now, do you think would have happened? And don’t give me the ‘wanting to use planes as weapons’ memo, it was among thousands of other ones, was unspecific and was counter to decades of accepted practices. And even *IF* the administration had been prescient enough to see there was something solid to it, what do you propose they have done? Shut down air travel for a few months? Allow pilots or air marshals to have guns? What was the solution on 9/10/2001 that would have prevented it?

BTW, you do realize that Richard Clarke still stands by his original view that Saddam and Obama were working together at the al Shifa pharmacutecal plant, right? So, was he right then or now, was there a link between al Qaeda and Iraq or not, and if not then why would a discredited person like Clarke have been given any credibility to speak on the matter?

Talk about your ‘cherrypicking’.

Posted by: rhinehold at May 14, 2009 7:09 PM
Comment #281582

gergle,

After Powell was jettisoned, I believe that Steele became the “token”….

Why they made him the head of the RNC I will never understand.

BTW, IMHO the Republicans don’t deserve someone of Powell’s integrity.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 14, 2009 7:39 PM
Comment #281583

stealth-

The big mistake of the republican party for the last eight years was,They try to be too much like Democrats.

That’s right, they imitated us very well. I mean, we balanced the budget, so they unbalanced it. (wait…)

Okay, but when we began opposition to Bush’s Iraq war policy, because of the shoddy intelligence case, and the failing policies, they carried his water 100%! (wait…)

We vehemently opposed torture and all the nonstandard practices the Bush administration brought into play, and the Republicans did exactly the same by cheering on the violations of human rights and calling everybody else wimps for disagreeing. (wait…)

I mean, we even called for reforms to accounting and corporate finance, and the regulation of Derivatives, so they imitated us by…

Ah, screw it. The line about Republicans acting too much like Democrats is a cop-out. It’s a way of once again diverting anger and dissatisfaction for the Republican rank and file back on those Democrats, and keeping the same politicians and pundits who got us into all the messes that Americans fired the Republican majority over in office merely by promising that they’ll be more like themselves in the future. Added bonus! Conservatism isn’t proven wrong by experience!

I’ll concede that Republicans were not pure as the driven snow. But being like Democrats? They ran deficits, but the last people who didn’t were Democrats, Democrats who payed for what they spent with raised taxes. Reagan ran deficits, Bush ran deficits, Nixon ran deficits, and Bush? Bush ran them so chronically his Republican Congress had to raise the debt limit. So lets cut the bull: while cheap talk on deficit spending reduction is a hallmark of the conservative movement, in practice, it’s been unwilling to pay as much as it outlays, whereas Democrats have bitten the bullet and raised taxes to suit. This is not as popular as handing out free money, especially to the rich, but it seems to have resolved more budget shortfalls than additional tax cuts.

On the torture issue, you seem to have forgotten that he released the descriptions of the torture techniques, which spurred much public debate. This was not done by the Bush Cheney administration, and so that knocks that particular argument down.

As for founding membership? Geez, stealth, you give more credit that I would! I mean, since ACORN was founded in 1970, being a founding member would have meant that he became a community organizer at age Eight or Nine!

I know hope springs eternal, but your arguments are strained at best. You can badmouth all the war heroes on the other side all you want to, but what does that prove? For the most part, it just goes to prove that modern folks on the right wing only considers military experience, honor, and expertise when it suits their politics. Otherwise, they will be slimed with every foul charge people can think of.

(By the way: I hope Murtha gets taken down, war record notwithstanding. A war record is no excuse for one of political corruption. McCain should know that.)

As for Clarke? The Deaths in Blackhawk Down weren’t the product of anybody getting left behind. They were the product of predictability, of a broad daylight raid done against an enemy that had the RPG’s to shoot down those large, barely moving copters.

But hey, he’s another person who spoke up against Republican orthodoxy, so he’s fair game.

JandR,on the rightside-
Problem: if we hold Pelosi responsible for even knowing, then what happens to all the happy Right Wingers in the GOP wing of the Congress, and the Bush administration itself, which knew all about it?

You know, it’s transparently obvious here what the game is: distract with the Democrats so the Republicans can make their getaway, or at least escape the media glare.

Why else loudly point out Democratic Party complicity in the matter from one side of the mouth, and then loudly decry their opposition from the other side? It’s a rhetorical device. Let’s just call it what it is, so nobody’s confused that the GOP is taking an actual moral stand here, and deserves a pass on attention to its own, more than complicity, ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT in this policy.

dbs-
Zell Miller did more than just throw his support to Bush. He publically repudiated and trashed members of his own party for an opposition to One version of a spending bill, which he joined the rest of the Republicans in alleging as the only version of the bill.

Rhinehold-
For a Libertarian, you’re providing an awful lot of excuses for institutional inertia.

Go look at Flight 93, to see what a little information can do. It would only have taken some of the crew getting it in there head that this wasn’t like other hijackings for a different outcome to have been possible.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 14, 2009 8:51 PM
Comment #281587

Stephen,

I’m being realistic, there was no information that we had that would have overridden the way the US handled hijackings until that point. Only after it was clear what the intent was, which wasn’t before, did we see what happened on Flight 93, which proves in my mind that we will never see another hijacking again because the hijackers know now that there is now way it will be successful.

Which begs the question, why are we still taking rights away from travellers to just get on a plane when we know that it won’t happen that way again?

However, can you point to me how everything we had would have led to a different result? What would have changed or been different if, say, Gore had been in charge or even Obama?

Posted by: rhinehold at May 14, 2009 9:39 PM
Comment #281588

rhinehold-
While I’m inclined to agree that the notion that terrorists would only hijack a plane for hostages had pretty strong inertia, if this is the logic we always apply to counterterrorism, we will get hit again with this severity. While we can’t anticipate every target or method, I’d hate to think we can’t anticipate some before they’re used. Hell, we were getting reports about plans to use weapons. Why not get some people together to brainstorm that out, do some simulations, and then come up with some recommendations? It’s how we responded so quickly to the Swine Flu this time.

As for rights of travellers? Well, here’s what I’d agree with: the current system is clunky and inelegant. If so, then the question is how to streamline it, not how to junk it. Oh, you say, but they wouldn’t try that again!

Well, Rhinehold, the 9/11 attack was an attack on the same target Jihadi’s had struck before, wasn’t it? Maybe they’ll change how they do it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t or won’t make another attempt.

As for how things might have been different? I think things would have been more disciplined, with less of this “throw every extreme technique against the wall and see what sticks” attitude.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 14, 2009 10:30 PM
Comment #281589

“you do realize that Richard Clarke still stands by his original view that Saddam and Obama were working together at the al Shifa pharmacutecal plant, right?”

And what exactly do you think Saddam and our president were doing Rhinehold?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 14, 2009 10:58 PM
Comment #281590

SD et al

Wow! They say “Democratic socialist”like it was a bad thing! Leading us toward European socialism? Would that it were true. I know,I know, how horrible. Longer life spans,better health care, lower infant mortality, less crime, longer vacations, better job security,good schools etc. all in the context of vibrant democracy. How the poor bastards stand it I’ll never know.
Its grimly amuzing with Steele. Its bad enough to have a Black guy as chairman but now we’re supposed to listen to one. Forget it!

Posted by: bills at May 15, 2009 2:29 AM
Comment #281595
And what exactly do you think Saddam and our president were doing Rhinehold?

Ah, that would be an obvious typo.

As for how things might have been different? I think things would have been more disciplined, with less of this “throw every extreme technique against the wall and see what sticks” attitude.

So, you have nothing you can actually point to that would have been different, so my original point of blaming the Bush administration for 9/11 being an idiotic practice stands.

Posted by: rhinehold at May 15, 2009 10:53 AM
Comment #281599

Rhinehold-
I can only say what would have been more likely: Torture wouldn’t have been openly floated as a tactic. There wouldn’t have been a large bloc of people in the government itself itching to get us into a war with Iraq. We wouldn’t have seen folks aiming to tick off as many of our old allies as possible, nor the indifference to the way the world thinks about us. We wouldn’t have seen this support of Israel’s policy towards settlements and other crap that just served to raise the temperature on that pressure cooker of a situation. Al Gore, as president, would have likely kept counterterrorism on the front burner before 9/11, and not dropped it as a priority until it dropped on him.

I have plenty I can point to. I just didn’t feel it needed to be explicitly pointed out for folks.

Oh, and I don’t really blame the Republicans for 9/11, though I do feel they did plenty wrong, even as they felt that their stances made them seem to themselves at least, as the tougher crowd.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 15, 2009 11:32 AM
Comment #281603

The 9/11 commission report gave blame to both clinton and bush and Clinton did gut the CIA in the 1990s http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/4/20/11545.shtml

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 15, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #281611

Stephen, I didn’t suggested you were saying that 9/11 was Bush’s fault, but Glenn certainly suggested it, which was what I was countering.

I think there are a lot of things we can complain about with Bush, but IMO not preventing 9/11 isn’t one of them.

Oh, and it is interesting to see so many of the things that people complained about Bush no longer be a big deal when Obama continues those same procedures/programs… Makes a person wonder what the real contention was motivated by…

Posted by: rhinehold at May 15, 2009 2:41 PM
Comment #281618

Rhinehold,

I think that is a balanced criticism. See? We can agree once in a great while.

Posted by: gergle at May 15, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #281620

“BTW, IMHO the Republicans don’t deserve someone of Powell’s integrity.”

True,Rocky, but the repubs need him even if they don’t deserve him.

“Ah, that would be an obvious typo.”

I thought as much Rhinehold but with all the attempts to tie Obama in with terrorist prior to the election and so much revisionist history by some on the right, one never knows.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 15, 2009 4:29 PM
Comment #281622

Rhinehold-
I think you might be well advised to reconsider the line of your argument.

Yes, Obama is going for military tribunals, but with significant changes:

The Secretary of Defense will notify the Congress of several changes to the rules governing the commissions. The rule changes will ensure that: First, statements that have been obtained from detainees using cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation methods will no longer be admitted as evidence at trial. Second, the use of hearsay will be limited, so that the burden will no longer be on the party who objects to hearsay to disprove its reliability. Third, the accused will have greater latitude in selecting their counsel. Fourth, basic protections will be provided for those who refuse to testify. And fifth, military commission judges may establish the jurisdiction of their own courts.

That doesn’t sound like a continuation of the Bush policy, that sounds like a repudiation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 15, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #281623

Stephen,

You make some assumptions in your acceptance of something coming from the current ‘lie about obvious things’ press office as being factual and then reproduced on ‘TPM’.

Would you accept something that was issued by the Bush white house and posted on Fox News by someone on the right as factual without checking into it first?

My suspicion is that the Military ‘tribunals’ were operating under the rule of military codes for such things and in that case most of those protections would have already been in place even if not stipulated in the Military Comissions Act.

If there is actual evidence that this wasn’t the case, let me know and I’ll look for some as well, just don’t expect me to believe, without checking it out, anything come out of the current press secretary’s mouth.

Posted by: rhinehold at May 15, 2009 5:17 PM
Comment #281624

j2t2,

“True,Rocky, but the repubs need him even if they don’t deserve him.”

The problem is that Powell isn’t palatable to those on the right that got all twitterpated over Sarah Palin.
This country is best when governed from the middle, and the folks that support Palin don’t get that.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 15, 2009 5:35 PM
Comment #281635

Rhinehold-
The statement is identical to that released on the White House site.

As for TPM? Talking Points Memo is not the site you want to be accusing of being bad reporters. Fox, on the other hand, has no such trust with me. It’s not merely Fox’s ideological leaning, it’s their slipshod reporting. When the war was in its early stages, I was always looking for information on the finds, and as soon as I would find a link on Fox about found WMDs, the link would disappear. I don’t like unreliable reporting. TPM gets its facts straight.

Being one of the hard-facts oriented sites, which built its reputation on busting open the Attorneys firing scandal and it’s ability to scoop the mainstream media on important issues, I doubt they would deliberately drop out huge portions of text, especially when the source is public domain.

Is this your way of trying to work around the fact that you have nothing but suspicions as to what the law was?

Why don’t you establish for yourself what the facts are before you come complaining to me about how I’ve gotten them wrong. At least you can be proactive about your argument then, rather than rationalizing the shortfalls of your defense.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 15, 2009 7:30 PM
Comment #281644

“This country is best when governed from the middle, and the folks that support Palin don’t get that.”

After the past 2 elections it really isn’t that hard to get, is it? I realize they have the ideological blinders in place but to actual believe the reason they lost so badly this past election is because they didn’t stick to their conservative beliefs while governing is rather childish isn’t it?
I would prefer 5 or so parties actively involved at election time with equal chances of gaining seats in Congress, To think that the cons would want only one party, the dems, in complete control due to their misguided leadership boggles the mind. Powell had good reason to choose Obama over McCain and could offer good advice to the repubs, Really what does Powell have to do, go to a stop on the listening tour to be heard. To continue to kow tow to the talk radio conservatives,as the repubs have done so often, does not serve the country well IMHO, it’s time for the repubs to come to their senses, realize the damage they have done to this country and get to work to correct the problem so we can have at least some choice come election time.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 15, 2009 11:49 PM
Comment #281645

RH
What twaddle. GWB was asleep at the switch as usual. You seem to have joined the Reps who actually believe 9/11, the collaspe of the economy. Abu Garib, Increased poverty, mis handling Iraq, Katrina and a host of other failures was just bad luck as opposed to incompetance and basic mistakes caused by a wrong headed ideaology that refuses to take reality into account or take any measure to riegn in the kleptocrats.

Posted by: bills at May 16, 2009 12:04 AM
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