Sunday, March 25, 2007

Making the Good Sausage 

When MoveOn asked me whether or not to support the House appropriations bill that included a time table for withdrawing U.S. troops fro Iraq, I had to think about it.

Certainly, the time table pushed bringing the troops home much further into the future than I wanted. But the alternative was nothing at all. I made the pragmatic choice. A pragmatic something was better than an idealistic nothing. Nearly 85% of MoveOn respondants voted the same way.

Some of my political comrades don't agree, but that's the nature of big tent politics. Digby phrases it rather well:
Following up on Poputonian's post below, let me just say that this is one case where we are in disagreement. I do not think that MoveOn or any of the other anti-war liberals who voted for the appropriations bill were sell-outs, clubby, "daddy party" or anything else. There is a difference of opinion among some in the grassroots as to whether the strategy was correct, but I do not believe that anyone's motives were impure and I'm not sure it's constructive to turn this into a battle over insiders vs outsiders.

Legislative sausage making is always somewhat unnerving to watch, but this one actually went quite well by historic standards. The progressives used all of their clout to get as strong a bill as possible and quite a few of the Blue Dogs made the hard choice to vote with the party. The Democratic party is a coalition not a monolith and the fact that they were able to get a bill with virtually everyone on board is a testament to the party's strength not its weakness.


What Purgegate is really about 

First, we should acknowledge that Josh Marshall and his team at TPM have been out in front of this story from the get.

And despite all the smoke and mirrors thrown up by the Bush administration and the Republican noise machine, the whole affair can has been summarized quite clearly by Josh in a few short paragraphs from separate posts:
This isn't about the AG's lies. It's not about the attempted cover-up. It's not about executive privilege and investigative process mumbojumbo.

This is about using US Attorneys to damage Democrats and protect Republicans, using the Department of Justice as a partisan cudgel in the war for national political dominance. All the secrecy and lies, the blundering and covering-up stems from this one central fact.


This is about a president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House which . . . let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.
Thanks to AMERICAblog and Atrios for the links.


"It's not performance related . . . 

unless you're not performing as a puppet for the people in Washington, in the Justice Department."


All in all, it looks like Chiara was fired as the USA in the Western District of Michigan because she wasn't sufficiently enthusiastic about the death penalty.

Which I guess is what the Bush administration obsesses about, since they can't seem to find Osama whateverhisnamewas.


Dead Man Walking 

GOP Support for Attorney General Erodes.

And if that weren't enough, this should do it:

Gonzales has Bush's support.

Abu G is history. Unfortunately, as history, it's a very dark chapter.


The Will of the People 

The President said:
By choosing to make a political statement and passing a bill they know will never become law, the Democrats in Congress have only delayed the delivery of the vital funds and resources our troops need. The clock is running.
Wrong! As Joe Sudbay points out, the House vote actually is an expression of the will of the people:
What Bush calls a "political statement" is actually what the American people want. They've had it with Bush and his war, which Think Progress reminds us has already been confirmed by a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll.

Sixty-four percent now say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, up six points from last month to a new numerical high. (It was 63 percent in October.) A majority hasn't said the war was worth fighting since April 2004, and it's been even longer since a majority has approved of how Bush is handling it. Sixty-seven percent now disapprove; 55 percent disapprove strongly.
Bush remains out of touch, and out to lunch.

This has been another edition of The President Said.


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