Monday, March 13, 2006

APR: Relaying You Others' Solid Points since 2006

The blogosphere is abuzz over Sen. Russ Feingold's announcement that he will seek to censure President Bush over the wiretapping imbroglio. (Don't you think that on the list of oddly fun words, both "blogosphere" and "abuzz" have got to be on it?) In any case, my thoughts are probably typical of the common left-of-center American: Nice concept, Russell, but the move will end up having the same force and worth of something like this. In any case, unrelated news has Sen. Bill Frist as the can't-be-any-less-formal straw poll winner for GOP 2008 hopefuls. Sorry, Bill -- This makes you, if possible, an even bigger target for attacks. With that in mind, I simply have to recommend you, the anywhere-from-five-to-fifty people reading this right now, to note his rather bumbling speech given to too-human George Stephanopoulos. Because I deem watching the "morning shows" an utter, utter waste of time, I'll use a transcript from another blog:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're against it. Are you going to allow it to come up for a vote?

FRIST: Well, George, this is the first I've heard about it. I really am surprised about it because Russ is just wrong. He is flat wrong. He is dead wrong. And as I was listening to it, I was hoping deep inside that that the leadership in Iran and other people who have the U.S. not in their best interest are not listening because of the terrible signal it sends.

As bloggers everywhere noted, Frist couldn't sound more like a schmuck here. Yes, what a horrific signal such a minor reminder of our democratic ways, full of rules and accountability, must send to those who seek to destroy our freedoms. Surely Congress exercising one of its rights is just the wrong message to send to America-haters.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're saying that censure resolution weakens America abroad?

FRIST: Yes. Well, I think it does because we are right now in a war, in an unprecedented war, where we do have people who really want to take us down and we think back to 9/11 and that war on terror is out there. So the signal that it sends that there is in any way a lack of support for our Commander in Chief, who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that we know is making our homeland safer is wrong. And it sends a perception around the world and, again, that's why I'm saying as leader at least of the Republican side of this equation, that it's wrong, because leadership around the world of our sworn enemies are going to say, well, now we have a little crack there. There is no crack. The American people are solidly behind this president in conducting this war on terror.

I'll let DailyKos poster take it from here: "There is no crack" except the crack Frist must be smoking to make the wildly inaccurate claim that Americans are "solidly behind" Bush on the War on Terror. Only 52% of Americans support Bush's handling of the War, a 30 point drop since the invasion of Iraq.

Frist is doing what all Republicans do when they are weak and faced with accountability: they lie. He claims that it's inappropriate to question the Commander-in-Chief, but his party was relentlessly doing the same thing in numerous contexts back in the late 1990s. This is the same Frist who pursued impeachment as President Clinton exercised his Commander-in-Chief authority to bomb Iraq in 1998. At the time, Frist took a position in polar opposite to the one he holds today. He argued that the action in Iraq should not preclude a vote on impeachment: there should be a "temporary delay" in the impeachment vote, he said, but "it should be brought to a close quickly because the House should perform its constitutional duty." (The Hotline, Volume 10 No. 174, December 17, 1998).

DailyKos continues to note that this is the same guy who had no qualms about making this statement while our Commander-in-Chief publicly outlined a strategy for U.S. ground troops in Kosovo:

I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the President. He is not above the law. If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail. Many senators have voted to remove federal judges guilty of perjury, and I have no doubt that the Senate would do so again. Those who by their votes today confer immunity on the President for the same crimes do violence to the core principle that we are all entitled to equal justice under law. [...]

"The President broke his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God. He likewise broke his oaths to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

As the GOP's apparent Golden Boy, this must be a scary time for Frist -- if Bush goes down, so does he and so he has no choice but to defend the president through any definition of logic or fair play. So much of the Republican Party's m.o. lately has been rote lying through teeth and it seems that won't be stopping anytime soon.


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