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November 15, 2007

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How did Rahmbo get so much power? And why can't even Steny rein him in?

Dems believe he engineered the win that gave them back the Congress. So now he's the political guru, and they all take his word for it on matters of electoral politics and campaign optics.

That's why they're stuck surrendering key issues in motions to recommit. And it's why they're surrendering key constitutional prerogatives.

Think of all the economists who've been arguing for however long that the shift from long-term planning to short-term, quarterly returns are ultimately killing us. The same analogy applies.

Rahm is full of it. Take away his ego, and you'd have a Rahm-sized hole in the air.

I really want to re-route the Potomac through the Capitol. I might even allow letting some of the 'good' guys out before the water gets beyond head-deep.
Rahm is not on the list of 'good' guys. Neither is DiFi.
Reid, Pelosi, and Schumer aren't looking like candidates for it.

Kagro -- What leads you to conlcude that Nancy and Steny are up for this fight? I haven't seen any evidence of that myself, but then I think you are a better observer of such things than I am.

Rahm Emanuel is a duplicitous pretty boy. He was on Real Time a couple of months ago, and I wanted to bitch slap him every time he opened his thin lipped mouth.

Man, do we ever need a lot of rope.

They're mentioned in the article as supporting the idea, even though they gave in on the timing. I suppose based just on this one article, you could spin it that Rahm supports it too, but is also balking on just the timing.

But other sources over the past several weeks have confirmed that this is more or less the case. I'm not as sure about Hoyer, but at least he's an institutionalist at heart. Rahm came from the other institution, and is biding his time in the legislature.

Thanks Kagro. So I take it then you think Rahm is just waiting around until he can get a better gig back in the executive branch? Well, this certainly shines an interesting light on things. If his heart is in the executive branch, then he would feel no particular urgency to preserve legislative perogatives. Nancy has made her career in the House. Now that she is Speaker, she outranks Rahm. Why doesn't she pull rank on him? Do you really think that Nancy thinks Rahm is such a political genius that he must be right, even when the netroots is practically vibrating with aggravation on this?

He may or may not want or believe he'll get another gig back in the executive branch, but it shouldn't be forgotten that that's where he comes from.

When you come from the White House, you don't need to guard your prerogatives that jealously. Power accrues and accumulates there fairly naturally. Of much greater concern is stage managing that power.

Kagro - Like Phred, I am having a very hard time crediting Pelosi and Hoyer with any desire here, irrespective of their weak lip service. I am not even that sure about Conyers to tell you the truth; he makes a lot more and better noise, but it never seems to get that far. Waxman yes; Conyers, eh, not nearly enough. This quote from Mary yesterday hit it on the head:

"I think it's pretty incredible that they ran on an accountability and oversight platform and then they proffer up,

-no impeachment, no matter what
-no subpoena enforcement
-no response to blocking witnesses, including when the Pentagon refuses to produce a specific requested witnes
-no criminal charges
-no demand for release of information on illegal kidnapping and torture of el-Masri so his suit could have proceeded
-no breath wasted on any of the hundred at GITMO and tens of thousand in Iraq/Afghanistan being illegally held and abused
-no steps taken to end the Iraq war
-no steps taken to shore up the Afghanistan position
-no ..."

Impeachment, to Pelosi, is a different question, and one which she openly approaches from Emanuel's perspective.

Contempt, though, she perceives differently. She takes Emanuel's counsel for caution, but even the private accounts I've received from people dealing with her on the issue tell me she feels very strongly that this has to go forward. That's not necessarily the case with Emanuel, who could take it or leave it.

Fair enough then. Of course as all have pointed out, Pelosi has the keys to the car, all she has to do is drive....

By way of Atrios:

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD VOTES FOR IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY

The NLG press release contains a link to the full resolution, which is at least somewhat interesting.

I love lawyers :) Thanks bmaz!

Rahm is no parliamentarian and he'll never be tapped for higher office in Illinois. He's carrying water for the Clinton campaign in the House.

Does the lobby which shall not be named have Congress by the cajones?

Are we being governed/run by Israelis and American Jews who give large very large campaign contributions to a lot of Dems?

Is the tail wagging the dog?

Kagro,

Curious, it looks like we're still hearing the same excuses to do nothing. They're not adding up.

We have this DNC leadership a chance. They refuse to respond. Once Bush or Cheney are subject to impeachment proceedings, they cannot be pardoned.

Let's confront Pelosi: Why do you want to keep pardon on the table? She has no good answer. Let's confront the real problem: Time to Remove the Speaker, and clear the way for impeachment. Similar to the House Rule 603 effort.

Very, very well said, Kagro X.

Or at least he hopes so, so that he can trade the long-term viability of the constitutional system of government for a strategy he believes will result in more seats in a branch that's got no game plan for preserving its power. More seats at the kiddie table.

The Iraq fight is the FISA fight is the subpoena fight.

Precisely.

Whatever happened to the Rahm Emanuel who delivered a pre-hyped (and post-ignored by the official press, of course) Constitutional principles speech a couple of months ago? The article does indeed seem to indicate that Emanuel alone is continuing to hold up this long overdue action - in the face of advice and sentiment to the contrary from the Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hard to believe, even mind-boggling looking in from the outside, that this obvious lightweight is somehow considered a "guru" worth following by the Congressional Democrats, when all around him are disagreeing. [Emanuel is counseling more "town hall" meetings for Members of Congress - does he understand that he is counseling that they get their heads bitten off?? People are furious at Congress, and while I absolutely applaud any effort to get our representatives to meet more often with their constituents and to establish a dialogue, there is no way to "talk away" the record of this Congress at this point, and yet Emanuel unbelievably seems to think there is...]

We are closing in on a level of disgust with the Democratic Congress that could lead to unknown, non-political write-in candidates beating incumbents next year, just because they aren't incumbents or professional politicians. Once a certain level of overwhelming contempt and fury is reached and left unacknowledged by any meaningful response from our "representatives," a person wants pay-back for the endless insults to the intelligence of the good people of this country, never mind for all the substantive reasons - and then punishment by any means, logic be damned, comes into play.

Pelosi and Hoyer better rein Emanuel in, and soon, if they are deferring to his cocky bullying on this point, as the article indicates - or they will be the ones paying the price, along with all of us, long after Emanuel leapfrogs over them back into the Executive Branch.

Hey listen up! First, you have to impeach Rahm. I hope we all don't get bogged down on this one or else we'll still be stuck in Viet Bagh by the time Stewart's kid is running for president. By mine & sideman NoSox's estimation that shouldn't eat up too much more than fifteen months tops give or take. Then with him out of the way there's no chance - - no freaking chance what ever - - that Pelosi and Hoyer and that bunch won't be able to heed the kachillion voice chant from all us idealistic ta-DA AMERICAN POLITICAL SPORTS FANS who have adopted as our folk heroes the WaxMan and his his panic-inducing 'stache, a.k.a. The Californian; and Dennis the Ohio Menace, the Kleveland Kuchi Kuchi Kid. So then it's a groundswell and next we go after Reid and the whole U. S. Senate really. Me and the soxless one-der still can't figure out the difference between the U. S. Senate and those so-called think tanks like Brookings or Hudson or American Hinterpricks or the corner tables at Kristolknocker's Standard or Buckley's Awful Tasting Review. Except that the U. S. Senate is the puisne jury for impeachment. So we have to get that bunch off the deflated dime and back to doing the job the Constitution meant for the U. S. Senate to do. Now the trial hearing itself shouldn't take more than half a term or else the administration heavies wouldn't have time to set up their defense funds so the U. S. Senate should make that a rule: after two years there is a final vote and that is that.

Me and NoSox have it figured this way: if the U. S. Congress avoids using its power of impeachment to enforce government oversight then all me and NoSox and the gazillions of voters on the sidelines get for our taxes is a bunch of Congress critters getting rich off earmarks and an extended ballots full of more guess than a crapshoot.

Your welcome.

Time to get serious about challenging the DNC leadership in the House: Either Pelosi exercises some leadership, and reminds Rahm, of his oath of office and duty to the Constitution; or Pelosi's Speakership is on the table. She's not above being challenged and removed as Speaker. Rahm can be forced out, clearing the way for impeachment; or the effort to drive out Pelosi as Speaker will will continue. Until. Impeachment. Is. On. The. Table.

It's gotten to where even the appearance of subjecting the Bush administration to the rule of law raises fears among politics-sensitive Democrats that Democratic candidates might be accused of hampering a wartime president.

It seems that a key point, central to this discussion of potential Dem moves in Congress (re Pelosi or impeachment), needs answering: WHY ARE THE DEMS NOT DOING WHAT SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE? Sure, much speculation dances around the Internets. But, is this question answerable, logically?

Can it be as simple as the Dems are agreed that they need to avoid doing anything, and the WH is theirs in 80? I think not. Too simple. Certainly some who might have agreed to such a Rahm strategem, besides Kucinich alone, can read their constituency polls and see increased likelihood of re-election in going for the jugular of Darth Cheney.

I recall being dumb-founded-by-Congressional-Dems voting to grant Bush all the Iraq occupation spending he asked for, and exclaiming immediately following their being elected to stop the occupation: "The only explanation for their timidity can be that Rove's blackmailed the entire Congress! THAT'S where the $9 Billion went.

Of course, this was not then a serious thought, but a flippant attempt to explain the shocking dereliction of their role of representing "we, the people" so soon following being catapulted to majority.

However, blackmail, or being bought-off, now seems plausible, as simple Machiavellian maneuvering just doesn't seem sufficient to explain their total cave-in. Dems have continuously failed to stand as the loyal opposition, even prior to 06.

So, IS THIS QUESTION BEYOND ANSWERING?
Why Dems, why?

All of our speculating about oversight, Pelosi, or Impeachment seems jousting at windmills until we can explain the marriage of the Dems and Pubs. Yes, the two seem in cahoots, --but how? Why? Why isn't this topic being seriously investigated?

Until we know the answer, our speculating on political strategy seems wasted energy. First we must know if Congress, and indeed, our Republic, can be made to function --or whether our political system is broken beyond retrieval.

It seems that a key point, central to this discussion of potential Dem moves in Congress (re Pelosi or impeachment), needs answering: WHY ARE THE DEMS NOT DOING WHAT SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE? Sure, much speculation dances around the Internets. But, is this question answerable, logically?

Can it be as simple as the Dems are agreed that they need to avoid doing anything, and the WH is theirs in 80? I think not. Too simple. Certainly some who might have agreed to such a Rahm strategem, besides Kucinich alone, can read their constituency polls and see increased likelihood of re-election in going for the jugular of Darth Cheney.

I recall being dumb-founded-by-Congressional-Dems voting to grant Bush all the Iraq occupation spending he asked for, and exclaiming immediately following their being elected to stop the occupation: "The only explanation for their timidity can be that Rove's blackmailed the entire Congress! THAT'S where the $9 Billion went.

Of course, this was not then a serious thought, but a flippant attempt to explain the shocking dereliction of their role of representing "we, the people" so soon following being catapulted to majority.

However, blackmail, or being bought-off, now seems plausible, as simple Machiavellian maneuvering just doesn't seem sufficient to explain their total cave-in. Dems have continuously failed to stand as the loyal opposition, even prior to 06.

So, IS THIS QUESTION BEYOND ANSWERING?
Why Dems, why?

All of our speculating about oversight, Pelosi, or Impeachment seems jousting at windmills until we can explain the marriage of the Dems and Pubs. Yes, the two seem in cahoots, --but how? Why? Why isn't this topic being seriously investigated?

Until we know the answer, our speculating on political strategy seems wasted energy. First we must know if Congress, and indeed, our Republic, can be made to function --or whether our political system is broken beyond retrieval.

Can it be as simple as the Dems are agreed that they need to avoid doing anything, and the WH is theirs in 80?

The way they're going, it'll be '80 before they get the WH. [/snark]

robbrogers -- hang around here a bit and you will see this question chewed over on a regular basis. I don't buy the blackmail argument, although I wouldn't rule it out either. My take on it harks back to the Deep Throat era... follow the money. The Dems and Reps all get their major campaign contributions from big money donors, so that is who they represent. They may do things for show to keep from pissing off their voting constituents too much, but they arrange things to make sure the big players get what they want.

"I don't buy the blackmail argument, although I wouldn't rule it out either. My take on it harks back to the Deep Throat era... follow the money."

Phred, that is pretty much exactly my take as well. Must be the Green Bay commonality. Go Pack!

Go Pack! Man, I cannot believe they are 8-1, I'm so excited I could pop. Still, like a proper sports fan, I'm petrified of jinxing 'em, so I've been trying very very hard not to get carried away... Kinda can't help it, though ;) And good luck to your Sun Devils!

I think Rahm-mel is trying to hold a strong Unitary Presidency model in place for Hillary. They want all the expanded powers of Bush, and would likely act out similar policies - invade Iran, keep Patriot Act in, leave Gitmo standing. Plus keep funneling funds to cronies - maybe slightly different cronies, but still.....

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