If you haven’t looked at lordradish’s diary Peter Welch (D-VT) gets an earful about the war. People are pissed., definitely check it out. In it, I gave pause for a moment when I got to this point:
Welch wanted to clarify his voting history on Iraq. I don’t have the specifics on what he said. He laid out his history on the votes on Iraq so far, and why he voted the way he did on them. Two things… he did clarify one point about something that I don’t think many people know. Voting to allow a vote on something is not the same as voting for something. There was a particular vote that Welch voted to allow to the floor, only to vote against the actual measure itself. Some had misconstrued voting to allow a vote as a support of the bill itself.
The point is an excellent one — we need to track the votes, and accurately discern the nature of them, if we are to have any credibility when holding pols responsible.
There’s more…make the jump.
That last point is crucial enough to reiterate:
we need to track the votes, and accurately discern the nature of them, if we are to have any credibility when holding pols responsible
We need to always reinforce and cross-validate our facts and sources — that’s our strength.
We also need to encourage our leaders to review the strategy of voting — no backdoor deals. I’m sure that Reid felt, in his recent midnight offering, that the ending of the war was more important than Mukasey’s confirmation.
He was wrong.
No further deals or capitulations can occur. None. The Republicans in Congress have reneged repeatedly on deals, and always manage to “make a deal” when the item they want to pass is up for a vote first, and the item they supposedly capitulated upon is second. They can’t be trusted — they’ve proven that. Yet Reid felt strongly enough to pull a Republicanesque stunt and ensure that the Dem opponents wouldn’t be available for the vote.1
The better — perhaps more painful, but better in that it’s more intellectually honest and ultimately painful to those who are perpetuating the criminal, unconstitutional behaviors of this Administration — is to clearly and decisively vote against items that the people of this nation have registered extreme displeasure with. A few of the more major items are (or have been) among the following:
- Illegal, unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping — end it.
- Torture — waterboarding is torture. Enhanced interrogation is torture. The sole purpose of rendition is to torture (just like Pontius Pilate, folks, it’s torture and murder while washing one’s hands of the stain of blood — you’re still spilling blood, you’re just getting someone else to do the dirty bits, dumbass).
- Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as AG — should not have gone through without a definitive, clear-cut and unabiguous statement identifying waterboarding as torture.
- Iraq war funding — cut it off, set a timetable for troop return, and schedule investigations for how we got into such a misbegotten war. Issue and enforce subpoenas.
- Speaking of subpoenas, issue and enforce the subpoenas for Harriet Myers, Karl Rove and others who were involved in the US Attorney Purge, the undermining of the Dept of Justice, the outing of Valerie Plame, the stovepiping of intelligence…all of it. Now.
- Bring back the big oil execs who lied to Congress. Place them under oath. Ask them direct, clear questions about their participation in the Energy Task Force and about price manipulation — separate questions, separate and clear answers. If they lie, produce the evidence then arrest them on federal charges of lying to Congress. Give them the maximum penalty for continuing to lie to Congress.
- Impeach Dick Cheney. Today. And summon Scooter Libby to testify in full as to his role in the Plame outing. If he lies, send him to jail with the maximum penalty.
Throughout all this, any time you need to have a vote — on any process, any legislation, any decision — make it a recorded vote. No anonymous voters, no unrecorded voices. The People must now know who is standing for the nation and the Constitution, and who is not.
Any Republicans — or Democrats like Joe Lieberman — who oppose this should be made to account for his or her self publicly, and should be reminded that the “alleged” crimes and “apparent” Constitutional abuses will be recorded in time, for history and posterity, and they’re words will stand in the record forever. Then ask them if they really, really thought carefully over what that record will show in the eyes of their descendants.
It’s time, folks. Time for our representatives in Congress to demonstrate their dedication to the nation, to the Constitution, to their oaths of office and to the People. It’s time for the real representatives of the People to stand and be heard.
It’s time for Congress to stand and deliver.
Don’t f#ck it up.
1.Sure, of course some folks may believe that this was by design, with the knowledge of at least some of the candidates, to keep them safely out of the issue. But — so what?