Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Are We Better Off?

Crisis averted. Or is the crisis that it was averted? 14 moderate Senators lead by John McCain forged the deal that allows many of George's judges, already voted down once, to now pass through. Should the Democrats have held strong and faced down the Nuclear (nucular - as has catalogued it) Option? Forced the Senate to crack, and potentially lose the filibuster - but in so doing, perhaps regain the Senate in '06? Congressional rating is at a public approval rating of 33%. Polls show people on both sides of the blue/red color bar are displeased with the suddenly invasive, control freaky, power grabbing GOP. Purists who wish for clean black and white battle royals, good guys vs. bad guys (choose your sides) wanted to see the showdown. I thought we were heading into another government shutdown that sent Newt Gingrich packing. Perhaps we still have as the link at the end of this post shows.

The right seems to be cracking, even without the Democrats holding fast like the united soldiers they could be. Let's hope there's no similar compromise on social security. Should we have drawn our swords and fought head to head, taken the bait and had it out - or was it the wise move to sidestep like this, compromise, and let the judicial branch get even more conservative, while holding onto the filibuster tactic for the supreme court? Don't forget, within the agreement is the right to pull the nuclear trigger again if there is a disagreement on the "exceptional circumstances" that would theoretically allow Democrats to engage and use the filibuster.

I'm only bouyed by the rancorus chorus of fury from the right as they label their GOP leaders as sell outs. The extreme Right's own endless hatred of anyone falling out of of line, out of step with their exact beliefs, and their readiness to threaten revenge and attacks, even hurling this now at their "own", shows such a lack of compassion and decency, moral values supposedly we all hold dear in this western Repbulic, that it boggles the mind. Attack your enemies, attack your friends, attack attack attack. That keeps the money coming in, keeps their communities divided, keeps them in power. But watch the control drift away like so much smoke when people tire of the hot air. Like the new Mayor of Redondo, CA. An openly gay Asian American Republican man, who beat his Republican opponent even after the campaign descended into the expected endless divisive insults, gay bashing and "hidden ligeral agenda" fear mongering. He won the office with 61% of the vote, a landlside. People are beginning to tire of the bullshit, don't you think? And the chickens will be coming home to roost and vote out the bullshiters.


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I hope so...

5:00 AM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Here's something to think about from The New Yorker:
"The filibuster allows a minority within a legislative body to thwart the will of a majority. But that is hardly the worst of the Senate’s democratic imperfections, most of which spring from the arithmetical disparity among state populations. Fifty-one senators—a majority—can represent states with as little as seventeen per cent of the American people. Sixty senators—enough to stop a filibuster—can represent as little as twenty-four per cent. That’s theory. What about reality? Well, if each of every state’s two senators is taken to represent half that state’s population, then the Senate’s fifty-five Republicans represent 131 million people, while its forty-four Democrats represent 161 million. Looked at another way, the present Senate is the product of three elections, those of 2000, 2002, and 2004. In those elections, the total vote for Democratic senatorial candidates, winning and losing, was 99.7 million; for Republicans it was 97.3 million. The forty-four-person Senate Democratic minority, therefore, represents a two-million-plus popular majority—a circumstance that, unless acres trump people, is at variance with common-sense notions of democracy. So Democrats, as democrats, need not feel too terribly guilty about engaging in a spot of filibustering from time to time.'

Yeah, it's a bit of sleight-of-hand by divvying up states 50/50 when they have Senators from different parties. And I don't know how Jim Jeffords fits into this, but it's something to think about


9:29 AM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

I think the hardcores on both sides of the fence are pretty pissed off at this deal. For me personally I don't see what the Right has lost, in fact the deal establishes that future hard core conservatives like owen and pryor and rogers-brown can't be considered "extenuating circumstances". The hard core left seems as upset as the right, considering they spent so much money and venom declaring these 3 (and 5) as extremists, when this compramise pretty clearly says they aren't.

I'm up for a good fight as much as the next dumb ass, but all in all I think the Dems lose out on the deal, since I guarantee Pryor or Rogers-Brown will end up being Bush's next SCOTUS nominee and now they cant be stopped.

12:21 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

I agree with the Dude. I think we got screwed, panicked at losing the filibuster we caved when we should have fought. Thus the nature of the post. He's right, we're letting some very strict control freak anti-rights people into positions of authority who will make national policy. Hope all the red staters don't mind invasion of privacy, and loss of protection under corporate and federal judicial preference.

1:22 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

Im glad u agree with, well everything except the part about the "He's right, we're letting some very strict control freak anti-rights people into positions of authority who will make national policy." lol

4:33 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger I.S.T.N.W. said...

"Republicans represent 131 million people, while its forty-four Democrats represent 161 million"

So what? The framers created the senate to represent the interests of the states not the interests of the people. That is what the House of Representatives is for.

History lesson: Until the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on April 8, 1912, Senators were chosen by the state legislators, not the people. I, for one, would love to have this amendment repealed, but even as it stands the different enumerations between the HoR and the Senate serve a usefull purpose. They ensure that the entire country is not controlled by New York and California. God help us if that ever happened.


7:45 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Lemme get this straight, Donley--You want to go back to a system that was rife with corruption, that favored special interests, that caused rancorous debate of the legitimacy of the selected members, that lead to seats being open for years, and that took grassroots movements nearly a century to change?

You must feel right at home in the current political climate.

Also, you seem to ask for God's help for lots of unholy things. Do you think that maybe he hears you, but his answer is no?


8:38 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger I.S.T.N.W. said...

Actually, I considered those factors when I made up my mind that repealing the 17th amendment was a good idea. I think that the pervasiveness of media today and the speed at which information is disseminated would counteract the forces that lead to the problems you brought up.

Do you consider it "holy" for N.Y. and California to control the country? If so, you're more insane than I first thought.


8:57 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

See? This divisiveness is just what
George Bush said he would resolve as a uniter, not a divider. Not foster more divisiveness, not make people feel more separate, and desparate within their political parties in a country divided 49% to 51%. Maybe he thinks he can only stay in power by banging the gong of fear and intolerance - it seems to be his tool of choice. NY, CA, you think there aren't a lot of red state voters in them? And all the red states that were won by single percentage points, you think there aren't a lot of blue state voters in them? We're all a lot more similar in thought, and probably agree more on issues than we disagree, than they would have you believe - and the moment we realize it, they're afraid they've lost power. And you know what? It's probably true. Regardless of who's in the white house, I think we're all tired of a war that was a bad idea and that is badly run, a deficit that will probably kill the economy in the next four years, a homeland security office that is underfunded so can't secure anything, army bases closing, schools cutting programs...the list gets too boring to go on. Unless all that's worth it to you to keep gays from being married. Seems like a fair trade, I guess.

9:51 PM, May 25, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I made an observation on the regularity with which you invoked God's name, and posed a hypotheical question. I never said anything about the holiness of any political position. You revert to name-calling.

You decry the bias of the media, and yet feel the media will counterract the reinsertion of another layer of an already unweildy government into the political system.

Think about this, Donley: for the first time in two decades, New York State has produced a budget on time. On more than one occasion, the budget was six months late. This is due to the political infighting of the Assembly and Senate in Albany. The legislature here is an awful, bloated, partisan, rancorous beast. They barely have the ability to get the work done that they already have, and you wish this group to choose our Senators.

Are you sure I'm the insane one?


4:50 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger I.S.T.N.W. said...


Not to pick nits, but you did say that I was asking God for unholy things. Here are the things I have asked God for in my recent posts on these blogs:

1. for defense against intolerant ministers who put up signs calling for the flushing of the Koran.

2. Help if it ever came to pass that California and New York controlled the country.

Now, since you used the plural ("unholy things") and there are only two, I can only assume that you consider Koran flushing signs and California/NY hegemony to be holy. Please clarify your point if I am mistaken.


5:42 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...


My point is, leave holiness out of it. I have neither the time nor the inclination to comb through postings, but you ask God to save us from many things, including liberal logic.

I believe in a power greater than myself. I pray on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I pray for peace, for understanding. I take it very personally.

What I was trying to do, in a slightly zinging manner, was to point out this trend in your writing.

9:57 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

istnw, while you're picking fights with people who love their country, Bush and pals are rubbing their hands in glee as you fight it out and they make your Nation a joke.

11:19 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Right on Daniel, well said! As my post before this one was all about the exact same thing. You said it better.

3:17 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger I.S.T.N.W. said...

Daniel, Philip,

Who's picking a fight with who?!? The guy said that I've been asking God for help with unholy things! What is that supposed to mean? Now, he says he was trying to be clever. Well, it didn't work.

This is what is so frustrating about political debate today. Nobody wants to stay on point and debate the issues. It's always stupid shit like "leave God out of it" and "I'm a very spiritual person, just ask me" or "don't pick fights with people who love their country".

While you're sitting there whining about the mean old conservative picking fights, Teddy Kennedy is sipping another martini and thinking up ways to take control of yet another industry through unnecessary regulation and draconian labor rules.

heh, two can play at that game.

What a joke, indeed.

7:14 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Yes, staying on point is exactly the issue. I'll give you that. It seems that professional pundits have perfected the art of staying off point the moment their point is challeneged. It would be refreshing to hear any two in the media stay on point in one debate. Good rule for all of us, let's see if we can do it, for real.

1:01 AM, May 27, 2005  

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