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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Politics: Things That Make You Furious

Update below By now, everybody in the world has probably read that Congressmember Fortney "Pete" Stark apologized to Teh Chimperor for telling the truth about that psychopath and his unwillingness to end his pet war.

I was going to get my underoos unbunched enough to actually blog the issue, but I had to calm down first, and maybe snoop around a little to see if someone else had an idea what-all was going on. And I'm glad I waited.

Over on DailyKos, wmtriallawyer diaries the issue thus:
According to the House website of proceedings for today, here's the chronology of what happened:

10:28 a.m.: The Censure resolution is introduced as a "privileged matter," which, within the pervue of the House rules, allows a member to introduce it without any formal procedure of going through the Rules Committee and such.

10:30 a.m.: Two minutes after it is introduced, Democratic floor manager for the day Rep. Bennie Thompson moves to table the resolution.

11:01 a.m.: A roll call vote is held. And the resolution is tabled from consideration by a vote of 196-173.

11:02 a.m.:Rep. Stark asks for a point of personal privilege to address the House chamber, and issues his apology.
Please read his post. It's educational. I say that because:
  • The past 7 years of a Republican president has been sheer hell for the country. It's not an experience we ought to repeat anytime within the next couple of centuries.
  • When Republicans held both houses of the Legislature, they rubberstamped an incompetent president and spent all their time accumulating future convictions. It's fine to have the occasional Chuck Hagel in Congress. It's definitely not OK to have more than one Tom Delay or Dennis Hastert or Duke Cunningham or Jerry Lewis or Lindsey Graham or Mark Foley or ... but you get my drift - per century.
  • Republicans do control the media, thus determining what information we get and how it influences our actions.
  • Republicans have shown themselves to be past masters of spin.
  • Part of the Republican spin is to dispirit voters. If they can get us to think our votes don't count, then we don't vote, and they hold on to power. If they can get us to think, Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, then we don't vote Democrat, or, likely, vote at all. If they can convince us that Democrats are spineless wimps, then we don't want to work to make our vote count by finding less spineless Democrats and funding their races and making sure they represent the will of the people.
So be careful, and don't let the tricksters steal your votes before you can even cast them. California did a good thing in electing Democrat Debra Bowen as Secretary of State. She has undone much of the damage created by the past elections by getting rid of voting machines, returning to a system that includes a paper trail, and fining companies who attempt to subvert California voting rules. We need to do the same in every state, county, parish, municipality, and ultimately, throughout the country. And we won't accomplish that if all we're doing is getting dispirited with our (pretty useless) Democratic party leadership and giving up on them. Instead, let's hold their feet to the fire and call them on everything, make them work for our support, toss them out when they refuse to fulfil their appointed duty.

As to abusing Congressmember Pete Stark (I'll admit, I was furious for a bit), don't. Here's what Jane Hamsher over at Firedoglake had to say on the issue. Read her post. She lays out clearly the weakest links in the Democratic chain. Those are the people that we need to concentrate on removing if the nation is ever to heal. After we get rid of the Hasterts, Youngs, Cornyns, Grahams, and the rest of their ilk, of course. Crucial information from Jane's post:
Update: From reader Cynthia R.:

I called Stark’s office in DC to complain about his apology. The person answering the phone told me that Stark had no choice; Stark was told before the vote was taken that should he not apologize, the vote to censure would pass. According to his office, that is the only reason he apologized.
Nancy Pelosi and the Bush dog Democrats are still a bunch of gutless gobshites, but now we have to work to get rid of them and make sure the next candidates to lead the party have the guts of a Pete Stark or a Barbara Lee or a James Webb or a Jack Murtha. No more wimps!

Update: From Booman:
Though the motion amounts to a failed vote, Stark addressed fellow lawmakers afterward to apologize.

"I want to apologize first of all to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended, to the president. his family, to the troops that may have found (offense) in my remarks as were suggested in the motion that we just voted on, and I do apologize. ... With this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be and we can return to the issues that do divide us but that we can resolve," Stark said to applause.

After his mea culpa, Stark walked off the floor to the Democratic side of the chamber and for at least five minutes stood sobbing while fellow Democrats gathered around him. Reporters close to the Speaker's Lobby were not able to hear why he was crying.
Pete Stark is a good man. I don't doubt that some severe pressure was brought to bear on him, and that he finds it unacceptable that he must apologize for telling the truth while the crooks and liars and thugs all around him need never apologize for their crimes against the nation and against humanity.

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At 8:35 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

PoliticalCat - worried inquiring minds want to know how you're faring in San Diego with all the fires burning around you. (You are in San Diego, aren't you?)

Hope you and your family are safe and sound. Keep those kitties safe inside.

Let us know what's happening in your neck of the woods.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Dear heart, I'm safe, and so are the kitties. We're way north of you. It's very hot up here, though, unusual for this time of year. The cats are long and flat from the heat. Just came from Lizzy's blog all worried about you and was pleased to hear you're safe, too.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

PolCat, it was heartbreaking to watch that video on Firedoglake ... with Pete Stark apologizing. Heartbreaking. That good man ... brought to that. That's why I think it might be so much better for us and him if Al Gore stays OUT of politics. It's a dirty dirty business.

At 11:29 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

How true, m'dear. It makes me really furious with the Pelosis and Reeds and the Bush Dog Democrates. Those hounds must go.


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