GOP Walks Out on the People’s House – That Loud Noise You Hear is the Shifting of Centrists Toward the Left

We Don’t Have to Follow the Rules

Today in the Nation’s Capitol, the Republican Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives chose to walk out on the deliberations instead of being caught by C-Span, or quoted by reporters as having argued that the rule of law does not apply to the White House. It may not sound pretty… but that’s what they did. They just weren’t going to be caught in a vote that could likely have ramifications and it was clear that the marching orders came from the top. To be clear, the vote that caused the controversial ‘Bullion Man March’ was in retribution for the Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to move forward with approving  immunity provisions for telecoms in the FISA bill, and rather permitting the current law to expire.

Of course the gamesmanship begins with a flurry since the expiration does not provide any challenges to the current procedure or National Security – but it does postpone  and remove the certainty that the President is going to be getting what he wanted and that is – immunity.    (The Almost Daily Binx apologizes for  mis-stating that the Walk-Out was regarding  contempt charges  for Harriet Meirs and Josh Bolten for disregarding Congressional Subpoenas)

Harmful to Republican Support

It is the Opinion of The Almost Daily Binx, that today’s stunt is more revealing than shocking. It is a cowardly rebuke of political responsibility and a mass refusal to act on behalf of the American people to insult us with this childish act. After more than a decade of Republican majority rule in the Congress it has become painfully obvious that the Republican Party has been taken over by a huge special interest group that does not pay homage to rule-of-law, but rather rule of roost. This is sad day for Republicans that are not part of the grab bag ‘ole boy’ network of corportists and royalists that have presided over the deconstruction of the American dream. We hope the Royalist walkers took time to pass the War Memorial, the Veteran’s Administration and maybe dropped a few coins in poor boxes at local religious haunts.

The Center – (The Less Committed)

Without question the less committed groups of voters are watching these enormous tactical errors. If the Democrats can avoid the temptation to mess things up by complicating the simplicity of the moment – this will go down in history as an utter act of cowardice among Republicans to go on the record. It is as good as telling the American public that they and theirs are above the law.

Retroactive Immunity – Job One

It is clear that the Republican leadership has been tasked by the Administration and its supporters; such as Justice Scalia (recent very public and repeated attempts to distance torture, or use thereof, from the Constitution) and Sen. John McCain -(who stated in the most simple terms last year that water-boarding is torture -yet he disgracefully nodded to the extreme ‘right’ by voting against the torture ban bill.)

This is a clear message to the non-committed voter that immunity from wrong-doing is job-one among the current Republican leadership. This the refusal to accept the end of one party dominance over our political system, even though to do so is causing the GOP to lose favor with even the most historically partisan Republicans ‘down the street.’ They have been tasked, to be sure, that there is no potential for criminality of any of the administrations actions to be established – in fact – that’s why the term retroactive immunity has been the buzz word. Any bills that have been on the drawing board by the Senate that didn’t include complete immunity have been stalled because this is the single most important political detail the GOP is focused on right now. Unfortunately they have a number of Democratic collaborators as well. Steny Hoyer comes to mind immediately. There’s a reason that he isn’t in the middle of any confrontations – nearly invisible – unless there’s a band, rubber chicken and a fund-raiser.

The Good News

Here’s one for the silver lining enthusiasts. Apparently, the Dems have largely mastered snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – but – if they are wiser (for a change) they will forgo the mandatory retaliation and strictly stay on point. That is to say – keep Ron Emmanuel from shooting off his mouth – only give pertinent and meaningful news conferences. Any sane Republicans that remain should do the same thing. This barbaric politburo style will be out of fashion the moment the Bush administration starts heading for the range – and we may even enter a new age of government that starts to trend towards ‘for, of and by the people.’


11 Responses

  1. Actually they walked out because the Dems wouldn’t revisit the wiretapping laws issues. The PRESIDENT told them to have a fix for the FISA issue before the bill expired; the Dems refused to hear the issue, instead they called for the contempt vote.

    This was flat-out partisanship on the part of the Dems and I’m glad the Republicans stood by our President and called them on it.

  2. I’m in the process of correcting my article – I conflated two issues. Let’s though talk about your second point – What do you mean the president told them to ! Is that your idea of Congress – to do what the President ‘told them to’?

    Talk about an act of partisanship – so my understanding of your opinion is that if they agree to immunity for the Telecoms – they’re bi-partisan. But if they don’t – then they’re being partisan.

    Do you believe that the telecoms should be protected for breaking the law, even if the executive branch told them to ??? Do you mean that you’re in favor of an omnibus waiver that its okay to spy on Americans ? You do know this all began before 9-11 -01, right ?

    I’m stunned by your use of the words – ” … the president told them to …” as though there wasn’t a partisan agenda motivating HIS wishes. He is only the President you know … not the King.

  3. Here’s an article that pretty much supports your the Binx position. Me too, i’m pretty stunned that an obviously young guy with a rock make-over sounds like he’s willing accept that the President that has messed up our country just I has to say – “because I said so”

  4. Watchline – I’m very happy to see you here … and thanks for the article … however … I am requesting that you not use terms like ‘makeover’ etc… that are intended to be insulting. Jonolan has a different point of view – and more than likely different politics as result.

    I find this the most precious part of our Democratic Republic. He wasn’t nasty when he pointed out that the article was flawed and I think we can disagree with each other without being offensive or insulting … Don’t you agree?

  5. Of course I agree. Bad habit – won’t happen again. Keep the articles coming. Maybe I’ll disagree with you sometime and not insult you. 🙂

  6. Binx101,

    The President told the House to reach a resolution that could be sent to the Senate. The Dems refused to air the issue on the floor at all. That is my issue – not whatever the resolution might have been. They were told – in effect – to do their jobs.

    Yes, in fact I think the TelCos should be granted the retroactive immunity – and YES I think the wiretapping w/o warrants should be stopped. The two views aren’t in conflict.


    Thanks! I haven’t been referred to as young in a while. My avatar is “The Crow.”

  7. Jonolan,

    That’s my point precisely. This acceptance of the President’s timbre is bothersome. He doesn’t TELL Congress anything – until GWB – Presidents asked Congress. This apparent re-definition of how our American National Government works is mind-boggling.

    The strategy for permitting the bill to expire was very important. There is NO change in anything that is in place – and FISA warrants can still be applied (as they always could) after the fact. Nothing prevents this. The only caveat is that the warrant eventually (within a few days but not to impede any immediate requirements) must be applied for at the FISA court – in confidence.

    The issue of retro-active immunity makes Congress agree to something they never agreed to – after the fact, thereby rendering Congress – the legislative body responsible for creating laws subservient to the wishes of the executive branch. If Congress when Republican Controlled had tried to pass this immunity before the fact – less Republicans would have been re-elected in 2004. So naturally – tell the Dems to pass it after the fact ??? Tell them ??
    This activity was illegal and they knew it, but they controlled Congress and never dreamed they wouldn’t be able to pass this retroactively and stuff it under the rug.

    The argument has been converted into the GWB vs the Dems. That is not the argument.

    Everyone in Congress and the corporate media knew what was going to happen yesterday, because there are not cooperative deals being conducted through bi-partisan cooperation. There is a wall now. It is very clear that there is a high likelihood that the Bush administration has acted in purposeful violation of the law, using a patriotic American population as backdrop for indignation and banner wavers. Both parties have them.

    So our opinion differs about this. These laws weren’t accidentally broken – that kind of disagreement wouldn’t last a nanosecond in the shark pool. There is a pattern of purposeful violations from the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch does not want to hand the Administration a get-out-of-jail-free card by preventing the prosecution of criminal acts in this matter in the future, by granting immunity. There was never any reason to break the law except profit, which coincidentally, is capitol violation during a time of war.

    Why is the free market only good when it costs consumers more money or sends jobs overseas. Why isn’t the free-market philosophy good enough for the corporations in the way they operate. Why shouldn’t ATT and it’s shareholders (of which I am one) suffer because the company broke the law. – The answer is – it has nothing to do with the Telecoms – they are the patsies – it has to do with criminal charges that could be leveled on the Administration after they leave office. If immunity is not granted that’s not off the table.

    I respect your protective attitude toward the President and the Administration – but if you discovered that they willfully committed criminal acts wouldn’t you want the option to prosecute them? That is the only thing that is on the table regarding immunity for all the parties. Passing immunity removes that option. That sounds very un-American to me.

    Meanwhile reports that the Nation is in further danger is an out-and-out lie. Which leads me to believe that the staged walk-out yesterday, the daily speeches about National Security, the 100X pumped up mentioning of terrorists in the last 3 days has been an act of desperation, because without the immunity provision passed, there’s going to be a lot of promises broken and a lot of trouble for this administration – particularly when they return to the private sector.

    Many of the Dems that agree with you – kind of – okay whatever they did the did – let’s get over it and move on – are likely to find themselves out of jobs in their next election cycles. It seems clearly that many Americans are tired of the Constitution only applying to people below the poverty line – and being optional in Washington DC.

    If you were charged with a small portion of the list of suspected criminal activity of this Administration – even the Crow couldn’t buy you enough time to be able to make it through all the hearings.

  8. Your argument is solid, except for one item and that if the Republican majority had tried to pass this early on – it also would have been after the act.

    What you have described here is precisely, in a nutshell, the case at hand. It isn’t an opinion matter – it is a serious legal matter and this may be the first responsible act by this Congress.

    The minority leader threatened the press conference … everyone knew it was just downstairs waiting. It back-fired badly. Rep. Boehner stands very little chance of getting re-elected in his own district next cycle so he’s going for broke.

  9. Hi Binxy.

    I’m glad you had the opportunity to make that correction to your original presentation.

    Thank you for the assessment of the proper roles of the Executive and Legislative branches of government. Let me add that it’s the Judicial branch that gets to tell the other two branches what to do if and when it determines that legislation or executive orders are contrary to … oh yeah,.. what was it called again?…..that’s it….the Constitution.

    Finally my Dems grew whatever body parts necessary to take a chunk out of the ‘unitary executive’. That’s on 2 counts; the contempt issue and the latest FISA incarnation go the way of the Do Do.

    What’s next?

    Well, if the Dems are smart, they should keep quiet and enjoy the Presidents’ Day recess.

    Let the Republicans can run for re-election on their “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid” theme and seek to retain the White House on the promise of perpetual war.

    I won’t deny that, where the world is concerned, “it’s a jungle out there.” Our country is much better than has been portrayed over the last 8 years or so. So let’s have at it and see what our fellow citizens see as important.

    I believe that the American people get it.

  10. Ooops…apologies for the poor syntax exhibited above.

    Howeve, the thoughts remain sublime.

    Will promise a better proof-read before the “Submit” button

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