I haven’t really been following the Mukasey hearings too closely, because, let’s be honest, we need to face facts. We all know the eventual outcome, because it is what always happens with these guys. There really are only two ways this will fall out:
Option 1:) Right now, several prominent Democrats in safe seats have announced their opposition to Mukasey. Several of the Democratic front-runners, pressured by Dodd’s near-immediate opposition to Mukasey’s waffling, have come out against him. Several Republicans will pose token opposition and state they are “concerned,” and then when push comes to shove, Graham and Specter do their walk-back and will vote the party line, “serious” Democrats will fold, and he will be confirmed with a vote of 65-35 or something around that.
Option 2:) This is the less likely option. In a display of cohesion and message clarity that will bewilder and stun long-time watchers, the Democratic majority will unite in opposition against Mukasey. At the last minute, Mukasey will be called to testify once again, utter some language that we will all be told in the press was crafted behind the scenes by Joe Lieberman and Lyndsey Graham (A BRODERISTIC BI-PARTISAN COMPROMISE!) that gives the Democrats enough political cover (but means nothing), Democrats will rush to proclaim that they accept Mukasey’s new clarification, and he will be confirmed 90-10, with only cranky SOB’s like Leahy, Feingold, Kennedy, and Byrd voting against.
Either way, Mukasey is going to get confirmed, he is not going to have to proclaim waterboarding is torture to get confirmed, and you all know it. We have just been down this road too many times. With that in mind, here is the latest verse in the same old song and dance:
As Democratic opposition builds over attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey, no Democratic lawmaker has found himself in a tighter spot than Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), who had eagerly recommended the former federal judge as a consensus candidate.
After Mukasey refused to say whether an interrogation technique called waterboarding amounts to illegal torture, Schumer has watched a growing number of his colleagues announce their opposition to the judge.
Schumer, who has remained uncharacteristically quiet throughout the furor, said in an interview yesterday that he is now “wrestling” with whether to vote against a nomination that he was instrumental in bringing about. He compared the controversy to the 2005 nomination battle over Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Schumer voted no against Roberts, so who knows what that means, really. At any rate, like I said before, I came to the Democrats pre-disenchanted.
*** Update ***
Scott Horton. Read.
Then read this.
Then go up a post to the beerblogging, and just get drunk. I was going to say just get “shitty,” but I am trying to swear less. It seems you can say or suggest any manner of things, including advocating torture, permanent war, whatever, and be considered serious, just so long as you don’t swear. Toss off a few f-bombs and all your points are invalidated, according to our new masters in General Wingnuttia.
I believe Option II would require an expert in “cat herding.”
I’m guessing option 1, but I’d love to see an option 3 or 4–maybe a fight over recess appointments? But yes, I predict that Mukasey will be running the DOJ, barring a wingnut revolt–which is probably the least likely scenario here.
There is no way they will stall the vote and Bush will go for a recess appointment. For whatever reason the Democrats are too afraid that we will get hit by terrorists and then Hugh Hewitt will spend the next ten years blaming the attack on the Democrats failing to confirm Mukasey.
You think I am kidding, but that really is the thinking of these spineless SOB’s. See FISA.
That’s why the Versailles spay and neuter program has been so useful: it’s waaaay easier to herd them into the option 1 cat carrier. The carrier’s gold bars are stronger than, well, pretty much anything.
JC, your cynicism makes you strong. it makes you 100% correct, too.
i was thinking the vote would be 70-30 in favor, but 65-35 wouldn’t be shocking.
yup. that’s exactly how it will play out.
Option 1 that is. Watch for DiFi and Schumer as the sellouts. Especially DiFi.
Option 1 it is. The Senate will remain in session between now and 1/20/2009.
“I came to the Democrats pre-disenchanted.”
It certainly saves time.
Knowing Bush, he’ll just thumb his nose at the Dems and appoint Mukasey in recess anyway. Assuming he doesn’t find someone worse.
Remember when UN Ambassador Bolton got shown the revolving door? Out of his post, then right back in with a recess confirmation.
Personally, I’d be much happier with Mukasey as a recess appointment, because it’ll be one more black eye for the Bush White House, but lets be realistic. Dems know that even if they don’t appoint Mukasey, Bush will have his man running the DOJ. I’d love to see the DKos “No one for AG” dream come true, but it ain’t going to happen.
This is really just a question of whether Dems are for or against torture in word and deed. And, knowing that Dems are spineless turds, John’s probably right.
Assuming he doesn’t find someone worse.
Of course he will find someone worse. He considered Mukasey a compromise pick. I will be happy if the Dems finally wise up and realize that a compromise is something to be thrown back in Bush’s face.
Don’t worry. Whatever the Dems do will be wrong. And Joe Lieberman will most certainly make lots of speeches attacking the Dems for being too political.
Interesting that the GOP in congress is a much more effective opposition/minority party then the dems ever where. And also superior when in the majority, by which I mean better at pushing suasage then the dems. Dems=cats GOP=dogs?
James F. Elliott
All the whining about not having an AG confirmed doesn’t make any sense to me. Is the DoJ such a top-down organization that it’s like one of the “rykors” in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Chessmen of Mars and needs a “kaldane” — i.e. big walking brain — sitting on its shoulders to get anything done? Is the DoJ just sitting there paralyzed into ineffectiveness, allowing white-collar crime (by Democrats, I mean…) to run rampant? Because if it is, then we need to rethink our whole system of government.
Considering how much attention Gonzales was (supposedly) paying to what was going on around him, the DOJ should be able to operate without an AG indefinitely.
My bet is that Schumer votes the nomination out of the Judiciary Committee but then votes no on the floor, when it won’t matter.
The choice is between Mukasey and no AG at all. As said above, better no AG than one that waffles on torture. This is the sort of insoluble dilemma you get when you take impeachment off the table.
No AG would at least present the American position honestly: America gives a fuck about rule of law.
There’s still a chance of the nomination dying in committee, right? Oh, who am I kidding…
Possibility III (small but non-zero p): Mukasey looks bad enough in press that a illegal immigrant nanny is discovered to have walked his dog last year and as such Mr. Mukasey has to “spend time with family”
Of course that just puts you back in square one…
I just emailed my DINO Senator telling her not to vote for him. But she probably will. She’s “reasonable”.
More needs to be done to examine Mukasey’s political operations while a sitting judge, back about 1988-90, if I recall the dates. He was in Ghouliani’s ‘kitchen cabinet’ during elections, even though he was a sitting judge, and seems to have had a finger in some political pies when he shouldn’t have.
If you want to beat democrats, all you have to do is carefully maneuver them into a position where they can easily see their own shadow.
Ever since the torture issue started coming up, I’ve been writing letters, calling Congresspeople, e-mailing related stories to friends — doing all the usual useless crap that makes you feel more helpless than effective. This is the single most important issue to me in the upcoming elections.
And yet, with this one, I just don’t know. I’ve come to the conclusion that we will continue torturing people as long as Republicans have a say in what we’re doing. If that’s true — and given the full-throated support for torture in some Republican quarters and the pathetic capitulation in others (McCain, anyone?), I don’t see any other conclusion — isn’t the only possible route to get as many of these bastards out of office as possible?
And if that is the case, we need someone who isn’t going to use the Justice Department to try to fix the elections for Republicans, as has clearly been happening during Gonzales’ tenure in so many ways. On that, at least, Mukasey seems as safe a bet as you can get from a Bush pick. The default isn’t “no attorney general,” the default is acting attorney general Peter Keisler, who already has a reputation for interfering with Justice Department work.
This president will not provide an anti-torture nominee. If rejecting this candidate brings us further away from a future in which we lack the authority to stop torture, what have we won? I’m all for standing on principle, but at this point I would just really, really, really like for the United States of America to stop torturing people.
I’m sickened and disgusted by Mukasey’s refusal to say that waterboarding is torture, and his casual acceptance of the concept that the president is above the law. But the only way to fix those things is to ensure that the newly elected officials aren’t the kind of people who nominate people like Mukasey, right?
I am willing to be argued out of this. It’s not a position I enjoy holding. But this time it’s just not as simple as the Democrats being spineless — there are consequences. Anyone have any help?
Efficient. Very good.
I’m hoping against hope that Mukasey will be rejected.
But the statistical probabilities are too well established: I’m likelier to die in a terrorist attack than
get married at my agesee the Dems stick together and defy Bush successfully.
Gus, I guess you live in California too.
I’m hoping it is at least close. Enough so the Dems can claim that _most_ of them are against torture.
If the Horde attacks Sentinel Hill the Republicans will spend the next ten years blaming the attack on the Democrats for failing to confirm Mukasey. I really and truly hope that the Dems realize that the Repubs will attack them no matter what they do so they should do what they believe is right and defend it on its merits.
I am embarrassed I am so much of a dork that I understood that.
PEOPLE OF WESFTALL, UNITE. FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE DEFIAS CLAN!
The vote count (via TPM ) on Mukasey (and a hat tip to Marcy Wheeler who’s been all over this issue like a cheap suit). Basically it looks like if Mukasey’s nomination gets out of the Judiciary Committee it’s game over.
I believe the Committee vote is Tuesday. Committee members names are starred in TPM’s list.
Pretty solid bet. Only other option (more of a tactic) I see is the one for Pubs that always brings them a rosy glow of contented satisfaction at its release: Deflection.
Point to some advocacy ad, organization, blog, whatever that opposes Mukasey and cry they been victimized and the country’s honor besmirched. Spend days, weeks if necessary demanding apologies/resolutions from everyone who doesn’t have an adequate bucket of tears to show they’re of the same mind.
Then with the noise, nobody pays attention to Mukasey who could now be calling for a waterboard with smiley faces on them in every U.S. mosque. Wouldn’t matter. The Dems will roll over in the retarded belief that the other guys will then be less mad at them and call them fewer names.
I’m embarrassed that I got the “Chessmen of Mars” reference. I’m betting that I’m one of the only Juicers here that did, which makes me an even bigger dork than you. But at least I haven’t read any Burroughs since the age of about 14.
What I want to know is why a Democrat on the committee hasn’t grown a pair and stated the following:
“Since you refuse to assert that Waterboarding is torture, would you be willing to undergoe the technique, in committe, with a doctor present?”
At any rate, like I said before, I came to the Democrats pre-disenchanted.
Always good preparation for these guys. They never fail to disappoint, particularly when the pressure’s on. The only way to be really happy with their performance is to assume the worst, because every once in a while they actually exceed that expectation.
Actually, the confirmation of Mukasey doesn’t bother me much. He did sort of stand up to the administration in the Padillia case. I’m not thrilled, but given this administration he’s one of the better picks we could get and I prefer him to a recess appointment. Given some of the people they’ve passed through including the last attorney general, I can’t get too excited about this one.
I think this is a tough call. Mukasey was unambiguous in saying he’d root out the partisanship and gonzalesism that’s wrecked justice. I also thought he would be more apt to pull a Comey-Ashcroft than any other possible Bushling. But his assclown act on waterboarding does give us pause to wonder whether at the end of the day he’ll just affix his lips to cheney’s ass rather than show authentic independence. Because these rat bastards have lost all benefit of the doubt, I’m inclided to say let Mukasey fall as a symbol of 76%ter resolve. The more Bush keeps getting his way via tantrum, the more tantrums.
I really think in the end Bush should be left with no choice but to nominate Ann Coulter or Bruce Fein (Fein would be great, at least until 1-21-08).
Read the links I just threw up to Horton and Hit and Run. get back to me.
You’re trying to swear less? What the fuck are you doing that for?
Actually, I do have a bit of a visceral reaction when hearing someone who really does use a curse as every third word. But it’s going way too far in the opposite direction to say that any cursing at all invalidates your authority and your point. To those people I say: “Fuck you. Fuck you with a big rubber dick.”
Then again, if they’re social cons, they’ve been there and done that. So never mind.
Yeah, I just read them, and the call just got a lot less tough. I don’t see why Mukasey doesn’t walk away from this shit-nami while he still has a dick (er, make that penis, as I will also try to use fewer cuss words in deference to torture buffs’ delicate sensibilities). Anyway, litmus test say I, especially after reading this guy:
Greenwald has taken a break from Petreaus/Boylan to comment on this one – quite well, I thought:
Personally, I find this even more troubling than the specifics of whether waterboarding (or testicle shocking, or bamboo under the fingernails, or whatever else your poison might be) qualifies as torture. The real standard of whether or something is torture is not a difficult one: it is as easily understood by anyone who isn’t seeking to excuse it as it is to understand whether or not one can afford to buy a yacht (if you have to ask, then yes, it is torture and no, you can’t afford it). The specifics of one technique don’t seem to me to be nearly as important as Mukasey’s submission of the most basic and assured rights of 250 million people to the authority of one individual.
Heywood- please start embedding your links.
Highlight the words you want to be linked, click on link, paste the link there, and it does it for you.
Well, i still find it creepier than Mrs. Kucinich has a tongue ring than that Krista has a big rubber dick and the wherewithal to deploy it. But I’m getting old.
For the record: Beautiful cursing is a grand literary and artistic style. Rentably, see “Slapshot” the movie or “Deadwood,” and of course all of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Bosch, Brueghel, McMurtry … I could go on and on (as I do). And if you don’t think Jane Austen is saying FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU ROAD IN ON when she has Elizabeth Bennett ream out her Mr. D’Arcy, you need to read that shit again.
“Dems=cats GOP=dirty dogs”
Without denying this will probably go the way of one of John’s options, I wonder why the dumping is all on Senate Democrats.
According to The Decider, Mukasey’s problem is that he can’t say whether waterboarding is torture, and so illegal, because Mukasey hasn’t been properly briefed.
If Mukasey is worth his weight in stipulations, why the hell doesn’t he tell Bush to provide the necessary briefing, so he can complete his testimony — or else get Bush can get himself another A.G. nominee?
Are you sure you’re Canadian?
FWIW, I don’t understand the focus on torture. Not that I agree with the Bush admin on that one, but IMHO M’s willingness to throw habeas corpus out the window for American citizens on American soil is more salient.
jenniebee beat me to the punch by quoting Greenwald
Mukasey is Gonzalez with a brain, he will support monarchal powers for Dear Leader
Mukasey can’t say that waterboarding is or isn’t tortured without being briefed?
So every wingnut that insisys it isn’t has already been briefed?
And John nails it once again!!!
From the yellow box on top of CNN’s homepage:
Feinstein and Schumer to vote for Mukasey, ensuring his confirmation.
Schumer and Feinstein never disappoint
And the democratic party Tragicomedy goes on,
once again foiled by itself.
Torture all around America,
This one’s on us.
Schumer had no choice really, the schmuck went and introduced Mukasey and already supported him. He is stupid for handing himself over to the administration and giving them the cover they needed to guarantee a confirmation for Bush. Feinstein is an old toothless dog, all tough bark, no action.
“And the walls… Come tumbling down…”
I bet I could kick any Democratic officeholders ass in chess. These idiots can’t think two steps ahead without stumbling over their own two left feet.
They have been pawns for so long all they do is to move forward. Don’t look back, just keep moving forward. Mistake? Keep moving forward. Problem? Keep moving forward.
The poor democrats have been suffering from spinal degeneration for so long it is amazing that they can even walk.
I guess we are supposed to be considerate, after all they really are trying. What, I have no idea, but they keep saying that they are trying. So they must be trying. Why would they deceive us? After all, they are our representatives, right?
Well, yes — but just think! If only the White House keeps driving the nation further down the slope into disaster, why, then a Democratic victory in 2008 will be near-certain — and that, of course, is all that really matters.
Yeah Bruce, that is all that matters. Right now, voting is going to be like holding a pile of dog crap in each hand, one strong and stinky smelling and the other loose with a few chunks in it, and we are only allowed to drop one of them.
We are stuck with the other pile. Go loose and chunky!
Watching the Democrats in Congress is like watching Charlie Brown playing football, but instead of Lucy pulling the ball away from him, Charlie Brown winds up simply kicking himself in the head.
“Shitty” ? swear word?
Why, I’m so offended, I can hardly stand it.
Anyone got a Fainting Hankie?
I didn’t expect miracles from the Democrats — after all, we live (entirely unintentionally, since the Framers didn’t expect political parties to exist at all) under a system in which the President has tremendous power relative to any Congress. But I have to say that I expected more from the Congressional Dems than this. The whole thing is depressingly reminiscent of Britain in the late 1930s, in which both political parties were about as much use in dealing with the growing crisis as a third leg.
The offical motto of the Democratic party should be: The Floggings will continue until morale improves.
Gods only know that Pelosi, Reid and their fellow jellyfish need it.
I don’t actually. But I’m certain they can be obtained rather easily.
And yes, I’m 100% Canadian. But I don’t put up with B.S., either. And snotty people who feel that one cuss word completely invalidates an argument? I consider that utter B.S.
Rich Lowry, I see, has already pointed out that in Sept. 2006 the Senate refused to declare that waterboarding is torture. And down that Slippery Slope we go (although, given what’s going on in Pakistan this morning, none of it may make any differnce anyway).