Greg Sargent reviews the back and forth about the Sestak job nontroversy:
With the battle over the Joe Sestak mess continuing to rage, Jon Chait and Steve Benen both have posts up pushing back hard on the growing chorus of criticism and on the notion that this is any kind of scandal.
They both make strong cases. But I still think some firepower needs to be directed in the direction of Sestak and to a lesser extent the White House. Because even if you accept that there’s nothing to this scandal, the failure to say anything about it still makes it harder to push back against Republican attacks, and risks hurting Sestak and the Democratic Paty.
Benen’s post skewers the developing meme that the Sestak mess shows Obama played “party boss,” pointing out that it’s hardly uncommon for party leaders to exert behind the scenes influence over their party.
And Chait takes issue with the whole “scandal” at a conceptual level, pointing out that Obama’s promise of transparency doesn’t mean he’s obliged to reveal the contents of every single private conversation anyone in the administration ever had.
Digby, meanwhile, points out that there may be no percentage in Sestak telling us what happened, because Republicans will keep attacking no matter what he says.
I’d say those are all fair points, but they still miss the point. Just because Republicans are going to keep making a big deal out of it anyway doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the smart thing anyway, which would be to describe the details of any alleged job offer and put the matter to rest. Until he does, the story will appear to have legs, and you can expect to see more stories by high profile journalists as they start to poke around. At that point, it is no longer just Republicans making attacks- the issue gains legitimacy. Ask Dick Durbin what he thinks about this.
And make no mistake about this- Sestak did this for his own political advantage so he could run as the darling of the left (a good place to be in a Democratic primary against a former Republican), the “outsider who even the White House wants to get rid of and look at what a straight shooter I am- no one can buy me off because I am a fighter blah blah blah.” Now his stupid ass needs to clean up the mess he created, and all he has to do is back up his claim that he was offered a job, and tell us what that job was and who offered it. Ed Rendell is now calling on Sestak to talk, but that may just be Ed’s way of sticking in the shiv, because Rendell supported Specter and knows damned well that Sestak floated this information for his own personal benefit.
And you don’t get to just say “trust us, we didn’t do anything wrong.” I happen to think that this was the kind of thing that happens every day in politics and is no big deal, but now that Sestak puked this up, he should deal with it.
he should just say a nakid Rahm walked into the congressional shower and started poking him.
Good Grief, this is lame.
How can anyone, much less a supposedly knowledgable political reporter think that the Republicans are simply going to drop their faux outrage if Sestak comes out with details of the supposed job offer.
No, what they would do is then ramp up the “outrage” and double down on the calls for a special prosecutor. Coming out and explaining “the details” isn’t going to put anything to rest. It will only extend the non-story for a few more news cycles. The best thing to do with this is ignore it. There isn’t any credible political historian or analylst who thinks the Republicans have any basis for an investigation, so just let it die a natural death.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Please. The minute the White House and/or Sestak issues an explanation the usual rejects will start picking whatever is said apart down to the atomic level and they’ll find something, some phrasing, some alleged hesitation, some facial expression that proves there’s a giant scandal.
If the WH &/or Sestak responds to that round of wanking with a strong denial or additional clarifications, the usual rejects will start screaming that there must be something wrong otherwise they wouldn’t keep talking about it.
Oh, and after a few weeks of this John Cole will write a blog post titled “They just can’t help it” or “Shoot me now” because this shit will go on and on, getting more and more deranged, for ever and ever, world without end, amen.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Is this some type of sick joke?
The administration could come out and say what really happened, which I assume is some variation on “We offered him a job for which he’s qualified and yeah, we’re not stupid — we knew if he took the job, he would drop his challenge to Specter. So what.”
Is anyone foolish enough to think that would really satisfy Darrel Issa, let alone Sean Hannity?
Two words: Jeff Gerth.
In fact, obstructing Obama’s power to appoint people to positions in the Federal government appears to be a Republican strategy– the large number of Senate ‘holds’ on various Obama appointees is consistent with that. In that vein, Republicans would love to criminalize the Sestak business– it would deprive Obama of a basic aspect of Presidential power.
It’s also worth repeating, as many times as necessary, that people who know what they are talking about are unanimous in the judgment that nothing out of line happened here. The controversy really is composed entirely of noise and bluster.
Sestak can release more information. Or he can clam up and hope it blows over. But the Republicans are going to keep yapping their yaps like the world is on fire.
The best thing Sestak can do, politically, is get Tomney’s guys to start spouting easily refutable outright lies and then present blatant evidence to the contrary. It certainly didn’t hurt the Health Care Debate when Palin started the “Death Panels” bullshit and Democrats got to bludgeon every other half-truth the more sophisticated GOP bullshit machine produced with this broad brush.
That’s from a political angle though. From a civil government angle, all of this should have been on the table the day Sestak opened his mouth. I don’t know why he was thin on the details back during the primary.
James F. Elliott
I am not running for City Council. If the Republicans pay me one million dollars, I will disclose the details of whether or not Barack Obama offered me something in order to keep me off the ballot.
Someone is asking Obama about Sestak right now.
“There will be an official response shortly. And when I say shortly, I don’t mean weeks or months.”
It’s just more Versailles courtier nonsense. I don’t get why it’s worth mentioning – if he did get offered a job and turned it down, so what? Revealing which job would only serve to alienate the person presently holding that job to the administration’s detriment and how does that serve any good purpose? The Heathers just want gossip since there’s apparently nothing else wrong in the world to occupy their beautiful minds.
Are you really this bored that this is all you can talk about? Gulf’s a mess, economy’s in the tank, congrescritters are overboard about reducing the deficit with 9% (really higher) unemployment. Talking about this tempest in a teapot gives it more than it’s due.
What? They asked about it at a presser? And the WH thinks it is serious enough to issue a formal response?
I was just told this would blow over…
Wait. This is a non-story. So doesn’t going out and endlessly explaining what didn’t happen because the howler monkeys in the GOP do what they do every 15 seconds in this country, playing right into their hands? Like an explanation will mollify anything at all? If he offers an explanation – of nothing – then right on cue, the assholes will start picking at the explanation – of nothing. The appropriate response would be to tell them kindly die in a house fire.
@mattH: The reflexive defensiveness of you all for Sestak is pretty amazing. I’ve had a grand total of TWO posts about this issue, and all of a sudden it is all I can talk about?
Now, if the administration does want to push back on this, they can start talking about all the other times someone has been appointed to something based in part on political calculation and the effect of removing the appointee as a (potential) candidate. If they want to put together a list, they can start here or here and work from there.
I’ll echo everyone who’s saying there’s truly no point to offering details, because the GOP (and a huge portion of the press) will agree to continue to pretend it’s a scandal. Remember TravelGate?
The GOP hopes to ultimately make every thing a Democratic president or politician does seem illegal. Good god, they’ve convinced all sorts of people that The Cornhusker Kickback and The Louisiana Purchase — things LBJ would have done ten of before breakfast — were massively atypical and corrupt. Reality doesn’t matter to them.
Obama seconds ago promised an official Adminstration response “shortly” and denied anything “improper” occurred.
ON EDIT: Minutes ago. I forgot I have my DVR going on a delay.
………..leeeeeeeeeeve Sestek alooooooooooooooooone………….
/knee jerk anti establishment blogger who falls for focus group messages ala John Edwards.
kommrade reproductive vigor
I can’t wait for all of the jokes around, “”When I get
up in the morning and I’m shaving, Malia pokes her head in and says ‘Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'”
Sestak should have kept his trap shut, but since he didn’t, the WH and Sestak should make a short, accurate statement that answers the basic questions (“On DD/MM/YY, Rahm met with me and asked about my level of interest in >name of job>. I informed him of my intention to stay in the Senate race. There was no quid pro quo…Blahblahblah.”)
I heard Hannity was going to do a segment asking whether this business is a “high crime or misdemeanor.” Some days following politics gives me a freaking headache.
if you want Republicans in power, everything that distracts Obama, or makes him look bad, or hinders the working relationship he has with his people is a good thing.
Exactly. End it.
I think Chait sums it up best:
(EDIT: But I also agree with danimal that they should just make the details public)
I absolutely agree that the burden is on Sestak here. He made the accusation, so he’s responsible for proving it. The White House has denied trying to tempt him out of the race, which may be true even if they did offer Sestak a job. It could be that they merely thought he was qualified for whatever post it was.
But whatever the case, the burden should be on Sestak to substantiate his own claims, not on the White House to disprove them.
Christ, the point here isn’t to stop Republican charges- they are going to keep making baseless charges no matter what. They’ve just spent the last god damned year calling Obama a socialist and ranting about death panels. They’ll keep the nonsense going at 11 until the end of time.
The point is to end any suspicions anyone else might have and just ending the matter for reasonable people.
The only problem with rushing to end this is that if there is no there there, it’ll die down on its own; scandals need 4 or 5 layers to keep people interested. Republicans will just find something new to be offended by tomorrow and nothing will really have happened.
O/T I listened to Obama’s pressed on NPR and in the few minutes between when he finished speaking and the top of the hour they had “NPR’s chief environmental correspondent” and “Science Editor” vamp to fill up the time.
Senior, professional journalists, and they both made major, critical errors of fact in reporting on what they had just listened to. Not nuance or questions of interpretation, but asserting the President said X when in fact he said Y or even not-X.
What is wrong with these people?
PS I want to have Helen Thomas’ baby. Or be her baby.
OT:From Sully’s blog, one of his reader e-mails published under dissent of the day. Its about the journalist moving next door to the Palins.
Does he write these e-mails himself? Criticism of Palin in the Daily Dish, reasoned? That’s funny.
On Palin, I wish she would just go away, I am tired of media giving her every utterance, facebook update so much importance. Did any other defeated candidate for VP get this much press?
For those keeping score:
Lying about a blowjob = High crimes and misdemeanors
Offering someone a job because you think his opponent might do better in a general election = High crime and misdeameanor
Spying on Americans without warrants; violating several amendments to the Constitution with regards to little things like detention, trials, self-incrimination, and denial of access to lawyers/courts; and torture = perfectly legal and acceptable behavior
The Stupid makes my head hurt.
Jesus Fucking Christ.
Good description. But when I think of the way the right parrots the exact same meme in unison, it makes me think of this passage from Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass.”
(‘Didn’t you know THAT?’ cried another Daisy, and here they all began shouting together, till the air seemed quite full of little shrill voices. ‘Silence, every one of you!’ cried the Tiger-lily, waving itself passionately from side to side, and trembling with excitement. ‘They know I can’t get at them!’ it panted, bending its quivering head towards Alice, ‘or they wouldn’t dare to do it!’
‘Never mind!’ Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, ‘If you don’t hold your tongues, I’ll pick you!’
There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies turned white.
‘That’s right!’ said the Tiger-lily. ‘The daisies are worst of all. When one speaks, they all begin together, and it’s enough to make one wither to hear the way they go on!’?
@kommrade reproductive vigor:
But don’t responses to GOP bullshit just keep the bullshit flowing? These “stories” really don’t last all that long. No one is going to give two shits about this in like 18 hours. Long weekend coming up, etc. Certainly no one will care by November. If they care at all right now. I think that Sestak talking about it only keeps it going past the date in which it would have naturally died. If they want to do something, perhaps they should do what I do when my cat is annoying me: throw a piece of paper down the steps. She’ll be busy with that for a few hours. The national media are slightly stupider than my cat.
Nobody gives a shit!
Reasonable people? Did you and Broder hang out at the dive bar last night? Was that the bad judgment?
It is a bloggerific squall.
What are people supposed to be suspicious of? Doesn’t this stuff happen in the workplace all the time? People’s jobs get offered to other people if it’s advantageous to do so. What am I missing?
IT IS NOT GOP BULLSHIT WHEN IT WAS SESTAK WHO OPENED HIS GOD DAMNED MOUTH IN THE FIRST PLACE.
How can you not understand that? If they were just asserting that he had been offered a job to get out of the race, it would be one thing. But Sestak himself opened the damned can of worms.
And expect more stupid shit like this out of Sestak.
@zzyzx: You are one sick twist.
I like you.
Because no one gives a shit. It will damage Sestak not one iota in his Senate race.
Not one itty bitty bit.
He should keep his damned mouth shut and so should the WH if they want a D Senator to keep that seat.
This is fucking ridiculous.
I’m not sure what Sestak thought he would accomplish by yapping about this. He’s lost anymore of my cash.
Fine, I apologize overstatement from me that it’s the only thing you are posting about, but this should be relegated to the back pages of People magazine where it’d be at home. I think we should all agree that reasonable people aren’t going to let it bother them that much, and if they are we have bigger problems than the rebuttal they issue will resolve. Or, what cleek said.
@schrodinger’s cat: “On Palin, I wish she would just go away, I am tired of media giving her every utterance, facebook update so much importance. Did any other defeated candidate for VP get this much press?”
She sells papers, lots and lots of papers, both through “fans” and through detractors. She needs to be ignored like a certain blond harpy not to be named, just so she doesn’t get any more coverage/hits herself.
@Corner Stone: Turtles all the way down.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I knew it. Besides the worst enviromental crisis arguably since Chernobyl, we have two wars and an economy that if it isn’t a depression is damn close, and those idiots want to show FoxNews they have no liberal bias and get their questions from Politico gossip columns. I think presidents should have regularly scheduled press conferences, but these idiots make it really hard to take their side.
I think it’s a problem for Sestak. He set this up as him bravely resisting a possibly corrupt deal, and now Republicans are taking him at his word. Dishonestly, of course, but, well, what did he expect?
So what does he do now? Admit it was political posturing, or appear to condone corruption?
You got that right.
Nevertheless, I still contend that Sestak + stupid shit > Specter
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I could be wrong but I think it actually was Major Garrett of FoxNews who asked.
So…you know…it must be addressed post haste because it really matters and shit.
Corruption how for fuck’s sake?
“Listen, Sestak. We think you’d make a great XYZ Cabinet post. And that’s where we really need you. So lay off, eh?”
This is nothing. Nothing.
And I don’t even give a shit about Sestak.
Bunch of god damn turtles.
@Corner Stone: actually I was being sarcastic about looking forward to it. The second after I heard that, I knew it would be “amusingly” restated and I’ve already seen it on facebook…
Jim, Foolish Literalist
And David Broder, Vice Principal of Village High and assignment editor of NBC, CNN and The Kaplan Daily Hiatt, said today that this what Obama learned in Chicago from Old Man Daley, who died when Obama was in high school in Hawaii.
Because no one cares. But I do expect plenty of dumb-assery. One of the dumb things he and the WH will do is release reasonable, “official statements” about this, thereby giving the idiots more to pick at.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
You’d almost think that a sitting president was officially chair of the party, or “boss”
Does anyone know what the fuck he’s talking about with Paterson and Gillibrand?
I live in Philadelphia, and a lot of us are getting sick of Ed Rendell and his big fucking mouth.
To those of you criticizing Sestak for saying he was offered a job, i agree it was stupid, but it may also have been necessary. on his part the guy was under enormous pressure to bow out of the race, leaving us with the execrable Specter. Politics in this state is incredibly dirty, and at the time I saw sestak’s announcement as a shot across the bow of the Democratic Party that he could fuck them up as badly as they could fuck him.
danimal’s comment at 22 is perfect.
You’re missing the point. I didn’t declare it was corruption. I don’t think it was corruption.
I might have thought that through before sanctimoniously declaring I had been targeted by the loathed Party bosses in my mavericky bid for the Democratic Senate race, but I’m not Sestak.
I think it was a stupid, self-serving tactic. I’m also not crazy about people who implicate other people on bullshit trumped-up charges to serve their own ambition. Which is what he did.
And nobody could give a shit less. Period. Done bones.
I don’t know/care whether the WH really needs to say much about this nonsense, but this:
has bothered me for a while now. Because it’s true. And it’s one of the reasons I haven’t cared for/about Sestak through the primaries. I understand why liberals took exception to the DNC support for Specter and I understand why the DNC supported Specter, but I don’t understand why liberals would reward a guy who is just going to stir shit like this up for Democrats, in general. It’s stupid for a lot of reasons but mostly because it obviously plays directly into Republicans’ hands. And I don’t like it when Democrats play directly into Republicans’ hands, even when they’re doing it from my side of the issues.
Or…pretty much what kay said.
Yeah! Who do you think you are, Joe SaysTax, being all honest and shit? Look where you are now. Would you like a grilled cheese with your pickle? Tell you what. You be a good little rank and file and take the damn bribe and STFU, democracy be damned!!! Now shoot your junk shot into the damn pipe and take the blame, Valerie Plame.
@zzyzx: I know.
Does anyone doubt that if Sestak had accepted the offer, the White House wouldn’t have issued a press release about it? When they made Jon Huntsman the Ambassador to China, the political press lauded it as a brilliant political move. No foul play was claimed, and none would have been claimed here if Sestak had accepted the job offer.
Chait’s right. Sestak’s potential dropping out is not a shady, negotiated quid pro quo condition of accepting the job. Rather, it’s an automatic, obvious and above-the-board condition of any job. And the administration is allowed to offer people jobs, even if it’s politically convenient for them to do so. Accepting a job equals rejecting other jobs. And being politically clever does not equal being nefarious.
That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN)
I think that they have a big problem in trying to explain this. At a minimum, Sestak has allowed the speculation about this get out of hand by coyly implying that the post was Secretary of the Navy. It can’t be that, because Ray Mabus was nominated for the job a month before Specter changed parties. If anyone ever offered him that position, it couldn’t have been to keep, him out of the race, since it didn;t exist yet.
My guess at this point is that the truth would make Sestak look bad. It’s going to involve a climb down, and he may have just lied about it. The administration has been keeping quiet because it doesn’t want to call the Democratic nominee for the Senate a liar.
Yeah, Sestak dug this hole, and he needs to figure out how to get himself out of it.
John is pretty much right here, but the people who say that a confession won’t end anything are also right, and not just because the Republicans are relentless. The Republican theory is that if you offer someone a White House job to get a political favor in return, that’s a crime. Conceptually, the correct response to this is “no, that’s not a crime.” Instead, by admitting that yes, we did offer him a White House job, you simply cop to the first part of the Republican argument. And since the second part is basically unknowable, and something that most people are likely to believe (they didn’t offer him a job just by coincidence), now you’re left with no response but “even if all that happened, it’s still not a crime,” which was the correct answer all along.
Politically, this is one of those issues the Beltway is obsessed over but regular people don’t care about one bit. I would frankly just ignore it because there’s no upside to addressing it. There is nothing you can say that will make the Beltway media stop caring once they get their teeth into a non-story, which is the lesson of Whitewater.
Tell that to Marc Ambinder and the press corps. Not looking at something doesn’t make it go away.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Someone yesterday predicted a pre-Memorial Day Friday statement, which seems to me a good prediction and a good way to handle this.
@slag: But slag. I just disagree with your assessment of this.
Not one actual PA voter who could’ve potentially voted for Sestak is going to be swayed by something that happens all the time. All the time in real life.
At worst they said, “Tell us what it will take to call your dogs off.”
This is just nonsense and no one with 12% unemployment or a mortgage or a girlfriend or who’s wondering whether they should have burgers or wings for dinner gives one good GD shit about this nothing.
And claiming Bill Clinton is Aquaman, or something…
@That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN): When you say Sestak “implied” it was Secretary of the Navy, do you mean because someone asked him whether it was Secretary of the Navy and he said he wouldn’t give any further details? Because I don’t think we can really hold him responsible for creating any “implication” in that case.
brendancalling Politics in this state is incredibly dirty, and at the time I saw sestak’s announcement as a shot across the bow of the Democratic Party that he could fuck them up as badly as they could fuck him.
So the possible junior senator from Pennsylvania starts by making sure at least half the Democratic election machine is pissed off at him? Ouch.
What an amateurish loudmouth Sestak has turned out to be.
I totally agree with this sentiment. But the press corps doesn’t always write about what people care about. They write about stupid shit all the time. It’s what they do. And we can say that people will ignore them because they don’t care about this specific issue, and that’s totally plausible. But when the press wants to form a narrative, they form a narrative. And they inject that narrative into every issue they possibly can. Which means that while this issue, in itself, isn’t going to matter to people, it’s the potential basis for a narrative that can easily get interwoven into every other single goddamn issue people actually do care about.
People want to know that the WH is doing the people’s business. Not screwing shit up and then covering their tracks. That’s a narrative we just don’t need.
Huh? what is there to talk about? Obama offered him a job as Sec. of the Navy in the hopes he’d quit the Senate race.
That’s the story. That’s it. What is the confusion? It makes the Obama Admin look clumsy but they’ve been doing that to themselves for a while now.
So he went ahead and fucked them first? Good job, there, Joe. Whocouldaknowd the Republicans would pick it up and use it as a club to bludgeon the Democrats?
At this point, if Sestak does get elected, I’m half-waiting for him to announce directly afterwards that’s he’s switching to Republican.
I liked Bill Clinton, but he had time to micromanage.
He didn’t get a whole lot done, in 8 years. He was a really good manager, but as far as major initiatives or real substantive grappling with problems, he came up a little short.
I think some of the Clintonite critics of Obama are a little touchy about Clinton’s lack of legislative successes.
That comparison is not shaping up well. If Obama wins two terms, (a big “if”) there’s really no contest.
I don’t like the sanctimony. Or, worse, the vague accusations that implicate others and make Sestak look good.
That’s a little…loathsome. Not a good harbinger, in my view.
Ugh, what a visual.
Um, why not? As far as I can tell, no one is accussing them of doing anything wrong.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
God. I wanna like Rendell, but he needs some getthefuckoverit therapy. Maybe after a few sessions he can make an appointment for McCain.
@Svensker: At least it was only one wetsuit without any accessories.
You really just ignore whatever reality doesn’t square with you, doncha?
Jeebus. I may not have agreed with a lot of it, but WJC kinda did some shit in those 8 years.
And as usual, you can only FAIL to interpret what reality exists.
God, how do you even find your fridge in the morning?
I agree. It’s Sestak’s mess to clean up. And the sooner he does, the better. The White House will issue a statement and create some “boundaries of truth”, and Sestak will have to explain himself. I’m guessing the WH is currently scrubbing through all communications to see if/when/how Sestak was offered anything and by whom, and after thorough internal investigation they’ll issue some kind of statement.
But they’ll wait til the leak is capped off.
John Cole is still hungover from his two mojitos. Plus he’s an idiot.
Except, that couldn’t be what happened.
Ray Mabus was nominated as Sec. of the Navy on March 27, 2009. Arlen Specter switched parties on April 28. Sestak became a candidate on May 29. Ten days after Mabus had been confirmed by the Senate.
Additionally, I’m pretty sure Sestak hasn’t been out of active service long enough to be eligible for the job.
FWIW, I saw about two minutes of MSNBC this morning which was just enough to see Luke Russert declare this whole thing a “big deal.” Alex Witt (I think) agreed. They’ve all been looking for some scandal to throw at the administration and are going to play this for all the ratings and revenue they can.
@zzyzx: By “shortly” I imagine Obama means “the Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend.”
I agree. They’ll beat it to death, and there’s no real way for the WH to disprove it, which is what sucks about trumped-up allegations, (and those who make them, like Sestak).
Any defense just digs you in a little deeper.
You know, she might annoying you so you’ll throw a piece of paper down the steps.
Damn, you’re easy.
@Mnemosyne: It’s true. I try to be sympathetic to the mentally disadvantaged amongst us. Such as yourself.
Great! I’m wrong. Make a list.
Clinton’s legislative achievements in 8 alongside Obamas in 2.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Cacti: Did Sestak say it was Sec-Navy he was offered? Or are people just assuming it b/c of his background? If he said it, I think he looks like an ass
@feebog: Ignore it? You mean like Kerry ignored the Swiftboat charges? That’s not going to stop it, either. Sestak needs to handle this, the WH needs to say something & quick, & the cycle can burn itself out in a week or 2. Provided Sestak is telling the truth, it won’t hurt him in the general, he still keeps his outsider cred & this is not going to be around to hurt Obama come 2012. Address it & let it run its course.
@kay: Stop being stupid for a change.
Legislation and programs
Major legislation signed
* February 5, 1993 – Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
* August 10, 1993 – Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 – Raised income tax rates; income tax, top rate: 39.6%; corporate tax: 35%
* September 21, 1993 – creation of the AmeriCorps volunteer program
* November 30, 1993 – Brady Bill
* December 8, 1993 – North American Free Trade Agreement – Created a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
* September 13, 1994 – Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, part of an omnibus crime bill, the federal death penalty was expanded to some 60 different offenses (see Federal assault weapons ban)
* February 1, 1996 – Communications Decency Act
* February 8, 1996 – Telecom Reform Act: eliminated major ownership restrictions for radio and television groups.
* February 26, 1996 – Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a welfare reform bill
* March 14, 1996 – authorized $100 million counter-terrorism agreement with Israel to track down and root out terrorists.
* April 9, 1996 – Line Item Veto Act
* April 24, 1996 – Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
* August 20, 1996 – Minimum wage Increase Act
* September 21, 1996 – Defense of Marriage Act, allowed states to refuse recognition of certain same-sex marriages, and defined marriage as between a male and female for purposes of federal law.
* August 5, 1997 – Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
* October 28, 1998 – Digital Millennium Copyright Act
* October 31, 1998 – Iraq Liberation Act
@Corner Stone #58:
Except for the people here who you’re arrogantly and assholishly calling idiots. Of course, everybody else on and off the internet absolutely do think the same way you do, yes? How teabagger-ist of you.
Here’s a free tip: making claims when the counter-example that disproves you is right in front of your nose isn’t very smart.
And just to say, you’re such a dishonest hack. You didn’t say, Clinton hasn’t done anything WRT Obama, you said, “but as far as major initiatives or real substantive grappling with problems, he came up a little short.”
So stop the BS rephrase of what you said.
I don’t know whether Sestak or Obama should or should not “come clean”, but I know this much: any “offer” or “deal” had NOTHING to do with a Senate RACE. Sestak v. Specter was a PARTY PRIMARY.
@Shade Tail: And Shade? Good luck to you watching this prove out. Nobody gives a shit.
If you think PA voters are grappling with this?
Nobody gives a shit.
Make a list Corner Stone.
You wrote your usual insulting and dismissive response to one of my comments, so I’m asking you for a substantive reply.
I don’t care what you list. “Achievement” usually means an affirmative, deliberate action, like a legislative success, but go ahead. List whatever.
Anyone think it’s dawned on the GOP why Jon Huntsman is the Ambassador to China?
@Corner Stone: I’m a fan of Clinton, but how much of that legislation counts as a plus from the liberal side of the ledger? The good stuff kinda peters out after the 1994 election, wouldn’t you say?
Of course, this only reinforces the point that Obama’s success to date is partly to his credit and partly to the credit of the fact that he has large majorities in both chambers. You can’t really compare records unless you want to talk about what they were able to do with similar Congresses. Which is to say, if Republicans take the House and Senate for the next 6 years (which they won’t) obviously Obama isn’t going to keep passing impressive legislation.
They know it’s bullshit, but so does Sestak, so it’s a matter of who blinks first.
I bet it’s Sestak. He actually has to win. They don’t really have anything to lose.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
And, for most of his tenure, a booming economy. I am constantly amazed that the “OBAMA SOLD US OUT!” crowd can’t grasp that a shitty economy makes everything harder.
@Steve: Steve, I refer you to my comment here:
“I may not have agreed with a lot of it, but WJC kinda did some shit in those 8 years.”
That’s pretty clear. I never claimed he did a lot of “liberal” or “progressive” things.
But to claim factually that Clinton didn’t do much but manage in 8 years is factually incorrect.
Don’t let kay’s inability to read actual comments rub off on you.
And if this continuation is pointed in any general way at me?
I didn’t try to compare.
That was a device by kay when she got called down on her stupid comment that Clinton didn’t do anything.
She then came back and said, “compare WJC 8 vs BHO 2”. Which had nothing to do with what she originally said.
@kay: Hold on.
“Make a list Corner Stone.”
“I don’t care what you list.”
Oh, Corner Stone. The line item veto?
There’s two. NAFTA and FMLA.
I’ll give you welfare reform, although I wouldn’t credit Bill Clinton with a GOP initiative, but you can have that.
* January 29: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
* February 4: Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
* February 11: DTV Delay Act
* February 17: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
* March 30: Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009
* April 21: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
* May 20: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
* May 20: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
* May 22: Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009
* June 22: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
* August 6: Cash For Clunkers Extension Act
* October 22: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
* October 28: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
* October 30: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
* November 6: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
* March 4: Travel Promotion Act
* March 18: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act)
* March 23: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
* March 30: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
* May 5: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
* May 17: Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009
The truth is, Corner Stone, if Obama succeeds with FinReg, he’ll pass Clinton in two years. Easily.
As I said, I liked Clinton. And, of course, Obama has to get re-elected. My hope is he doesn’t pass any harmful crap like DOMA, but he might.
Corner Stone- You’ve spent all day and made thirty comments telling everyone how no one cares, and oddly enough, people still care. Makes me wonder just how big of an idiot you are.
And as anyone with the ability to read knows – you didn’t phrase your critique as Clinton v Obama.
You came up with that when challenged.
“Didn’t do much” vs “Didn’t do much I liked” was not what you said.
I’d also add student loan reform, which was attached to the health care bill, but is major, and actually proactive.
That system hadn’t quite crashed yet, but it was poised to cause major damage, because lenders went completely nuts again, and that consumer debt is not dischargable in bankruptcy.
@John Cole: Hmmm…XL?
@John Cole: You make me laugh John Cole. How many people beside me have told you that no one gives a shit?
Just me? Ok.
How many have told you this would push PA D/I voters away from Sestak?
You got DOMA on the list of Clinton “accomplishments”? More like a badge of shame I’d say.
My impulse was agree with Cole, but then I remembered the Clinton era scandal mongering over ridiculous crap. They have a non-stop capacity to shovel more BS on top of BS. Rationally responding does not work. In fact, it’s a bad idea to open the door at all.
So, it’s perfectly reasonable in view of that to simply say STFU and move on until some dumb celebrity chick does something really stupid and distracts everyone.
Corner Stone, there’s a record.
I think some of the Clintonite critics of Obama are a little touchy about Clinton’s lack of legislative successes.
That comparison is not shaping up well. If Obama wins two terms, (a big “if”) there’s really no contest.
I used the word “comparison”.
I’m not trying to trick you. I asked you to make a list. I replied with a list.
I agree with that, actually. I think Obama can move on.
I think Sestak has to respond, but that might be me.
He made the allegation. He’s up next.
Oh, they know exactly why he took the gig. They just are absolutely incapable of doing anything to stop the madness.
Even if they wanted to.
I haven’t done anything except civilly disagree with a point you made. I wish you would resist the impulse to drop in these little Internet flamelets on folks like me who aren’t spoiling for a flame war.
I thought it was reasonable to interpret your comment as saying “Clinton did stuff we can be impressed by,” not just “Clinton did stuff.” If your intention was to argue the latter, I stand corrected. But I think kay’s argument was that Clinton didn’t pass many major initiatives, which is a fair point if most of what he did for the last 6 years is pass Republican initiatives that he managed to water down.
By the way, I assume your list was copied from Wikipedia or something, but I find it odd that they didn’t include the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. That was a pretty big deal.
I feel good about Obama’s chances to win two terms. But look, at this point in Clinton’s first term did you imagine he would have to spend the next 6 years doing nothing but playing defense against insane Republicans?
If Obama keeps up this pace for 8 years then great, put him on Mount Rushmore as far as I’m concerned. But don’t underestimate the importance of Congressional majorities, which is to say, stop jinxing it.
I’m giving Clinton NAFTA. I didn’t like NAFTA (although I’m leaning free trade lately), but it’s absolutely a big….thing.
NAFTA, FMLA, welfare reform, DOMA. In eight.
I actually once used the FMLA. I was just very glad to have it.
As I said, I liked and like Bill Clinton.
Hah! Sorry. I believe in jinx, so I sympathize. I won’t do it again. You can blame me, if it happens.
Because no one gives a shit. It will damage Sestak not one iota in his Senate race. Not one itty bitty bit.He should keep his damned mouth shut and so should the WH if they want a D Senator to keep that seat.
Don’t be too sure about that. Pissing of Obama voters in Philadelphia is not exactly a smart thing to do. They do have another choice than voting for Sestak in November. And that is to stay home.
And finally; why are you telling the WH to keep their mouth shut? They haven’t done a damned thing wrong. Sestak is the one who seems to be way above his head. I wish we could redo the primary and get Specter in.
It was from Wiki. I don’t keep a scoreboard under my pillow.
And my point was pretty simple I thought. I’ve never said Clinton was a strong progressive President. And on this thread I certainly did not argue that.
I simply countered that given the Congressional dynamics and environment, to say WJC “didn’t do much” was not accurate.
I prefaced my comment with, “I may not have agreed with much of it”.
I did not claim he passed HRC or FinReg or anything else.
And I did not compare Clinton’s leg against Obama’s term thus far.
Other people want to do that, which I consider not exactly kosher. There’s not much way to get a real apples v apples reading, IMO.
Lots of people have said Clinton was the “best Republican President of my lifetime”. I’m not justifying any leg, nor comparing.
Just saying that things did get passed in 8 years, whether we (lefties) agreed with them or not.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t know about anyone else, but to me this isn’t a Sestak/PA story, it’s an Obama/Beltway story. They get caught up into their own nonsense, and it filters down to low-info voters who, while waiting for the Action7 sports and weather or flipping the pages looking for their horoscope and the story about the kitten stuck in the well, hear/read the words “Obama corruption scandal”, and don’t look into details, and then see a commercial for that nice looking young(ish) wo/man who vows to “clean up Washington” and “put an end to ethical cornercutting in the administration. And yes, I am an elitist.
That was really more of a “Hey, we now have a D nominee for Senator. This can go to the background, or this can get nasty for the D’s. Which is better?”
Personally, as I hope I have made very clear here, John Cole notwithstanding, I don’t think any one has done a dang thing wrong here. It’s nothing at all, as I have repeated some 30+ times now according to one source.
IMO, potential Sestak voters aren’t going to take a fresh look at Toomey because of some puffery.
But I guess we’ll see in a couple months, eh?
@Terrell: And re: Specter. ISTM that he was not going to pull it off against Toomey in the general. But I don’t have any polling on that, or facts. That’s just a gut feeling about people always choosing the R when it’s a contest of R vs R-lite (or in this case 80-yr old R-moderate).
Will allow me to be re-Elected.
I for one think that’s a powerful ad Toomey could’ve crushed Specter on as well. Just wasn’t very helpful.
What Digby said.
I thought that was firebagging heresy?
Non-story. Just the Repugs attempt to find a scandal.
Response to Issa – “How soon do you think Senator Ensign will be Indicted? Next week, Next month?”
that will end the Issa talking pretty quick.
What I was getting at was why it was offered, not why it was accepted. David Plouffe mentioned Huntsman as one GOP candidate who could challenge Obama in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he was nominated for Ambassador to China. Not that he’s unqualified or was not a good pick, but he’s also now out of the country (and out of people’s minds) as a possible candidate.
I understand what you were getting at, but that doesn’t change the point. You think John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConell, Mitt Romney, and Jon Coryn don’t know why Huntsman said yes and said yes so quickly? What could anyone in the Republican Party have done to keep him in the governor’s mansion in Utah? They have no real leadership, and nothing with which to threaten him and his future ambitions.
They couldn’t do a goddamn thing to stop him from taking the gig even if they wanted to.
@Cat Lady: I don’t get why it’s worth mentioning – if he did get offered a job and turned it down, so what?
It probably wouldn’t be mentioned if Sestak hadn’t been such a douche about, trying to puff himself up. Dumb-ass.
This is all just Firebag-baiting by the Rovian/Luntz Repugs. Ignore the fuckers. They’re trying to incite a circular firing squad of progressives vs. Rahmbama.
The goal is to split the Democrats by stoking outrage among progressives, who for sure would be irate about Rahm (most likely the person who did this) or Obama trying to squash a progressive candidate.
Big fucking yawn. Yeah, Ramhbo loves punching hippies and HATES the grassroots. Fuck him. His boss loves us and got elected based on us. He’s all about grassroots, despite that he’s now the official head of the party. So, overall, no worries here.
@Terrell: Always keep your mouth shut when you haven’t done anything wrong.
This is the old rule in politics: avoid “when did you stop beating your wife?” questions.
As LBJ once said, the game goes like this: you accuse your opponent of something he didn’t do (or, in this case, that he did do, that isn’t actually wrong), even though you know goddamned well that’s what’s up. When questioned what purpose this could possibly serve, LBJ replied, “I know it’s not true. I just want the son-of-a-bitch to have to deny it.”
These stories are best left to die with the news cycle, or, take the Repug approach, and counter with an attack instead, the best defense being a good offense.
And to this point I had made 23 comments, a good chunk of which were about Bill Clinton.
Chait and Benen are both fucktards from the get-go and their JournoList.serv merry band of bugger boys will duly follow the inane party line these marxist toadies love to spoon out like coke-laced cough syrup to their inner posse. Cole is merely demented while these dudes are criminally insane. Sestak, of course, is a man of honor working in a party full of social degenerates and crony hacks. I hope Sestak tells us what job he really was offered.
Sticking up for Blanche L. is good for Willie who is now seeing the Dems being taken over by crooked unions with armies of thugs and close-to-commie marxists like MoveOn and other out-of-state radical leftists trying to help the Dems destroy what’s left of the US Constitution. Good that Bill and Obama got their stories straight over lunch early this week on Sestak, or maybe the man-chile would have seen his chief-of-staff under a Special Prosecutor. Obama is a bigger crook than Clinton ever was after only a year and a half. Always great to have a guy with a track record for perjury swear that it was for an unpaid advisory job. That will only fly with Dem cretins and of course the stenographic White House Press pool.
Oops, left out some stuff. Hmm…. Sestak repeatedly said he was approached by a “high-ranking White House official” who morphs now into Bill Clinton. And the job offered Sestak has now dwindled into a non-paid showhorse presidential panel of some sort instead of the Sec. of Navy which Sestak could have been elibible for [five years intervening is the legal requirement] in July, 2010, just to put a “decent interval” between to not wake up the permanently comatose MSM on matters scandalous to Obama. Anybody else feel this doesn’t pass even minimum credibility, as Clinton is an impeached perjurer and Rahm-bo is in deep doo-doo already with the Blago grand jury proceedings & upcoming trial already, so his poking Sestak in the shower would presumably end his C-o-Staff job? At a minimum, a grand jury should be convened and an independent prosecutor appointed. Sestak’s Jobgate makes Plamegate look even more like the petty confection puffed up by a pliant press and crime- and perjury-prone group of Demo-rat politicos.