Daily Archives: August 2, 2007

Maybe the Dems Want Authoritarian Powers

Digby is befuddled by the Democrats’ race to authorize more wiretapping power to a patently untrustworthy administration.

Let’s set aside the idea that “trusting” the Bush administration with warrantless wiretaps is like trusting your four year old with a zippo lighter, what kind of bucket-of-lukewarm-spit kind of politics is this? What are they afraid of, that the Bush administration will blame them if a terrorist attack occurs and they didn’t approve another blank check? Guess what? It wouldn’t matter if the Democrats named Bush king with the power to draw and quarter hippies and Muslims on the white house lawn, they will still blame the Democrats if there is another terrorist attack.

I do not know what this latest program is, but whatever it is, it needs to be approved by somebody other than the White House. I’m sorry, but that should be non-negotiable. Dick Cheney has delegated to himself virtually limitless power and he is borderline insane. The executive branch cannot be trusted with additional power of any kind. They have quite enough, thank you.

(emphasis in the original)

Avedon Carol writes at Eschaton (where she was sitting in for Atrios) wondering about lambert’s question at corrente: why aren’t the Dems explicitly condemning the Bush Admin’s anti-Constitutionality and promising to restore the rights Bushies have stolen from us?

The Democrats are under tremendous pressure from the right-wing spinnners on The Hill and their media handmaidens to ignore these important issues. They’re going to ask them about haircuts and cleavage.
So, when we have a chance to get them to talk about important questions, we’d damn well better take it.
We have to push back. That’s what democracy is all about: We have to tell them what we want – and when they are running for office, we have to ask them how they plan to give us what we want.

eRobin at Fact-esque, who was, as usual, ahead of everybody, wrote last week:

I want all the presidential candidates  to, at every opportunity, condemn specific steps this president has taken to undermine the Constitution and to pledge to reverse them ALL on his/her first day in office. I am vastly more concerned with their reluctance to do that than I am even with BushCo’s persistence on his unconstitutional path. (from BushCo I worry that we’ll get another 9/11) The damage he’s done can be contained not only by impeachment (which would be my first choice in a reasonable world but is not in this one) but also by immediate repudiation of what he’s done over the last two terms by whoever gets elected to succeed him.

Putting these two concerns together raises a disturbing question, and since it seems to be my function to think the unthinkable and verbalize the thoughts no one else wants to admit having, I will do my duty and turn over the rock.

The Democrats, like everyone else in the known world, are assuming that the White House will belong to them in ’09. Given the Pubs’ apparent determination to self-destruct by strenuously opposing a withdrawal from Iraq and obstructing legislation everybody wants, like the SCHIP expansion, even as they demand more debt-borrowing to finance energy companies, it’s entirely possible that for once they’re right. So:

Is it conceivable that Democrats are reluctant to explicitly condemn the unConstitutional powers assumed by our imperial president because at some level they themselves wants access to at least some of those powers when they gain control again?

The answer, I’m afraid, is Yes.

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MSNBC Anchor Rebels Against Celebrity Journalism

Mika Brzezinski, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s daughter and a news anchor on MSNBC’s morning news show, Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, has had enough. With the Iraq war in freefall, the president under attack from his own party, more revelations about illegal wiretapping programs surfacing, and talk of Gonzo being impeached, her producer, Andy Jones, handed her what he considered the top news story.

On Paris Hilton.

She was furious. First she refused to do it but she didn’t think that was sufficient and on second thought asked her co-anchor for his lighter and tried to set the pages on fire. The lighter didn’t work and her co-anchor grabbed it back. She put the story to one side and, according to Jim Hightower, the producer put it back on top of the pile. When she picked it up again and saw what it was, she got up, stalked to a shredder on the set behind her, and sent it through.

Her co-anchors patronized her, including a shameful performance by Scarborough, who insisted on running the clip Mika was trying to dump of Hilton, um, walking. When the camera came back to her, she had her head in her hands, disgusted, at one point saying frostily, “I’m going to do the news now.”

I’ve been waiting for somebody to do this and had all but given up hope. For several years, rumors have been circulating that a lot of media news figures are privately sick to death of having to do so goddamn much celebrity journalism and have been bitching about it. These complaints have not, of course, been reported because of the “gentleman’s agreement” operating between media reporters and their targets. I have been hoping someone would rebel. I never thought it would be on camera.

So what happens now? Will they fire her? I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

MIKA BRZEZINSKIHero of the Week, Maybe of the Decade, in TV News At Least