ChrisWeigant.com

A "Laundry List" Tradition Worth Reviving

[ Posted Monday, February 11th, 2013 – 17:29 PST ]

Tomorrow night President Obama will give the first State Of The Union address of his second term. We'll all react to this speech in different ways, but the reaction of Congress will be the usual: alternating wild and raucous applause with stony glares of disapproval, depending on the particular subject being addressed. After the speech is over, Congress will go back to what it loosely calls "work," and largely ignore the speech's suggestions for legislation. Some things the president asks for will get addressed in typical roundabout fashion, but many other things will be completely dropped for political reasons of one sort or another. It didn't always used to be this way, though, at least not on the surface. Congress used to take the president a lot more seriously, which is a tradition that seems ripe for revival.

Political pundits, for some inexplicable reason, always deride State Of The Union speeches as being mere "laundry lists." There's no reason for them to do so, because this is actually the whole point of the speech. Everyone now focuses on the first part of the relevant text from the Constitution, while forgetting what comes after. The Constitution dictates that one part of the duties of the president is: "He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." See? Right there in the definition, it tells the president to provide a legislative laundry list to Congress. And at the start of our nation's history, Congress used to be a lot better at being the "laundromat" (to stretch this metaphor a bit).

The speech, of course, didn't always used to be a speech. Up until Franklin Roosevelt, it was called the "President's Annual Message to Congress," in fact. Rich Rubino of the Huffington Post has a great overview of some of the historic changes this address has gone through. But setting aside the transformation of the speech itself, the way Congress used to respond to it is worth some historical exploration as well.

From the early days of our government, the president's annual message was treated with a certain amount of respect which has now, sadly, faded. What used to happen is the text was carefully divided into separate proposals, and each proposal would be sent to the relevant congressional committees for action. A paragraph on budget items would go to the budgetary committees, a foreign policy proposal would go to the foreign affairs committees, and so on. The president's ideas would get a hearing and discussion from the relevant divisions of Congress. After all, these "measures" had been judged "necessary and expedient" by the president, so the least Congress could do was to take a look at them.

This, it bears mentioning, in no way guaranteed that the president got everything he wanted (or even "most" of what he wanted). Divided government has always been possible under the American system, and even when one party rules the House, the Senate, and the White House, often times the houses of Congress don't agree with their own standard-bearer. To say nothing of the bickering which takes place between the two houses, even when run by the same party.

To put this another way, sometimes these ideas would make it through one house and run into a brick wall in the other. Sometimes the ideas would make it out of committee only to be voted down in their own house. And sometimes the proposals would just die in committee (or, as they put it back then, "be allowed to lie on the table").

But even proposals that were likely doomed from the start at least received a modicum of attention by Congress. And the public. Nowadays, the president is treated no different, really, than any particular citizen who contacts elected representatives and attempts to get a law written. Since Congress passes the laws, they now all but consider themselves as the sole source of any political proposals. If the president says something in his speech that they're already working on, well, then they might just be able to help him out -- but otherwise the issues the president brings up are largely forgotten when Congress gets back to work.

This is a shame. Perhaps I'm just being incredibly naive, but it seems to me that Congress giving the president the respect of, say, guaranteeing at least a committee-level vote on every suggestion within the State Of The Union would be a good tradition to revive. I'm not so naive that I'd expect a house now held by the opposing party would do such a thing, but if the president's political party holds either house, it seems they could offer him the respect of taking his agenda ideas seriously enough to at least hold a few hearings or attempt to draft a bill to address. If, for instance, Democrats had a strong and bold Senate Majority Leader right now (don't worry, I said "if" -- I'm nowhere near naive enough to expect such a thing from Harry Reid), imagine the political capital he or she could earn by announcing, before the State Of The Union took place, a pledge to bring each laundry list item up in the relevant committees, at the very minimum.

Now would be a great time to do so, in fact, since President Obama is currently a lot more popular than Congress (or even "Democrats in Congress"). Reviving the tradition of promising to address the issues the president raises in his annual speech might help to rub off a little of that popularity on Democrats politically brave enough to act on the president's measures. If the Republicans were smart, they'd even realize that they too can make a kind of political hay out of such a tradition -- by sending everything in the president's speech to committees to be loudly denounced and voted down (in order to please their own base).

Maybe it'd all just result in more grandstanding, and maybe nothing positive could ever come of such an experiment. I remain convinced, however, that such an experiment is at least worth a try. Instead of just concentrating on two or three items from the president's speech, flood the channel! Give the American public (well, those who watch C-SPAN, at any rate...) an honest debate on each and every presidential proposal. If presidents knew that such respect would be given their ideas, one can only imagine what they'd stick in their speech to at least be discussed in committee.

Congress should take its implied role as laundromat seriously, when the president offers up his list. They should separate out the fabrics and colors, and send each bundle off to the proper group to handle it. Some will end up in the eternal spin cycle and never reappear, but some might just emerge freshly-scented, properly folded, and ready to wear (OK, really, I will quit this household-chore metaphor now, I promise).

Seriously, though, reviving this tradition wouldn't give the president any additional power -- congressional horse-trading would still be required to pass any actual laws. But I believe the benefits in political trust would be greater than just being seen as a gesture, or dog-and-pony show. At the very least, the public would know that Congress is at least attempting to get a few things done. Right now, even saying that would be an improvement, in the eyes of most.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

37 Comments on “A "Laundry List" Tradition Worth Reviving”

  1. [1] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Radical.—But brilliant!

    Also, No chance, whatsoever. If the Republicans' brainstorm of trashing anything and everything the President proposes, not because of ideological or philosophical differences, but merely as a ploy to bolster party support, catches on and is practiced in a bipartisan fashion—as is very likely to happen, our government will be far too damaged for far too long for this to occur anytime soon. Or to be constructive, even if it were.

    Its a shame. Excellent idea.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LewDan -

    Can't claim any sort of originality. I was reading a book about the Andy Jackson era, and it was talking about one of his Annual Messages and said something along the lines of "as the paragraphs were divided up and sent to the committees for action." Made it sound like a mandatory thing, and the most natural thing in the world. Granted, I think the history I was reading was written in 1922, but still it got me thinking...

    Have not really researched this as much as I should. My wife's reaction was "was it a congressional rule of some kind, or just tradition?" I do not have the answer to that question, alas. Both houses of Congress have radically revised their procedures and rules since the 1830s, so I just don't know.

    Anyway, thought I'd toss the idea out there to see what people thought...

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also, No chance, whatsoever. If the Republicans' brainstorm of trashing anything and everything the President proposes, not because of ideological or philosophical differences, but merely as a ploy to bolster party support, catches on and is practiced in a bipartisan fashion—as is very likely to happen, our government will be far too damaged for far too long for this to occur anytime soon. Or to be constructive, even if it were.

    As usual, I am constrained to point out that Democrats were EQUALLY guilty of this in the Bush years..

    As David is fond of saying (and, in THIS case, I completely agree) this isn't a Left problem or a Right problem or a Republican problem or a Democrat problem.

    It's a failure of leadership..

    And THAT simply cannot be laid at the feet of one single Party...

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    As to the lack of respect shown by those in Congress towards the POTUS I cannot say for certain WHEN it started, as I was not much politically active prior to 9/11..

    But I CAN say w/ complete certainty that this lack of respect you note was VERY prevalent during the Bush years..

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol CW I love that you are basically pleading for Congress to do their job. Heaven forbid!

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    As David is fond of saying (and, in THIS case, I completely agree) this isn't a Left problem or a Right problem or a Republican problem or a Democrat problem.

    Though I'm flattered you're using my words, for the record, you're using them completely out of context.

    -David

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Though I'm flattered....

    "I'm fatter.... Errrr Flattered"
    -Eddie Murphy, The Nutty Professor

    :D

    you're using my words, for the record, you're using them completely out of context.

    Not true...

    I simply used them in a manner that you would not have.. :D

    The context is the same.. :D

    The lack of respect being described by CW is NOT solely the province of the Right... One only has to recall the vehemence of the Democrats in attacking Bush to know that this is true...

    Michale....

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    One only has to recall the vehemence of the Democrats in attacking Bush to know that this is true.

    Funny. I didn't see CW mention any "vehemence of attacks" in his argument one way or another.

    I believe he was talking about Congress working on the agenda of the President.

    The question is: should Congress be willing to take up aspects of the Presidential agenda?

    -David

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The question is: should Congress be willing to take up aspects of the Presidential agenda?

    See how two different perspectives come up with two different questions.

    To me, the question is should Congress respect the POTUS enough to give his ideas a fair shake...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Also, No chance, whatsoever. If the Republicans' brainstorm of trashing anything and everything the President proposes, not because of ideological or philosophical differences, but merely as a ploy to bolster party support, catches on and is practiced in a bipartisan fashion—as is very likely to happen, our government will be far too damaged for far too long for this to occur anytime soon. Or to be constructive, even if it were.

    "As usual, I am constrained to point out that Democrats were EQUALLY guilty of this in the Bush years.."

    You seem to be off to a rollicking start misrepresenting peoples comments today, Michale. So, for the record, Democrats did not pillory Bush as a ploy to bolster party support and "make him a one-term President." They criticized Bush, because, unlike President Obama, Bush was a dangerously incompetent, lying, war criminal, who caused the deaths of thousands of Americans, wasted trillions of dollars, and was repeatedly a national embarrassment on both the domestic and foreign stage. Which, to everyone on the planet, other than "conservatives," are known as objective critiques, and rational objections.

    Contrary to conservative propaganda, just because remarks, and facts are unflattering to your Party Leader and Political Party, does not automatically mean they may be summarily dismissed as merely partisan. Its nice spin, but only appealing to the uninformed and gullible, aka Republican "base".

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    They criticized Bush, because, unlike President Obama, Bush was a dangerously incompetent, lying, war criminal, who caused the deaths of thousands of Americans, wasted trillions of dollars, and was repeatedly a national embarrassment on both the domestic and foreign stage. Which, to everyone on the planet, other than "conservatives," are known as objective critiques, and rational objections.

    That was their OPINION...

    An opinion, I might add, that is NOT supported by the facts..

    As the facts clearly show, based on Obama's own expansion of the Bush CT policies, Bush had it right...

    The Democrats were wrong to oppose Bush..

    Contrary to conservative propaganda, just because remarks, and facts are unflattering to your Party Leader and Political Party, does not automatically mean they may be summarily dismissed as merely partisan.

    They can if the remarks are not supported by the facts..

    You (and the Democrats) are certainly entitled to your opinions...

    But you are not entitled to your own facts..

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    As the facts clearly show, based on Obama's own expansion of the Bush CT policies, Bush had it right... The Democrats were wrong to oppose Bush.

    I think you have more of a case arguing that Democrats should oppose these policies more under Obama.

    What doesn't make sense is your argument that we should hate Obama because he's not doing everything we want him to.

    -David

  13. [13] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "As the facts clearly show, based on Obama's own expansion of the Bush CT policies, Bush had it right...

    The Democrats were wrong to oppose Bush.."

    Michale,

    You are still missing my point. On the off chance that its not willful, and to be clear to everyone, my complaints with Bush, were that he operated illegally and that he was grossly, negligently ineffective.

    I've no reason to believe Obama is acting criminally, (although right-wing media has been doing its best to make anecdotal accusations. And, as I've said, it wouldn't surprise me to find that he is.) all the evidence I've seen indicate Obama is highly effective. Getting much better results at costs, both in terms of lives and dollars that are orders of magnitude less than Bush.

    Your "Obama = Bush" formula isn't just an oversimplification, its a reduction to the point of absurdity.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you have more of a case arguing that Democrats should oppose these policies more under Obama.

    I know you think that..

    But nothing succeeds like success..

    And it is undeniable that Obama has had success in the area of Counter Terrorism..

    Ergo.. Obama has it right..

    And, since Obama is standing on the shoulders of Bush, by default, Bush ALSO had it right..

    LD

    You are still missing my point. On the off chance that its not willful, and to be clear to everyone, my complaints with Bush, were that he operated illegally and that he was grossly, negligently ineffective.

    And I have already PROVEN that Bush did NOT operate illegally...

    If a President does it after Congress authorizes it, it CANNOT be illegal.. PERIOD...

    Congress authorized. Therefore it's not illegal..

    Even if Congress DIDN'T authorize Bush's actions (which they did) by your OWN argument, if the CinC does it, it's not illegal..

    MY argument with you is that, if Bush committed a crime with his CT policies, how is it that Obama is NOT committing MORE of a crime by EXPANDING on those policies???

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    What doesn't make sense is your argument that we should hate Obama because he's not doing everything we want him to.

    No..

    MY argument is that you should hate Obama for his "assault on liberty" (is how I think ya'all phrased it) as much as you hated Bush for the same thing..

    Why give Obama a pass???

    Because he is your guy..

    "Samir is your guy! So I'll tell you what I am going to do. I am going to hook him up to a polygraph and see what he tells me!"
    -Denzel Washington, THE SIEGE

    :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    And it is undeniable that Obama has had success in the area of Counter Terrorism..

    Ergo.. Obama has it right..

    And, since Obama is standing on the shoulders of Bush, by default, Bush ALSO had it right..

    That's ya'alls conundrum...

    You want to cheer on your guy, but you can't because A> cheering on your guy for doing things that are revolting to your principles is so gauche

    and

    2> Cheering on your guy would require you to admit that the POLICIES developed by Bush were the right policies to implement..

    And, by and large, the Left would rather gouge out their hearts with a dull spoon before they would give Bush credit for ANYTHING...

    I don't envy ya'all the conundrum ya'all face.. :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    MY argument is that you should hate Obama for his "assault on liberty" (is how I think ya'all phrased it) as much as you hated Bush for the same thing.

    Hahahahah.

    Obama has worked to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He's worked to undo the damage done by ... ahem, 2 previous moronic, unpaid for wars.

    Could he do more to undo? Sure. I'd buy that.

    But that's not what you're selling. You want a return to unjustified, unpaid for war.

    Sorry but I'm not buying it. What you're selling sounds like, in the words of the immortal Spinal Tap, a "shit sandwich".

    -David

  18. [18] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "If a President does it after Congress authorizes it, it CANNOT be illegal.. PERIOD...

    Congress authorized. Therefore it's not illegal.."

    WOW! Just—WOW!!

    Whatever the Pres and his buds in Congress decide, now that's the law!—No. Wait! Whatever the nine guys an' gals in dresses decide is the law, now that's the law! No! Wait! I Got It! Whatever Republicans decide, whenever and wherever they may be—now that's the law!

    The Constitution, however, that all those silly, unwashed, beer guzzling (WHOO HOO!) lazy non-rich probable imigrants mistakenly imagine is the law, of course, means nothing at all!

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

    While Congress, especially Republican congresses are indeed omnifcent, they are not in fact, omnipotent. Congress gets it authority from the constitution, ergo, Congress may only exercise authority granted to it by the constitution. So...

    1.) The Constitution does not authorize Congress to "authorize" military interventions. The Commander In Chief has that sole authority. Congress and the President conspired to deceive the American People by pretending that Congress had authorized the President to act on behalf of the United Nations in enforcing WMD monitoring. Congress, in fact, has no such authority.

    2.) Bush summarily ordered the evacuation of U.N. inspectors obstructing the U.N. monitoring regime not enforcing, as he was supposedly "authorized" by Congress and the U.N. to do. And, once again, lied to the American people by claiming to be "enforcing" U.N. resolutions, when in fact, he was defying them.

    3.) Bush then ordered U.S. military forces to invade a sovereign nation, that posed no threat to the security of the U.S. under the pretext that he was operating under U.N. mandate (a lie) and that he had Congressional authorization (another lie) and that his naked aggression was a "preemptive defensive strike" rather than a criminal war in violation of international law (STREEERRAHK THREE! YER OUTTA THERE!)

    You keep claiming that Bush had Congressional authorization, he didn't. Congress isn't authorized to authorize military invasions, and Bush violated what purported to be his authorization anyway, instead of actually executing it. Both Bush and his Republican Congress repeatedly lied and violated both their oaths of office and constitutional and international law. (And that's without ever even considering all the lies they told to get the U.N. to order inspections in the first place!)

    But you go right on pushing your official Bush Apologist Revisionist History. The cheap seats will eat it up! And God knows, you got nuthin' else!

  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "And it is undeniable that Obama has had success in the area of Counter Terrorism..

    Ergo.. Obama has it right..

    And, since Obama is standing on the shoulders of Bush, by default, Bush ALSO had it right.."

    Bush couldn't organize a beer drinking party in a brewery. (Okay, I'm thirsty. So, sue me!)

    So, the fact that the next POTUS has a functioning brain and is able get results proves Bush was right?! In spite of the fact that everything Bush actually did was a disaster?! And just how, exactly, does it prove that?

    No, don't tell me. It'd probably make my head explode! And I really don't want to be able to understand the minds of crazy people anyway.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, the fact that the next POTUS has a functioning brain and is able get results proves Bush was right?! In spite of the fact that everything Bush actually did was a disaster?! And just how, exactly, does it prove that?

    i think michale is focused on the policy similarities more than the differences. you mentioned that bush's policies were illegal and ineffective. he's arguing that they were only ineffective, and the illegality argument doesn't hold water unless obama is held equally accountable for behaving even more illegally. i followed it pretty well.

    now about that brewery party... :)

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    no, that's not quite right. michale's argument is that the policies that were successful under obama were initiated by bush. therefore bush deserves a share of credit for obama's successes, while obama deserves a share of blame for any bad bush policy that he happened to continue.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Obama has worked to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Quit trying to change the subject. :D

    We are not discussing wars.. We are discussing Counter Terrorism operations, internationally and domestically..

    LD,

    WOW! Just—WOW!!

    I am simply using YOUR own argument, LD..

    You are on record as stating that whatever the CnC does, up to AND INCLUDING TORTURE, in the name of national security is self-defense and perfectly within the purview of the POTUS with his CnC Hat on..

    But it seems that you only allow a DEM POTUS to have that power..

    As for your 1,2,3 argument.

    We're talking Counter Terrorism. Not the wars...

    Now, if you want to concede the CT argument, we can move on to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fair warning, however. There is likely to be not much of an argument because all I have to do is point to Congress' AUMFs and the argument will be over. :D

    Joshua,

    i think michale is focused on the policy similarities more than the differences. you mentioned that bush's policies were illegal and ineffective.

    Close. Bush's policies were legal. The "ineffective" claim is partially valid, but only because he had to fight Democrats harder than Al Qaeda. Democrats, I might add, who wanted to expose and OBSTRUCT every CT policy he put forth..

    and the illegality argument doesn't hold water unless obama is held equally accountable for behaving even more illegally.

    Right.. I simply can't understand how ANYONE can say 'Bush's actions were illegal, but Obama's actions are perfectly legal' when they are both, at their basics, the same actions!!

    Now, if David, LD et al want to make the argument that both actions ARE illegal but Obama's motives are pure'er than Bush's so it's OK (which is the argument I think they WANT to make if it didn't sound so utterly and unequivocally biased up the wazoo :D) then let them make that argument. I look forward to it. :D

    michale's argument is that the policies that were successful under obama were initiated by bush. therefore bush deserves a share of credit for obama's successes, while obama deserves a share of blame for any bad bush policy that he happened to continue.

    That's a separate argument from the Legal/Illegal argument above, but it is also dead on ballz accurate...

    As I said above, the Left would rather dig out their eyes with a dull spoon before they will give Bush credit for ANYTHING..

    Our own LD seems to be more Anti-Bush than I am Anti-Obama.. :D

    But the simple fact is, if the Left wants to crow about Obama's success in the CT area, then they HAVE to give credit to the man who developed the very CT policies that Obama is succeeding. And did so, I might add, despite appalling unpatriotic attacks and obstruction from the Left in general and Democrats in particular...

    Among other things, Bush's legacy will be that he was the father of CT policies that WORKED and that kept this country safe.

    Obama simply stood on the shoulders of Bush and has more success because Democrats AND the Left has given him a pass..

    Can you IMAGINE how the Left would have reacted if Bush had assassinated an American Citizen, stated he has the authority to so and then REFUSED to release ANY information on the justification??

    I mean, honestly! I understand partisan and ideological loyalty only too well...

    But THAT is just simply beyond the pail...

    See it?? It's right over there, just past the pail...

    yuk yuk yuk :D Sorry, couldn't resist.. :D

    Michale....

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the illegality argument doesn't hold water unless obama is held equally accountable for behaving even more illegally.

    I'd agree wholeheartedly with this. Michale, if this is indeed what you're arguing, I'm with you.

    -David

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the Left would rather dig out their eyes with a dull spoon before they will give Bush credit for ANYTHING.

    I give Bush credit for the financial collapse :)

    Ok, ok. Seriously though. Why would we want to give someone credit for terrible policies that led us into 2 wars. It's much more likely that we'd want to hold Obama accountable for continuing the same terrible policies.

    We are not discussing wars.. We are discussing Counter Terrorism operations, internationally and domestically.

    Both wars were justified(unrightly so) as counter terrorism ops. When you quit using terrorism as an excuse to go to war, I'll quit talking about it :)

    -David

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I give Bush credit for the financial collapse :)

    That's not credit, David. That's blame... :D

    Ok, ok. Seriously though. Why would we want to give someone credit for terrible policies that led us into 2 wars.

    We are not talking wars... We are talking Counter Terrorism..

    Both wars were justified(unrightly so) as counter terrorism ops.

    Bullshit. The were justified (rightly or wrongly) as our RESPONSE to terrorist attacks, but they were war.

    NOT Counter Terrorism..

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Bullshit. The were justified (rightly or wrongly) as our RESPONSE to terrorist attacks, but they were war.

    Iraq was a counter terrorism response. It was sold as preventing terrorism. It wasn't in response to anything.

    The nation of Afghanistan never attacked us either. We invaded to prevent terrorism.

    Iran also hasn't attacked. So the war you want with Iran would also be a counter terrorism response.

    Sorry, Michale. But using 'terrorism' to justify war has not proved the best of ideas.

    -David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I'd agree wholeheartedly with this. Michale, if this is indeed what you're arguing, I'm with you.

    Then why won't you hold Obama to the same accountability that you held Bush??

    For example, if you bitched and moaned 3 times a day during the Bush years about how Bush is shredding civil liberties and the Constitution, isn't it reasonable to expect that you would do the same for Obama for the same actions???

    Sorry, Michale. But using 'terrorism' to justify war has not proved the best of ideas.

    "There you go again..."
    -Ronald Reagan

    I understand ya'alls desperation to make this about the wars. I really do..

    Because, when it comes to Counter Terrorism only, you simply have NO argument to refute the fact that Obama = Bush.

    So if you would like to concede that point, then we can move on to the wars..

    But, it's really a non-argument, because Obama != Bush when it comes to that aspect..

    Although the facts clearly show that they have the same level of competence in that regard...

    But, like I said. Let's finish the CT argument before moving on..

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iraq was a counter terrorism response. It was sold as preventing terrorism. It wasn't in response to anything.

    Really??

    I seem to recall the Left screaming and whining that Saddam didn't have anything to do with 9/11...

    Did the Left just pull that out of their arses?? Or was that IN RESPONSE to the Bush Administration trying to claim that Iraq was in response to 9/11??

    Ya can't have it both ways... :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "Our own LD seems to be more Anti-Bush than I am Anti-Obama.. :D"

    I certainly hope so! As I'd like to think I'm as anti-Bush as its humanly possible to be anti anyone. Using a terrorist attack as an excuse for an invasion that pointlessly kills moreAmericans than the terrorists and shepard an administration that brings lying to a whole new level, even for a Republican administration! just strikes me as the kind of thing everyone should be severely "anti."

    And, Michale, what you purport to be "logic" is that the Iraq invasion, supposedly in response to terrorism, had nothing to do with counter terrorism, but was still legal? Because the constitution authorizes the CIC to kill thousands of troops and invade countries even when it has nothing to do with national security?!

    You also claim Bush deserves credit for Obama's successes when there is no evidence that its the Bush policies that are the basis for Obama's success. Since Bush couldn't begin to make them work, I have to believe that Obama must have changed policies to achieve success. Any similarities to Bush policies are irrelevant unless they're unique policies invented by Bush, such as, say, the indiscriminate mass torture of prisoners that may, or may not, have been combatants. Nor have I seen any proof that Obama is continuing those patently insane and patently illegal Bush policies. (Right-wing media notwithstanding. They have zero credibility.)

    In other words, the fact that Bush first tried and failed at policies that Obama succeeded with does not mean the Bush deserves any credit unless it can be shown that Bush was, in fact, somehow responsible for Obama's success. And having failed previously at the same thing doesn't qualify. Just because Obama uses soldiers to fight terrorism doesn't mean Bush get credit because he used soldiers first. Bush didn't invent the concept of using soldiers to defend national security. Its in the job description.

    I have repeatedly stated that if Obama is continuing the same illegal polices Bush instituted then those Obama policies are illegal, and yet, you persist in lying about Obama being given a free pass and only Bush being called criminal. You keep demanding that everyone else prove that Bush was a criminal while you simply get to claim Obama is a criminal, as if it were a fact, without having to prove a thing to anyone. In fact you seem to think you have the unique privilege of not have to substantiate any of your claims or to substantively rebut anyone else's. As if its to be presumed that anything you say is true unless proven otherwise, in which case, contrary proof, is ignored and the subject changed. Always a right-wing favorite.

  30. [30] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "I seem to recall the Left screaming and whining that Saddam didn't have anything to do with 9/11...

    Did the Left just pull that out of their arses?? Or was that IN RESPONSE to the Bush Administration trying to claim that Iraq was in response to 9/11??

    Ya can't have it both ways... :D"

    That, makes no sense. At. All.

    Saddam didn't have anything to do with 9/11 (fact.)
    Bush, however claimed he did (fact.)
    Bush took his claims to the UN to secure sanctions (fact.)
    Bush used UN sanctions as justification for invading (fact)
    Bush claimed invasion was "preemptive" to counter terrorism (fact.)

    The fact that your infamous "the Left" claimed Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 or terrorism had the virtue of being true and a fact. It is not, somehow, mutually exclusive with the fact that Bush invaded Iraq claiming it was an act of counter terrorism.

    As always, the one attempting to have it both ways, is Michale.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush, however claimed he did (fact.)

    Exactly...

    Bush initially tried to sell the story that Saddam had a hand in 9/11..

    Ergo, Iraq was IN RESPONSE to 9/11

    Which was what I told David when he said, "It (Iraq) wasn't in response to anything."

    if Obama is continuing the same illegal polices

    *IF*?????

    Really!???

    *IF*?????

    Of COURSE he is continuing Bush's policies.. He is even EXPANDING Bush's policies because Bush never assassinated an American citizen without trial or due process..

    That's the ENTIRE problem here.

    You don't even believe Obama is doing what he is doing...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, Michale, what you purport to be "logic" is that the Iraq invasion, supposedly in response to terrorism, had nothing to do with counter terrorism, but was still legal? Because the constitution authorizes the CIC to kill thousands of troops and invade countries even when it has nothing to do with national security?!

    The vast majority of DEMOCRATS believe it had everything to do with National Security...

    Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.....

    It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback..

    But when it was time to make the hard call, Bush made it and your Democrats backed it..

    So, why not save some of your vehemence and hatred for Democrats and not put it all on Bush...

    Just a thought... :D

    Michale...

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush didn't invent the concept of using soldiers to defend national security. Its in the job description.

    Once again, you are talking war..

    I am talking Counter Terrorism...

    Bush developed the policies that Obama wields so successfully..

    Ergo, BUSH get's the credit. Obama is simply playing follow the leader...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's as I said. Ya'all would rather gouge out your eyes than give Bush credit for anything.

    But the simple fact is, Obama owes ALL his success in Counter Terrorism to Bush.

    It's really THAT simple...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Then why won't you hold Obama to the same accountability that you held Bush?

    I do.

    The difference is that in order to change things to get rid of these terrible policies, you support the best people you can.

    Who is more likely to try to end these policies?

    Someone who is winding down wars? Or someone who wants to escalate?

    -David

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do.

    No, you don't...

    Holding Obama to the same accountability would mean you would complain about Obama as much as you complained about Bush..

    By ignoring it, you are giving tacit approval..

    Who is more likely to try to end these policies?

    Someone who is winding down wars? Or someone who wants to escalate?

    POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY

    Do you HONESTLY believe that someone who has wielded god-like powers of life and death over Americans have a world away will ever give UP that kind of power!???

    If you believe that, I have some swampland down here I would love to sell you.. :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know another area where Obama gets a pass....

    The TSA....

    Can you imagine the outcry from the Left if we had this TSA under a GOP government!???

    Public groping of genitalia... All But Nude scans of people....

    My gods the Left would revolt!!! There would be picketing and demonstrations and violence and riots!!!

    But, because it's Obama???

    {{ccchhhirrrrrrpppppppp}} {{chiiirrrrrrpppppp}}

    I guess it's OK that Obama does it, because a GOP POTUS would be MUCH worse.... :^/

    Michale

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