Wednesday, September 19, 2007



Despite what the Post says, Phil English is not a moderate-- not in his politics or in his lifestyle

I'm not certain if the Senate is going to wind up voting today on the Webb Amendment or not. I just saw Senator Webb on CNN rip into John McCain's craven and love the war/hate the troops stand. In a way it was kind of embarrassing because it highlighted McCain's incipient senility and unfitness for office-- not just for the presidency he craves to desperately, but for the Senate as well. The poor old geezer really needs to retire and get some rest and sunshine into his dark, dark life. He called Webb's amendment unconstitutional, claiming "The Constitution of the United States gives no authority for the Congress of the United States to set lengths of tour or lengths of duty in the military." It's probably been a while since he's bothered to read it-- especially since his party has completely abandoned it. But, as Webb pointed out a few minutes ago:
Well, first of all, Sen. McCain, who I’ve known for 30 years, needs to read the Constitution. There is a provision in Article I, Section 8, which clearly gives the Congress the authority to make rules with respect to the ground and naval forces. There’s precedent for this.

Think Progress has the video of Webb being interviewed by a contentious Fox hack who now does the talking head thing at CNN. She wasn't happy-- and tried to shut him down-- when Webb said "This administration can no longer be believed when it's talking about policy in Iraq."

And according to this morning's Hill Reid and Webb are getting closer to the 60 votes they need to overcome McConnell's obstructionist filibuster. "Four new Senate Republicans signaled Tuesday that they may vote for a Democratic amendment aimed at giving U.S. troops in Iraq more time at home between deployments, helping Democrats inch closer to a rare victory on the conduct of the Iraq war."

Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a 100% Bush tool and rubber stamp on Iraq, has to face the voters next year and he's been sending out press releases about how moderate he is. Today he said he's "studying" Webb's amendment. Pigs will fly first before Lamar Alexander breaks with Bush. The other Republicans the Democrats are counting on are George Voinovich of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, all three of whom also have unwavering records as rubber stamps. And as Digby mentioned yesterday, "the best thing about the grey eminence John Warner finally leaving the Senate is that he will no longer be around to play Lucy pulling the football away from the Democrats at the last minute any more." If we have to count on him, every one of our soldiers there will be dead before they're brought home.

This morning's Washington Post tries talking about GOP "moderates" balancing loyalty to Bush against political loyalties. The concept is fraught with distortion and error. The "moderates" may call themselves "moderates" but had Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray done their homework at looked at how the "GOP moderates" have voted on the dozens of roll calls pertaining to Iraq, they would have noticed that, despite the press releases and the compliant, easily manipulated press, these members of Congress are anything but moderate.
With a difficult war debate looming and presidential vetoes for a host of popular legislation threatened, moderate Republicans in Congress are facing a tough choice: Stand by President Bush or run for their political lives.

That's because even if members of Congress like Senators John Sununu (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Pete "Sneaky Pete" Domenici (R-NM), and John Warner (R-VA) and dozens of House members like Phil English (R-PA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Mary Bono (R-CA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Chris Shays (R-CT), Randy Kuhl (R-NY), Jon Porter (R-NV), James Walsh (R-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Heather Wilson (R-NM), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Peter King (R-NY), Bill Young (R-FL), Vito Fossella (R-NY) want to claim to be moderates-- like their constituents-- their voting records all have something in common: each and every one of them has been a Bush-Cheney rubber stamp on the entire Iraq agenda. But you would never, never, never guess that from reading the Washington Post. The Post and other Insider-the-Beltway establishmentarian media outlets have decided, arbitrarily, to refer to them as "moderates." In today's piece of puffery they single out Pennsylvania's Phil English, who is in a toss-up congressional district trending away from Bushism. Although the two Post writers certainly never bothered to look at it, English's voting record is very clear. He voted on 53 roll calls concerning Iraq. He differed from Cheney exactly once-- this year, when it became obvious that voters in his district were furious about being represented by a rubber stamp. Since that one vote he has reverted to form and has taken the Cheney position on the 7 subsequent Iraq-related roll calls. But without mentioning the way he votes Murray and Weisman make him sound like a reasonable "moderate."
Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.), who has been exploring bipartisan accommodations, especially on Iraq, complained yesterday that, for all their talk of bipartisanship, the "House Democratic leadership has not reached out to us at all."

Maybe they'll do a follow up and explain how exactly English is exploring bipartisan accommodation. I'd love to know. Maybe he discusses it with the young boys he picks up late at night when Post reporters are fast asleep.


Taylor Marsh was reading a different part of the Post this morning. While they were writing misleading headlines to make radical right Republican rubber stamps seem like reasonable statesmen, they were also smearing Democrats on another page.

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At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: The Bush presidency is more like:

A. The Hindenburg

B. The Titanic

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The same reason they talk about the "moderates" on the Supreme Court: Because the corporate media is a bunch of lying sacks of shit.


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