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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:42 PM
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A day of humiliation and futility for the Democratic Party
Not with a bang but a whimper

As the protest against Bush's certification fell flat and they rolled over for Gonzales, it was a day of humiliation and futility for Democrats.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Tim Grieve

Jan. 7, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- For an hour or so Thursday morning, Alberto Gonzales had played a lawyerly game of Slip 'n' Slide with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That 2002 memo in which he called portions of the Geneva Convention "quaint" and "obsolete"? Gonzales disavowed it. His view of the president's powers during wartime? A "hypothetical" question that Gonzales wouldn't answer. The legal opinion that seemed to authorize torture by U.S. troops? Gonzales said he couldn't remember who asked for it, then blamed the Department of Justice for the conclusions it reached.

Democratic Sen. Joe Biden sat quietly, listening to it all. On another day, in another political reality, he might have been watching a presidential nominee self-destruct. The man who would be attorney general was coming off as evasive, as ill-prepared, as unwilling to accept responsibility for anything that happened on his watch as George W. Bush's White House counsel. But when Biden finally had his chance to put a question to Gonzales, he delivered this clear message instead: "You're going to be confirmed."


The protest put a hold on the vote certification so that each house could retire to its respective chamber for debate and a vote on the issue. But Boxer -- or anyone else who thought the protest would lead to serious discussion of election reform -- must have been disappointed by the sorry spectacle that followed. There was no sense of history being made, no sense that anything was really happening at all. Although a few hundred people protested in the drizzle across the street from the Capitol, the visitor galleries in the Senate were mostly empty. Fewer than a dozen senators showed up for the debate, and only the ones who spoke -- among them, Hillary Rodham Clinton and, in his first floor speech, Barack Obama -- seemed to take it seriously. As Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin made an impassioned plea for a bipartisan effort to improve the electoral system, Dick Cheney and Sen. Rick Santorum sat slumped in a couple of chairs on the edge of the Senate floor, talking and laughing. They weren't listening. With solid majorities in both houses, they didn't have to.


But even the most aggressive questioners were left looking a little pathetic. At one point Thursday afternoon, Ted Kennedy was reduced to begging Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter for all of 15 minutes to question Gonzales about issues like immigration and civil rights.

And after assuring Gonzales that his confirmation was in the bag, Joe Biden found himself groveling before the nominee, calling him the "real deal" -- remember when they said that about John Kerry? -- even as he pleaded with him to tell the truth about something. "We're looking for candor, old buddy," Biden told Gonzales Thursday morning. "We're looking for you, when we ask you a question, to give us an answer, which you haven't done yet. I love you, but you're not being very candid so far."

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Vektor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:45 PM
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1. Call it what you want...
I hardly felt defeated and humiliated. Sure, Gonzo blows the big one, but Barbara Boxer standing up was a moment of pride and happiness for many Dems.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. And it was a damn shame it was just a few Democrats who stood up
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 03:50 PM by Selatius
The rest didn't even bother to show up to even talk over the issue. They just went back to their offices to wait for them to stop talking so that they could vote to confirm the electors. While I'm proud of people who did stand up to be counted, I cannot say the same for others who never bothered at all.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:52 PM
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3. They didn't just roll over, they bent over, and said, "May I have one more
sir, Please?"
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patdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Locking..this is a dupe
Go here to continue the conversation:
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