Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 24, 2006

Depressing State of Affairs

Something must have hit me - I agree with National Review. At the Corner Kathryn Lopez posts the transcript of an interview the Philadelphia Inquirer had with Democratic Senate candidate Casey.

She says:

All that's pretty clear here is that it's a deeply depressing state of affairs when this man could be elected to the United States Senate ...

I agree. Here is part of the interview:

Interviewer:  Well, it might have been misreported this morning, but it certainly seemed to me as if you were endorsing the NSA program which is warrant less wiretapping without court oversight.

Casey:  Well, I think, look, my position all along has been you've got to have the ability to wiretap known or suspected terrorists, and I am going to make sure that everything I do in this area is focused on anti terrorism and making sure that we are being as tough as possible to ferret out any kind of plot or and kind of terrorist activity.

Interviewer:  Bob, it's real simple, and it seems to me you are dancing around it.  Either you believe that the President or his designees need to go to the FISA court and provide some probable cause for the wiretapping, or you don't.  They say they don't.  They say they can do it on their own say so and there's no oversight of whether the person they're wiretapping is actually credibly a terrorist suspect or not.  That's the issue.  Do they have to go through the FISA court or not?  Nobody's debating that we need to wiretap suspected terrorists.

Casey:  You know very well that Senator Specter has worked very hard on this to try to get this right and I think with bi-partisan cooperation, working with people like Senator Specter, as I know I can, that we can get this right. I don't, I don't, I don't see what the...

Interviewer:  It's a real simple question. Do they need to go through the FISA Court as the FISA law has said since 1973 or don't they? They say they don't. We say they do. What do you say?

Casey:  I think it's worked well.

Interviewer:  What has worked well?

Casey:  I think it's worked well when you use that system and you use it in the context of making sure that we are doing everything possible to, to...

Interviewer:  So, are you saying that the president has been breaking the law since 2002, or whenever the NSA program started?

Casey:  I'm saying that people like Senator Specter have a lot of questions about whether or not the law was broken.  I don't think anyone has made a determination about that.  I think that's pretty clear.

Yukk

Posted by b on October 24, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

Comments

You want depressing? How about this:

Likening the times to the late 1930s as Nazi Germany was rising to power, Sen. Rick Santorum said last night that if he loses his re-election bid, it could set the stage for terrorism to become more of a threat than the Nazis ever were.

And remember, this man ALREADY HAS been elected to the U.S. Senate. Twice.

Posted by: billmon | Oct 24, 2006 2:40:04 PM | 1

@billmon - reading that, I'll have to expand on the statement:

All that's pretty clear here is that it's a deeply depressing state of affairs when this man could be VOTED to the United States Senate ...


Who the f... is voting for such idiots?

Posted by: b | Oct 24, 2006 2:57:14 PM | 2

I'm still not entirely certain what the difference between Santorum and Casey, other than Santorum is outrageously awful and Casey is run-of-the-mill awful. But in terms of positions on issues....?

Posted by: Rowan | Oct 24, 2006 5:08:40 PM | 3

If you want to know just how depressing the state of politics is in the US, watch this ad which the Republicans are running in Tennesse against Harold Ford, the African-American Democratic candidate. This is about the most disgusting thing I think I've ever seen in politics in this country -- not only because it is blatantly racist but also because I doubt it has any basis in reality -- it is pure slander. Not to mention that it has zero to do with any issue. But you really have to watch it to grasp how low we have sunk.

Scroll down a bit to the "Is Ken Mehlman kidding?" entry on this blog (TPM) and then view the ad on YouTube.

Total sleaze advertising

Also in Massachusetts I heard from friends that they ran an awful ad against the democratic challenger Deval Patrick (also an African-American, very charismatic and articulate, who is heavily favored to win against the Republican candidate, white female Lieutenant Governor Healey; both are running for the first time competing to replace Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican). The ad apparently dug up the secret fact that Patrick's brother's wife had charged him (the brother, mind you, NOT the candidate!) with rape 15 years ago... an incident that has long since been resolved between them (as I understand it, they are now happily married) and had nothing whatsoever to do with the candidate. So why not just drag that up and throw in in the faces of their unsuspecting children, etc... eh? Surely that WILL win the election...

There is nothing that is too low for them to try.

Posted by: Bea | Oct 24, 2006 5:57:57 PM | 4

Well, this is an alas quite common leftist disease in Western nations. Either they don't want to win, either they're too fucking stupid to want to rule and keep the lead.

The only realistic, reasonable, legitimate and defensible thing to do once a more-or-less left/progressive coalition or party wins is to go at the throat of the right and to utterly annihilate it so that its putrid body won't be able to rise again for many decades.
This means letting loose the judges, making every fucking elected - now or once - right-wing fair game. Sue them, put them on trial for corruption, jail them for years. Send the investigators against all the major corporations who backed and paid the right, so that the whole economic basis of the right is crippled for the rest of the century.
A leftist who just wants to be elected for the sake of it and doesn't deeply and truly want to see the entire right-wing compromised, jailed, destroyed, and wiped out of the surface of the Earth just doesn't deserve to be elected. As far as I'm concerned, he probably doesn't even deserve to be considered leftist or even progressive.

This is fucking war, and the most successful guys in war were Mongols. When faced with opposition, they simply took no prisoner. It's time the Dems stopped fighting the GOP as if they were in some childish sandbox, and at long last decide that the only worthy goal in US politics is to bury DC under pyramids of GOPers' skulls. Figuratively or not, depending on your point of view.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 24, 2006 6:25:59 PM | 5

"Who the f... is voting for such idiots?"

I was going to say the same kind of people who voted for Helmut Kohl or Gerhard Schroeder, but Kohl and Schroeder were giants among men compared to the kind of twerps the voters here in God's Country seem to favor.

Posted by: billmon | Oct 24, 2006 6:57:54 PM | 6

Bea,

Yeah, totally rotten. But technically brilliant. She has only two lines and is on camera for maybe a total of 5 sec. But it's the only thing you remember about the ad. The other stuff is just filler.

Any sensible person wondered just how many rural folks in TN will get in the voting booth and just not be able to vote for a black man, no matter what they tell pollsters. Evidently this occurred to the Republicans, because the ad says that Harold Ford is an uppity colored boy who likes to hit on white women. They don't mind any hard feelings this produces among Ford supperters as long is it swings a crucial percentage of crackers.

Posted by: Roger Bigod | Oct 24, 2006 7:10:25 PM | 7

well, there you go. how many more times will we be reminded the general elections offer few choices to "the left"?

I empathize with uncle's recent admonitions that a vote means more in the long run among leftists if it is cast for republicans, because it is the republicans who must be the indisputable authors of a fucked up world. and, so the admonition goes, the transparency of fuckups possessed by the right will compel the dipshit electorate to seek real political alternatives to neofascism.

but, I'm so sick of the ignorant/arrogant republicans and their sycophantic white voters that I'm going to vote democrat; shit, I even put signs up in my yard. a defeat for republicans will crack their fragile eggshell minds, even though a dem "victory" is really a victory for rightwing assholes. the republicans win by losing.

not saying it'll happen, what with the closing margins, it appears the dems won't get the house. but, it'd be nice to just have one week or so when the rightwing feels it has lost its grip on history. just one week.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 24, 2006 8:23:29 PM | 8

I even put signs up in my yard

i can't believe i'm hearing this, did i wake up in the wrong bar?

Posted by: annie | Oct 24, 2006 8:31:33 PM | 9

well, there you go. . . . it'd be nice to just have one week or so when the rightwing feels it has lost its grip on history.

slothrop, Welcome to the "holding your nose" crowd!

Posted by: small coke | Oct 24, 2006 8:39:31 PM | 10

personally, i don't think ads like that really sway elections, just give the pretense they will and do. the rethugs have to be able to point to something as the reason for their bounce back after they steal the election. the possible iran attack, the escalation of troops in iraq, these will fill the msm after the election to drown out the noise of election fraud.

Posted by: annie | Oct 24, 2006 8:40:25 PM | 11

not to mention the sentencing of saddam hussein on nov. 5. why is no one but tom englehardt at the nation writing about this? i know, rhetorical question. slothrop, please don't bring the signs in, write a letter to the editor about your decision to put the signs out and ask this question. i don't have a yard, but i'll do the same here with my windows and my pen.

Posted by: conchita | Oct 24, 2006 8:52:05 PM | 12

well, annie, a caveat to my heroic political demonstration: I live on a blue island in a red sea of redneck stupidity. buyt, my signs piss oif the visiting relatives.

btw. just occurs to me. I have no rightwing friends. I'm happy to say I have many friends, fortunately. but no rightwing friends. I used to have several; mostly folks I knew from the old days when I was a mine worker and in the construction business. but, bush changed all that.

funny how things change. I really hate republicans.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 24, 2006 8:52:57 PM | 13

anyone else hearing stuff about camp falcon. i received what i think was my fifth email today about it. not sure there is a credible source out there yet. anyone know?

Posted by: conchita | Oct 24, 2006 8:57:29 PM | 14

whoops meant to post 14 on another thread.

Posted by: conchita | Oct 24, 2006 8:58:24 PM | 15

well, thanx to john francis lee on another thread, after reading http://www.counterpunch.org/walsh10242006.html>this, I may as well yank my signs.

it's best the dems are humiliated, again. I'm not as bold as uncle, though. but brave enough to vote for my socialists.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 24, 2006 10:06:01 PM | 16

the latest issue of swans has a number of essays on the nov elections & a general message to vote on the issues & your conscious, not against someone.

that ad was aimed at ford, not the public. i'm sure he understood the message right away.

Posted by: b real | Oct 24, 2006 10:21:07 PM | 17

and it looks like there's no end soon to the crisis of ideological homology masquerading as political "visions" among republican and democrat, now that hilary's establishment treasury assures her nomination. the "left" is now marginalized more obviously than ever from political discourse. I stupidly believed gore might enter the fray, which appears exceedingly unlikely. at least gore gives the "left" the mirage of political leadership rhetorically aware of the madness of globalism, without the possibility of meaningful action. clinton will only deliver the left 8 more years of guliani, or gods help us, mccain.

naw, uncle you are right, and I was momentarily seduced by the promise of ephemeral schadenfreude. it's more exhilirating to watch the political wolves eat the bleating sheep. and hopeful too, as the contradictions of power exhaust the supply of legitimations. just as well get it over as quickly as possible.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 24, 2006 10:35:25 PM | 18

Failure of the thugs in Nov, even in just the house will at least throttle the neo-con agenda -- putting the realist(s) back in the foreign policy drivers seat. Theres also a good chance the fragile alliance between the fundies, the paleo's, the libertarians and the isolationists -- and the party -- will explode. Realistically, thats about the best I can hope for, so I'll probably vote for Maria Cantwell (whom I hate) instead of Aaron Dixon (the GP guy whom I like).

Maybe if the Democrats do really well, and the Republicans become really fractured -- we might get to see them -- entertain voting democrat next time, because they can no longer believe or rust their canadates. This goes both ways, you know.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 24, 2006 10:55:21 PM | 19

its hard to do it with the likes of pelosi and rahm, but can't bring myself to vote for a republican unless its ron paul.

Posted by: conchita | Oct 24, 2006 11:19:42 PM | 20

@slothrop re:#'s 16 & 18

Welcome aboard, slothrop unless, infact you are being flipant. Only thing that burns me about the internets, is not being able to decode nuances readily. Ever play tug-o-war when you were a kid? Sometimes, the way to win is to let go and hope the bully team hurts themselves...

Not a good strategy, of course, but when your back is against the wall, and the situation is quite dire, it's better than wearing yourself out. As my aikido sensei use to say, "when people want to pull you down, they are sick, and a sick person needs help to lay down..."

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 25, 2006 1:05:25 AM | 21

I’ve agreed with Uncle Scam about this before.

But, it is also hard to figure.

First, do the votes really count? They aren’t counted properly, that is certain. Both parties do vote fraud of various types (which is why, I suppose, the Dems are never too keen on bringing this issue up?), but the Republicans do more, and are more vicious and blatant. The complicit or bought media smoothes it all over. It is widely stated that the last two presidential elections were stolen, and without going into my personal opinion, it is certainly, err, overall, credible, if one digs in a bit. What has changed since? Why should anything be different now? Can one trust the Gvmt. voting apparatus? The answer to that is NO.

Second, are the Democrats different from the Republicans in fundamental ways? There are two possible answers, and this a bit tired....:

1) the two party system is a scam perpetrated on the people to convince them they have a choice and are living in a ‘democracy’ - in which case a Demo win is but putting a new PR face on a consistent, long standing policy - some toasted crumbs about gay marriage or medicare etc. will be scattered about, fights will be fought, winners will emerge, but nothing will change;

2) important differences do exist - even if they are not very visible - and these concern issues important to Americans, and the future of America. What might these be? De-industrialisation? Growing poverty? Immigration policy? A non performing and expensive health care system? On the surface, yes, these are important. What would the Dems do to ensure that life expectancy in the US rises? Etc.

Foreign policy, which is energy policy? Would the Dems withdraw from Iraq? Really do it? I doubt it. And if they did, would that action not have been taken by the Republicans at the same point in time?

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 25, 2006 12:03:59 PM | 22

uncle

not flippant. just really sick of republicans and ersatz repuiblicans. and the war is driving me crazy.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 25, 2006 12:44:50 PM | 23

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