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Hippo_Tron's Journal - Archives
Posted by Hippo_Tron in General Discussion: Presidency
Mon Dec 05th 2011, 10:28 PM
Will be spreading around South Carolina pretty shortly thereafter. Just a hunch, though...
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Posted by Hippo_Tron in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Jun 29th 2009, 10:22 PM
My wifes sex life, and my daughter-in-laws sex life with Experimentation and Espionage Exploitation sex killing, I'm going to have to vote for all three.
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Posted by Hippo_Tron in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Oct 22nd 2008, 11:54 AM


I think this is sufficient proof that we should never question John McCain, a former POW, ever again.
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Posted by Hippo_Tron in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Oct 24th 2007, 03:23 PM
I should have written this over a year ago during the Alito confirmation but it came back to my head today with the failed filibuster of Bush's most recent appeals court nominee.

During the debates over the "nuclear option" and the subsequent Roberts and Alito confirmations there was discussion of how the only filibuster of a nominee to the SCOTUS was Abe Fortas in 1968. There were ethical reasons behind this filibuster but some argue that the filibuster was really about whether or not he was too liberal. The problem with this argument is that it misses the big picture.

Democrats need to stop pretending that it's 1968 and realize that it's 2007. The days where all well qualified judges get confirmed regardless of ideology have long since passed. Since the Nixon Administration the right wing has been working to do everything in their power to spread their ideology onto the court. This has progressively intensified with Roe v Wade, the rise of the religious right, Reagan's election, the election of the Republican Congress in '94, and of course appointment of George W Bush to the presidency.

Now you may hear the argument, "But wait, the Republicans let Clinton confirm Ginsburg and Breyer." Yes they did, but Clinton had to compromise to even get to that point. For one, Ginsburg and Breyer aren't as liberal as Marshall, Brennan, or Blackburn were. Secondly, while Ginsburg is more liberal than the moderate Byron White that she replaced, she was 60 when she was confirmed. Had she been 50, the GOP would not have allowed it. I should note that the Republicans were in the minority when both of these justices were confirmed. Breyer is arguably not as liberal as his predecessor, Justice Blackburn.

With the death of William Rehnquist, a conservative, and the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate (by today's standards anyway), Bush was in much the same situation as Clinton was in terms of appointing new justices. But because the Democrats were somehow under the illusion that we still live in the days where the Senate always confirms well qualified people, Bush got exactly what he wanted without any compromise: Two young right wing justices. He replaced the conservative Rehnquist with the even more conservative Roberts and the moderate O'Connor with the right wing idealouge Alito. Roberts was 50 when he was confirmed and Alito was 55.

I'm not saying that Democrats could have forced Bush to appoint someone who wasn't conservative. But they certainly could have forced Bush to nominate justices who are less ideological than Alito and Roberts. Instead they argued that "If we filibuster their nominees based on ideology they will do it to ours when we control the White House."

What they don't seem to understand is that the Republicans will do this anyway. Maybe we would be better off if we did return to the days where we confirmed justices based on qualifications alone. But extending a hand of bipartisanship to Republicans isn't going to make that happen. Even if some Republican senators seem like they would like to return to this system, it will never happen. The religious right simply has too much sway in the Republican Party. Even if some senators want to confirm liberal justices in the spirit of bipartisanship, religious right will squeeze them by the balls until they cave to their will.

The fact is that the right wing has decided to use any means necessary to spread their ideology onto the Supreme Court and lower courts. As much as Democrats may not like it, the only option available to stop them from doing this is to counter with any means necessary. Trying to reason with unreasonable people simply does not work.

*Edited for grammatical errors
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Posted by Hippo_Tron in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Jul 26th 2006, 07:24 PM
Why Senator Lieberman Lost My Support

By Hippo_Tron


About two months ago, I was discussing politics with my father. Both of us are loyal Democrats, so usually there isn't much arguing. It's always about whether we think that the Democrats can win the next election. My father said to me, "If the Democrats want to win the midterms, they should promise to withdraw from Iraq within six months if they win back congress." I said, "Come on, you know that's never going to happen. Especially with people like Joe Lieberman around, there will never be such a bold party stance on Iraq." My father replied, "Well maybe Lieberman needs to be challenged in the primary." I said, "Well dad, as a matter of fact he is being challenged in the primary."

It was then that I proceeded to tell my father about Ned Lamont. At the time, Lamont was just rising from obscurity and campaigning hard to overcome his lack of name recognition. Two months later and Lamont is polling ahead of Senator Lieberman in the August 8th primary.

Also since then, something else very critical has happened. The Senate voted on the Kerry-Feingold amendment. Clearly that vote shows that Lieberman or no Lieberman, the democratic party isn't willing to set a date for withdrawal. But on that same day the Senate Democrats overwhelmingly supported the Levin Amendment.

While not as the Kerry Amendment, the Levin Amendment clearly showed that Democrats support forcing the Bush administration to start changing its Iraq policy. Now to be fair, Senator Lieberman was joined by four other Democrats in dissenting on the Levin Amendment. But lets be honest. Except for people from their states or political junkies, nobody knows or cares about who Mark Pryor, Ben Nelson, and Bill Nelson are. And while Senator Mary Landrieu has some national recognition, people are generally only concerned with her when it comes to issues regarding Hurricane Katrina.

But Senator Lieberman is different. He is different because the second that Al Gore put him on the ticket in 2000, he received national recognition. People all over the country know who Joe Lieberman is. His is one of the most well known Democrats along with people like John Kerry, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama.

And here lies the reason that I first decided to support Ned Lamont. It's not just that Senator Lieberman supports the Iraq War and Ned Lamont doesn't. If it were just that, I wouldn't really have a problem with him and frankly I don't think that so many Democratic voters in Connecticut would either. Senator Cantwell, who also supports a “stay the course” strategy in Iraq, had a primary challenger named Mark Wilson. Wilson ran against Cantwell largely on her support for the continued occupation of Iraq. Wilson's campaign failed miserably and he is now endorsing Senator Cantwell.

Now I will admit that Lamont has two things going for him that Wilson didn't. One, he has personal wealth two spend on his campaign. Two, Connecticut is a very blue state in contrast to the more purple Washington. That said, a blue state and personal finances don't make a candidate go from barely polling in double digits to 51%.

So what is the difference between Senator Cantwell and Senator Lieberman? Senator Lieberman hogs media attention and uses it to undermine the majority of Democrats who want serious changes in Iraq. While Senator Cantwell doesn't support serious changes in Iraq, nobody outside of Washington State and the blogosphere knows or cares because she isn't a national figure and isn't on Meet The Press and This Week every other Sunday telling Democrats to line up with Bush.

I'm okay with Senator Lieberman being in the Democratic Party. But I'm not okay with him using his national recognition to undermine the majority of the Democratic Party and the majority of the country on the most important issue in this upcoming election. Chairman Dean, Congresswoman Pelosi, and Senator Reid have all been elected to speak for the party and they are calling for a new direction in Iraq. Senator Lieberman has clearly shown that he could care less what our party leaders have to say by making statements such as, "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

Now on to my second major problem with Senator Lieberman: his decision to run as an independent. I'm not saying that Senator Lieberman doesn't have a right to run as an independent. He has every right under the law to do so. However, his decision to do so gives me much reason to question his loyalty to the Democratic Party. Furthermore, he himself has said that not voting for the Democratic nominee is a wasted vote, this of course in reference to Ralph Nader.

What really infuriates me is that Senator Lieberman acts like primary challenges haven't happened in the past and that this is just a crazy "jihad" from the blogosphere. Senator Schummer, chairman of the DSCC, seems to also have adopted the attitude that primaries are completely unprecedented and that he has to seriously consider what to do in this situation. Well I have some news for Senator Schummer: primaries are NOT unprecedented. Here's a list of Senate incumbents being unseated in primary races going back to 1962, from Ken Rudin's article "Can Lieberman Survive the Primary".

2002: Bob Smith (R-NH) – lost to John Sununu (GOP retained seat in November)
1996: Sheila Frahm (R-KS)* - lost to Sam Brownback (GOP retained seat)
1992: Alan Dixon (D-IL) – lost to Carol Moseley Braun (Dems retained seat)
1980: Donald Stewart (D-AL) – lost to Jim Folsom Jr. (GOP picked up seat); Mike Gravel (D-AK) – lost to Clark Gruening (GOP picked up seat); Dick Stone (D-FL) – lost to Bill Gunter (GOP picked up seat); Jacob Javits (R-NY) – lost to Al D'Amato (GOP retained seat)
1978: Maryon Allen (D-AL)* - lost to Donald Stewart (Dems retained seat); Paul Hatfield (D-MT)*; lost to Max Baucus (Dems retained seat); Clifford Case (R-NJ) – lost to Jeffrey Bell (Dems picked up seat)
1974: J. W. Fulbright (D-AR) – lost to Dale Bumpers (Dems retained seat); Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH)* - lost to John Glenn (Dems retained seat)
1972: David Gambrell (D-GA)* - lost to Sam Nunn (Dems retained seat); B. Everett Jordan (D-NC) – lost to Nick Galifianakis (GOP picked up seat)
1970: Ralph Yarborough (D-TX) – lost to Lloyd Bentsen (Dems retained seat)
1968: Ernest Gruening (D-AK) – lost to Mike Gravel (Dems retained seat); Thomas Kuchel (R-CA) – lost to Max Rafferty (Dems picked up seat); Edward Long (D-MO) – lost to Thomas Eagleton (Dems retained seat); Frank Lausche (D-OH) – lost to John Gilligan (GOP picked up seat)
1966: Donald Russell (D-SC)* - lost to Ernest Hollings (Dems retained seat); Ross Bass (D-TN) – lost to Frank Clement (GOP picked up seat); A. Willis Robertson (D-VA) – lost to William Spong (Dems retained seat)
1964: J. Howard Edmondson (D-OK)* – lost to Fred Harris (Dems retained seat)
1962: Maurice Murphy (R-NH)* - lost to Perkins Bass (Dems picked up seat)

In fact, it goes back even further than that. President Roosevelt attempted to unseat Southern Democrats in primary races in the 1938 midterm elections because they would not support his New Deal policies.

Since primary challenges have happened in so many instances in the past, this really should be a no-brainer for Senator Schummer. You respect the will of the primary voters and support the Democratic nominee in the general election. That is the way that it has always been done.

I want to touch on one of these primary races listed above, because I think it is very relevant to the Lieberman/Lamont race. In 1992 Senator Alan Dixon (D-IL) lost his the primary to Carol Moseley-Braun. Moseley-Braun along with fellow challenger Al Hofeld attacked Senator Dixon mostly on one issue and that was his vote to confirm Clarence Thomas. This is similar to how Lamont is mainly attacking Lieberman on one big issue and that is his support for the Iraq War. However, there was thing that was quite different in the Illinois primary than there is in the Connecticut primary.

When Senator Dixon lost he didn't bolt the party and run as an independent or complain that there was a left wing jihad against him. He endorsed Carol Moseley-Braun and gave a gracious concession speech, saying, "I spent a lifetime in Democratic politics, and I spent that lifetime in Democratic politics playing by the rules. . . . And I said in this primary campaign that I would support the winner, that I would endorse the winner, and that I would vote for the winner. . . . I accept that result just as fully as I accepted 29 good results for Alan Dixon in the past."

Yes, there was definitely something very different with that primary race than there is with this one. Alan Dixon had class. Joe Lieberman doesn't.
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