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David Broder is now writing comedy

David Broder is the elder statesman of the political pundits and has been doing for over four decades. He is in essence not just a Washington reporter, but the Washington reporter. So what he writes really reflects the thoughts and feeling of the mainstream media. Broder has a column in tomorrow’s Washington Post (available now on-line), on a potential match in the Delaware Senate race. Why do we care? Broder tells us why we should care, “As Democrats from Connecticut to Colorado struggle to hold on to their filibuster-proof 60-seat margin…”

I love when pundits talk about the Democratic 60 seat majority as a voting block in the Senate. It just proves that they believe that we, the American people, are all watching the latest with Jon and Kate. (BTW, did you know that Jon is being sued? TLC is suing him for being a moron. Seriously.) Anyone who is following politics even just a little bit would know that Democrats have almost never voted as a block on any major issue. Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders in the Senate are trying to figure out how to get the health care bill through the Senate without a filibuster. They are facing the same problem that they have had since January: all Democrats don’t think or act alike. This is the Big Tent Party. We have Blue Dogs, environmental guys and military folks. We have mainstream capitalists and those folks who believe the state should provide a free education to everyone. What world is Broder living in? The Democratic party has always been this way. It was Democrats that gave President Carter the most trouble.

Finally, I don’t know what polls Broder is looking at but he states that “The early polls on a possible Castle-Biden race give the Republican double-digit leads.” Sweet. Just a couple of points. First, I don’t think that Beau Biden (30 years younger than Mike Castle) has announced that he is running. Beau Biden (son of Vice President Joe Biden) has a great family name and has been attorney general. Also, Biden has been deployed to Iraq with the Delaware National Guard. The latest poll that I can find shows Castle-Biden in a statistically even race (46-45).

By |2009-10-17T15:16:27-04:00October 17th, 2009|Media, Party Politics|Comments Off on David Broder is now writing comedy

Today's Political Scene Has Passed By Broder

Thankfully, we have left the era of Reagan and have started something completely new.  I don’t think that it is the New Deal either.  I think that this is a new progressivism.  I might be wrong, but I do know that the era of corporatists is over.  David Broder has yet to notice that America has changed.  The Political Animal has more:

If I had a dollar for every time David Broder has spoken up to defend the virtues of “bipartisanship,” I could retire a wealthy man. And sure enough, Broder’s latest column is devoted to encouraging the Obama White House to “enlist Republican support” for the administration’s agenda.

Imagine that.

As part of his case, however, Broder takes note of the newest member of the Senate.

[Al] Franken, the loud-mouthed former comedian, will be the 60th member of the Senate Democratic caucus — just enough for them to cut off any filibuster threat if they can muster all their members.

There’s been a lot of conservative and establishment criticism of Sen.-Elect Franken this week, so I guess it’s to be expected that Broder would use derisive language and dismiss him as a “loud-mouthed former comedian.” That said, Paul Krugman’s response is well worth reading.

First, implicit in this characterization of Franken is the notion of the Senate as a decorous gentlemen’s club. I doubt that club ever existed in reality; but in any case, these days the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body is, not to put too fine a point on it, chock full o’ nuts. James Inhofe: I rest my case.

Second, Al Franken’s dirty secret is that … he’s a big policy wonk.

I used to go on Franken’s radio show, all ready to be jocular — and what he wanted to talk about was the arithmetic of Social Security, or the structure of Medicare Part D…. [W]hat will Franken do to the level of Senate discourse? He’ll raise it.

And Broder appreciates officials who raise the level of discourse in American politics, right?

By |2009-07-05T18:52:39-04:00July 5th, 2009|Media, Party Politics|Comments Off on Today's Political Scene Has Passed By Broder

Linda Monk: No Torture. It's the Law.

lyndie england

Lyndie England

Linda Monk is a Constitutional scholar and frequent guest on my show. She wrote a great op-ed in the Washington Post refuting a clueless column by David Broder. Linda Monk eloquently argues that David Broder has lost his senses and that torture is wrong for a number of reasons.This is a must read.

From WaPo:

Not ‘Scapegoating,’ Simply Justice

It is dismaying that a man of David S. Broder’s wisdom and integrity would imply that a president is above the law [“Stop Scapegoating,” op-ed, April 26]. We did not accept that argument for Richard Nixon, and neither should we for George W. Bush or Barack Obama. The main job description of the president is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” He does not have the discretion to turn his back on massive violations of the law.

The Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture are, under the Constitution, “the supreme law of the land” and require signatories to prosecute those who commit torture. Ronald Reagan endorsed the U.N. convention against torture enthusiastically, and our highest military officers support those standards. Lawyers, too, take an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States” in their government service as well as in their admission to the bar. If anyone should be accountable for upholding legal standards, it is the lawyers in the Justice Department who are sworn to enforce the law, not just for their boss the president but for the American people, whom they represent. Those torture memos were not mere intellectual debates by academics; they were legal opinions rendered by practicing lawyers who are subject to the standards of the profession. It is just as illegal to advise someone to commit an unlawful act as it is to commit one.

The real scapegoats in this ugly scenario are soldiers such as then-Pvt. Lynndie R. England, who went to prison in 2005 for her role in the Abu Ghraib scandal, although, according to her lawyer, she suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome resulting in a below-average IQ. Now it is clear that Abu Ghraib was the predictable result, as some military lawyers warned at the time, of loosening standards for torture at Guantanamo. So why shouldn’t lawyers suffer the same consequences as the soldiers they imperil?


By |2009-05-02T22:54:42-04:00May 2nd, 2009|Bush Administration, Legal, Media, Obama administration, Torture|Comments Off on Linda Monk: No Torture. It's the Law.
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