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Chambliss Victory Saves the Filibuster

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Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is an unlikely hero for the Republican party. His record has just enough questionable votes on key issues to make religious conservatives nervous, but not enough strong positions on civil liberties issues to make libertarian Republicans entirely happy. He's often dismissed unfairly as a moderate, despite a record of fiscal and social conservatism. All that was forgotten when a very close election in Georgia put Chambliss in a runoff for what could have been the 60th Senate seat giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority, reducing Senate Republicans to near-irrelevance.

Chambliss ended up in a runoff largely because of Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley who drew 3.41 percent of the vote, more than enough to push Chambliss from 49.75 percent to well over 50 percent and victory. Chambliss sought support from the Libertarian Party of Georgia in the runoff, but when it was not forthcoming he was able to get backing from libertarian Republican groups to win over Libertarians and libertarian Republican voters. Although he did not get their endorsement in the original election, the combination of his fiscally conservative record and the importance of keeping total control of the House out of the hands of Democrats helped convince the Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia to endorse Chambliss, and when he agreed to sign their Liberty Compact, the national RLC threw their support behind Chambliss as well.

That extra bit of support from the RLC won over many Libertarians, and their votes along with some votes from independents who had previously voted for Chambliss' opponent Jim Martin, were enough to give Chambliss a comfortable 57 to 43 percent win in the runoff election on Tuesday, sending him back to Washington with a strong reminder that a lot of voters in Georgia and around the nation would like to see him focus more on fiscal conservatism and defending civil liberties in his next term.

The Chambliss victory prevents a Democratic super-majority in the Senate, but it still remains to be seen what the final breakdown of seats will be, as the disposition of the Minnesota seat held by Norm Coleman remains unresolved. Coleman's apparent victory on election day is being whittled away by challenges and demands for precinct by precinct recounts from the campaign of comedian Al Franken who has brought in election strategist Mark Elias to mastermind what the Wall Street Journal has described as a blatant campaign to "steal the election if they can get away with it." Coleman's initial lead has been reduced to only about 200 votes through the machinations of Democratic operatives on election commissions and techniques like recounting so-called "undervotes" on the dubious theory that ballots with votes for Obama and no vote in the Senate race must have been meant to be Franken votes.

In the end the Minnesota Senate seat will probably be assigned by the courts — likely the Supreme Court itself — and their selection won't be known until after the holidays. The comparison between these two elections, where third-party candidates made a clear majority impossible, shows the appeal of runoff systems. If the Minnesota vote had been followed by a runoff with the 15 percent of the vote which went to Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley up for grabs, the opportunities for fraud and manipulation would be reduced, the result would almost certainly not have been as close and they would not be struggling over which candidate who got less than 40 percent of the total votes to send to the Senate.

For now battered and bruised Republicans can rest a little bit easier knowing that with the Chambliss victory they will have at least some voice in the Senate if they have the backbone and stamina to filibuster on important votes.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • I’m glad Chambliss won. It’s healthy to keep the Senate majority party reminded that a metaphorical bolt-cutter is poised constantly over their collective nuts.

    Somehow, I have a feeling that Saxby will find it much less difficult to fight for civil liberties now that he no longer has to rationalize why his own boss is taking liberties with them.

    Now on to Minnesota. It’s a tie, goddamnit. You’re absolutely right that a runoff election would have been the best solution to the current impasse there, especially with the third-party candidate taken out of the equation. Unfortunately, that’s not the law in Minnesota, so you can hardly blame Franken or Coleman for using all the tools at their disposal to try and win. Your snide accusations of foul play against the Franken campaign are not at all helpful here. The result was so close that no amount of recounts, court cases or investigations are ever going to prove conclusively who won.

  • Chambliss is reluctantly becoming the new Jesse Helms. The mainstream media have become obsessed with this guy. There’s no limit to the smears they’ll make against him. But that could make him a permanent fixture in the Senate. The funny thing is, he’s not really like his image (but that’s what happens when the press starts to lie).

    Check out the personal attack that Time.com put up.

  • Dr. D. Read up on some of the stuff the Franken campaign is doing. They are proving every Republican accusation against the Democrats for election rigging to be true, at least in this one election. They are trying every sleazy scheme and fraud to basically steal the election, and if they succeed it will be truly damning for the Democrats.

    Read up on Mark Elias and how he helped steal the Oregon gubernatorial election in 2006 with many of the same techniques.

    If Franken wins the people of Minnesota will be far from happy, because if they did have a system like a runoff Coleman would have won hands down and Franken would not have had any chance to slime his way to a win.


  • As for Minnesota, guys, the Strib(Mnnesotan for Star Tribune) has Coleman ahead by 295 votes. Franken’s campaign has him (Al Franken) ahead by 12 votes. There is an interesting little point made in the video that goes along with the article.

    The United States senate can seat who they want so long as they follow the intent of the voters. If that intent can not really be determined – in the eyes of the senate – they will seat whom they want until court challenges are over. With 58 Democrats, is there any real question? Maybe.

    Heck, screw all this politics stuff! Time to cut me a piece of lytefisk, along with some shnaps!

  • Dave –

    Y’know, I really am surprised that you would castigate the Dems for trying to steal votes!

    Do you not remember how in a previous topic I pointed out all the dirty tricks the Republicans were pulling…and how they were FALSELY accusing Democrats of the same?

    Do you not remember your reply, and how I proved almost every one of the accusations you listed were either blown way out of proportion or completely false?

    Do you not remember how I pointed out that even if all the accusations you listed were true, the number of votes affected by the same were perhaps one-hundredth of the votes affected by Republican disenfranchisement efforts?

    Tell you what, Dave – I haven’t researched it at all, so this should give you the advantage, an opportunity to get me to publicly eat crow (again). How about you post your proofs, your references showing how the Dems are engaging in election-rigging in Minnesota, and I’ll verify the facts and see if they are the proof you think they are.

    Even without looking at it yet, I say that you (like the conservative pundits who pound the pulpit about it) are either flat wrong on the accusations, or the accusations are being blown out of proportion…or – and this is against the conservative pundits and NOT you – outright lies.

    That’s a blind claim I just made, and a wonderful opportunity for you to make me look foolish for making such a claim (not that I need help to do so).

    So the deal is this: if I’m wrong, then I get to grovel publicly again – and will do so sincerely. If I’m right…then all I ask is that you learn to objectively challenge the claims made by those you like and not be so quick to dismiss the arguments made by those you don’t like.


  • How about this deal. We’ll just look at ONE thing the Franken campaign is doing and work with that.

    You explain to me how going through ballots which have a vote for Obama and no vote at all for the Senate race and declaring them to be unmarked Franken votes is in any way reasonable.


  • Cindy D

    For everything one side does the other does something just as questionable.

  • ‘Declaring’ them to be Franken votes? Or merely pointing out the possibility that they could be?

    I suppose the best outcome would be the way the 1974 New Hampshire Senate race was eventually resolved – with the Senate declaring the seat vacant and a special election being held to fill it.

    Unfortunately, that took several months of bickering before Wyman, the original declared winner, got fed up with the whole thing and suggested the run-off.

    Which he proceeded to lose heavily. So with that historical precedent in mind, I don’t see Coleman doing anything similar off his own bat…

  • Dave –

    Again, references, please. It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I want to verify your source.

    And in reply, here’s something the Coleman campaign is demanding:

    “And then, there’s the Coleman campaign’s attempts to challenge ballots simply because the voter had voted for John McCain, and thus, as they argue, a vote for Al Franken, or for no Senate candidate at all must have been a mistake, and the ballot should be counted instead for Norm Coleman.”

    Do you see that, Dave? EVEN AN ACTUAL VOTE FOR AL FRANKEN should be changed to ‘Coleman’ just because they voted for McCain.

    So what does that mean? Once more, ASSUMING your accusation is true, it’s just like it always is – the Republicans are accusing the Democrats of doing what the Republicans have already been doing to a much greater degree….

    But I still want to see your reference.

  • Clavos

    So what does that mean? Once more, ASSUMING your accusation is true, it’s just like it always is – the Republicans are accusing the Democrats of doing what the Republicans have already been doing to a much greater degree….

    Or, more objectively, they’re both trying the same slimy shit, which since they’re all politicians (an inherently slimy group), is the more likely interpretation.

  • Clavos –

    Until the assumption is proven, it’s only an assumption. Dave’s ASSUMPTION against Franken is that his campaign demanded that BLANK votes on ballots that counted for Obama should be counted for Franken…

    …but the PROVEN FACT against Coleman is that his campaign demanded that BLANK VOTES AND VOTES CLEARLY MADE FOR FRANKEN on ballots that counted for McCain should be counted for Coleman.

    But YOU, Clavos, try to pretend it’s all the same.

    One side ALLEGEDLY wants the blank votes…but the other side HAS STATED that they want not only the blank votes but ALSO votes made for the opposing candidate.

    So even if Dave proves his accusation, it’s still NOTHING compared to what the Coleman campaign is trying to pull.

    But I forget – whatever the Dems do must be wrong and evil, and whatever the Republicans do (no matter how illegal) is PATRIOTIC, and to point out any wrongdoing by Republicans is grounds for prosecution (or at least entry onto Homeland Security’s “do not fly” list).

  • Baronius

    Glenn, there’s a great example I’ve seen where the voter had filled in the Franken circle, whited it out, and filled in the circle for Coleman. The Franken people challenged it because the ballot was still marked for Franken under the white-out.

    As near as I can tell, the lawyers on both sides are challenging everything, but neither side is getting away with much. At least I hope they’re not.

  • Lumpy

    I’ve seen the complaimt about the franken undercounts in the media, but I’ve seen no coverage of these supposed 0coleman undercounts. how about a source for your assertions.

  • Well, Baronius, that one needs to be thrown out altogether. You can’t use flippin’ whiteout on a frickin’ ballot paper!

    The voter should (assuming it’s allowed in Minnesota – it is where I come from) have gone back outside, explained that he or she had messed up, handed over the spoiled ballot and asked for a fresh one.

  • Clavos

    But I forget – whatever the Dems do must be wrong and evil, and whatever the Republicans do (no matter how illegal) is PATRIOTIC, and to point out any wrongdoing by Republicans is grounds for prosecution (or at least entry onto Homeland Security’s “do not fly” list).

    You obviously did not read my post, Glenn.

    I said no such thing. What I said was THEY ARE ALL (republicans, Democrats, independents communists–whatever) SLIMY, BECAUSE THEY ARE POLITICIANS, WHO ARE INHERENTLY SLIMY, IMO.

    I have offered this opinion and ones like it about ALL the politicians repeatedly on these threads for years.

    So you’re wrong. I think they’re all shitheads, not just the democrats.

    One other thing: the franken campaign’s attempt to get blank votes that voted for Obama counted as franken votes is all over the media. google it.

  • OK. All right. Settle down, everyone. There’s only one way to settle this.

    Who’s wearing the white hat?

    Send him to Washington.

    [rides off into sunset]

    [realizes it’s already dark, moseys sheepishly back into room, flips off light switch, leaves before anyone else sees him]

  • Gentlemen,

    We’re not talking about Illinois or Louisiana or Missouri here. And even though Coleman is from sleazy, slimy New York, and Franken is hauling in all the out of town lawyers (from sleazy, slimy New York), we’re still talkig about MINNESOTA. They’re not exactly blushing virgins – but elections are honest there.

    This will be for the canvassing board to deal with – and when Coleman is named winner by 100 votes or less, for the supreme court to decide – cause Franken – Al Franken – really does care about AL FRANKEN…

  • Baronius

    Dread, I assume that was an absentee ballot. I learned the hard way that changing a vote with white-out makes a mess, especially on the kind of machine we use.

    I’ve got a question about this run-off suggestion: why? Are elections like ping-pong, where you have to win by two? I don’t care how close it is, you have a fair count and recount, and you accept the results. If we’ve learned one thing in the last eight years, it’s that casting aspersions on a close victory does a lot of damage. We’re adults; there are rules.

  • I’ve got a question about this run-off suggestion: why?

    Because of the numbers involved, Baronius. Millions of votes were cast, and it’s come down to at most a couple of hundred. I guarantee you that there are enough errors and irregularities that you could keep on recounting this thing until the Last Trump and you’d come up with a different winner and/or different numbers every single time. It’s a statistical tie.

    You can’t possibly say what the will of the people is in a case like this. Just suppose for the sake of argument that two hundred people had intended to vote that day, but for whatever reasons – they got into a car accident and landed in hospital, their boss sent them overseas on a last-minute business trip, they couldn’t get a babysitter, their car broke down, any number of things – they weren’t able to. Now I can’t say that they would have voted for Franken, Coleman or Pedro, but neither can you. But their votes might have changed everything.

    I don’t care how close it is, you have a fair count and recount, and you accept the results.

    Normally I would agree. It’s how things are done in Britain, and it’s very rare – if not unheard-of – for a candidate to issue a legal challenge to an election result. But there we’re talking about constituency elections, and a far smaller number of votes. The potential for error is significantly less. When the number of ballots runs into the millions, errors are a statistical certainty. And since there’s no way of compensating for those errors which all sides would accept as sound, the only fair solution is to run the whole thing again – without the candidates who came third and below.

    But nevertheless, let’s indeed wait for the result of the recount – which I believe isn’t due until December 19th. So until then it’s all moot.

  • Do you see that, Dave? EVEN AN ACTUAL VOTE FOR AL FRANKEN should be changed to ‘Coleman’ just because they voted for McCain.

    I saw your link and it raises a LOT of questions. The first one being who the HELL let some blogger with a video camera have direct access to the challenged ballots, which is a major violation of election security and probably a felony, or was the video in fact faked – or a dramatization of what may have been reported to them from other sources.

    And if this story is true, as someone pointed out earlier, why is there almost nothing about it anywhere on the web. A fairly exhaustive google search doesn’t turn up your link or the link for the video or anything else about Coleman undercounts in any media outlet, but it does turn up enormous numbers of reports from MSM and new media outlets about scads of Franken attempts to skew the votes.

    The latest and most troubling is the discovery of various ballots which apparently just disappeared during the election, were never counted and have now shown up out of nowhere weeks later with no evidence of chain of custody and which Franken thinks ought to be counted. Not surprisingly they all come from heavily democratic precincts.

    I will say this for Minnesota. Many of the democrat dominated election boards which the Franklin campaign has approached with some of his challenges have rejected the challenges immediately and definitively. Only a few have cooperated. That speaks well of the democrats running the election, and puts even more suspicion on those few areas which are going along with the Franken challenges.


  • zingzing

    thing is, it doesn’t matter anymore. we don’t have the filibuster, so i’m just as glad to keep a comedian out of office. my family is all from minnesota, and i love the place, but damned if they aren’t some silly people. only in minnesota, i like to say, about a great many things. it’s a wonderful place to visit… the summers are like nothing else… til the sun starts to set… and the mosquitoes come out… and there’s blood on the walls…

  • The worst thing about Franken isn’t that he’s a comedian, it’s that he’s an unfunny and self-indulgent comedian.


  • Dave, you’re right about Al Franken – he is generally unfunny and self-indulgent. Trouble is that Coleman is just as self-indulgent, and he’s an asshole to boot. So Minnesota loses either way.

    The only decent candidate in the senate race was Barkley – the one nobody is talking about.

  • Clavos

    the summers are like nothing else…

    My sister lives in Eden Prairie. In my visits there, I’ve noticed that summer is July 3, 4, and 5.

  • bliffle

    Is it important to save the filibuster?

  • Yes, Bliffle. And if you can’t figure out why, go read some of the legislation which hasn’t passed which was authored by Democrats over the last few years.


  • zingzing

    clavos: “In my visits [to minnesota], I’ve noticed that summer is July 3, 4, and 5.”

    well then you haven’t been paying any attention. or you consider summer to mean “miami summer,” which is a totally different thing. but one would expect that, being that minnesota is NEARLY 2,000 MILES NORTH of miami, eh?

  • Dave, you’re now Vice-Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus? When did that happen? Congrats! Makes me rather happy to see a Pro-Defense libertarian in that position, versus ahem – Bill Westmiller and some of the other leaders of the RLC.

    I founded the RLC in 1990 specifically to be a Pro-Defense libertarian group, and have been disheartened to see the left turn it has taken in recent years. Hopefully, you can bring it back to where it was originally.

  • bliffle

    What I remember most is that the southern racists used filibuster to stymie passage of civil rights.

  • Eric, a good portion of the membership and board of the RLC still believes in maintaining a strong national defense of some sort. Even Bill Westmiller believes in national defense. The dividing line is really on whether we should have a primarily defensive policy or a more interventionist policy, and very few in the RLC are strongly pro-intervention, myself included.

    I think that while there are certainly justifications for interventionism, a Wilsonian foreign policy of nation building and promotion of democracy is a mistake. We should be promoting capitalism which is the best way to lay the groundwork for representative government and our interventions should be rare and surgical in nature.

    One positive effect which the Ron Paul movement has had is to largely discredit and marginalize the extreme isolationists and really drawn a line between the more reasonable libertarianism of the RLC and the unrealistic extremism of the Paulbots and the left-libertarians.


  • Baronius

    I can’t imagine a filibuster is ever going to be used. Well, “used” is the wrong word. Usually they’re just threatened. But with Republicans like Specter, Snowe, and (let’s be honest) McCain, the Democrats will be able to do anything they want.

    Then again, Specter is weird. He’s militantly partisan but moderate-liberal. On the other hand, you’ve got guys like Hatch, who are conservative but bipartisan. So as I see it, the Democrats will be able to find allies for their more partisan actions and their more liberal ones. And they only need allies on the rare times that you need 60 votes. Most actions only require 51.


    “Chambliss is reluctantly becoming the new Jesse Helms. The mainstream media have become obsessed with this guy. There’s no limit to the smears they’ll make against him.”

    What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander, considering Saxby (5 deferments) Chambliss’ sliming of a dismembered combat vet’s (Max Cleland) patriotism in 2002.

  • Baronius

    MCH, I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of the Chambliss campaign. Have you watched the ad that supposedly smeared Cleland? Follow the link and tell me what’s so bad about it.

  • Baronius

    some of the ballots that are being challenged in Minnesota

    Don’t follow the link if you have any respect for either party, or if you’re prone to suicidal thoughts.

  • That’s a fantastic resource they StarTribune has put online, Baronius. I went through as many ballots as I could stand to read. Most of them were Franken challenges. All of them were ridiculous. Challenging ballots because someone folded them or scribbled in the margin or did an X instead of a blob in the oval or because someone wrote in Jesse Ventura on a down-ballot race, even when the vote for the Senate race was 100% clear. If the 20 I looked at were representative, these challenges are a complete waste of time.


  • Baronius

    Dave, both these guys are asking for a house-poxing. My sympathy is with Coleman for partisan reasons, but also because Franken is trying to derail what was probably a fair initial count. It’s back to what I was saying a month ago, that the Democrats are typically more likely than the Republicans to harm the institutions rather than accept a loss. The ultimate expression of that attitude was the group that Baritone doesn’t want us to talk about, the Weathermen.

  • Baronius @ #34:

    Thanks for the link. I can always use a good laugh.

    I must regretfully inform you, however, that I am challenging your #36 as invalid due to ambiguous commenter intent and the fact that I woke up late this morning.

  • Dave –

    I’ll reply tomorrow – don’t think I’ve backed down from this one whit….

  • Bar,

    I believe you are the one who claimed that Republicans are in general “better people” than Democrats, and now you claim that Dems are more likely to do harm to the nation’s institutions than the Reps. That’s very magnaminous of you.

    Democrats are just a bunch of stupid, hateful, slime bags all of whom wunder-bitch Ann Coulter believes should be arrested, jailed and tried for treason. I do believe that Coulter should have her crotch ripped out with a grappling hook, but that’s just me, not really a Democrat thing.

    Oh, btw, knock yourself out about the Weathermen. They are every bit as relevant as Ayres and Dorhn.

    Also, Dave invites anyone to look at Democratic legislation that he feels needed the threat of a filibuster to thwart. One, then, is to assume from Dave’s suggestion that the same could never be said regarding any Republican proposed legislation. Democrats are pus oozing lying bastards, and Republicans are all fucking Roy Rogers. What a load of partisan crap!


  • Baritone, you see fault in this thesis: Dems are more likely to do harm to the nation’s institutions than the Reps. With two of the three branches of Government coming under control of Democrats, and possibly the third, their potential to do harm seems substantially greater than that of the Republicans — unless one adheres to the fantasy that Democrats are incapable of doing harm.

    I will not delve into your views as to what should be done to Ms. Coulter’s crotch.


  • Dan,

    “…that the Democrats are typically more likely than the Republicans to harm the institutions rather than accept a loss”

    Baronius’ statement isn’t predicated upon “potential.” At least as I read it, it is a general indictment of Dems and what he perceives to be our proclivities.

    What the Weathermen have to do with it is a total mystery to me.

    It seems to me that the most recent, failed Rep presidential candidate pretty much did just as Bar claims to be the province of Democrats. McCain threw out any supposed rule book that he may have had a pretense to campaign by in his unswerving drive to win at any cost.

    Rove and his co-horts in their efforts to get W into the WH pretty much tore the Republican party to shreds. That, coupled with the ineptitude of the Shrub and his posse put not only the party, but the country’s economy and all the rest of it -our credibility and reputation abroad, Iraq, Afghanistan, healthcare, etc., etc., etc., into the dump. It is the Republicans who have done severe damage to this country and its institutions over the past 8 years.

    Frankly, if I were Barack Obama, I’d demand a recount. Looking at the cluster fuck being handed to him by Messrs. Bush and Cheney would give anyone pause. If the Obama administration manages to keep it all from going to hell in a hand basket, it may well be a fucking miracle.

    Approximately 30 thousand people lost their jobs TODAY!


  • Also, Dave invites anyone to look at Democratic legislation that he feels needed the threat of a filibuster to thwart. One, then, is to assume from Dave’s suggestion that the same could never be said regarding any Republican proposed legislation.

    One COULD assume that, but not based on anything I actually wrote. But one could assume anything one wants based on nothing at all. That’s why assuming things is so foolish.

    The fact is that with Democrats dominating House, Senate and Presidency, most legislation with any hope of passing will come from Democrat authors. In such a circumstance they will bring back pet ideas which were defeated in past Republican-dominated eras, because now they have a chance of getting them passed. The only thing left to stop those bills is the filibuster. So for those of us who don’t want a draft or socializd medicine or a gun ban, it’s a damned good thing Chambliss won.


  • Dave,

    As supposedly careful as you claim to be about what you write, you seem to have no awareness of how the reader takes much of it. Your writing often leaves a lot of possibilities hanging out there which is far from being concise. It never fails to piss you off when anyone interprets something you write differently than you intended. Could it be that the problem lay with you, the writer, rather than the reader?

    If you intend to be vague, make inferences, use innuendo, or to let the reader take from your writing what he or she chooses, then you shouldn’t get all pissy when they do so. If you don’t, then you should perhaps refer to a writer’s handbook to buck up your skills.

    As to the magic “Senate 60.” I suspect that in a number of cases, the Dems will find at least a couple or more moderate Reps to fall in line with them on many issues – perhaps even good ole John McCain, because he’ll be wantin’ to get all “mavericky” every now and again.


  • bliffle

    Erroneous Baronius (#36) gives us another laugher:

    “…the Democrats are typically more likely than the Republicans to harm the institutions rather than accept a loss.”

    He says this with a (rhetorically) straight face after the way the reps prostituted the Supreme Court in 2000 with a ruling that included the proviso that it could NEVER be used as a precedent.

  • Georgio

    After the Florida disaster I thought maybe we should adopt the Canadian method of paper ballots but after seeing how stupid ppl can be that they can’t even fill in a circle …that’s scary !

  • Baritone, my comment about the filibuster which you initially responded to was totally unambiguous. You just made an assumption of partisanship which had no basis in what I actually wrote. I should not have to qualify my statements in order to forestall your expression of prejudice.

    Whether I’m a republican, a democrat or an anarcho-syndicalist has no bearing on the basic fact that the filibuster preserves at least a tiny element of bipartisanship in an otherwise very unbalanced distribution of political power.


  • Baronius

    I wasn’t talking about which party currently has more power to do damage, Dan. I meant it more or less as Baritone read it.

    I stated this case earlier, comparing Nixon’s willingness to step down to Clinton’s unwillingness (and the behaviour of the senators during Nixon’s and Clinton’s terms). I compared the Republican reaction to this loss with the Democrats’ lies about the validity of the prior two elections. I also made a guess that the Bush people would neither steal furniture nor vandalize offices when they leave the White House, unlike the Clinton people. Time will tell.

    You could go back to FDR, and his breaking with tradition to hold the presidency for unprecedented terms as well as his attempt to negate the independence of the Supreme Court.

    There’s a counterargument that you could make. (I think it’s weak, though.) LBJ walked away from power, the only thing he’d ever cared about, rather than drag the country through any more turmoil. We don’t typically think of him as a heroic figure, but he really did step up. There are also some disgusting bad-loser Republicans who are claiming that Obama wasn’t born in the US.

    The core of my argument lies in the bias of the modern liberal toward overthrowing things, and the modern conservative’s inclination to preserve our institutions. It shows up in a lot of ways, like the recent discussion about how Republicans don’t threaten to leave the country if their candidate loses. This desire to destroy rather than build is exemplified by the 1960’s radical movements, including black liberation and the Weathermen.

  • Baronius

    Bliffle, this is getting stale. Might I suggest “Moronius” or “Buffoonius”?

  • Baronius

    This is bad form, posting three times in a row, but I’ve got a couple of things to add.

    First, Bar, I reread your post, and you don’t quite get my position (and it’s partly my fault). Let me restate it: Democrats are more likely than Republicans to undermine the institutions of power when they find themselves out of power. A case in point came early in 2000, when there was talk about Bush winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote. No one said a peep. When the results turned out to be the opposite, Democrats declared that the popular vote really matters, and that the electoral college should be done away with.

    Second, the usually antagonistic Michelle Malkin used her latest column to denounce the “Obama’s birth certificate” conspiracy theorists. She’s putting country before party, which is what I expect out of Republicans.

  • “Nixon’s willingness to step down”

    you must be joking. His own party told him he was going to be impeached if he didn’t leave. spare the revisionist history. you’ll need it for the current President

  • Isn’t it interesting how pleased the Republicans are about having preserved the filibuster option, especially considering how keen they were on doing away with it for Supreme Court nominations a couple of years back, when they were the majority party?

    Funny how one’s perspective changes after an election defeat or two…

  • Baronius

    Exactly, Bicho. His own party showed him the door, and he left rather than being impeached. Clinton’s party defended him, and he dragged the country through his impeachment.

    If Clinton stayed on truly to defend the office, then good for him. He should have been removed, but good for him. If Democratic senators supported him because they believed he shouldn’t have been removed for office, good for them. But I don’t believe any of it. I’ve got no respect for any Republican who voted for Clinton’s impeachment for political reasons, either.

  • Baronius –

    It’s not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing, but a human thing.

    In every election, the side that is losing has a tendency to call ‘foul’ on the side that is winning, and then they try by hook or by crook to steal away what was lost.

    Case in point: the plethora of frankly ludicrous lawsuits going forward even now to try to declare Obama unfit for the presidency due to citizenship issues, one of which may or may not be accepted by the Supreme Court this next week.

    You can see the same thing in nearly every election overseas as well. How many times have you seen the news how one side wins and the other side claims outright election fraud?

    If you really want to complain about someone undermining the institutions of power, perhaps you should examine more closely the damage done to the balance of power between the executive and congressional branches in the past eight years. What other president has wielded as much power as Bush, and has done so with almost no oversight by Congress?

  • Baronius

    Glenn, these lawsuits over Obama’s birth certificate were filed by Philip Berg (a Hillary Clinton supporter) and Leo Donofrio (a Ron Paul supporter). I’m telling you, that’s just not the kind of thing that blue-blood Republicans do. We lose politely. The fact that a supporter of the nominee for Secretary of State is suing to get the election overturned should tell you something about their party’s mentality.

  • No. No. No.

    The filibuster is good no matter who wields it, and anyone who ever said otherwise was an idiot, regardless of political party.

    And you’re all missing the real flaw in Baronius’ argument about impeachment. Nixon left office because he had been involved in serious felonies and gross abuse of the constitution and the powers of his office. Clinton had sex and lied about it, so even though he was impeached it was unreasonable to expect him to step down. His crimes were trivial.


  • Jet

    Baronius, your “Blue-blooded” Republicans tried to relentlessly sink their teeth into Bill Clinton with the “Whitewater Affair”, the moment he took office and they would not give up.

    You remember Clinton-the man who led this country during one of the most peaceful 8 years we’ve seen in a long time and we had to coin the phrase “surplus” in describing our budget? A time when most Americans said they’d allow a tax increase if it meant not passing the national debt down to the generation to come?

    When they couldn’t get mud to stick to him, they kept up with murder accusations, and when that didn’t work they tried to impeach him over a blow-job that he wouldn’t admit to his wife. (that no husband would)

    In the end the Clintons endured 6 years of hell from a GOP led congress and not one charge was brought against him that could be found valid towards taking him from office.

    What we did wind up with eventually is a GOP led congress that snuck immunity from War Crimes to Bush hidden in other legislation, freedom fries and freedom toast, bringing everything to a screeching halt in order to subpoena a comotose woman in Florida, and the financial mess we’re in right now.

    … and don’t insult our intelligence by saying that the dems did all this in just two years in power. After The Dems took over congress they didn’t have enough votes to override Bush’s veto of just about any legislation that might have helped us before it was too late.

  • Jet

    As for the “birth certificate”, you forgot to mention the idiotic Alan Keys. If the supreme court does look at that insult to the American public that elected Obama, it’ll be because we were stupid enough to elect Bush a second time, so he could stack the odds in the Supreme Court, by putting someone at its helm that hadn’t served in that hallowed hall a few years first, but instead installed one of his cronies that he knew he could sneak past a GOP rubberstamp congress, after failing to get his personal texas lawyer in the job.

  • Jet


  • Dave,

    Bullshit! It’s just as I said. You always blame the reader. Your writing skills just may not be as great as you apparently believe.


  • Baronius lives in this idyllic place where he can believe in the purity of his beloved GOP and the contrasting lack of ethics and honor of the dastardly Dems.

    Bar, if it helps you get through the day, then you go right ahead and believe it.

    You do, of course, live with conveniently revisionist history. You look upon the Democrats and their attempts to prevail in the 2000 presidential election as harmful to our institutions and aparently less than honorable. Nevermind that the election WAS IN FACT STOLEN by the Reps. Regardless, I guess in your mind, the Dems should have just quietly slipped off into the night accepting the results with respectful resignation.

    Also, as the 2004 election turned on the outcome in Ohio, the fact that Republicans managed to disenfranchise around 200000 voters in the state which they wound up winning by considerably less than that, seems to again, conveniently slip your memory. And, again, you apparently believe that Dems were being bad sports in calling attention to it.

    No doubt, as you say, Republicans “loose politely” they would have never made a fuss about being cheated out of an election. They are just far too classy for that. of Of course they are.

    Just one question, Bar. What planet do you live on?


  • Jet


  • pablo

    Regarding the allegations about where Obama may or may not have been born, and all of the whining, with particular reference to those of you saying that it is either sour grapes or absurd, it seems a rather easy thing to prove one way or another should the court decide in plaintiff’s favor, to hear the case.

    I would assume (probably incorrectly) that even Obama sycophants such as Baritone the classic liberal would want the US Constitutional requirements upheld as a matter of law and principle.

    Or maybe it is ok for him do criticize the republicans trampling of the constitution, but when it comes to something as trivial as where a person was born to be of no import. It is, it is the law of the land, and thusly should be upheld.

    In the event that Obama is found to have been born abroad, it will be a constitutional crisis, and could have been averted long ago when certain citizens made a claim, and the courts held that they had no standing.

    I recall certain liberals on here of having been some of the biggest whiners regarding a legitimate question of Obama’s legal qualifications to hold office.

    My own take on it is that the court will refuse to hear it, being the rubber stamp agency it has become in defense of the globalist agenda, of whom Obama is one of their main players.

  • Clavos

    Or, the court will refuse to hear it because it HAS NO MERIT…

  • Jet

    Pablo, you do know Hawaii is a state right? Please stop substituting the word “liberal” for “boogyman” until you really know what the word means.

  • Bar-bar. Feel free to abuse Baronius all you want on other grounds, but the evidence doesn’t support your assertion that the 2000 election was stolen, so you might want to stop repeating that particular bit of lame propaganda.


  • With respect to Obama’s citizenship, he muscled the state of Hawaii, and several of the schools he attended into silence. He has not been open, and he has not been candid and all of his supporters on this list cannot wish away this fact, as hard as they try, stamping their feet, screaming asserting that the claims have no merit etc. For as long as he is president, his secretive behavior will keep the question alive: “what is the bastard hiding??!”

    That is what makes all these lawsuits so believable. The fact that the emoluments clause of the constitution of 1787 is being ignored, and the fact that Obama is making himself look like a liar regarding his citizenship is what convinces me that he is acceding to the White House by fraud. The fact that his name is encoded right after that of Gog in Ezekiel 38:2-4 convinces me that he will succeed. That, according to our sages is one of the attributes of Gog.

  • Ruvy, you can’t prove any of what you’re saying, and with respect, it’s extremely difficult to muscle anyone into silence. The frickin’ CIA can’t even do it!

    And Jet, in all fairness, the suit re Obama’s citizenship is being brought by one Philip Berg, who besides being a complete and total mooncalf is a disgruntled Clinton supporter, not a Republican. He was also the guy who tried to have Dubya and Darth indicted for war crimes… so I suppose you could also say he’s an attention whore.

  • Jet

    Ruvy, you just can’t stop throwing rocks at the beehive can you?

  • Doc,

    Although it had appeared that the Supreme Court would decide on Friday, 5 December, whether to consider procedural matters involving the context in which questions as to Senator Obama’s Constitutional qualifications to become President can be raised, that did not happen. The case before the Court is not the one brought by Mr. Berg, but a different one.

    The suit, originally sought to stay the Nov. 4 election, was filed on behalf of Leo Donofrio against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. The suit is part of an effort to upend Obama’s election, and includes accusations that he either wasn’t born a U.S. citizen or that he renounced his citizenship in Indonesia.

    Justice Clarence Thomas listed the case for the justices’ Friday conference during which the justices, among other things, decided what cases they will hear, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported.

    A full list of the justices’ orders, including which cases it will and won’t hear, is expected to be released Monday.

    Therefore, we won’t know until Monday, at the earliest, what is going to happen, when.

    It would, in my opinion, be far better for everyone were Senator Obama’s status as a natural born U.S. citizen to be finally resolved sooner rather that later, on the merits. That will almost certainly involve fact finding by a lower court and appeals; and the process could take a long time for final resolution. The questions will remain until there is a final resolution, and can arise in contexts where “standing” is undeniable and an on the merits resolution is required.

    In the unlikely event that it is determined later that Senator Obama was sworn in as President without the requisite Constitutional qualifications, there will be a really big mess. Messes are best dealt with before they become really big ones. It is unfortunate that this has not already happened, but it has not.


  • Dan

    John Lott–

    “…the 504 total new votes for Franken from all the precincts is greater than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined (a sum of 482).”

    Even if the number of “presidential, congressional, and state house races combined” only amounted to 10 candidates, the statistical probability would be similar to the result of reapeatedly reaching into a hat of 10 marbles, and pulling out a Franken marble 504 times and only getting 1 of the other nine, 482 times.

    Ever been dealt a Royal Flush off of the top of an honest deck?

    It’s attempted fraud folks. Please have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

    Or, just fall back on the standard Democrat mantra of; ‘itgoesonallthetime-bothsidesareguilty-onesideisasbadastheother-moveon’.

  • Ruvy, you can’t prove any of what you’re saying

    Until the court decides otherwise, I don’t have to prove a damned thing. It is Obama who has to cough up a birth certificate, AND prove that he did not renounce that citizenship as a child in Indonesia. His lawyers are asserting the no standing issue to avoid having to face the fact that they can’t prove that Obama is a citizen within the definition of the constitution of 1787.

    If the conference of judges decides not to hear this case on the grounds that it has no merit, the issue will not go away. The suspicions of many have been aroused, and Obama’s refusal to be open and forthright about his provenance will cause a large cloud of doubt to hang over his head. If I was willing to cough up MY birth certificate to prove who I was to the Israel Ministry of Absorption, Obama can cough up HIS birth certificate for a far more important reason. His opponent did without hesitation.

    And Jet, from now on it won’t be rocks thrown at the beehive, it will be boulders – to knock it out the damned tree.

  • Dan, I assume that your previous post is referencing something from economist John Lott? Do you have a link to his article? If anyone’s analysis of the Minnesota recount is going to be believable it would be Lott.


  • Baronius

    Dave – Let Baritone speak. I sometimes wonder if my politics distort my perception, but when I see the left showing such disregard for the truth it improves my self-confidence. There’s no doubt, Coleman’s people are a speck in the Republicans’ eye, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a 2×4 in the Democrats’.

    Pablo – Be honest. If Obama did get disqualified because of citizenship issues, you’d blame that on the internationalists too. And you consider Biden, McCain, and probably Palin to be part of the circle too, so whatever happens, you’d say it was all part of the plan, right?

  • Baronius, I can’t follow the logic of you saying that if the left shows disregard for the truth, it gives you confidence that you are not letting your politics distort your perception.

    How on earth do the actions of others have anything to do with what is going on in your head?

    For the record, anyone who believes absolutely in arbitrary rules, such as dogmatists or faithists, suffers from distorted perception. This would obviously include anyone who always supports one political party or politician, regardless of the issues.

  • pablo


    Yawn, surely you can do better than that.

  • pablo

    Clavy 63

    I suggest if your going to use legal terminology you find out what the words mean, the courts thus far have ruled on “standing” which if fundamentally different than “merit”. You as usual only give away your own ignorance on things which you do not have a clue about.

  • pablo

    I couldn’t help notice Nalle that you failed in your lame article to reference the republicans’ attempt to do away with the fillibuster several years ago. If hubris wasn’t enough, the sheer hypocrisy of you republicans never ceases to amaze me.

  • bliffle

    Are BCers still arguing this story about the Obama birth certificate? That argument doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell. At this point Obama could be from Mars and it wouldn’t make any difference.

  • Jet

    In the absence of anything intelligent to discuss, they entertain themselves with navel fluff.

  • bliffle

    Isn’t that your job, Dave? I mean, you made the assertion that the filibuster was such a Good Thing.

    “Is it important to save the filibuster?”

    #26 — December 4, 2008 @ 10:32AM — Dave Nalle [URL]

    Yes, Bliffle. And if you can’t figure out why, go read some of the legislation which hasn’t passed which was authored by Democrats over the last few years.

    The last good filibuster I can remember was by Jimmy Stewart. Wait a minute, that was in a movie!

  • Pablo, Bliffle. Find a place where I’m on record supporting the efforts of a small number of Republicans to discredit the filibuster. As I recall, that effort from many years ago was directed not so much at ending the filibuster as it was at highlighting how unreasonable the Democrats use of the filibuster was. The main objection being that filibusters are normally used for legislation, not to oppose presidential appointments. Personally I don’t have a problem with a filibuster from either party on whatever basis. I think it should be used sparingly, but if you feel that strongly about an issue it’s good that there’s a way to express it no matter how outnumbered you may be.

    That is, has been, and will remain my position on the issue.


  • Clavos


    I find it deliciously ironic that you excoriate my misuse of legal terminology in a post which is sorely lacking in the far more fundamental arts of grammar, spelling and punctuation.


  • Bliffle says (Comment #38), At this point Obama could be from Mars and it wouldn’t make any difference. That’s probably true. After all, it is merely about a provision in the Constitution, which we can ignore when we feel like it. Right?


  • zingzing

    good god. he’s from hawaii. has a damn birth certificate that says so. what the fuck do you want?

  • Clavos

    good god. he’s from hawaii. has a damn birth certificate that says so. what the fuck do you want?

    Actually, zing, the SCOTUS is deliberating the issue tomorrow.

  • Zingzing, in Comment #78, Bliffle suggested that were Senator Obama from Mars it would not make any difference. I said, sadly, that he is probably correct. Your comment #84 does raise an interesting question, however. Does Hawaii grant birth certificates to people from Mars? Or, for that matter, from Kenya? Not that it matters, of course.


  • zingzing

    well, ain’t that just a waste of time? and besides, i thought they had already said they weren’t going to consider it. or was that another kook’s lawsuit? the state of hawaii confirmed that his birth certificate was legit months ago.

    so hawaii says he’s from hawaii. there’s a legitimate birth certificate for all to see. so what else do you want?

  • zingzing

    87 was for clavos.

    now dan, you know that hawaii doesn’t issue people birth certificates saying they were born in hawaii if they were born in kenya.

    bah. this is totally pathetic and a complete waste of everyone’s time.

  • Clavos

    Actually, zing, I don’t care where he was born, or pretty much anything else about him, I was just telling you a fact about SCOTUS considering the question, nothing else.