Are Republicans “Beyond Redemption?”

Senator Richard Lugar

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) Image by Ted Lipien via Flickr

That’s the suggestion of John C. Danforth, a respected Republican former Senator from Missouri and Ambassador to the U.N. during the Bush administration.

Senator Danforth was responding this weekend to the news reported at Red State that Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana has been targeted for a Tea Party challenge when he runs for re-election in 2012.

Richard Lugar is a five-term Senator with a long history of standing on principle, going all the way back to they days when, despite being a staunch lifelong admirer of Ronald Reagan, he opposed Reagan by supporting sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid government, a policy that Reagan vetoed.

Now, in one of the most treacherous partisan atmospheres ever experienced in the US congress, Lugar is doggedly standing against his party on a number of key issues including the START treaty (which Republicans oppose simply because its ratification will give President Obama a foreign policy victory), the DREAM act allowing the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, and the earmark reform bill which he considers empty political posturing.

RINO

This independent thinking has not gone unnoticed by the Tea Party, ever on the hunt for RINOs who, they believe, must be relentlessly sought out and destroyed without mercy no matter who they are or how respected their record might be. “Senator Lugar has been an upstanding citizen representing us in D. C.,” said Diane Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Tea Party. “But over the years, he has become more moderate in his voting.” Removing him “will be a difficult challenge,” Ms. Hubbard conceded. “But we do believe it’s doable, and we think the climate is right for it and we believe it is a must.”

Senator Lugar recognizes the danger, and the new extremism of a Republican party that can put even a statesman like himself suddenly at risk. “I’m very conscious of it,” Mr. Lugar said of a primary threat. “I’ve been in public life a long time.”

Others are not so sanguine. From the NY Times: “Even after the midterm rout that will remove many long-serving members from Congress, the idea that Mr. Lugar would be vulnerable to a primary challenge is a chilling notion to many Republicans, a symbol of symbolism gone too far.”

Or, as John C. Danforth puts it, “If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”


About filistro

Filistro is a Canadian writer and prairie dog who maintains burrows on both sides of the 49th parallel. Like all prairie dogs, she is keenly interested in politics and language. (Prairie dogs have been known to build organized towns the size of Maryland, and are the only furry mammal with a documented language.)
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97 Responses to Are Republicans “Beyond Redemption?”

  1. dcpetterson says:

    Tea Party candidates lost at least three Senate seats that the Republicans could have picked up this year. Indeed, all of the seats that Teaper-supported candidates won in the midterms were seats the Republicans should have won anyway. On balance, we can suspect the Tea Party gained exactly nothing for the Republicans, and probably cost them control of the Senate.

    Remember NY23’s special election, where Hoffman, the Teaper candidate, gave the Democrats a seat that the Republicans had held since the Civil War? Well, the Democrat (Owens) was just re-elected, and that seat remains in Democratic hands.

    Looking ahead, it’s hard not to see this tendency continuing, and intensifying. If the far right primaries Lugar out of the party, that bodes very ill for the Republicans. There already is talk of doing the same to Maine’s two Republican Senators. And to the former Tea Party darling, Scott “The One” Brown.

    The Republicans are in a bad spot. Clearly, The Tea Party is a losing proposition for them. Long term, they’ve got to jettison this dead weight before it kills the party completely. But in the short term, opposing them could mean being driven out of politics — and handing more seats over to the Democrats. So either they shrink the party by bowing down to the Teapers, or they shrink the party by standing up to them.

    The Republicans should have shunned these crazies back in the summer of ’09. But they were too giddy with the thought of the Teapers being able to kill Health Care Reform, and thus handing President Obama a big loss. When Obama won that one, it should have been taken as a sign. The Teapers will continue to cause more damage to their political allies than to their political foes.

    The Republicans have invited a rabid dog into their midst. And they have no clue how to get rid of it, and are too intimidated to kill it. All the rest of us can do is watch.

  2. filistro says:

    “Beyond redemption.” It means something that can’t be fixed; you can only scrap it and start over. That’s what John Danforth (never a man to be careless with words) thinks about the Republican party… it has become so corrupted and co-opted by extremists that it is beyond salvaging.

    I think that’s actually both astonishing and kind of chilling.

  3. robert verdi says:

    We just came off our greatest victory in decades, somehow I am remarkably okay with the 2010 elections.

  4. filistro says:

    @Robert… We just came off our greatest victory in decades,

    But that’s just thing. Despite the impressive gain in seats, nobody sees it as a “victory”… not even the Republicans, who seem simultaneously furtive and defiant about their ongoing agenda. The smart people in the party know this was nothing but a protest vote, and both Obama and the Dems still have higher favorables than the GOP. Those seat numbers in Congress can turn on a dime… especially if the 2012 nominee comes from the Tea Party side.

    OTOH if the nominee comes from the hated “establishment”…. half the party will stay home and sulk.

    As John Danforth points out, it’s an insoluble problem. There is nothing they can do with this mess but scrap it and start over.

  5. Mr. Universe says:

    Pyhrric victory is the term I think that is being sought

  6. fopplssiegeparty says:

    Yes they are and have been for quite awhile.

  7. Bart DePalma says:

    Or, as John C. Danforth puts it, “If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”

    Danforth’s arrogance is astounding. What he really said was the voters are beyond redemption if they fire his pal Lugar.

    A Senator does not earn re-election through longevity or how well he is respected by the ruling class. A Senator earns re-election by doing what the voters sent him to Congress to do.

    Lugar generally has a decent record, but he went off the reservation voting for TARP and supporting the Kennedy illegal immigrant amnesty bill. If he wants his job renewed, Dick might want to check in with his constituents, ask them how they want him to vote and adjust his support accordingly.

  8. dcpetterson says:

    Bart likes his Senators to be utterly spineless, and bow to the Will of FOX.

    Thankfully, we live in a nation of laws rather than under the Chinese cultural revolution style lynch mobs you fantasize about.

  9. filistro says:

    @Bart… If he wants his job renewed, Dick might want to check in with his constituents, ask them how they want him to vote and adjust his support accordingly

    Our dear Bart seems not to understand how the American political system works. Allow me to elucidate.

    If “Dick” were to “check with his constituents” he would find them overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the START treaty.

    Unfortunately, “Dick” is not answerable to his normal, average, reasonable constituents. To retain his seat he must endure a rather arcane “trial by fire,” which is a primary during which his political career is decided by a small group of people who are certifiably batshit insane.

    This is the way a party dies… not with a bang but a bunch of pathetic bat squeaks.

  10. filistro says:

    Ooops… looks like “Dick” would also find strong support among his constituents for the DREAM act, too.

    But who care? We’re TEAPERS, and we know what’s best.. We don’t bow to no stinkin’ “Will of the People.”

  11. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Parties who do not listen to their constituents in democracies are the ones that wither away and die.

    We were still a democratic republic the last time I checked.

  12. dcpetterson says:

    It is kind of ironic… (or is “dishonest” the world I’m looking for?) … these frauds pretend to be all about the “Will of the People,” yet they disagree with “the People” on nearly everything?

    Might it be an advertising gimmick?

  13. drfunguy says:

    A fundamental point I have yet to see BDP acknowledge is that a politicians constiutents are not in agreement regarding (and most are blissfully unaware of) legislation. He frequently rails about legislators “betraying” their constituents when they vote for legislation that BDP dislikes but others find less objectionable. It is a remarkably self-centered outlook, possibly qualifying for study by those interested in unusual personality disorders.

  14. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, wasn’t it you suggesting that our government employ all manner of illegal and unconstitutional means to destroy the WikiLeaks people? And now you claim to be in favor of the idea of a democratic republic?

    Which of those two contradictory stances do you actually believe? Or are they both empty and cynical rhetoric for you? Or do you not have the capacity to see the contradictions in the right-wing noise you mindlessly repeat?

  15. Bart DePalma says:

    dc:

    The Wikileaks folks are likely guilty of several felony violations of US Code because they released classified information in the United States to the NYT and over the internet.

    I was probably hasty in suggesting that were merely embarrass these felons and you were correct that they deserve constitutional protections.

    Obtain arrest warrants from a federal district court in West Texas; have the CIA serve the arrest warrants, snatch them and transport them back to Texas for a proper trial, conviction and then long term residence in the general population of a max security federal pen. Assage would make some bubba a nice bitch.

  16. dcpetterson says:

    There you go, Bart. Thank you for your recognition of constitutional protections. I hereby acknowledge your acknowledgment of overzealousness.

  17. Just Sayin' says:

    The tea party, like Bart doesn’t believe in facts, they plum evade them. Bart’s usefullness on this site is to remind the rest of us how obtuse the right and their rabble rousing teaper fringe really is. Because this is America and some things are predictable, I would venture to say that all the new congress tea party winners will be delegated to the back of the class, because the GOP powers that be really don’t want to be bothered with their teaper blather about this or that. Their own party will render them powerless. Stay tuned Bart its gonna be quite a show. Ha!

  18. drfunguy says:

    So, according to Bart (allegedly a lawyer?), constitutional “protections” do not protect you from kidnapping or rape.

  19. filistro says:

    @doc… We must remember that Bart takes his marching orders from Sarah Palin, who tweeted today that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for “treason”… even though Assange is not a citizen of the United States.

  20. Realist says:

    @Bart,
    The Wikileaks folks are likely guilty of several felony violations of US Code because they released classified information in the United States to the NYT and over the internet.

    OK, esquire, how is someone who is not a US citizen, posting classified information on a server hosted outside the US, guilty of a violation of US law? I’m aware of case law applying to commerce, and even that is sketchy outside of cases supported by treaties.

    But you’re advocating kidnapping and kangaroo trials. I assume this means you’re OK with, say, the Chinese government kidnapping you and throwing you in prison for violating numerous Chinese laws on this site. Am I correct?

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    drfunguy/realist:

    Under an arrest warrant, it is an arrest and not kidnapping. What the CIA is avoiding is the extradition process, which might violate the Wikileaks perps’ procedural rights in a foreign country, but not here.

    We have arrested and transported perps overseas on multiple occasions with the help of the locals and the perps lost all their constitutional motions in court.

    As for prison rape, I am sure that the federal prison guards will do their best to keep poor Mr. Assange safe, but one can’t be everywhere. If he complains, the Feds can put him in isolation for the duration of his 250,000 count life sentence

  22. GROG says:

    fili said:
    We must remember that Bart takes his marching orders from Sarah Palin, who tweeted today that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for “treason”… even though Assange is not a citizen of the United States.

    I missed that fili. Are you talking about the Facebook article she linked to in her tweet? Because it doesn’t mention “treason”.

  23. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili: “We must remember that Bart takes his marching orders from Sarah Palin, who tweeted today that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for “treason”… even though Assange is not a citizen of the United States.”

    Knock down strawmen much?

    Palin is probably mis-repeating Charles Krauhammer’s suggestion that the Army PFC who took the documents be charged with treason.

    What Charles does not know is that you need two eyewitnesses to the act of treason to obtain a conviction under this law, which is why the law is almost never prosecuted and could not be in the case of the PFC.

    Which is why I never suggested this route.

  24. shiloh says:

    Palin is probably mis-repeating Charles Krauhammer’s suggestion

    No Bart, again palin has “handlers” who write all of her n0nsense for her …

    (((If))) the buffoon er palin runs, the Rep primary debates should be a hoot until of course, palin quits!

    take care

  25. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Do take the time to get your story straight: see here for the exact quote.

    As a further suggestion, don’t bother translating Palin for us. We all know she’s “speaking in tongues”, which is to say, regurgitating partially-digested bits of chewed-up Republican talking-points. You can interpret these omens like the Greeks interpreted the entrails of sacrificial victims — but, as we now understand, it’s a pointless exercise.

  26. GROG says:

    @shortchain,

    Thank you for proving fili’s ridiculous claim that “Palin tweeted today that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for ‘treason'”, completely false.

    She didn’t even mention Assange much less state anyone should be tried in America for treason.

    When people get all their news from the Huffington Post, these are the kind of lies that get spewed around the internet by the left.

  27. Realist says:

    @Bart,
    Under an arrest warrant, it is an arrest and not kidnapping. What the CIA is avoiding is the extradition process, which might violate the Wikileaks perps’ procedural rights in a foreign country, but not here.

    We have arrested and transported perps overseas on multiple occasions with the help of the locals and the perps lost all their constitutional motions in court.

    The only person known to be involved in this is someone who is not a US citizen, and is not performing actions within the US. There is no jurisdiction to arrest him.

    Yes, we have arrested and transported perps overseas, but only in cases where they were either US citizens or performed illegal actions within the United States and/or its territories.

    Honestly, I can’t help but wonder how you passed the bar.

  28. filistro says:

    GROG… Palin questions why (quote) “US Govt can’t stop wikileaks treasonous act.”

    Julian Assange IS “wikileaks.” And “treason” has to be against one’s own country. Yet Palin apparently feels that by releasing these documents to damage America, Julian Assange (wikileaks) is somehow being “treasonous.”

    The woman is a complete idiot. And every time you rise up in her defense, you diminish yourself.

  29. GROG says:

    @fili,

    Palin never said Assange should be tried in America for treason. And yet you claimed she said it.

    If she’s an idiot, why didn’t you cite the exact quote? Why did you feel it necessary to misrepresent and lie about what she actually said?

  30. drfunguy says:

    Re. Barts comments on rape as punishment: “Assage would make some bubba a nice bitch.”
    Since you speak so approvingly of this can we assume you think it a reasonable consequence of any prison sentence?
    I guess we didn’t need that pesky Bill of Rights and its protection from cruel and unusual punishment anyway. See Constitution, U.S., 8th Amendment to.

  31. dcpetterson says:

    GROG, there is a concept of “significance.” if Thing A is rather like Thing B, other than some insignificant details, then calling attention to the similarities is not, as you claim, a “misrepresentation” or a “lie.”

    You seem once more to be using words without fully understanding what they mean.

  32. filistro says:

    GROG: Sigh… the “exact quote” is a tweet that can’t be copied. The first half is a shameless plug for her book. The last half is EXACTLY WHAT I QUOTED. Here’s the tweet…

    Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop wikileaks treasonous act.

    There’s a wealth of idiocy in these few words, but here are the highlights…

    1.) She “won in court” AFTER THE LEAK HAPPENED… and got an injunction to have the leaked material removed. How would that help in the wikileaks case?

    2.) How does she propose this issue be dealt with “in court”? Her court injunction was one the basis of violation of copyright. State department cables are not copyrighted.

    3.) How can an act by “wikileaks” which is a website solely owned and operated by Julian Assange, a Swiss citizen, be “treasonous” in the US?

    See what I mean about Sarah Palin making her supporters look stupid? I’ve always been impressed by GROG’s acuity, but his blind support for this silly, self-absorbed, under-qualified woman not only flies in the face of reason.. it makes him look dumb.

  33. filistro says:

    @ doc… regarding prison rape… this is a favorite topic among Freepers. They love making jokes about bitches, soap, showers, bending over, etc. Rush Limbaugh is also addicted to rape fantasies (he talks constantly about “bending over and grabbing our ankles”).. .especially since the advent of Barack Obama. Perhaps a male rape fantasy involving a black man is even more enticing?

    Bart also frequently makes metaphorical allusion to male rape. It seems to be a fetish with socially conservative Republican men, which is kind of fascinating, actually. I’m often tempted to explore it further to find an explanation… but it would likely be pretty unsettling research.

  34. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro, regarding your Freeper research, I was going to thank you for being willing to take one for the team, but that would probably be misinterpreted….

  35. filistro says:

    @DC… I was going to thank you for being willing to take one for the team,

    LOL.

    I’m pretty safe and comfily invisible among the Freepers. Even if they knew of my existence in their midst, they would visualize me as being “fat and butch” with hairy legs and armpits, a loud voice and bad skin. That’s how they picture ALL liberal women.

    (Bart has occasionally also suggested that’s what I look like…. poor dear 🙂

    Once before when I mentioned this odd male rape fetish among conservative men, Bart responded that wingers are “Alpha males” who look on lesser men as their “bitches”, and male rape is simply an assertion of dominance.

    Really. He actually did say that.

  36. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro
    “fat and butch” with hairy legs and armpits, a loud voice and bad skin.

    Yeah, that’s the perfect description of Janene Garafolo.

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Under an arrest warrant, it is an arrest and not kidnapping. What the CIA is avoiding is the extradition process, which might violate the Wikileaks perps’ procedural rights in a foreign country, but not here. We have arrested and transported perps overseas on multiple occasions with the help of the locals and the perps lost all their constitutional motions in court.

    Realist says: The only person known to be involved in this is someone who is not a US citizen, and is not performing actions within the US. There is no jurisdiction to arrest him.

    The perp’s citizenship is irrelevant.

    The crime is disclosing classified information to a party who is not authorized to receive it. Wikileaks did so in the United States by providing the information to press like the NYT and more importantly to every corner of the nation which as internet access (which permits Justice to forum shop to find a friendly court and jury like in my suggested West Texas).

    Honestly, I can’t help but wonder how you passed the bar.

    Because I know more about criminal law and jurisdiction than you do, to name one reason.

  38. GROG says:

    @DC said:

    You seem once more to be using words without fully understanding what they mean.

    misrepresentation: To give an incorrect or misleading representation of.
    lie: Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    (sigh) No DC. I know what those words mean, and it’s exactly what filistro did. You know it and she knows it.

    Lie: Filistro claimed Palin said something that she didn’t say.
    Misrepresentation: She lied about what she said for the purpose of making it sound worse than it really was. (Otherwise she would have used the real quote. Not the made up version.)

    DC said:
    if Thing A is rather like Thing B, other than some insignificant details, then calling attention to the similarities is not, as you claim, a “misrepresentation” or a “lie.”

    So you’re saying you can completely make something up and claim somone said something she didn’t say, and then call attention to a similarity to what she actually said, and then claim you did it in the name of “significance”?

    Wow. You guys are really out there on this one. In the past when you guys claimed that someone said something, I always assumed it was true. Now I need to determine whether or not it’s a case of “significance”?

  39. dcpetterson says:

    GROG, sado-necro-bestiality (dead horse flogging ) is often considered a perversion.

  40. dcpetterson says:

    @Realist

    Bart may have studied constitutional law under John Yoo.

  41. filistro says:

    GROG… I DID use the real quote.

    The real quote contains the words… “but US govt. can’t stop wikileak’s treasonous act.”

    1.) Do you deny that it contains those words?

    2.) How could the US Govt have “stopped” this act?

    3.) How was the act “treasonous”?

    And please… leave that horse alone. Can”t you see it’s DEAD? 😉

  42. Realist says:

    @Bart,
    The crime is disclosing classified information to a party who is not authorized to receive it.
    Yes, I understand that this is the crime to which you refer. I’m saying it doesn’t apply in this case.

    Wikileaks did so in the United States by providing the information to press like the NYT and more importantly to every corner of the nation which as internet access (which permits Justice to forum shop to find a friendly court and jury like in my suggested West Texas).

    See, you might have passed the bar, but you don’t know Internet case law. Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King set the standard that making information available on a web site hosted outside of a jurisdiction does not make it fall under jurisdiction merely by being available in that jurisdiction.

    So, no, West Texas doesn’t count, unless the prosecution can produce evidence that the defendant was engaged in active commerce (as defined in Bensusan) with someone in West Texas. Could New York apply? That depends on how the NYT acquired the information provided on the site. If they got it the same way the rest of us do, by viewing the web pages, then it’s not sufficient to place it within the jurisdiction of New York either.

    …I know more about criminal law and jurisdiction than you do…
    Criminal law, perhaps. Apparently not Internet law.

  43. GROG says:

    fili said:

    I DID use the real quote.

    You did after I called you out on your earlier statement:

    “We must remember that Bart takes his marching orders from Sarah Palin, who tweeted today that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for “treason”… even though Assange is not a citizen of the United States.”

  44. dcpetterson says:

    GROG, there really is no sense in which Palin’s statement could be taken to imply that she didn’t think Assange was guilty of “treason,” nor in which one could reasonably suspect she thought this “treason” was against some nation other than America, nor one in which Palin wasn’t suggesting some legal action be taken against Assange for his alleged “treason” against America. Filistro’s paraphrase of Palin’s tweet stands. You’re looking foolish again.

  45. filistro says:

    GROG.. she tweeted that the “US Govt” should be able to “stop” what she referred to as “wikileak’s treasonous act.”

    Since “wikileaks” is nobody but Julian Assange and a couple of assistants, I generously gave Palin the benefit of the doubt by assuming that when she said the “US Govt” should “stop” him, she was referring to some kind of legal action as opposed to… say.. a bullet in the brain. Perhaps she DID mean assassination… since that’s what “traitors” deserve when they betray the state secrets of other people’s countries… right?

    God, this is so stupid. In fact it’s now moved beyond stupid to comical… which is the inevitable trajectory of any conversation in which a Palin-bot defends the stupid woman, and somebody tries using logic to point out the flaws in their reasoning.

  46. Mainer says:

    All legalities aside, as we know Bart cares about as much for our legal system as he does for poor people, the working class or progress in this country, who is it that is leaking all this crap? We have now had two, that I know of, massive amounts of material dumped t wikileaks. Why now? It appears that this material goes back for some time. This isn’t just stuff from the past 22 months some of this goes back for years, or stuff that most would not have had access to or knowlege of unless they had been there at the time. Now I could be wrong but most would not see a Democrat at this point in time doing this to put even more heat on a Democratic administration so who is doing it and why and why now? You want to talk treason? Fine. But I have an ill feeling of whom we will find behind the finger that hit the dump button. Let us not worry about piss ants that receive this info as way too much faux outrage seems to be being expended in that direction. Lets look more closely at where they are coming from and why.

  47. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:

    Do you have a legal basis for assuming that Assange has not violated the classified materials statute?

    Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King is an examination of NY long arm civil jurisdiction over an omission committed in another state. It has nothing to do with Federal criminal jurisdiction. In general, federal criminal jurisdiction over internet crimes occurs where ever the material is downloaded off the web. The feds go after gambling and child pornography sites this way routinely.

  48. GROG says:

    Fili,

    If you really believe the garbage you’re arguing, you would have just used Palin’s real quote and you know it. Not some doctored up version.

  49. dcpetterson says:

    I’m curious, GROG, what do you think Palin meant? Can you put her tweet into your own words?

  50. filistro says:

    @GROG:If you really believe the garbage you’re arguing, you would have just used Palin’s real quote

    I DID use Palin’s “real quote.”

    Again, here is the actual quote:

    Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop wikileaks treasonous act.

    Instead of falsely attacking me and calling my reasonable points “garbage”… please explain what YOU think Palin meant by the words “stop” and “treasonous act.”

    If you can’t or won’t do this, stop calling me names and suggesting that I’m “lying.” I don’t deserve such treatment, and you shouldn’t be stooping to it.

  51. Bart DePalma says:

    Palin: Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop wikileaks treasonous act.

    Palin is using the term generically and apparently mistakenly believes that Wikileaks is American. She would be more accurate applying the generic term (if not the actual crime) to the New York Times’ long and sordid history of publishing classified materials.

  52. dcpetterson says:

    So, Bart, do you agree that Palin holds an opinion similar to yours, that legal action should be taken to stop Assange from continuing to commit his “crimes”? (One difference between your view and hers being that you’re aware Assange is not an American, and so cannot be accused of “treason” against America.)

  53. filistro says:

    @Bart… yes, by all means, let’s deflect. Let’s conveniently ignore the fact that Sarah Palin, who aspires to be leader of the free world, has once again shot her mouth off without knowing what she’s talking about, and right on cue, frenzied wingers everywhere are rushing to claim she didn’t REALLY say what she actually said.

    Instead, let’s concentrate on the sins of the NYT… because… you know… well, just because.

  54. Realist says:

    @Bart,
    Do you have a legal basis for assuming that Assange has not violated the classified materials statute?
    Yes. Lack of jurisdiction in publication of the documents, and lack of evidence with respect to obtaining said documents.

    Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King is an examination of NY long arm civil jurisdiction over an omission committed in another state. It has nothing to do with Federal criminal jurisdiction.
    Not nothing, but it’s certainly not the alpha and omega of criminal jurisdiction.

    In general, federal criminal jurisdiction over internet crimes occurs where ever the material is downloaded off the web. The feds go after gambling and child pornography sites this way routinely.
    In both cases, the feds go after the person(s) within US jurisdiction. That is, they cannot and do not get convictions for the people running the servers or posting the content, unless those people are either US citizens or are running the servers within or posting the content from within the jurisdiction of the US.

  55. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: So, Bart, do you agree that Palin holds an opinion similar to yours, that legal action should be taken to stop Assange from continuing to commit his “crimes”?

    I have no idea what Palin’s opinion is. However, I do share the stated goal of the Obama Department of Justice in this regard.

  56. GROG says:

    @fili and DC,

    It’s clear what Palin meant. She meant the acts were treasonous.

    Do you really think the literally millions of files in possession of Wikileaks were obtained only by Assange and one assistant? To obtain the information they have obtained would take hundreds or thousands of paid operatives around the U.S. Don’t you think it’s very possible that the information was leaked by an American which would be a treasonous act?

  57. filistro says:

    but GROG… she said “wikileak’s treasonous act”

    Remember you go to war with the bimbo you have… not the smart woman you wish you had… or want to pretend you have.

  58. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Do you have a legal basis for assuming that Assange has not violated the classified materials statute?

    Realist says: Yes. Lack of jurisdiction in publication of the documents, and lack of evidence with respect to obtaining said documents.

    I addressed jurisdiction above. For the provision of which I am thinking, providing the documents rather than receiving them is an element of the crime.

    BD: Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King is an examination of NY long arm civil jurisdiction over an omission committed in another state. It has nothing to do with Federal criminal jurisdiction.

    Realist says: Not nothing, but it’s certainly not the alpha and omega of criminal jurisdiction.

    Please. State civil long arm jurisdiction has absolutely nothing to do with federal criminal jurisdiction. For criminal jurisdiction, you generally need an interstate or international act occurring in the United States which falls under the US Code criminal statutes. Jurisdiction lies if the act occurred in the venue of the Federal District Court in which you are seeking an indictment and arrest warrant. As I noted above, internet criminal offenses occur where the information is downloaded and potentially every jurisdiction where it travels.

    Realist says: In both cases, the feds go after the person(s) within US jurisdiction.

    NO. They have sought extradition of foreign defendants conducting fraud against or transmitting child porn to the United States.

  59. shortchain says:

    It’s absolutely hilarious for GROG to defend Palin’s loose, illogical blather by insisting that other people’s comments must be interpreted in the most literal, absolutist manner.

    What a hypocritical standard.

  60. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    I have no idea what Palin’s opinion is.

    Well, I agree that her writing (and speaking) is nearly incomprehensible, particularly for the reading-challenged. If that really is your position, I suppose you have no basis for supporting or opposing her as a politician, other than, perhaps, her public persona. Thanks.

  61. Realist says:

    Bart,
    For criminal jurisdiction, you generally need an interstate or international act occurring in the United States which falls under the US Code criminal statutes.
    But this act doesn’t occur in the United States.

    As I noted above, internet criminal offenses occur where the information is downloaded and potentially every jurisdiction where it travels.
    It doesn’t work that way for Internet criminal offenses. Otherwise, any action that someone conducts anywhere on the Internet at any time that violates US criminal law is grounds for prosecution in the US.

    For that to be enforceable, the reverse would also need to be true. That is, you, Bart DePalma, are guilty of violating many Chinese laws. You, then, should be imprisoned in China. Not only has that not happened, but it would not be allowed to happen.

    They have sought extradition of foreign defendants conducting fraud against or transmitting child porn to the United States.
    Yes they have. How successful has that been, and under what circumstances? Those are very relevant questions, as I’m sure you are aware.

  62. GROG says:

    fili said:

    but GROG… she said “wikileak’s treasonous act”

    It’s very obvious that an American within the government who was paid by Julian Assange, leaked the diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. It was an employee of Wikileaks working inside the US government leaking sensitive information. So yes, it was “wikileak’s treasonous act”.

    There was obviously treason going on. I still don’t understand why you found it necessary to change her words all around. If Palin’s such an idiot, why didn’t you just use her actual quote in the first place?

  63. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    You say “It was an employee of Wikileaks working inside the US government leaking sensitive information.”

    Prove that it was an employee of Wikileaks.

    You can’t, can you?

  64. GROG says:

    @shortchain,

    Of course I can’t prove it, but do you think he did it for free?

  65. Michael Weiss says:

    GROG,

    Of course I can’t prove it, but do you think he did it for free?

    I already described in “It’s Worse Than You Think” how it is reasonable to conclude that it was not an inside job.

    But, if it was an inside job, yes I think he did it for free. Whistleblowers aren’t typically in it for the money.

  66. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    So, in order to evade the obviously idiotic comment of your idolatrix, you are willing not only to invent a monetary exchange — for which you have absolutely no evidence — but further to invent an employer-employee relationship, which, be it noted, requires far more than a simple monetary exchange — for which you have absolutely no evidence.

    All to avoid recognition of the obvious fact that Sarah Palin either has no clue what “treason” is, or, more charitably, has absolutely no idea that Wikileaks is not US-based.

    So she’s either woefully ignorant or just plain stupid, but you are willing to lie egregiously to pretend otherwise.

    I’m not impressed with either your logic or your honesty.

  67. dcpetterson says:

    Here’s an interesting quote, taken from WaPo:

    Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – who has complained that at a bipartisan White House meeting two years ago Obama told Republicans “I won” – said he found a president who very much understood that his party lost the midterm elections.

    “The election meant that people want to see results,” Cantor, who is slated to become majority leader, said of Obama’s thinking.

    So, when Democrats win big, Eric Cantor “complains” that President Obama supposedly acknowledged the fact of who “won.” But when Republicans win big, “The election meant that people want to see results,” and the President should understand “that his party lost the midterm elections.”

    Republicans are all about the double-standard and the double-dealing, aren’t they?

    Totally beyond redemption.

  68. dcpetterson says:

    Here’s another passage from the same article, talking about the meeting of leaders from both parties that Obama arranged this morning:

    The two sides discussed a series of issues that Obama has pushed to resolve before the end of the year, including unemployment benefits that are set to expire and the new START nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. McConnell deflected questions about the treaty, saying it was the “unanimous view” of all 42 Senate Republicans to first settle the tax dispute and to agree on a funding deal for the federal government.

    Yet a possible end game that appeared to taking shape, numerous Senate sources said, could give Republicans the across-the-board tax-cut extensions that they are seeking, albeit in temporary form, in exchange for a Senate vote on the arms control treaty, a top priority for Obama.

    So, for partisan political purposes, the Republicans are playing games with America’s security. No vote on the START treaty unless their wealthy donors get enormous tax cuts, costing America hundreds of billions of dollars.

    What despicable and shallow cynicism. Talk about near-treasonous acts!

    Totally beyond redemption.

  69. GROG says:

    shortchain said,

    “So she’s either woefully ignorant or just plain stupid, but you are willing to lie egregiously to pretend otherwise.”

    Do you REALLY think Palin doesn’t know what treason is? Honestly? Is this what you’ve reduced yourselves to?

  70. Mainer says:

    Obama is going to cave and play bipartisan and the rest of us get screwed. Look who he just namted as his negotiators. In fact look at the entire list of people that will be negotiating taxes……….we are good and truely screwed. Not one person there that gives two hoots in hell about the average American.

    The president should have named Heath Schuler as his chief of staff.

    Reid is going to sit and diddle away the time left to get any thing done.

    DADT will get stonewalled and procedured down the road and off the radar.

    The arms treaty will get signed at some point but only after whore politicians get billions to spend in their states and districts for modernization (you should take a look see at where all those billions will go as here is more than one way to get the pork to the folks back home)

    I really need to consider a modular construct for my gallows maybe with a conveyor feed system. How can we possibly have so danged many gutless, ignorant, crooked people all in one place at one time? I am beginning to think that Washington DC is very similar to DECON……….just working with a different class of rat.

  71. Realist says:

    @GROG,
    Do you REALLY think Palin doesn’t know what treason is?
    Yes, I do. She has shown particularly shallow understanding of plenty of other concepts. Why should this be any different?

  72. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Out there in West Texas . . .

    Right! That’s where the sheriff of a middlin’ county, on the basis of an anonymous tip that was later proved to be false and at the behest of the State Department of Family and Protective Services, raided the ranch of a polygamist sect in a dragnet that brought in hundreds of women and children. Incarcerated them, separated children from their mothers and incarcerated them.

    All at the cost of millions of dollars (est: $14M) in tax money out of the pockets of the good people of Texas for the police actions and litigation.

    Whereupon Texas Appeals Courts found the DFS, the local judge (popularly elected, mind you) for abuse of discretion and the various law enforcement departments involved to have been acting contrary to the CONSTITUTION (y’all DO believe in that document, don’t you?) and Texas statute concerning foundational requirements for evidence and ordered the mothers released and the children returned.

    1) Maybe not the best example of law enforcement, judicial discretion and actions by an arm of the State (DFPS), not to mention wasting $14 million in taxpayer money.

    2) In spite of that, correction of those failings were determined by an obviously activist appellate court.

    Maybe ya wanna try again?

  73. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Ignore the redundant repetition concerning incarceration in the previous comment.

  74. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Oh, I think she probably understands it now, after her minders explained her mistake. Probably.

    But I don’t think there’s any way to explain her tweet, referenced above, except that she didn’t, when she made it, understand what treason is.

    Here’s the problem: when she is unscripted, she displays the mentality and understanding you’d expect from an incurious, intellectually slothful narcissist. While her idolaters, such as you and Bart, give her a pass — largely, I think, because her blankness allows you to project your own beliefs onto her, not because she’s ever really done anything to deserve your admiration — I decline to accept anything but a display of understanding.

    Call it my pedantic nature, but I’m tired of having dim bulbs in positions of leadership, after George Bush. I really didn’t think that turned out well.

  75. Mr. Universe says:

    Speaking of Right Wing rape fantasies:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/joe-rehyansky-dont-ask-dont-tell_n_789106.html

    @GROG

    Do you REALLY think Palin doesn’t know what treason is?

    This from the guy who seriously thinks President Obama thinks there’s 57 states. I actually find it fairly plausible that Palin doesn’t have a complete understanding of what treason actually is.

    Slow day on the newer threads.

  76. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Oh, and did I mention that the “regular” people of Schleicher County, which has a population of around 3000, had expressed fear that the polygamists, voting en bloc could possibly take political control of “their” County in the near future.

    Hmmmmm. Curious timing, ain’t it?

  77. filistro says:

    Mr U… regarding your link above… I was struck by this fact when I researched DADT and the statistics on integration of gays in Canada’s military…

    * The percent of military women who experienced sexual harassment dropped 46% after the ban was lifted. While there were several reasons why harassment declined, one factor was that after the ban was lifted women were free to report assaults without fear that they would be accused of being a lesbian.

    Got that? Not only do these jerks consider their sexual prowess so awesome that they can make gay women into straights… they also think if a woman resists their advances it must be because she’s a lesbian.

  78. GROG says:

    @shortchain,

    The Wikilieaks leaks against the U.S. is full of treasonous activity and there will be Americans who will spend many years in prison for treason.

    Misquoting Palin and then nitpicking the placement of an apostrophe in a tweet is below most of the commenters on this blog.

    Mr. U said:
    This from the guy who seriously thinks President Obama thinks there’s 57 states.

    Nope. Never said that or thought that.

    Mr U said:

    Slow day on the newer threads.

    Pretty sure that’s because neither Bart or myself bothered to comment on them.

  79. Realist says:

    @GROG,
    The Wikilieaks leaks against the U.S. is full of treasonous activity and there will be Americans who will spend many years in prison for treason.
    Whoa, a two-parter. You don’t know that either of those statements are true, do you? Or, if you do, I think the rest of us would love to know how you know.

  80. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    When you say, “Misquoting Palin” — you can surely point, above, to where someone actually quoted Palin. If you or Bart can infer, from the word salad that constitutes Palin’s output, that she knows, well, anything about anything, surely we are entitled to infer, from her statement, something that is clearly and unambiguously implied.

    Oh, and I concur with Realist. You’re just making stuff up. Pathetic, really.

    You and Bart do spark a lot of replies though. And if you only knew how many snorts of laughter …

  81. shiloh says:

    You and Bart do spark a lot of replies though.

    The obvious: Presently, grog and Bart are 538’s only rabid conservative posters. Again, Bart is somewhat entertaining if taken in moderation and grog is no longer on my radar screen …

    The yin and yang of progressive political blogs frequented by conservatives, intelligent and otherwise ~ critical mass political discussion being an undefined term or something. 😉

  82. GROG says:

    @shortchain,

    It is clear to anyone with half a brain that Palin in no way implied “Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be tried in America for “treason.” That’s why Filistro had to misrepresent what her actual quote was. If it was implied, she would have used the actual quote.

    @Realist,

    So it’s your opinion that absolutely not a single American had anything to do with the cable leaks? Because that it is a truly astounding prediction.

  83. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Yes, to someone with half a brain what you say might be clear. To someone with an actual, whole, working model brain, it’s clear that, when someone says “treasonous act” they’re saying that “treason” was involved.

  84. GROG says:

    Yes, shortchain, she did say treason was involved. Very good. She did not, however say Assange should be tried for treason in America.

  85. filistro says:

    @GROG… She did not, however say Assange should be tried for treason in America.

    1.)Palin said that she “stopped the leak of material from her book.”

    (I happen to know, being interested in copyright matters, that the way she did this was through court action.)

    2.) Palin then said that (since she had been able to stop the leak from her book) , the “US Govt.” should “stop” wikileaks.

    I assumed she meant by doing it the same way she did, through court action by the “US Govt.” (The reason I assumed this was because the two thoughts were contained not just in the same tweet, but in the same sentence. )

    But of course, one should never make assumptions lest they be accused of “lying”… unelss of course they are sweeping GROG-type< assumptions about who did the leaking, what county they may have resided in, whether they were paid, what their motivations were, and what legal sanctions they will eventually face. Assumptions like that are all perfectly okay… and DEFINITELY not "lies."

  86. dcpetterson says:

    Well, it is possible that random words just sort of happened out of Palin’s tweeter. This seems the most likely explanation that does not involve Palin thinking that Assange should be prosecuted for treason.

    It’s possible she did not mean what the parallelism of the sentence structure implied, since Palin may not have the brain capacity necessary to understand parallel clauses (GROG, after all, certainly does not). It could be that simply because “A” happened through method “”X”, and I therefore can’t understand why “B” does not also happen, perhaps I meant to say that some unrelated method “Rutabaga” should be used. This would explain why Palin did not intend to imply that Assange should be prosecuted.

    Further, saying that Wikileaks did something “treasonous” certainly does not imply that I think the sole owner of Wikileaks should be held responsible for treason. Perhaps Wikileaks did this “treason” without any human intervention.

    Seriously though, I think Palin was just sort of putting random letters into her twitter thingie, and no one should try to actually, you, know, make, what’s the word? sense out of it. Cut taxes!

  87. filistro says:

    I think DC is onto something.

    Because if the proof that the Universe is randomly created is that given enough time, a group of monkeys pounding away at computer keys could produce the Bible, then a Palin working her thumbs could produce a compound sentence with Churchillian parallel structure in which B not only does not follow A… it does not even exist in the same alphabet, or in the Cyrillic one, either, because.. RUTABAGA!

    So there you go, GROG. Through the Awesome Power of Palin, we have reached full agreement.

    (Whew! I’m glad that’s over 😉

  88. Realist says:

    @GROG,
    So it’s your opinion that absolutely not a single American had anything to do with the cable leaks? Because that it is a truly astounding prediction.

    My opinion is that there is insufficient information publicly available to determine that any Americans had intentional involvement. That’s not a prediction, by the way, particularly for an event that happened in the past.

    Do you have information that suggests that any Americans had intentional involvement? If so, who are these people, and what involvement did they have?

  89. filistro says:

    By the Way, GROG and Bart … Joe Scarborough has a message for you: “MAN UP!!… and Dump the Bimbo.”

    Joe knows it’ll be hard for you because she’s so cute and all, but he promises you’ll feel better afterward… and people will stop laughing at you…..

  90. GROG says:

    You guys are so completely incapable of any sort of rational, common sense thinking, I think I’m done here.

  91. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    You never got started, man. You just flogged that dead animal for a long time. I hope it made you feel better. Didn’t do the horse any good, but — it was dead to start with.

  92. Because it’s perfectly rational to believe that someone who is not independently wealthy and makes no money on publishing these leaked documents has the money to pay for a large, multinational staff, plus whatever bribes are necessary, in order to collect the documents that are ultimately leaked.

    Wow. I’m convinced. 8)

  93. dcpetterson says:

    I think it’s interesting that this conversation about Palin happened on a thread asking whether the Republican Party is beyond redemption. Is that a coincidence?

  94. GROG says:

    So Michael, Wikileaks is leaking information that is extremely detrimental to the national security of the United States of America, and you don’t think there is any money whatsoever changing hands? Really? So all of the sudden everyone in the world loves us now and no one is willing to pay money to have sensitive information about the United States leaked on the internet? Common sense my friend.

    And you know Julian Assange is not independently wealthy, how?

  95. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I notice that you couldn’t actually find anyone quoting Sarah Palin, as you earlier claimed. So the situation as it stand is:
    1. Sarah Palin said something indicating stupidity or ignorance.
    2. This was noted by filistro.
    3. You rode in, killing your horse in your haste, and have been flogging same ever since, with claims that she was misquoted (she wasn’t), that she didn’t mean “treason” (she obviously did), that the leaker was an employee of Wikileaks (no evidence that he was), that the leaks must mean somebody got paid a lot of money (no evidence of that either).

    And you accuse other people of being irrational?

    If you want to suspect things, fine. Just remember, except for those unable to distinguish paranoia from reality, suspicions aren’t evidence. And the last time I checked, the medical community had determined that paranoia isn’t contagious, so don’t expect to get any traction sharing your imaginary evidence.

    Since it’s obvious you won’t let this go, in spite of being shown to be wrong, you can go on and have the last word, if you wish. Here’s a quote: “To argue with those who have renounced the use of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.” — I’d add “horse” here, to make it topical, but that’s just me.

    And to make it clearer, the use of reason involves requiring actual evidence for holding a belief, among other things, not merely making things up.

  96. GROG says:

    @shortchain,

    1.) Filistro claimed that Palin said something that she did not say.
    2.) I never said Palin didn’t mean treason. I have said there is clearly treason involved in the leaks and Americans will go to jail for it.
    3.) I was asked by another poster what I thought Palin meant and I gave my opinion and then you call me irrational because I can’t prove my opinion. IT’S MY OPINION. I WAS ASKED FOR IT.

    Since it’s obvious you won’t let this go, in spite of being shown to be wrong

    LMAO. That I won’t let it go? I’ve done nothing but respond on this thread to other posters who directed comments or questions at me. And you’re delusional if you think I’ve been “shown to be wrong” about anything on this thread.

  97. GROG,

    I’m very familiar with the world of computer security. You’d be surprised how much things in a similar vein to Wikileaks goes on, and entirely without money changing hands. To some people, money isn’t the most important thing.

    For valuable information, certainly people will pay money. But once the information becomes public domain, its value diminishes substantially. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who would fund projects intended to embarrass a government, but this particular instance doesn’t look like a cost-effective method, so it doesn’t smack at all of a big monetary transaction.

    I should be more specific about Julian’s monetary situation. From what I understand, he has enough money that he doesn’t have to work anymore (making him independently wealthy), but not enough to be hiring a big staff and paying big bribes.

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