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Hypothetical question - If Gore had been elected Prez..(73 posts)

Hypothetical question - If Gore had been elected Prez..Softrider
Sep 10, 2003 11:32 AM
Where do you think our country would be right now, politically, economically, ect.?
Lower deficit, that's for sure.czardonic
Sep 10, 2003 11:50 AM
Who knows what would/could have happened if the Bush Administration had heeded the outgoing Clinton Administration's warning that terrorism would be their number one priority? Presumably, Gore would not wasted time between January and September 2001 on Missle Defense and resurrecting the War on Drugs as our national law enforcement priority. That does not mean that the systematic intelligence failures that made 9/11 possible would have been remedied, but who knows what dots may have been connected, if by accident.

Economically, we would be in a similarly stagnant situation. However, the unemployed and impoverished would likely be getting more support.
my guess is that he's still going to run this timeDougSloan
Sep 10, 2003 12:01 PM
...which is not necessarily a bad thing.

9/11 still would have happened. Gore would have talked tough and then done nothing about it except talk some more.

He'd have been trying for all sorts of new expensive social programs, but the Repubs likely would have blocked every attempt.

The economy was already on a downward slide. He'd have inherited that, and then could not blame anyone else.

BTW, I still think Gore is going to run in '04. He's staying out of the fray early, but I bet he'll be "drafted" and feel compelled to run.

re: Hypothetical question - If Gore had been elected Prez..MR_GRUMPY
Sep 10, 2003 12:18 PM
9/11 same
Afganistan -same
Iraq - only UN aproved action
economy - not great, but much better than today
politically- on the ropes, because of talk radio going on and on about how those scum liberals allowed our country to be attacked, while they were sleeping. (On the job)....(Or after having gay sex).....or something else very bad.
Why would the economy be "much better than today"? nmLive Steam
Sep 10, 2003 12:21 PM
Why would the economy be "much better than today"? nmMR_GRUMPY
Sep 10, 2003 12:33 PM
No stupid tax cuts, when we really don't need them, no $170,000,000,000 dollar costs in Iraq (I like all the zeros), and best of all, no fear of an idiot president. (My favorite).
I'm sorry but,TJeanloz
Sep 10, 2003 12:39 PM
There is absolutely, positively, no perceptable way that the tax cuts have had a negative impact on the economy. Yet.

They could, via higher interest rates, in the long run, impair economic growth, but there is absolutely no indication that they have had this impact. In fact, not cutting taxes might have left us worse off. The correct argument, from the economist perspective, is that tax cuts were necessary, but the wrong taxes were cut (i.e. they should have gone more to the middle class).

There is no way that without a tax cut we would be better off.
There seems to be some disagreement on that.MR_GRUMPY
Sep 10, 2003 12:44 PM
But most of the people who do, are crazy wild eyed liberals. Most of the people who don't are level headed Bushites.
yes, but the way Bush promoted the tax cut...gtx
Sep 10, 2003 1:16 PM
was bad for the economy. For several months during 2001 he would not shut up about how 'bad' the economy was doing. Perception = reality. Nice going, dude.
I love politics,TJeanloz
Sep 10, 2003 1:19 PM
If he had said that the economy was good, you would be declaring that he had lied about it.
I love politics,gtx
Sep 10, 2003 1:27 PM
Plenty of conservatives in the Wall Street Journal, etc., were calling him an idiot for this tactic at the time. I think you have to pay to read their archived content, but a quick google search turned up this, which was a pretty typical article way back then:
That's one of my favoritesTJeanloz
Sep 10, 2003 1:41 PM
A lot of liberals believe that because the WSJ has the words "Wall Street" in its title, and that it covers financial markets, its editorial board is conservative. Back to the fallicy of equating the rich with being conservative. The WSJ is actually relatively liberal in its economic policy editorials, and has been routinely critical of "conservative" economic policy.

The Wall Street Journal, nor the Economist (another often falsely attributed) are not conservative voices. I'm not contesting that Mr. Bush's repeating that the economy was in rough shape didn't make it so; I'm saying that if he had said anything else, you'd have a gaggle of liberals pointing fingers and calling him a liar.
That's one of my favoritesgtx
Sep 10, 2003 1:55 PM
Please don't tell me the WSJ is part of the "liberal" media. And how would Bush be "lying" if he said the economy is "good" or "bad"?--neither would depend on what your definition of 'is' is.
Sep 10, 2003 2:02 PM
what I meant to type was that a statement about the condition of economy WOULD depend on what your definition of 'is' is. I think that's what I meant, anyway. ;)
I'm not trying to...TJeanloz
Sep 10, 2003 2:07 PM
I'm not some guy who buys into the vast media conspiricies. I do think there is one - they all have the same ultimate goal of selling papers.

But the economics touted by the editorial page generally laud social causes and cast doubt on conservative causes. I can't think of the last time that they supported a Republican economic proposal. Wall Street is really a very liberal place, believe it or not.
Maybe Republicans just tend to propose lousy economic policy. nmczardonic
Sep 10, 2003 4:20 PM
and just recently........rufus
Sep 10, 2003 4:08 PM
he lambasted the media for doing the very same thing, always reporting about how poorly the economy was doing, and how that was negatively affecting people's perceptions of their own situation.
Gore was elected, bush only won the count.Jack9
Sep 10, 2003 11:51 PM
Gore was elected, bush only won the count.
that makes no sense nmDougSloan
Sep 11, 2003 7:56 AM
Tax cuts not really tax cutszman994
Sep 11, 2003 1:02 PM
They cut your taxes then print billions in new money thereby reducing the value of the money you have. These 'tax cuts' are simply a political move. Let them balance the budget then give us real tax cuts. Spending is out of control under Bush.
You'd have posted: "Hypothetical question - If Bush had been elected Prez." nmKristin
Sep 10, 2003 12:21 PM
only two real differencesmohair_chair
Sep 10, 2003 12:24 PM
1. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be in this Iraq quagmire.

2. That fascist Ashcroft would still be in Colorado or where ever he came from and wouldn't be trashing our Constitution trying to take away our privacy and civil rights.

Other than that, there wouldn't be much difference. The economy would still tank. 9/11 would still happen.

I will credit Bush for going in and dishing out some whoop-ass on the Taliban, which is something I don't think Gore would do.
re: Hypothetical question - If Gore had been elected Prez..Duane Gran
Sep 11, 2003 5:27 AM
1) September 11 would have still happened

2) We would have toppled the Taliban

3) Saddam would still be in charge of Iraq, but on the other hand, we would not be in charge of Iraq.

4) The defecit would be lower
Three Main DifferencesJon Billheimer
Sep 11, 2003 8:43 AM
Were Gore pres, 1)America would still have allies and friends;2)America would be fighting the real attackers, Al Qaeda, rather than having created a straw man in Iraq and thereby exacerbated an already dangerous enough threat; and 3)the erosion constitutional freedoms via the fascist lunacy of the Patriot Act would not have been foisted on the American people by an attorney general who hates liberty and fears pluralism in all its forms.
Three Main Differencessn69
Sep 11, 2003 9:11 AM
While I don't/won't argue with points 1 or 3, I tend to think that 2 is off, way off. There's no reason to believe that Gore's military policy would have been any different than Clinton's, albeit modified to placate the unified call of the American public for revenge/justice.

Clinton's history of military action was largely marked by inept intelligence driving half-assed, poorly planned/executed military actions. There was an overt unwillingness to use appropriate force when called for, such as after the African Embassy bombings or the Cole, and his intrinsic lack of understanding (perhaps unwillingness to understand) about our military capabilities was sadly enabled by the senior uniformed leadership after Powell's departure from the JCS.

PBS/NPR have aired many tapes and written transcipts documenting much of the foriegn policy process during that period, and Gore was always an ardent voice for "let's just wait and see." Tragically, "wait and see" only served to embolden AQ, Hamas, Abu Sayaaf and their Saudi Wahib financeers.

It's interesting that the single voice of reason (WRT appropriate military use of force) in Clinton's inner circle was Maddy Albright, who was knee-deep in the morass of Saudi duplicity and, I believe, understood the full ramifications of Clinton's meandering, seemingly directionless foriegn policy as far as the growing AQ threat and Iraq's actions with UNSCOM were concerned. Lobbing cruise missiles based on sketchy intelligence does not make for sound policy. ...Then again, neither does "cooking the intel" to justify larger actions on the opposite end of the spectrum.

In any case, I doubt that Gore's reaction would have been as appropriate as the Winter '01 Afghan Campaign was (and still is). Action would have surely happened, but I'm not certain that it wouldn't have resulted in a boggish quagmire in Afghanistan that would make the current crisis in Iraq look tame by comparison (again, the current chilling effect on the rest of the world notwithstanding).

Just try to imagine how Gore might have handled the EP-3 incident from March/April '01.... That tends to get lost in the shadow of the events of September.

Ultimately, leaders need to lead, diplomats need to facilitate diplomacy and, God forbid, if it comes to that point, the military leadership needs to be allowed to wage war; FULLY F-IN' FUNDED, supplied with good intel, and empowered with the ability to win swiftly/decisively coupled with a compassionate, well-thought-out exit strategy on the back end.'s been a long damned time since we managed all of that.
Sep 11, 2003 10:01 AM
"There was an overt unwillingness to use appropriate force when called for, such as after the African Embassy bombings or the Cole. . ."

I agree with you, though I would say that the genocides in Africa were the glaring examples.

I don't know what use of military force could have made a differece with respect to Al Queda. Whatever the humanitarian upside to the campaign in Afghanistan, Al Queda continues its operations and even seems to be expanding. One could claim that if we hadn't chased those rats into the hills they would be committing even more acts of terrorism than they are now, but that is pure speculation.

Of course, it is that kind of faith-based speculation that undpins Bush's triumphalism with regard to the War on Terror. "We've dropped a lot of bombs and killed a lot of people. That has to count for something." Maybe so, but it remains to be seen whether lashing out at targets of opportunity in Afghanistan and Iraq are winning the larger war.
Totaly agree about the Central African Crisissn69
Sep 11, 2003 11:25 AM
That has exceeded the horrors of the holocaust and is rapidly approaching Stalin's death toll. Unless it can be stopped--and I'm dubious that the Western World will ever give a hoot--it wouldn't surprise me to see it exceed Mao's #s, both due to direct murder/genocide and due to indirect inaction (food, famine, disease, AIDS, etc).

As for my comments about the lack of action with AQ, one decisive common theme gleaned from interrogations of ranking AQ prisoners is that our lack of decisive action after the embassies and the Cole was largely viewed as a weakness that could and should be exploited. Apparently the invasion of Afghanistan took them by surprise in the sense that, for all of their wickedly smart planning, they were nonetheless naive about the American response.

Their premise, in stead, was based on a 25 year history of ineffectual actions on our part in the region: Bloody the Americans a bit and they'll withdraw. Cease to make it interesting or PROFITABLE, and they'll withdraw.

Por ejemplo, we vaguely supported our quiant little proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, but quickly abandoned it after the main body of the People's Army pulled out, leaving the puppet regime alone to continue their absurdities. Likewise, we all but ignored the Taliban in spite of their truly horrific records of human rights abuses and drug trafficing. We made a brief go in Somalia, but withdrew when we got our noses bloodied. We made covert, ineffectual efforts in Sudan and Chad, again quitting when encountering the slightest hint of resistance (and because we established a diplomatic foothold in Eritrea). Further back, we did little to press-home the initial assault on SH, yet we maintained a very deadly yet coslyt low-grade war via Southern and Northern Watch. We suckered the Shiites into believing that we'd support a rebelion against SH, but we failed to follow through, and in 1 year SH slaughtered over 300K of them. We did much the same with sections of the Kurdish north. Etc...

The bottom line in my mind is that there was a time in which bold, decisive action--both diplomatic and militaristic--could have swayed the course. DoState was in advanced talks with Mullah Omar prior to the TLAM attacks in Afghanistan, and the one-eyed psychopath was apparently ready to toss Osama out on his arse. Then we went and arbitrarily started lobbing missiles based on faulty intel and even faultier intentions (that instrinsic lack of understanding I referenced). All we did was solidify the relationship between the Taliban and AQ while also garnering even more financial support for their efforts courtesy of Saudi Arabia. Remember, the BinLaden family fortune alone was/is not funding this little caper.

Ultimately, however, it's ALL speculation on our part, both for and against. It's simply my opinion that Gore wouldn't have handled the issue much better in term's of Jon's second reference.

Afghanistan seems to be a continuation of that trend.czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 11:45 AM
Maybe my mind is being poisoned by the "liberal media", but it sounds like other than a few photo-ops and token (temporary) improvements, little ever changed and much that did is on a back-slide. Outside of Kabul, despotic warlordism and religious fundamentalism are still the reality.

Whatever the case, Bin Ladenism remains unpunished and unrepentant and at best, the people in Afghanistan are slightly better off. Saddam is punished, though unrepentant, and for the time being Iraq seems worse off.

Clinton lacked initiative, but Bush seems to lack follow through. I think that either could be taken as a sign of weakness.
Again, I'll agree with your final statement.sn69
Sep 11, 2003 12:12 PM
That said, I don't believe in a liberal media. You've commented before on my comments on the media; however, I continue to insist as much as in the past (considering I was once a journalist) that the media is far less about furthering a covert politcal agenda than it is about selling a product to earn revenue. Sex, violence, greed, corruption, color--those are the things that sell copy rather than the mundane issues of normality and day-to-day life.

Now, lest you assume that I'm implying that normality has returned to Afghanistan, I'm not. Rather, I'm stating that "despotic warlordism," also known as tribalism to anthropologists, is the traditional system of rule rather than the genocidal and religiously oppressive hand of the Taliban. There's still so much that could occur there that it's still just SPECULATION, but I'd say that a great deal has changed. Simple, mudane things like infrastructure--roads, power, water, schools, etc--are being reestablished. Unfortunately, so too is the opium trade.

Don't forget, Afghanistan is the historical point of demarcation between the classic Middle East and the Far East. Ethnic differences are so prevalent that it's not easy to classify the area. In as much as there's no one ruling sect of Islam (beyond the Taliban's poor-man's version of Wahib Shi'i), it's hard to dictate that religious fundamentalism is the order of the day there now. Things that our shallow Western minds associate with Fundamentalist Islam do not exist throughout much of the county. If anything, Afghanis are defiantly Afghan in spite of their many ethnicities and tribal subsets--they have never embraced the religious fundamentalism that characterizes so much of the Middle East. ...Except for many of the Pashtun, that is; and they are largely the group who gave rise to and profited from the Taliban's regime. Kabul, if anything, is still the epicenter of underlying currents of Neo-Wahibism, and with the exception of the Pakistani frontier, fundamentalism is not taking root. Rather, there's a return to tribal life.

Good, bad or otherwise? Who the f knows, but it's NOT the infrastructure that provided safe haven for AQ, and that's a start. BinLadenism (I like that, incidentally) is an interesting paradox of sorts. I'm of the opinion that the worst thing that can happen is that he's captured and paraded around in front of the world to become a seen martyr. I think a quiet albeit messy .50cal round to his noodle and an anonymous burial in the mountains would be more fitting. Beyond that, his constant, tired claim of occupational crusaderism on our part is no different that what he sought to do in Afghanistan, pots and kettles notwithstanding. All of those tribal elements who didn't embrace BL Wahibism were brutally squashed by his Taliban enforcers while he sought to establish his own puppet regime that he could quietly run through Omar in order to further his megalomaniacal goals.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the Anti/Pro Bush/French/Candian/Iraqi/Whomever facets of round three of WW4, that we loose clarity of vision with regards to Bin Laden's actions, past and present. True, he hasn't been caught yet, but not for lack of effort in spite of the early diplomatic f-up during the '01 Winter Campaign (when the SAS damn-near had him).

The other question that begs to be asked is if BinLadenism has honestly grown substantially before and since the Iraqi campaign, or if we're simply, FINALLY aware of it. Either answer is troubling.
I don't think simply disappearing him will do the trick.czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 12:40 PM
I think the only way to diminish his appeal is a 1984 style "rehabilitation". He suddenly re-surfaces a pale, repentant and hollowed out shell of his former self who is determined to mind his own business. (Of course, he is later dealt with once and for all).
I could buy that if there was a way to get there from here.sn69
Sep 11, 2003 12:53 PM
He's already got the cellibacy bit going on like the book....

...Unless he and the doc...oh, wait. Nevermind, I just ate.
Why does Ashcroft get all the blame?TJeanloz
Sep 11, 2003 9:23 AM
One thing that puzzles me about the USA Patriot Act, which, I'm on the record as being 99.9% against (there might be some .1% that I'm not familiar with), is that this thing was passed overwhelmingly by Congress - yet it gets blamed entirely on the "facist" Ashcroft.

Um, we have checks and balances to prevent facists from gaining too much power, and in this case, it was hugely approved. The Senate vote was 98 - 1. And you could argue that it would have been political suicide to vote against it - except that Senators who weren't up for reelection for 5 years wouldn't feel the pressure to vote for it. John Kerry, who ran unnopposed, wouldn't have felt the pressure to vote for it.

At the end of the day, responsibility for something like this has to fall on:
(A) the Congress who passed it
(B) the President who signed it
(C) the Court which upheld it (so far)

But we put it all on:
(D) the guy tasked with enforcing it.
He is the act's primary defender and cheerleader.czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 10:09 AM
He is not some dispassionate enforcer "tasked" with someone else's mandates.
He is the act's primary defender and cheerleader.Jon Billheimer
Sep 11, 2003 10:22 AM
TJ, you have a point about the entire Congress swallowing the police-state legislation. It is a sobering thought that Hitler's power was democratically conferred on him by the Reichstag. So not only does Ashcroft bear responsibility for the slippery-slope slide into an authoritarian state, but also those elected representatives charged with the care and feeding of democracy---and also a fear-driven public who would sell their souls for the illusion of security.

Scott, how can you be so sure that Gore's foreign policy reaction would be identical to Clinton's previous policies? As far as basing actions on half-baked intelligence, that's exactly what Bush and Co. have done. My belief--I may be wrong here--is that a Gore administration would have listened to the professionals both within State and Defense and consequently, whatever America's response was, it would have been more appropriate than what we have witnessed.
He is the act's primary defender and cheerleader.sn69
Sep 11, 2003 12:30 PM
My assumptions--and they are only that, so take 'em for what they're worth (probably not much)--are based upon the tapes that I listened to on NPR and Frontline as well as several interviews I've read with high level diplomats from the Clinton era. On the occassions when Clinton did seek military action, Desert Strike, Desert Fox, various TLAM strikes and "some other stuff," Gore was in full-on agreement with the yes-men on the staff who felt that low-grade, low-risk responses could solve things simply and quickly. They didn't.

Of course, one swings the rudder hard over in the other direction (ah-hem) and the net result is essentially the same.

Still, I don't think that Gore would have fared much better responding to the first campaign. Like I said to Czar, one also has to assume that the leaders of the JCS might be different too, and if Gore followed the trend that Clinton set, we wouldn't have a strong, unified uniform-wearing (ah-hem) voice. We'd have more Shalikashvelis.

The oddest part to me, though, is that Wolfowitz would still be lurking in the background, like he did as a consultant during parts of Clinton's administrations.
He is the act's primary defender and cheerleader.Jon Billheimer
Sep 11, 2003 1:23 PM
My view is that the Afghanistan response was both predictable and justifiable. Whether it was the best way to try to do in Bin Laden I don't know, simply because I'm not a military genius privy to a whole bunch of intelligence. The follow-up in Afghanistan that Bush and a whole supporting international cast promised for sure has not been there. I think Gore, being much more of a multilateralist, would have done a much better post-invasion job of trying to rebuild Afghan infrastructure, etc.

I believe that a Gore admin. would have been much more likely to either opt for a containment strategy with respect to Iraq or to have acted only with a solid international concensus and REAL coalition. In either event the aftermath would be a lot easier to deal with. I also believe that a Gore administration would have been much more prone to heed the advice of both military and political policymaking professionals within government. Whether he would deal more directly with the Saudis is an interesting question. Until the international community through the U.N., and probably with U.S. leadership, brings diplomatic, military, and if possible trade/financial pressure on Saudi Arabia the issue of OBL-type international terrorism will never be effectively dealt with.

The chief advantage a Gore administration would have had in dealing with this whole mess is that it wouldn't be constrained by an ignorant and arrogant ideological prism through which reality is refracted and distorted. The current policymaking in style is reminiscent of Soviet-type policymaking: i.e. force reality into your ideological straitjacket and/or just play pretend.
Well, there were similar policies/ideals extolled by thesn69
Sep 11, 2003 1:28 PM
previous administration from the viewpoint of my peer group, although that's a small minority compared to the vast numbers affected by this so-called Patriot Act (that name really ruffles me).

As for Gore's ability/willingness to heed the advice of his uniformed members (I said members), I don't believe that for one instant. He was a key player in Shalikashveli's installation, and he was every bit as contemptuous of his military leadership as his boss was, which was honestly surprising given his history.

Again, it's all conjecture and it's all water under the proverbial bridge. Here's a different slant fer ya. If he had become president, do you think his wife would have resurrected her Parents' Music Resource Center censorship nonsense? She could have appointed her buddy Lizzy Dole to be the Amer'can Musical Mutwah Brigade Comandante.

Odd alliances indeed are born inside the beltway.
Between Tipper and Vice Pres. Lieberman. . .czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 1:52 PM
. . .you can bet the PMRC would be in full effect. That's something I hadn't considered. . .
So, the Madonna/Brittney kiss would have been banned? nmsn69
Sep 11, 2003 1:53 PM
Banned? Nah. But the Congressional Hearings would be. . .czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 2:12 PM
. . .on-going. Morally upstanding citizens would be encouraged to gather in the streets to smash their CDs in defense of real American values.

Naturally, the liberal's response would be. . . .
Sep 11, 2003 2:18 PM
If there were to be Congressional Hearings, then we'd get to see it over and over and over again on the idiot box, right?

Hmmm...I wonder if a failing "Penthouse" could sue for potential copyright infringment. In any case, a whole lotta teenage boys would be spending time "alone."
What with the internet, nobody relies on CSPAN for smut anymore. nmczardonic
Sep 11, 2003 2:31 PM
Only for tragic comedy and odd foriegn humor (Parliment). nmsn69
Sep 11, 2003 2:37 PM
Hahahahahaha!Jon Billheimer
Sep 11, 2003 3:09 PM
Being a foreigner I miss most of these political/cultural subtleties going on in the Republic:)-

You could well be right about Gore. I didn't realize he was so dismissive of his own military advice. I was aware that Clinton had several chances to get Bin Laden though. Hindsight is always 20/20. The two foreign policy issues that rile me the most about the present gang-in-power is their dishonesty and opportunism with respect to Iraq and their apparent blind willingness to do nothing about Saudi Arabia, which from day one I thought was the real culpable governmental party. Now if I, a not-very-well-informed layman, could figure that out in the weeks following 9/11, surely the prez and his advisors knew it all along but have chosen for politically opportune and financial reasons to ignore it. Then they pretend they're the great patriots defending the nation. Frankly, it makes me want to gag.
Somebody else posted this recently, Jon:sn69
Sep 11, 2003 3:21 PM
The House of Saud isn't long for this world, and frankly I fear the power that will over-throw them. The degrees of anti-Western hatred that ferment in the kingdom after the nutbags formally takeover will mean that WW4's larger battle will have been finally joined in earnest.

Here's the goofiest irony of them all. The first person to formally brief Congress about Bin Laden was none other than Ollie North when he was at NSA before Iran Contra.

I swear, Sienfeld's best writers couldn't make this sh!t up.
and again, we reap what we sow.rufus
Sep 12, 2003 7:18 AM
as we did in iran, propping up a brutal and horrible dictator who kept his people down at the point of a gun and the knock on the door of the secret police, to out support of saddam hussein, to egypt, to saudi arabia, where the royal family lives in splendor while keeping most of its citizenry in poverty, all the while encouraging anti-american and anti-israel sentiments as convenient scapegoats for the oppressed, our emphasis on short-term stability and easy, convenient solutions, foments hatred and antagonism among the poor and destitute of the region.

just as islamic fundamentalism rose in iran in response to our support of the shah, so too is it growing in places like egypt and saudi arabia. and when those in control of those states do fall, the ones next in power will be very antagonistic toward the US, who they see as the primary sponsors of those who have kept them down, brutalized, and poor for so long.

but we still don't get it.
"Primary Defender"?TJeanloz
Sep 11, 2003 10:28 AM
98-1 is a pretty resounding vote in an otherwise sharply divided Senate.
But, who is supporting it now?czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 11:48 AM
Fact is that while many in Congress have reconsidered their positions, Ashcroft has not. He still thinks it is a great idea, and he has a lot of other great ideas that he would like to tack onto it.
Who's reconsidered? (nm)TJeanloz
Sep 11, 2003 11:50 AM
Even Paul Wellstone voted for it.
Bob Barr (R-GA). Anthony Lewis (D-CA).czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 12:16 PM
Those are two that were mentioned in an article I read this week. The original House vote was 357 for and 66 against. This July, 309 voted to curtail the "sneak and peek" provision. I don't think that midterm turnover can account for the difference, and if not that sounds like a considerable amount of reconsideration of previous supprt.

Bottom line, Ashcroft wouldn't be lobbying for the extension of the act if the tide of support had not turned significantly.
So, he managed to persuade how many Demos that tried...DougSloan
Sep 11, 2003 10:45 AM
to block him from even getting the appointment? Wow. He must be one persuasive dude. That's a helluva "cheerleader."

I suspect that some of the senators who voted for this may even "hate" Ashcroft, or at least his positions. It would be difficult to argue they were complicit or overly unfluenced by Ashcroft. This thing was overwhelmingly passed DESPITE Ashcroft, not BECAUSE of him.

I am talking about today, not two years ago. (nm)czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 11:49 AM
so, he's wrong to utilitize a law Congress passed? nmDougSloan
Sep 11, 2003 1:07 PM
He's being criticized for not doing what Democrats worried he...TJeanloz
Sep 11, 2003 1:14 PM
Ashcroft is being criticized for not doing what Democrats feared he would - selectively use the laws that Congress passed to further his own "facist" adgenda. They passed the law, it falls on them.

They could also repeal the law, if they were so opposed to it...
<i>Anyone</i>, Congress included, who supports this law. . .czardonic
Sep 11, 2003 1:24 PM
. . .is wrong, in my opinion. How do you like them apples? Support in the days immediately after 9/11 is more understandable, but still not excusable. Ashcroft is on recored as unrepentant supporter of the continuation and expansion of this act. It remains to be seen which members of Congress will right their past wrongs.
Ashcroft swore he'd enforce the law, whether agreed or not. nmDougSloan
Sep 11, 2003 7:59 PM
Another Republican with no personal responsibilites.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 7:09 AM
Is it his "duty" to lobby for new laws?
maybe you forget his hearings?DougSloan
Sep 12, 2003 7:25 AM
The expressed concerns about Ashcroft by the Liberals during his hearings for appointment were that he'd ignore the law and do as he pleased. He made it very clear that he'd enforce the law as it existed, and that seemed to satisfy enough of his attackers that he was confirmed.

Now, you are implying that he should ignore his commitment and ignore the law as it exists, which was determined by the same people who put him in office.

Hypocrisy aside, you could make a valid argument that he should not utilize an unconstitutional law; however, no court has found it to be unconstitutional, and I'm SURE you don't want Ashcroft making that determination on his own, right?

You didn't answer my question.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 8:47 AM
I'm not interested in what the "Liberals" said way back when. This isn't even a liberal issue, as plenty of conservatives are nursing a PATRIOT Act inspired legislative hangover.

I am interested in what people are saying now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and all. Many, conservative and liberal alike, are concerned about what the passage of this law has meant for civil liberties.

Ashcroft is not concerend. He has made the determination (on his own?) to do more than merely enforce the mandate given him. I don't think the law requires him to try to manipulate the legislative process behind the laws? Does it? So how am I implying that he should ignore his commitment?

Doesn't someone have to challenge a law before it can be considered by the SC? If so, why not the AG?
You're missing the point,TJeanloz
Sep 12, 2003 8:55 AM
I certainly don't agree with a lot of the Patriot Act. But the Act was passed by Congress and signed by the President, which leaves Ashcroft NO CHOICE but to enforce it. He was grilled at his hearings about whether he would selectively enforce laws, and he said that he wouldn't. If he did, you would be calling him a facist liar.

What is this "manipulate the legislative process"? Congress asks him to testify, he does. That's his job. At the end of the day, Congress wrote the law, Congress passed the law (98-1 in the Senate), and the President signed the law. Yet it's Ashcroft's fault?

You should be faulting the Congress and the President (which, I know you have no trouble doing) for passing the law - not Ashcroft for using legal means to adhere to his mandate.
Sep 12, 2003 9:42 AM
I deal with every single one of your arguments at other points in this discussion.

In short, Ashcroft is neither soley responsible, nor is he blameless.
Fair enough,TJeanloz
Sep 12, 2003 9:50 AM
I agree that Ashcroft isn't blameless - he did, after all, ask for these powers to be granted.

I'm just sick of hearing "Ashcroft and his Patriot Act", as though he were solely responsible for tearing up the Constitution.
I can understand why you are not interestedDougSloan
Sep 12, 2003 9:10 AM
So, you're not interested in what the Liberals said, because it doesn't help your point. Problem is, what they said, at least in their vote, is vital to this issue. They said this law is needed and appropriate, in effect. That alone should be highly persuasive to any person, including you, that at a minimum this was not solely Ashcroft's baby, which I believe was your original point.

Laws can be unconstitutional on their face or as applied. If this one were uncon on it's face, it would be relatively easy to challenge. However, if it's not, but we must wait to see how it's actually used, then the issue might not ever arise. Just because a law could be wrongfully implemented doesn't mean that it has or will be. I think you are presuming that it will be. If Ashcroft never abuses the law, then no one is harmed.

Apparently, you can't.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 9:36 AM
Nor do you seem interested in what they are saying now. They have since voted to roll back provisions that they originally believed to be needed and appropriate. Now, why would their views of 2 years ago be more persuasive than their views of 2 months ago?

I'm not presuming anything about the legality of the law. I think it is an affront to the spirit of the Constitution, if it squeaks by on the letter. I don't think I ever said it should be struck down by the SC. I think that it should be allowed to sunset. Ashcroft does not, and has taken it on as his "baby".
what was the q?DougSloan
Sep 12, 2003 9:45 AM
The one about his duty to lobby? I don't think that is a "duty," in the sense that he is obligated. I think it is permitted, but not required.

The Congress speaks most importantly, if not solely, through their votes. The only vote on this was to pass it.

Ashcroft does have a duty to investigate crimes and enforce the law, given every tool Congress has given him. If he were not utiziling this law to investigate and prosecute crimes, he would not be doing his duty.

Until changed or voided, this is the law. Period. He must use and enforce it.

Sep 12, 2003 10:01 AM
He is going above and beyond his duty to enforce the law. I think that disqualifies the notion that he is solely a dispassionate enforcer of a legislative mandate.

If he is someone else's tool, he is enough of a tool in his own right, too.
never said thatDougSloan
Sep 12, 2003 10:40 AM
Never suggested he was solely dispassionate (there you go again with strawman arguments). It was your allegation that he was solely or primarily responsible, which was at least implied by you and others, that we were contesting. No doubt he was in favor of the law. However, the fact that 98 senators, many of whom dislike Aschroft, were also in favor of it dilutes his involvement almost to the point of being meaningless. The legislature passed this law, not Ashcroft. The fact that he lobbied is trivial compared to the role of the legislators.

You've got be joking.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 11:17 AM
There I go with strawman arguments, and then:
    "It was your allegation that he was solely or primarily responsible, which was at least implied by you and others, that we were contesting."

"Soley or primarily responsible"? As far as his relationship with the law is concerened, I said that he is its primary cheerleader. There is a difference. What I and others are implying is that Ashcroft is an anti-liberty authoritarian. His lobbying is not at all trivial to that question. What is irrelevant is your "just doing his duty" defense. He could quit if he didn't like detaining people without trial. If he thought it was an uncomfortable but required duty, he could simply hold his nose and keep it out of the legislative process. Certainly, nothing requires him to draft expansions to the legislation that would give him the power to strip people of their citizenship so that he can deny them their rights. He is on record in favor of gestapo tactics that Congress has not even considered granting him.

I guess only the "Liberals" with their infernal "strawman arguments" would waste their time complaining about laws which don't harm anyone anyway. Others are keeping their eye on the ball, parroting two year old votes cast in the shadow of a national tragedy as gospel. If they've changed their minds since, well that's obviously "hypocrisy".
So voting records expire?TJeanloz
Sep 12, 2003 11:37 AM
Who cares if the vote was two years ago. The Constitution hasn't changed in that time. If it was right then, why is it wrong now?

Do actions expire? Will GWB not be held accountable for his WMD claims after two years?

Regardless of what Ashcroft wants (according to you), the issue in question is the USA Patriot Act that was passed. How can you justify support for legislators who passed this act?
No, but I still believe in redemption.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 12:13 PM
The voting record is a red-herring. Again, why would the voting record of 2 years ago be more relevant than the voting record of 2 months ago?

Actions don't simply expire. They are mitigated or redeemed by subsequent actions, such as reigning in Ashcroft, which many one-time supporters in the legislature have seen fit to do.

Bush doesn't get a pass because he refuses to admit his mistakes.
it wasn't right thenrufus
Sep 12, 2003 3:10 PM
but our spineless leaders, so afraid to appear as soft on terrorism after 9/11 so recently behind them, and so wanting to appear aggressive and patriotic, passed a knee-jerk, stupid law that most of them probably never read or understood its implications. a law i believe was primarily written as a wish-list of ashcroft desires.

much like the rush through of the bill giving the president war powers against iraq, with little debate or questions, so they passed the patriot act.

now, in hindsight, cooler heads are looking back and saying, "my god, what have i done?" ;)
I think it is,TJeanloz
Sep 12, 2003 7:26 AM
And it's Congress' duty to say no.

It is his duty to go to Congress and say: "I'm having a tough time enforcing the laws that you've passed, but if you gave me XYZ tool, I could more effectively enforce the law." It's the duty of Congress to say: "XYZ is unnacceptable, you need to do the best you can to enforce our laws with the tools we give you."

We also need to understand that without (and even with)those tools, some things will slip through the cracks. It's a fine line where defending liberties infringes on them.
He isn't just going to Congress.czardonic
Sep 12, 2003 8:53 AM
The reason being that Congress isn't playing ball anymore. So instead, he is lobbying their constituents in local law enforcement.

I understand that with those tools, some things will slip through the cracks. So screw 'em, I say.