Friday, 21 January 2005

A Time to Say No

[UPDATE 3:
Now that Gonzales is out of the judiciary, it is time to contact every senator about their upcoming votes. If you want to leaflet go to this page and print out the appropriate flyer for your state - preferably on brightly colored paper - and go down to the transit center, mall, or local hangout.
]

[UPDATE 2 (UPDATE 1 is at end):
Daily Kos's hotspur believes that phone calls are more effective than emails in getting through to your senators, and provides all the phone numbers in his post.

Armando continues to track this issue closely, and opposition is mounting. We've got to keep the pressure on. If it gets through committee but with significant opposition, then it's on to pressuring EVERY senator to take a stand against this brazen attempt to install someone who disdains international law as America's top law enforcement official.]


Armando, over at DailyKos, was right on target in what he wrote about the Democrats' role and responsibilities vis-a-vis the Gonzales confirmation, and cabinet confirmations in general:
Democratic Senators ... regarding the level of deference a President is accorded in the formation of his Cabinet ... have argued that the standard of review for a Cabinet position nominee is lower than that applied to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

... But higher deference is not the equivalent of a free pass. Some standards remain. Otherwise there would be no role at all for the Senate. ...

Alberto Gonzales can not, by any measure, meet the minimum standard required to approve his confirmation as Attorney General of the United States of America. Many would quibble about his qualifications ...

But one issue unconditionally DISQUALIFIES Gonzales as an acceptable choice for Attorney General - his indefensible role in providing a legal apologia for torture as official policy of the United States.
It may be a credit to our system that partisans don't routinely vote against all cabinet nominees with whom they have policy differences, but that doesn't mean they should give carte blanche to the President to install any ideologue regardless of qualifications. I just hope these Democrats have learned something from the bitter experience of having played nice by granting Bush a free pass for military action in Iraq in the fall of 2002, and then getting labelled as "flip-floppers" when he abused the privilege.

It now looks like we have at least another week to contact our Senators with strong messages. Sure it's a long shot, but if the Democrats would stand united, and the six most moderate Republicans were flooded with millions of objections from around the country, maybe we could get his nomination withdrawn without need for a filibuster. I'm planning to write both of my Senators (again), and send emails to McCain, Hagel, Specter, Collins, Snowe, Lugar, and Chafee.

I have no illusions that these moderate Republican Senators are going to get any progressive legislation through in the coming session, but they are our best defense against the extreme excesses we're likely to encounter. It's not a secret, they might as well hear from us.

A sizable anti-Gonzales demonstration on the Capitol steps would be welcome as well.

[UPDATE: This still isn't out of the judiciary committee - so ...
Do you live in Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, or Wisconsin?

Time is running short to make your voice heard regarding the nomination of Alberto Gonzales. I believe the Senate Judiciary Committee is taking it up again this Wednesday. Please call or write your senator, especially if you have a senator on the committee. Even if your senator on the committee is Republican write them and get your Republican friends and relatives who have sufficient common sense to understand why AG is a bad choice for AG to write them. Let them know the position of Attorney General is far too important to be left in the hands of someone whose credibility has been irreparably damaged by his known legal counsel. That counsel has in some measure contributed to prisoner abuse cases at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere, which have tarnished our nation's reputation as an example for Justice. Even though Gonzales himself may be an upstanding citizen, (and remember your Senators may know Gonzales, and be unmoved by letters and calls which attack him personally) this public record of counsel damages his effectiveness and credibility from the outset. Be respectful but firm. President Bush needs to find another choice for this important position from the large pool of qualified candidates.

Act today or tomorrow!]

16 comments:

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Thanks for the links. I just sent emails to all of them, plus Kennedy, who is my senator on the Judiciary Committee.

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