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One of the most disgusting aspects of the Filibuster debate is how Goopers shout "this is Unprecedented!" - "this has never been done!" - "this is a break in tradition!" -  "never in the history of the Senate, has a Judicial nominee been Filibustered!"

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Lies and Liars are Disgusting things.

The "Unprecedented" break in tradition began in 1968, when Goopers Filibustered LBJ's Supreme Court nomination of Abe Fortas.  Fortas, who had been on the Supreme Court as an Associated Justice since 1965, was elevated to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren in 1968.  

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There's more Whoop-ass below

The Goopers didn't want another Warren, so in an "Unprecedented" move [there's that word again], they blocked Fortas from a "Straight Up or Down Vote"!!

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Tricky Dick and Strom stand over Fortas, - 'toon by the Late,Great Herb Block

Now for the Goopers who fake ignorance about something that occured 37 years ago, well their is something more recent: Goopers Filibustered two Clinton appointees in 2000 - why that was only 5 years ago (Hmmmm).  The Goopers, led by none other than Bill "Nuclear Option" Frist tried to block Richard Paez and Marsha Berzon from a "Straight Up or Down vote."  See their dirty hands, on Roll Call votes #37 and #36 But what is more maddening, is how so called reporters, whether in print or on TV, simply nod their heads when some Gooper lies about historical facts:

RICH LOWRY: Well, I think days of 75 to 80 votes on anything are kind of long gone or just in this polarized era where the margins are going to be much smaller. And, I mean, it is a fact with maybe one exception that the filibuster has never been used in this way before. It hasn't.

JIM LEHRER: They've used other process but not the filibuster.

MARK SHIELDS: Abe Fortis was the first.

JIM LEHRER: Abe Fortis was the first, right. OK, we have to leave it there. Thank you both.

Now Jim Lehrer isn't an idiot...he really isn't.  And neither is Gwen Ifil, who recently went mute during her interview with Gooper Charles Pickering.

JUDGE CHARLES PICKERING: This is totally unprecedented. The filibusters have never applied to judicial nominees until 2001. There was not one single judge that has ever been denied at confirmation because of a filibuster until the Bush nominees.

JUDGE CHARLES PICKERING: In fact the filibuster didn't come in until many years later and it has never been applied to defeat a judicial nominee before the Bush nominees.

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Abe Fortas was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 11-5 vote. .

Now these so called reporters know what the Goopers started in 1968 and what they did in 2000.  Yet they just sit there and let the guests lie to them , and  more importantly, to their audience.  And I don't mean to single out The PBS Newshour, because it's that bad on all the news outlets.  The papers and weekly mags: they just play along and repeat the lies to their readers.  And as Atrios likes to say, "if Clinton did that.."  That's right, if Clinton or his surrogates lied about the Filibuster, they would be stopped cold.

So to the MSM or the Corporate Media.... have some self respect, and start acting the same way you would if a Dem lied to you.

Originally posted to Al Rodgers on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  History is such a bitch for those GOOPERs (none)
    But they're working to fix that too.
    •  Isn't that why they invented (none)
      the Ministry of Truth and the Memory Hole?

      It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

      by beemer on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:07:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually The Bush Administration Has Done Better (none)
        They've outsourced MiniTrue to the Corporate Media itself.

        No need to have a big building staffed with party members retroactively editing issues of the Times.  Our media censors itself from the get go!

        This is an enormous cost savings, which is passed directly on to you, the taxpayer.*

        *Offer assumes you are in the top 1% of income earners in the U.S.

        "Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by GreenSooner on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:44:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! They censor themselves! (none)
          Can you imagine?  They don't need Hitler's SS troops bashing in the door, they censor themselves!!!  WTF is going on?  How can these "reporters" and "talking heads" live with themselves?

          No election fraud in 2004 you say? Don't forget this video

          by kathika on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:12:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Then comes the day (none)
      United American Theocratic Republic will be the new name in our new government-approved history books.

      The books in which slavery was never abolished, women were always good dominionist home-bodies pumping out good dominionist babies, liberals, atheists, Jews (except a few tokens for armageddon purposes), gays, and those dirty intellectuals were all purged in the "terrorist" pogroms, and Ronald Regan was the father of the nation.

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.
      ePluribus Media - Donate!

      by mataliandy on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:09:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can see right wing nuts (none)
        Wanting to rename the country
        The United Christian States of America.
        They would think Theocratic could mean any religion and the right wing religious nuts would want something more specific..I think.

        We choose hope over despair; possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism.-John Edwards

        by wishingwell on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:30:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The fix is in (none)
      It doesn't serve any purpose to review the past - all problems have to be assessed in the here and now e.g. 'We are in Iraq now therefore it is pointless to analyse how or why we are Iraq'

      According to the Bizzaros an analysis of history serves no purpose therefore there is no history.

      Under different circumstances it would either be very funny or very Zen.

      'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

      by stevej on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:22:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know what they say (none)
      "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."
  •  That newspaper is clearly a fake (4.00)
    The Washington Post didn't have kerning in 1968.

    And that bit about "Cheers to Jeers" with Muskie shows that this was cooked up by some Kossack.

    No, seriously... great find. If we had a functioning media these days, this would be shown in every newspaper and magazine.

    But sadly, 'taint.

    I used to try to be amused, but now I'm just disgusted.

    by Malacandra on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:19:22 PM PDT

  •  What a tangled web (4.00)
    we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    Don't sweat it, brother.  Play it cool.  Let them think they're winning.  It'll all come back to haunt them in 2006 and, barring that, 2008 at the latest.  Patience.    

    Am I allowed to shamelessly plug my little blog?

    by ChuckLin on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:25:16 PM PDT

  •   Bill Frist is a Lying Stooge (4.00)
    What?  Like this is somehow news?

    Don't tell me you're a Christian; let me figure it out for myself.

    by GOTV on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:27:19 PM PDT

    •  OMG! (none)
      "While in medical school, Frist adopted cats from Boston animal shelters, telling shelter staff he intended to keep them as pets. He would then experiment on and kill the animals as part of his medical studies. Later, in his 1989 book "Transplant," he commented: "It was a heinous and dishonest thing to do. I was going a little crazy." Although Frist's practice has been known for 11 years, the matter appears to be gathering new attention since his election as Senate majority leader. Although the practice was not illegal at the time, some states have since enacted laws prohibiting such actions and PETA has recently called on him to apologize."
  •  If a picture's worth 1,000 words. . . (none)
    then that WP cover is worth 10,000

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by pontificator on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:41:01 PM PDT

  •  And Anyone Politically Aware in 1968... (4.00)
    ... remembers well the name Abe Fortas to this day.  

    That filibuster was no small fucking deal.  Because that time it really was a grave departure.

    Any reich-wing pundit or politician over fifty who touts the "never in the history of the Senate" line is lying right in your face.

    And any newsmodel who nods is doing exactly the same.

    "But why destroy Hitler?" -- Pat Buchanan

    by Irfo on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:58:49 PM PDT

  •  Qualifications making it "unprecedented" (none)
    The smarter and more duplicitous of the freepers will find distinctions between the planned filibusters of the 7 judges today and the past filibusters to support the argument that they are "unprecedented."

    -- e.g., The Fortas filibuster was bipartisan (i.e., it included future Repubs like Thurmond, who was a Dem. at the time), so the current filibuster is an "unprecedented" partisan filibuster. (Interesting parsing from the party that went on and on about the meaning of the word "is").

    But my favorite argument is that Dems opposed Clarence Thomas, but did not filibuster him.  Therefore, this shows that filibusters of judges are not a Senate tradition.

    •  Variation on this - The Byrd Option (none)
      This parsing of "precedent" is similar to the new catch phrase, "The Byrd Option," intended to imply that they will not be the first to break Senate rules on changing the rules to shut down a filibuster.  This has been demolished here by Armando et al., but the explanation is so detailed that the likes of McConnell will just repeat it until it becomes version no. 150 of the Big Lie.
  •  Save that to your hard drive... (none)
    ...before the house and senate pass legislation mandating "memory holes" be installed in every home and public building...
  •  Don't Forget the NY Times (4.00)
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  •  Fortas led others to consider judicial filibusters (none)
    A year after the Fortas filibuster, Senators considered using the filibuster again, this time against G. Harrold Carswell.

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  •  Court TV (none)
    I don't watch it often (really, I don't) but I happened to have Court TV on earlier tonight and they were talking about the filibuster.  One of the guests tried to pass off the "unprecedented" line and the host actually called him out on it siting the number of cases.  The guest asked the host where she was getting her information and she said the NYT and the Washington Post.  He said sometimes you have to read further material - which, sadly, I agree with.  The larger point in there, though, is that the MSM has become so untrusted that it can undermined in such a simple way.
    •  Undermining Facts (none)
      The rightwingers have used that tactic effectively for some time to attack the integrity of news organizations regardless of how accurate their reports. The MSM has certainly harmed itself, contributing to the widespread mistrust the public has for it. But even if the MSM were perfect in its reporting, the rightwingers would continue to effectively attack with the Big Lie technique that says that any report from a so-called liberal news organization is false.

      The fault on cable television news programs, shoutfests or no, is the convention that whatever a guest says on one show is confined to that show--no follow-up bullshit patrol is allowed. That's why the rightwingers get away with so much crap.

      Note that the Daily Show, the main mission of which is bullshit patrol, breaks that convention.  To devastating effect, they juxtapose weaseling and lying with indisputable facts.

      Imagine how much less crap would be thrown on so-called news programs if the programs followed up on guests' statements. But that's not really in the ratings/financial interest of TV news programs. It's more profitable to keep the argument going. And it's easier and safer (the false appearance of impartiality) for so-called anchors to preside over political food fights than weigh in with facts.

      Subvert the dominant paradigm--play accordion.

      by millennialpaine on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:28:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  talking points be damned; make the chimp the issue (4.00)
    I hate to use the expression reframe but that is what we have to do...this judge/Bush deserve up or down vote shit......

    Try this on....

    these judges don't "deserve" anything. Its the United States that "deserves" things. And the main thing the US "deserves" right now is to be protected from the absolute power that Bush will gain if he destroys the last resistence, that of the filibuster. That is what Bush wants. And he doesn't "deserve" it. He has misled the country into a terrible war, put our economy into a dangerous position, and is trying to destroy your social security. Is this the kind of judgment that "deserves" total control of America's future? Of course not.  

    It's the United States of America that is "deserving" in this situation, not the judges or the  president, and what the United States of America "deserves" is to be protected from is George W. Bush.

  •  More on Fortas (4.00)
    From Watergate criminal (reformed), John W. Dean: Hatching A New Filibuster Precedent: The Senator From Utah's Revisionist History:

    Senator Hatch should have checked the Senate's own official history. According to the Secretary of the Senate, who vouches for this website, entitled October 1, 1968: Filibuster Derails Supreme Court Appointment, it was very much a filibuster that defeated Fortas: "On October 1, 1968," the website notes, "the Senate failed to invoke cloture. [President] Johnson then withdrew the nomination, privately observing that if he had another term, 'The Fortas appointment would have been different.'"

    More (duh) at the link. This was posted awhile back in a fine diary that eventually went front-page (IIRC). But I don't feel bad about the repetition since we don't all see everything.

    There is no iron that can enter the human heart with such stupefying effect as a period placed at just the right moment. -- Babel'

    by abw on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:49:15 PM PDT

  •  If the rules are so fungible (none)
    what's to stop Harry Reid from stating that Democratic votes should count double?

    Seriously, are Dems ready with moves to win public support and drown out the "up and down vote" mantra that seems to be testing so well with conservative focus groups?

    I think we need to assume Frist has the votes and figure out the best possible response. Not that I don't trust Reid, but it shouldn't have come to this. This will be the biggest constitutional crisis since the firing of Archibald Cox.

  •  If only... (none)
    people knew as much as we did. Ha!

    "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus.

    by BrianL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:18:44 PM PDT

  •  It's really hard to fight opponents (none)
    who just make shit up whenever they need a supporting argument.

    At least Democrats ought to learn the lesson from this whole sickening affair never to compromise with liars. Ever. This thing proves that the majority leader and most of his favorite henchmen are liars. They have no shame. The President and most of his favorite henchmen lied us into a war.

    If the Nuke option does pass, the Democratic Party should vote unanimously against every fucking bill the GOP puts out there until 2008, no matter how trivial it is, even if it's to declare June to be "Mom, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet" Month. "We just say NO to liars." (Hell, they should probably do that anyway, because there isn't one goddamn GOP bill worth supporting)

  •  In Defense of Lehrer (none)
    I thought Lehrer and Shields did a pretty good job of calling Lowry on his bullshit.

    Subvert the dominant paradigm--play accordion.

    by millennialpaine on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:03:23 PM PDT

  •  no shit sherlock (none)
    good diary though!

    What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War? George W. Bush had a plan to get out of the Vietnam War.

    by hazydan on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:24:58 PM PDT

  •  GOD! (4.00)
    Thank you for pointing out this talking point--the talking point upon which about half of the argument against judicial filibusters and for "nuking" the Senate rests--with the truth of the matter: judicial nominees have been filibustered before.

    It's times like these when, although the overall effect of such a law would be dangerous, i feel like we should just bite the damn bullet and pass a law saying something like "any representative proven lying about something big will be removed from office".

    It's a bad idea, yeah... but at times like these i have my fantasies.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:31:57 PM PDT

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