Posts Tagged ‘the west wing’

If you’re going to try to fix the filibuster, you should start by actually making people filibuster. That means no killing motions to proceed. It means a talking filibuster, Smith or Stackhouse style. It means taking the floor, and keeping it until the other guys give in. It means reading recipe books on the floor of the US Senate, on camera.

Because filibustering something is an extreme option, it should be at least somewhat difficult to do.

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After the Vice President (kinda) and several major administration officials (definitely) voiced their support for marriage equality in the past few days, Obama has been taking heat from the left for not directly voicing his support for marriage equality. Some large fundraisers are withholding their donations, and 72 congressmen have voiced their support of the executive order. Greg Sargent lays it out:

Obama’s claim that he’s evolving on the issue, and his very good record on gay rights generally, has paradoxically made it harder for Obama to continue holding out against gay marriage. His “evolving” position and overall record have left gay advocates fully persuaded that he does favor full equality for gay and lesbian Americans, increasing impatience for him to say so already, and making them all the more certain that his failure to do so is rooted in nothing but political calculation.

TPM has a timeline of events relative to the issue here.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the president is just playing politics here, but the politics of it baffle me. I really don’t think its the case that he will lose too many votes by supporting marriage equality. He never had those votes to begin with. And his record on gay rights is really very good, so folks looking to cast an anti-gay vote already have plenty of reasons to vote against the guy as it is.

On the flip side, however, supporting equality absolutely will win him votes, and could help mobilize and excite his base.

Supporting marriage equality is good policy, its good politics, and its actually the right thing to do. That combination is pretty rare in politics these days, so why not take advantage of it?


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Political Walking

The return of political walking!

Did somebody say initiative? Actually a bunch of us said initiative. I definitely said initiative.

The West Wing cast reunites to promote walking. And talking. Its hilarious. I can’t figure out how to embed the video so watch it here.

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Vote Bartlett!

…for Best Fictional President.

The National Constitution Center is doing a bracket this month, and after beating out Matt Santos in the first round, Jed Bartlett is up against Henry Ashton. He has a commanding 87 point lead, but there have only been 30 votes cast.

So, my friends, vote Bartlett! Let’s bring him all the way. If the turnout stays as low as it has been, shouldn’t be too hard.

UPDATE: I should have provided a link to the bracket. Its here.

I’m a nerd.

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By now, you’ve all no doubt heard that Rick Santorum would like to ban pornography.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this. It’s really simple. It’s an obviously dumb idea that is obviously unconstitutional. But it did remind me of the following exchange from The West Wing, unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip, but here’s the quote:

John Van Dyke: If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn’t that too high a price to pay for free speech?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
John Van Dyke: Really?
President Josiah Bartlet: On the other hand, I think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.

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Newt Gingrich says that defeating President Obama is a matter of national security, because he is incapable of defending America. Newt also points out that we run the risk of “someday in your lifetime of losing an American city” to a terrorist attack.

Well, yes, I suppose that’s true. That is a possibility. It could happen! But let’s be clear. It would be just as possible under President Gingrich, President Romney, President Paul, President Santorum, or President Anyone-the-hell-else. Isn’t fear-mongering fun?

Every time I step into the subway I run the risk of being in an enclosed space with someone that has the Ebola virus. It could happen!

Every time I go out to eat, I run the risk that some USDA APHIS agents fell asleep on the job and my burger contains active mad-cow prions. It could happen!

Is America at risk of suffering a terrorist attack? Of course it is. To pretend otherwise is naive. But what does that mean? Should we give in to fear and let the threat control and define us as Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove before him seem to want? Or should we go about our lives?

I, for one, will continue taking the subway, eating burgers, and living in American cities.

And I’ll leave you with this, from The West Wing (I know, I know). Newt (and Rick Santorum) would do well to take note:

What’s Islamic extremism? It’s strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say “strict adherence,” I’m not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there’s only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: ‘Allah-uh-Akbar.’ “God is great.” If your guys are getting creamed, then you’re on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren’t allowed to attend school or have jobs. They’re not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don’t have to tell you they don’t need to shout at a soccer match because they’re never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they’re playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them… You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.

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I found this to be a good one in light of recent events:

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