Who are you and what have you done with my Senate?
December 16, 2005 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Senate Blocks Patriot Act Renewal In a 52-47 vote, the Republican majority was unable to obtain the 60 votes necessary to end the bipartisan fillibuster. Roll call is in the title link as well as here, Patriot Act provisions set to expire on 12/31 via CNN.
posted by rzklkng (158 comments total)
 
Woo-hoo!
posted by ScottMorris at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2005


to head off this issue, Frist changed his vote, to be against cloture, just so he could, under senate rules, bring up the vote for cloture again.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2005


I was just about to post this. I'm totally floored. Wow. It's like Bush just got cock-punched.

Russ Feingold has the money quote, referring to yesterday's news about the WH authorizing (likely) unconstitutional spying on its citizens:

"I don't want to hear again from the attorney general or anyone on this floor that this government has shown it can be trusted to use the power we give it with restraint and care."
posted by mkultra at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2005


In all fairness, two Democrats did vote to end the filibuster (Johnson, D-S.D.; Nelson, D-Neb.) and allow a vote to proceed on the Patriot Act. More curiously, Bill Frist (R-TN) did NOT vote to end the filibuster.
posted by rzklkng at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2005


I just called Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum's offices to tell them to reconsider their support for the Patriot Act - Pennsylvania will be watching.
posted by rzklkng at 11:02 AM on December 16, 2005


Love the title of the post, BTW.
posted by elquien at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2005


Finally some good news.
posted by Rothko at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2005


A reasonably great day for freedom. Let's hope they don't figure out some way to push it through anyway.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2005


rzklng -- note what Heywood Mogroot said. You can't move to reconsider a failed motion (a motion either withdrawn or voted down) unless you voted against it. Because of this, on close votes, the Majority Leader will switch his vote to "no," so he can go strongarm some more votes, then bring the motion back.

Thus: This isn't over. It's hurt, but it is, by no means, over. Expect a full media assault over this issue. Good news -- you need 60 votes, so they have to turn 7 senators. Bad news -- the Dems habit of caving under media assaults means that this is very possible.
posted by eriko at 11:09 AM on December 16, 2005


I predict they will take the easy way out and extend it for one more year.
posted by caddis at 11:11 AM on December 16, 2005


eriko, granted on the Dems, but they have been hungry for some sort of victory, and recently there has been a few voices that have at least meekly spoken out. Perhaps this will be a watershed moment. Those recent stories of Pentagon and NSA spying on domestic targets has got to hurt a bit.
posted by edgeways at 11:13 AM on December 16, 2005


A version of Patriot Act reauthorization passed by unanimous consent earlier this year in the Senate.

But the GOP excluded the Dems from the conference committee, and came out with a version offensive enough to most Dems and a handful of Repubs that it couldn't get through.

The GOP would rather have this as a political issue than a law.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2005


Thanks for the explanation, eriko.
posted by sciurus at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2005


If it looks like a lame duck, walks like a lame duck, and quacks like a lame duck...
posted by three blind mice at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2005


eriko, thanks, I posted before seeing Heywood's clarification. People, if you like the outcome and your Senator SUPPORTS renewal of the Patriot Act, I recommend giving them a call and let them know that their vite is being watched and has consequences at the ballot box.
posted by rzklkng at 11:16 AM on December 16, 2005


“Those that would give up essential liberties in pursuit (of) ... a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security,” said Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H.

Has John Sununu started reading MetaFilter?

Seriously, it's like they've all been replaced by bodysnatchers. Good, wholesome, American, patriotic bodysnatchers.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:22 AM on December 16, 2005


I just called Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum's offices...

I don't know rzklkng, Specter's probably run his last election and Santorum doesn't seem to give a crap about what PA thinks. I'm not sure how much you can influence either of them.
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2005


MetaFilter: Wow. It's like Bush just got cock-punched.

This is good, maybe Bush will start to realize that he has no mandate and has very little public support for his programs. For John McCain gets him yesterday and he has to flip-flip on torture (while lying through his friggin' teeth) and now this.

I love how the White House won't comment on the Plame outing but had no problem commenting on Tom DeLay's case. And especially how Bush said Rumsfeld is doing "A heckuva job" in complete ignorance that his compliment for Brownie is now part of the lexicon and means "you're a collosal screwup and should be fired".
posted by fenriq at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2005


Hey, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Even if they double back on this vote later, it's a spectacular sight to see the US Government so much as gesture towards doing the right thing, by blocking this renewal today.

I'll take what chance I get to be proud of our government here in the US - I get so few.
posted by rockabilly_pete at 11:25 AM on December 16, 2005


Note that the entire H.R. 3162 (you know, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001), is not going to expire, only parts of it.

I mean, yay and all that, but... yeah, here's the wording:

SEC. 224. SUNSET.

(a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222, and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005.

(b) EXCEPTION- With respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before the date on which the provisions referred to in subsection (a) cease to have effect, or with respect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before the date on which such provisions cease to have effect, such provisions shall continue in effect.

posted by odinsdream at 11:26 AM on December 16, 2005


I love how the White House won't comment on the Plame outing but had no problem commenting on Tom DeLay's case.

I think it is interesting how Bob Novak said that Bush knows who the source of the leak is. What surprises me is that FOX is picking up Novak after he dropped that bomb.
posted by terrapin at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2005


Is there anything significant about the portions of the Patriot Act that expire? Or is this just a moral victory for us?
posted by rolypolyman at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2005


>In all fairness, two Democrats did vote to end the filibuster (Johnson, D-S.D.; Nelson, D-Neb.)

Holy crap. Two democrats! Wow, its like a party that isn't walking in lock step on all the issues. Maybe they have that crazy 'big tent' thing going. Crazy. Politicians who reflect the wishes of their constituents and not the memos from The Party. Bad democrats, vote how the Republicans expect you to! Never question Pelosi!

sigh
posted by skallas at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2005


Maybe they have that crazy 'big tent' thing going.

A big tent fulla guys who love having a secret police.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2005


Whoa, Feingold was blogging about this all week?!
posted by mathowie at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2005


Which party is the secret police party again? I often get them confused. Maybe this will help:
Voting "yes" were 2 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

Voting "no" were 41 Democrats, 5 Republicans and one independent.
posted by skallas at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2005


Thanks for posting Arlen Specter's number, rzklkng! I just called the office to voice my opinion against the act.
posted by Alison at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2005


take note as well, everyone's favorite moderate, McCain, seems perfectly happy to support this thing.
posted by edgeways at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2005


HR3199 is the bill under consideration (or, actually, the conference report for the bill).
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2005


Politicians who reflect the wishes of their constituents

Actually, in our system of government our representatives, and especially our senators are elected to vote their judgements and not run opinion polls on every vote.

The people delegate their powers to representatives, and its our representatives' jobs to effect that power in Congress.

Given the current party system, it is tactically important to stick together, especially how well the Republican party has maintained party discipline.

I've thought about this because I am thinking of running for Congress next year, and I quickly dismissed the platform plank of running online opinion polls since we are not a direct democracy.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2005


watch for them to attach it to the DOD authorization stuff and pass it that way... crooks.
posted by rulethirty at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2005


Which party is the secret police party again?

Both of them, considering they all voted for it 4 years ago 'cause they were trying to be COOL
posted by rxrfrx at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2005


skallas, the point of your 11:40 confuses me.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2005


Feingold's blog direct link.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2005


Hell Yeah!
posted by Football Bat at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2005


rulethirty, I don't think they can do that with and ending a filibuster vote (which is what this really is)

which shows how vulnerable the Repubs are to filibusters, which is why Frist is itching to get rid of it in regards to SCOTUS nominations
posted by edgeways at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2005


Since the Defense Authorization bill is in conference, can't they add anything they want to it? Then that bill could be filibustered, of course.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2005


The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on December 16, 2005


bipartisan fillibuster

Also, isn't it a little wrong to call it a "bi-partisan" fillibuster?

If 95% of one partisan group says one thing, and 95% of the other partisan group says the opposite, are both of those positions "bi-partisan" positions since they may have attracted 2 guys from the other side?
posted by dios at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2005


So does the electoral college, dios.
posted by terrapin at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2005


The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.

No, it doesn't.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2005


Yep.
posted by dios at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2005


The act of adding whatever personal, unrelated shit you want to the end of bills that have a good chance of passing, like the Defense bill, violates the principle of not being an opportunistic asshole.
posted by odinsdream at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2005


Alison: Thanks for posting Arlen Specter's number, rzklkng!

Seconded. Also called Specter. I won't do the same for Santorum because it's a waste of my time and his staff's, and besides, I don't feel like spraying my phone with Lysol this afternoon.
posted by Vetinari at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2005


monju_bosatsu: it absolutely violates the principle of one-person one-vote because it gives other votes disproportionate amounts of influence. See Stewart's opinion in Baker v. Carr.
posted by dios at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2005


"The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote."

Can I get a hanky for you?
posted by 2sheets at 12:03 PM on December 16, 2005


We live in a representative democracy, which means that citizens don't vote directly on laws, and instead elect representatives who we trust, at least in theory, to engage in good goverment on our behalf. The one person, one vote principle means that each individuals receives an equal amount of say in who gets elected, and in turn, how much power that elected official gets in the relevant governing body. How those officials actually act once in that governing body, e.g., engaging in a filibuster, has nothing to do with the one person, one vote principle. Also, this is the Senate, and elections to the Senate are subject only to a limited version of the principle, anyway.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:03 PM on December 16, 2005


Aren't there any Mefites who support the Patriot Act? Can somebody go get one of them and drag them in here so we can have a big gloaty pile-on?
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2005


Color me astonished. I never thought I'd see dios taking the position that Al Gore should have won the 2000 election.
posted by The Bellman at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2005


The legislative committee system, the filibuster, the requirement on some issues of two-thirds majorities all give some representatives, and hence those whom they represent, more weight in determining outcomes than others.

(I should note that I think the one person, one vote principle is a constitutional fiction. But if one supports the one person, one vote principle--that is, the principle of equal weighted votes--then one must oppose many political devices such as what I mentioned above, as well as SMP districts instead of at-large elections.)
posted by dios at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2005


Also, you may be misreading Baker, given that Justice Stewart's opinion is very limited: "I repeat, the Court today decides only: (1) that the District Court possessed jurisdiction of the subject matter; (2) that the complaint presents a justiciable controversy; (3) that the appellants have standing."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2005


Sununu proves once again to be the only Senate Republican who is worth a damn.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2005


The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.

So does having two senators per state, regardless of population. Deal.
posted by lbergstr at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


"The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote."

funny thing, the Senate is not a one-person one-vote institution...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


Aren't there any Mefites who support the Patriot Act?

I don't oppose the Patriot Act. Of course, if you want to gloat, you may want to check and realize that it wasn't abolished with this vote. It still exists, and from what I have read, most Democrats don't want to dispose of it and want to extend its life.
posted by dios at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


funny thing, the Senate is not a one-person one-vote institution...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:08 PM CST on December 16


You are correct.
posted by dios at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


Perhaps this is a little to early for celebration.
I'll go out and have a few drinks tonite, but the real celebration occurs when the idiots admit they won't even attempt to renew that abomination and violation of the constitution in any way shape or form ever again.
posted by mk1gti at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


drat!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2005


Yes! It's pretty sad when we have more to fear from our own government than we do from foreign powers.
posted by mike3k at 12:09 PM on December 16, 2005


The legislative committee system, the filibuster, the requirement on some issues of two-thirds majorities all give some representatives, and hence those whom they represent, more weight in determining outcomes than others.

All of which have to do with passing laws once the members of governing bodies are elected. The one person, one vote principle is about ensuring that citizens have equal representation in governing bodies, and is not a requirement that Congress be functionally equivalent to direct democracy. Again, as I noted above, the one person, one vote principle applies in the context of electing representatives of governing bodies, and has nothing to do with the substantive rules governing procedure in those bodies or the outcomes they produce.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:09 PM on December 16, 2005


"The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote."

Democracy != Mob Rule

Successful democracies have to have limits to the power of majorities. Dios, the Republicans were the minority party for many years and had to use tools like the filibuster many times to keep the Democrats from running over them.
posted by octothorpe at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2005


monju, Stewart wrote a dissent in which he questioned the existence of the principle of one person, one vote. One example he used was that we would have to abolish districts and have at-large elections if the Constitution requires equally weighted votes. There have been small forests fell in law reviews about how the equally weighted vote (one person, one vote) arguments stand in direct conflict with many of the institutions and processes of our government... such as ones already presented here.
posted by dios at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2005


>Aren't there any Mefites who support the Patriot Act?

Sure, I don't have a problem with 203b or 203d.
Section 203(b): Sharing wiretap information

Subsection 203(b) allows the FBI to disclose evidence obtained under Title III to federal officials, including "law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense [and] national security" officials. To fall within Subsection 203(b), the information must contain "foreign intelligence," "counterintelligence," or "foreign intelligence information," and its disclosure must be "appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making or receiving the disclosure."

Prior to Subsection 203(b), existing wiretap law allowed wiretap evidence to be disclosed under certain circumstances, but did not include explicit authorization to disclose such information to federal intelligence officials.

The Justice Department reported (pdf) that it had made disclosures to the intelligence community under Subsection 203(b) two times as of July 26, 2002.

Section 203(d): Sharing foreign intelligence information

This subsection allows for the disclosure of any foreign intelligence information, counterintelligence information, or information pertaining to foreign intelligence -- however collected -- to the federal officials listed above, if no other law restricts or prohibits such disclosure. This section also provides for disclosure of threat information obtained during criminal investigations to "appropriate" federal, state, local, or foreign government officials for the purpose of responding to the threat. Such information can include threat of attack, other "grave hostile acts," sabotage, terrorism, or clandestine intelligence gathering activities.

The Department of Justice reported (pdf) that disclosure of information obtained through grand juries convened during criminal investigations concerning foreign intelligence had been made under Section 203 approximately 40 times as of July 26, 2002. The agency did not explain whether the information was foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, or information about foreign intelligence because "information in international terrorism cases tends to to qualify under all three definitions." The Justice Department also declined to say how many separate grand juries produced the information because it does not maintain that data.
posted by skallas at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2005


dios, let's just get back to this:

"The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote."

Do you stand by this silly statement or not?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2005


The one person, one vote principle is about ensuring that citizens have equal representation in governing bodies, and is not a requirement that Congress be functionally equivalent to direct democracy.

monju, that is not the point. One person, one vote is not a suffrage issue. It is a constitutional fiction that all votes must be equally weighted. Again, if certain representatives have disproportionate power, than their constituents have disproportionate power; their votes are not equally weighted.
posted by dios at 12:14 PM on December 16, 2005


Do you stand by this statement or not?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:13 PM CST on December 16


Absolutely. Have I not been clear on that?
posted by dios at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2005


Aren't there any Mefites who support the Patriot Act?

fwiw, I don't have any major problems with it, either.

Removing bullshit hoops law enforcement has to jump thru is a good idea, considering the risks involved.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2005


Dios: Who gives a shit?

It's also totaly beside the point, which is that the patriot act sucks and now it's going to expire.
posted by delmoi at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2005


I see you avoiding all the comments on your silly statement. That is obfuscation, not clarity.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2005


Heywood, what the fuck are you talking about? What have I "avoided?"
posted by dios at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2005


The GOP would rather have this as a political issue than a law.

Precisely. The Democrats offerred to approve a 3-month extension of the PATRIOT act to allow time for a new compromise to be hammered out, but First rejected it, instead preferring to allow the act to lapse in order to use it as a national-security cudgel against the Democrats in '06. This will backfire for the Republicans, of course, because the PATRIOT act isn't that popular, but it was still a stupid move on Frist's part, if he's as concerned about national security as he claims to be.
posted by deanc at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2005


dios: "monju, Stewart wrote a dissent..."

No. Justices Frankfurter and Harlan dissented. Justice Stewart concurred on narrow grounds, as I indicated above.

dios: "monju, that is not the point. One person, one vote is not a suffrage issue. It is a constitutional fiction that all votes must be equally weighted. Again, if certain representatives have disproportionate power, than their constituents have disproportionate power; their votes are not equally weighted."

You're simply wrong on this issue, dios. The principle states only that citizens must be equally represented in the governing body, not that the governing body may not choose rules which allow counter-majoritarian outcomes under certain circumstances. Otherwise, anytime a representative voted in a way which ran contrary to the majority opinion of his constituents, it would violate the one person, one vote principle. That is clearly wrong.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2005


dios, the principle of one-person, one-vote is one considered of utmost importance in voting issues where the government can choose to violate that for political purpses-- namely, legislative redistricting. THe reason the principle of one-person, one-vote is considered important there is because the process of redistricting is almost invariably gamed in order to violate that ideal.

And the intricacies of Senate rules are invariably silly, but it seems to work out of for them.
posted by deanc at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2005


The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.

That principle died five years and three days ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm in favor of loads of stuff in the USA PATRIOT Act-- improving coordination among agencies and whatnot. In fact, there's so damn much in there that "being in favor of the PATRIOT Act" is almost nonsensical-- it's somewhat like asking if you're in favor of title 5 of the US Code.

There are a small number of offensive little bits in there. And as I noted above, all the common-sense reform aspects of it could be law tomorrow if the GOP didn't insist on balling it up with stuff that almost all Senate Dems, and some Repubs, just cannot vote for.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:27 PM on December 16, 2005


Boy the republicans sure loved the filibuster when the democrats controlled the senate, now not so much. It's a good thing though as it slows down the legislative process. The less they do, the less trouble they get into.
posted by caddis at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2005


You can feel free to count me as one of the people who don't think the PATRIOT act is nearly as bad (or even meaningful) as many claim. In fact, I'd bet that if it didn't have that unfortunate name, and was instead called the Intelligence Reform and Coordination act, or something, there wouldn't be half the hubbub that there is about it. From Slate in 2003:

The truth of the matter seems to be that while some portions of the Patriot Act are truly radical, others are benign. Parts of the act formalize and regulate government conduct that was unregulated—and potentially even more terrifying—before. Other parts clearly expand government powers and allow it to spy on ordinary citizens in new ways. But what is most frightening about the act is exacerbated by the lack of government candor in describing its implementation.

That's not the act's fault. Blame Bush!
posted by loquax at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2005


and of course anything the republicans don't like they label unamerican
posted by caddis at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2005




dios: I am responding to your silly point that a Senate fillibuster weakens one-person one-vote in an institution that disctinctly NOT one-person one-vote; in fact, it is arguable that the fillibuster strengthens the one-person one-vote nature of the body.

your responses:

"See Stewart's opinion in Baker v. Carr" is obfuscatory because there are 600 words in Stewarts concurring opinion, and appealing to a single concurring SCOTUS opinion is an appeal to authority, anyway.

"One person, one vote is not a suffrage issue"

waaah?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2005


75% of dios's presence on metafilter consists of appeal to authority. true fact.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:34 PM on December 16, 2005


75% of dios's presence on metafilter consists of appeal to authority. true fact.

I won't believe that until I hear it straight from mathowie.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:36 PM on December 16, 2005


You're simply wrong on this issue, dios. The principle states only that citizens must be equally represented in the governing body, not that the governing body may not choose rules which allow counter-majoritarian outcomes under certain circumstances. Otherwise, anytime a representative voted in a way which ran contrary to the majority opinion of his constituents, it would violate the one person, one vote principle. That is clearly wrong.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:23 PM CST on December 16


You're simply wrong. (That's easy to say, isn't it? Perhaps we can state our opinions without the editorial comments.)

I remember Stewart's dissent, so I went and looked it up. The Stewart dissent I was thinking of was his dissent in Lucas v. Forty-Fourth Gengeral Assembly, a companion case to Reynolds v. Sims in which Stewart dissented and relied on Frankfurter's dissent in Baker v. Carr.

In Lucas, the majority held unconstitutional a Colorado apportionment that had recently been overwhelmingly approved by the state's voters in a referendum, including majorities in every political subdivision of the state. Justice Stewart took issue with the majority's rationale that "the fundamental principle of representative government is that this country is one of equal representation for equal numbers of people." Stewart, quoting Frankfurter dissent in Baker, said

"It has been unanswerably demonstrated before not that this was not the colonial system, it was not the system exclusively predominantly practiced by the States at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, it is not predominantly practiced by the States today."

He argued that the majority's doctrine was supported by nothing. He argued that the very fact of geographic districting, the constitutional validity of which the majority did not question, carries with it an acceptane of the idea of legislative representation of regional needs and interests." Stewart said ff the goal was equally weighted votes, he did not understand why the Court's constitutional rule did not require abolition of districts and the holding of all elections at large.

Quite simply, the concept of equally weighted votes stands in direct contrast to many devices, including the super majority requirements, filibustering, committee system and the like which give some representatives, and, thus, those they represent, more weight in determining outcomes than others.
posted by dios at 12:36 PM on December 16, 2005


it is arguable that the fillibuster strengthens the one-person one-vote nature of the body

Please, make that argument. I am interested in seeing it.
posted by dios at 12:38 PM on December 16, 2005


heh, seeing dios argue one-person one-vote thing, I see this is coming from Alito's oppostion to Baker v. Carr.

In Baker v. Carr, the Warren court decided to step in and force the Tennesse state legislature to redistrict, something it hadn't done since 1901. This re-enfranchised urban voters who had until then been mathematically reduced to a 1:19 voice in the legislature. That "one-person one-vote" doesn't have anything to do with suffrage is just indicative of dios' insanity I guess.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:41 PM on December 16, 2005


What deanc said. There are points to be scored on both sides, but Frist was offered a three-month extension and turned it down, demonstrating again his penchant for moral cretinism. He doesn't give a damn about the security of Americans, only how it plays on the news.

There are good and bad things in PATRIOT (first off, it's name sucks. Reminds me of GI Joe vehicles) and now that the dust has cleared after 9/11 there's an opportunity to revise it for the better. Alas, the Republicans don't want to play ball.

dios, please go home and let the adults converse. "One person one vote" is applicable to local, state, and Federal elections, not the Congress. See, there's this thing called Representative Democracy and the bicameral solution and the Great Compromise and god, why does anyone bother with you?

And the next time someone says that 9/11 changed everything, remind them that the Constitution and Bill of Rights didn't.
posted by bardic at 12:43 PM on December 16, 2005


Why does Russ Feingold hate our troops secret police?
posted by orthogonality at 12:44 PM on December 16, 2005


dios: "Quite simply, the concept of equally weighted votes stands in direct contrast to many devices, including the super majority requirements, filibustering, committee system and the like which give some representatives, and, thus, those they represent, more weight in determining outcomes than others."

Your argument doesn't support your conclusion. Justice Stewart's argument, as you recount here, had nothing to do with the rules of Senate procedure, but instead, with the selection of representatives. Again, as I noted above, the principle of one person, one vote, applies to the selection of representatives for participation in a governing body, not the act of participation itself.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:46 PM on December 16, 2005


I am glad that Sununu took a stand today but I wonder what a difference it would have made in the Senate if Jean Shaheen had been elected in his stead.

Luckily he had Jim Tobin watching his back. Now Tobin will just have to make sure he doesn't drop the soap.
posted by mickbw at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Please, make that argument. I am interested in seeing it.

Simple really. The 2 senators representing California represent over 30M citizens, 10% of the population of the country, yet they only have 2% of the legislative voice.

The ability to fillibuster, essentially requiring a supermajority of 60%, does, in some cases, result in a more representative, "one-person one-vote" result.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2005


monju, explain me to how the principle that all votes should have equal political power if the vote for one representaive has more political power than another?

The people who vote for Senator X on the position that he will keep Y from happening, have disproportionate influence if the 99 senators support Y but can't get it passed because of a filibuster. The constituents of Senator X have disproportionate power and weight, and that violates the one person, one vote (which doesn't have anything to do with the ability to cast a ballot---which Heywood can't seem understand---and everything to do with giving equal political weight to each ballot). If one representative controls everything, than the votes of the other are dilluted. Does this come explicitly out the opinion? No. But it is an argument that is not original to me, and it is an argument that I don't see how you can so easily dismiss.
posted by dios at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2005


heh, seeing dios argue one-person one-vote thing, I see this is coming from Alito's oppostion to Baker v. Carr.

Pretty entertaining how he prepares his arguments ahead of time in threads only tangentially related to the future threads he is getting ready for.
posted by deanc at 12:52 PM on December 16, 2005


thank god. stick that in your ass and smoke it, Mr President, you cocksucker!
posted by shmegegge at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2005


Perhaps we can state our opinions without the editorial comments.

Comedy that, coming from dios.
posted by juiceCake at 1:01 PM on December 16, 2005


which Heywood can't seem understand

implicit in the democratic right to suffrage is the right to have one's representatives have a proportional voice in said representative bodies (modulo the Senate which is Consitutionally structured differently).

Denial, by the artifice of irrational disproportional districting, of fair voice in a representative body is effectively denying the value of suffrage itself.

I understand already that you and Alito disagree with this. Such wonderful chaps you are.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:02 PM on December 16, 2005


dios, you're beating a straw man. My point is that the one person, one vote principle is not that all votes should have equal ultimate political power. Instead, the principle merely states that proportionally representative legislative bodies must be composed of legislators elected from roughly equal-sized districts. This principle says nothing about the eventual political power of the votes of the representatives themselves. Where legislators are elected from equal-sized districts, the one-person, one-vote principle says nothing about the rules that are adopted for deliberation within the legislative body. Now, you might well argue that some of those rules are counter-majoritarian, but that has nothing to do with Baker v. Carr or its progeny.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:03 PM on December 16, 2005


Just an observation: Monju is eating dios alive on this issue. But that's not the point. The dios-bot is more interested in redirecting the conversation away from subjects he's politically uncomfortable with, which he has done.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2005


Instead, the principle merely states that proportionally representative legislative bodies must be composed of legislators elected from roughly equal-sized districts.

But why?

I don't disagree with your point (you are describing the "how"), but you are ignoring the reason for it (the "why). Why have equal districts? The very point of it is that votes then have equal power and voice. If that wasn't the point, what does having equally populated districts get you? The whole point is that the political power of each ballot cast should be equal. If "one person, one vote" means anything, it means the proposition that ballots have to have equal power.
posted by dios at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2005


How much does this matter when the WH has demonstrated (as evidenced in last night's NYT article) that it doesn't need the PATRIOT act to do pretty much whatever the fuck it wants? G-d knows how many other executive orders there are authorizing illegal spy shit.
posted by jmgorman at 1:12 PM on December 16, 2005


dios, once again you've proven that you are definitely not a lawyer. Not by a longshot. Please stop changing the subject and answer assertions made re: "one person one vote" is not a Congressional philosophy, but one pertaining to the election of said Congress persons.
posted by bardic at 1:14 PM on December 16, 2005


The Bushies could have most of the Patriot Act renewed right now, but they want it all. And since they can't have it all, they'd rather have the issue. Simple as that.

And yeah, McCain's on the wrong side on this one.
posted by pmurray63 at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2005


if "one person, one vote" means anything

cf. monju, above.

Thanks for bringing up Baker v. Carr, btw. I love reading SCOTUS decisions, I should have gone into law:

"The stark fact is that if among the numerous widely varying principles and practices that control state legislative apportionment today there is any generally prevailing feature, that feature is geographic inequality in relation to the population standard.".

wikipedia:

"In U.S. politics and jurisprudence, ["one man one vote"] can be shorthand for various reapportionment cases decided by the Supreme Court, culminating up to the Wesberry v. Sanders and Reynolds v. Sims decisions which ruled that legislative districts had to be roughly equal in population.".

You are correct, I guess, that in a direct democracy one-person one-vote should mean more transparent legislative processes. As monju keeps trying to bash into your brain, that is not our present constitutional system, however.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:22 PM on December 16, 2005


fwiw, I don't have any major problems with it, either.

Removing bullshit hoops law enforcement has to jump thru is a good idea


Bullshit hoops like, letting someone know that their house was searched? Bullshit hoops like actually needing a reason to listen in on your conversations, go to your place of work, bank, library, and telecom and review your records (all the while also forcing them to never tell anyone)?

If those are bullshit hoops, I'm pro-bullshit hoops.

To others: My previous comment quoted the section of the act that details what expires and what does not. One of the more egregious things that doesn't expire is the ability to delay telling people that a search warrant was executed, the extended wire-tap provisions, and the so-called "single jurisdiction" warrants - which, as far as I can tell, makes the idea of a jurisdiction completely irrelevant. Need a warrant to search someone in New York, but your agency is in California? No problem!
posted by odinsdream at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2005


dios: "Why have equal districts? The very point of it is that votes then have equal power and voice."

Exactly right. The citizens' votes each have equal power in electing legislators, who in turn each have a single vote in the legislative body. The legislators' votes, however, are subject to the caveat that the legislative body is entitled to agree on certain rules of procedure. The U.S. House and Senate, for example, are both so empowered by Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...." The fact that a legislative body adopts rules which may have a counter-majoritarian effect, such as the filibuster, in no way detracts from the equally representative nature of the body itself.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2005


dios, given your interests in government, you may find this federal manual to be useful, particularly this section.
posted by deanc at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2005


*bookmarks deanc's link*
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:24 PM on December 16, 2005


Man, you guys are thick. Dios is, well, if not exactly trolling, definitely leading you guys along.

His comment, 'The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote' is misleading in two ways -- first of all, dios has stated in the past that he believes that 'one man one vote is 'inherent[ly] inconsisten[t] with our government.' Therefore, he is not saying that he thinks the filibuster is bad. But you guys go and take the bait and argue that filibuster does not violate one man one vote, which is just arguing to dios that the filibuster is bad.

The second reason his post is misleading is that it has nothing to do with the FPP. The FPP is interesting (if it is interesting) because it shows that the patriot act is losing support in congress, both among Democrats and some Republicans. It is not a post about whether or not filibustering is good or bad, and certainly not a post about one man one vote.

All that being said, my intent is not really to bash dios' post. Hey, he can post what he likes, as far as I care. I disagree with everything he posts, and I think his (apparent) opinions are horrible, and bad for America generally, but I like reading his posts on Metafilter because the make me really mad, and apparently I like being really mad.
posted by jlub at 1:26 PM on December 16, 2005


jlub: consider me slain.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:35 PM on December 16, 2005


jlub, the really misleading part about dios' posts is that we assume that, since he's arguing in favor of an opinion, he, himself, holds that opinion, or that, conversely, his arguing against something means that he's personally opposed to it. He has told us in the past that he's deliberately contrarian, that he argues against what he sees as bad arguments, not against opinions that he's opposed to.

The fact that he does so carefully, rationally, and with documentation does not change the fact that he is, essentially, a troll. He's arguing for the fun of it, not because he feels particularly strongly about one position or another.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2005


monju, again: I understand you point regarding the difference between the voting process and the political process. What I am asking you, if there is a concept in the constitution that everyone's vote has to have equal weight (and I am referring here to the rationale for the rule as opposed to how the result is achieved), then one can argue that either filibusters are unconstitutional because they dilute the political weight of other votes or one can argue that the "one person, one vote" is indeed not a constitutional principle. My position is the latter.

Man, you guys are thick. Dios is, well, if not exactly trolling, definitely leading you guys along.

jlub, I thought I was pretty transparent above when I stated that I believe "one person, one vote" to be Constitutional fiction. I disagree with it as it was a judicially created "rule" that conflicts with the realities of our political structure.

I support filibusters. I just think it is a bit spurious for people to support the use of filibusters and to support the ideological basis for the "one person, one vote" argument.
posted by dios at 1:41 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, I disagree about calling dios a troll. His points in this thread may be peripheral, but they're not name-calling. And a little debate-for-the-sake-of-debate isn't inherently bad, is it?
posted by ibmcginty at 1:42 PM on December 16, 2005


ibmcginty: A troll need not call names. A troll is "a person who posts inflammatory messages on the internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants." Dios is a troll.
posted by anomie at 1:47 PM on December 16, 2005


If he'd simply drop the lawyer facade, I wouldn't mind as much. If he claimed he was a doctor and gave shitty advice on askme, there would be more of a realization that he's a simple troll.

That said, the Dems fillibustered to revise PATRIOT, not kill it necessarily. It's an important piece of legislation, but one written in the shadow of 9/11 that overstates its point, to say the least. Why not just take three more months to revise and debate it (despite the fact that Congress has to go back home to their districts and whore for cash for the holidays)? Both sides are wrong to play politics with the issue, but the Republicans hold the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, and are looking bad to moderate Americans, IMHO. The reportage in the NYTimes over illegal surveillance OK'd by Bush (yes, illegal, not covered under PATRIOT) didn't help of course, nor the general sense that Bush has little capital left to spend re: getting beaten by McCain on torture.

Just wait until February when the Pentagon asks for another $100 billion+ solely for the Iraqi occupation for more sparks to fly. (Ahh, NOLA got 1.5 billion! So mighty white of Bush!)
posted by bardic at 1:48 PM on December 16, 2005


dios: "The whole point is that the political power of each ballot cast should be equal. If "one person, one vote" means anything, it means the proposition that ballots have to have equal power."

and on preview...

dios: "I support filibusters. I just think it is a bit spurious for people to support the use of filibusters and to support the ideological basis for the "one person, one vote" argument."


we don't live in a democracy. we live in a democratically elected republic. "one person, one vote" is immensely important (as others have noted) when it comes to the election of our representatives but completely falls out of the equation when it comes to their role as our elected leaders.

what is spurious about a stance that values the integrity of each vote when choosing a leader that simultaneously values tried and true governing methods (ie: a filibuster) once the leaders are in place?
posted by narwhal at 1:51 PM on December 16, 2005


Bravo, Odinstream. One man's hoops of bullshit are another's bands of security.

I'm enjoying the esoterica in this thread. As an attorney who deals everydamnday with the minutiae of governmental overreach (and let me state I am in the judiciary, not aligned with either prosecution or defense), don't kid yourselves for a second that constitutional safeguards aren't continually under assault. The system takes care of the big guys pretty well. The little guy...well, good luck to him. And you know what? We're all little guys.
posted by bigskyguy at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2005


The whole exchange between dios and me is a rhetorical exercise, anyway. Who knows what we really believe?

dios: "What I am asking you, if there is a concept in the constitution that everyone's vote has to have equal weight (and I am referring here to the rationale for the rule as opposed to how the result is achieved), then one can argue that either filibusters are unconstitutional because they dilute the political weight of other votes or one can argue that the "one person, one vote" is indeed not a constitutional principle. My position is the latter."

Your argument assumes a right that does not exist. No citizen has a right in certain outcomes in a legislative body, even where he or she is a member of the voting majority. Instead, citizens only have a right to be free from vote dilution when selecting legislators. Read Reynolds v. Sims. The rationale for the decision is not that each voter somehow have an equal impact on the substantive policy that comes out of the legislative process, only that each voter have an equal say in selecting legislators, based on the Equal Protection clause. Filibusters do not, in any way, dilute the power of any voter to cast their vote for the legislator of their choice.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2005


I just think it is a bit spurious for people to support the use of filibusters and to support the ideological basis for the "one person, one vote" argument.

Actually, I don't particularly like Senate filibusters, I only bring up the fact that they can produce more "democratic" results when hypocrite Republicans try to paint filibusters against eg. judicial noms as "undemocratic", as the Constitutional structure of the Senate itself is profoundly undemocratic.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2005


Again, in nice little phonemes: "one person one vote" is not related to the Congressional fillibuster. Yes, both involve "votes," but the former concept pertains to the ideal of ensuring fair representation in the election of local, state, and Federal folks. The fillibuster is a Congressional, and I'll admit, problematic device that is used by a minority to block a small majority from pushing through legislation. Ne're the twain shall meet people. If this isn't clear, please read some of the links in this thread regarding these two important but distinct issues.

dios is the guy in my highschool chemistry class who was "just smart enough" to blow shit up in the lab, but not understand why it happened. To defend dios is to defend deliberate trolling of what I'd consider the worst sort--he has no convictions and no ideas. His motivating assumption in this thread is that he could come on and wow us with his matchbook-level legal knowledge of rhetoric and historical terms, but with no underlying knowledge of what these things actually mean. Please re-read this thread if it isn't clear by now what a sociopath he is, and feel free to comment on PATRIOT as I've been doing.
posted by bardic at 1:58 PM on December 16, 2005


a little debate-for-the-sake-of-debate isn't inherently bad, is it?
A little, no. A little can be fun. Ain't nothing little about dios' trollery.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:59 PM on December 16, 2005


"one person, one vote" to be Constitutional fiction

kinda like having one's vote actually counted is Constitutional fiction (cf. Bush v. Gore). Luckily there's that pesky 9th Amendment that explicitly incorporates common-sense and Common Law rights into the Constitution.

But I guess you're just not an implicit-rights kind of guy.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:01 PM on December 16, 2005


(I'm sorry about having to derail this. I have tried to avoid the ankle-biting snipers. But I really wish some people would understand something: I don't care how many times you want to call me a troll. I don't care if you think I am a shill or stupid or anything of the like. You telling me this isn't going to shame me or shut me up, so really all your doing is contributing noise to the discussion with un-substantive personal attacks. And I don't really care what your opinion is regarding what I do for a living. Believe what you want to believe. I have no interest in convincing you of anything about that, and I'm not going to prove to you anything. 99.5% of the time, the issue of what I do for a living is brought up by other people. I never bring it up. If you are tired of hearing about it, then don't bring it up---I don't.

In sum, if you don't have anything to contribute to the substance of what I am saying, don't bother yelling at me because it is a waste of your time and blue space, and I'm not going to respond to insults.

Sorry for the derail.)

posted by dios at 2:05 PM on December 16, 2005




i second that, dios.

though i often disagree with you (and may even have created this account today, just to do so...), i've yet to discover anything you've written that warrants the personal attacks and name-calling. if posting something snarky that spawns a tangentially-related discussion was a crime worth the abuse you suffer, we'd all be labelled trolls and summarily excommunicated.

i still disagree with you, though. =)
posted by narwhal at 2:13 PM on December 16, 2005


Oh, and I like how your ellipsis completely gutted the point of the whereas clause. It reads, in full, "Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog:" (emphasis added)
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:16 PM on December 16, 2005


Oh, but that is good monju,
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA): "Madam Speaker, this resolution purports to protect the symbols of Christmas, but what really needs to be protected are not the symbols of Christmas, but rather the spirit of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas demands generosity and goodwill towards others. Instead of legislation that respects the spirit of Christmas, Congress in just these past few weeks has passed a budget that includes mean-spirited attacks on the least of us. For those who are hungry, we are cutting food stamps. For those who are sick, we are cutting Medicaid. For those who are in prison, we are imposing senseless mandatory minimums. For others we are ignoring increases in heating costs and cutting student loans. At the same time we are cutting those programs to help the least of us, we are cutting taxes for the wealthiest in society. Madam Speaker, we ought to express our passion for Christmas through deeds, not words; and we should not be distracted from our responsibility to uphold the spirit of Christmas as we consider the effects our actions on the Federal budget will have on the least of us during this holiday season. For these reasons I oppose this resolution."
posted by caddis at 2:17 PM on December 16, 2005


I can see it now:

"Hey! Your Senator is more politically influential than mine(he's a far better speaker with more experience)!

That means my vote doesn't count as much!

I call foul! Let's change the rules!"

We're trying to govern a country here, not playing f*cking Calvinball!
posted by Cycloptichorn at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2005


What a fucking coward. What a complete waste of everyone's time. And more evidence that he ain't no lawyer, so please stop deferring to his "authority" on these issues everyone, please.
posted by bardic at 2:21 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm sorry about having to derail this.

You're sorry about derailing your derailment? Mighty big of you.
posted by deanc at 2:35 PM on December 16, 2005


I have nothing to add beyond this: I think wrongfully accusing someone of trolling should be considered trolling. If it were, it would be the only trolling I see going on in this thread.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2005


Can you explain to me how my (or others') accusations of trolling were wrongful? I think it's a pretty tight case, especially if we go by the wikipedia definition pointed to by anomie.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:56 PM on December 16, 2005


What a fucking coward. What a complete waste of everyone's time. And more evidence that he ain't no lawyer, so please stop deferring to his "authority" on these issues everyone, please.

You are aware that monju_bosatsu has actually vouched for dios being a lawyer, aren't you?
posted by Cyrano at 3:13 PM on December 16, 2005


You know, I think Dios is a professional lawyer now, just not a very good one and definitely not a constitutional scholar.

Dios claimed to be a lawyer who works on medical malpractice cases. In that case, he only really needs to be familiar with a subset of legal knowledge. In most cases these are settled out of court anyway, so who cares? You don't need to be that good. Just like there are a bunch of morons claming to be programmers or doctors or whatever, Dios could have passed the bar.


In any event, he's done what he's always done (since becoming the new Dios), derail a thread about something that hurts the conservative clause with completely pointless legal arguments What difference does it make if the filibuster violates 'one-man-one-vote'? (I don't believe it does, anyway). That's rather beside the point. And furthermore he takes now personal position.


That's classic trolling, get people all hot and bothered for whatever reason. I don't know why he does it, but now mostly this thread is about him and not about bush.


He also seems to be rather self-obsessed.
posted by delmoi at 3:15 PM on December 16, 2005


MrMoonPie, I am on my way out the door. If I remember and am not too drunk upon my return, maybe I'll defend my position.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:25 PM on December 16, 2005


Hah! OK, Mulp, fair enough. It is Friday. I'm thinking it's time for me to walk away from the screen for a while, too. Cheers!
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:38 PM on December 16, 2005


MeTa
posted by mkultra at 3:48 PM on December 16, 2005


A troll need not call names. A troll is "a person who posts inflammatory messages on the internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants." Dios is a troll.
posted by anomie at 1:47 PM PST on December 16 [!]



Your post upsets me.
posted by stirfry at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2005


As for the Patriot act (the actual topic of the FPP), I'm glad it failed. There are some beneficial sections of it that I'd like to see extended. But the police-state provisions really can't be tolerated.

This should be all the more pointed in view of the revelation that our Executive has authorized what appears to be illegal surveillance of US citizens even without the PATRIOT Act to back it up. This White House gives me absolutely NO sense of confidence that it can or will use PATRIOT Act provisions in a measured and appropriate way.

I've been reading Feingold's TPMC blog on this issue all week. I have to say this is the first time I've ever heard of a Senator giving day-to-day breakdowns on what is going on in an issue. Feingold even mentions tactics he will employ (e.g., "I will object to that."). This is something pretty new and exciting for participative democracy.
posted by darkstar at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2005


Hoping some version of the Patriot act can be saved/restored. We need this for national security. Bad.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2005


This is something pretty new and exciting for participative democracy.

LOL. In my pipedream of running for Congress this is in my platform.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2005


Cool, Heywood!

I'll be your campaign manager. You know, since we're on the same wavelength, and such. :)
posted by darkstar at 4:42 PM on December 16, 2005


You know, it's unfortunate that so many people think dios is a troll when he's just interested in having a discussion about a legal issue related the topic of the post. Admittedly, the discussion is not directly about the PATRIOT Act, but it is related, given that the reauthorization of the Act was filibustered, and it is related to recent discussions we've had, in the redistricting thread and the Alito thread.

It may well be true that dios takes a position not entirely his own for purposes of the discussion, but that's a common feature of legal discussions both in law school and among lawyers, indulged for the purpose of exploring an issue in depth and from multiple perspectives. I, for one, have enjoyed discussing issues with dios on this and other occasions, and plan on continuing to do so. I've learned plenty, even if sometimes it's only a confirmation of a position I already believed.

And he is a lawyer, whether you believe it or not.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:23 PM on December 16, 2005


Since this has become an argument about dios, instead of the points dios had made, which in turn were not the subject of the FPP, I'll hit all three in the order they occurred.

1) The FPP
Thank you odinsdream for reminding me why I hated the UPA so much. I read all about it when it was first passed, but it's been a while and there have been several fresh battles since then.

Cops aren't Spooks. The UPA tries to change that by giving police the cover of secrecy (Secret warrants, clandestine searches, surveillance at will).

Spies are military and diplomatic tools of the government, and to the degree that the UPA turns police into spies, the UAP is a separation of the government from its people: separation by diplomacy or war, that is.

With apologies to Faint of Butt...
Metafilter: Good, wholesome, American, patriotic bodysnatchers.


2) The subsequent debate
I fear I'm not qualified to defend this position as ably as others have, but dios seems to have missed the mark entirely.

dios seems to be trying to equate the "One Person One Vote" rule with direct democracy. Some have argued, "we don't live in a direct democracy," and others have argued, "that's not what OPOV means" I suspect these two arguments need to have their link explained.

The key to dios's argument is to remove the distinction between the votes of citizens and the votes of representatives, possibly under the argument (I speculate) that the votes of citizens all count equally so that citizens are all equally represented within the indirect votes of their representatives.

The proper reply, which has been made by others but I feel should be more explicitly stated, is, "The election process is egalitarian. The decision process is elect. One Person One Vote is an expression of our egalitarian election process, not our elect decision process."

A hypothetical example of this could be to have universal egalitarian suffrage for the election of representatives, but then require that the representatives all fight one another with Nerf(tm) weapons to make laws. One Person One Vote applies, regardless of what the senate rules are.

Simply put, One Person One Vote is unharmed by filibusters because you can't filibuster an election.

3) Defense of dios.
Since dios has been accused of trolling, I'll respond.
a) A troll is only malicious if he argues poorly or incites others to argue poorly. As the word troll has acquired a pejorative connotation (regardless of the denotative portion of the definition) it is unfair to call dios a troll.

b) From what others have posted, I SUSPECT this is a portion of a multi-post modus tollens argument, which I will outline.

i) Defeating the UPA by filibuster is good, therefore filibusters are good (because the ends to not justify the means).
ii) Filibusters are antithetical to the principal of One Person One Vote (his current argument)
iii) If filibusters are good and filibusters are antithetical to 1P1V, 1P1V is bad.
iv) Defeating the UPA by filibuster is good (vocally held belief by Mefi).
v) One Person one Vote is therefore bad.
vi) Some other argument entirely about some issue dios cares about (Bush v. Gore maybe) is bolstered by this chain.

I don't want to put words in dios's mouth here. My point is to show that there are many possible reasons dios could argue the way he does. There are many alternatives, and it is unlikely he is simply making random or mean-spirited arguments, as some have claimed.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2005


Re: the argument on the FPP

Nice analysis, RD!


Re: dios

He's not random, nor mean-spirited, as far as I can see. Just inconsistent and unwilling/unable to acknowledge when his argument has been effectively undermined. But that's all being addressed in the MeTa thread. :)
posted by darkstar at 5:45 PM on December 16, 2005


if it didn't have that unfortunate name

The entire goddamn name is made up of acronyms. It's the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:16 PM on December 16, 2005


i'm surprised at the so-called liberal republican votes, collins and snowe of maine and chaffee of rhode island. i thought at least these republicans were reasonable, but i guess not.
posted by brandz at 7:43 PM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, about that name. I call it the UPA as an acronym for the acronym. It's faster and less loaded. I hope this convention gains popularity.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:18 PM on December 16, 2005


Why not simply call it what it is? H.R. 3162. I refuse to use that obtuse acronym in any serious dialogue.
posted by odinsdream at 10:45 PM on December 16, 2005


I am so ecstatic that this action is finally happening I cannot possibly describe it. I get (some of) my Constitutional rights back!
posted by Doorstop at 11:06 PM on December 16, 2005


Mostly because calling it H.R. 3162 gets a, "what?" reaction, and it looks like you're going out of your way to avoid calling the USA PATRIOT ACT, which you're going to have to explain anyway.
posted by Richard Daly at 11:10 PM on December 16, 2005


it is unlikely he is simply making random or mean-spirited arguments, as some have claimed.

that hook in your mouth is gonna hurt when you swallow.
posted by quonsar at 2:24 AM on December 17, 2005


Hey South Dakota and Nebraska dems: WTF?

Democrats voting YES:
Johnson, S.D.; Nelson, Neb.

Lose these bozos.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2005


Hyperblue: representatives are products of the districts that elect them. Conservative districts will send more conservative people to congress.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:42 AM on December 17, 2005


Mostly because calling it H.R. 3162 gets a, "what?" reaction, and it looks like you're going out of your way to avoid calling the USA PATRIOT ACT, which you're going to have to explain anyway.

That's the point. I am going out of my way to avoid calling it the Patriot act, because 1., it's a loaded title, and 2., that isn't what it's called. I like to take every chance I have to explain this to people, too.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 PM on December 17, 2005


Also, H.R. 3162 could be any number of bills, since bills are renumbered starting from 1 each Congress. What, you're this upset about the proposal to allow 80% meal-expense deductions? If you want to call it by a number, call it PL 107-56.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:35 PM on December 17, 2005


You know, between this, the fraud scandals, and the continual leaking of damaging information -- NSA abuse, Air Deputies going cowboy, all the endless Iraq lies, the tensions in the whitehouse -- I get hopeful that the attitude in the USA becomes one of cleaning house.

You got an Administration that's choc-a-bloc full of bad people. You need a good, solid housecleaning. All those guys taking bucks under the table need to be exposed. All those guys who are telling whopping lies to their constituents and to the US at large need to be exposed.

A clean sweep would do you good.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:05 AM on December 18, 2005




Impeach! Impeach! Clean house! Bring back integrity, honesty, serving the people instead of corporations!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:11 PM on December 18, 2005


A clean sweep would do you good.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:05 AM EST on December 18 [!]


How true.
posted by caddis at 5:29 PM on December 18, 2005


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