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OK, I'm ignorant, why does Hillary have to be

by Roger NC / January 1, 2013 8:07 AM PST

questioned before she can quit as head of state?

Even after she retires she can still be subpeoned to testify before Congress can she not?

I hear the Republicans are refusing to hold hearings on confirming Kerry until Hillary recovers and testifies as head of State department? Did I misunderstand?

I'm not looking for a rehash of the fingerpointing about what happened. I asking why she can't retire and can Congress require she stay as Head of State Department even though she can't travel, she medically can't do the job?

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Revenge, pure and simple. They have hated Hillary since
by Ziks511 / January 1, 2013 5:02 PM PST

she was "the unelected co-president" with husband Bill, and her temerity at trying to give the United States a healthcare program. They will wrap themselves in the flag and say it''s so that the deaths in Benghazi can be understood and those guilty of dereliction can be punished, but Hillary has always been a red flag to the Republican bull..

They despise her education, her assertiveness, her political stance and as Republicans have moved farther and farther rightwards, her attempt to keep the Democratic Party at least somewhat closer to the centre of political discourse.

It is the sad legacy of the difficulty Republicans have had getting some of their more extreme appointments made over Senate Democrats objections. Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas stuck splinters under the Republican hide which continue to fester. Republicans' attitudes seem to have moved from the partnership role that the legislative branch is supposed to have with the Executive; the concept of Advise and Consent to an idea of: "We won, now shut up and do what we tell you !"

It is this same attitude that makes a Republican minority in the Senate try to obstruct everything the Democrats have been trying to do for the last 4 years. The filibuster, in short.

In 2010, James Fallows wrote: "4) A heartening end-of-year trend is new attention to abuses of the filibuster -- as the Atlantic's Josh Green points out here, and Ezra Klein here. When we wonder about dysfunction of the US government, it's worth realizing how much one person, Senator Mitch McConnell, has done to prevent the government from filling vacant judgeships and posts, considering economic and international legislation, and so on. If the historic extremes of this year -- in which McConnell oversaw the staging of 91 filibusters, or nearly four times as many as in the 1800s as a whole -- finally motivate Senators to reconsideration of the rules, there will have been some payoff."
I will say this statistic is a bit disingenuous since for the first 50 years of the 19th Century the Filibuster didn't exist.


Republicans seem to see themselves as fundamentally more American than anyone else, and that theirs is the moral centre of the country. Therefore they feel they have to stop anything which runs counter to their radicalized and rightward shifting stance. As Rachel Maddow has said. "I'm a liberal. That means I hold a position consistent with that of the Eisenhower Administration on most things."

Ted Kennedy mourned his failure to take the Healfh care agreement offered him by Richard Nixon, which shows how far right the Nixon Adminisration was.

This polarization of Republican opinion, and the increasing power of billionaires to dictate policy to the rank and file (viz. Grover Norquist) isn't conducive either to good governance, or to a sensible response to the Kerry nomination for Secretary of State. Since it is clear that Hillary isn't going to be up for a grilling for some time, just confirm Kerry and then go through the ritual humililation of the Republicans' favourite whipping girl at a later time.

Incidentally, it is very hard to get decent figures or graphs on the Filibuster later than 2010. Most of the sites I found in my survey were narrowly drawn Republican sites trying to prove that there has been no filibuster. It's a Lewis Carroll world Through the Looking Glass.

I have to say my favourite concept, though, is that the United States is NOT a Democracy. In strictly nit-picking terms, this is true, it is a Democratic Republic with an indirect system of election of the President. The trouble seems to be that Republicans have taken the NOT a Democracy idea too much to heart. Since the Legislative branch is entirely directly elected, and the use of the Electoral college to choose a President having less than an absolute majority is a rarity, this is a variety of hair splitting which has no relevant meaning. A Republic is simply a country with an elected rather than an hereditary head of state. What is it about Elected that is so hard to grasp? Is it perhaps that Republicans fundamentally don't trust Democracy? That they would be happier with an Oligarchy made up of the wealthiest to direct the course of the country. Certainly that seems to have been the case since Reagan.

There was an exchange reported in two contemporary sources between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson during Washington's second term. "Why to you pour your coffee into the saucer, Mr. Jefferson?" "To let it cool, Sir!"
"Just so. The Senate is our saucer."

However much cooling may be desired, the beverage is not meant to be drunk cold, with dead flies floating in it from months or years of delay. The wait is merely for it to be less hot.


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You are having a hard time
by TONI H / January 1, 2013 9:29 PM PST

remembering that the committee investigating Benghazi is BI-partisan.......and Diane Feinstein, a Democrat, has been one of them leading the investigation and was most vocal about it all.

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And you're having trouble remembering, or is it recognizing
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:12 AM PST

that the Minority in the Senate is in full filibuster mode. As long as they insist on Hilary testifying before confirmation hearings take place, Kerry's appointment is blocked. It's political gamesmanship, pure and simple.


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you should be happy
by James Denison / January 3, 2013 2:56 AM PST

getting the mess out of the way first will only help Kerry, creating a wall between him and what's already happened which can't later be blamed on him, especially if he became involved in a coverup. It will clear the deck for him. If I was Kerry, I'd be relieved.

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Especially when you consider
by TONI H / January 3, 2013 3:43 AM PST
In reply to: you should be happy

that Kerry is ON the committee doing the investigation...........lol

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not relevant to the question, but just an indictment of
by Roger NC / January 2, 2013 7:12 AM PST

all Republicans based on your own notions.

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I understand that you can't accept my larger thesis, but
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:21 AM PST

this is entirely a case of political posturing. As long as this drags on, Kerry cannot be confirmed. It's a back-handed filibuster of his nomination. It is also an attack on the functioning of US Foreign Policy, but the House and Senate Republicans don't care about that.

I think that it's an attempt to smear the Obama Administration with a tragedy by casting it in the guise of dereliction of duty.

Nor do I intend to smear all Republicans, only those currently in power in the Party and in the House and Senate. The party is in thrall to its worst elements at the moment, people bent on another impeachment like her husband's, in order to discredit her as a potential candidate in 2016. This all started well before her injury.

Even David Frum has backed away from the Republican Party, seeing it as too extreme. He's still a conservative, but a principled one.


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I realize you don't see it now
by James Denison / January 3, 2013 2:57 AM PST

But it will only work to Kerry's advantage.

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My opinion re: Hillary testifying
by TONI H / January 1, 2013 7:02 PM PST

I think the members of the hearings are the same ones that was getting the testimony on F&F and got stonewalled without answers until BO stepped in and saved the AG's a$$ with an unheard of before Executive Privilege for him, and they feel they have been stonewalled again on Benghazi because Hillary kept putting off testifying right up until she got the flu, then fell down, then ended up with a clot. If she testifies as the actual Sec of State, she has more credibility/clout that can be picked apart or accepted than if she is a 'normal' citizen.......that goes directly toward her possible run for the Oval Office in 2016, and they want it on record with her actual 'title'.

Case in point.......Nixon lying as a President and being forced to resign rather than be impeached vs his lying later on as a citizen and being treated like royalty.

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I smell a Rat.
by itsdigger / January 1, 2013 7:37 PM PST

Jesse Jackson Jr. Get to go to the hospital when the feds want to talk to him says he's depressed. Well I'd be depressed if the feds were after my a$$ and wanting to put me in jail too. Now dear ole' Hillary get's sick and falls down and get's a boo boo and it could potentially affect her memory. I think even if she has memory loss her a$$ should go to jail for murder or dereliction of duty or as far as her running for president why not ! They re-elected some coke head / dealer like Marion Berry to be a mayor. Why not a murderer for a president.

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Your tin foil hat is on too tight
by Josh K / January 1, 2013 11:05 PM PST
In reply to: I smell a Rat.

You can always go by the hospital if you don't believe she's really ill. Geez.

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Yep, and they faked up the fainting and the bruise on her
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:25 AM PST
In reply to: I smell a Rat.

head, and the MRI showing a clot under her skull. What next, a gunman on the Grassy Knoll?


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my memory has really gone down
by Roger NC / January 2, 2013 7:17 AM PST

I don't remember Nixon being treated like royality after being force out of office. Where I grew up, he was disgraced as long as I remember.

So credibility is dependent on her position and not on what she says or who she is?

Your .......that goes directly toward her possible run for the Oval Office in 2016, and they want it on record with her actual 'title'. is a negative to me, it says the main reason is just politics and trying to harm her politically.

Can Executive Privilege even be applied after she retires? I don't know, or maybe it would be some sort of confidentially clause after she retires?

It's just a bit ridiculous to me to refuse to even hold hearings on her replacement when she had given notice before her injury and now due to the injury can't even travel as Sec of State to do her job properly.

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It's not your memory
by Josh K / January 3, 2013 2:36 AM PST

Nixon was able to partially recover from it, even providing foreign affairs advice to some of his successors, but "treated like royalty?" Not hardly.

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The House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:23 AM PST

are investigating Fast and Furious??? Don't think so.


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Oversight and Government Reform Committee
by TONI H / January 3, 2013 3:46 AM PST

is investigating F&F......but many of those members are also on the Foreign Relations Committee. However, there are actually THREE investigative committees on Benghazi, and some of those members are trying to combine them all into one committee so they aren't repeating questions and having to compare answers three different times.

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(NT) Actually that makes good sense. Thank you, Toni. Rob
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 12:11 PM PST
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(NT) Probably why it will never happen.
by Diana Forum moderator / January 5, 2013 3:13 AM PST
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It won't happen because
by TONI H / January 5, 2013 3:18 AM PST

the AG and BO have been fighting to keep that from happening.....they want this dragged out for as long as they can just like they've done with F&F

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Being that she's unable to serve right now.....
by Josh K / January 1, 2013 11:00 PM PST

.....you'd think that Congress would do the opposite and try to expedite the confirmation of her replacement.

She can testify after leaving her post, just like Petraeus could, which was why that whole theory about the scandal being a ruse to get out of testifying was so silly.

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It's all about creating a false public perception of
by Ziks511 / January 2, 2013 1:37 AM PST

Democratic led government failure. Yes, the Embassy, and probably the Ambassador asked for more security. One assumes that it was considered at the State Department and a bad decision taken. There is no reason to expect that Sec. State Clinton was part of that decision, nor is there any reason to think that the Ambassador didn't feel comfortable going to Benghazi instead of staying in the Embassy in Tripoli. If he was worried, he would likely have stayed home i.e. Tripoli.

It is part of the political process to try to tar your opponent with blame, for anything. It is also part of the political process to recognize a red herring when one is shoved insolently into your face. There is clearly no urgency, but if the Repub's can tie a can to Hillary's tail while she is still in office they can pretend that they forced her out of office and pat themselves on the back, and by extension damage the Administration. Obama seems unflustered by this gamesmanship, and just quietly continues doing his job without fuss.


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As Secretary of State.....
by Josh K / January 2, 2013 2:00 AM PST

.....she is accountable and responsible for both good and bad decisions made by the department she heads. I don't argue with that. Nor do I argue with the fact that as her boss, the president is responsible as well. Where it crossed the line was in suggesting or even openly accusing the president and/or the Secretary of State of personally, willingly making bad choices out of some personal ignorance or disregard for the safety of those at the consulate (it wasn't an embassy). While they are responsible, I also seriously doubt they played any active role or even knew about any requests for more security, and I wouldn't think any president or Secretary of State would personally handle such requests unless there was a diplomatic wrinkle to it that they would need to be aware of. There certainly wouldn't have been in this case.

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This is crazy thread
by James Denison / January 2, 2013 2:12 AM PST

Hillary has a valid reason to be hospitalized unless someone believes these doctors are lying. Everyone probably who has served as Secretary of State has been debriefed when they resign. The Republicans aren't stonewalling her resignation because they can't stop anyone from resigning. Everything else is just a lot of hot air.

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There refusing to hold hearings on a replacement until
by Roger NC / January 2, 2013 7:19 AM PST
In reply to: This is crazy thread

she testifies, or at least that was the report I saw.

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Who is?
by James Denison / January 2, 2013 9:10 AM PST

The Senate? The House? Some committee of one or the other?

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confirmation hearings, so Senate I guess,
by Roger NC / January 2, 2013 9:51 AM PST
In reply to: Who is?

need to find a report, only heard it on tv news.

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(NT) The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:06 AM PST
In reply to: Who is?
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(NT) It isn't the thread that's crazy, it's the Senate Minority.
by Ziks511 / January 3, 2013 2:27 AM PST
In reply to: This is crazy thread
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It's Reid himself
by TONI H / January 3, 2013 3:47 AM PST

and he's actually the dictator that he called Boehner.......

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