Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's just proclaim March 18 "National Shameless Posturing Day"

...or maybe "National Triangulation Day"

Let's be clear - the posturing and triangulating wasn't confined to Republicans (though they did dominate in that department)...

Much of it stemmed from the U.S. House's vote on H.R. 1586 (to tax the AIG bonuses at 90%). The bill passed 328 - 93, with 6 Democrats (including CD5's Harry Mitchell) joining 87 Republicans in voting against it.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, who voted on this bill was posturing, since the bill itself doesn't stand a chance of actually becoming law.

It might fail to gain cloture in the Senate (it will only take a few Dems who aren't up for election next year to kill it, and AIG has given LOTS of campaign contributions over the years); if passed...

It might not get into law by President Obama; if enacted...

It won't survive a constitutional challenge (can you say "bill of attainder" or "ex post facto law", both of which are explicitly prohibited by the U.S. Constitution - Article One, Section Nine)

...Of course, the posturing and triangulation wasn't limited to the primary vote on the bill itself; once it became obvious that the bill was going to pass with or without their support, dozens of Republicans switched their votes from "no" to "yes".

...Over in the Senate, when Harry Reid tried to get the bill passed by unanimous consent, in spite of his (faux) criticisms of the bonuses, Jon Kyl objected (source: Countdown with Keith Olbermann)

...And in a move that would merit consideration for a Crappie Award for Kyl (if only he hadn't won one yesterday :)) ), Kyl joined fellow shameless hypocrite Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in criticizing President Obama for taking time out of dealing with the economy and the AIG bonus scandal to fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket (his predicted winner: UNC; mine? Louisville. Sorry ASU. :)) ).

Besides the insult to Obama, that he was like his predecessor and can't handle more than one issue at a time without suffering from brainfreeze, Kyl and Alexander forgot to mention one thing.

Their friend and colleague John McCain did the same thing. He even selected UNC to win it all.

Just like the President.

Geez...a guy goes to work and all sorts of twisting with the wind, flip-floppery, and outright hypocrisy breaks out all over...

More tomorrow (maybe featuring the AZ lege...)


Donna said...

Craig, according to numerous legal experts the tax doesn't violate bill of attainder and ex post facto laws. Bill of attainder refers to criminal law only - and a tax is not punishment for a crime. The Supreme Court upheld the ability of the government to retroactively tax in 1994 so ex post facto is not an issue. I'm getting my info from people like legal scholar Laurence Tribe. I think the confusion stems from the fact that decades of conservative propaganda have led people to believe that taxation is a form of legal punishment. It's not. Taxes are taxes.

cpmaz said...

I was more concerned with the deliberately punitive nature of this particular tax.

While a applaud the sentiment, I hesitate at changing the laws, even tax laws, to "get" someone or some group who has pissed us off.

Especially when already existing RICO and fraud statutes will do that just fine. :)

As for the bill of attainder info, thanks for the clarification.