>The Sunday Deck Bass

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Another Sunday, another Desert Beacon Sunday Deck Bass; the world’s most uncoveted, utterly unwanted, totally unsolicited, award from the high dry desert country of northern Nevada is bestowed upon those politicians and public figure(heads) whose flipping, flopping, and positional gyrations best replicate the flopping of a landed bass. Without any further ado – our nominees are:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) gets a nomination because he has taken the Senate’s oath of office – “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” [Sen.Gov] (emphasis added) And, because evidently that oath didn’t mean much. The Constitution’s Article I, Section 9 very clearly states: “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public safety may require it.” No rebellion, no invasion, no suspension.

However, Graham’s love of the Great Writ and our most excellent Constitution didn’t stop him from calling for a constitutional amendment to “modify” the application of habeas corpus for those in U.S. detention [Newsvine] [McClatchy] since the Military Commissions Act – which he helped write, didn’t pass muster before the Supreme Court.

President George W. Bush secures another nomination for his squirming performance in the double headed – double trouble – double speaking negotiations on the U.S.-Iraq ‘framework,” and the Status of Forces Agreement. The President may have adopted the “aren’t they cute” philosophy first promulgated by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Lieberman) who opined that it was a nice thing to have the Iraqis disagreeing and debating. The “Oh, Look! They’re Standing up All by Themselves” condescension ignores the relatively obvious – the Iraqis don’t like the Bush Administration’s proposals.

Mr. Bush for his part said “his administration respected Iraq’s sovereignty and its leaders’ goals” and would “accommodate their desires,” and “negotiate in a way the elected government is comfortable.” [NYT] If Mr. Bush respected Iraqi sovereignty we wouldn’t be having discussions about immunizing mercenaries from prosecution, U.S. control of Iraqi air space, and 58 permanent bases. His explanation is yet another classic Bushism: “And it’s interesting to be working with a democracy where, you know, people are trying to prepare the ground to get something passed in the Parliament, for example, or the free press is vibrant,” he said.” [NYT]

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gets another nomination for his stance, if such it can be called, on privatizing social security. Speaking to a well, and carefully, stacked “town-hall” session [HuffPo] McCain declared: “But I’m not for quote privatizing Social Security, I never have been, I never will be.” [HuffPo] This assertion doesn’t quite square with McCain’s 2004 pronouncement: “Without privatization, I don’t see how you can possibly, over time, make sure that young Americans are able to receive Social Security benefits.” [HuffPo] All the worse for the Arizona Weather Vane, the DNC has footage of his comments.

The Social Security question is addressed briefly on the McCain website as follows: “John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts – but not as a substitute for addressing benefit promises that cannot be kept.” [McCain] McCain is simply trying to play a game of semantics – personal accounts = private accounts. The gamesmanship is all the more obvious when viewed beside McCain’s comments to the Wall Street Journal concerning the Bush privatization plan. [Swamp] “On Social Security, the Arizona senator says he still backs a system of private retirement accounts that President Bush pushed unsuccessfully, and disowned details of a Social Security proposal on his campaign Web site.” [WSJ] The latest incarnation of the McCain position on Social Security is at least his third – and such is the stuff of which Deck Bass nominations are secured. [See also: TP, TP]

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gets another nomination for his cancellation of a fundraiser at the home of Texas oil man Clayton “lie back and enjoy it” Williams. [NYT] As Steve Benen suggests, the McCain campaign should introduce itself to using The Google. First, the campaign actively sought endorsements from Patriot Pastor Rod Parsley, and Armageddon John Hagee; then tried to convince the public that they didn’t know “anything about them.” This previous experience should have been sufficient to cause at least one Google of “Clayton Williams” which would have yielded an instant bio on the Wikipedia, controversial statements and all. Senator McCain may also want to remember that he opened this box in the first place by announcing that “associates” of a candidate, no matter how tenuously related, are “fair game.” [TPMec]

It would be simplicity itself to give McCain a third nomination for flipping and flopping on his “balance the budget” promises. However, that territory has been handled with expertise, eloquence, and cogency by Perrspectives.

The Republican National Committee gets a Deck Bass nod for its performance in the long running Grand Oil Party drama, “The Days of Whine and Poses.” “Why is Barack Obama so negative? In the last 24 hours, he’s completely abandoned his campaign’s call for ‘new politics,’ equating the election to a ‘brawl’ and promising to ‘bring a gun,’ ” said the RNC’s Alex Conant.” [Politico] Gee, now why would a Democratic Party presidential candidate announce that he wasn’t going to tolerate the GOP Echo Chamber Smear Machine after elements of that self-same “uncontrollable, constitutionally protected” network have already publicized such obnoxious fiction as “Michelle Obama on Secret Tape!,” and “Obama is hiding his birth certificate,” “Obama won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance,” and “Obama is a Muslim?” [FTS]

And (insert drum roll and fanfare of choice) The Winner Is: By sheer weight and total volume – Senator John S. McCain III! This is Senator McCain’s 8th Deck Bass Award, tying him with the nation’s worst governor, Nevada’s Jim “Twinkle Thumbs” Gibbons. McCain still lags behind our all time winner, President George W. Bush, by one Deck Bass.

As ever, readers are invited to check on Random Musings to see if there happens to be a McCain Memorial Sunday Crappie, or just click over on general principles to see what’s happening in Arizona. Readers are also well advised to see if there’s an Eel Pout in the offing, and barring that to take a look at the blogging about the $$$$ that disappeared in Iraq.

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