June 15, 2005

Republican Senators disgrace states, nation, humanity

The circumstances surrounding a resolution designed to express the Senate's regret for having consistently blocked efforts to outlaw lynching ought to disgust everyone who knows the story.

But unfortunately, thanks to our on-their-knees media, and the despicable actions of Oh-So-Christian Bill Frist, almost no one will. The hateful and immoral racist thread that runs strongly below the surface of the Republican party rears it's ugly head once more.

Sen. George Allen R-Dufus, and Sen. Mary Landrieu R-Louisiana led the effort to pass the resolution.

The U.S. Senate last night approved a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation decades ago, marking the first time the body has apologized for the nation's treatment of African Americans.

One-hundred and five years after the first anti-lynching bill was proposed by a black congressman, senators approved by a voice vote Resolution 39, which called for the lawmakers to apologize to lynching victims, survivors and their descendants, several of whom watched from the gallery.

And Billy Frist shows himself as a loyal son of the south, bending over backwards to shield racist senators from actually having to go on the record, and then his staff tries to lie their way out of it.
From the excellent article in the Atlanta Constitution. (registration required)
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.
As dozens of descendants of lynching victims watched from the Senate gallery, the resolution was adopted Monday evening under a voice vote procedure that did not require any senator's presence.

Eighty senators, however, had signed as co-sponsors, putting themselves on record as supporting the resolution. By the time the Senate recessed Tuesday evening, five other senators had added their names as co-sponsors, leaving 15 Republicans who had not. (emphasis mine)

The resolution was adopted under what is called "unanimous consent," whereby it is adopted as long as no senator expresses opposition.

But the group that was the driving force behind the resolution had asked Frist for a formal procedure that would have required all 100 senators to vote. And the group had asked that the debate take place during "business hours" during the week, instead of Monday evening, when most senators were traveling back to the capital.

Frist declined both requests, the group's chief counsel, Mark Planning, said Tuesday evening.

"It was very disappointing" that Frist handled the matter the way he did, Planning said. "Other groups have gotten roll call votes, so there was nothing new to this, nothing different that we were asking for."

Bob Stevenson, Frist's chief spokesman, said Tuesday evening the procedure the majority leader established was "requested by the sponsors."

The chief sponsors of the resolution, Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and George Allen (R-Va.), disputed that assertion.

Landrieu said Monday before the resolution was adopted she would have preferred a roll call vote but had to accept the conditions set by Senate leaders.

When Stevenson was informed of Landrieu's statement, he amended his comments to say "at least one of the sponsors" had requested adoption on a voice vote and in combination with a resolution related to Black History Month.

Allen press secretary David Snepp took issue with Stevenson. "I don't know why Bob Stevenson would characterize it that way," he said.

Snepp said Allen, since agreeing to sponsor the resolution, had insisted that he preferred a roll call vote.

Planning agreed that Landrieu and Allen "made every effort" to have the resolution debated during the day, when it would attract the most attention from the public, and with a formal roll call of the senators.

"We were very perplexed" that Frist would not agree to that, Planning said.

Jan Cohen, the wife of former Defense Secretary William Cohen and one of the key figures in the Committee for a Formal Apology, expressed outrage over the lack of a roll call vote.

"America is home of the brave, but I'm afraid there may be a few cowards who have to cower to their very narrow-minded and backward, hateful constituency," Cohen told ABC News. "They're hiding out, and it's reminiscent of a pattern of hiding out under a hood, in the night, riding past, scaring people."
So what senators are on the list of shame? Who were these throwbacks who, in the year 2005 at the dawn of the 21st century, refused to sign on to a belated expression of regret for failing to prevent terrorism on our own soil? Who refused to be associated with a gesture meant to apologize for allowing and justifying the violent deaths of thousands of blacks in this country by bands of vigilante racists between the late 1800's until as recently as the 1960's?

Well, for one, Iowa's own cranky grandpa, Chuck Grassley. Yep, that's right.

No wonder his numbers are slipping. The Bushies plugged old Senator Hayseed into some high profile committee slots and he's since played the role of their useful idiot. Chuck juiced up his wardrobe and look, started getting in front of every camera he could find, even though he came off like an idiot, and began championing some delusional administration policies, chiefly the disastrous privitization of Social Security. To mix metaphors, Grassley's jumped the shark and gone off the deep end. What a disgrace.

The other shameful Senators have been ferreted out and are:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Kay Hutchison (R-TX)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)

George Voinovich (R-OH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have belatedly signed on as co-sponsors.
Notice anything about that list? Every damned one of these shameful neandethals are, surprise! ... Republicans.

Two more angles to this story. Let me know if you EVER hear the identities of these loathsome Republicans anywhere in the press. And likewise, has anyone even heard anything about this story on the news? Anyone see Grassley called out anywhere for this, even in his home state press?

And if the Dems don't flog this thing to within an inch of it's life, you'll have a good example of why they're in the position they're in.


At 6/16/2005 7:32 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Yeah but Chuck Grassley mows his own lawn with Three Lawn Mowers. A talented man.......

Betcha that little commercial won't be enough to get him in next time.

At 6/16/2005 9:55 AM, Blogger diehard said...

And just think we didnt want the south to cecede. What were we thinking of?! Grassley kind of looks like a Klan guy. A kindly old grandpa by day at night he goes out to the barn and puts his sheets on that he stold off grandna's clothes line!

At 6/22/2005 6:51 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Why is this not front page news and the Durbin comments are splashed daily?

THis seems to me to be a worse transgression than comments made to illustrate a point.

For God's sake, this involves killing someone.....

What has our country come to? It's ok for Grassley to smile and nod and not be accountable?


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