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I tend to think the more you fight the stronger you get --- which is why Democrats are so weak.

I think it would actually be good for the Democrats to be seen as pulling a 100% partisan "stunt" because most of the country sees Bush fucking up and Dems doing nothing. They don't need to give a reason beyond "fuck you". Why walk out? Fuck you Bush that's why.

Being seen (and rightly so) as weak and cowardly is incredibly toxic when war and security is such a big issue. If even the Democrat base feels Dems won't fight how do you expect anyone else to think they will fight? You know principle wins. Well people associate being willing to fight uselessly with principle.

This comes up again and again and again. Keeping the powder dry just doesn't make any sense at all. When has it ever worked? When have Republicans ever kept their "powder dry"?

Can you imagine Bush and Rove saying to themselves, "Gee we better keep the big lies for something really important, we need to tell the truth here for this little shit"?

Of course the question is moot because the Dems would never walk out anyway.

There's just no percentage in the Dems trying a media stunt when the media is working against them. The filibuster will be hard enough. Adding a walk-out on the SOTU to the mix is muddying the waters. Now, the GOP - they can pull any stunt they want and be considered heroes - a la the purple finger nonsense from last year.

WellAramando and Digby seem to agree with me,

"it is good for us to be seen doing things that have no obvious political advantage and for which we can legitimately claim to have taken the moral high ground"

But of course it ain't gonna happen because the Democrats really don't have convictions as far as I can see and apparently are too stupid or cowardly to even fake it.

Well, let's see what happens.

Well, they were referring to the filibuster, and I think we agree that's a good thing regardless.

But somewhat to my surprise, I'm with David here.* I'm kind of pro-walkout by now because I think the media will be working against the Dems one way or the other. And I think it's plain this SOTU is going to be a bully pulpit for undermining the rule of law and the Constitution.

A walkout would be something the media genuinely don't expect; their surprise would discredit them, not empower them. Plus I don't think Bush has the chops to deal with it. He'd flip out. Plus Frist and Hastert might flip out and try to block it. Now that would be a sight.

I would want the thing to be triggered by one person who was trusted to pick the right time, which to me would be once Bush finishes his first sentence defending the illegal warrantless NSA wiretap program. To walk out then would be, or at least could be, a "give me liberty" moment. This whole thing is a constitutional crisis. Let's start acting that way.

It would be up to people like us to lay down as much covering rhetorical fire as possible, just like you wrote about Durbin.

Getting back to reality, though, I don't think the failure to walk out will be the measure of the Democratic Party. I'm preparing "attaboys" for leadership getting on board with the filibuster. But I'd certainly be on board to defend a walkout.

*Not as surprised at agreeing with David as at supporting the notion.

Oh, I would defend a walkout loudly and often. I'd love to see it. I'd tape it and watch it over and over in slow motion. But I won't be upset if they don't do it. If they applaud though, I will be upset. You're right - this will be a bully pulpit for undermining the Constitution and there's no need to pretend otherwise with polite applause. Now, if they think that sitting on their hands or walking out will make up for not filibustering Alito, then they're wrong.

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