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Frist = Palpatine According to Lautenberg

Old 05-21-05, 02:46 PM
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Frist = Palpatine According to Lautenberg

The Chamber Meets the Force

By Dana Milbank
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Friday, May 20, 2005; A05

Senators love to talk about their chamber as the "world's greatest deliberative body."

Yesterday morning, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) used the phrase. Yesterday afternoon, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) used it. But it took Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to show why the Senate is the world's greatest deliberative body.

The octogenarian legislator, rising in defense of the filibuster, displayed a larger-than-life poster of Ian McDiarmid playing the evil Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in the just-released film "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith."

"In a far-off universe, in this film, the leader of the Senate breaks the rules to give himself and his supporters more power," Lautenberg inveighed. "I sincerely hope that it doesn't mirror actions being contemplated in the Senate of the United States."

Lautenberg juxtaposed the evil chancellor with another poster, of Jimmy Stewart playing Sen. Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." That film, Lautenberg said, "is a celebration of this Senate, the world's greatest deliberative body. But if the majority leader is successful in ending the filibuster . . . we will move from the world's greatest deliberative body to a rubber-stamp factory."


Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people might have considered such a display on the Senate floor to be cheap. But in the debate over President Bush's judicial nominees, which won't end until Tuesday at the earliest, anything worth saying on either side has long ago been said -- repeatedly.

"It's not 'Has it all been said?' but 'Has everybody said it?' " said Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), hopping on the Senate subway at midday to deliver his rehash of the facts on the Senate floor. Bond found himself to be the lone senator on the floor, but neither this nor his concern about being repetitious diminished his performance. The Democrats' use of the filibuster "is a perversion of the intent of the Constitution!" he proclaimed. "We must take steps to wipe it from the books."

The debate itself may lack suspense, but the looming showdown is the only game in town on Capitol Hill this week. It has shut down Senate committees, ended any voting on the Senate floor and turned the House of Representatives into an asterisk.

As the House voted at noon yesterday -- a major spending bill was on the floor -- not a one of the 100 seats in the gallery overlooking the floor was occupied. The members of an entire subcommittee could have danced naked on the House floor without making the news. "When you consider this is major legislation, it's empty in here," observed a House aide in the mostly abandoned House press work area.

On the Senate floor, Republicans protested that Democrats were not doing "the people's business."

"Do the people's business," commanded Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). "What we have here is a further effort to make it impossible to do the people's business," complained Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

But there was little evidence of either party doing the people's business, unless the people are clamoring for an extended argument about cloture votes. True, the "Congressional Wine Caucus" had a meeting and a "Summit on Pornography" was underway. Still, the day's media schedule in late morning showed four of seven events were about the filibuster, and none about terrorism, war or the economy.

After Democrats assembled the Congressional Black Caucus to make the case for filibusters in the morning, Republicans retaliated by holding an event with black ministers in the afternoon. When Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) called a news conference to protest military base closings, he was greeted by only half a dozen reporters, and the questioning inevitably turned to the filibuster.

Having long ago mustered all possible arguments for and against the judicial filibuster, senators took turns provoking one another on the floor yesterday. The number three Republican, Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), said Democratic arguments are "the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city?' " Two months ago, Santorum demanded that Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) retract his statement mentioning Nazi Germany and "how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law."

Still, it was hard to top Lautenberg, whose staff announced, in a media advisory, that the senator "will have visual aids to make his point -- great for television!" After Lautenberg, echoing a new MoveOn.org advertising campaign, likened Republican leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) to Palpatine, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), on a visit to the Senate press gallery, was asked what character Democrats represent. "We are the Jedi knights," he replied instantly. "We have the light source."

Frist spokesman Bob Stevenson scoffed at these claims, suggesting the Democrats are in fact led by a floppy-eared outcast from Naboo. If Frist is Palpatine and Democrats are Jedi, Stevenson wondered, "would that make Howard Dean Jar Jar Binks?"

It is a question worthy of the world's greatest deliberative body.
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Old 05-21-05, 03:51 PM
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Howard Dean is the emperor who screamed loudly when Vader threw him down that pit.
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Old 05-22-05, 01:12 AM
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pics...c-span must have had this
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Old 05-22-05, 08:46 AM
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How pathetic is that political debate has degenerated into:

"No fair! George Lucas thinks our President is Darth Vader!"

"Does not!"

"Oh yeah, well you're Darth Vader and all evil."

"If that true, then you're Palpatine!"

"I'd just a soon elect a Wookie."

"I can arrange that."
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Old 05-22-05, 08:57 AM
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i think a lot of the original inspiration for the emperor and star wars in general came from the history of Rome. Julius Ceasar was a nobody that almost became emperor. Rome was a Republic until it turned into an empire and things went downhill with constant wars.
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Old 05-22-05, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
i think a lot of the original inspiration for the emperor and star wars in general came from the history of Rome. Julius Ceasar was a nobody that almost became emperor. Rome was a Republic until it turned into an empire and things went downhill with constant wars.


I think if Lucas had publicly said that the rise of Palpatine from Senator to near-Emperor status was heavily based on the life of Julius Caesar, then I would agree with that assessment 100%. But alas, Lucas had to interject modern politics into the discussion and ruin it all.
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Old 05-22-05, 11:52 AM
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How did he inject modern politics into Episode 3? Everything that has happened has been a natural progression from what happened in Episode 1 which was released in '99. That isn't to long ago however the political scene has changed drastically since then. If you are referring to the Anakin line about being with me or my enemy that has been used in film, literature, and plays since the beginning of time. I'm a political junkie but I'm so sick of everything being an "Attack" on the conservatives and the "American way of life." Just stop. It's Star Wars. Leave it alone. And if you see a character that is suppose to represent pure evil and it reminds you of our president then maybe that says more about the president and the direction our country is headed than it does about George Lucas.
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Old 05-22-05, 02:00 PM
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Everyone knows Palpatine is a Democrat.



All kidding aside, Lautenberg is a fucking douchebag for dragging Star Wars into the whole Senate debacle.
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Old 05-22-05, 02:06 PM
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Well, Lautenberg is a senile old fool that was dragged from retirement because Toricelli was going to lose and the NJ dem party broke the law when they did it and the NJ courts gave them cover.
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Old 05-22-05, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
Everyone knows Palpatine is a Democrat.



All kidding aside, Lautenberg is a fucking douchebag for dragging Star Wars into the whole Senate debacle.
Well Lieberman isn't exactly the poster boy for the Democrats ... some would say he could be a phantom menace... Damn you Lucas!
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Old 05-22-05, 04:09 PM
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Doesn't Palpatine or Anakin say something like, "If you're not with us, then you're our enemy" in ROTS? I thought this was far too obvious a jab at Bush etc. to be an accident.
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Old 05-22-05, 07:14 PM
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it's not exactly the first time something like that was said

i was watching the science of star wars on Discovery HD today and they said the jedi are supposed to be Lucas's version of the shaolin monks. Sounds plausible. They live in their own community, meditate, practice martial arts and think they are better than other people. In SW Lucas put the Jedi citadel above everything else on Coruscant to show that the Jedi were above everyone else.
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Old 05-22-05, 07:55 PM
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Lets see how many other ways Lucas has interjected his own political and social views into ROTS.

-Padme is pregnant and says that the Queen will probaly force her to step down as senator because of it. This is a blantant jab at the pregnant governor of Massachusetts!

-Anakin is left for dead, but the emperor keeps him alive using machine, creating the very evil Darth Vader. This is Lucas shoving the Terry Scaivo case down our throats!

-Mace tries to kill the Emperor instead of arresting him. Why wont Lucas leave the Bernard Geotz case alone?!

-After using the blaster, Obi Wan complains on how uncivilized they are. Obviously George Lucas is taking on the anti-gun control lobby!

-The Jedi, many of whom are aliens, are named enemies of the empire. Once again, this is obviously a shot at the illegal alien amnesty movement.

You can pick almost anything from the movie and make it into a political statement, real or imagined.
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Old 05-23-05, 06:44 AM
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don't forget, GL is also racist

Vader is black and the emperor is white, yet in the OT Vader kneels to the emperor and calls him master
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Old 05-23-05, 10:01 AM
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What's a Nubian?
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