Thursday, January 25, 2007

"It will mean what the words say."

From Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Season's.

ROPER There's to be a new Act through Parliament, sir!
MORE (Half-turning, half-attending) Act?
ROPER Yes, sir-about the marriage!
MORE (Indifferently) Oh. (Turning back again. ROPER and MARGARET look at one another)
MARGARET (Puts a hand on his arm) Father, by this Act, they're going to administer an oath.
MORE (With instantaneous attention) An oath! (He looks from one to the other) On what compulsion?
ROPER It's expected to be treason!
MORE (Very still) What is the oath?
ROPER (Puzzled) It's about the marriage, sir.
MORE But what is the wording?
ROPER We don't need to know the (Contemptuously) wording-we know what it will mean!
MORE It will mean what the words say! An oath is made of words! It may be possible to take it. Or avoid it.

The Senate will pass a resolution! Without binds! Under no compulsion!

"The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed a nonbinding resolution that concludes "it is not in the national interest of the United States" to deepen U.S. military involvement in Iraq."

HEGEL "We better be damn sure we know what we're doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder,"

BIDEN legislation is "not an attempt to embarrass the president. ... It's an attempt to save the president from making a significant mistake with regard to our policy in Iraq."

PLANE "Our policy Joseph? You embrace the policy silently, the more easily to smother it."

LUGAR "I oppose this nonbinding resolution on the basis that it's the wrong tool"( for Congress to use to get the president to change his policy). (Speaking contempuously) " ...not confident that President Bush's plan will succeed."

PLANE (Scoffing) "Ha! Lugar is no Agincourt Pistol. "

LUGAR "It is unclear to me how passing a nonbinding resolution that the president has already said he will ignore will contribute to any improvement or modification of our Iraq policy The president is deeply invested in this plan, and the deployments ... have already begun."

PLANE "Oh Lugar, what misfires does your mouth!"

CORKER (Sarcastically, to the others, opposing foolery) "So, in essence, what I'll be doing the next time if I see them, if I vote for this resolution, is to say: I'm opposed to you being there, but thank you for what you're doing,"

BIDEN (Taking the measure of the last word) The measure "is designed to let the president know that there are many in both parties, Democrats and Republicans, that believe a change in our mission to go into Baghdad — in the midst of a civil war — as well as a surge in ground troops ... is the wrong way to go, and I believe it will have the opposite — I repeat — opposite effect the president intends," Biden said.

COLEMAN (His voice drifting over the thick air). "We are highlighting our differences. Read the whole resolution. "

PLANE (with angry sarcasm, reading from the resolution)- "Special Instructions for any terrorists attempting to puzzle out the meaning of this non-binding resolution of no confidence in the President and his intentions: Even though this non-binding resolutions expresses no confidence whatsoever in the President and the surge, this act does not mean that wereally believe what we have just voted upon." " That part, Sir Norman?"

NORMAN "Yes. That's it. It means what we say it means."

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