READER COMMENTS ON
"Tell Congressional Dems to Let Jim Webb Give His SOTU Response to the Full Joint Session of Congress!"
(41 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 4:54 am PT...
Come on y'all, this is our chance - let's flood the phones today! I hope we can make this happen, it'd be a helluva boost for the general public, and what a great symbol of change!
What time do Congressional staff members get to work anyway?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 5:33 am PT...
I am with you on most everything, but as appealing as this sounds I would be hesitant to back a podium-based response to the SOTU. A strong response to Bush is required, but as poor a President as Bush may be the office itself deserves a little more respect. Think for a moment that a Democrat were in the White House: would we want a Republican majority trying to hog the SOTU limelight?
Although we should always be a little hesitant about anything that adds to an already too imperial Presidency, I do think that any President should have the opportunity in his or her SOTU address to bring together an entire nation to consider its direction and the policies that it should adopt. If we go to a direct and immediate response from the opposition party in the well of the House it would seem that we would be descending into a Parliament-like debate that would never allow the country to unite effectively behind its government. The media has over deified (selectively) the ability of Presidents to speak for the nation, but at least once a year we should give them a full shot at being our leader.
And THEN let the fur fly...
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 5:53 am PT...
John Blossom: I totally DISAGREE with you! Brad's idea is AWESOME! And I hope he gets credit for it, if it happens.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 6:01 am PT...
Extraodinary times require extraodinary measures. With our administration shooting for global dominance, I see it as a reasonable response. I mean really, what other administration could even fathom acting this INSANELY??????????????????????????????????????????
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 6:05 am PT...
The time for timidity is OVER, and if ALL OF US don't get this fact quick, God help the whole world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 6:24 am PT...
Well after making my calls, Senator Webb's aid listened and said she would pass my concern along as well as Senator Reid's aid, but Speakers Pelosi's aid tried to say it was unconstitutional and it's never going to happen. Please be polite , but let her know were not joking around here!
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 8:55 am PT...
Ancient: Wiretapping and opening mail/email is unconstitutional, too.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 9:29 am PT...
For those that live out of Pelosi's district (CA's 8th CD), please use her Speakers address if you are going to send her an email:
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 9:32 am PT...
John Blossom : Respect for the office? Are you serious? This man has taken the office and wiped his feet on it, here and Internationally. Everything he touches turns to ashes and blood. I would gladly pay to get him out of office NOW ! Other failed CEOs get a golden parachute but are kicked out.
I think the SOTU should be canceled all we hear are lies upon lies, why even bother. Bush needs to hear that 71% Americans are waking up to his lies.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 10:24 am PT...
PLEASE STOP CALLING SENATOR WEBB'S OFFICE!
Senator Webb is not responsible for the venue of his response. The Democratic leadership is.
Call Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 11:02 am PT...
Honestly, at first I thought Brad's idea was a good step, something to support, didn't give it a lot more thought. But the more I think about it the more I like it, the more enthusiastic about it I am.
Not only does it bring back "fairness" in a real way, but it underscores the seriousness of both the powers of Congress and the opposition that was voted in.
The Constitution has been degraded mainly through the imperial presidency. Time to change the dynamics of things.
My reaction to John Blossom's post (#2) was the same as TexasLady's. The office itself deserves more respect? No, the office needs to be put back into its proper place. Why wouldn't a significant opposition response do more to allow the nation to "consider its direction and the policies that it should adopt" than just another rehash of the same thing we hear all the time from the pResident?
Great idea. I hope it becomes a tradition. It would be good for the nation.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 11:32 am PT...
John Blossom said:
A strong response to Bush is required, but as poor a President as Bush may be the office itself deserves a little more respect. Think for a moment that a Democrat were in the White House: would we want a Republican majority trying to hog the SOTU limelight?
I don't see what is "disrespectful" about a member of the Senate addressing a joint session of Congress. Bush will be allowed to address them first as usual.
I'd have no problem with a Republican addressing a joint session of Congress after a Democratic President addresses them with a SOTU address.
It's called balance of powers. I fail to see the problem you suggest.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 11:46 am PT...
[Here's a sample of what I sent to Pelosi and Reid about the STFUS (Shut The Fuck Up, Stupid) speech to be done by the little Shrub. I had to send separate e-mails to Reid and Pelosi, as Reid's office has an in-house "form" sort of e-mail system. I nearly barfed with my use of the term "Honorable", as the vast majority of elected politicians are anything BUT "Honorable", but I used the term so that my e-mail would at least stand a chance of being read by the intended parties. I used the e-mail means of communication because I'm nearly deaf, hence e-mail is the only way that I can communicate with any of those dishonorable politicians.]
Greetings, Honorables Pelosi and Reid,
I am respectfully requesting--no, demanding--that the newly-elected Honorable Senator Jim Webb, who has been chosen to do the rebuttal speech after President Bush's SOTU speech, be allowed to do his rebuttal speech from the entire, full, joint session of Congress just after President Bush finishes his on Tuesday night.
As you may already know, there is NO law requiring the rebuttal speech to be shunted off to a separate, nearly-empty room, hence you would not be breaking any sort of law if you were to make a last-minute change as demanded in this e-mail and as requested/demanded by many thousands of people who hopefully will have called/e-mailed your respective offices by now.
Afterall, isn't the joint Congress a bipartisan affair? Isn't the majority of TV viewers a bipartisan audience? Isn't governance as we know it today done with bipartisan co-operation? The established "tradition" of shunting off the post-SOTU rebuttal speech is a bad one that needs to end, regardless of which party is the majority or the minority.
Please note that a majority of Americans want President Bush to be impeached, as noted by various polls, the most recent one being the MSNBC online poll taken (87% in favor of impeachment!) in the last few days and please note that there was a huge groundswell of voters voting the Democratic tickets in the recent election, hence there is a large majority of the American population who'd be very interested in the newly-elected Honorable Senator Jim Webb's rebuttal speech following the SOTU speech done by the most unpopular President in American history. There is strong political support for this demanded move and little political down-side risk, also, with this move of allowing Webb's rebuttal speech to be held in the entire, full, joint session of Congress. This kind of move can be a nice political feather in your political hats, you know. High benefit, low risk--an easy political decision, imo.
Therefore, I respectfully demand that the Honorable Senator Jim Webb's speech to be allowed to happen in front of the entire, full, joint session of Congress immediately after President Bush's SOTU speech. Thank you.
Nevada City, California
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 11:50 am PT...
What a great idea... a truly GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just put down the phone... I called Harry, Nancy and Jim's office then I called Kennedy, Boxer, Kerry plus a few more.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 11:57 am PT...
Speakers Pelosi's aid tried to say it was unconstitutional and it's never going to happen.
If it's "never going to happen" that's because Pelosi and Reid decide they don't wish it to happen. Of course, that's up to them. It would be a shame, but it's up to them.
But to claim it's "unconstitutional" is simply hogwash and without any basis whatsoever.
As usual, if I'm wrong, I'll welcome the evidence to that effect. As far as I know, no such evidence exists however.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 12:10 pm PT...
Thanks for the comments on my comment, I am not disagreeing with the egregious disrespect that Bush has shown for the office of the President, but a lot can be lost if you take things to opposite extremes. Remember - in two years it could be foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans in the well of the House tossing dirt on a Democratic President. The President, whoever he or she may be, has to lead the entire nation - including people with whom we disagree. One opposition party, as right as they may be at a given point in time, still only speaks for one party, one point of view. I think that it's right to give that point of view equal time, but I would be hesitant to ever give it equal weight. Everyone is seeking balance, but I don't think that this is where you draw the line. I think that you let your actions speak for themselves - pass the legislation that you say needs to be passed, challenge signing statements and unauthorized wiretaps in the courts, let Henry Waxman expose every egregious and illegal act of this administration, push through uniform and enforceable fair voting legislation, etc. Then let them twist in the wind. That's plenty fair, I'd say.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 12:39 pm PT...
... John Blossom said...
"The President, whoever he or she may be, has to lead the entire nation..."
The President's job is to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and "respect for the office" does not include kowtowing to the President.
If Pelosi is so clueless as to call Brad's idea "unconstitutional" then she is worthless to the American people and is very much the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. If her aides were so feckless as to call Brad's idea "unconstitutional" then she needs to do some quick re-educating... or some housecleaning.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 1:21 pm PT...
Nancy Pelosi's email:
Brad's email for her is for constituents only!
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 1:24 pm PT...
GREAT idea! I'm 1000% behind it. Here's my letter.
Dear Congresswoman Pelosi,
Brad Friedman, author of the BradBlog and great advocate for keeping our democracy a democracy, has a great suggestion. Please give plenty of thought to it. The idea is to allow Sen. Jim Webb the opportunity to address the full Congress with the Democratic response to the State of the Union address. It would, in my opinion, give the undeniable shot in the arm that we so desperately need to send the message that Congress is a co-equal branch of our representative democracy and should, and will be treated as such. As the President and his close, if not small, group of allies continue to trample on the Constitution as well as escalate a war that was ill conceived and poorly implemented, Congress must show that they are not afraid to challenge this disastrous course by whatever means they have available to them. As far as I understand it, there is nothing to stop you from taking this action and if you don't, you tacitly concede that the President has more power than Congress. Don't take a backseat to this president any longer. From the way you were treated by the republicans while you were in the minority, you should be more than willing to do this.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 3:17 pm PT...
Too bad Jim can't land in a super high-tech jet fighter to submit the Response, codpiece and all
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 3:30 pm PT...
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 3:42 pm PT...
I was wondering if you could review this latest entry of mine and pass it on to both U.S. servicemen and the U.S. public in general:
Too many Americans have had to sacrifice their lives for other peoples' freedom which is an honorable thing - but when there are viable alternatives to spreading freedom, why are they not chosen!? or even talked about in the MSM (main-stream-media)!?
Iran is in the spotlight now. Iran has the most pro-American POPULATION in that region; and I can affirm to that being of Iranian descent myself! Iran is also a country which for 28 years has been under an islamo-fascist dictatorship that has killed and oppressed hundreds of thousands of Iranians. There is overwhelming resent towards this regime going as far as calling it an occupational regime!
Iranians want change. Iranians want to send this Islamic Republic to hell where it belongs! So why should Americans have to loose their lives? Is it not more viable in your opinion to support Iranian opposition forces (students, teachers, workers, etc) in overthrowing this regime, without a drop of American blood being shed?!
Please get back to me with your input. Many thanks in advance.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 4:31 pm PT...
Re. comment #21
Greetings to you as well, Arry.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 4:40 pm PT...
John Blossom said:
in two years it could be foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans in the well of the House tossing dirt on a Democratic President
In two years we could be under martial law, or radioactive rain.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 4:49 pm PT...
I think Mr. Blossom is contributing human qualities to an inhuman sociopath. This man is the one who said, "the constitution is only a piece of paper." So where is his respect for the office he illegally bought?
Respect must be earned it is not a given.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 6:12 pm PT...
It was Speaker Pelosi's aid that said "its not gonna happen, its unconstitutional." To which I replied, "It hasn't been done before, but there aren't any laws written on it." I certainly don't want to axe her if she doesn't embrace this idea. Maybe something we haven't thought through is that the talking head spin machine would just love to demonize her with that "radical San Francisco WOMAN" shit. Still, I think it is a bold move that would engage the majority of Americans, regardless of the minority talking headaches.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 7:25 pm PT...
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 7:36 pm PT...
Bernie Sanders GREAT essential speech at the Media Reform convention:
It rival's Bill Moyer's speech
"And more and more, in campaigns and in non-campaigns, when people who are running for office go before the public and, as been mentioned, when they talk about healthcare or the environment or the dozens of other important issues, somebody in the front of the room is going to raise their hand and say, “Well, what do you think about corporate control over the media? What are you going to do about that?”
"If you are concerned, as been said, about healthcare, if you are concerned about foreign policy and Iraq, if you are concerned about the economy, if you are concerned about global warming, you are kidding yourselves if you are not concerned about corporate control over the media, because every one of these issues is directly controlled and directly relevant to the media. "
"...hundreds of thousands of people in our country were so disgusted with the media simply acting as a megaphone for the President that they turned off American media, and they went to the BBC or the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "
"And the disintegration of Iraq, the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, of over 3,000 Americans, the cost of hundreds of billons of dollars out of our pockets --- directly related to the failure of the media. "
"If you were to ask me what the most significant untold story of our time is, in terms of domestic politics, I would tell you very simply that that story happens to be the collapse of the American middle class.....Now, one might think that this is an interesting story. One might think that globalization and disastrous trade policies, which have lowered the standard of living of millions of American workers, might be a story that should be covered. "
"People working long hours, people working for lower wages, they turn on the television set, they do not see that reality. What they see is the issue is personal responsibility. You can't afford healthcare? You're losing your pension? Then the problem is with YOU. Work a little bit harder."
"When we wake up in the morning and we brush our teeth, for better or worse, we see our own reflections in the mirror. When we turn on the television, somebody is providing us a mirror to the world, and what we want is that mirror to reflect the reality of ordinary people and not the illusions of a few. "
"...the United States of America is the only nation on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all of its people..."
"Well, you know what? There is no debate among the scientific community. " (the media made it up)
"the United States today has the most unfair distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth" (the media isn't telling us)
"Now, I have been in politics for a long time. I have been asked a thousand questions by media. Not one member of the media has ever come up to me and said, “Bernie, what are you going to do to deal with the outrage of America having the most unfair distribution of wealth of any country on earth? What are you going to do about it?”
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2007 @ 8:23 pm PT...
I've now spoken to a press rep for Pelosi who has confirmed there is nothing unconstitutional about the idea, which, the aide added was also "brilliant" as they saw it.
Whether it can be done is another question. We spoke on background and I was promised an official statement from the office which I've yet to receive. Once I do, I'll update with more details. If I don't, I'll give more details from the background conversation.
In reply to John Blossom's latest comment:
I am not disagreeing with the egregious disrespect that Bush has shown for the office of the President, but a lot can be lost if you take things to opposite extremes.
I see nothing "extreme" about the idea that I presented. Opposite or otherwise. It's perfectly appropriate as I see it.
Remember - in two years it could be foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans in the well of the House tossing dirt on a Democratic President.
In which case, said mouth-foamer will look pretty bad. I don't see any problem at all with the idea of the opposition party replying in kind to a President of any partner. If they wish to foam at the mouth or anywhere else, the American people will make of that what they will.
I think that it's right to give that point of view equal time, but I would be hesitant to ever give it equal weight.
Why? Is there some inordinate weight granted to the President above the Congress in the Constitution that I'm aware of?
Allowing a President to speak before a joint session of Congress is a courtesy granted by any Congress. It is extra-Constitutional. In otherwords, it needn't be done. And their is similarly nothing in the Constitution about network television covering either it or any response from an opposition party. That is also merely recent tradition.
And traditions are meant to be broken. Just ask George W. Bush.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 5:29 am PT...
Bush is going nukeyouliar in his speesh tonite.
Bush is winning the personality war ... no one, not Jim Webb, or even Nixon, is going to get the low mark (New Poll). Bush rulz!
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 5:49 am PT...
I've received extraordinarily positive responses to my call, as posted on Friday at both Huff Po and BRAD BLOG, calling on Congressional Democrats to allow Virginia's Sen. Jim Webb to deliver his Opposition Response to the State of the Union Address to the entire, full, joint session of Congress just after George W. Bush finishes his on Tuesday night.
The constitution says:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper
(Article II, Section 3, emphasis added).
Probably the real issue is the manner in which the state of the union is delivered. There is no cut and dried manner of delivering it. A letter or other document instead of a speech has been used in the past.
I would think that as long as he or she does not become partisan, "the other side" should not be allowed to speak before the full congress in rebuttal, because we would not want to rebut purely American ideas.
Bush will not be able to do that because partisanship oozes from him. Other presidents, however, have kept clean during the speech.
This year, since a mini-revolution has taken place, may not be the best time to test Brad's theory, but on the other hand Bush does not represent the ideas of America (he is at 28% and diving), so someone needs to represent the majority of the people in the delivery.
Nevertheless, the issue is not so black and white so as to be free of pro and con evaluations of the idea.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 7:41 am PT...
BTW, y'all, an FYI - I used Senator Reid's email form for contact, and had to try several times before I could get it to work without a server error.
Maybe this is a good sign, maybe they're getting swamped with email!
Don't give up!
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 7:45 am PT...
John #2 and Brad #12:
It is important to keep "the office of the presidency" ("Executive Branch" or "Executive Department") free from political partisanship. The person who occupies that "office" is charged with being the president of all americans.
Therefore, the SOTU should be something that will be favored by all americans. It is wrong for any president to politicize it, even if most americans support that president. The minority must be protected in a constitutional democracy.
It would sanction partisan politics to counter the speech with "the opposition view", because if in fact the SOTU is from the president of the american people, then any opposition would be opposed to american ideals.
And the president would do the same thing to the extent he or she does not speak for all americans.
It is not a time to divide, it is a time to be "The United States", not "The Disunited States".
I admit, having said this, that the current president is not up to the task. It is a transcendent task to speak for a united people. It requires great statesmanship, tact, understanding, and a love that seeks to bring harmony to the forefront.
Many things unite us and many things divide us. The SOTU should be something that unites us to solve our problems.
Making a debate of the SOTU is a misadventure. Having said that, when a president does violate the united spirit and become partisan, then if a vote of the congress says it was partisan, then a reply would be in order.
We could all hope that the need for that would be rare. And it would inspire a president to stay on a united message if he or she knew that rebuttal was going to be the last word.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 8:19 am PT...
I see what you're saying, but isn't a President who is going totally AGAINST the will of the American people (not to mention firing everyone who disagrees with him on issues and replacing them with partisan hacks) actually the one speaking in opposition of American ideals?
Just a thought..
BTW, the opposition viewpoint has been given as long as I can remember (someone else pointed out the specific history earlier). It's only the VENUE we're asking to be changed, so that someone who actually DOES speak for the majority of Americans can speak before Congress.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 8:53 am PT...
A little bit of GOOD news....this is KIND of o.t. but, speaking of the state of the union, I know people here are aware that alot of municipalities, disgusted at the colossal cluelessness & lack of leadership of our president in regard to (among other things) global warming, took matters into their own hands. I don't know if people know how much that effort has snowballed around the country. From Greg Nickels' article at the HuffingtonPost:
"...we now have 369 mayors pledging to do what the Bush Administration will not: take meaningful steps to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that are toasting the planet. They represent cities in every state in the nation...
....On Thursday we will unveil the Mayors Climate Campaign 2007, and we'll lobby the 110th Congress to move America into the leadership role it rightfully should play on this urgent and critical issue..."
Thanks to all those mayors for speaking out, stepping up and doing thr right thing for their country & their planet!!
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 9:17 am PT...
For the record, when I called Senator Webb's office, his staffer told me there WAS some rule preventing Senator Webb from addressing the full joint session and that it was not going to happen. Her attitude was quite cold. I asked her who had told her that since from what I've been able to learn there does not seem to be any rule against it, & she said "It's what I was told by my office."
Senator Reid's staffer was more sympathetic to the idea. She said she had not gotten the final word on it, but said it was "late in the game" for it to happen this time...maybe in the future.
Pelosi's office was the most non-committal. I asked if they were at least considering it and she said she hadn't heard but she would pass on my comments.
When I asked, they all said they had gotten alot of calls & emails about it.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 9:21 am PT...
Dredd - Thank God for the Gary Webbs, Nancy Pelosis,John Murthas.
Bush's grandstanding SOTU are nothing but lies, not one thing he says is ever funded, completed. How anyone with a breath of intelligence can believe him amazes me.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 10:10 am PT...
It's not the opposition response (what, since 1966?) that is indicative of a crisis in the Constitution. It's the development of an imperial presidency. (A particular fool, of course, currently inhabits the office.)
The specifics of Constitutional history of the last few decades should teach us that it is time to use some imagination to prevent the Constitution from toppling from the weight being distributed on one side.
The "Fairness Doctrine" is one fine "extra-Constitutional" concept that actually provides good soil in which to nourish the Constitution. An effective response to the SOTU would also help at this time.
Personally, I've never heard a non-partisan SOTU, though some have been better than others. The state of the union is usually put in kindergarten terms to better persuade to populace to support the agenda of the real powers in the nation. (I try not to use the term "corporate" in every post!) It usually has little to do with the actual state of the union. If we can develop statesmen and not presidents who are mainly fronts for power blocks, then we can rethink it again. Or maybe there should be some standards as to what actually comprises the "state of the union", standards necessary to uphold in the SOTU address. That's another possibility.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 11:08 am PT...
Making a debate of the SOTU is a misadventure. Having said that, when a president does violate the united spirit and become partisan, then if a vote of the congress says it was partisan, then a reply would be in order.
Nobody said it should be made a debate. If it is, it is. If it isn't, it isn't.
Point is, the response to the SOTU is already given anyway. There is no reason it should be considered less valuable --- by virtue of segregating the response off to some dim backroom --- than that of the President.
The entire stagecraft of both the SOTU and it's response is nothing more than a courtesy based on tradition. There is no reason the tradition can't be changed.
Don't be afraid of a brave new world, Dredd!
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 12:31 pm PT...
My #38 --- re: the Fairness Doctrine - "provided" I should say, rather than "provides". But we're going to get it back.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 1/23/2007 @ 12:32 pm PT...
Heard on CNN around 2 pm EST, that Webb will give response to Bush's SOTU address and it also said that he will have about 8 minutes to do so. Sounds to me like that isn't much time for any kind of reply.....surely he should get equal time if he needs it......that's only fair.