January 30, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
The Senate voted 72-25 to stop any filibuster of Alito. I fear that putting this guy on the court, with his strong belief in absolute Presidential power (as long as it is a Republican) might be a, if not the, "tipping point" in the erosion of our democracy.
Bush says he "is pleased" that so many Democrats voted against a filibuster,
"I am pleased that a strong, bipartisan majority in the Senate decisively rejected attempts to obstruct and filibuster an up-or-down vote on Judge Sam Alito's nomination," Bush said in a statement.Kerry and Kennedy led the fiulibuster. Others ran like little mice from the idea of doing anything that might make Rush Limbaugh say bad things about them.
From the news story,
There was sharp division within Democratic ranks about a filibuster, aides said. They said some argued it would help rally backers for the November congressional elections while others expressed fear it may backfire and portray Democrats as politically minded obstructionists.One of our trolls just commented on another post: "Well after all that grandstanding, the liberals could only muster 25 votes for a filibuster. A lot of dems cut and ran……." Yep.
In the end, 19 Democrats joined 53 Republicans in voting to bring debate to a close. Twenty-four Democrats and one independent opposed the motion. Two Republicans did not vote.
Over at The Agonist, Sean Paul had been holding his tongue,
First, no Democratic Senator on the list who voted for cloture (and against a filibuster) will ever receive a dime from me personally. Why? Because after such a catastrophic failure you don't deserve to be Senators. The Republicans schooled you. They beat with the ease of a heavyweight pounding on an grandma. You're more like cats runing from a vacuum cleaner than you are leaders. Comparing you to the 1962 Mets would be an insult too extreme to bear, for the Mets, that is.Oh, go there and read it.
What's more, in your miserable, wallowing, whiny-assed defeat you have betrayed your party and have left the republic you pledged to defend in the hands of a modern Girolamo Savonarola. Americans expect progress from you, not regress.
ndeed, Alito's fondness for a 'unitary executive' may put you out of a job sooner than we voters can. (Of course, you think that's alarmist. I call it checks and balances.) You should take pride in having emasculated what was once considered the world's most august deliberative body. Today, after your failure of nerve, it is nothing less than a quivering, quavering, gelatinous mass of timorous toadies.
To all the special interest groups who 'had prepared for years for this fight' I have a special send-off for you:
Thanks for coordinating so well with the Senators leading the fight. Thanks for wasting all of that money we put in your war chest. Thanks for lobbying those who wavered, stiffening their spine with promises of support. Thanks for playing hardball against the 'pro-choice' Republican tools in the Senate too, you were particularly brilliant there with Specter, Snowe and Chafee. What a knock-up job! Enjoy your forced birth, because it's your baby now.
Blogger Kevin Drum writes,
Still, even given the amateurish way that Senate Dems handled it, I expected it to get more than 25 votes.And then goes on to bash bloggers. And go read the coments. Sheesh.
Update - Everything Digby says.
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I feel sick. What an awful day.
I second your "tipping point" remark.
Posted by: Ryan at The Higher Pie at January 30, 2006 4:45 PM
I'm really let down by the dems. here, what were they thinking?
Time to clean house.
Posted by: scrugun at January 30, 2006 5:42 PM
You said it well, Dave. I feel bad about today's vote; I somehow expected better.
Posted by: Copeland at January 30, 2006 5:53 PM
I expected more, but am not in the least surprised. Demos are incompetent, corrupt and cowardly. I've been saying it for years, and I hope I will get fewer arguments now with what is really a pretty clear statement of fact.
Like everyone else, I feel sick about this. I'll have to think about what we need to do next. Obviously, we need to do a major housecleaning in the Democratic party. Enough's more than enough in this case. Then there's the awful problem of what we need to do to keep our constitutional rights from being completely subverted, presidential power under control, and the rest of the long list of problems that are going to flow from this terrible appointment.
Posted by: MJ at January 31, 2006 6:20 AM
If the Republicans were asked to design their ideal opposition party they could not improve on the spineless Democrats.
The fact is, the Democratic party serves an incredibly useful purpose for the Republicans -- it prevents real opposition because it occupies the 2nd party slot in a 2 party system, yet does not really oppose.
Posted by: Pinata at February 1, 2006 4:34 AM
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