30 January 2006

Filibuster Fails

Today's vote was the vote that counted, the only one in which Democrats had any chance of prevailing. Instead, Democrats whimped out and failed to support their principles. Alito may very well fail to get 60 votes tomorrow, but that vote doesn't matter. He needs only 51 votes to win then, and everyone knew in advance of this vote that he had those 51 votes lined up.

Republican and Democratic senators on a 72-25 vote agreed to end their debate, setting up a Tuesday morning vote on Alito's confirmation to replace retiring moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. . . . At least 53 of the Republicans' 55-member majority and four Democrats - Byrd, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Ben Nelson of Nebraska - already publicly support Alito's confirmation. Chafee, independent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont, and most of the rest of the Democrats are expected to vote against Alito.

From here.

The 19 Democrats who betrayed their party are as follows:

Akaka (HI)
Baucus (MT)
Bingaman (NM)
Byrd (WV)
Cantwell (WA)
Carper (DE)
Conrad (ND)
Dorgan (ND)
Inouye (HI)
Johnson (SD)
Kohl (WI)
Landrieu (LA)
Lieberman (CT)
Lincoln (AR)
Nelson, Ben (NE)
Nelson, Bill (FL)
Pryor (AR)
Rockefeller (WV)
Salazar (CO)

Another 24 Democrats and 1 Independent, Jim Jeffords, supported a filibuster of Alito. I have particular scorn and ridicule for those of the 19, like Senator Salazar who will vote against Alito tomorrow, but failed to vote the right way when their vote would have really counted, today. You are not just wrong, you are hypocritically wrong.

UPDATE: The final vote on Alito on January 31, 2006 was 58-42. Thus, if every Democratic Senator who voted against Alito had had the courage of his convictions (thus, even if Republican Senator Chaffee hadn't), a filibuster could have been sustained. Democrats lost this battle for lack of will, not for lack of Senators opposed to the nomination. The Republicans, who have successfully filibustered judges themselves in the past, will not return the favor. The only Senators to cross Party lines were Ben Nelson, Tim Johnson, Robert Byrd and Kent Conrad, who voted Yes for Alito, and Chafee, who voted No.

Ken Salazar (D-CO), welcome to the permanent shit list. You are a Democrat in name only. You receive no further support from me, and I encourage other Democrats to do likewise. We have better candidates to put our efforts into getting elected. I am very angry and not in a mood to forgive and forget anytime soon. Democrats didn't expect this kind of fuck you slap in the face from someone they worked hard to support in 2004. (And I offer a Mea Culpa Maxima to all those Mike Miles supporters who held out for a real Democrat, won at the State Convention, and then were defeated in the primaries, whom I failed to help.)

A chronology showing the Democrats mistakes on the path to defeat can be found here. Senator Salazar figured prominently in many of the most important steps by which he undermined our party, such as the "Gang of 14" pledge.

The future looks dark, as set forth in a People For The American Way report. Yes, Kennedy is now the swing vote. But, Alito will be as bad as Scalia and Thomas and sends the Court in a dramatically worse direction on multitude of issues where Justice O'Connor had provided some measure of moderation. It is a sad day for America.


Dex said...

has he talked about this yet, why and all?

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Salazar has talked a length about why Alito is a judge he will vote against on the merits, but has provided no convincing discussion of why he doesn't feel he should be filibustered.

Sotosoroto said...

Maybe he just feels that the filibuster is a childish tactic without merit?