I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Friday, January 27, 2006

If Not Now, When?

Show some backbone!

While John Kerry (yes, that very same John Kerry) tried to rally the dems to filibuster Judge Samuel Alito, 4 TRAITORS to the cause put a severe damper on the fire.

"The three Democrats who have said they will vote for Judge Alito are Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Tim Johnson of South Dakota. And a fourth, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, said today after meeting again with the nominee that he is "leaning in favor" of him and does not want a filibuster." [NYT]

41 votes are needed to sustain a filibuster, but if Conrad defects to the dark side, then that would put the republicans at 60, which would be enough to force a vote. Harry Reid has come out against Alito, but also against a filibuster. I have to agree with Kerry on this one, if not now, when? We can't afford to worry about some other upcoming battle to use the filibuster. We need to use it now. If Alito gets onto the court, he could turn this country back to a time when rights were just words, not actions. Didn't we install Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader so that he could help us stand up and fight, to give us a voice? That voice is drowned out, lost in the wilderness. Dems are afraid of the political cost of such a battle, and what it might do to November election prospects. I think the American people might just respect their tenacity and willingness to stand their ground. Then again, with the press against them, that's a mighty mountain to climb.

For extra reading, try "Senators in Need of a Spine" from the NYT. "Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government — and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead. It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination."

"Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito's supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote. A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court."

Well said...

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