Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It Is The Only Way We Can Live

Leftwing blogger Digby blogged "It Is The Only Way We Can Live"

It must be sad to have to live like that. Did you ever consider moving to Oregon? The Supreme Court recently supported doctor assisted suicide for people suffering, and who have no prospect of recovery.
So we only got 25 Senators to vote for a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee who, if defeated, would be replaced by someone just as bad by a president in the pocket of his radical right wing. Well.
Actually Alito is one of the most qualified candidates for the Supreme Court in a long time, and if the Democrats had been able to come up with anything other than the fact that he MIGHT vote to reverse a 30 year old decision that even liberal constitutional experts (who like the results) believe was not a proper decision, they could have gotten more than 25 to support their filibuster.
Do you know how many votes the Republicans managed to get when uber wingnut Antonin Scalia was confirmed? 98. And Democrats had a majority. We didn't have to even think about a filibuster. We couldn't defeat Clarence Thomas and we had a majority, a huge push from women's groups and a very dramatic set of hearings that went into the wee hours of the morning. It is very, very tough to do.
And Clinton's two nominees got confirmed with a significant number of conservative votes, because prior to the past few years the Senate did not impose a political partianship expectation on a Judicial Appointment. But now that the Democrats have shown us how they expect things to be done, just think what would happen in the unlikely event that a Democrat ever again makes it to the White House, and attempt to nominate a Liberal as extreme as the two Clinton nominated. They will be destroyed by the same tactics the Dems have taught the Republicans.
Kevin Drum says:
The lefty blogosphere has spent the last week trying to fire up support for a filibuster of Samuel Alito. This campaign was never likely to succeed, and today it failed as expected. But that's not all: it failed by the embarrassingly lopsided margin of 72-25. I'm glad the filibuster took place, because even in failure it puts a marker down for future court fights.
It may guarantee that an extreme Conservative, regardless of how qualified, will not get confirmed, but it also guarantees that an extreme Liberal, regardless of how qualified, will not get confirmed. Only stealth candidates, with no paper trail, will have a chance, and lacking judicial experience, no one will be able to predict what they will do.
Still, even given the amateurish way that Senate Dems handled it, I expected it to get more than 25 votes. So here's today's assignment: In 5,000 words or less, what does this say about the influence of the lefty blogosphere?
I didn't expect it to get more than 25 votes and I'm frankly stunned that we did as well as we did. Indeed, something very interesting happened that I haven't seen in more than a decade. When it became clear that the vote was going against the filibuster, Diane Feinstein, a puddle of lukewarm water if there ever was one, decided to backtrack and play to the base instead of the right wing. That's new folks. Given an opportunity to make an easy vote, until now she and others like her (who are legion) would always default to the right to prove their "centrist" bonafides. That's the DLC model.
And conservatives love it when the Radical Left discredits the DLC model. That is the only way Clinton got elected, and we certainly don't want to see that happen again. Any time you see a Dem reaching for the Center, come down on him or her hard, and force him or her to go back to the extreme left, where they will not have a chance of getting elected.
When you have a free vote always use it to show that you aren't liberal. That's why she was against it originally --- a reflexive nod to being "reasonable." Obama had to choke out his support for a filibuster, but he did it. A calculation was made that he needed to play to the base instead of the punditocrisy who believe that being "bold" is voting with the Republicans. Don't underestimate how much pressure there is to do that, especially for a guy like Obama who is running for King of the Purple. The whole presidential club, including Biden joined the chorus.

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