January 27, 2006

What's It Worth?

So it's looking almost certain that Judge Alito will be confirmed to the Supreme Court without having a filibuster raised against him by Democratic opponents. Three Democrats have crossed party lines to vote for his confirmation, including Robert Byrd of West Virginia who made quite the caustic speech about Alito during the debate and is usually quite a firebrand. Evidently he has been contacted by constituents that believe the questioning of Alito was too harsh and think he should be confirmed. I don't know if that's a cop out, but it sure smells like one. Additionally, Democratic big names like Harry Reid and Joe Biden have essentially said they are opposed to a filibuster. So, with confirmation all but, uh, confirmed, and filibuster almost certainly off the table, John Kerry is calling Democrats calling for the filibuster.

There's actually more below the flip!

The Times makes a pretty cynical aside that this is posturing for the '08 nomination, but we here at the Blog Of Record think that's a question best left to the readers. What kind of credit does Kerry get for this move? It's almost certainly going to be popular with his MA-lectorate, so it could be an attempt to solidify himself in his seat, though I doubt he was in any real danger of getting ousted from the Senate. It is true that this could be a move to position himself for another run for President. It's also true that the guy just really thinks there should be a filibuster and is going to be publically whipping people until the vote happens.

I don't know where I come down on what to make of Kerry, but I do know one thing, Democrats made a really really shitty deal that put some really really shitty people in several Federal Appellate Courts on lifetime appointments in exchange for keeping the option of filibustering Supreme Court candidates open. Anyone remember that? That whole "nuclear option" thing? That time the Democrats actually almost took a stand on judicial nominations but then made a deal so that they could make their stand on the eventual nominations to the Supreme Court that everyone knew was coming? Do people expect there to be more nominations soon? Bush does have two years and change left, so it's possible, I guess. Maybe that's what the Democrats are waiting for because otherwise it sure looks like they traded the cow for some beans. Regular beans, like to make a soup with.

"I feel it in my fingers / I feel it in my toes / Christmas is all around me / So let the feeling grow"


Anonymous said...

Billy Mack, "Christmas is all Around."

Anonymous said...

Of course if you want to get TECHNICAL, it was performed by Bill Nighy in "Love Actually."

Unknown said...

I think it's a no-brainer move on Kerry's part to make noise about a filibuster, which just goes to show that most Senate Democrats have no brain. Where's Hillary on this? She should be calling for a filibuster too, because right now she's about as popular as Lieberman with the party faithful.

I'm disgusted with the Democrats on this, simply disgusted. Normally, I'm a pragmatist when it comes to politics. 9 times out of 10, not fighting is preferable to losing. But some things are so important that you fight anyway, even if you know you will lose, because it's your motherfucking job. Blocking Alito is one of those things.

Thanks Kerry and Kennedy. I saw what you did. I'll remember.

Noumena said...

If you still wanted to take the pragmatic line: If the Dems never, ever put up any kind of fight whatsoever, they won't be (re-)elected. People generally vote for the politicians who they think will represent their interests; if the Dems never do anything like this, eventually people are going to try out other candidates.

Idle speculation: In the extraordinarily unlikely event that a system of proportional representation was put in place, Democrats would be the third most popular party within four or five election cycles, ie, a decade. 35% Republican, 35% Green (or Social Democrat or Liberal party, call it what you want), 30% Democrat.