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Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just Not Enough

Sen. Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold, Debbie Stabenow, Ted Kennedy all have come out in support of John Kerry's filibuster plan.

E-mail them your appreciation. And keep working on those who resist. Sen. Feinstein said last week she'd oppose a filibuster and yet changed her mind. Others can as well.

Those Democrats opposing the filibuster, like Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, use reasoning like this:

Democratic officials said Mikulski had said during this week's closed-door caucus that the 2006 and 2008 elections were more important than a symbolic last stand that would fail to prevent Alito's confirmation.

Let your Senators know that if they support the filibuster, you will work even harder for a Democratic majority in 2006. Show Mikulski she's wrong.

This is not about a symbolic last stand. It's about taking an important, real stand against the lifetime appointment of a Judge whose record and statements show he believes in unchecked presidential power, will roll back civil liberties and a woman's right to choose and almost always rule for the prosecution in criminal and death cases.

Leahy and Schumer and the others need to get on board. It's those who don't endorse the filibuster, whether the votes are there or not, whom we will remember the most in 2006.

Update: Sen. Ted Kennedy posts a diary on the importance of rejecting Alito at Daily Kos.

Update: We need Sen. Ken Salazar. Via Jane:

Denver Metro Region
2300 15th Street, Suite 450
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 455-7600
Fax: (303) 455-8851

Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senator Ken Salazar
702 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5852 main
(202) 228-5036 fax

Pikes Peak Region
(719) 328-1100

High Plains Region
(970) 542-9446

Arkansas River Region
(719) 542-7550

Four Corners Region
(970) 259-1710

Western Slope/I 70 West Region
(970) 241-6631

North Central Region
(970) 224-2200

Alamosa
(719) 587-0096

To the phones. Make it happen.

[Graphic created exlcusively for TalkLeft by CL.]

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  • You know, if Kansas had a Democrat Senator, I would DEMAND that they filibuster Judge Alito. That way they would just be walking the plank for the next election. Why don't all you Democrat wooses get rid of Tim Johnson and the corn-husker guy? The only reason you don't win more elections is because people don't perceive you as militant enough. These guys are clearly not up to your level of purity; I suspect them of being counter-revolutionary. Stand up for your beliefs! Jimbo

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#2)
    by ras on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 06:39:37 PM EST
    I view this as an open takeover attempt of the Dem party by the Hard Left, 100%, lock, stock and barrel, no heretics allowed. I also think they'll ultimately succeed. The fb is the line in the sand in this battle, and we'll see how many line up on each side. It could still finish inconclusively if the D's fb and lose. They would then declare yet another "moral victory" to add to their collection, which'd delay the real internal battle for a short while. Wouldn't last long, tho. Sometime between now and '09, the Dems are gonna split up. Will the refugees form a 3rd party or join the initial wave that already went to R's some years ago and tipped the balance of power? Tough call, cuz the most conservative ones get driven out first (e.g. Zell Miller), and each successive wave will be a little more liberal than the one before it. Where will they go?

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 06:59:50 PM EST
    Byrd's phone and e-mail reportedly is full or unavailable. So lets go with MaximusNYC from kos open thread suggestion (there are other # there as well): Fax Senator Byrd: 202-228-0002 Remind him about that copy of the Constitution he carries around with him. Be nice as he has been there for us in the past. This is a lapse, oversight and big mistake. We need to convince him to change his mind.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:15:03 PM EST
    Got lost in the thread over at kos while reading comments. It is a Diary (post) by Senator Ted Kennedy not open thread. Worth reading and the comments too. Lots of contact info for Senators.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#5)
    by Sailor on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:25:40 PM EST
    I view this as an open takeover attempt of the Dem party by the Hard Left, 100%, lock, stock and barrel, no heretics allowed. I also think they'll ultimately succeed.
    ras, I view it as a matter of conscience. And I really don't think that women, minorities and people who think children shouldn't be stripped searched constitute the 'hard left.' It isn't pandering to extremists, it is a shining example of the (possible) difference between repubs and dems.

    I really love this site, but feel compelled to point out that there is not such thing as "Democrat Support" or "Democrat Senator" in the English language. I really wish you wouldn't pump up right-wing memes.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#7)
    by Beck on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 09:41:54 PM EST
    Mikulski is worried about the elections? What the heck, voters won't remember this in the fall of 2006, much less in 2008. It will be ancient history by then. Voters have zero memory.

    ras:
    I view this as an open takeover attempt of the Dem party by the Hard Left
    View it however you like, but understand that your view is hopelessly biased, so any analysis based on that view is worthless. Your comment is typical of the myopic perpective of an extreme right winger who suspects anyone who expresses a desire for moderation of being a communist.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 01:29:23 AM EST
    Everything except ras's perpective, from ras's perspective, is hard left.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#10)
    by Johnny on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:36:50 AM EST
    Plus he's Canadian, eh? So he really doesn't know what he's talking aboot, he lacks the proper perspective.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:49:28 AM EST
    Squeaky writes:
    Remind him about that copy of the Constitution he carries around with him.
    Remind him of what? That the Pesident nominates and the Senate advises and consents? And that requires a vote? Or maybe remind him that the Constitution says absolutely nothing about fillibuster? sailor writes:
    ras, I view it as a matter of conscience. And I really don't think that women, minorities and people who think children shouldn't be stripped searched constitute the 'hard left.'
    Uh, you left out some info, saolor. The police had a search warrant, which you put a great deal of faith in, and the search was done in private by female officers. Now, please tell me what is wrong with that? ras - The battle started years and years ago.

    There's nothing in the Constitution about an up or down vote being needed for a Presidential nomination as well, which is, surprisingly enough, a point with which both Bryd and Frist are in agreement on.

    I was looking att eh copy of the Constitution that i have in my pocket, and I see this: and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court This says to me that the Prez nominates, the Senate agrees or disagrees. If the Senate agrees, the Prez appoints. If the Senate disagrees, the prez tries again. So, having read the words in the Constitution, where does it say that the Prez nominates and the Senate rubber stamps? And where does it say how the Senate arrives at their "advice and consent". Nothing here about hearings, up-or-down votes,or filibusters. \ The Senate has rules (like them or not) about how they perform these functions. A filibuster, any manner of voting, hearings, etc are based on day-to-day operations of the Senate. They can filibuster if it's within the rules, which it currently is.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#14)
    by Lora on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:07:07 AM EST
    Mikulski's comments back up my theory that the reason the dems are appearing so spineless is that they are afraid of being viciously and wrongfully attacked if they step out of line. We won't get too far with them unless we address this issue. Voters have short memories, but the republican smear machine does not. It will not forget. Somehow, we need to stop blaming the democrats and let them know we will support them and not allow an attempted swiftboat to gather momentum and ruin their chances for re-election. Unless we can find a way to deflect the vicious attacks that they are afraid will come, those who do come forward run the risk of being sacrificied, and the rest will not rock the boat.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:20:52 AM EST
    Ras, The "hard left" is nowhere near the deomocratic party. Come on, the repub and dem party machines are two slightly different sides of the same coin. Alito is not someone I want on the court, and many people feel that way. They've contacted their reps -- I know at least thirty people who have. It's all about politics, which is what a political body is about. I think we're simply not used to REAL political battles; but more used to the dog and pony shows we usually get. Better this filibuster (or at least a passionate effort in trying) than politics be simply a wad of cash and a wink.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    lora- another theory about spinless dems leaders and our revulsion toward them, and what to do about it, was recently posted by digby. I mentioned for you to look at it in another thread. Did you see it? If not it is worth a look. I found it convincing. digby

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#17)
    by ras on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 11:19:03 AM EST
    Sailor, I couldn't disagree much more w/you on details - e.g. the "strip-search" canard. But - and I'm pretty much just repeating what I've been saying here for weeks - if Dems themselves truly believe their own rhetoric on Alito, then they must fight with everything they've got, including a filibuster, even if the odds are against them. If they don't, they're phonies, and I think you're saying much the same (tho you phrase it more delicately). What's caught my eye, tho, is the timing. First, enough Dems declare that they'll not fb, then at the last minute when it's safe to pose, Kerry/Kennedy make a showy call to arms that can only divide their own party. If it had been a principled call, they would have made it much, much sooner. I think you know this, too, but are prepared to ignore the crass part cuz you're trying to do the right thing, even if for the wrong reasons. History is full of examples of such actions that really did work out for the better (e.g. the Magna Carta, conceived more as a Robber-Baron's Bill Of Rights than a noble exercise in freedom, nonetheless set in motion a trend and an idea that mattered). Maybe a fb will work out too, if only as an inspiration, even in defeat. i don't think so at all, myself, but you do. Tactically, its odds of actual success are *much* diminished by its timing, as it is clear from previous actions that Alito was not "extraordinary circumstances" and that declaring him one as part of a pose can't make it so. If no fb occurs, then even the threat of a fb was ever a pose, from the moment Alito was nominated. If one does take place, then I think your own belief is that what you might lose in getting nuked is more than offset by the inspiration of the effort. That about right? PPJ, Yes, the battle has been ongoing w/in the Dems for a long time. But this is kinda shaping up like the fall of Constantinople, a final and telling assault meant to consolidate absolute power. It's fascinating.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#18)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 11:23:10 AM EST
    Squeaky, Part of the Dem leadership problem is that they actually buy into the Rightards' smear machine about Howard Dean, who still has a very large contingent behind him. The Dem leaders should give a political finger to this and embrace Dean and the left. I will now stand down and observe the smear machine in action.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#19)
    by Lora on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 12:54:11 PM EST
    Squeaky, Yes, I read Digby's post, that the dems have been beaten so often they have kind of a "learned helplessness" mentality. I dunno, I think they are just under constant right-wing onslaught and they've started to believe some of the right wing's accusations themselves. I am still mad at Kerry for breaking his promise and letting us down after the election, so I wasn't too keen on Digby's praise of him. I think he is giving the appearance of being ready to lead the charge but he hasn't risked anything yet. He's making sure of his support before venturing out there. That may change. I'll try to keep an open mind about him. But, from another more recent Digby post, on the senators that supported a filibuster: "They are being ridiculed and scorned by everybody in the beltway for being dimwitted tools of the angry left or craven political opportunists." IMO, 'everybody' being the repressive right smear machine and everyone who is brainwashed enough to buy into it. Case in point and backs up exactly what I've been saying.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 01:47:52 PM EST
    lora-I had not been so keen on Kerry as well. He has taken a risk and it looks like it is working out. Jane at fdl has some inspiration on that. He has also given some good speeches and perhaps has remolded himself since the horrible let down that you speak of. Best thing would a third party but that is not possible now as the risk of dividing the left is too great. I think that the blogosphere has the potential for great power. Onward to filibuster and the coming elections.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#21)
    by swingvote on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:43:39 PM EST
    Part of the Dem leadership problem is that they actually buy into the Rightards' smear machine about Howard Dean, who still has a very large contingent behind him. This explains a lot about your positions, Che. You're obviously too busy thinking up new derogatory phrases to spend any time educating yourself on what is really going on in the world. Howard Dean's contingent could fit in a closet these days.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#22)
    by ras on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    Squeaky, A 3rd party is inevitable. As the Harder Left drives others out of the Dems, those others gotta go somewhere. The most conservative were driven out first and they went to the R's, creating a majority party in the process. But each successive wave of refugees will be increasingly more liberal and less likely to vote R. Where will they go? To a 3rd party of course; it is now just a matter of time.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:48:34 PM EST
    Looks like a roaring fire finally. Senator Kennedy has been in a conference call with bloggers and has some words of encouragement for the filibuster. Dem Senators do not want to be seen as obstructionists so tell them that you are behind them they need encouragement. mcjoan and linked text">Jane have a recap of the conversation. georgia10 has more at kos and so does jane so if you need inspiration check them out.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:51:30 PM EST
    here is jane's link

    A 3rd party is inevitable. As the Harder Left drives others out of the Dems, those others gotta go somewhere. If your talking about the Dems for whom Joe Leiberman is the ideal Senator, recalling the 2004 primaries, there just aren't that many of them. If they were to form a 3rd party, it'd probably draw more Republicans than Democrats.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 06:31:23 AM EST
    If Alito is confirmed, what options are there for getting rid of him, besides hoping he'll have a stroke or heart attack or another nut like John Hinckley comes out of the woodwork? I was going to offer abduction by aliens as another alternative, but that's already happened to him, apparently.

    Re: Democrat Support for Filibuster Grows, Just No (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 10:46:44 AM EST
    Regarding this nomination and potential filibuster, and Democratic oppostition to the effort: Barack Obama is a little too green for his own good, in my opinion. It seems he believes Alito stands against core American values as a jurist, but apparently doesn't think it worth the effort to REALLY oppose the nomination. Winning elections is fab, Barack, no sh*t. But, and it's surprising you'd have to remind him, being a vital and passionate opposition is just as important.