Washington -- Judge Samuel Alito is expected to win confirmation to the Supreme Court today, after Senate Democrats led by the party's former presidential nominee John Kerry failed Monday to block Alito's nomination. The Democrats' maneuver exposed divisions within their party and prompted warnings from Republicans that it would come back to haunt a Democratic president. [...]
Nineteen Democrats voted to end the filibuster, joining all 53 Republicans who attended Monday's session.
Kerry's move to force a filibuster vote heightened the scrutiny by activists of a handful of moderates of both parties, including Feinstein, who already had announced her opposition to Alito.
Sell me a bridge!
Two weeks ago on a Sunday talk show, Feinstein seemed to rule out a filibuster of Alito, saying,
"I don't see those kinds of egregious things emerging that would justify a filibuster. I think when it comes to filibustering a Supreme Court appointment, you really have to have something out there whether it's gross moral turpitude or something that comes to the surface. Now, I mean, this is a man I might disagree with. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court."
But Feinstein spokesman Howard Gantman said the senator's statements never ruled out support for a filibuster.
Ever pliable... and DiFi loves TV, if she can appear to discuss what is already decided (her vote), she will be there.
We know her well in San Francisco.
"Senator Feinstein has carefully over the last couple of weeks been going through the transcript, she's been carefully going through (Alito's) lack of responsiveness to a number of questions on very serious issues facing our nation," Gantman said. "She went back through his earlier writings, through his court cases, and Senator Feinstein reached the point where she felt she could not support ending debate on this."
Sell me the Bay Bridge too!
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who voted to sustain the filibuster but had disagreed with Kerry's decision to use it, said the problem was President Bush's failure to consult with Democrats.
Reid argued that former Democratic President Bill Clinton had avoided nasty confirmation fights by pre-clearing his nominations of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer with Republicans.
Bush actually consulted with Reid on O'Connor's successor, heeding Reid's recommendation of White House counsel Harriett Miers. But Miers' nomination was soon withdrawn under fire from conservatives who suspected her ideology and qualifications.
Reid called Miers "a good woman treated so poorly -- and the people who destroyed her are being rewarded by the Alito nomination."
Well, the Republicans have a demanding base.... notice who got "rewarded".
Kerry announced his filibuster on the liberal blog Daily Kos, and after returning to the Senate Friday, he said he was taking a stand on principle. "This is not the vote of Monday afternoon," he said. "This is a vote of history."
And history is announced on Daily Kos? I don't think so... more likely histrionics take place on the pages there. About it. The FP is populated with Democratic party organiser wanna bees. Lordy, can it get more tawdry? Deflation is on the horizon. Deflated jellyfish is not a wonderful sight...
Poor Democrats. They hung themselves with the Gang of 14. Pure numbers game. You are 44 in the senate, a filibuster requires 41, meanwhile 7, supposedly of your own party are a standing group against filibuster. It would be hilarious if it were not tragic. And obvious from minute one last April.
Seven Democrats who were part of a bipartisan group labeled the "Gang of 14" had indicated Alito's nomination didn't meet the extraordinary circumstances that could trigger a filibuster.
Trigger Cops vs Jellyfish. Down for the count... years ago.
Besides the fact that the filibuster was a hopeless cause, Senate Democrats and consultants worried that the move would put Democrats in Republican-leaning states in a bind during a midterm election year when they had a chance to retake their Senate majority.
Kerry's filibuster robbed these "red state Democrats" of anywhere to hide, forcing them to cast two conflicting votes -- one pro-Alito vote Monday to end the filibuster and another today against Alito's actual confirmation.
One of those Democrats up for re-election this year is Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who voted against the filibuster but said he would vote against Alito.
Yes the Democrats used Bill Nelson of FL over the Schiavo mess, they needed his seat badly and could not risk him being plastered with "You killed Terri".
The Democrats lost 2002 for the machinations to "win".
Can they do anything but protect Republican interests?
They lost the ground game in FL in '00, by not being ready. Quess who was ready, with litigation written and a plan to fight thru the last elector. Not the Democrats. They trumpeted they had - scream now - the Kennedy machine on the ground in FL. Keep screaming.
The party to save Nelson of FL. It's a hobby.
The party of the Davos whatever. More hobbies and pastimes. Please, go back to Davos. Alito was lost many years ago. The battles that never were.
DiFi and Blum are, I am sure, preparing for the annual drop in at the Villa d'Este on Lake Como...
Alito hearings and votes are tiresome responsiblities squeezed in. It is a haphazard game, at best.
And get ready for the Big Whopper, you knew it was coming:
Plus, he said, "It doesn't look good to push a filibuster and lose. You want to save it for the next time when you might be able to win it."