Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jellyfish Don't Have Spines

Now that the end is near some papers are finally starting to scream in panic.
Senators in Need of a Spine - New York Times: "But portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge's record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. He has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power and has espoused the peculiar argument that a president's intent in signing a bill is just as important as the intent of Congress in writing it. This would be worrisome at any time, but it takes on far more significance now, when the Bush administration seems determined to use the cover of the 'war on terror' and presidential privilege to ignore every restraint, from the Constitution to Congressional demands for information.

There was nothing that Judge Alito said in his hearings that gave any comfort to those of us who wonder whether the new Roberts court will follow precedent and continue to affirm, for instance, that a man the president labels an 'unlawful enemy combatant' has the basic right to challenge the government's ability to hold him in detention forever without explanation. His much-quoted statement that the president is not above the law is meaningless unless he also believes that the law requires the chief executive to defer to Congress and the courts.

Judge Alito's refusal to even pretend to sound like a moderate was telling because it would have cost him so little. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who was far more skillful at appearing mainstream at the hearings, has already given indications that whatever he said about the limits of executive power when he was questioned by the Senate has little practical impact on how he will rule now that he has a lifetime appointment."
Noticed that did you? Doing some indepth reporting a little earlier might have averted this situation. Waiting until you see the whites of their eyes is a little late to begin shooting. And over at Buzzflash they could barely contain themselves, they were so aggravated that they got the date wrong.
If Harry Reid doesn't start acting like a minority leader and get the Salazars, Landrieus, Bidens and Feinsteins to support one, then he should step down as minority leader.

This isn't a "vote of conscience" concerning a filibuster; it's a vote to save democracy. And if Reid can't cajole and bluster 41 Democrats into saving democracy, he should resign his position.

For some reason, instead of becoming outraged, the Democratic Senators act puzzled. This is why the so-called "middle Americans" don't trust the Dems on national security. The average Joe or Jill knows that if someone is threatening to beat you up, you don't hand him a bat.
I agree.
BuzzFlash has interviewed Harry Reid and found him candid and highly critical of Bush. But talk is cheap. What the Democrats need is a passion to save democracy and the leadership to get their stragglers in line.

As we noted, in 2003, John Kerry, who would like to be president, promised to lead a filibuster on a nominee that fits Sam Alito to a "T." Then, lead, John Kerry, lead, or be a hypocrite and get trounced in the Iowa primaries. If you don't have the 41 votes, get them. If you want to be president, you better be able to secure the backing of your party caucus, because if you can't lead the Democrats, you can't lead the nation.
Yowza! Don't hold back, tell us what you really think.

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