Friday, January 27, 2006

Senator Kerry's Message

The following is a diary posted by Senator Kerry over at DailyKos. It makes a strong case for the filibuster of Judge Alito. It explains why it is necessary to oppose Alito, and it outlines the hypocrisy of the right: refusing to give Harriet Miers the up-or-down vote "every presidential nominee deserves" while demanding it for Alito. Read on...

Do I support a filibuster? The answer is yes.

Yesterday Senator Kennedy and I spoke with our colleagues about it. I don't have a shred of doubt in my opposition to Sam Alito's nomination. I know Senator Kennedy does not either. He has truly been a great leader in the effort to oppose Judge Alito.

I spent a lot of time over the last years thinking about the Supreme Court and who America needs on the highest court in the land. So I don't hesitate a minute in saying that Sam Alito is not that person. His entire legal career shows that, if confirmed, he will take America backwards. People can say all they want that "elections have consequences." Trust me, more than anyone I understand that. But that seems like an awfully convoluted rationale for me to stay silent about Judge Alito's nomination.

I voted against Justice Roberts, I feel even more strongly about Judge Alito. Why? Rather than live up to the promise of "equal justice under the law," he's consistently made it harder for the most disadvantaged Americans to have their day in court. He routinely defers to excessive government power regardless of how extreme or egregious the government's actions are. And, to this date, his only statement on record regarding a woman's right to privacy is that she doesn't have one.

I said yesterday that President Bush had the opportunity to nominate someone who would unite the country in a time of extreme division. He chose not to do this, and that is his right. But we have every right, in fact, we have a responsibility, to fight against a radical ideological shift on the Supreme Court. Just think about how this nomination came to be. Under fire from his conservative base for nominating Harriet Miers--a woman whose judicial philosophy they mercilessly attacked--President Bush broke to extreme right-wing demands.

This was a coup.

Miers was removed and Alito was installed to replace the swing vote on the Court. The President gave no thought to what the American people really wanted--or needed. So it's up to us to think about what America really needs - that's part of the true meaning of "advice and consent."

Here's the bottom line though and I'll just be blunt and direct about it. It takes more than one or two people to filibuster. It's not "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." I'm doing what I can, Senator Kennedy is doing what he can, but if, like me, you want to stop Judge Alito from becoming Justice Alito, we can't just preach to our own choir. We need even more of your advocacy.

The right opposed Harriet Miers and got rid of her. We must oppose Alito and get rid of him! I'm not saying we'll succeed, or even that we have a chance, but the fight is worth fighting. Many rights are at stake here. I don't think any of us are willing to return to the 1950's. Good day! -Lefty


BlackLabelAxe said...

Yeah, that statement was the first call for a filibuster from the ski slopes of Switzerland (I'm not making this up). That has nothing to do with this issue, but it further illustrates what an aristocratic poser Kerry is. He didn't get elected because people don't understand him at all. He's made his money off the fortunes of wealthy men's widows, and he's never had a job that he didn't get a paycheck from the government.

He'd love to run for president again, so that's why he's trying to make news again. Leave it to Kerry to oppose a judge as wise and qualified as Alito. Alito has never ruled as a judge based on his personal beliefs. Abortion is the only issue that Dems are worried about anyways, which Alito can't make illegal nomatter how hard he tries. Kerry needs to just, and leave the spotlight for people with something to say.

BigNewsDay said...

OK Axe, you're slanting things away from the truth. Kerry was in Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum. He has cut his participation in the conference short in order to be in Washington to fight the good fight.

Us Dems care about many other issues besides abortion including executive power, a run amuck church state, and personal freedoms.

BlackLabelAxe said...

You're right about that, BND, occasionally I do ignore the facts to troll up the board when it comes to people or organizations that really piss me off. When I do that, I usually give warning. In this case, it was the first part of the second sentence in my post above. Senator Kerry is one guy that may say something relevant every once in a while, but as a person I just despise him and what he's doing so much that I'll take a shot at him instead of agree or disagree with what he's saying. It's one of the few partisan traits I have remaining. PETA is the same way for me. I know they are doing a lot of good things, but the ways and means they use irritate me to no end.

As for Judge Alito, I really don't see the point in filibustering his nomination. His nomination is inevitable, he has already earned the blessing of the Senate judiciary committee, and his detractors are in the minority. I think that Constitutional freedoms will be preserved by Alito, he's against Eminent Domain among other original freedoms that some of the wacky liberal judges (and shockingly, some loose cannon conservatives) voted to sell off for profit. I wish we could just get another Sandra Day O'Conner, I feel that she is one of the wisest women in history. I've had the pleasure of seeing her speak in person, and I admire her contribution to justice most reverantly. It really made me worry when I heard she was retiring, because I doubted that anyone could replace her as such a discerning person and a wise justice. Alito may be that guy, we'll just have to see.

Alito will be nominated, even if Kerry wants to organize a bandwagon of detractors to drag their feet about it.

BND, I know that you and other Dems care about more than abortion, I'm just seeing two Dems in Washington right now gathering attention and polishing an image in the run-up to their campaigns for President (namely Kerry and Clinton). While I never doubt that you, lefty, and all the other contributors to this site care about the issues, it's the Washington insiders in DC that I am very suspect of.

Lefty Metalhead said...

Both of you make excellent points. Coming from different ideological aisles, I rather put the Alito issue to rest because BIG and I will have our similar opinions and you, BLAxe, will have a different, although valid, one.

Something interested me about your last comment BLAxe. Your mention of Clinton and Kerry setting up their proto-campaign for 2008 sparked a thought. While this thought is worthy of a diary entry, I think we can kick it off here.

As the Dem presidential prospects are preparing for 08, the GOP don't have any apparent heir to the presidency. It seems as though Republicans have been so loyal to Bush that nobody has thought about the next administration. My questions are: How does this affect both parties? Will the GOP have a disadvantage? There are no big names in the GOP who look like they're running. Frist was promising until scandals got the better of him. So who will the GOP choose? My suggestion is that they hurry because none of them have made any noise.

Axe, as for trolling the comments page. As an administrator, you can troll away as you wish. But you must also delete any troll who may comment on here without being a contributor, regardless of whether you agree with him or not. In other words, trolls are welcome only if they're one of us!

Osgiliath said...

I think that Kerry and the Democrats leading a filibuster will be tantamount to political suicide assuming the GOP can structure it's message to the people appropriately. Here an easy one "The Democrats are out of touch with mainstream America". Every poll out there show Alito recieving the majority of support from the people as shown here

As to the new topic raised by Lefty - Republicans have been thinking of the next nominee for awhile. Names I've heard floated include Rice, Powell, George Allen, John McCain, Pataki, Guiliani - some are better than others and some have stated that they will not run.

As to who will have an advantage it really will depend on the candidate that each party chooses. If the Dems go with Hillary or Kerry I could see the Republicans winning with Big Bird.

I don't really see this affecting the Democrats at all. They will go where Soros tells them to.

BigNewsDay said...

Hey Os,

I actually agree with you on one of your points (that may be a first.) If we nominate Kerry of Hillary, I don't believe we have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the Presidency. I think we (the Dems) need a much more dynamic leader that is capable of polarizing our party. We need someone with real solutions to the problems that continue to plague our nation. Finger-pointing and insults will get our party nowhere.

BlackLabelAxe said...

The biggest thing about both Kerry and Clinton is that we would be guaranteed to get more of the same Washinton insider garbage that we've had. Same names, new positions in a bloated, dying corpse of government. I care less that the Dems lose the election than we just get somebody who can think beyond Saudi money, drug companies, and the myriad of other special interests and actually change something for us. I really hope the GOP can put up a progressive candidate for president, similar to what Zach Wamp (R-Tenn) is doing in the campaign for majority whip.

I would really appreciate a relative outsider in the '08 race. I like what Kinky Friedman said (Texas Governor candidate), "Politics is the only thing that the more experience you have, the worse you get at it."

BigNewsDay said...

uh oh! I guess I have to agree with both Os and Axe on the same day, on the same thread even. I would like to see both the Dems and the GOP send fresh candidates out for the '08 elections. We need fresh ideas and new solutions. We need more people like Kinky to shake things up a little. I do see myself as voing for him as Governor down here in the great state of Texas.

Osgiliath said...

I forgot a couple of Republican candidates (premature as this may be) Newt Gingrich, Huckabee and Romney have also indicated that they are interested in running for the Presidency. I don't know much about Huckabee, but Romney might not be to bad. I like Gingrich, but I don't think he would have a snowballs chance in hell of winning.

Other candidates that will run:

Al Sharpton - thank God he doesn't stand a chance

Ralph Nader - what an idiot

Lyndon Larouche - this guy belongs in an asylum (

BlackLabelAxe said...

Okay, after this successful discussion has mostly run its course, I dredged up this gem of a statement from Senator Barack Obama that says everything I've been trying to say about the Alito issue:

"There's one way to guarantee that the judges who are appointed to the Supreme Court are judges that reflect our values. And that's to win elections"

For some reason, the Junior Senator is speaking with a coolness and a wisdom that Democratic colleagues Kerry, Clinton, and Kennedy haven't got figured out even though they've held the same offices for years and probably will continue to hold their offices until they either die or retire. Democrats wouldn't be so bad if they had a roster full of guys like Obama.

BlackLabelAxe said...


I would love to see Newt take on the nomination and make a sprint for the White House. I think Newt is one of the only principled leaders that we've had in Washington since Reagan. He doesn't ever ignore the people who voted for him, and he has a leadership style that makes even the angriest of dissenters follow him, kicking and screaming if they must. Lots of people hate him because he has no respect for the insider game, and he'll break precendent or do whatever it takes to work for the taxpayers. The status quo hates Newt, and that's the best reason of all to vote for him. He's got an incredible record of accomplishments as the Speaker of the House, and it'd be a great thing for America to have him hold the highest office. If I could have one fantasy pick for President, it would be Newt.

The only problem with Newt is that I'm pretty sure he has illegitimate children, or some other personal skeletons that would be very embarrasing in a Presidential bid. It may have absolutely nothing to do with his political leadership, but you know how the information war is these days.

BigNewsDay said...

I would love to see Presidential debates between Obama and Gingrich, or maybe McCain. I think those would be actual debates where ideas are discussed instead of pissing matches where jabs are thrown. Hopefully, we have a much different election year in '08 than we did in '04. We need to work on bringing Americans back together.

Lefty Metalhead said...

Unless he fucks up, mark my words guys: OBAMA will win in 2012!

Osgiliath said...

I'm certain Newt has those skeletons as well. Also, from all accounts I've heard of him, he's an asshole. A good Speaker of the House, but a serious asshole. I'm not sure he'd be the best we could do... I dunno, it's too early to tell.

I don't think McCain would do well in debates against a Dem, he strikes me as more of a talking head a la Kerry. I was rather happy with the debates in 04. I thought that Bush did better in 04 than he did in 00, abd Kerry was as incoherent as Al Gore was. Could it have gone any better? :)

I'm not sure I'm with you on this one. Obama seems like a decent enough guy, but he's already started blowing smoke out of his ass as if he'd been on Capitol Hill for 20 years.