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  •  tiresome (3.00)
    Are we going to have to listen to Armando list every single Democratic senator's vote, accompanied with a rant and rave about how the nomination of Roberts signals the coming Nazi era?

    This is tiresome. Approving Roberts makes it easier for the Dems to fight a Scalia or Thomas if he appears as the next nominee.

    I can only hope Armando is being serious when he says he's giving up on the Democratic party. Great. Go. The rest of us will be fine.

    •  How does it make it easier? (none)
      You've got to be kidding me.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:38:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there's two logical trains of thought (none)
        1.  oppose oppose oppose to create fear and coerce bush to choose a moderate to replace o'connor.

        2.  confirm roberts so that when bush sends up a fundie dems can oppose and say "see if you don't send up fundies, we approve the judges."

        the flip side of logic no. 2 goes like this, if you oppose oppose oppose roberts then it doesn't matter who bush nominates for o'connor cause if he nominates a fundie freak all the repugs are gonna say is "you're just playing partisanship games."

        and then we're kinda screwed there too.

        "It behooves us therefore to see each thing directly as it is, be it the sound of a tin whistle or the elegant Lepiota Procera." -- John Cage

        by BiminiCat on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:43:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's assuming (4.00)
          That No. 2, and the corollary, assumes the Republicans can't find another stealth nominee. Find a Roy Moore who has kept his mouth shut until now. No track record. Any documents won't be released. Evasive answers to the judiciary committee. What are the Democrats going to say, we voted for Roberts last time when you pulled this same routine but we won't vote for this one under the same circumstances? If anyone is worried about what the Republicans might say, think about what they would make of that scenario.

          The Republicans were going to say "you're just playing partisan games" no matter who is the nominee. Our anticipation of their response should not dictate our strategy. It's up to Democrats to announce they stand for something. Let them make the case that they oppose Roberts because the White House is hiding something by not releasing documents, because Roberts is hiding something by not giving straight answers to straight questions, and because the shell game that Clarence Thomas ran was eerily similar to Roberts' non-answers. John Kerry's announcement today got it right.

          The sleep of reason produces monsters. Francisco Goya

          by Dire Radiant on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:52:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly... (none)
            I can't help but think that for each of those logical trains, the Repubs have sub-bullets A-Z already lined up.

            The point that our only visible strategy goes up to 2, I think says a lot.

            ...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

            by dss on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:59:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  that's true (none)
            repugs are going to say "you're playing partisan games" no matter what happens.

            which is why, according to the logic in no. 2, it would be nice to be able to say "no. we're not.   we'll confirm someone if we know they represent mainstream american values."

            "It behooves us therefore to see each thing directly as it is, be it the sound of a tin whistle or the elegant Lepiota Procera." -- John Cage

            by BiminiCat on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 10:00:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nobody waits for the rebuttal. (none)
              The headline goes out: "Dems play partisan games."
            •  It would be nice (none)
              Acknowledged, it would be nice to have that reasonable reply lined up. But we don't even know that much about Roberts - that he represents mainstream American values - because he and the Bush administration have hidden the ball. IMO there's no reason not to oppose Roberts, let the Republicans scream partisanship, and use that same reply right now.

              The sleep of reason produces monsters. Francisco Goya

              by Dire Radiant on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 10:30:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Easier (none)
        because we are now perceived, by the public/ MSM, as being willing to accept a "moderate" nominee.  

        If a radical is proposed and we oppose him/ her we have significantly more credibility in the eyes of the average joe who writes about this stuff or the average joe who reads about it.

        •  REALLY? (4.00)
          Just like the public/MSM perceived Democrats as reasonable and bipartisan for going along with the Iraq war?  As I recall, Democrats ended up not only as obstructionists, but as spineless obstructionists!

          Look, people distrust politicians, and the Democratic Party has not built up a ton of credibility with the public at large.  They are not suddenly going to take our word for it on the next judge just because we didn't filibuster this one.

          Republicans STILL try to claim that Democrats staunchly opposed Souter even though the vote on his confirmation was 90-9.  There is no way they are going to just roll over and acknowledge that we gave Roberts a free pass, and after Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, etc. have all come out against Roberts, I don't think the public is going to buy the claim that we handled Roberts with kid gloves.

          •  You think an all out throw down in the middle... (none)
            of the Katrina, Rita fiasco is a good move politically for the Democrats while the shrub is already taking a political beating?

            Yes...lets distract from the presidents political woes... when the public favors a nominee who has come off with a good public image after favorable sound bites played on local radio and TV...

            The best move is to not try to enforce strict party discipline here and let each Senator vote their preference.  

            •  This is just a rationalization (4.00)
              Just like all the people who are saying "it's ok because he's replacing Rehnquist."  Well, news flash, up until a few weeks ago he wasn't replacing Rehnquist, and yet we heard just as many cries to keep our powder dry.

              Now the reason we can't put up a fight is because of the hurricane.  Well, whatever.  Fact is, it takes just as long to count a no vote as a yes vote.  The vote total is hardly going to transform this into an all-consuming national story one way or the other.

        •  Just not so (none)
          The average Joe doesn't know which senator voted for what.  And when Democrats voted in favor of the patriot act and the Iraq War, we were still labelled as obstructionists.  Cooperation and looking reasonable got Tom Daschle a one-way ticket home.  It was a sobering lesson.  This Republican Party will betray you if you try to work with them.  Their spin machine will never be overcome by our cries to Joe Average of, "But we voted for John Roberts!"  "John who?"
    •  This is perhaps the most politcally naive (3.66)
      comment on this thread.

      I guess my life would feel better, too, if I paid less attention to what's been going on.

      If life just got "easier" for Dems gearing up for the next fight, how about your vote count on the next nominee? I want names and numbers. And no, we don't need to know who the nominee is, because, well, we know who the next nominee is.

      Six turncoat Dems and we're screwed. Tell me you really think we'll hold them now.

      I am the federal government.

      by mateosf on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:47:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The comment is not naive...qutie the opposite n/t (none)
      •  If the next nominee is Owen or Brown... (none)
        then I think the vote count is at least 42 against cloture, more likely 43.  We may lose Nelson and perhaps Baucus, I strongly suspect we keep Jeffords, and I don't see any other likely defectors from the Democrats.  Who else do you have in mind as a defector?  Even if you assume Lieberman disloyalty (I don't on this kind of social issue, where his reflexive hawkishness is irrelevant), that puts us at 41 or 42 votes against cloture.

        If the Republicans then go nuclear on the nomination of Owens or Brown, I'd say we get all 44 Dems plus at least Jeffords, Snowe, Collins, and Chafee opposing the nuclear option.  The last two or three votes are harder; I think we have a decent chance of picking up Specter, but that would still leave us one or two short.  We might get two of McCain, Warner, and DeWine.  More likely, the nominee gets on the Court but Republican approval ratings nosedive even further as the public sees them rewriting the rules with the narrowest of possible majorities in order to force a wingnut onto the Supreme Court.  

        Ultimately, it may be that the best we can do is to fight and lose on the nuclear option in such a way as to get maximum political advantage and take back the Senate in 2006 (and hope Stevens lives until 2007).  I think that it's worth playing for that endgame while keeping alive the (less-than-50%) chance that we can beat the nuclear option and block the next nominee.

        I'm not completely sure what you mean when you say "we know who the next nominee is," and I apologize if you think I'm rigging the game by hypothesizing Owens or Brown.  If you have another nominee you think is more likely, I can try to come up with a vote count on him or her instead.  

        I do think that where the nominee is an arguable wingnut, as most of Bush's possible picks will be, we gain credibility with the public by being able to say that we didn't oppose a (very) conservative not-quite-wingnut.  I would have preferred that >40 Dems follow in Reid's footsteps of saying that Roberts deserved a no vote but not "extraordinary procedural tactics", as a warning shot; then we could still say we didn't filibuster a conservative non-wingnut.  But I don't see this tactic as that far inferior.  And there's a potential upside of this divided-party route in terms of convincing wavering members of the "Gang of 14", and perhaps the public, that any future filibuster is truly an expression of individual determinations of extraordinariness, rather than simply partisan following-the-leader-- which would mean that going nuclear would involve Republican members of the Gang breaking their promise.

        •  Pretty risky strategy. (none)
          We lose both Nelsons and Baucus, maybe Pryor, Salazar almost for sure, and maybe Johnson. Again, depends on the nominee, but I wouldn't bet the farm on holding your 40.

          By "we know who the nominee is," I meant it will be a wingnut, because Bush can and he has nothing to lose or gain - except that the base is looking for red meat in advance of the '06 boogie.

          And while we may be able to leverage this into gains in the Senate (again, which seats?), that will mean nothing, because we will have lost the Court for the next 20 years or so. The damage will have been done, and it will be final.

          I am the federal government.

          by mateosf on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 11:54:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you give Salazar and Bill Nelson... (none)
            too little credit.  Nelson might have had to chicken out if he had a tough opponent, but he's running against Katherine Harris; he's not going to have to break much of a sweat.  Salazar isn't up for a while.  And both of them voted against Owen and Brown when they were nominated to the Court of Appeals.  As for Pryor and Johnson, they also voted against Owen and Brown last time.  So I think we start with 43 or 44 (I still have some hope for Baucus), and can afford two unexpected defections.

            As for which seats we can gain in the Senate if my expected nuclear-option scenario plays out: I think DeWine takes a serious hit, and Pederson gets a leg up on Kyl if McCain votes anti-nuke but Kyl votes pro-nuke.  Talent in Missouri and Burns in Montana might take a little bit of additional damage too, and are already endangered.  Since I think Santorum and Chafee are already probably done for, that could get us to six.  John Warner in Virginia could also be damaged by a nuclear-option flip-flop, although unless Mark Warner stops screwing around and runs for the Senate, I'm not sure who we're going to defeat John with.

            Also, with respect to having "lost the Court for the next 20 years or so", note that a conservative replacement for O'Connor doesn't quite send us completely over the precipice-- it only sends us back to about where we where in 1990-93, post-Thomas and pre-Ginsburg, with Kennedy as the swing vote.  The Bush appointees will both be somewhat more conservative than Byron White was (though Roberts may be a bit less conservative than Rehnquist was), but people forget that White was pretty conservative on a lot of things.  Kennedy was the swing vote in Casey, for example, because White wanted to overturn Roe; no matter who gets confirmed to replace O'Connor, Kennedy will still be the swing vote on abortion.  Not a great outcome, but not quite the end of the world just yet, if Stevens lives long enough.

            •  Interesting points. (none)
              Definitely food for thought.

              Couple notes.

              I don't think we'll see Owen and Brown, but their ideological equivalents.

              Mark Warner is running for President.

              Salazar is more conservative than you think.

              DeWine is done but only because we've got Hackett.

              Kyl is probably safe either way - McCain is not the most beloved Senator in Arizona, they just like his style (on substance, not so much). And THAT place is conservative. More like conserva-weird.

              Burns is fine if we lose Baucus, though in trouble for other reasons/Abramoff ties.

              Chaffee has been endorsed by a half-dozen-odd (odd) "progressive" groups.

              And also remember that 1990-93 we had a Democratic Congress.

              But still, will have to chew on this.

              I am the federal government.

              by mateosf on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 12:40:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'd also like to 2nd that in some way (none)
      Armando has driven me away from reading the front page on a regular basis.  

      I miss the more even handed posts that used to be common on the front page.  

      Don't get me wrong.  I want to be partisian and enjoy it but the tone just drives me away more often than not.


    •  How? (4.00)
      How does rolling over on this one make the next fight easier? The next candidate will have a couple of years of experience (not enough to divine a philosophy from), the White House will withhold every document they darned well want to (probably 90% of them), and the candidate will trot out the exact same non-answers in his hearing that Roberts did. And he'll be the biggest ideologue the Bush admin can find.

      So what argument can the Democrats give then? The standard we used to approve the Chief Justice isn't good enough for an Associate Justice? Come on, that's a dumb argument that no-one would credibly buy. Robert should be held to a HIGHER standard than the next nominee, and he clearly demonstrated in his hearing that he didn't want the job - how can you interview for a job and not answer the questions from the interviewer?

      •  Several of the names mentioned... (none)
        for the next candidate have a much juicier paper trail than Roberts does.  

        If the nominee is Priscilla Owen, or Janice Rogers Brown, or Edith Jones, we'll have significantly more than two years of experience to work with.  Owen and Brown have very interesting paper trails from their state-court days, and Jones has been on the Fifth Circuit for quite some time (she was considered for Souter's seat on the Court).  

        I agree that the Bush administration may trot out "the biggest ideologue [it] can find".  Stealth nominees like Roberts give some of the Republican base Souter-fear, and Bush likely wants to pick a fight to distract from his other problems.  But in that case, we won't have to fight on the abstract turf of whether the nominee has answered our questions candidly enough; we'll have a lot of material to work with before the confirmation hearing even gets started.

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