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View Diary: NYTimes: Oppose Alito (178 comments)

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  •  Let's get to 41 first (4.00)
    One step at a time.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 09:13:39 PM PST

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    •  And then what? (none)
      If we get the 41, how do we then get 6 Repubs to vote against the nuclear option (assuming Ben Nelson doesn't vote for it)? This is a chess game and we have to think several steps ahead.

      I've proposed pressuring those senators who may or may not be for Alito but who are loath to upset senate tradition and/or fearful of the political damage it might do to their party, to vote against it, while convincing others who ARE privately against Alito for one reason or another (e.g. pro-choice, libertarian) but too politically scared to vote against him, to use a vote against the nuclear option as a politically safe "back door" way to defeat Alito. Some senators belong to both groups but I think there are more than 6 combined to have enough to defeat the nuclear option.

      But perhaps I'm overestimating the willingness and ability of Repubs to put their and their party's long-term political interests, and their country's overall well-being, ahead of their and their party's short-term political interests--especially with Cheney and Rove still pulling the strings and threatening political waterboarding behind the scenes.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by kovie on Sun Jan 22, 2006 at 11:20:22 PM PST

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      •  Then what? (none)
        IF the only way to save the filibuster is by NOT using it, it is not worth saving.

        Think about what you just wrote.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 05:48:17 AM PST

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        •  That was not what I said or implied (none)
          IF the only way to save the filibuster is by NOT using it, it is not worth saving.

          Think about what you just wrote.

          Is that what I just wrote? It's news to me.

          By asking what comes next if we do manage to get 41+ votes to prevent cloture, I was in no way saying or implying that we might not then be able to get the necessary 51+ votes to defeat the nuclear option. As this and many other comments I've posted show, I believe that we CAN get those 51+ votes. I'm not saying that we WILL get those 51+ votes, but I definitely think that it's doable, and I outlined one strategy for doing that in this comment.

          Furthermore, and more to the point you raised in your comment, neither was I saying or implying that if we can get the 41+, but then can't get the 51+ (or are not 99% sure that we can get them), that we should therefore not attempt a filibuster. If this is what you read in my comment, I'm not sure where you got that.

          In case I wasn't clear in my comment, I firmly believe that, if we can get the 41+ votes to filibuster, we should absolutely do it whether or not we can get (or even think we can get) the 51+ votes to defeat the nuclear option. To me, so long as we do it right, a filibuster is a win-win whether or not the nuclear option succeeds.

          The point is not just to defeat Alito--although obviously that's the primary point. It's also to take a stand, show the public and GOP (not to mention disillusioned Dems) what we're made of and that we're not going to back down from now on, and hopefully do the GOP some political damage by showing the public how radical and desperate they are.

          If the nuclear option succeeds, we get to implement Harry Reid's promised plan to effectively take over the senate to get Democratic legislation on the floor (the way he did several months ago with the surprise closed session), and then use it against Repubs during the '06 campaigns. Plus, when we someday re-take the senate (which, while still a bit of a long shot, could still happen this year, and is definitely doable in '08) and have a Dem president, we'll be able to use the nuclear option against the Repubs in obvious ways.

          And if it fails, we get to block Alito and hand Bush and the GOP a stunning defeat. It's a win either way. So, going for the filibuster is, I believe, the right and really ONLY thing to do, if we can get the 41+ votes, and provided that we conduct it the right way (e.g. coordinated PR campaign including powerful floor speeches, tv, radio and print ads, and mass mailings).

          And in case it wasn't clear, the reason I asked "And then what" was simply because I wanted to know what our strategy was IF we had the 41+ and then initiated a filibuster. It's actually a 2-part question. One, how do we conduct the filibuster in terms of floor speechs and a coordinated PR campaign, so it has maximal effect? And two, how do we get those 6+ GOP votes to vote against the nuclear option.

          Basically, I'm not a big fan of the "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" approach to forward planning. To my thinking, if you've already decided that you will or at least want to cross a bridge, you'd better have a strategy for not only getting there, but then crossing it. If you're not thinking at least 2-3 steps ahead (with all sorts of what-if contingencies), then you're doing your cause a disservice.

          Kind of like our president's approach to Iraq and, well, just about everything else. I hope we're better than that.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by kovie on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 02:58:04 PM PST

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        •  The brief(er) version of my reply (none)
          I in NO way said or implied, or meant to say or imply, that the ONLY way to save the filibuster was to NOT use it, and I'm still scratching my head as to how you came to the conclusion that this was what I said or implied. In fact, I wasn't even talking about saving the filibuster, because not using it for fear of losing it is effectively the same thing as not having it, which I thought was so obvious as to not be worth pointing out.

          What I DID say--or at least intended to say, if my wording was unclear--was that if we're going to use the filibuster (which I think we SHOULD, and have been saying for WEEKS now, even IF we end up not being able to block the nuclear option), then we might as well try to get the most "mileage" we can out of it, by also trying our best to defeat the nuclear option--which obviously requires a STRATEGY to do that.

          That's ALL that I was saying--or at least trying to say.

          In any case, though, nuclear option blocked or not, I think we should filibuster either way--if we can get those 41+ votes, of course. And I think we can.

          I don't think I can be clearer than this.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by kovie on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 07:20:57 PM PST

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