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View Diary: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (454 comments)

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  •  Let me suggest. (none)
    Last count, 3 Dems are voting to confirm. Johnson of SD, Byrd of WV & Nelson of NE. We can badmouth these 3 to we are blue in the face. But, let's look at reality, all of them are from "red states", Byrd & Nelson are up for re-elect in '06 and Johnson is up in '08. Could it be that the way we framed this issue...i.e. it's all about Roe v. Wade would hurt these 3 in their races? That at best, the people in these states are split 50/50 on the issue of Roe and most are in the "that's not my priority" camp? Now, what if we would have framed the Alito confirmation on economic issues that come before the Court? That Alito would be joining a Court that doesn't split 5-4, but typically 7-2 or 9-0 on issues that routine favor corporate interests? Now THAT would have been something for a Dem whether they were from Vermont or South Dakota would resonate with the majority of the voters. As it turned out, we basically have said "vote against Alito because he may rule against Roe v. Wade" and now go sell that to the voters of Nebraska, West Virginia & South Dakota.
    •  Did you read what I wrote? (none)

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:23:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe I got the wrong idea? (none)
        I appreciate your commentary. The gist I got was the leadership should have whipped the entire caucus in line. My point is, give every member something to take home with them. And recognize that Roe and the issues the members of the Committee "gave" is not just not enough, but in some cases counterproductive for Democratic senators to take "home" with them.
        •  Your point has its merit (none)
          My post disagrees woth Senators for their positions, I do not attack them for their positions.

          I condemned Senator Byrd for his disgraceful attack on Senator Kennedy.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:37:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, Byrd has something (none)
          Bush's colors were shown in Red when his mine safety administratoe walked out in the middle of his testimony, saying he had better things to do.  Walked out on Byrd, Spector among others.  With alito on the bench, the Bushies won't even appear before Congress, they'll say that it interferes with their CinCpowers.
          Next step, declare the AUMF to be permanent, so Congress can't declare the war over.  It's coming.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:43:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tough and Progressive (4.00)
      It's a lie that West Virginia is a red state and Byrd should not be given that excuse.

      The governor is a D. The majorities in the house of delegates and the state senate are Ds. Every statewide position save one is a D. Four of the five Congressional represenatives are Ds.

      Byrd's name is was gold in this state. He did not need to vote for Alito to win.

      Byrd's always been too much of a supporter of corporations for my taste. His vote on the bankruptcy bill for instance appalled me. I'm tired of making excuses for him.

      We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

      by Carnacki on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 07:32:18 AM PST

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      •  I agree Byrd wins regardless in '06. (none)
        And maybe he was just being an a-hole in voting for Alito. My concern in general, is that we are handing these red or if you like purple state Democrats the Roe v. Wade card and nothing else and telling them to go sell it in Sioux Falls, Omaha & Charleston. I'm not suggesting we back off on our support of Roe v. Wade, but just give our red/purple state Dems something else to carry back home with them.
        Specific to WVa, I don't know. How many of these Dem officeholders and majorities are or prioritize Roe v. Wade, backdooring gay marriage and favor the current intepretation of the establishment clause?
        •  Well, as a West Virginian... (none)
          I can tell you that one of my two Democratic State Senators, Tim Ennis, co-sponsored legislation in the previous session to create a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I can tell you that my Democrat Congressman, Alan Mollohan, voted FOR Tom Delay's Schiavo bill, against stem-cell research, and typically against LGBT-related issues. I can tell you that my Democratic Senator, Robert C. Byrd, consistently votes AGAINST the interests of the LGBT and pro-choice communities. WHERE ARE THE REAL DEMOCRATS???
          •  That's what I figured. (none)
            Doesn't matter how much you or I or both of us like it, if we are expecting a Democratic majority which supports gay marriage and doesn't give an inch on abortion rights, we're going to be waiting a long time in the minority.

            I don't know Ennis or Mollohan, but how are they on pocketbook issues? How are they on labor issues? Sorry we disagree, but that is my definition of a REAL Democrat, not on the concerns you bring up. Frankly, I could care less about GLBT issues. Sorry, a man or woman, regardless of sexual orientation doesn't gain anything if they can marry the same sex but their job is being outsourced, their son or daughter had no career opportunity out of high school other than fighting in one of Bush's wars, and no one in the family has health care.

      •  red state (none)
        "Red State" refers to the color of a state on the Presidential election map that tv networks use.  A state that voted for Bush for president in 2004 was thus a "red state."  West Virginia thus is a "red state" since it went for Bush in 2004.
        •  Leroy (none)
          Believe me, I know it went for Bush in 2004. But I think it's wrong to ignore the fact how well Democrats do statewide and Byrd has no excuse for voting the way he did.

          We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

          by Carnacki on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:41:24 AM PST

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          •  fair enough (none)
            Valid point- West Virginia has a lot of elected Democrats.  I was just trying to make sure terms were used correctly.  "Red state" vs "blue state", as coined by the media, just refers to the results of a recent presidential election (I dont think they started using this terminology until 2000 but I could be wrong).  It has come to stand in for a state being thoroughly Republican or Democrat, but it is really just refering to the color tv networks arbitrarily placed on states based on their presidential votes (Remember "red" used to be the color associated with communism).
    •  econ issues won't work (none)
      David Brooks wrote about this exact belief yesterday. Most Americans simply don't subscribe to the economic oppression narrative put forth by liberal congressional democrats. It's not a way to win elections and it's not a way to stop Supreme Court nominiations.

      Take abuout the article on a progressive blog: http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/...

      •  Maybe. (none)
        Maybe the minimum wage issue doesn't resonate. But, how about mandating that employers pay for health insurance in the same way they are mandated to pay a share of FICA? How about for not closing the doors in the faces of millions of workers? How about not outsourcing jobs overseas by the millions? I agree, if the extent of our economic policy is a couple of dollars more in minimum wage and otherwise roll-over or participate in the championing of corporate, banking & insurance interests...that's not a winner. I think a legitimate consumer-based policy and platform is.
      •  Every person I talk to at the grocery store (none)
        every person working at the store, every person I talk to at the gas station (and I live in a red area of NY) thinks the economy sucks. When I get started on the tax cuts for the wealthy and how the average Americans wages have decreased for the last 5 years, they start nodding.  When I say this administration does not give one whit for the middle or lower classes, they nod.  And they are more than likely republicans. But the pocketbook issues are hitting us hard!!

        Now, I agree that perhaps the war issues are more important, as every poll shows, but we need every Dem to say the same thing on the war -

        The republicans have made us less safe: Osama bin Laden is still out there, our chemical plants are still unprotected and only 5% of the containers coming into the country are inspected.  

        Why is this so hard??? I just don't get it.

        Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

        by adigal on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:12:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Same here. (none)
          Talk pocketbook issues, and you get agreement. Talk about Iraq being a mess and you get more agreement. Problem is, throw-in and by the way, we're going to not give an inch on Roe v. Wade and talk about it incessantly, give you gay marriage and a myriad of other "wonderful" social programs (unrelated to "pocketbook" issues) and you lose all the momentum you have built.

          I know this is anathema, but sometimes I wish we had a strictly abortion court. Let the fight wage on nominees to the court with sole jurisdiction on abortion issues. Hell, they can hear abortion cases on a daily basis. But, that would at least put the focus on the Supreme Court & its nominees on issues that matter deeply, but are lost in the abortion uproar.

      •  Consider the source n/t (none)
    •  Agree that Roe v. Wade is not primary (none)
      I agree the primary focus on Roe v. Wade was a mistake.  I would have put unitary executive first, made my decision up before the hearings that this man, appointed by this president at this time, is unacceptable.  I would have focused my questions on this, not hoping to trip him up, but to explain my concerns.  

      I agree that Alito's opinions favor state (as in Staat) and corporate interests, and would also have focused my questions on Alito's lack of empathy with little people.  Unfortunately, most Democrats routinely favor corporate interests, so I don't know if they have this in them, beyond issues related to race and gender.

      Somewhere I read a quote by a senior aide aide to a Democratic Senator that they were not receiving many calls against Alito, but were receiving many calls concerned about the NSA wiretapping.  It astonished me that the aide did not see that these issues are related and could easily be tied together through questioning and filibustering.  In other words, explain to the American people that Alito is likely to allow such actions by a president.  

      It is a Senator's job to see the big picture and make the right decisions for constituents, not merely to mechanically reflect constituent opinion.  This is the time for Senators, including the very disappointing Byrd, to put their political predictions aside and do the right thing.  
      And I think it will help them politically, despite the inevitable ranting on Fox and MSNBC.

      I don't think that defeat should be conceded.  Realistic or not, it takes the pressure off the Democratic Senators.

      •  Yep. (none)
        you said: "Unfortunately, most Democrats routinely favor corporate interests, so I don't know if they have this in them, beyond issues related to race and gender."

        I couldn't agree more, and the maddening part is the Dems that fit your description but are "good" on social issues: we have no problem with...re-elect, send them money, cheer them on.

        However, the ones who ARE consistently good on economic issues, but don't share our views on "social" issue? By all means, they are traitors that we have to defeat in the primary.

        I don't get it or agree with it.

    •  Senator Byrd WASN'T going to lose... (none)
      Senator Byrd would have been overwhelmingly re-elected had he voted against Judge Alito. That is clear and undeniable. Live in WV as long as I have, and you'll know.

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