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View Diary: Thank You for Helping To Stop Alito (497 comments)

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  •  The thanks of a grateful nation... (none)
    ...for your principled stand against Alito, and for your willingness to walk the walk -- now, and for all these many years till now.  

    Someone upthread said that a "No" vote without a filibuster was a "Yes" vote, and I couldn't agree more.  Please, please, tell your colleagues that THIS IS IT... THIS IS THE TIME... to call in favors or make some tradeoffs -- whatever is necessary to persuade the persuadeable to keep Alito off the big bench.  

    Senator, you and I and all of us here WERE MADE FOR TIMES SUCH AS THESE.  I'm a deeply religious progressive Catholic, and I believe that WE WERE MADE FOR JUST THIS KIND OF STRUGGLE.  Confirming Alito is part of an assault on the balance of powers established by our Constitution, and a direct threat to our fundamental liberties.  Tell your colleagues for me, Senator, that no matter what the odds look like, no matter how impossible it may seem to win, THERE IS NOTHING FUTILE ABOUT THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY.

    And please, Senator Kennedy, tell them one more thing.  Tell them to have a little humility.  Deep in my gut, I have the distinct feeling that one of the reasons the Democrats in Congress have been so ineffective, so depressed and defeated in trying to fight Bush, is that they are some of the most privileged people on this earth and they simply are not accustomed to the many indignities attendant upon being powerless "minorities."  Well, then -- remind them that the only way powerless people have ever prevailed against corrupt or overweaning power was by deciding that losing a fight was not beneath their dignity.  

    There have been times when powerful Senators -- and your fellow Massachusetts Sen. Kerry comes most readily to mind -- have decided that an ugly fight was beneath their dignity.  Kerry did so when the Republicans Swift Boated him during the '04 election.  What he forgot was that his personal sense of decorum was the least that was at stake.  When he decided that he would not engage in that ugly fight, he preserved his dignity, all right ... at the expense of the very people he was supposed to be fighting for. And the people he was supposed to be fighting for have since suffered many, many further and deeper indignities because of the loss of that election.

    Right now, a lot of your colleagues are probably calculating whether they want to be seen as 'losers' in this fight.  Tell them to have a little less 'pride' and a lot more strength of conviction.  The Rosa Parks of this world endured the indignities consequent upon standing up for their rights, but stood firm nevertheless.  Tell your colleagues that they don't look ridiculous by fighting and losing.  They only look ridiculous by refusing to fight at all.

    •  The Privileged Defeated (none)
      I had never thought about the minority party from this perspective before.  I've thought for a while that you can tell a person not by how they treat their friends, but by how they treat their enemies.  And now I think you can also tell a party by how it acts when its defeated.  Republicans get ugly and mean.  Democrats get appeasing and spineless.  (I think this is why Republicans got so many votes in 2004 - even if things go badly, we can count on Republicans to keep on fighting).

      From what you say, we could expect that when a party comes back into power, they'll return with more empathy for the more powerless of their constituents.  But I don't see this happening.  Most people who are used to power and privilege are all too quick to distance themselves from the people they can now leave behind.

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