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View Diary: a Filibuster for Choice w/ "the Roberts Test" (49 comments)

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  •  A Filibuster for Equilibrium (none)
    KO, I have to go with the balance of power issue on Alito.  If it were just understood and the complexities made into easier sound bites --even for the Senators --it is the issue.

    Read here and here and here.  I typed those posts up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, so there may some rambling and disjuncture in there.

    Bush has aggressively altered the balance in this country. People are uneasy and they need to be told exactly what bush has done/is in the process of doing and reassured that we have leaders who will not let these radical ideologues sunder our Republic.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 11:01:05 AM PST

    •  Don't think I agree (none)
      that this can be THE message with the time we've got. I agree with the thrust of what KO is saying; we've got very little time to define for the public what exactly this whole thing is about. Most people really don't understand why the balance of power thing is so important; it's one of those things that's so fundamental that average folks who don't read the news all the time really haven't thought on the philosophical level it takes to understand the danger in it. Note that I'm not saying they couldn't -- but that's a case we'd have to make that I'm just not sure we have time for.

      Choice is a divisive issue, but the fact of the matter is that it really does have broad public support. That's why the rightwing hides its anti-choice questions and so forth behind things like Plessy v. Ferguson (sp?) -- they want a stealth-anti-choice justice, not an open one, because they know that the more choice is made a central issue, the more public power we have to stop them.

      Where I get into mental debate is with the problem of getting the senate dems to unify around a filibuster for choice. The everyday democrats wouldn't have a problem with it, but this is a place where our leadership doesn't necessarily match our broad views as a party.

      •  As Dems2004 put THE message (none)
        ...I appreciate your thoughtful words of support for a unified message.

        It reminds me of the unified front idea. Parents use it, lots of people use it in authority; teachers, administrators, and others.

        It needs to be focused and crystal clear.

        I agree wholeheartedly with KO on this point of a unified message.

        But, choice brings abortion into the debate. It is a vitriolic subject and degenerates into argumentation.

        There should be no room for argumentation in our stance.  The balance-of-power issue is the issue and Karl Rove knew it. It is also extremely hard for Rove to get a handle on argumentation against it. It is complex and we have been lax in articulating the salient points to our Senators.  We don't need to really worry right now about the people --honestly, very few people will even remember this episode and if we make it about our Constitution and the balance-of-power --the fact that Alito should never have stepped into our Supreme Court will fly.  Like an eagle.

        Rove knew this was the salient issue and he sent the message to WV --get the message to a few church pastors to have a letter writing event to Senator Byrd.  All it took was a little time from a few people to write handwritten letters and it tipped the balance with Byrd.

        Byrd is our point man on the Constitution. He is an old-school gentleman. And, now bush is trying to use Senator Byrd's words against us.  

        Even Carnacki has abandoned Senator Byrd.  Too much anger and not enough work trying to make the point to the Senator.  We should have had our own letter writing event to Senator Byrd.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 01:13:04 PM PST

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        •  You haven't responded to my question (none)
          of how you convey that to the public and get saturation in 48 hours.  (In fact, we have less time.  This battle starts in about fifteen hours.)

          Did you see how Senator Sessions was wiping the floor on the "balance of powers" question using Alito's own testimony?  I did. It wasn't pretty.

          However, using Alito's own words we can note that Alito refused to say Roe is settled law.

          That is sufficient cause for any Democrat, and, to be frank, many Republicans, to oppose Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court.  It is a cause that we can go the wall on, even to the nuclear option, and, if it comes to that, we should.

          What more does anyone need?

          When you say this about choice:

          It is a vitriolic subject and degenerates into argumentation.

          I think you ignore that it cuts much harder against the GOP than it does us.  Despite that political reality, I've never in my life heard a Senator like Sen. Sessions have to stand up before a national audience and explain why abortion should be a crime.

          I think we should have that exact debate.  I think it's time for a national audience to hear why our Supreme Court is the place for a justice who would consider making abortion a crime.

          That is the meaning of Roe not being "settled."

          Am I wrong in getting the impression that many of the commenters here want "fight" but don't seem to be able to find unity in the fight for a woman's right to choose?

          ...k/o...flip the rock...

          by kid oakland on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 01:29:39 PM PST

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          •  asdf (none)
            Am I wrong in getting the impression that many of the commenters here want "fight" but don't seem to be able to find unity in the fight for a woman's right to choose?

            I'm all for that unity. I think it's one of the fundamental fights most worth having.

            The problem is... well, I see two problems. One is apparent in this thread, and that's that we the base tend to become hugely paranoid about stepping on any toes or getting into divisive issues when we're fighting about stuff. We live in fear of the reaction of the "moderate" -- and what's frustrating about that to me is that I honestly believe that those "moderates" are mostly made of people who react to candidates on a visceral level rather than on the level of policy. So we can adapt our policies to them time and time again, and we're not going to get them based on that.

            I'd like to see the party start talking about other issues, too -- healthcare and poverty and fair trade, so on. But choice should be a fundamental place where we do stand up strongly and unambiguously when we have to. And right now, I agree with you that we have to. Choice is at the center of this supreme court battle; we can't pretend that it isn't for the benefit of some "moderate" voter who also won't know what we're talking about if we make this about constitutional power.

            The other problem, and it's the one that hounds me, is that we've to some extent already eroded the vehement support for choice that senate democrats should display by electing a number of squishy senators that don't want to piss anybody off -- that value their seats above the purpose of having those seats. Note that I'm not drawing a line here based on actual ideology -- Reid is with us even though he himself is pro-life. But as folks like kos continue to demand that we support democrats at all costs, we're going to have to deal with the problems inherent in that -- which include being able to provide some kind of cover for dems that need a less divisive issue on which to center their decisions. It's why I take some issue with the "big tent" when it asks us to make frequent compromises on fundamental issues.

            Point being, I really don't know how, if we do make it a filibuster for choice, we get the paranoid senate democrats to stick with us. I'm looking at the internal party problem -- not the one about public support.

          •  I didn't see Sessions in that episode (none)
            so am not familiar with his words nor the analogy that he utilized. So, who said Sessions "wiped the floor" using Alito's testimony?  

            We focused on CAP (rightly so) and Vanguard.  I am not sure why we let the unitary executive fall off to the wayside.

            Will get to back to you.  Have to go find that Sessions section of the testimony.  [If you have a quick link readily available, feel free to post it]

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 01:46:11 PM PST

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        •  The senators (none)
          react to their best sense of how the public will respond to a particular issue. The balance-of-power thing, with the public -- frankly, unless we can distill it into a very powerful message immediately, which I just don't think is likely, then we've got a muddled message about something your average member of the public hasn't even thought about.

          Public support for choice provides the non-cowardly senators with all the cover they need to raise hell. Divisive? Hell yes, it's divisive -- but you just can't avoid that it's also at the center of this whole thing.

          I debate whether the message can remain solid if those cowardly-don't-want-division senators are pushed on balance of power issues to get them in line, but I just don't think you can pretend with the public that this debate isn't fundamentally about abortion rights. Plus, it makes it seem like we're completely wimping out, sidestepping what everybody paying any attention knows is the big part of this.

          •  Exactly... (none)
            everybody knows what this is about.

            We shouldn't duck that.

            ...k/o...flip the rock...

            by kid oakland on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:02:06 PM PST

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            •  I'm working on this for visuals and info (none)
              Think about this --look at the stats for the specific states where a majority of the population supports abortion choice and look at the numbers. {I  cannot find the link right now --Kos had this chart up several months ago)

              Then look at the Senators in those states and tell me which way we should push his/her buttons on the issue --choice or an overreaching prez seizing too much power.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:31:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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