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

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  •  Seems to me... (none)
    that Arlen Specter has done a pretty fine job crafting a "coherent party position" in support of Alito despite his on-the-record 'pro-Choice views'.


    I'd put it this way.  What any Senator, Democrat or Republican, does vis a vis Alito tells us much more about their position on Choice than anything they've done up to this point.  This vote is where the rubber hits the road.

    That is my argument in a nutshell.  The GOP does not want that vote, does not want a clear day of reckoning on Roe v Wade.

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

    by kid oakland on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 02:36:18 PM PST

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    •  Specter hasn't renounced his pro-Roe views, (none)
      and he hasn't had to. His support of Alito is not issue-based, and it shouldn't be.

      OTOH, if you insist on making the filibuster (if one should actually be attempted) solely about Roe, then Reid has a choice:

      1. Repudiate his long-standing anti-Roe position and get in line
      2. vote no on cloture and use some other justification for the vote
      3. vote yes on cloture

      The first option won't happen -- that's an instance of exactly the sort of disingenuous 'conservative at home/liberal in D.C.' dichotomy that sent Daschle home in '04, and neither options two nor three allow you to send the 'Democrats monolithically stand for Roe' message you want to send.

      I don't agree that the Republicans fear that message in the way you think they do, btw -- but even if they did, you don't have a caucus that's uniformally able to send it.

      Not one of you ... but interested in what you have to say

      by TPetey on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 03:54:05 PM PST

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      •  Are you suggesting that... (none)
        supporting Roe v Wade is a "liberal" point of view?

        That fits very nicely with how the GOP paints the's also a gross mischaracterization.

        The essential holding of Roe, that abortion should, at a minimum, be safe and legal in all 50 states, has broad support in this country among citizens of many political persuasions.  Roe has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.  That's what makes Judge Alito's refusal to accept Roe as "settled law" extreme.

        Since you are talking about consistency, let's call accepting Roe as settled law, the "Roberts test."  

        (If the Democrats succeed in blocking Alito, we may very well end up with a "Roberts Test" for Supreme Court nominees.)

        Alito, in refusing to accept Roe as settled law, does not, then, pass the Roberts test.

        Now, could Harry Reid coordinate a filibuster of Alito based on the "Roberts test" irrespective of his vote in that sense of the Senate Resolution?   Without a doubt.

        But let's judge it simply by your standard.  

        Could Reid get reelected in Nevada after using this standard?  Yes.  

        Could he be painted as a "liberal" for applying this standard? The answer is clearly no.  

        You cannot make the position of John Roberts into a "liberal" point of view.  It's impossible.

        For what it is worth, I think you are wrong about the real political difficulties for the GOP inherent in:

        • the widespread opposition to essential holdings of Roe in your party
        • your President's interpretation of his mandate to mean that he can nominate a Supreme Court Justice who does not pass the Roberts Test

        The GOP has benefitted from an ability to paint the Democrats as "liberal" for supporting Roe.

        In part that is because, many Americans do not share the positions of NARAL or NOW on every aspect of reproductive rights.  That reality works to your favor many times.

        In this case it does not.

        I would be VERY INTERESTED to hear your Senators speak out in public on Roe v Wade when the issue is actually on the line, and not a moot point.

        Regardless, I don't think there's an open-minded American who could blame the Democrats for a principled opposition to Alito on the basis of his refusal to accept Roe.

        They might not like a filibuster.  But, on the whole, many people would say to themselves, "Why didn't the President just nominate someone more moderate?"

        Of course, he did.  But let's not get into the "consitency" of giving every nominee an "up or down vote."

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

        by kid oakland on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 04:45:23 PM PST

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        •  Besides the point (none)
          One of the main points of your diary (correct me if I'm wrong about this) was that the Democratic party is the 'pro-choice party', and that Democrats that don't embrace that view are off the reservation.

          Our position is straightforward. We support Roe v. Wade; if you are a Democrat, you have to meet that standard.

          I can name three Senate Democrats that don't meet that standard, and one of them is the minority leader. Your filibuster justification strategy depends on a monolithic caucus outlook, doesn't it? But you don't have it.

          That's all I'm saying. You're asking your caucus for something they don't have. I don't want to start a general threadjack and tackle your "Roe is 'settled law'" argument or your hypothetical "Roberts test", but I will address your conjecture that Reid can be re-elected in a 'more red than blue' state if he flips on his anti-Roe stance:

          Maybe he can. He is the minority leader, after all, and I'm sure there's a lot he can get away with electorally. But, I can also name a couple of former red state Senate Democrat supporters of Roe whose seats are now occupied by Republicans. One of them was the minority leader.

          Not one of you ... but interested in what you have to say

          by TPetey on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:11:42 PM PST

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          •  Listen (none)
            you will not get any argument from me that the GOP had fantastic success in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

            That is beyond a doubt.

            Further, I am from Minnesota, I know that region.

            You are right.  Choice/Abortion is a big deal that cuts to the quick.  It may not be the "career ender" you make it out to be...but, let's face it:  there are a considerable number of people in this country, in particular in the heartland, who view ANY discussion of abortion extremely problematic.

            ie. They don't want it in their face, and the GOP is a better outward "fit" to their ethos and culture of talking about sexuality.

            That being said, there is also widespread support for the basic holdings of Roe...even in the heartland.

            I think the GOP has made a huge mistake in taking a "cultural" preference in talking about "sex/privacy/morality" for a wholescale endorsment of the "pro-Life" agenda.

            It's not so clear cut, and I think the GOP bean counters know that.  (Certainly the vanishing GOP delegation from the Northeast knows this.)

            I think you are right to identify language in my diary that, even though I am simply saying exactly what John Roberts did:  

            ie. Democrats should accept Roe as settled law...just like the Chief Justice does.

            comes off as sounding more "liberal" and "exclusionary".

            We Democrats, including myself, need to work on message, on how to convey our principles so we can compete better in the heartland.

            I have no beef in saying that, and in competing with the GOP in future elections on the merits of our ideas and the soundness and appeal of our principles.

            Personally, I'd welcome a debate on "the Roberts test" because I think that one phrase is actually a pretty useful way to talk about Roe.

            There has to be some way to communicate with voters that a significant segment of the GOP coalition opposes the essential holdings of Roe and actively works to overturn it, and that includes our President.

            It has to occur to rank and file Republicans that at some point there will come a day when the culture war strategy bill will come due for them...just as, in many ways, it already has for the Democrats.

            Klobuchar versus Kennedy will make an interesting test.

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

            by kid oakland on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:50:35 PM PST

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          •  TPetey (none)
            I'm apparently not allowed to even post comments on RedState--my UN there is Farshooter--so I wanted to find you here to say thanks for your comment about the Folding@Home stuff.  If I'm allowed to post comments there at some point, I might even go over there to rev up your troops and give the guys a little reminder...
            •  Hey! (none)
              Well, hey. Fair is fair. You guys are genuinely "folding our butts", so to speak. No kicking required.

              Regarding your posting problem ... I wouldn't be surprised if the 1 IP/2 IDs thing got caught up in a sweep of some kind. I certainly didn't see anything bannable in what you posted (although there might have been a problem with the other ID that I didn't see). I'd suggest an email linking to your posts (you can find them in the archive) and explaining that you'd like to be able to post again. The editors are usually pretty receptive to that approach, particularly if the banning was not for cause. If you decide it's worth your time, drop in to say hi.

              Anyway, thanks for the kind comment, and good luck to your team.

              P.S.: Has anyone else found it's hard to get assigned a QMD work unit anymore? I'm getting nothing but 56 pointers the last few days, and it's killing me. Oh well, it's not about the points, right?

              Not one of you ... but interested in what you have to say

              by TPetey on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:30:50 PM PST

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              •  I know exactly what you mean (none)
                lately though, I've been getting a whole ton of project 1136 Tinker cores.  Don't know what that's about.  I've also been getting quite a few 1809 collagen projects.

                I'll email the editors over there to try to get some sort of reinstatement.  I don't want to flame or troll anyone, but I do like to express a point of view.

                •  QMDs are temporarily off the shelves (none)
                  Just saw this on the F@H forum: QMD temporarily off line.

                  These "bonus" work units will be back, presumably, in a few weeks. Meantime, those of us who've been relying on them are going to be producing at a much lower level.

                  Not one of you ... but interested in what you have to say

                  by TPetey on Fri Feb 03, 2006 at 01:22:28 PM PST

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