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If the Dems are going to filibuster the Alito nomination, they will have to frame the issue better.  First, they will have to stop calling there decision to hold up a vote a filibuster, and start giving it a better NAME.  We are refusing to "cut-off debate on the nomination."  We are declining to "vote for cloture on the subject of the nomination."

And the Dems will have to explain WHY.  Here, Alito has given the Dems their best ammunition, as he dodges questions on abortion, presidential power, C.A.P., individual rights, etc.  

"This is a life-time appointment to our highest court, at a critical juncture for our nation, and Judge Alito's testimony leaves too many important questions unanswered.  I will not vote to cut-off debate on this nomination until these questions are answered satisfactorily, so that the nation and its citizens understand what this appointment will mean for our country's future."

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or, "Until Judge Alito is willing to provide more information and fuller answers on these important questions which will affect the country's future, I believe it is irresponsible to vote for cloture.  I simply do not have enough information about his judicial philosophy and beliefs on these important issues, and it would be irresponsible to vote to cut-off debate until I do."

Of course, if the Repubs try to bring up past nominees who refused to answer questions and were confirmed, the Dems can say, "that was a mistake that took our country in the wrong direction, and we don't want to repeat that mistake" or the old Repub fallback for inconsistency "9/11 changed everything."

Also, conservative columnist Ruben Navarette had an interesting point.  Although he apparently likes Alito, he is disturbed that he enthusiastically touted his C.A.P. membership and belief that Roe v. Wade should be overturned in his D.O.J. application.  Now he attempts to brush those past statements aside as puffery used in a job application.

     Trouble is, Alito is now applying for another  
     job, and trying to impress moderate members of
     the Senate in both parties. So, given his history
     of using job interviews to tell people what they
     want to hear, how can we be sure now that he really
     believes what he's telling us?

Dems can stand up and state "I have a hard time voting to approve a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court for someone who in applying for the job has stated that we should not place any credence on what he says in a job application.  I cannot vote to cut-off debate until Judge Alito has given us fuller answers, and until I am persuaded that those answers are sincere."

Originally posted to zdefender on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:25 PM PST.

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