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It's because I am not an activist.  I do not have the "do or die," "my way or the highway" attitude that exudes from activists when they are fighting for their causes.  

I have touched on this difference between activists and me before.  I am a political junkie.  A politician at heart.   I view things dispassionately often times.  I prefer a good strategy discussion to a good sit in.  

Now please understand, I am not attacking activists.  They are most definitely needed.   They are always on the front lines, always championing their particular issues.  They stand guard day and night on the look out for the evil things the Republicans may do.   And indeed, we agree on many things.   I share their concerns, their positions on the issues.  

But where we differ, and what activists lack, in my opinion, is perspective and situational understanding, especially when they are ramped up for battle.  For example, many activists are engaged in battle right now over the nomination hearing of Judge Samuel Alito.   And many of them are pouring their hearts and souls into calling their Senators and their local media outlets, to get their message out that Alito must be denied confirmation to the Supreme Court.  God bless them.  

But what never enters their minds is the political reality of the situation, the fact that it will take a minor miracle for Sam Alito to be denied confirmation, that a filibuster by the Democratic minority is a tactical and political decision that is made if that miracle occurs, and it is by no means a certainty.

Many diaries by activists, and even including some front page posts, decry the failings of Democrats on the Committee in asking just the right question they wanted asked, or in failing to persue a line of attack they wanted persued.   Many were demanding, even prior to the hearings, that Alito be filibustered.   Many are still demanding it.   Many, no doubt, will condemn the Democratic Party en toto if there is no filibuster, and I am sure there will be some who will condemn if there is a filibuster, but it is ultimately not successful.  

You see, in my mind, right now, I don't think a filibuster by the Democrats will be successful.   The CAP issue is not clear cut, and there really has not been a "smoking gun" statement as to abortion or anything else that would convince any moderates in the Republican Party to join us.  And don't kid yourself, we will need moderate Republican support for any filibuster to be successful.  Remember, we have 44 Democrats and James Jeffords.   But of those 44 Democrats I can see conservative Democrats voting for cloture and for confirmation.  Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu,  Ben Nelson, to name three.  

Without a clear cut and massive smoking gun that proclaims to the high heavens that Judge Alito is not qualified and is too extreme to sit on the Court, I think that a filibuster by Democrats alone will damage the party.   The traditional media and the Republicans will gleefully fill their airwaves with "Democrats are Obstructionist" rhetoric.  

And even if a filibuster against Alito is successful, and Altio's nomination is withdrawn, does anyone out there think Bush will see the light and nominate a moderate Republican who opposes expanded executive power and is pro-choice?   Please.  

Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties.   And you what, I am perfectly fine with that.   Why?  Am I a Republican now?   No.  But I do believe that elections have consequences.  This is one of those consequences.   The President often stated, even during the debates, that he was going to nominate someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.   Bush wins and guess what....he nominates someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.  

I know, it was unexpected and shocking.

This is why I and many others screamed and yelled two years ago for all of you independent minded activisits to SYFPH and vote Kerry.   And we did the same in 2000.   It is why many of people like me HATE people who voted for Nader.   Because this is the consequence.  

Yeah yeah, I know, people will take issues with this.  People will say "Delaware Dem wants the Democrats to just lay down and not oppose Bush at all."  No that is not what I am saying.   What I am saying is "oppose and oppose vehemently, but do so strategically with the political consequences and ramifications in mind."   Or "Oppose, but don't let go of reality."  

And the reality is there is 55 Republican Senators who I believe will all vote for confirmation.   There are at least 3 Democratic votes.   So will a filibuster be successful?  I don't know but I don't think so.

Should we filibuster?   I don't know.  I am undecided.

And remember, not filibustering does not mean we are voting yes to confirm.  We can still vote no.   We can still oppose.  But the facts are we lost horribly in 2004, and there are consequences due to that loss.  And one is we will lose the Supreme Court.  

And in weeks like this, when activists who care not about political reality are engaged in battle, I tend to avoid Daily Kos.  

Originally posted to Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:23 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sigh (3.87)
    You disappoint me DD.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2200+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:26:05 PM PST

    •  Sorry. (3.94)
      I am who I am.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:26:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't be sorry. (4.00)
        Just a simple statement of fact.  I am over it.  Still love you.  Will still read everything you write on this site.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2200+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

        by Miss Blue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:31:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe what I've done won't invoke a filibuster (4.00)
          But I have gathered over 500 signatures for PFAW's Anti-Alito petition -- which means half a thousand more who will be notified of People for the American Way's further actions.

          Who PFAW can call on during the 2006 elections, as well as hundreds who also signed the NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Democratic petitions.

          And I've also supplied the contact info for the Judiciary Committee and Congress, and how to send an LTE to local papers to 60 people in the last week, and another 60 people now engaged in the process so far today.

          Enough with the wimpy Dems, and smug and obscuring bloviation from Republicans, perhaps WE can veto Alito:




          This the best and brightest contact info, actions and petitions I could dig up.

          Dig in:

          Phone, fax, and email addresses for the Judiciary Committee.

          Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and contact your congress critters -- all with one click.



          People for the American Way has collected over 60,000 signatures to send to the Senate, please add yours:

          Save the Court Petition

          Also: Moveon.org gathered 300,000 signatures in their Anti-Alito petition -- in a day! They're shooting for 500,000:

          Move On.org's stop Alito petition

          American Rights at Work Oppose Alito Petition



          Defending the Constitution's Stop Alito Petition


          http://ga3.org/...



          Democratic Party's Reject Alito Petition



          Stop the NRA's Oppose Alito Petiton

          Planned Parenthood Petition



          Naral Anti-Alito Petition

          •  Petitions schmitions (4.00)
            They do no good. I doubt that many of them are even collated and delivered.

            Wake up, toots. It's data mining. You sign that - you get on a list for them to call, email, etc. and ask for money.

            You may be on another sort of list too - Bush's Enemies and Terr'rists List.

            And finally, PFAW can kiss my ass. They don't know how to take a person off their telephoning list.

            •  What WILL do some good (4.00)
              Is using the appointment of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, and any consequences thereof, as one more issue of many to beat the Republicans over the head in the coming elections.

              I've been intrigued by Chris Bowers' commentary over at MYDD, in part because of his accounts of just how out of touch whacko wingnut in the Rush Limbaugh mold most Republican congresscritters truly are.  I know, I know, you hear what they say and you get that they're right wing nuts.  But there's always a touch of "they're saying that to please their constituents".  Perhaps not, though.  it sounds like most Republican leaders really believe liberals are the antiChrist, and they pose an imminent threat to the very lives of Good People Everywhere.

              So having yet another exhibit to show to voters regarding how out-of-touch, out-of-the-mainstream loony these guys are sure can't hurt.  It will suck in every other way, but we can, at least derive this much out of it.

              •  You are quite right. (none)
                And yes, the best thing that may come out of this may merely be something like 'showing the Republicans for what they are.'

                I would much rather show the Republicans what we are tell them that we're done bending over for Bush.

              •  Great idea in theory (none)
                But who will actually implement it.  The Democratic Party has become so self serving for the politicians who are the "chosen" ones to be sent to DC.  Without a uniform message that can attract others, we are destined to languish.  How do we generate a message?  We could start by finally taking a stand on something, anything.  How many times have we felt that Republicans would hand us elections by taking ridiculous stands on issues that should be losers?  Well, guess what.  They actually took stands as a party and were able to deliver a message.  It is, however, a message that I want nothing to do with, but there are many out there who are looking to be engaged and inspired.  The Mrs. Clinton's (who I used to be a fan of), the Leahy's, the Feinsteins, The Nelson's, and the others who seem so concerned about being re-elected that they refuse to lead are killing this party.  

                Were is the heart and soul of our party?

            •  At least some are delivered... Move On's are. (none)
              I went to my local Congressman's office to help deliver one.  Saw it with my own eyes.
            •  Hi Kimberly! (none)

              Have seen your posts in a long time (course I miss here and there too depending on what's happenin in my life).. Good to read you again...as usual, pithy and totally right on.

              Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

              by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:55:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  500? (none)
            That's like, one person for every thread you've posted this on.
          •  I signed it (none)
            but I don't have a great deal of hope.  

            "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

            by elveta on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:10:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (4.00)
        We're still the minority power, yet some people expect that we can accomplish things based not on practicality, but how they feel about it. I clicked the left-wing, anti-Alito petitions to my senators and such, and I think he's a POS, and history will record that we made a hell of a stink over his nomination. As much as I'd like to believe that "things will be OK" if Alito loses the nomination, there is no escaping exactly what you said:
        Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties.

        And he's got to have hundreds of knuckle-dragging fascists out there to choose from. We've made our protest known, and if Alito is confirmed, there is no reason for us to blame ourselves, especially in light of the leverage we've gained during the last few years in Congress, in the press, and in the minds of ordinary Americans. I for one can't wait for the elections this fall.

        BTW you get a 4 for SYFPH 8)

        •  That's the bottom line (4.00)
          "And he's got to have hundreds of knuckle-dragging fascists out there to choose from."

          Of course he does. What else did people expect?

          I like what Delaware Dem has posted and am glad someone has the balls to say it. Save our energy for fighting the battles we can win. I believe we will we start taking back seats all over the country this fall. Then, oh, dare we dream, maybe we'll hear the I-word.

          "Soon the time will come to choose between what is easy, and what is right." - A. Dumbledore

          by epluribus on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:22:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its hard to recapture new ground (none)

            -- by falling back and continually deferring confrontation.  Besides the fact that you always lose quite a bit of your army in retreat, they usually also become demoralized and disorganized. Its ok to fight another day provided you can do that with a big,organized army and name the conditions to your favor.  Not likely to happen here.

            Its just more chicken shit.

            Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

            by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:59:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  'Save our energy to fight the (4.00)
            battle we can win.'

            Apparently there are NO battles we can win.

            After all, we're in the minority. Can't win there.

            They are believers. Can't win there.

            Some Dems will vote with them. Can't win there.

            Can't get a guaranteed win before we fight, so there's no fight.

            And on and on...

            Given these parameters, we can NEVER win. Because we NEVER fight. Because we're logical and sensible and laid back observers.

            Make some popcorn. Enjoy the spectator sport. Send me a copy of the scorecard. (Is there a pool?) Let me now how it comes out.

            NOTE: This is not a personal attack. I'm just sick of this whole thing. We are our own worst enemies. We don't deserve to win because we don't want anything enough to fight for it.

            And if you're counting on the coming elections, you haven't been paying attention for the past 8-10 years.

            I agree with you on one thing - I hate being on dKos during weeks like this.

            I, for one, am going to find a windmill or two.

            Good night all.

            "I don't think the ethics committees are working very well." -- John McCain on Meet the Press, 12/04/05.

            by bablhous on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:24:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  amen (none)
              the difference between us and the republicans is the only time they look at the odds is when they are strategically plotting to overcome them.

              we see bad odds, we say OOOH SCARY, can't make that happen, let's go home.

              they see bad odds, they say buckle down boys this is going to take a while.

              fuck your theory delaware dem. (not to be confused with fuck you)

              mlk was an activist, a longshot activist. and i'd give my entire life earnings for just one of his thoughts before i'd spend a penny for a whole thesis from one of our modern day "strategists".

              •  um (none)
                yeah MLK had a lot more on his side than being an activist.
                •  exactly (none)
                  and what makes you think that all of us screaming for action are JUST activists?  that we have no other titles in this world?  that we are not also working within the system for change?

                  you know the people who are going to make the most difference in this world are the ones who are going to work within the system when it works and who are going to work outside the system when it fails.

                  anyone who sits on one side laughing at the short-sightedness of those on the other side of the glass is less than a moron, they're smug.

      •  Take a rec and a 4, DD (3.62)
        I wish this all had happened next week, when I'll be on vacation nowhere near a computer.

        That way, it could have been much easier to avoid DKos.

        The world is made for those who are not cursed with self-awareness. -- Annie Savoy, from "Bull Durham" Yeah, and George W. Bush is living proof.

        by wmtriallawyer on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:58:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Best thing said on this so far (4.00)
        I've wondered why I've been lurking so much recently.

        Then again, I think I'm a little more optimistic on the Alito front. I still think we can win a Nuclear war, and not because I'm an activist. Strategy-wise, I think we're in a stronger position right now.

        That being said, it's not especially difficult to get 51 votes with a 55 majority, and I don't think people appreciate this. It's difficult to be the minority party. Partisanship is a luxury of the basse in many circumstances. Like any chess game, you have to take strategic losses and bluffs.

        "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

        by VirginiaBelle on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:13:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (4.00)
        DD, you analysis is spot on.

        I too am a tactical political actor, not an activist.  Oftentimes this place can miss a key point, and that can be frustrating.

        That said, and I think you agree with this: this place is usually the best of the web for political junkies.  I've found I've gotten better at simply ignoring the stuff on topics that frankly seem micro to me.

        I'll stick to watching the campaign cycle, following who's in, who's out, who's up and who's down.  I am an ELECTIONS JUNKIE, and when this place started, it was a haven for election wonks like me... and it still is, it's just gotten so big that i have to look harder.

        As to your point in this diary, spot on.

      •  Why is it so hard for you, DD (4.00)
        to EXPECT more from the Dems than just capitulations?

        Look, the Repubs were the minority party for years.  

        Did that stop them from doing everything they could to stand in the way of Democratic policies?

        You seem to be conceding the fact that the Dems really shouldn't fight hard to oppose a fascist, but then get on Naderites because they choose not to support such appeasing politicians?

        It is as if you are saying, "the best you are ever gonna get is a compromised, 'centrist' Democrat as a viable choice, and you are fools if you don't take it, because the consequence is so much worse."

        Well, a lot of people don't accept those parameters.  You may consider this your version of "realpolitik," but a lot of others see your position as a capitulation.

        In essence, you are saying, "I appreciate ideals, but I won't fight for them and I won't expect others to either. Join me in this position, because it is the truly 'realistic' one, and if you don't, you deserve the consequences."

        Son, I think you've got problems, not the least of which is you have no "fight" in you.

        Besides, I doubt there are many people on this site who DIDN'T vote for Kerry,  even though and as much as they may have detested doing so (as I did.)  

        You might say that we didn't actively work for him and therefore didn't actively "fight" for him.  But then, all you are saying is that you are willing to "fight" for a so-called centrist, while others see that the fight should be for someone who represents higher ideals.

        The fact is, you are just more comfortable settling for less.

        •  Republicans were never in the minority (4.00)
          like Dems are in the minority now!!  We did allow them into committee meetings.  We even told them when and where they'd be held and expected them to attend - encouraging all to participate in our democracy.  And once they got there we certainly didn't tell them how the vote was "supposed to go."
          There is no comparison between the two parties now.

          Bush is NOT America!

          by annefrank on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:44:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Voting Kerry (none)
          Besides, I doubt there are many people on this site who DIDN'T vote for Kerry,  even though and as much as they may have detested doing so (as I did.)

          Realistically, unless you're in a swing state, there's no reason not to vote your conscience. I'm in New York, where Kerry was going to win anyway, so I voted for Nader (wanted to vote for Cobb, but he wasn't on the ballot).

          On the other hand, kos and many others on the site seem to be Democrats first, liberals second, so I wouldn't be surprised if most voted for Kerry anyway.

        •  Spot-on! (2.54)
          How did this capitulating, defeatist, namby-pamby piece of @$#@ diary make it to the rec list, anyway!  The sweeping generalizations about "activists" (better than being a passivist any day) are absurd.  

          Has it occurred to the diarist that anything short of active struggle guarantees failure?  Should we simply give up?  Is that the diarist's idea of solid strategy?    

          In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

          by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:11:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I read this diary I thought (4.00)
            It doesn't take a miracle.  It takes thousands of people busting their asses day in and day out and finally pushing the rocks across a desert.  If you're not there pushing, one day you look up and say, "Where'd that pyramid come from?  Must be a miracle."

            A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

            by Webster on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:26:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You must have failed (none)
            reading comprehension in school.  He is NOT saying we give up.  He is saying that you have look at the consequences of what you propose.  An excellent example has been the "Impeach Bush" idea.  There is no friggin' way he can be impeached - we would have to win both houses this year, and impeach Bush and Cheney together.  And it is STILL not a done deal, even after winning all that.

            Yeah, Clinton got impeached, but it was all a dog and pony show because they knew they would lose in the Senate. And the polls showed that the country thought it was a big waste of time.

            I've been in politics nearly all of my life; I grew up in a family where somebody ends up running for this or that.  I learned along time ago that before you launch some political endeavor, you better look and see what's coming down the road first.  

            I'm not Don Quixote; I don't tilt at windmills. Just like DD, I don't waste my money or time on every issue that comes down the pike. I choose my fights - and the fight we SHOULD be in is getting prepared for the midterms that happen this November.

            We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

            by Mary Julia on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:19:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Booyeah and W00T! (4.00)
          You ROCK, SpermDonor.
          •  I second that (none)
            You rock Sperm Donor. !

            And may I add that any lady fortunate to receive your sperm , is blessed indeed. The child will inherit excellent qualities. ! :)

            Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:29:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, for one thing... (4.00)
          ...there is a practical limit to what a party with no political power in Washington, and only a few parlimentary tricks, can really accomplish.

          A filibuster will not stop Alito's confirmation.  The only thing that we CAN stop is more Alito confirmations, by winning elections.  And whatever we do must, must, must be geared towards that ultimate goal.

          There are well-intentioned differences regarding how that can best be accomplished.  Some of us feel a filibuster will gain Dems votes in the end by demonstrating they have steel.  Others perceive that the media, dominated as it is by right wing talking points and shills, would go a long ways towards converting any such benefit into a net negative.

          Questions regarding the best strategy are almost more than any human can answer effectively.  But I will say this: I have developed a severe trust of Harry Reid's political accumen, and if for no other reason, I don't intend to freak out regardless of the strategy pursued.

          •  If you want to win elections... (none)
            ...give people something to vote for.

            For once, I want to vote for somebody who has the balls to stand up and call bullshit.  If the Democraps can't give me that, I'll raise my middle finger to them by voting third party.  

            In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

            by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:58:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then go for it... (none)
              ...but know that you've dealt yourself out of the game.

              If you want to make a difference, what you're proposing isn't the way to do it.  You're putting yourself "feeling good about your vote" ahead of actually doing anything about what's wrong in the country.

              •  "You're wrong because I say so?" (4.00)
                I think that Reid has been an inspiration to Dems and someone whose political instincts are spot-on.  He's holding out the possibility of a fillibuster.  Do you think he's dealing himself out of the game?

                It would be nice if we had the luxury of time to try to educate the public about what a "unitary executive" means to them, but we don't.

                Others have made the clear point that Alito's record is that of someone who is more faithful to philosophy than to the law.  His refusal to give simple answers to clear questions (e.g. Is Roe settled law?) and his non-answers to most of the other questions gives us no choice but to rely on the historical record. The combination of CAP/faulty memory, Vanguard, the primacy of the executive branch should make it clear that we must do whatever we can to stop this confirmation.

                It's not just about self-respect for Dems. It's about being a party of opposition. It's about taking a stand on principle. (like keeping the republic from becoming a monarchy!) What the electorate hates most about politicians is their pragmatism.

                If we let Alito be confirmed without a fight, then SCOTUS will become "what's wrong in the country"

                •  well said court jester (none)
                  Amen!

                  Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                  by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:35:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Not even close to what I was saying (none)
                  I didn't think it was possible to miss the point so completely.

                  I think that Reid has been an inspiration to Dems and someone whose political instincts are spot-on.  He's holding out the possibility of a fillibuster.  Do you think he's dealing himself out of the game?

                  By "dealing yourself out of the game", I wasn't referring to filibuster or no filibuster.  I was referring to "giving up on the Democratic Party" and voting third party.

                  This is a two-party system by design.  It's only stable with two parties, and as it is, no third party will be able to make a significant impact.

            •  keep runnin' in that circle (none)
              look at all the good dems out there. Are any of us really intrested in politics because we think it is a perfect process? Despite what some think, we do not have a system where the two parties are sickeningly similiar. Until that point is reached you owe it to your ideals to support and push for change from within the party.
        •  you had to do it twice (4.00)
          you had to say "it's as if you are saying..."

          "it seems as if you're saying...."

          this is typical of the activism the diarist criticizes above.

          instead of taking the diarist at face value -- which if you actually had to do that NONE of your diatribe would apply to the diarist at all -- you filter what the diarist is saying through your black and white filter.

          it doesn't fit into one of the only two boxes you can imagine in your expansive mind so you force it into one of the boxes anyway and respond as if you're responding to everything that sits in that box.

          the radicalized binaries of activism, while inspiring, do not welcome debate.

          the diarist never said the things you think the diarist seemed to say.  never.  not at all.  those are your words to describe people that do not exist!!!

          your comment addressed a figment of your embittered imagination.  not the diarist.

          i still find it funny that you -- and many other kossacks -- detested voting for someone who would have, after all, nominated someone who would uphold roe vs. wade.

          it shows a complete lack of perspective.

          contrary to all of the fans of your comment, i was extremely happy to vote for someone who would have nominated someone who would uphold roe vs. wade.

          but.  what was i thinking??

          oh yeah.  i was thinking about voting for someone who would nominate someone who would uphold roe vs. wade.

          perhaps i should have been thinking about something else.  like how pissed off i am about how my guy didn't win in the primary. (he didn't, i supported edwards).

          waaaaaaa!!! poor me.

          •  Like I say below (none)
            Activists are the "my way or the high way" type. As such, if I do not bow to their view on this, I am "DLC" or a "Republican."  And ironically, that itself is very Republican and Bushian.  

            "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

            by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 03:52:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well (none)
              even though you specifically said this:

              Should we filibuster?   I don't know.  I am undecided.

              it would be stupid to respond to everyone in this diary who is pretending you said this:

              Should we filibuster?  No.

            •  Strawman Alert! (none)
              I think that your definition of activist is a strawman.  If you define activist as "my way or the highway", absolutist, confrontational, undiplomatic barbarians, then your take on the chances of activists achieving success might be right.  [But I do remember a "bomb-throwing" Republican who seemed to help significantly in moving his party from minority to majority status by being rather confrontational.]  However, many activists and activist organizations do not fit this stereotype.  Sure, they scream; they yell; they piss off the "average American" at times.  But they also negotiate and lobby quietly behind the scenes to achieve their objectives.

              As for the success of the election by election, tactical focus in delivering the goods, I would recommend a review of the last 20 years of American electoral politicals.  We are getting our asses kicked over and over again.

          •  BiminiCat: (none)
            I don't like you.

            You smell.

        •  Once again (none)
          this is not a capitulation.  To activists it is either do want they want or it is capitulation.  You activists are very much like Bush in that sense...the "my way or the high way."

          "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

          by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 03:49:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right and Wrong (none)
            Nader folk:  Nader wanted Bush to win.  That's why he ran in 2000 and 2004.  Sorry, but it's true.  

            The thing is, Nader was hoping that Bush would gum things up so badly that Americans would rise up in revolt, bypass the middle-of-the-road Democrats, and run straight into Ralph's welcoming arms.  (You know, the "Nach Hitler, Uns" strategy that worked so well for the German Communists in the 1930s.  Not.)  Of course, anyone who's read Thomas  Frank's What's The Matter With Kansas? can tell you why such a strategy is doomed.

            But anyway: The thing is, both the fight-every-fight crowd and Delaware Dem are right.

            DD is right when he/she says that if the Naderites and others had voted for Gore in 2000, or Kerry in 2004, we wouldn't be staring the prospect of InJustice ScAlito in the face.

            And the fight-every-fighters (like Steve Gilliard) are right when they say that we must fight ALL the battles, even the ones that look hopeless.  For one thing (and Steve will hate me for quoting from The Nation, but what the hell), the argument that "Bush will just appoint someone even worse" isn't as strong as people think it is:

            The White House is banking on fear that if this second nominee goes down, Bush will nominate someone even worse. This argument ignores history: When in 1969-70 President Nixon nominated and lost both Clement Haynsworth and Harrold Carswell, the result was not "someone worse" but the pragmatic, humane Judge Harry Blackmun, who later wrote Roe v. Wade; when Bork was Borked, his replacement was Anthony Kennedy, who in 1992 joined fellow Reagan nominee O'Connor to reaffirm Roe. Alito defeatism also ignores today's political climate: As the midterm elections draw closer, as the Iraq War scandals deepen, Senate Republicans are falling over one another to distance themselves from the Administration and the far right.

            We've already seen this with Bush and Harriet Miers.  Bush thought he could nominate somebody who was blatantly unqualified, just because she was a Bush crony.  Bush thought that just because he didn't have to run again, and he had a Republican Congress to do his bidding, that he could put anyone he wanted on the court.  But Miers elicited withering attacks from both left and right -- the left, because this smacked of Caligula and Incitatus; the right, because she was a woman AND wasn't sufficiently rabid in her social conservatism, even though she's even more  pro-imperial-presidency than is ScAlito.

            Oh, and by the way:  The GOP'd been hoping to have ScAlito confirmed by Tuesday.  That's not going to happen, NPR tells me this morning.  Something's come up.

            •  The only thing wrong with your analysis (none)
              is that it assumes Bush posseses intelligence and a sense of reason to behave as Nixon and Reagan under similar circumstances.

              We will get Janice Rogers Brown.  Trust me.

              "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

              by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 06:50:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed 100% (4.00)
        I actually have a much more cynical take on this though....

        People in this country are asleep at the wheel and are perfectly willing to just ignore what goes on in Congress.  Even though I don't like to see what is taking place now in this country I do believe that it is very necessary for the citizens of the US to wake up and realize the importance of playing a role in their governance.

        I have a friend who voted for Nader in 2000 because he thought Bush and Gore were the same thing, well, he's singing a very different tune now because 2 terms of Bush is causing immense pain for him when it comes to the issues he cares about.

        Even though it would really suck to have a Supreme Court that rolls back law that we have become accustomed to, I feel that it is what is necessary for people in this country who don't care (read: people who don't visit dKos or know that it exists) to wake up.  Unless the silent millions out there who don't vote and don't care about government feel an effect in their daily lives then there isn't going to be any change.  It's sad, it disappoints me, but unfortunately I see it as the reality of the US today.  It's human nature as well, it's hard for us to act when we feel no discomfort.

        •  It's bad education as well (4.00)
          Years of conservative ideas like standardized testings and homeschooling has left our population in a miserable state of ignorance.

          GOP: 17th century values, 21st century marketing.

          by Joe B on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:49:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  don't knock homeschooling (4.00)
            that was an incredibly bigoted statement.

            First of all, homeschooling started as (and remains for many) a liberal idea.  There are thousands of homeschoolers in this country who do so NOT for religious reasons.

            I was homeschooled.  And homeschoolers have much BETTER test scores and education than their peers.

            If you want ignorance, try your average minion of the public school system...

            •  i believe (none)
              all of us should invest in our public school systems.  i am a product of public schools, and i am very proud of my academic acheivements.
              •  yawn (4.00)
                i pay my taxes for the public school system, do I not?

                You (as usual, formalist) didn't address my arguments:

                1. that homeschoolers are BETTER educated than public schoolers, on average; and
                2. that homeschooling is a LIBERAL idea, when properly applied.

                These are the truth, regardless of your view of the public system, which must necessarily exist and needs more money--but which I wouldn't put my own kids into if I had any alternative.
                •  i do not (4.00)
                  understand how one can apply a universal standard to the acquisition and production of knowledge.  in fact, such a conception of knowledge is utterly naive.  if one believes test scores are a reflection of one's acumen, they have a view of education that in my opinion is very cyncial.  some may claim that educating one's child at home is a liberal idea.  but i fail to see how sheltering one's child from the challenges of intersubjectivity and alterity is in any way progressive.  i find the tone in your earlier comment supercilious, and i do not believe anyone can make broad, sweeping statements about the public school system, especially as public schools receive different amounts of funding due to property tax indices.
                  •  lmao. challenges of intersubjectivity my ass (none)
                    what you get at a public school is overcrowded classrooms, and an environment where PEERS have a far greater influence on children than do ADULTS.

                    I'll take the influence of a few ADULTS over children than the influence of thousands of their brainwashed, corporate culture driven PEERS any day.

                    Further, the rejection of standardized tests is an extremely postmodernist worldview, but belied by your reliance on other data.  You don't object at all to objective testing of individuals to determine who knew more truth about current events, between Fox News watchers and CNN watchers.

                    The postmodernist notion that no truth is absolute or objective, but that there are only a world of differing perspectives is bullshit--and it is largely responsible for modern journalism's appalling "Dem said, GOP said" reporting so devoid of actual content and objective fact.

                    Homeschoolers do better on standardized tests.  That's an objective fact.  Objective facts are real--and have been since Plato, Aristotle and Descartes them out in form heaven and the Enlightenment.  And no number of mea culpas from postmodernists embarrassed about having swallowed wholesale Marxist paradigms, attempting to deny the validity of ANY paradigm, is going to change that.

                    Finally, there are EXCELLENT reasons for parents to keep their kids away from the influences of other kids.  Not away from the influences of other adults, or evolution, or anything else: it's about making sure that kids are surrounded by ADULT influences, and expected to behave as such.

                    •  Irony (none)
                      So you complain about generalizations, then say that all public schools are overcrowded.  Then you complain about brainwashed kids by denigrating them as "corporate culture" driven.  I'm sure your kids get no such brainwashing from you about what is bad. The fact of the matter is that some kids turn out better home schooled and some better at public school.  The problem comes when ADULTS like yourself KNOW what is the RIGHT way for them to learn.  Again, standardized tests are not the measure of someone's worth.  Not to mention that it would be impossible to have a controlled study of whether a student would do better at home or at school.  Here's an objective fact: you can't measure with numbers the worth of playing kickball at recess with 10 other kids.  Life is not all about what you learn or what the numbers say.  Sometimes experiences even those that "hurt the numbers" are worth it and a part of life.  Great, you know about marxist paradigms, but did you get to ever have the great feeling of a Friday pizza party or a school dance?  If you think home schooling is about a lot more than sheltering kids from "bad things" then you don't know much.    

                      Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                      by MatthewBrown on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:10:17 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  since when did homeschooling not involve (none)
                        playing kickball with friends, or going to a school dance?

                        My brother and I did both.  We had many friends--we played kickball, volleyball, basketball and a wide variety of other sports.

                        We both went to my girlfriend's prom (OK) and then to the nightclub party afterwards (god-awful, corporate-culture driven crap).

                        It's not that kids shouldn't do those things--they should--but rather that those things should be SECONDARY, not PRIMARY, influences.

                        To suggest that homeschooled kids lead totally sheltered lives away from other kids and their activities--or, for that matter, from other adult influences especially--shows that your experience with homeschoolers is narrow at best.

                        •  It's obvious that... (none)
                          homeschooling worked well for you and your dad or whoever did a quite nice job teaching you.  However, that doesn't mean it's for everyone.  Furthermore, it doesn't mean that public school is shitty for everyone or that homeschooling is "objectively" better.  Christ, you've obviously been brainwashed with your coporate culture driven stuff.  Who cares?  It's prom.  You don't have to crawl on the cross for everything.  I stand by my "sheltering" statement as has been vivdly expressed through your posts, which carry that current of keeping the "bad things" away.  I'm sick of people trashing public school.    

                          Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                          by MatthewBrown on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:40:23 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  my dad never used the phrase corporate culture (none)
                            came up with that one on my own, so it would be difficult to say I was brainwashed into it.

                            I find--like so many other Americans, many of whom have joined the Republican backlash, unfortunately--that modern pop culture is absolutely appalling.

                            The misogyny and violence of "hip-hop" culture, prostitot clothing, the materialism of needing the next iPod or $80 jeans, the false rebellion of tattoos and bodypiercings that are less rebellion than they are an attempt to conform, the soulless and utterly superficial music, the "crabs in a bucket" syndrome that encourages mediocrity, etc., etc.

                            It's not the public school system itself, so much as the fact that weak-willed kids who are being sold to every second of every day and physically, spiritually, and psychologically harmful products, are influenced most in their lives by OTHER weak-willed kids.

                            Make class sizes an 8-to-1 or 10-to-1 ratio, and make school start at 9am and end at 5pm so that parents have control of children when they get off school, and the public school problem is solved.

                            But that would require money...

                      •  and it's not about sheltering them from bad things (none)
                        so much as it is giving the GOOD THINGS the chance and time of day.

                        Take music as one example.  My Dad likes country-western music and big band.  But he exposed me and my brother to every genre of music imaginable.

                        Curiously, I loved--really loved--opera, and have from the time I was 9 years old.  I've even converted my own father.

                        At public school, such a phenomenon would never take place.  I would have been laughed out of the cafeteria hall, and I would have listened to the same hip-hop/alt rock crap (IMHO) that everyone else listened to.  And the same goes for classical languages, the accordion, and a multitude of other things that I loved from the moment I was exposed to them--things that my peers would have ridiculed out of me.

                        So did my Dad "shelther me from bad things" or did he give me the "opportunity to pursue my interests without peer pressure?"

                        I say it's the latter.

                •  could you please substantiate those claims (none)
                  with data/links?
            •  oh, so fitting. (none)
              "that was an incredibly bigoted statement." - therisnospoon

              "If you want ignorance, try your average minion of the public school system..." - thereisnospoon

              Did they teach irony at homeschool?

              Behind the dark veil of patriotism a nation mourns itself.

              by Espumoso on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:46:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not bigotry (none)
                simple truth.  Your average American public-educated child is ignorant, especially in 8th-12th grade.

                Ignorant compared with their peers around the world.

                Ignorant compared with their peers in private school.

                Ignorant compared with their peers in homeschool.

                I accused the poster of bigotry by claiming that homeschool led to ignorance--because that statement was not based in fact, but on an ignorant stereotype of homeschoolers as a group.

                •  The Fundamentalist homeschooled are not (none)
                  so well taught.

                  Can you break down the different populations, reasons that people homeschool?

                  My brother's kids are homeschooled and they are dumb fundamentalists.

                  The eldest completed her final year of high school at age 20.

                  •  i agree (none)
                    but on average, homeschoolers do better on standardized tests.

                    And homeschool began as a liberal phenomenon--not the unfortunate laughingstock it has become in stereotypes.

                    Between the liberal homeschoolers out there (and there are a lot of us) and the conservative homeschoolers who keep their kids out of school to prevent them from encountering violence, or being put on ritalin, or whatever, and nevertheless sometimes manage teach their children adequately well in all other areas, we manage to pull together a pretty good average.

                    And we are utterly appalled by what passes for homeschooling among fundies.

        •  citizen76 (4.00)
          this comment is untrue-
          Unless the silent millions out there who don't vote and don't care about government feel an effect in their daily lives then there isn't going to be any change.

          they are feeling lots of changes for the worse right now and have since this clown started gutting government programs in 2001 and still don't see the forest for the trees(bad analogy with the timberlands sold) the shitfest headed their way.

          "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

          by keefer55 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:33:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know (4.00)
            I run into an awful lot of people who don't think what happens in DC or on the Federal level affects them at all.  These are people that don't rely on government for anything really and as a result don't pay attention at all.

            I agree that many programs that benefit the public at large have been cut and gutted, but IMO the pain isn't enough for your average person to take note.  For instance, where I live people bitch about the crime (theft, burglary) but they vote down any city ballot measure to give the police department the money they say they need.  It will take crime that has more of an impact (rape, murder, assault) before the population here will change.

            The other problem I see is the Executive syndrome, everyone votes for President and no one votes for Congress which is the most important branch of government to vote for.

            I did a thesis about voting patterns in the US and between 1980 and 2002 the highest turnout for eligible voters in a congressional election was 30%.  Typically, only 15% to 30% of eligible voters even bother to vote for Congress.  That is why the Congress is the sorry sack of crap that it is, it doesn't even come close to representing the will of the people.

        •  Its not just that people are asleep at the wheel (4.00)
          It is also because people are tired. People will pay attention to the Presidential election and thats about it. They do not pay attention enough to know that the GOP talks out of its ass, and does something else that is contrary to their best interests. The GOP makes peoples lives harder and that actually benefits them at the ballot box, since people get worn out just trying to make a living. They are masters of pissing down people's ears, and telling them that its just raining.

          The one thing that is going to cripple the GOP is Iraq. There is no hiding the casualties. They are cold, hard, tragic facts that can't be whisked away with soundbites and spin. They are fighting hard to do what no party has ever done when their standard bearer held the Whitehouse during an unpopular war, and that is to not have a crushing defeat in midterm elections.

          It is very important that we have the right candidate in 2008, and that is why it must be Feingold or Clark and not Hillary. Personally, I think Feingold is the one. We have the populist message, we just need the right messenger. No triangulation to try and appeal to the center this time. We do not need Hillary trying to justify her vote on Iraq, sure she was mislead by BushCo - but that is a nuanced argument that didn't work in 2004. No - we have to have someone who is clean on Iraq and that leaves Feingold, Clark, Richardson, Gore or Warner. We have to have someone that can articulate a progressive agenda, and I think that leaves Feingold and Clark.

          If Dean had been the nominee in 2004, he would have crystalized the opposition to Iraq, he would have lost, but now we'd be looking at picking up 40 seats in the House instead of 10 to 15. They call him crazy or whatever, but the guy doesn't do anything except speak the truth. This is where we have to come from.

          I get tired of this stuff in weeks like this too. I had to tell my father, a tried and true Democrat, that Alito is a piece of shit. He asked what I was talking about, I told him Alito is just the same as all the rest of these GOP bastards, he's just been coached on how to hide it better. I told him we are at war with the GOP. They chose to fight, they chose to bring our nation to the edge of neo-fascism, we have to keep fighting or we are going over that edge.

          It is important to get people to this blog and others like it. I have directed family members here and it is a real resource to help educate our people. Before they used to ask me what I thought about whatever the latest GOP outrage was, now I ask them. The more people who are informed, the easier it is to pick up converts from the middle via the watercooler.

          •  The right candidate in 2008 (4.00)
            This could make or break the Democratic party. With continued Bush scandals, we should be poised to make significant inroads. Dear God don't let us piss it away with another Repub-lite. I don't mind if someone is a conservative Dem, because that is really who they are, but I can't stomach these turncoats who kiss Bush on the mouth.

            "Soon the time will come to choose between what is easy, and what is right." - A. Dumbledore

            by epluribus on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:31:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  media (none)
            It is also because people are tired. People will pay attention to the Presidential election and thats about it. They do not pay attention enough to know that the GOP talks out of its ass, and does something else that is contrary to their best interests.

            I don't think that people don't care.  Sure, they don't care about some of the things that happen in Washington, but they would care about some of the egregious offenses from the Bush administration -- except that you have to come to places like DKos to find out about them.  The media in this country, for the mostpart, is an abomination.  The British have state-run media, but our "private" media is considerably less objective and considerably less honest.  In order to win some elections at some point, we must fix the media -- or at least try to pull it somewhat out of Karl Rove's ass.

            If average Americans were sufficiently informed by their local newpapers and the CBS Evening News etc..., they would not continue to be lazy.

          •  You are so right. (none)
            People are just plain tired of it all.  The average person has so much on their plate they don't want to think about anything beyond the right nows.  Right now paying for daycare.  Right now paying for heating.  Right now paying our mortgage.  Right now buying groceries.  Right now buying cold/fever meds.  RIght now paying for doc visits.

            I don't care about the latest GOP outrage.  I just care about where to go for the latest sliding scale clinic.

            sometimes evil drives a minivan -- Desperate Housewives

            by sylvien on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:57:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah? (3.50)
          I voted for Nader in '00 and '04.  And I'll vote for him in '08 too if the Democratic party tries to serve me a Clinton or a Biden and strong-arm me to vote for her/him because the spooky fascists are so much worse.

          The lesser of two evils is EVIL.  I don't vote for EVIL.  Ever.

          Regrets?  Yes, I regret voting for Clinton in 1992 because his DLC ilk have brought our party so terribly low with the same condescending nonsense in diaries as this one.

          The United States is practically a police state today and we're still be urged to remain dispassionate and take our lumps.

          Hell.  No.

          None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. - Goethe

          by Necons Will Ban Me on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:54:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (4.00)
            Capitulation in the name of political expedience is still capitulation.  It amazes me that the Dems are still blind to the absurdity of this Republican Lite strategy even after a decade of miserable failure in deploying it.  If we fail to differentiate ourselves, if we fail to offer an alternative, if we fail to act on principle, then we fail.  

            In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

            by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:18:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You say our party? (4.00)
            what's this "our party" crap you spout.  You voted for Nader 00 and 04..what f*cking party you belong to?  It ain't the Democratic party.  It's not the party of Jefferson or Jackson or Howard Dean or Shirley Chisolm or Robert Kennedy or yes, Bill Clinton or the most "Christian" man to ever hold the office, Jimmy Carter.  Hillary Clinton stands and has done more in one day of public service, than all your pontificating about how abused you've been by the Democratic Party.
            Keeping talking NeocaonWBM, but quit claiming you're a member of the Democratic Party until such time as you start supporting some Democrats.

            I kinda like Howard Dean, it's those wild eye crazies that came with him I wonder about!

            by redlief on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:25:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, support some Democrats (4.00)
              But don't support all of them.  

              Maybe the poster feels, like me, abandoned by the party that is rightfully hers.  

              If our party is one that supports insane military spending, that refuses to push back when rat-wing activist justices are nominated, that turns a blind eye to election fraud, that stands idly by as our Constitution is defecated upon, then fuck 'em.  They're not my party anymore.  

              In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

              by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:57:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  without Clinton (none)
                Without your hated "DLC" Clinton we would be down two votes on the supreme court. What would happen to the issues you care so much about then? Stop hating any progress simply because it is not to the magitude you would want it to be.
          •  What you don't understand (4.00)
            If Gore had won, or Kerry, none of these judges would have been appointed.

            Just as there would have been no war in Iraq.

            I have had it with these self righteous, condescending posts from Nader supporters.

            Who the fuck are you to criticize Democrats?  You are a member of another party.  I see no more reason to listen to you than to someone who voted for Bush.

            You acted like a child and pretended there were no consequences to voting for Nader.   Then you delude yourself into thinking it didn't matter.

            Had you voted for Gore - none of this, Roberts, Alito, or the War in Iraq would have happened.

            Period.

            What don't you get about this?

            •  Frankly, I'm surprised... (none)
              that anyone will still admit to having voted for Nader. I blame those people even more than I blame Bush voters.

              Have a 4 for saying what I'm thinking.

              •  i agree (none)
                apologies for the all caps, but I need to vent:

                IF YOU GREENS HAD FUCKING VOTED FOR AL GORE IN 2000, WE WOULDN'T BE IN THIS GODDAMN MESS.

                YOU HEAR THIS YOU NADER-VOTING TWITS????

                JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

                There, I said it.  I feel better already.

                •  I agree (none)
                  Although I still get plenty mad at Lieberman a lot and Hillary and Biden at times..and I am by far not a  die hard, Clintonista...I agree totally. I want Democrats to fight and fight hard. But when it comes to elections, I cannot fathom voting for a third party candidate. I just cannot do it. I was not a fan of Kerry's and did not support him in Primary. And I cried many tears over Kerry winning the nomination. But then I came around he won me over. I always liked and respected Al Gore tons more than Clinton. And I worked for the Carter campaign both times..and was devoted to Jimmy from the start.   I liked Al Gore and Kerry won me over but even if I had to hold my nose and vote for a Democrat, by God, I would find a way to do it. After 2000,I cannot picture how someone especially in a swing state or red state could vote for Nader. Now before 2000, I can see it to some extent but after all the publicity surrounding that issue in 2000, after the Devastation Bush and Cheney hath wrought, frankly, I never will get a Democrat voting for a Third party candidate during the Bush regime. That boggles my mind to no end.

                  Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                  by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:53:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I voted for Gore and Kerry... (4.00)
              ... but I'm not one of the knee-jerks who blame Nader for their losses.

              Gore and Kerry both ran very bad campaigns. They both could have won handily, even with Nader in the race, if they'd been better campaigners, and if the party had its act together to anticipate and counter Republican voter suppression tactics.

              Blaming Nader is an excuse.

              "Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends." (G.B. Shaw) Click to read the 'Union'

              by Hudson on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:20:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have a point (none)
                except Florida 2000. If Gore had a few of those Nader votes, imagine! Who knows, it might have been different..it depends on so many factors but Nader was not a factor for Kerry , however when you look at Nader's low pct this time vs. his decent showing in 2000. I do think in Florida and some swing states, Nader was a factor, some states, not just Florida were damn close for Gore.

                Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:02:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Gore won Florida by 30,000 (none)
                  votes according to some. As rigged as the system was, what makes you think Nader was even a factor in 2000? If the Republicans could hold a putsch in Florida, a few Nader votes likely wouldn't have changed anything.

                  They don't play by the rules.

                  •  That is incorrect..and it ignores mathematics. (none)
                    Nader got somewhere near 100,000 confirmed votes. Gore, having officially lost by only a few hundred could have been our President if only 1% of those Nader voters woke up from their delusion and done the right thing.
                    •  exactly ! (none)

                      Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                      by wishingwell on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:52:39 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Gore won Florida (none)
                      In spite of that, Bush was appointed. The election was rife with cheating, fraud and other malfeasance (I got the 30,000 figure from over-votes, check out this diary).

                      I don't think it was as simple as Gore getting a few more votes. It would have had to have been substantially more to overcome the fraud-factor. As it was, he had more votes than Bush, not that that made a bit of difference.

            •  If winning elections is what is important (none)
              we should also attack those who insist upon keeping wedge issues on the forefront.  Republicans have successfully used wedge issues such as abortion to win where otherwise they are rediculously weak.  Republican policy is anti worker, pro corporation, pro corruption, pro super wealthy dynasties at the expense of the poor.  If we want to win elections and keep people like Bush from power, should we not only shut up and vote for the democratic candidate even if we hate their guts but also shut the hell up about wedge issues like abortion because that allows republicans to divert attention from the issues that democrats are much stronger on?  A lot of people would be upset if instead of demonizing for voting for a non democratic candidate that instead people were to start demonizing about publicly advocating the pro-choice position for example.  I'm just following the logic of let's block the super bad guy from getting into office at all costs philosophy.  Because in order to follow that rule you also have to compromise on a lot of other things as well.
        •  But we can't capitalize (none)
          on disapproval of the Supreme Court nominee -- if we didn't oppose it as strongly and loudly as possible.
      •  I agree with both you and those you criticize (4.00)
        There is a failure of will within the Democratic party that is apparent even to those who still say that now is not the right time to man the barricades.

        But there is also a failure of strategic planning that is exacerbated by the crowds of people screaming in our leaders ears to "do something!"

        The tools for victory exist within the Democratic party today. What is missing is the will to use those tools and the plan for how to use them. What is missing is a rapproachment between the advocates of both sides that understands that each have their use in the coming fight.

        I am not a lawyer, but I know from talking with those who do understand the law that by the time a case comes to trial what will happen is pretty much already known. The dramatic courtroom revelation and reversal of fortunes is a fabrication of TV and movies. It is in the pre-trial period, the discovery period, the depositions, where most cases are won. No lawyer worth their salt wants to go into court without knowing EXACTLY what is going to happen and how it will benefit their case.

        Surprisingly, considering how many politicians are former lawyers, a lot of our Democratic leaders don't follow a similar principle.

        The Alito hearings were never going to bring about any startling reversal in the course of the story. The time to defeat Alito was weeks before the hearings even began. The way to do so was to build a narrative that undermined his case for being on the court. The Democrats don't know how to do that.

        The Republicans do. Case in point, ironically, was the Harriet Meiers nomination, which was undermined not by the Democrats but by the right-wing of the Republican party, using the very same tools that the GOP has developed in order to defeat Democrats.

        The Will, The Plan, The Numbers. We have the last of these three. We just need the other two.

        •  Spot on. (4.00)
          I find that people here and elsewhere are under the assumption that there are 2 sides in this battle over the soul of America.  That one side must be the champions who will lead us to the future and enduring prosperity and one side must be the villian who will condemn us to fascism.

          In my observations I have come to the conclusion that neither side fits either description.  

          The republicans are so weighed down with their own corruption and consquences of their own nearsightedness that they are struggling to maintain their power to the exclusion of all else.  This is why they don't shed themselves of their corrupted members, this is why there is no outcry to purge influence peddling from Washington.  They have sunk so deep in their quagmire that all they are trying to do is maintain themselves.  But the harder they struggle the more they lose.  So we get theater and grand talk and great outcrys of false persecution.  Anything to maintain the illusion that they are carrying this nation forward in spite of all opposition, and in spite of all facts.

          The democrats on the other hand are primed to sieze power for themselves.  They have all the tools as you've so aptly said and yet they do not have the will to use them.  Maybe they are afraid of their own history with corruption, maybe they are afraid to engage the Republicans as forcefully as they have been attacked by republicans.  Maybe they really are afraid they will become just like them.   Or maybe too many of them have been in power for too long and just want to coast until their retirement.  Or maybe they still have hope that there is a shred of honor and decency in their once worthy adversaries.  

          All I know is the Democratic party will not be the champions we all want them to be until we make them so.  And I don't mean phonecalls to representatives or petitions or rallys.  I mean a good solid honest to goodness changing of the guard.  It might not happen in 06, it might not even happen in 08, but it will happen.  Slowly new blood will be built up from the roots and they will enter Washington with political fearlessness, just hopefully, not political recklessness or we may very well find ourselves in the republican's shoes.

          I think this is what makes Howard Dean's movement so very important.  It's not just about taking back congress in 06, it's not about impeaching the worst most criminal president in history, it's about rebuilding the democratic party from the local level up.

          I can't wait til they start making us wear armbands.

          by DawnG on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:25:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, don't apologize... (4.00)
        Right hit, right nail, right head. Thanks for saying it.

        I'm not a piano, but I play one on T.V.

        by peirone on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:27:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Love (4.00)
        I love who you are.  And I agree with you 100%.  At least today.  Even in the majority you can't win every fight.  In the minority, you have to be smart and tactical.

        My line to all the small-govt. folks I know -- FEMA debacle on the coast?  "This is what small government looks like".  MHSA disaster at SAGO?  "This is what small government looks like".  The inevitable scandal at FDA?  "This is what small government looks like."

        For social issues I will have to switch to -- "They didn't lie in the elections.  This is what you voted for".

        Meet me in Cognito, baby

        by out grrl on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:53:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Small Government? (4.00)
          Nothing about this Republican government is small.  Most fiscal conservatives are fed up with Bush and the current congress.  Spending is up, and they're pushing as much pork and spending as the Dems ever did (they're just spending it in the wrong places).
          •  Spending (4.00)
            Spending is up on pork projects - but the protection and social agencies are being gutted.  Point taken that this is not a "small government" Administration in whole, but they are very much "small government" when it comes to cutting social and regulatory agencies.

            This is the PJFP party.  "Praise Jesus, F*ck the Poor".  And kick a bit for our friends in porkland to boot.

            Meet me in Cognito, baby

            by out grrl on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:08:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Slogan (4.00)
            Would be a great slogan -- "Small government at a big government price!"  

            We are getting screwed twice!  Yeah!

            Meet me in Cognito, baby

            by out grrl on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:10:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's the "Ethic of Responsibility" (4.00)
        I wrote a piece on the Ethic of Responsibility as it related to Nader's 2004 candidacy that Sprin  The term comes from the German sociologist Max Weber, who contrasted it against the "Ethic of Ultimate Ends":

        We must be clear about the fact that all ethically oriented conduct may be guided by one of two fundamentally differing and irreconcilably opposed maxims: conduct can be oriented to an 'ethic of ultimate ends' or to an 'ethic of responsibility.' This is not to say that an ethic of ultimate ends is identical with irresponsibility, or that an ethic of responsibility is identical with unprincipled opportunism. Naturally nobody says that. However, there is an abysmal contrast between conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of ultimate ends...and conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of responsibility, in which case one has to give an account of the foreseeable results of one's action.

        ...If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor's eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God's will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil. However a man who believes in an ethic of responsibility takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people...he does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection. He does not feel in a position to burden others with the results of his own actions so far as he was able to foresee them; he will say: these results are ascribed to my action. The believer in an ethic of ultimate ends feels 'responsible' only for seeing to it that the flame of pure intentions is not quenched...To rekindle the flame ever anew is the purpose of his quite irrational deeds, judged in view of their possible success. They are acts that can and shall have only exemplary value."

        I expounded on this a bit:

        Acts of exemplary value are not to be disparaged.  But they have an appropriate context in which they are acceptable and not acts of narcissism or nihilism.  I have been inspired by many people known primarily for their acts of exemplary value.  The German students known collectively as The White Rose group executed in 1943 for speaking out against the complicity of everyday Germans in the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis.  The young man who stood resolutely in front of the tank in Tiannmen Square.  Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on the bus.  When there is no other means of affecting justice and change, many believe that exemplary acts will accomplish nothing productive, or worse, will go unnoticed by the world.  But it is then that exemplary acts are most powerful.  As Hannah Arendt wrote in Eichmann in Jerusalem, "holes of oblivion do not exist.  Nothing human is that perfect, and there are simply too many people in the world to make oblivion possible.  One man will always be left alive to tell the story.  Thus, nothing can ever be `practically useless,' at least not in the long run."  But exemplary acts are the acts of saints or those with nothing else left to lose in the short run, but they are ethically responsible only as long as--and this is crucial--other people do not have to bear the risks and potential costs of their actions.
         

        In this instance I think there are good political reasons for pushing the filibuster.  I won'd go into them all here, but the most obvious one to me is that the tool of the judicial filibuster is, in my mind, useless if we don't use it now.  Alito is a radical, possibly worse than Thomas and Scalia.  But I think what you've added to the discussion very eloquently is the reality that the decision of whether or not to filibuster should be made with a different calculus than what most people are using.  

        For the Senators, they have to act on what they believe are the forseeable results of their actions.  It doesn't mean the choices are often between a good action and a bad action, or one that they'll like and one they won't.  But they should ideally make their choices based on the forseeable results.

        I'll just add one other thing from Weber's essay Politics as a Vocation.  He thought "three pre-eminent qualities are decisive for the politician: passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion."  But "mere passion,"

        however genuinely felt, is not enough. It does not make a politician, unless passion as devotion to a 'cause' also makes responsibility to this cause the guiding star of action. And for this, a sense of proportion is needed. This is the decisive psychological quality of the politician: his ability to let realities work upon him with inner concentration and calmness...The 'strength' of a political 'personality' means, in the first place, the possession of these qualities of passion, responsibility, and proportion...

        [there are] only two kinds of deadly sins in the field of politics: lack of objectivity and--often but not always identical with it--irresponsibility. Vanity, the need personally to stand in the foreground as clearly as possible, strongly tempts the politician to commit one or both of these sins...

        I believe they should invoke a filibuster, even though it risks provoking a nuclear response.  But I'm open to the possibility that invoking it may be, in this case, an act of vanity.  Whatever the case, we can all benefit from this final bit I'll quote from Weber:

        "...even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today. Only he has the calling for politics who is sure that he shall not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer. Only he who in the face of all this can say 'In spite of all!' has the calling for politics."

        DD, you wrote a great post.  You should be proud.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:24:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or "juvenile" Vs. "adult" (none)
          As this site tends to be dominated by the high hormones of the former, when one of the latter posts it is always controversial.  Adults have the perspective to know when to "pick their fights."  Juveniles call them chicken shits til they grow up themselves.  (If they last that long.)

          There is a school of thought that a filibuster will end with the nuclear option.  Which may be great theater for us political junkies, but the overall effect of which is impossible to predict, and potentially quite damaging to the party's future efficacy in the Senate.  

          This school of thought suggests WAITING to filibuster til after the elections, under the assumption that with the pick-up of a couple seats, the Senate will be filibuster proof once again.  

          The problem with this scenario, of course, is that Alito will be on the Supreme Court.  For life.  

          But don't forget that Bush has more than two years left to appoint more!  There are some oldies on "our side" that could still go before the asshole is out of office.  With no filibuster left standing, and still in the minority, we will be in deep shit.

        •  The real question (none)
          DD- Great Post.

          The real question here is when to risk the nuclear option.  This requires the following political calculation:

          Are we likely to stop Alito or do we save the filibuster for the fifth vote to overturn Roe?

          The moral thing to do here is maximize our ability to defend Roe.  Right now I do not think we will get the votes to filibuster, but if we do, I think the nuclear option will succeed.  In other words, I don't think as things stand now we can stop Alito.

          I DO think we might stop a nominee who would represent the fifth vote on Roe.  In such a circumstance we would have a better shot at beating the nuclear option as well.  

          Having said all of this - I remain stunned that we have not taken better advantage of Alito's memo on Roe.  The polling suggests that the public would turn on Alito if they thought he would vote against Roe.  I am shocked at the tactical ineptitude I have seen from the Dems over the last few days.

      •  If rosa Parks.... (4.00)
        had looked at the reality of the situation she would NEVER have sat down in the front of that bus...reality would have told her that there was no possibly way in hell sitting down would make any difference in the civil rights fight and that she, herself, would suffer for her actions..

        never in a reality scan of the situation could she have forseen that thousands of people would begin walking to work and that they would have the fortitude to keep walking until they won their fight

        thats why i LOVE activists...especially at this kind of week....a week when the reality based members of america merely sit back and wait to see what activists can make happen  :)

        "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

        by KnotIookin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:28:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Understood (4.00)
        You have every right to be wrong.

        I just find it significant that Democrats have been following your kind of advice throught the Bush presidency, and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

        That suggests to any rational observer that a change in tactics and strategy is in order.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:42:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No They Have Not - (4.00)
          most of the time they've been doing exactly the opposite. Tom Daschle was nice and conciliatory, and look where that got him.  Kennedy cooperated on NCLB, and look where that got him and us.  For more than three years after 9/11 Dems were too cowed to say "boo."  Kerry spent most of his candidacy trying to explain a vote for war that went against his principles and ours because he was too worried about electability to stand up for what was good for America, and where did it get him?  By the time of the election, a "No" vote on the war was beginning to look good - of course we all know that by December it looked great, and Dean looked reasonable where before he was derided as among the fringe on the war.  In fact, he was just willing to see the truth and name it.  Americans admire STRENGTH and LEADERSHIP.  Reid has come up with a few efforts this year, but hell, if our leaders look too weak to stand for what their own party believes in, why should any other voters think our leaders are worthy of a vote at all?

            Note the winning Republican strategy: never give an inch, never worry about looking reasonable - just proclaim that you are; never attempt civility yourself but accuse the other side of being "uncivil" if they so much as squeak about anything; never apologize; never admit a mistake; never be afraid to smear your opponent with untruths, half-truths, and flat out mud.  Call black white, call warmaking an attempt to make peace, and call everyone who disagrees with you a whining traitor.  That's a winning strategy in today's America, and our so-called leaders don't even have the strenght to call bullshit straight out when they see it, much less arm themselves equally with our opponents.

          "You know you have created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you hate."

          by md jeffersonian on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:37:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  yam who i yam (none)
        Are you telling us you are Popeye the Sailor Man ?
      •  The Liberal Disease (4.00)
        What a gutless, unimaginative, disillusioned, defeatist response we have here -- man, if this were a combat zone I would hate to have you in my fighting hole... if I were a boxer I would hate to have you in my corner.  Nothing of what this diary says is new nor does it show any "transformational" vision, much less leadership any leadership of any sort.  I sincerely wish I could accurately convey the soul numbing and cynical sensation that this diary leaves me with.

        I don't understand how this cynical diary happened to be recommended by so many people, when it doesn't offer anything that's new nor any valuable political insight.  Come on, which one of us, that is, anyone that pays any attention or even considers themselves to be any sort of sentient human being, think that defeating the Alito nomination has been about making "Bush... see the light and [forcing him to] nominate a moderate Republican who opposes expanded executive power and is pro-choice."  That's just stupid -- that's not what this supposed to be about; though, a significant defeat would have rationally meant that, given how little political capital the White House has now days.  In stead, defeating the nomination is about being an "oppositional" party that presents an ALTERNATIVE agenda and philosophy; and nomination hearings and/or any political confrontation at this time is about presenting our ALTERNATIVE vision -- now, the debate for activist and partisan Democrats ought to be, How effectively is that alternative vision and philosophy being presented by OUR party? This is what our focus should remain on, and not on internalizing and projecting defeatist messages like this diary does (even if that defeatist vision is couched in terms of so-called political realism... keep in mind that so-called "political reality" is not constant, just take a look at how quickly DeLay's fortune has changed and how quickly it might change again).

        This diary reminded of an illness that Billmon described to ably in a post entitled The Liberal Disease, in which he wrote:

        It's called fairness.

        [...]

        [This is a] classically liberal approach to politics, in which the struggle for power is treated like some kind of glorified courtroom debate, with strict rules of evidence, an impartial umpire (the judge) and 12 jurors, straight and true, to render a verdict.

        [...]

        While liberals sift and weigh the evidence, debate alternative points of view, and reach for that ever elusive "fairness," the conservative machine sifts and weighs alternative propaganda points, debates the best way to manipulate public opinion, and reaches for power -- first, last and always.

        Billmon's entire post on The Liberal Disease is worth reading, and it's something that I think about now and then... in fact, this is something every Democratic and Liberal/Progressive partisan should think about very seriously.

        It's because of this that I rated the diary as unproductive.

        Read Vox Mia
        bedobe (at) gmail (.) com

        by bedobe on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:55:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you DD (none)
        Not much of an activist, at least as far as marching, that sort of thing.  I majored in poli sci so I could become a professional in a political capacity.  In the private sector I enjoyed the professional atmosphere, and I enjoy strategy, deliberation, planning, and nuance.

        There is room for everyone though, and on ocassion I have been known to show up at a shindig or two when bodies are especially needed.

      •  And you are wrong. (none)
        I live in Louisiana and I know Mary Landrieu. She is spineless many times but when push comes to shove, she is there with us.

        She will consistently vote with the Repugnants when and if her vote is not the deciding vote. He rationale is... why incite her constituents if her vote is not the determining vote? So many many times she votes on the "wrong" side but she does so because even with her vote on our side, our side would lose.

        However, IF she is needed to hold the filibuster, she will be there for us. But if it appears that we do not have the votes to fillibuster... if it appears that Alito will win advice and consent... she will vote for Alito.

        Trust me on this one.

        Louisiana... they're trying to wash us away... they're trying to wash us away.

        by Bidabunch on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:31:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Activists are the Only Ones... (none)
        who see the political reality.

        when activists who care not about political reality

        It is only activists who actually change anything.

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:31:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Be disappointed. (none)
      It doesn't make what he said any less wrong.

      "Neocon delenda est"

      by Rakkasan on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:13:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People like DD are why we lose.... (2.33)
      They don't have the balls to fight.  They've given up, and don't seem to realize their strategizing is entirely dependent on the energy, commitment and money of the activists.
  •  GBCW (3.69)
    Many people hated Jesus in his time too - just for speaking the truth that they didn't want to hear...and for challenging those in power, irrespective of claims of clan, religion, or other affiliation.  Sometimes the truth hurts, but that doesn't make it any less true.

    Judge Alito, were you lying to get a job then, or are you lying to get a job now?

    by Sharon Jumper on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:27:13 PM PST

    •  This ain't a GBCW (4.00)
      I will never leave DKos.  I may avoid it from time to time.

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:29:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  GBCW, Jesus, truth, religion (none)
      Whoa.  No offense, ...but what?
      •  Rebellion and heresy (4.00)
        I get sick of the "shut up and get in line...don't criticize people with a D next to their name" and the whining hand-wringing that occurs everytime more power is usurped by Bush and the Congress does NOTHING to stop him.

        Prior to the hearings, many here were talking about an ass-whipping coming for Bush, but I didn't see it coming, and predicted no fillibuster and a 60-40ish confirmation for Alito, just like the vote for Abu Gonzo.  I was branded as a heretic, just as I am for having no fucking use for any politician who supports the continued occupation of Iraq.

        Now that it appears Alito will be confirmed and there will be no fillibuster, the handwringing and excuses have begun, along with condemnation of those who say, "I told you so" or "WTF?  If the Dems aren't going to fight now, then when?" crowd.

        Truth trumps nominal party labels for at least some of us here - just like it did for Jesus, who many believe was executed for challenging the power of the rulers of his time.

        Judge Alito, were you lying to get a job then, or are you lying to get a job now?

        by Sharon Jumper on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:38:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to hijack the thread, but (none)
          But I thought this is a simple historical fact ...

          ... just like it did for Jesus, who many believe was executed for challenging the power of the rulers of his time.

          This is a fact, isn't it?

          I didn't get why smokey thought your first comment was marginal.

          In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

          by yet another liberal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:57:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  for christ sake (none)
            noting about jesus is a fact
            •  he wasn't executed? (none)

              In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

              by yet another liberal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:09:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  i will ignore the sad little word games (none)
              that are being played on you. you should too, i learned the hard way... irrational remarks have no rational response, that's one reason the republicans win.

              the Holocaust remark was very weak though, totally irrational,  and i resisted the urge to troll rate the thing. but i  never troll rate anything unless it threatens someone with 'virtual violence'.

              i of course agree with you and i thought maybe i could give you something for your trouble.

              So check out The Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth! dig in and enjoy!

               Religion is dependent upon ignoring the History of Religion in much the same way that America is dependent on the ignorance of American History.

              in someway perhaps that last line at least refers to the actual content of this diary. without the activist we would have more child labour in this country than we do and less women would vote than they do and etc... it's fine to let others do the work, but don't complain about it if they aren't doing it the way you would.

              (-6.88, -8.31)-- "fuck your war... and your president."--Snake Plissken

              by binFranklin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:00:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  What does GBCW mean? :( (4.00)
      Sorry, I'm a little lost on some of the KOS acronyms...I have n/t and asdf down pat. :-p
    •  It's just a different view on how to deal (4.00)
      with stuff .. I don't agree with all of it, but I respect it.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:27:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A filibuster will "damage" the party?? (4.00)
    YOu may be right, but we are damaged goods now, because Americans think Democrats are weak.

    I would rather lose fighting than losing whining, whimpering in the corner. My ancestors did not flee terrible hunger and oppression for me to whimper while the neo-cons take away my rights.

    No.  Never.  Fight.

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

    by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:27:16 PM PST

    •  And no offense - I am not saying you are (none)
      whining or whimpering.  YOU were not elected to fight for us - the Senators were.

      My apologies if it came out that way.

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

      by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:28:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (4.00)
      I think if we're going to go down, we should at least go down trying as hard as we can. You never know. Some of the things I didn't think we'd win on in the past few months we actually did. And that's because we tried so hard and didn't just accept things as inevitable.
    •  if they use the nuke option, (4.00)
      doesn't that serve to further the notion that the republicans are a party corrupted with power.  If they really wnat to overturn the innerworkings of our government, it will bite them on the ass in many ways.

      How is that a loss for dems?  If we are going down anyways, we should do so fighting for our party's conscious.  Define ourselves now.

      •  I've felt the taunts where a ploy (none)
        The obstuctionist idea is a figment of the imagination.  The people already assume a few things about congress, one is that nothing ever gets done.  
      •  I don't think so (4.00)
        "if they use the nuke option, doesn't that serve to further the notion that the republicans are a party corrupted with power."

        That's what would have happened if Alito had come across as some kind of a raving, lunatic extremist, but he didn't.  He came across as an intelligent, thoughtful, mainstream conservative.  I personally think he'll probably be a lot more conservative than that description suggests, but that's the way he looks based upon these hearings.

        The public isn't steeped in the traditions of the Senate, and to the extent that they understand them, frankly doesn't much like the idea of filibusters anyway -- and we liberals didn't like the idea very much either, back when they were regularly being used against us back when a coalition of Southern Democrats and right-wing Republicans were filibustering every civil rights bill.  If it can be portrayed that we are essentially opposed to ANY conservative who doesn't give the virtuoso performance that Roberts apparently did (I was out of the country and didn't see those hearings), I think there's a real danger that we'll look like sore losers of the last election to a lot of swing voters, and that they'll think the "nuclear option" was justified as a response.  There is, after all, a certain appeal to the idea that a nominee approved of by a majority of the Senate shouldn't be blocked by a minority of the Senate -- especially if it looks like the minority doesn't have a VERY strong basis for its opposition.

        Whether one thinks a filibuster is justified or not, there are certainly sound arguments on both sides, and I think there is NO justification WHATSOEVER for basically treating the Democratic Senators who don't support a filibuster as being something akin to traitors, and for some of the comments I've seen to the effect that we'd be just as well off if they were Republicans (which you didn't say in your post, but which sentiment I've seen in other posts).

        •  -Looks like- and -is- are two different things (4.00)
          If it can be portrayed that we are essentially opposed to ANY conservative who doesn't give the virtuoso performance that Roberts apparently did (I was out of the country and didn't see those hearings), I think there's a real danger that we'll look like sore losers of the last election to a lot of swing voters, and that they'll think the "nuclear option" was justified as a response.  There is, after all, a certain appeal to the idea that a nominee approved of by a majority of the Senate shouldn't be blocked by a minority of the Senate -- especially if it looks like the minority doesn't have a VERY strong basis for its opposition.

          And when wiretapping everyday Americans without their knowledge or a warrant becomes legalized, and when Roe V. Wade is overturned, those wishy-washy "swing voters" are going to blame us for not fighting hard enough for their rights. Along with the rest of us, who already know that Alito is doing a bullshit song-and-dance to tell the committee what they want to hear rather than his true intentions.

          We progressives need to STOP worrying about how something we stand for (or against) is going to "look like" to the one or two percent of Americans who can't make up their damn minds on the issues that mean volumes to the rest of us till two minutes to Election Day. Instead, we would be wise to START worrying about doing the right thing.

          If the Democratic Senators had done that when Resolution 1441 came across their desks three years ago, more than 2,000 kids might not be dead now because of our stupid war in Iraq.

          So hell yeah, let's fight. For a change.

          •  Wrong resolution. (none)
            I fully agree with your reasoning, but you've cited  the wrong resolution:

            If the Democratic Senators had done that when Resolution 1441 came across their desks three years ago, more than 2,000 kids might not be dead now because of our stupid war in Iraq.

            Res 1441 never came across any Democrats desks because it came out of the United Nations Security Council before the Iraq invasion; it authorized renewed UN weapons inspections in Iraq (which Bush cut short before inspectors could find no WMD) and promised "serious consequences" for Iraq if that nation was found in violation of previous UNSC resolutions.

            I believe you're referring to the U.S. congressional resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq which gave the green light if Bush deemed it "necessary" - which is something different, but just as indicting of Congress in a lot of ways.  Congress was negligent in allowing that resolution to be worded so broadly.

            Also, the UNSC doesn't consider 1441 a UN approval for force against Iraq.  A second UN resolution was required for force.  Since Bush learned through their wiretaps of Colin Powell and foreign diplomats that the UNSC was not inclined to approve force against Iraq on such flimsy grounds (especially while the inspections were ongoing), Bush decided not to try the UN again.  If the US tried for a second UN res for force, it would most likely have been defeated.  And if a US request for UN-approved force was defeated and Bush invaded anyway, it would look the same - and indeed be the same - as Bush invading Iraq AGAINST the express wishes of the UNSC.

            "We, the people..." [shall] "establish justice!"

            by trupatriot on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:20:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes--sorry, thanks for the correction (none)
              I believe you're referring to the U.S. congressional resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq which gave the green light if Bush deemed it "necessary" - which is something different, but just as indicting of Congress in a lot of ways.  Congress was negligent in allowing that resolution to be worded so broadly.

              That's the one. Sorry for mis-citing it, and thanks for leading me back on the correct path. :)

        •  the perception game is a sure-loser (none)
          So because we failed to trip up a well-coached candidate who we know is biased in the wrong direction based on his own writings and oaths, we should avoid making a stand here.  If you expected a decisive 'Perry Mason' confession moment during the hearings you'd be in the minority; therefore, give what we do know, a fillbuster is in order.

          Remember that an Alito for O'Connor swap is a very raw deal for the Democratic agenda.

          I might add that your argument against the use of the fillibuster flies in contrast to your other statements that liberals never liked when it was invoked in the past against our agenda.  If that is true then it is truly effective, and more importantly, if it does get nuked, it won't be around to hinder us in the future.

          So, I repeat, what's to lose?

           

        •  Looked like a dangerous wingnut to me (none)
          Favorite judge: Bork.
          Approved of President altering meaning of laws.

          Come on.

    •  I think you're right. (none)
      America needs a wake up call, and the Dems are just the ones to provide it.
    •  Damage (none)
      The nuclear option might not even come into play since I doubt there would be the 41 votes needed to sustain a conventional filibuster. Even if there were a stray GOP Senator to vote against confirmation, they'd all vote to end debate, IMHO. Stopping Alito is not a winning issue for most Red State Dems & I don't think they're going to take a political hit for something neither they nor their constituents support. My guess is there'd only be about 30 Democratic Senators who'd vote against cloture, and that number might dwindle fast if there was much media criticism of the strategy during the run-up to the vote.

      If it plays out like that, Dems get portrayed as both obstructionist and ineffective, while using up credibility that they may desperately need if Justice Stevens retires at the end of this term, when he will become the oldest Justice since Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  •  Hating Nader (4.00)
    I choose not to hate the naderites. It is their RIGHT to vote for WHOMEVER they wish. That's what democracy is about!

    What I hate is that our voting system is broken. It is set up for effective 2 party rule. I hate parties. When there is more than 2 valid choices, the majority can too easily lose to the minority. 30% vote for liberal A, 30% vote for liberal B, and 40% vote for conservative C. Conservative C wins in our current system, and that isn't reflective of the voters real intent.

    Hate the system. Don't hate those who are exercizing their rights.

    -5.50, -4.77 ...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. Article VI, US Constitution

    by cephyn on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:28:38 PM PST

    •  Besides, It's Just Dumb (3.80)
      ... in many cases.  I live in Massachusetts -- so it doesn't matter whom I vote for, or whether I even vote at all.  My state is invariably going for the Democrat.

      Hating me (or anyone else from an uncontested state) for voting for Nader in 2000 is thus a waste of perfectly good hate.  (Oh, sure, if I did it again in '04 it might be justified... but I didn't).

      Our planet's youngest civilization has invaded its oldest... this can't be good...

      by Irfo on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:46:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What? (4.00)
        You've got a republican governor now.

        Former Governor William Weld is Republican.

        Mass. voted for Ronald Reagan.

        Your vote counts. Every vote counts; enough that squandering it in a protest vote is a serious undertaking.

        •  Well... (none)
          I was just talking about my presidential vote, but you do have a point that Mass. went for Reagan.  Twice, in fact, although just barely.  I hadn't realized that -- it was before I got here.

          Our planet's youngest civilization has invaded its oldest... this can't be good...

          by Irfo on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:17:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong attitude (4.00)
          Why is it a "squandered protest vote"? Is it at all possible that an intelligent voter could look at his options (A,B,C) as equals? Is it possible that a person could look at Kerry, Nader, Bush, and decide that ONE of them -- regardless of party -- would represent them BEST? How are they NOT obligated to vote for that person? How is voting for the person who will represent you BEST a squandered vote?

          What a miserable way to look at things. In a representative democracy, you SHOULD be voting for whomever will represent you BEST. It works sometimes (that's how Independents get in) but for the most part it's broken because of the big 2 parties monopolistic hold on government. The voting system needs to be fixed. The reason is not to protect the usefulness of a protest vote, it is to be sure that no legitimate votes are squandered. Ever.

          -5.50, -4.77 ...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. Article VI, US Constitution

          by cephyn on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:27:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I used to think that way (4.00)
            But after living through Anderson (a lot of Dems I knew back then voted for him and helped Reagan defeat Carter), Perot, and then Nader, and seeing what happens to one of the major parties when the vote is split, I've come to think it's too idealistic. Let's face reality: It really is throwing your vote away.

            When one party loses a chunk of its potential votes to the third-party candidate, the other major party automatically wins, because every vote for the third-party candidate is one less vote for the first party. So a decision to vote for someone like a Nader is really a decision for a four-year stint under a Bush.

            •  Crushed under the jackboot of conformity (none)
              How about instead of resigning yourself that "that's the way it is" start pushing for voting-system reform?

              -5.50, -4.77 ...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. Article VI, US Constitution

              by cephyn on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:43:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  voting system reform (3.50)
                is crucial. I spent a lot of time before the last elections writing diaries about voting irregularities throughout the country.

                But it doesn't have jack shit to do with third-party candidates tipping the balance against Gore or for Clinton. Thinking about the outcome of the vote you cast before you cast it, on the other hand, might make a difference.

                •  My vote for Nader didn't matter ONE bit! (none)
                  It didn't change which way Kansas went. Democrats should have learned their lesson and ran a better presidential campaign in 2004. Did they? Not in my opinion. Kerry was the best that we could do? PLEASE! And btw, I'm a registered independent and always have been.

                  I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

                  by baracon on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:25:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  my vote for Gore didn't matter, either (4.00)
                    and he won the election.

                    And despite the down-ratings from Greens on people who express concern about third-party candidates, I stand by what I said -- elections are strategy games, and when you cast your vote you should consider the likely impact it will have on the election. It doesn't mean don't vote for a third-party candidate, just be honest and accept responsibility for the potential outcome of your vote.

                    And I think the Green record is pretty clear -- grass-roots local candidacies are successful. On the national level, candidates aren't. So build up some strong creds, nuture candidates through the system (and start a green-party blog). It's not rocket science, it's smart politics for winning elections so that we don't have the clean air and water acts gutted. That's a serious responsibility.

                    Ed Muskie, who wrote both acts, was from my home state. We were born in the same town, which straddles on one of the most polluted rivers in the country. I lived on that river. And he was a Democrat. I'm proud to be a member of his party.

                    •  Exactly (none)
                      Locally and even for some state offices, I can understand a third party vote but for President after Anderson, Perot, Nader ..that is harder to fathom.
                      In my area, I have voted for a Green Party candidate especially since we often have a Republican incumbent with no Democrat challenger for State, County or Municipal office. I will NOT vote for the Republican but I will gladly vote for any third party candidate. But then again, No Democrat is on the ballot in those cases. And I have voted for a third party candidate once or twice for city council as some of the Democrats and Republicans in one county I lived in..were all being investigated and later tosses for corruption.
                      But for Governor, US Representative, US Senator, and especially President, I know I need to vote for the Democrat because we see what can happen when a Republican holds that office..especially in the past 20 years but especially the past 10-11 and certainly the past 5 !!

                      Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

                      by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:31:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  This is why I would love (none)
              to be able to have a multi-party system in America. SMDP is far too often an exercise in jamming square pegs into round holes.
            •  Anderson's impact in 1980. (none)
              I don't think the numbers back you up on that. Reagan got 489 electoral votes to Carter's 49. If every single Anderson voter had voted for Carter -- unlikely since Anderson was a moderate Republican who arguably pulled votes from R's who thought Reagan was too conservative -- it might have made  Carter's defeat slightly less humiliating. But he still wouldn't have won in 1980.
              •  you may be right (none)
                I never looked at the numbers. I just remember what I lived through, which was that everyone I knew in college was a Dem, and almost all of them had turned against Carter because of the Iranian hostage situation, but they all thought Anderson was a pretty cool guy. And when he ran as an Independent, they optimistically and idealistically thought that there were enough Republicans who'd vote for him as a more moderate option, plus enough Democrats who'd find him palatable since he had some different ideas from the typical conservative of the time.

                I remember all too well, not just my friends, but everyone around me outside the voting booths, saying you just have to vote for who you believe would do the best job, and that it wasn't throwing your vote away--that with enough people from both parties voting for the Independent, the two-party system wouldn't have to prevail. And then seeing the shock followed by dejection on their faces when it didn't work and Reagan was elected.

                Maybe it was just my college (and seeing as how it was in a red state, maybe sowing the idea was a ploy by the local Republicans), but it was a huge thing there.

                •  I kinda resemble that remark. (4.00)
                  But I doubt you went to the same podunk college I did. Registered Dem but voted for the who I believed was the best candidate? Check. Thought we needed to shake up the 2 party system? Check.

                  The difference is that I was pretty sure that a) Reagan was going to win big and b) Carter would win my state no matter what I did. So while I was disappointed in the outcome, I wasn't surprised.

            •  Yeah, I voted for Anderson too. (4.00)
              I was young & stupid, and it was my first election. I was shocked--shocked--by some of the election-year ploys Carter was doing (LOL). Carter & Reagan seemed like two peas in a pod. (Did I mention that I was young & stupid back then?)

              I resolved never to throw my vote away again, even if it "doesn't matter." I'm guessing a goodly number of Naderites took the same lesson away from 2000.

              No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

              by Shiborg on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:00:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Politics is also a game of strategy (none)
            As we learned in 2000.

            Remember that Clinton won because of Ross Perot (sp?)syphoned off millions of votes from King George the first.

            And what I said was that a protest vote was a serious undertaking. That to someone who felt their vote didn't count. So lighten up and don't call it sickening. That's sickening.

            •  I apologize for the anger (none)
              I got interrupted mid-comment, and I let it spill over. You didn't use "sickening," the caller did. Your point is well taken; but until we have a legitimate multi-party system, I'll stand by the importance of not casting protest votes.
            •  Perot meme incorrect? (4.00)
              Am I just delusional from this week's hearings, or am I remembering correctly: post-election analysis of the Perot votes showed them coming roughly equally from both parties?

              That is, I had always believed that Perot was not an actual factor, except to provide Republicans with the excuse that "Clinton didn't get a majority."

              Anyone have a good link to reliable analysis of that Perot effect?

            •  You are wrong about Perot in '92 (none)
              Clinton would have won if Perot had not been on the ballot (the exit poll questions are conclusive on this - Clinton would have won by about 7).
            •  The debates (none)
              Perot did help Clinton immensely due to the interest he generated.  I know lots of people who watched the 92 debates soley because of Ross Perot.  Perot did fairly well but so did Clinton.  Bush became the big loser.  The debates proved to be the big boost Clinton needed and he really does have Perot to thank for drawing such a large national audience.  Also Perot drew a lot of the media attention away from the democratic primaries.  Usually hotly contested primaries hurt candidates due to the slinging of the mud.  Perot took a lot of the media attention at the time though so Clinton wasn't really too damaged.  Using exit polling to make the conclusion that Perot didn't help Clinton would be a mistake.
      •  Why hate Nader? (4.00)
        I have heard the argument before that, if you live in a 'safe' state, your vote won't affect things, so you might as well vote for Nader.

        I disagree.

        Anything that strengthens the Green party weakens the chance for change in America.  And a Democratic candidate has more power if he/she wins by a larger margin.  

        There are three possible results of a 'Nader' vote:

        1. The Nader vote swings the election to the Republcians.
        2. The Nader vote doesn't swing the vote, but is large enough to worry people
        3. The Nader vote is so small as to be meaningless.

        All 3 are disastrous for the ideals most Kossacks hold dear, and, indeed for those Nader himself holds dear.  In case 1 - it's obvious.
        In case 2 - A stronger Green party would move the Democrats more to the center, and the Republicans (even) farther to the right.  There's a limited amount of space on the political bandwagon, and if Nader and the Greens occupy some, then the Democrats have to move elsewhere.

        In case 3, it just shows that no one really likes Nader and his views.

        We need more Russ Feingolds and Barney Franks - not more Naders.

        "When two men agree on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking" - Harry Truman

        by plf515 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone (4.00)
          who thinks I should not vote for the one I perceive to be the best candidate in any election can go to hell.  It`s that simple.  It is my civic duty to cast my vote for the one I see as best.  That was Ralph Nader for President of the United States in 2000 and 2004.  I researched heavily over 20 candidates in 2004, as much information as I could get on as many as possible.  Based on all the information I could obtain, I compared them with my beliefs, philosophies, and politics, and arrived at my choice.  This is what I will do in 2006.  This is what I will do in 2008.

          If there is no candidate that I perceive as above "zero" in my scale, I will not vote at all, as I didn`t for Virginia governor in 2005.

          If the Democratic Party puts up the best candidate in an election for a given position, I may consider voting for that person.  But I will not be pressured or forced into voting for someone because it will supposedly help someone else.  Tough shit.  Put up a better candidate.  You have to EARN my vote.

          "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

          by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:22:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  See you in hell (4.00)
            Does it bother you that the GOP has actually funded left-wing third party candidates to draw off the votes of people like you so that they can get their candidates first past the post?

            We on the Left used to talk about people being "objective supporters" (even if unintentional ones) of various reactionary causes.  Does it bother you that you are an objective supporter of the GOP?

            I vote Green all the time, by the way -- but I live in NYC.  If a race was close, I wouldn't do it because the Republicans cannot be trusted with power and I will cast my vote in whatever way best stops them, whether any party has "earned" my vote or not.  I try to have some humility about whether my vote has been "earned" when the stakes are the very foundation of our political system.  I wish you agreed with that.

            Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

            by Major Danby on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:50:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Go ahead, tell me to go to Hell. (4.00)
            So you say you vote for the best candidate for you.  You did a massive amount of research, you thought and thought and thought, and you came up with Nader as the best choice.  Only, you never thought about the realities of plurality voting.  You never thought that voting requires strategy.  Part of your job as a voter is to consider the implications of your vote.  You cannot simply consider the quality of the candidate and how closely he matches your views.  You need to also consider who has a reasonable chance of winning, and of those people, which one will most closely represent your views.  I'll throw a bone to Anderson and Perot voters, because at least those two candidates had small, but significant chances of winning, based on how many people appeared to support them.  Nader never had a significant chance.

            Now if you live in a solid red state or a solid blue, there is only one candidate who has a chance to win, so go ahead, vote for who you want, because for the purposes of electing the president, you vote is essentially meaningless.  If you live in a swing state, however, a vote for Nader is essentially equivalent to not voting, because in the end there were only two viable candidates, and their vote counts, and only theirs, have any effect on the outcome.  If you really believed that Bush and Gore, or Bush and Kerry, were equivalent, then maybe a Nader vote was justified, but if you thought that a Gore presidency or a Kerry presidency would be better than a Bush presidency, then you had an obligation to vote for Gore and for Kerry, if only to protect your own interests.  It's either vote for Bush, vote for Gore (or Kerry), or abdicate your realistic choice between the two and let others choose for you.  That's it.

            Sure, there are significant reasons to not vote strategically.  I suppose the effort to get 5% of the vote for Nader to get the Green Party federal funds would have been one of them in 2000.  With the prospect of a Bush presidency, however, those reasons better be good.  They better be more than just, "I thought Nader was the best," or "I want to help the Green Party get established nationally."  With the stakes this high, with the Supreme Court opening up, with tens of thousands dead in Iraq, with the prospect of a president who acts like a dictator, you better have a better reason than that to abdicate the only real choice you had.

          •  Love your passion, your idealism. (none)
            Come '08, however, I hope to GOD most folks who're talking like you're talking will have sobered up, calmed the fuck down, knocked off the bluster and will be voting with the goddamned party. Otherwise we're all going to have to pack up and move to ... uh, where would you suggest? What country is safe from the long arm of the neocon?

            Is nothing secular?

            by aitchdee on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:57:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Show me the candidate! (4.00)
              I`m simple.  It`s exceptionally easy to get me to vote for you, you have no idea how easy it is.  It`s not my fault that any given person was unable to win it thus far.  My belief set is childlike:

              killing is bad
              hurting is bad
              stealing is bad
              lying is bad
              helping people is good

              I`m not joking.  You can call me stupid if you like, but I live my life this way.  I live my life by judging every event as to how I would feel if I was the "loser" in any given scenario, the person coming out the worst.  I judge a nation by how its "worst" or "lowest" (poorest) citizens live.

              My belief set is that of a child.  Yes, you can even say, a naïve child.  Idealistic?  Yes.  But I don`t want to bend to the system, I want the system to bend to me.  And I will not sacrifice my very basic beliefs for to vote for an asshole, regardless of what CLUB (aka Political Party) they belong to.

              "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

              by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:04:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I once thought like that. Then W happened. n/t (none)

                Is nothing secular?

                by aitchdee on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:11:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nah, that's not what I meant to say. (none)
                  Boy are you right about being childish. Incredibly, unbelievably so. I hope everyone reads your post, because it exemplifies the monstrous self-absorbtion of the Nader (TM) voter. "World bend to me." Your words! After reading this suposedly loftily principled, liberal purist caterwaul of yours, for a second there I honestly felt a pang of sympathy for Rush Limbaugh.

                  Is nothing secular?

                  by aitchdee on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:39:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No (none)
                    Not the "world", the "System".  The "system" bends to the voters who supposedly run it.  And it DOES bend to me, permitting me to vote for whom I choose, rather than me bending to it by voting for a candidate that I do not deem best.

                    And I hope everyone reads my post also, and yours, which demonstrates the monstrous self-absorption of the Kerry (TM) voter, who thinks that they have a universal copyright on opposing right-wing extremism.

                    Show me the copyright.
                    Show me your legal entitlement.
                    Justify the insane, outrageous, audacious, and preposterous arrogance of the Democratic party that dares to claim these things.  Any private club that would seek to claim ownership on such things, such things as concepts and beliefs, by that very act would make itself unworthy of support.

                    "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                    by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:55:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  fine, whatever; you'll never be accused (none)
                      of being a sellout or a team player. You'll never understand that the two are not the same.

                      Enjoy the last days of your prideful ravings; fascism closes in. We could've beat it back, you know, you and me and likeminded folks together.

                      Is nothing secular?

                      by aitchdee on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:38:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Strategic voting (none)
                - is in many ways an overrated strategy.

                But then, there is a feedback loop here. To quote myself from ages ago:

                Nader, by running as a likely spoiler against the only realistic challenger to an incumbent so diametrically opposed to his platform, arguably proved himself unfit for public office. Unlike any given vote, his choice might have altered the outcome, and it thus reflects poorly on his judgment, or character, or both - giving everyone a reason to avoid him.

                Not voting for an asshole, was it?

                •  Hm, one word is off (none)
                  Kerry, by running as a likely spoiler against the only realistic challenger to an incumbent so diametrically opposed to his platform, arguably proved himself unfit for public office. Unlike any given vote, his choice might have altered the outcome, and it thus reflects poorly on his judgment, or character, or both - giving everyone a reason to avoid him.

                  Ah, that`s better.

                  "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                  by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:52:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Good! (none)
                Luckily, neither Gore nor Kerry were assholes.  They were both honorable, good, decent men.  Both had their flaws, but neither was genuinely evil (like George W. Bush, who liked to blow up wild frogs with dynamite as a kid).

                So, did you vote for them?  :-)

              •  "I want the system to bend to me." (none)
                Please send me a postcard when that happens. You'll pardon me, however, if I don't sit by the mailbox waiting.

                No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

                by Shiborg on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:08:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  BULLPUCKY! (none)
            It is my civic duty to cast my vote for the one I see as best.  That was Ralph Nader for President of the United States in 2000 and 2004.  I researched heavily over 20 candidates in 2004, as much information as I could get on as many as possible.  Based on all the information I could obtain, I compared them with my beliefs, philosophies, and politics, and arrived at my choice.  This is what I will do in 2006.  This is what I will do in 2008

            This is BULLSHIT

            If Ralph Nader is a better candidate for someone who wants espose Liberal Democratic values, Ralph Nader should file to run in the Democratic Primary. If you'd think you'd appeal better to a Republican, run in the Republican Primary. Same thing applies to a Perot or an Anderson or a Cobb.  Ralph Nader is too FSCKing scared to run in the Democratic Primary.

            The PRIMARIES are the time to test the candidate who fits your mold best.  The General is about the one member of the two major parties (and face it, we've had Two Major Parties since 1788: The Democrats and the Federalists, then the Democrats and the Whigs, then the Democrats and the Republicans) who's party comes closer to your views.  And your only real choice is Democrat and Republican.  Thats it.  Everyone Else has been an Also-Ran since the self-implosion of the Whigs in 1854.

            We pride ourselves on being 'reality'-based here.  Its time you faced reality.

            We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

            by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:17:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What are you on? (none)
              What in the world does Ralph Nader have to do with the Democratic primary?

              Are you suggesting that PRIVATE CLUBS have obtained full dominant, unbreakable control over the government of the United States of America?

              That sounds quite illegal to me.  I wouldn`t support any group that tried to do that.

              "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

              by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:28:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no, kid. (none)
                I'm saying that if Nader claims to be a 'Better progressive' with 'better ideas' than the nominally Liberal/Progressive party, he should test those ideas within the Liberal/Progressive Party.  Nothing is stopping him from doing so outside his own EGO.

                If this was Europe, a seperate party would work better, where they have a plurality of parties (up to Irsael's 200 or so Political Parties).  The American system, where whoever gets the most, not necessarily 50%-plus-1 votes, FORCES a two party election system

                We don't live in your 'pick the closest man' system.   The closest match is European, Parliamentary  system, which tends toward a shaky government by coalition.  Both have strengths and weaknesses.

                We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

                by ScrewySquirrel on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:41:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  THE liberal/progressive party? (none)
                  I guess you mean the Green Party.
                  I suppose I agree with you there.  Nader should have gotten the Green Party nomination.

                  "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                  by Smyslov on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 06:13:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  this is one of the reasons for Left's problems (none)
            in elections that is.

            I know a couple of extremely idealistic androids... It's always capitalism this and capitalism that and Bush is a moron, and religious right is fascist, blah blah blah.
            They always rant and rave about the faults of the republican party. Technically they and libertarians are to Republicans what greens are to Democrats.

            So what happens in the end? In both 2000 and 2004 they went and voted for Bush. Reason? "Left is evil and socialist"

            Our idealists instead rant and rave and don't vote for the dem nominee. The dem nominee is not pure enough for them and thus does not deserve their vote.

            If that is the case, then you have no right to rant and rave against the Right's full control of our government.

        •  I hate Nader (none)
          Because he is a raving egomaniac and I know this from having dealt with him politcally since the early 1970s. Nader's reputation as a consumer advocate is way overblown, and he turned against democrats during the Carter presidency when Carter refused to do his exact bidding. The Nader qoute "There is no difference between the republican and democratic presidential candiates" was first uttered in 1980, not 2000.

          Nader and his small band of devoted worshippers have done incalculable damage to our country and democracy.

          "We will go to the moon, and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard". President John F. Kennedy, 1962.

          by Ed in Montana on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:01:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps the only good thing to come out of 2000... (none)
            is that Nader was finally and fully discredited. He will long be remembered as the man who handed the election to Bush.

            No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

            by Shiborg on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:12:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ed I agree (none)
            I remember this too...
            Bravo, you hit the nail on the head.

            Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:42:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for my first long thread (none)
          Well, Smyslov, I obviouosly disagree with you.  
          On the other hand, I don't need to tell you to 'go to hell' (as you did me); I'd prefer to rely on the strength of my argument than engage in invective contests.  

          Your argument seems to boil down to "Don't tell me who to vote for, I'll vote for who I want."  and that somehow the system will change.

          I have a couple of comments.  FIrst, obviously, you can vote for whomever you wish.  Vote for a write-in candidate, if you choose.  But if you don't want to be 'told' things (including whom you should vote for) why read messages here?  OK, I've been here a total of 5 days, but I've been 'told' all sorts of things - some of which I agree with, some I disagree with, and some that were just interesting.  

          Second, while systems DO change, I don't think a vote for Nader (or any third party) is likely to make much of a change (at least not such votes by themselves).  

          Third, as I said in the comment that started this thread, I don't think a small but viable Green party would help the cause that Nader holds dear; indeed, I think it would hurt them.  None of the responses I've seen have addressed this issue.

          But thanks to all for my first long thread on Kos

          "When two men agree on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking" - Harry Truman

          by plf515 on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 02:36:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm disappointed in those who voted for Nader (4.00)
      But I reserve my real vitriol for those who voted for Bush.
      •  I don't blame Nader voters..... (4.00)
        it is the people who could of voted but didn't.
        I blame the ones who didn't vote out of laziness or apathy or because they were too selfish to care about anything but themselves.
         I give more respect to passionate Bush or Nader voters then the millions of non-voters who could of made a choice but chose to sit at home and diddle with themselves instead.
        •  Or perhaps people don't (4.00)
          bother to vote because, fair or not, they don't believe that their votes make a difference anyway.  Rather than lamblasting them, why not ask why that perception is so prevalent?  Couldn't have anything to do with one party so corrupt that it would support Alito and another party too craven to take a stand, would it?  If Alito is confirmed without a filibuster, look forward to more Americans sitting out the next elections.
          •  Of course there is an alternative (none)
            explanation:  Maybe the people who didn't vote disliked both candidates.  And frankly, I can't blame them for that.  Even more frankly, I really hated voting for Kerry, because I was pretty damn certain he was not the candidate the Democrats should have fielded.  If we cannot learn that a northeastern liberal senator WILL NOT WIN, then we had better get used to the fascism that is rapidly overtaking us.  
        •  good point (none)
          That is also very troubling, exceedingly so. I think of that often and those people, well I do not understand. And they are often the first ones to complain.

          Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:44:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You have to vote (4.00)
      in the system you have, not the system you want.

      Greg Shenaut

    •  Nadar has given us Roberts and Alito (4.00)
      I'm sorry. We knew that this was going to happen. We told Naderites this was going to happen. Nader will be dead by the time we can get any kind of real balance on the Supreme Court. Wait until you see the shit coming out of this Supreme Court. There isn't an environmental or safety regulation that is off limits with this group of Corporate shrills that we now have on the bench, Whitehouse and legislature.

      Nader has set back the progressive movement by 50 years. Gore would've cut a deal with him to get his support. Hell Nader could've been the head of the USEPA if he wanted it. We wouldn't have had Iraq. We probably wouldn't have had 9/11. No Patriot Act. No Bankruptcy bill. No tax cuts for the rich. No corporate written Prescription drug bill. No spiraling debt. Should I go on? There is an endless litany of things that Bush has done to fuck up this country. Things that are going to take years and years to fix, if we're lucky enough to get a chance to fix them.

      There may be no greater instance of cutting off your nose to spite your face in the history of American politics. I support a progressive agenda, I'm just smart enough to know that you have to play with the hand you were dealt, not the hand you wish you were dealt. Nadar could've found a home in the Democratic party, he would have had allies to bring a progressive agenda forward. He wouldn't have gotten everything he wanted, but hey that's the price of living in a democracy. At least he would've maintained some clout retained some relevance, been able to do some good. So either he was politically naive or he had an ego that just wouldn't let him see the big picture. You make the call.

      •  Ex-fucking-actly (3.60)
        To me, unrepentant Naderites are worse that Republicans.   They should have known better and they voted AGAINST their policy positions out of spite.  

        I will never get over it.

        "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

        by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:44:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah - (none)
          The thing that really bothers you about the Naderites is you know they are smart, they are not knuckle draggers, they are generally selfless, they are good people, not GOP robots.

          It is just that they let their ideals trump reality, or like you said, they voted out of spite. The ironic thing is that Nader would have unbelieveable clout right about now, if he had supported Gore.  

      •  Sometimes you suck it up (4.00)
        JohnnyAppleseed -

        Agreed. Many people here still feel great about that Nader vote. They puff out their chests and remind us that they are standing up for their principles instead of voting for another weak-kneed capitulating Democrat. They pat themselves on the back and hold disdain for those of us who sucked it up and voted for Kerry.

        Did I vote for Kerry because I thought he was a brilliant choice for President? Did I vote for Kerry because I believe in him?

        No.

        I voted for Kerry because I didn't want to see Dubya get four more years. And because I didn't think Bush even deserved a first term. And because I didn't want to see our environmental policies gutted. And I didn't want to see women have to again fight for their right to choose. And I didn't want to see the American Taliban create a stronghold in all three branches of government.

        And most of all, I voted for Kerry because I didn't want Dubya to lead us into an illegal, deceptive war that has resulted in massive casualties on both sides.

        Nader and his supporters can pat themselves on the back for this peculiar brand of activisim that has resulted in 1000s of wartime deaths. The Naderites can feel good about themselves if they want, but the rest of the country continues to pay the price.

      •  Check out an earlier DelawareDem diary (none)
        Where I posted a link to an academic paper that cleary states that an overwhelming majority of Nader voters WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED if he wasn't in the race.  In fact, Al From from the DLC claims that their polling data shows that Al Gore would've LOST if Nader wasn't in the race.

        Clearly...the evidence I've found so far does not support the idea that people who voted for Nader would've voted for Gore in such a way that would've made a difference for Gore.

        •  Are you fucking crazy? (none)
          537 people out of 900,000 in Florida would have, and that's all that matters.  Case closed.  Gore wins.  You're wrong.

          Visit RemoveRepublicans.com and follow every 2006 Senate race.

          by AnthonySF on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:46:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How much of an overwhelming majority? 99%? (4.00)
          Not that it makes much difference, since they were voters who still voted against their best interests. If they stayed at home they would still be partly to blame for giving us Bush.

          Nader got almost 97,000 votes in Florida. Gore lost Florida by 537 votes on the recount and 191 votes on the December 8th ruling. So unless over 99% of the Nader Florida voters would've stayed home, I call bullshit on any study that says something to the contrary. And this doesn't even take into account all the time and resources Gore had to waste in oregon and other places, that would've easily put him over the top in FLA.

          I am sorry, but while they may be my brothers on numerous progressive issues - what Nader and his supporters did was just plain reckless and dumb. A Nader endorsement would've pushed Gore way, way over the top. He wouldn't have had to run back to Oregon and the west coast a million times, he could have focused on Florida. He could have made a splash with the annoucement of a Nader endorsement. It would've given Gore tremendous free media coverage everywhere, it would have given him tremendous momentum coming into election day.

          Nader would have been heralded in the Democratic party. As it is, I used to donate to the Greens, I haven't since 2000, and I never will again. That donated money of mine was more than wasted, it was harmful to my best interests. So for the sake of Nader's ego, the Greens have lost my, and a bunch of other likeminded progressives, support forever.

          You are either part of the reality based community or you are not. Nader and the Greens are not, they don't stand a chance in elections, yet they became willing pawns of the fucking GOP. This President has shown you what the cost of that Green fantasy is: The poor are getting absolutely hammered (I mean fucking hammered), we are involved in yet another illegal war, corporations are running roughshod over everybody, environmental and worker protections are getting rolled back, and a woman's right to choose is hanging on by a thread.

          Let the Naderites feel good about their principled votes, as they see CapitalOne taking someone's pension and home because of a longterm illness to a family member. Let them feel principled as they see the bodies of American service people being shipped home daily in the cargo bays commercial planes. Let them feel principled as Iraq slides into a civil war, with death and destruction at every turn. Let them feel principled as poor American citizens were made to live like animals in New Orleans for a week. Let them feel principled as the NSA spys on American citizens without a warrant. Let them feel principled about their votes as a 16 year old girl in Idaho is forced to have a rapist's baby.

          Actions have consequences. We have been getting the lesson every single day for the last five years. You are either part of the reality based community, or you are not.

          •  Why not... (none)
            I could easily take your post, switch words around, and it`s equally valid.

            If every Gore voter voted for Nader, then Bush wouldn`t have been elected, would he?

            Then again, maybe you can`t force people to join your own personal favourite political club.

            "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

            by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:06:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If it was Nader who had the best shot... (none)
              I would have been supporting him. Just the way I supported Kerry.

              Bush and the GOP are monsters, it is not about getting somebody to join a favorite political club. It is about recognizing the peril that the GOP poses, and doing everything possible to make sure they are defeated. It is about being grounded in reality and knowing that the way to get progressives elected, and progressive causes advanced is through the Democratic party. Don't like the centrist tilt of the party, change it from within. You will find progressive allies in the party.

              As we stand on the precipice of a frightening neofascist theocracy, it should be evident to every progressive that ideals are a luxury that we can't afford anymore.  

              •  I did my part (none)
                I cast my vote for Ralph Nader, whom I perceived to be the superior candidate in those available.  Where were you?

                If the Democratic club wants my votes, it has to put up the best candidate.  That`s all.  It`s very simple.  Why would that be so hard?  Sounds easy enough to me!  If Ralph Nader, without the backing of the oligarchical, arrogant wealth of the Democratic Party can get my vote, how much easier should it be for an entity of such overwhelming, domineering resources and such powerful, forceful, condescending proponents!

                "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:43:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I take it... (none)
                  that the last five years haven't been too bad for you.

                  You must not have lived in New Orleans. Or you must not be poor. Or you must not be in the Army, Marines or Guard. Or you must not have a family member in the Army, Marines or Guard. Or you must not be in a union. Or you must not be on the verge of bankruptcy. Or you must not be a homosexual. Or you must not have kids.

                  The GOP and their corporate bagmen have your best interests at heart, don't worry. Whatayasay we just let the GOP run roughshod over the country for another 10 years. What difference does it make right? Who needs evolution taught in schools anyway. Lets just substitute the State religion class for science class right now. Democrats are no different than Republicans anyway - they'll just erase the separation between Church and State just like the GOP. Who is going to be the first Secretary of Religion - How about Pat Robertson or James Dobson?

                  •  Put up a better candidate (none)
                    Enough said.
                    If the Democratic Party is serious, then they`d better get serious.  They sure as hell didn`t show that with Kerry.
                    I don`t vote AGAINST someone, I vote FOR someone.  Fuck parties, fuck ideology: if the Democrats put up a good candidate, then fine.  If not, then it`s a big fat NO.

                    The Democratic Party better shape up, or ship out.  That`s all I have to say about it.  They`ll learn, or lose in 2006, and lose in 2008, and lose in 2010.  Shape your party up, and maybe you`ll win in 2008.

                    "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                    by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:15:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Upthread - You mention your ideals: (none)
                      <<<My belief set is childlike:</p>

                      killing is bad
                      hurting is bad
                      stealing is bad
                      lying is bad
                      helping people is good>>>

                      I don't get it.

                      For sure these are nobel ideals and I share them, but did you expect Gore to kill and hurt and steal and lie more than Bush has? And seeing what Bush did between 2001 and 2004, did you think that Kerry was going to inflict more death, pain and misery on the world and the US than Bush would?

                      And your ideal may be that 1 death is too many, and that is true, but the reality is that 1 death is better than 100 deaths.

                      And while your ideal may be that any lie is unacceptable, and that is true, the reality is that a lie that results in war and death is far worse than a lie over a blowjob.

                      And how could you possibly expect the GOP to help people more than Democrats, when in the course of my life (35 yrs) there has not been an instance of the GOP helping the poor and working classes, while the Democrats have fought for workers, the environment and the poor. And sure, maybe the Democrats haven't fought hard enough for our liking at times, but for sure they have fought. There is a lesser of two evils. There always is.

                      Upthread I said that Naderites were mostly selfless - do I need to stand corrected on that assumption? If Naderites were selfless, they would care more about the extra deaths and suffering under Bush, than they would about some ideals. An ideal is great until it meets reality.

                      •  I do care about deaths (none)
                        More than anything.
                        And I voted for the person I thought who would do the most to stop the deaths of human beings.  You want me to give in and vote for someone I don`t think is best?  Well, why didn`t you give in and vote for someone else?  Why do you expect me to do it?
                        These two parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, thinking they own the United States.  Acting like it`s either support their hegemony, or you`re some kind of traitor to their particular two-sided political ideology.  The sheer arrogance.  Look at what people are saying on this thread.  Look what they say everywhere.  Blaming everyone but themselves, wanting to shove off responsibility for what goes wrong on everybody and everything they can see except themselves.
                        I`ve had enough of it, and I won`t endorse that kind of behaviour, or support it.  If this is what the Democratic Party has to offer, I`m glad I`ve never voted for one of its candidates, and what is being said here has virtually guaranteed I won`t vote for any Democrats this fall.  I had been talking about how there were certain candidates that the Democrats could put up that might make me vote for a Democratic President in 2008 (Kucinich, Boxer), but if this is what`s it`s all about, then I want no part of it.

                        Instead of convincing voters to look at your party favourably, you do the exact opposite.  Bullying, threats, dire warnings.  "Vote for me or else".  "It`s your fault people died because you didn`t vote HOW I THINK YOU SHOULD."  Well, that doesn`t sound all that great of a persuasive argument to me.

                        "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

                        by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:18:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I Love Kucinich, Boxer and Feingold (none)
                          Recognize this - it is not bullying, it is trying to find understanding. We share beliefs or ideals, there is common ground between us - it just may be that we never inhabit it at the same time.

                          And the level of angst at over how BushCo has governed is the reason that Naderites encounter hostility. Am I proud of that of displaying some of this hostility - absolutely not. Bush is causing so much pain and  suffering, it drives one crazy sometimes.

                          And for certain, I am not always happy with Democrats. Sometimes they do act as republican-lite, there is no denying that. However, any Democrat is still better than today's Republican. Today's Republican majorities were built largely on the closet racism of the "Southern Strategy". This is what we are fighting against, a battle that we thought we had won and was over long ago, we are fighting again.

                          And if you have ideas about advancing progressive causes, in reality, it can't happen unless it happens through the Democrats. The two party system may suck - but it is what we have to work with and I think we have to be pragmatic about using the system we have to the best of our ability. Think about how great it would be to have Kucinich being the Chairman of Ways and Means - Do you think there would ever be another give away tax cut for the rich under his Chairmanship?

                          I don't think it can be argued that we would've had less human suffering across the globe if either Gore (especially Gore) or Kerry had defeated Bush. It just wouldn't have happened. These are not warnings - it has happened. Torture in our names, death and destruction in our names.

                          You will vote the way your conscience tells you, and I will vote the way my conscience tells me. I would just argue again that 1 death is better than 100 deaths. I would love to get rid of that 1 death, but since that is an impossibility, I'll settle for getting rid of the other 99.

                          Further I would argue that now is not the time to try and change the system. When there are Democratic majorities, or at least some kind of Democratic check on run away GOP power - that is the time. Want to vote Nader in 2012 after Feingold is sitting for 4 years, and the Dems control either the House and Senate - fine. Try and change the system it can use it.

                        •  How is this (none)
                          vote for me or the country will invade the mid-east resulting in the deaths of thousands.

                          Your vote actually made it more likely.

                    •  Reminds me of a joke epitaph I once heard: (none)
                      Here lies the body of Luther Gray,
                      Who died maintaining his right-of-way.
                      He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
                      But he's just as dead as if he'd been dead wrong.

                      No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

                      by Shiborg on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:21:44 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Some folks just don't get it (none)
                    Let's see...it's bad that Bush took us to war in Iraq.  It's so bad that we nominated Kerry to run against him.  But Kerry supported the war and said he would not withdraw the troops if elected.

                    Bush did not support gay marriage.  Kerry did not support gay marriage.

                    Bush opposed abortion, and stands as a threat to appoint justices who might overturn Roe.  Can you tell me where Kerry came out as forthrightly committed to appointing justices who would sustain Roe?  I really can't find much that he said about abortion or Roe on the campaign trail.

                    Bush lost millions of jobs with his economic and trade policies.  Of course, much of that trade policy was built on the trade policies of the Clinton administration (NAFTA, WTO, etc.) which killed off much of the manufacturing base of the Midwest.  Kerry couldn't articulate a plan to get us back to a trade policy that would help restore our economy.

                    But OK...let's assume your point is correct for the moment.  Let's assume that a Kerry administration would have been better in these areas that you mention.  If that is the case, then Kerry will be the leader of the party and take up the filibuster against Alito.

                    After all, Alito is the vote that will likely overturn Roe along with many other hard won rights, especially those workers' rights that the unions fought for (remember when the Democrats used to support the unions).  If Kerry is soooo much different than Bush, and if Kerry is soooo committed to protecting our rights, let's see him take the lead on the filibuster.

                    He won't...he lacks the balls to do it.  He lacked the balls to stand up with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and oppose the certification of Florida's vote back in 2001.  

                    For that matter, there were NO senators who would stand with those caucus members.  Not a one.

                    Maybe that's the problem...there's no fight left in this party.

                •  Nader was a terrible candidate. (none)
                  He went around claiming that there was no difference between Bush and Gore.

                  That was a dangerously insane lie.  There was a huge and obvious difference: environmental policy.  Gore was great on it, Bush was appalling.

                  And Nader was nominated by the GREEN Party, of all things.  Deeply offensive.

        •  Please (none)
          Let someone take responsibility for the results of their Nader vote RATHER THAN CLAIMING THAT IT DIDN'T MATTER!!!!!!!!

          "We will go to the moon, and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard". President John F. Kennedy, 1962.

          by Ed in Montana on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:09:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you look at the exit polls in 2000 (none)
          you quickly realize that this is pure bullshit.

          In addition to costing Gore Florida, he also cost him New Hampshire, and made other states close fights that otherwise wouldn't have been.

      •  It was Nader's ego........ (none)
        that just wouldn't let him see the big picture.

        If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

        by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:36:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe you're the one not seeing the big picture (none)
          A vote for Nader was a strategic vote.  It was a vote telling the Democraps to shape up or ship out.  

          Gore would have been preferable to Bush, yes, undoubtedly.  The best thing that ever happened to John Kerry and the Democraps was losing; a win would have meant they inherited the mess Bush created and taken the blame.  

          At any rate, it's pretty said that we live in a country where we're supposed to vote AGAINST the Repukes rather than FOR the best candidate.

          The Repuke-lite Democrap comments here energize me to vote third party in '08.  If the Democraps continue to pursue LOSER, un-American, capitulating, pantywaist strategies, screw 'em.  Let the Repukes destroy us so that we can learn our lessons and build anew.  

          In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

          by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:11:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A strategic vote?? (4.00)
            Oh good lord.  I'm sorry, but I do not understand your logic here.

            If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

            by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:33:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  537 Strategic votes in Florida (4.00)
            Cost the progressive movement 50 years. And it could be worse. BushCo peels back Social Security, and its like we've time warped back to 1935.

            Can't you guys see how bad it is? A tidal wave of anti-women, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-environment views that were only a short time ago relegated to fringe hate groups, are being spun out in the ether as mainstream ideas.

          •  Great (4.00)
            The nearly 200,000 dead in Iraq have definitely got the message. Try sending the dems an email next time, rather than supporting an egomaniac.

            "We will go to the moon, and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard". President John F. Kennedy, 1962.

            by Ed in Montana on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:12:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What are you talking about?? (none)
            What the hell?
            I voted for Ralph Nader.  What does he have to do with Democrats?  What in the world???  I fail to see the connection.

            "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

            by Smyslov on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:20:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry, but (none)
            there's no way that losing to Bush in 2004 was the best thing to happen to anyone other than the far right.  If it's all about ideological purity and all that, why should we prioritize letting Bush be the one to lay in the bed he soiled rather than getting a Democratic president in there to start cleaning things up?

            I agree with you on the idea that we should be able to vote for X instead of against Y, but that's the way it is right now.  Nader had no realistic chance.  A vote for Nader in a swing state was a vote for Bush.  Who cares about what percentage of those people wouldn't have voted anyway when a small, small percentage would have swung it beyond the cheating threshold in places like Florida?

            Until we have something like instant-runoff voting, there's no way voting for a third-party candidate over the Democrat in a swing state/race (assuming each candidate represents their party, I know there are exceptions) does any good for anyone left of center.

            Oh, and the "Democraps" aren't pursuing un-American policies, they're being dragged along for the ride, like every other American.  If we had the Senate and/or House, we could have ameliorated or prevented a lot of the damage.  If we had the presidency, we could veto (real vetos, not the backdoor vetos Bush has been doing).  Are the 55 Republican votes enough to get past a veto?

            Also, how can we rebuild if we are destroyed?  Is a vote for one's own destruction ever strategic?

            Jumping on the politicalcompass.org bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

            by someone else on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:42:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  this is wrong (none)
            The best thing that ever happened to John Kerry and the Democraps was losing; a win would have meant they inherited the mess Bush created and taken the blame.

            well, i'll be sure and pass that memo on to all the women, minorities, homosexuals, poor people, iraqis that have had their lives taken out to the woodshed by the bush administrations.

            'cause i think they might disagree with that.

            there is no way on earth that a kerry administration could have made things worse for people. none.

            -7.50, -5.79
            There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

            by girlfromsouth on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 10:19:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Johnny Appleseed (none)
        Applause!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I tip my hat to you...you said it well.

        Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:47:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm saving up my suggestions for after the mess (4.00)
    The next histobobsto diary special will feature my plan to right (uh...left?) the horrible injustice of (fill in the blank).  Just one hint for now- it will involve bacon. Death by bacon. Just think about that for now.  

    PS- And ham.

    PPS- I'm gonna call my Senator tomorrow morning (Mike DeWine). What I'm going to call him is still up in the air. Your ideas are welcome!

    "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

    by histopresto on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:31:33 PM PST

  •  They should filibuster (3.84)
    Alito would never have been nominated by anjy prior President (not even Reagan).  The only reason he was nominated was as a sop to the most extreme elements of the right wing of the GOP.  His views of the Constitution as a document that enhances Presidential power and diminishes Congressional power will cause serious harm to our country.  Individual rights, the environment, and the ability to check executive authority will all be placed at risk.  His confirmation to a seat on the Supreme Court is too important a matter to play tactical political games about.

    Besides which, don't you think the great unwashed apolitical middle would respect Dems for showing a spine for once?  I do.

    "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

    by Steven D on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:33:00 PM PST

    •  Maybe (none)
      But I just don't feel it yet.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:35:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe you'll care about it (4.00)
        when the Supreme Court rules that Congress has no authority to legislate environmental protections and overturns the Clean Air act, etc.  Or when they rule that warrantless eavesdropping and the disclosure of your personal financial and medical records are perfectly acceptable.

        By then it will be too late, however.

        "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

        by Steven D on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:41:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or when they declare you a non-citizen (4.00)
          So you'll have no recourse to Constitutional rights (at least in right-wing reasoning).

          Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

          by mataliandy on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:12:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  this assumes we will ... (4.00)
          never ever win the presidency again! If the president is all powerful, then s/he can reverse the bad, support the good, change the voting system, all without congressional approval.

          I overstate, I know - our dictator is only marginally better than their dictator - but the congress is likely to turn this November if we do our footwork. Impeachment will not be far behind, and the presidency not far behind that.

          That's why the most important task right NOW is to be sure that the next election is free and fair in EVERY precinct - every voting machine with an auditable paper trail, automatic audits, and non-proprietary software. And no more talking to the echo chamber - face to face precinct work is key to changing minds, getting the vote out, and preventing their dirty tricks.

          Good strategists,lawyers, and politicians figure out how to use the context to advance their positions.

          If the president gets all powers, then when we have a Democratic president (and we will!), then the tables are turned, supreme court or not. (Then watch Rethugs cry for checks and ballances!)

          Remember even FDR got the supreme court to stop vetoing all his economic recovery policies...

          And if the election is stolen again, we just have to get in the streets and fill the prisons and... whatever it takes.

          •  'Course we won't! (none)
            Think about it -- Alito is there in order to uphold the logic in Bush v. Gore, which is "The counting of votes must stop as soon as the Republican is ahead".

            We're not setting up for the next election.  We're positioning ourselves for the revolution.

      •  The sense I get (4.00)
        when I step out of the liberal bubble (aka, utopia, and where I wish we all actually lived), is that the "unwashed masses," the apolitical amongst us, will not respect the Democrats for filibustering.  They watch Fox news (many, many "apolitical" people watch it because it's entertaining or whatever such nonsense - they're APOLITICAL, they don't get that it's a Republican tool).  

        What they'll hear is "whiny, spoiled, selfish, powerless Dems threw a temper tantrum because they lost the 2004 election.  Well, guess what?  They lost. Nanananana."  And they'll agree.  

        A filibuster without a smoking gun (as DD says) only looks like a brave, spinish thing to do because you're part of the choir here.  The same event will be perceived by the majority of apolitical Americans as a tantrum or a cynical power play.  As obstructionism.  And while obstructionist=good here, obstructionist=infantile elsewhere in reality.  

        Alito didn't okay Abu Ghraib, manufacture fake intel to get us into war, or anything that would shock the average American.  And the big drama, to the unwashed masses' collective minds, comes from the Dems hopping up and down and refusing to play nice with the victors, who are entitled to their spoils.

        And I'm sure many of the apolitical masses will be shocked, shocked I tell you when their teenage daughter gets pregnant and there is no abortion available.  When they realize they need emergency contraception that is no longer available (no privacy right to it).  In fact, I doubt we're going back to a pre-Griswold era, we're going someplace more shocking.  Forget about denying single people access to birth control.  The fundies want to deny MARRIED people access to it, and to abortions.  Marriage is a sacrament, god wants us to procreate, birth control is off limits to married folks.  And so on.

        Anyway, the point is that no apolitical American sees a bleak future like this.  And if you think they'll stand in solidarity and applaud Dems' "strong stand" against Alito, will believe a filibuster is a sign of strength, it's time to step out of the bubble.

        -5.88, -6.31 | Can money pay for all the days I lived awake/ But half asleep?

        by milton333 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:26:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The media is against us (4.00)
          We can't ever do jack shit because the media will criticize us?
          •  This is the point: we make our own news (4.00)
            not let the media twist everything.

            If the Dems are constantly outspoken and grouped en masse (well, generally) on most topics concerning the country and BushCo's damaging corruption, enough truth will inevitably spill out from the standardized traditional media spin.

            Keeping a low profile, only to pounce on special occassions, makes us a sitting duck to the Press.

            This is very simple.  We show what we believe in at all times, and back it up with action.  We ignore the press and talk to people directly, in town halls and through local press.  Eventually, more of our messages will filter through than the national, traditional media can catch and spin.

            I respect DD's opinion, but it sounds more like fatigue and possible depression than sound political advice.  We're not politicians or political advisors: we are Dems, Greens, Independents, principled Republicans, etc.  We're the voters, and we have voices to be heard.  The Dem representatives should be amplifying our words in their best manner of rolling up consensus ideas, at all times, in all places where they can be heard and make a difference.

        •  If you believe that a jurist should (4.00)
          have integrity then all measures including the filibuster should be used in trying to stop the Alito Nomination. The man is a liar. He lied in regards to Vanguard and he has lied in regards to CAP. This guy obviously has an integrity deficit. If he was in favor of all I believe in I would say you must do everything to stop his nomination. It is time to call out liars and fight against them at every turn. I do not care what party they belong to. Politics would be musch more interesting if we could get rid of liars.

          They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve to be known as Republicans

          by Jlukes on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:16:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Media (none)
          They'll say the same thing if even one Democrat votes against Alito -- that's the way the RWNM works.  Filibuster will not get any worse press than a simple no vote!

          And if Democrats don't stand up and filibuster, they'll be tarred as having their "fingers to the wind", as not standing for anything, etc.  Possibly at the same time as being called "obstructionist"!

          The thing is that there's no gain from not filibustering.  There would have been 10 years ago, but in the current situation there is nothing to lose.

      •  Nothing personal, but >this< is the problem (none)
        Dems need to realize that they can lead public perception.  

        Just because we can, that doesn't mean we should.

        by Simplify on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:42:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bork (none)
      Reagan nominated Bork. You don't think he would nominate Strip Search Sammy Borkalito?

      "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

      by molly bloom on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:56:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If it makes you feel better... (none)
    ...i do the same thing.  I like dKos for its variety of news, and in these kind of weeks the focus is far too sharp, biting, and, sadly, quite sad.  The fact is Alito will make it, and our country's gov't will cease to exist as a republic with 3 equal branches.  I guess i'm just avoiding the agony of defeat.

    We were promised a democracy, sold an oligarchy, and ended up with a kakistocracy...

    by topicalstorm on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:35:16 PM PST

    •  It is attitudes like this.... (4.00)
      that help us to LOSE every time!

      Absolutely ridiculous! Stand up and fight! Don't lay down!

      •  Come on....realism needed here (4.00)
        IF bush was able to nominate only one judge, then YES, we filibuster Alito.  but in reality, what does a Alito filibuster give us?  I'll tell you--a Janice Rodgers-Brown, or Mike Luttig, or Ted Olsen, or...

        So we defeat this guy, and pay a heavy political price.  Next up.....Rodgers-Brown, an Alito-Lite.  NOw what?  She could stand up on the podium and PROMISE to overturn Roe, and we couldn't filibuster two in a row...

        my point?  bush is going to continue to nominate extremists, one after another.  if not alito, we'll get his clone...then what?  

        We were promised a democracy, sold an oligarchy, and ended up with a kakistocracy...

        by topicalstorm on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:54:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here, (none)
      ...use my gun.

      Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
      (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

      by sagesource on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:28:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you (3.83)
    It irrates me when someone says they will vote Green if Hilary is the 08 nominee. I think, "fine, go ahead, it's your right to do so, but please dont come here in 2009, and complain about President Sam Brownback's selection of Janice Rogers Brown to the SCOTUS."

    As if the CIA leak case wasnt complicated enough, now it turns out there are 2 reporters named 'Novak' involved -Maureen Dowd(paraphrased)

    by jj32 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:35:23 PM PST

    •  There's the real meta .. (none)
      I was about to post the same thing, in a slightly different way.

      Yes, the SCOTUS is important, but ultimately, it is the makeup of Congress that is MOST important, even more so than POTUS.

      Congress ultimately FUNDS everything.
      And that is what makes government go.

      No matter what the SCOTUS or POTUS do.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:50:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You Are Assuming (none)
      by then that there will actually be anything like a free and fair election, or a free media, or, for that matter, a viable Democratic party.  I think there are a lot of Dems who are looking at the leadership and asking the question:  where is the line in the sand?  At what point of Constitutional destruction will our leadership act as if we really are in a Constitutional crisis?  When do they actually stand up and say "no more?"  Half the time, it seems like they are waiting for the Republican moderates to call "enough" on their own party.  Well, it's happened maybe once or twice, but never on the stuff that really actually matters.  Time and again, all I see is moving the line further and further back, like a kid being bullied who says "you don't scare me" but retreats and never throws a punch.  

        I went and worked for Kerry on election day.  I gave money, I put up signs.  Now I have to ask why?  What, exactly, am I getting in return for my support now that the chips are down?  I'll tell you what:  nada.  I'd vote for McCain over Hillary Clinton right now, because at least McCain stood up on torture and tried to do something about it instead of waiting to see which way the wind was blowing before making a safe statement.  Democratic leadership - isn't that a contradiction in terms, with the rare exception of Reid and Dean?

      "You know you have created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you hate."

      by md jeffersonian on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:59:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think there were many Dems (none)
        against torture, who publicly said it. Keep in mind McCain is a member of the majority party, so he has more power than any Democrats. and IIRC every Democrat voted for his piece of legislation. Again, vote McCain, vote Green, vote whatever, but I would was just thinking 2000 might have taught us some lessons. Also, Russ Feingold was the first to call for an Iraq timetable, and was the lone "Nay" against the Patriot Act.

        As if the CIA leak case wasnt complicated enough, now it turns out there are 2 reporters named 'Novak' involved -Maureen Dowd(paraphrased)

        by jj32 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:29:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hillary (none)
      Seriously, could you really vote for Hillary if the other party came up with someone even remotely decent-seeming?  I doubt it.  She just isn't presidential material.  I'm surprised anyone elected her to Congress.  I am no Republican.  I am no longer a Democrat after Bill Clinton.  I am registered non-Partisan.

      We need to clean up BOTH parties and get public financing of election campaigns.  Then, maybe, we will get a decent candidate that one can vote for without plugging one's nose.

  •  I think a filibuster will be good for the Dems (4.00)
    it will show that they have some coherence and that they are willing to stand up for something. Right now that is what everyone says about them...that they lack the strength of their convictions.

    If they filibuster noone can say that anymore.

    Face it, we are being creamed in the MSM for being to timid with our causes.

    Politically a filibuster is a win-win.

    Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

    by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:35:38 PM PST

  •  One FP post (none)
    this morning, about Leahy today.

    And if you saw it, you would not have written that in your post.

    Sorry, you must not have seen it. If you did, and still have a problem, then your political acuity is not what I think it is.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:36:51 PM PST

    •  Summarize or link please. (none)
      Or is it still up?

      Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

      by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:41:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh here we go.... (4.00)
      Yes, Armando, I am talking about this comment:

      <div class="blockquote">Senator Leahy has done a disservice to Democrats. If he did not have the stomach for the fight, he should have let someone else lead the fight. I can not express how angry I am at Senator Leahy. He is not up to the challenge. He just was not up to the job. He has failed us. </div>

      Now, I am not attacking you, hence why I did not single you out by name.  Indeed, you have done a spectactular job in covering these proceedings and in investigating Scalito.   Your analysis is superb.  

      But your sentiments above echoed many others.

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:44:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Echoed (none)
        Indeed, but that others shared my view does not make it an "activist's" view.

        MY argument was purely political.

        Leahy should not have done POLITICAL harm to the efforts. He did in my view.

        Thus my comment. It is why I object to its inclusion in your crtique.

        I did not take you to mean that the coverage of the issue was problematic but exactly what you intended.

        I object to your intended meaning.

        Nothing personal in our dispute. I think my point was made on substance, not personalities.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:45:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Have to agree entirely (3.25)
    I was going to write my own diary, basically begging ppl to chill out, but you did a better job than I could. There are seriously people wondering if their ancestors were right in founding America. It's like we've never had a crummy president before, or a conservative SCOTUS. And it does no good whatsoever to spend our entire political capital on trying to change the subject to Alito through a filibuster that will get broken anyway, when in reality most Americans are going to be talking about Angelina Jolie's pregnancy by next Thursday whether we filibuster or not.

    Breathe, and keep in mind: 10 months to the midterms. 6 seats in the Senate. It can be done, but not if we dash our political capital and make ourselves seem more petty and vitriolic than the Party of Abramoff.

    •  I get my fingers in my ears, humming away (3.50)
      ignoring your negativity and fear.  I did not wonder whether MY ancestors were right in founding America.  I wondered where OUR ancestors' spirit and balls went when we go whimpering into the corner, because the big, bad republicans, who are all afraid of their own shadows, talk mean about us on the teevee.

      Win or lose, we CANNOT go down without a fight.

      Filibuster.

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

      by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:14:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thinking ahead and (none)
        considering strategy and odds of success and ramifications does NOT equal "whimpering in the corner".

        Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

        by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:20:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have been thinking ahead for 5 years (none)
          and being cowards about standing up to this tyrant.  It's time.

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

          by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:27:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really (3.50)
            because I'd say the Democrats have actually done a pretty good job as a minority party. Social Security, Bolton, Harry Reid. On a number of issues the Democratic minority has been very effective.

            A filibuster can't be based on just the desire to finally fight about something. Ignoring strategy is just foolish.

            If Dems cant' get a favorable whip count, then a filibuster doesn't make sense.

            Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

            by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:31:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I respect Reid and what he's done (4.00)
              and I don't care if they lose.  I care that they fight. Americans call us wimps, and if we let this man on the court without a fight, even a losing fight, then they are correct.  

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

              by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:53:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  even if losing would damage the party? (4.00)
                Even if losing would harm efforts in the midterms? Even if losing would make continued Republican rule more likely?

                The way I see it, all of those have to at least be considered as a possibility.

                And if those are the outcomes, is it still worth it?

                Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

                by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:56:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How is it going to damage the party? Your (4.00)
                  position is what is damaging the party. Either something is worth fighting for or not. I am sick and tired of your idea of fighting for what we believe in. You give all you got and if you lose you lose but make no mistake people will respect you. Your way has led us down this path where people are always asking "what do the Democrats stand for?" and saying "the democrats are a bunch of wimps". You want to know something? If we keep doing what you want they will be right. People respect people who stand up for their values.

                  They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve to be known as Republicans

                  by Jlukes on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:26:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Usually, I agree with you ... (4.00)
                  AAB, but sometimes I think we spend too much time worrying about whether something will damage the Party while huge damage is happening to the nation. I agree that if it appears a filibuster can't be sustained, it shouldn't be tried. But I'm not certain that's true at this stage. As for whether this gets turned into a "Democrats are obstructionists" theme, well, geez, right now the Dems are accused of making a poor wife cry, something they didn't even do. That could be just as effective at scotching votes come November as a procedural action that MIGHT keep Alito off the Court.
                •  you two have hit the nail (none)
                  I think what the two of you have just done is, in a very brief summation, taken the two opposing paths/arguments, and crystalized the issue to the two logical ends.  There is no way to scientifically know which one of you is right, so we are stuck trying to conjecture and take the path that we guess best about.  

                  It is an issue of how to best impress the Demo brand upon the Distracted Millions . . . should we show them that we are fighters/NotWimps, or that we are MaturePlayers/NotEelitist irritants?  Who can know how it would play out in the media and the country?  We don't know and this thread is full of good arguments for either direction.

                  I wish I had a wise distillation or position but I don't.  I am merely reminded that sometimes argumentation leads not to resolution but to a clean distillation of the differences.  Which, at the very least, lays the issue out there starkly for the rest of us to think hard about.

                  •  The best argument (none)
                    We tried "We're mature" starting after the 2000 elections.  It has gotten us nothing.

                    "We're fighters" has gotten us a few small victories.

                    Meanwhile, "We're fighters" has gotten the Republicans huge victories, even when they advertise their immaturity all over the place.

                    So it's clear which is right.

                •  It won't and it can't damage the party. (none)
                  That's the political reality; wake up to it.
                •  principle (none)
                  or image.  i am much more concerned with principles.  this preoccupation with image is precisely why many have no faith in the party.  this should be obvious.
                  •  not about a preoccupation with image (none)
                    it's about a preoccupation with fights you can WIN.

                    This fight is impossible.  There IS NO WINNING THIS FIGHT.

                    You want fights you COULD have won?

                    1. Getting somebody besides Kerry in the primaries.

                    2. Actually talking about the Diebold election theft.

                    3. Contesting every district.

                    4. Voting against the War in Iraq, and taking Bush to task for it.

                    Blocking the Supreme Court nominee is not a fight we can win.  It's a foregone conclusion.  People's energy would have been better used around election time, and can be better used today by concentrating on ABRAMOFF and ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING--Not Alito.
                    •  i believe (none)
                      a consolidated message about alito's incompetence and ethical lapses could sustain a filibuster.  if the nuclear option is subsequently deployed, then we have yet another argument about republican abuses of power.  i say mount the filibuster.  parlay everything and go for broke; the republicans will then be forced to do the same.
                      •  and if they do? (none)
                        then you have Alito on the court and yet one more in a long list of republican abuses.

                        And it's not entirely clear that Democrats will look better for having fought the battle, as opposed to other possible battles on Iraq or the imperial presidency.

                        Meanwhile, Alito--and only Alito--stays in the news for two whole months while every other scandal withers on the vine.

            •  Bolton? (none)
              I don't follow.  Could you explain?
    •  This guy could be on the court (4.00)
      For the majority of the rest of your life. We have had hardline conservate courts in the past, but not since the creation of the modern welfare state under FDR. Not since the civil rights movement and not since the advent of abortion.

      Enviornmentalism
      Civil Rights
      Right to Choose
      Union Rights
      Habeus Corpus for god's sake.
      Division of Powers

      This may well be tilting at windmills, but if we're going to sit this out in the hope of making incremental progress in the fall we're missing the forest for the trees. What exactly are we keeping our powder dry for?

      Its like my grandmother who kept plastic on her furniture in preparation for "special" events that never came.

      To hesitate to filibuster in the face of the nuclear option is to make the filibuster moot.

      We need to try, and if need be fail. As long as we get up tomorrow to do the same damn thing all over again we lose nothing.

      To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. - Mark Twain

      by Windowdog on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:33:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Total nonsense. (none)
      Worrying about "political capital" while Bush is installing his dictatorship is completely deranged.

      We lose nothing by filibustering.  They will make the same attacks, with the same media support, and the same lies, and get the same amount of response, if we don't.

      Remember the fact that Bush has decided he can ignore the laws passed by Congress -- with the Supreme Court agreeing with him, electing Senators makes no difference.

      You've also forgotten about the rampant election fraud; focusing on old-school political campaigning is a stupid last-century thing to do.

      •  you lose alot by filibustering (none)
        filibuster alito, and illegal wiretaps and the Abramoff scandal leave the news cycle.

        Permanently.

        And then what do you get?  Either Alito passes, or he doesn't and Bush nominates another fascist.  I'm not even going to get into the obstructionist meme.

        What in all holy hell do you hope to accomplish by a filibuster??  A fascist WILL get on this court, whether its name is Sam Alito or Janice Rogers Brown.  This battle was lost in 2004.

    •  Slight problem... (none)
      Those elections you are waiting for... they are vulnerable to rigging.  The results can't be trusted.  We aren't protected from undetectable vote tampering by computer.  It isn't a guess, or a bias.  It has been proven that some of the machines used in elections now are subject to tampering.  Not just a little.  Not just too small a percentage to change the outcome.  Any outcome desired can be achieved.
  •  Be an activist just this once, please (4.00)
    Call his excellency Lord Biden and his silent partner Tom Carper and ask them please, please for the sake of the Republic, could they see it in their commitment to the Constitution of this country to STAND UP AND FILIBUSTER ALITO's nomination.  Kindly, please.
  •  Another point (4.00)
    if we are successful, I think Bush will get a more moderat nominee. He doesn't like his nominees being trashed.....I think the more spine we show the more chips we have in additional fights.

    As to your point about not getting any repubs to go along with it....what about the Mainers? What about other pro-choice repubs?

    It's possible if they work for it. Judge Alito has a HUGE long record, and a negative one at that..this hearing was just for show.

    Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

    by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:40:24 PM PST

    •  Don't agree (none)
      I think it will just make him swing harder by complaining louder.
      •  That doesn't fly (4.00)
        with his record as governor, nor as President. He's a bully, bullies are taken aback when they are stood up to. Alito is a gift the the ultra-conservative right, after what they did to Miers.....Get it? The man will take you for granted unless you show some fight.

        Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

        by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:10:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Another example (4.00)
        After the near-filibuster and the actions of the "gang of 14" during the Owens hearings, Bush actually met with Democrats before choosing Roberts.

        That would have never happened. Bush is running scared now....but he pich Alito because he is more scared of the right than of te left.

        We need some bluster: we need to show tat we are capable of fighting, even if we don't win. So tat in the back of his mind, Bush will know that if he missteps Dems will be there to pounce on him.

        Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

        by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:23:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The thing that bugs me... (4.00)
      is that Alito was Bush's second choice. Harriet Miers was the first one!!!!!!! The hopelessly sycophantic exclamation-point saleslady wasn't good enough for the knuckle-dragging fascists, so the evasive, subject-changing monarchist Alito is what got dredged up instead.

      As the second choice of the man who said to one of his appointees, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." Given the caliber of Bush's nominations so far (Roberts was clearly the exception that proves the rule), I'm inclined to distrust every last one of them, even if they appear to be qualified.

      Looks can be deceiving, especially when you're only looking at crocodile tears on the sidelines, rather than the main event. Filibuster every last goddamn one of Bush's appointees. The man wouldn't know competent if it came up and bit him in the ass.

      ~~~~~~~
      Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain

      Blogesque

      by OhioLen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:19:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good Advice (4.00)
     "Oppose, but don't let go of reality."  Always good advice.  But sometimes I just want to hug all the people who DO let go of reality (like you, I can't) because I know that sometimes the people who DO let go of the reality that I believe exists, make a difference in the world.

    On the other hand, I completely understand you wanting to stay away during times like these because sometimes I just want to slap people who won't let go of something (or keep posting spam impeach e-mails in every thread).  

    •  Reality? (none)
      The impeach Bush posts are a reflection of reality.  He deserves impeachment.  He has broken his oath of office several times and just runs roughshod over the Constitution.

      He should be impeached.  I don't know why all these idiots in Congress haven't already set the hearings.

  •  Exactly. (3.62)
    Is Alito unqualified?  No.

    Is he unethical?  No.

    Has he made any grossly unjustifiable decision?  No.

    Is he independent enough from the Republican machine?  That I don't have enough information to say.

    But I don't think I see any reason to filibuster the guy.  Vote against him, sure.  But losing elections has consequences, and Supreme Court justices you'd rather not have are one of them.  It's a fight we can't win.  Just let it go.

    •  I strongly disagree. (4.00)
      Is he sufficiently credentialed?  Yes.

      Is his conduct on the bench sufficiently in conformity with judicial ethics?  Yes.

      Does he sufficiently understand and respect the judiciary's role as the last bulwark of our freedoms?  No.

      Is 2 out of 3 good enough?  No.

      A filibuster is appropriate based on a nominees views.  If the Dems don't try to sink him, they'll never sink anyone.  

      I would not recommend a filibuster on Roe, because that is a can of worms that will sink us in the future.  but I would recommend a filibuster on Alito's failure to understand the role of the S.Ct.  

    •  We filibuster (none)
      because he won't give minorities, women and the weak among us a fair shake.  And because King George, Mr. 38%, nominated him.

      Simple.

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

      by adigal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:17:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alito lied. (4.00)
      He lied about CAP and he lied about Vanguard...and he refused to answer any questions. Period.

      He doesn't deserve confirmation because he lied. Period. But in addition to lying....he's an extremist....and lying extremists don't belong on the court....not in O'Connor's spot. They can replace the other lying extremists...Thomas and Scalia....

    •  His past endorsement of a 'unitary executive' ... (4.00)
      is enough, in the current context, to keep him off the court.

      No other reason is needed.

      Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

      by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:10:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  DD (4.00)
    this is the best version I've read, far better than the SYFPH approach because it doesn't destroy a need for alliance and some recognition of that fact, but instead is what you want, a strategy discussion, but one that understands an activist mindset, and I think, why we need some people to have that mindset.

    I had not read your september diary, so I'll comment one one aspect here.

    You say because NARAL has endorsed a Republican... "Thus NARAL and I, and people like me (for example, Kos) are in conflict and thus no longer allies.  Indeed, we may in fact be enemies even though we share the pro-choice opinion."

    I think that's very short sighted. Democrats appear partisan and Republicans get a few points every election off of this reputation, that Democrats just want Democrats to win, whatever their philosophy, meaning, there is no philosophy (which I don't believe).

    NARAL, by endorsing a Republican affects it's own reputation, and credibility.  Credibility is what Democrats need... a man with enough credibility can explain why you can vote for something and vote against a slightly different version.

    The tactic of being able to appreciate the best of your opponents is a long range strategy understood by neither the partisan political junkies NOR the activists.

    too bad for both parties.

    •  Well, I do not want to rehash (none)
      the whole NARAL thing here because specifically it is irrelevant to this diary.  

      But to address one point, Republicans only appear bipartisan when single issue groups like NARAL make them so.   You will never see a Pro-Life group publicly champion Harry Reid like NARAL champions Chafee.  Trust me.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:24:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed... on the topic (none)
        but I respect a NARAL more than a pro-life group, and even respect the NRA more than a pro-life group that would never support a pro-life Democrat.

        they are not really an issue group if they are actually just a Republican group.

        but I won't divert the point too much in this diary... and I did appreciate the way you put your point very much.  I have not read the other comments but look forward to finding out how others took it.

        cheers.

  •  Uhhh, (4.00)
    If Specter, Snowe, Collins, and above all Chafee vote for this guy, they can never campaign again as pro-choice, and any pro-choice organization that gives any of them a dollar should be attacked, and then shunned and boycotted by the blogosphere and all who the blogosphere can convince.  Even Wyden, Sununu, and Gregg ought to have tough votes on their hands.  

    No, the Dems will have the 40 "nay" votes, but they won't filibuster.  It will be like 57-43.  The wimpiest of all possible outcomes for the Democrats that were criticized this week by the two most visible strategists in the party as "spineless."  That's why they ought to filibuster.  To show some backbone, and to create an 06 issue--the GOP "broke the rules to install a right-wing extremist on the bench."  Also, go read Mamet's op-ed from the L.A. Times this fall.  What's the "raiser's play" here, in poker parlance (which tens of millions of Americans have recently become fluent in)?  It's the filibuster.  That's why we do it.  To show we care, now, when it matters, that they're trying to take away our rights.  Can't you see this coming, when they vote to do away with affirmative action?  Can't you picture Chris Matthews blathering about how te Dems were "too scared to filibuster"?  

    Also, the idea that the Dems are in danger of being cast as the party that's out of the mainstream is laughable, IMO.  Short of Ralph Nader become DNC chair and appear on TV every night I can't imagine a scenario in which the polling results in the Dems being casts as "extremists" and the GOP being the moderates.  No.  The problem is that the Dems are cast as pussies.  And we're about to prove that there's some truth to that image in the next couple weeks.  

    •  Pro-choice (none)
      From his performance in the hearings, and his prior statements about Roe, we surmise that Alito is anti-choice and would overrule Roe.  But there's no smoking gun there.  Unless he overrules Roe before Snowe et al run for reelection, he's not an albatross to hang on their necks.  There's not enough substance to the accusation.  

      He may be inclined toward an anti-choice stance, but he's never actually limited the right to choose(his one outspoken position from the bench was a dissent).  20 years ago, he said Roe was wrongly decided.  Actually, plenty of people who support the outcome agree (O'Connor did, rejecting the trimester framework set out in Roe).  It suggests that he's anti-choice, but it's not so obvious that the average Joe will equate Alito with anti-choice until/unless he makes a big ruling from the SCOTUS.  I think he's anti-choice.  But Alito does not present equal anti-choice from the available information.  See, e.g., about 40-50% in unscientific polls support his nomination, althouth about 70% of Americans are pro-choice - either it's a bad poll (possible) or some pro-choicers aren't getting that he's anti-choice.

      -5.88, -6.31 | Can money pay for all the days I lived awake/ But half asleep?

      by milton333 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:37:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The issue isn't (none)
        what percentage of Americans are pro-choice.  The issue is partly what percentage of Rhode Islanders, Pennsylvanians, Maine...ianists are pro-choice.  But pro-choice isn't just a ballot box issue.  It's a fund-raising and organizing tool for GOP candidates in Blue states, where the party ID numbers are drastically pro-Dem and/or pro-choice Independents.  They are the equivalent of Dems in Texas, but with the advantage of having a very important Dem constituency working FOR them and AGAINST the Democrats.  

        The only reason why Chafee's poll numbers don't look as bad or worse than Santorum's right now is b/c NARAL had his back.  And if NARAL doesn't continue to have his back this year, he's probably toast.  And if he votes for Alito and NARAL still backs him, they should not get another dime from anyone pro-choice, progressive or Democratic.  I'm guessing Chafee gets a catch and release on this one, but the Maine ladies and Specter could be a different issue. And the GOP might bet that their re-elect numbers look good enough that they can get away with it and/or that people will forget by 2010.  If NARAL, Emily's List, etc. don't burn them for it, then WE ABSOLUTELY MUST make sure that anyone who gives those orgamizations money realizes where it goes and who it helps.  So that's more what I'm getting at.  I agree that Alito may not be a huge albatross at the ballot bot in the next couple cycles, but the kind of people who give money and volunteer for pro-choice groups will understand that this appointment is an awful thing.

      •  Oh, for Pete's Sake (none)
        to claim that Alito might just vote to uphold Roe when he would only agree with the "result" in Eisenstadt?  He's done every wink wink nod nod in the book here.  Brownback was satisfied -- that tells you everything right there.  You are fooling yourself, badly.

        "You know you have created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you hate."

        by md jeffersonian on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:11:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Alito's own words (1.33)
    From The Huffington Post:

    "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns black and hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and hispanic, the physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports, and homosexuals are demanding that government vouchsafe them the right to bear children. And now... and now come women."

    Sound like Supreme Court justice material to you?  No?  Filibuster.  Make Mrs. Alito weep.

    Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. --Winston Churchill

    by rmwarnick on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 02:46:36 PM PST

    •  Oy! Check Your Facts! (4.00)
      Those weren't "Alito's own words."  Those were words written in a magazine related to CAP.  Alito did not say that.  He may have believed it, and he may believe it today, but he didn't say it.
    •  Know your place (none)
      That, in a nutshell, is the Right's philosophy.

      Every Saturday, there's a new weekly roundup of Michigan politics here on Daily Kos.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:13:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the problem .. (none)
      it's accoutablilty. In the heat of battle, it's so lacking sometimes at Dkos ..

      That quote was not made by Alito - he claims {and quite frankly I even suspect honestly} that he no idea that the CAP contained this type of vitriol in it.

      Think about it - the guy knows he's on track to be on a Court - would he willingly associate his name with such garbage?

      Please, admit your error and take your lumps.

      If I made a mistake like this, I'd be red-faced as I typed my mea culpa - but be a man/woman and admit it.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:00:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This afternoon I stood.... (4.00)
    on the very site where the British arrested Paul Revere as he rode from  Lexington to warn the local militias in April of 1775. The British soldiers were marching from Boston that night, heading for suspected caches of arms hidden in and around the town of Concord. Freedom from political tyranny was the motive for the coming insurrection.
    Our present boy King George is now our tyrant, and Daily Kos (among others) are the new Paul Revere. It warns all of us when danger is lurking in the shadows.
    Here is the place where we vent, discuss, complain, and learn to fight back against the tyranny that is our present Federal Government. Here is where we learn to sound the alarm when we sense the perils of our time.
    Turning a blind eye to the lanterns in the church is dangerous.
    I suggest that all Kosaacks learn to face the steeple, no matter the news.
  •  I have to limit myself (none)
    as well, especially when, as a novice in legal matters, I am berated, zeroed and called stupid names for asking that the discourse take a more polite positive tone. You know; constructive rather than destructive. It got too intense for someone like myself.

    That effectively ended my participation in any debate having to do with the Alito nomination on this site. Sad, really, that people of a like mind for results feel they have to be so intense that they end up being mean to one another.

    We are all on the same team, after all, aren't we?

    Mark

    •  Hope You Are Not Speaking for Al Weed (none)
      Because I want to see Al come out swinging against Virgil Goode for taking campaign money from someone who, in my opinion, should be indicted for bribery of a public official.  Where there is smoke, fire often appears.
      •  There is a huge difference (none)
        between getting treated like shit on this site and my active campaigning in the field.

        I was an active campaigner for Tim Kaine, and I am  now one for Al Weed. I canvassed for Tim, I organized people on my committee to actively campaign for him and the two other candidates.

        If your comment about polite and all was meant for me in terms of fighting Virgil Goode, it takes up my every waking moment. Virgil is smoking so badly, he should be put out. :)

        I agree with your comments about Mitchell Wade and Virgil Goode. Virgil has done nothing for this district but line his pockets. Giving back the money means nothing. Wade is a criminal, I agree.

        By the way, I only speak for myself, unless I state otherwise. My endorsement of Al is there to hopefully generate interest in my candidate.

        Thanks for your comments.

        Mark
        Cumberland Virginia

        •  Virgil Goode Was The Context (none)
          Having heard Al Weed speak and having contributed to his campaign, I think the knives need to come out when there is corruption in the air.  There is little doubt, in my view, that Mitchell Wade should be indicted and he made substantial contributions to Representative Goode.  

          I hope that Al Weed who is a good man (and a Fighting Democrat) is not too polite in looking at Congressman Goode's record or his political contributions.  

          •  You're right about Al (none)
            And I apologize for my sensetivity concerning comments.

            I do have communication with Al, who is currently staying in Danville and taking it to VG on his home turf. I talked to him yesterday, and he sounds upbeat and absolutely ready to take on this challenge. He learned a lot last time as a first-time candidate.

            He is indeed a 'fighting dem'. (from our mouths to kos' ears; maybe he can get some front page attention one of these days.)

            He has asked me to be one of his delegates to the District Convention, and I accepted. He does have a challenger, and only time and a lot of effort will tell whether the candidate will be decided at the convention or by having a primary.

            We all know about primary elections in VA. Last year's primary voting rate was just above 5%. We have a lot of work to do.

            Thanks again for your comments and your support for Al.

            Mark

  •  Delaware Dem (4.00)
    I think that you're missing one thing:  Most average Americans, not just emotion-driven activists, gag on stuff like "the political reality of the situation".

    I agree that Alito's confirmation is practically unstoppable.  If the Democrats filibuster, I think the nuclear option will be invoked, thus sweeping Alito in.  This is not, in my mind, a reason not to filibuster.

    Once Alito gets on the Supreme Court, he'll show his true colors.  And when the Supreme Court hands down a verdict, such as on abortion, that the majority of the public don't like, they're going to look back on this.  And if the Democrats didn't filibuster - but are merely nodding and saying "We told you Alito was bad news" - and when asked why they didn't filibuster, say, "The political reality of the situation was blah blah blah"...well, you know what?  That doesn't go over well with average voters.  They're emotion-driven.  They gag on that.  And they go, "Why should we vote for Democrats, then?"

    I understand completely your point that Democrats don't have a majority in either house of Congress and are therefore limited in what they can do.  But where you fail, in my opinion, is in being too intellectually detached to understand how average voters react to such situations.  Hearing that the Democrats did everything in their power to stop Alito and still failed because they don't have a majority is something that makes an average voter more inclined to then vote Democratic in the next election than if they hear the Democrats didn't bother trying because they didn't have a majority and so it was just futile.

    People need to be inspired.  For an analogy, imagine a 150-pound guy going up against a 300-pound guy in a boxing ring.  Now imagine people's reactions to the 150-pound guy just sitting in his corner and saying he's not going to bother answering the bell vs. their reactions if the 150-pound guy answers the bell and gets beaten up.  The end result of the match is the same.  The former action is the intellectually smarter one.  But it doesn't get emotion involved.  And in the end, most people bother to vote, and cast their votes, based on their emotions.

    In the end, what turned around opinion on Vietnam?  The picture of the naked girl running down the street after a napalm attack.  What's turned around opinion on the Iraq War?  The ever-increasing death toll of our soldiers.  What sent Bush's poll numbers downward?  Cindy Sheehan.  Katrina.  The price of gas.  All things that inspired an emotional reaction - nothing to do with logic.  People using logic saw that the war in Iraq would be a boondoggle, that it had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but people supported it because of the emotion of "9/11 9/11 9/11", and only now have changed their minds because troops have died.  Never mind that troops dying was a completely obvious and predictable consequence of going into Iraq.

    I don't view this as a good thing, really, but emotion beats logic just about all of the time.  And average Americans do not like politicians who won't fight, even if they're going to lose, because of the "political reality".  If the Democrats show spirit in fighting and losing, then people will be more inclined to turn out and vote for them.  If the Democrats just cede the fight because they'll lose anyway, it does not result in people drawing the same conclusion that they need to give Congress back to the Democrats.  That goes against logic, of course, but that's my point - logic does not carry the day where average Americans are concerned.

    •  Well put. (4.00)
      We have been hoarding our powder for just such an occasion.

      Win or lose, the public will see the Democratic party fighting to the last ditch to uphold their constitutional rights.  

      (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

      by Sam I Am on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:21:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DD and Black Knight, Thank You! (4.00)
      I'm not sure whether the right thing to do is fillibuster.  

      But I do know that the average person is turned off by "if X happens the world will come to an end. .  ." i.e. if Alito gets on the Supreme Court, we'll have women dying in the back alleys or GWB will declare himself emperor.

      He's one of nine, and although he's replacing a moderate, we don't know how his addition to the court will change the dynamics of that body. Will Anthony Kennedy grow a pair?  Will Clarence Thomas wake up and smell the coffee?  Will he so enrage Stevens that the fight strengthens his resolve to hang in there another two years?  Will Roberts turn out to be a more complex person than we imagined when his actions take on new consequence?

      Whether or not to filibuster and how to fight are decisions that I don't have enough of the picture to decide.  Like Black Knight and DD, I'm a pragmatist.

    •  You (none)
      get the same result if you don't vote for him. If we can get an entire block to vote against him, that would be making the same point without fillibustering.

      I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

      by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:26:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my, my, my, (4.00)
    how bipartisan of you.

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:01:03 PM PST

  •  Yahoo news! (4.00)
    "Alito Testimony Swings Pro-Choice GOPers -- Against Him"

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

    Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

    by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:01:27 PM PST

    •  Exerpts show Republicans for choice against Alito (4.00)
      Notably, after Alito testified before the committee, the group Republican Majority for Choice (RMC), issued a statement that said, "There is no crystal ball to predict how a Justice Alito would rule in future cases; therefore we have closely monitored the confirmation hearings with the hope that Judge Alito would offer some clarifying statements that would allay our concerns about his record. Instead, he side-stepped the issue of whether or not the right to privacy in the Constitution extends to reproductive choice. He avoided answering whether Roe was settled law and existing precedent required a health exception to statutes limiting a woman's access to abortion."

      "Without such assurances, we can only calculate his judicial philosophy on reproductive rights through the prism of his past actions and statements," the RMC statement continued. Referring to retiring Justice
      Sandra Day O'Connor, the critical swing vote on the court with regard to reproductive rights and other issues, the group added, "As the replacement for the architect of the 'undue burden' standard, the stakes are too high for RMC to support an appointee who outlined a blueprint to dismantle that very standard."

      Accordingly, the organization announced its opposition to Alito's nomination. The opposition to Alito contrasts with the groups stance regarding Roberts, about whom RMC declared, "Liberal and reactionary opposition based on a circumstantial review of Justice Roberts' limited public record reflect an agenda predisposed to oppose all Republican nominees."

      RMC is the largest pro-choice group in the Republican Party and has more influence than most moderate groups with GOP senators. In addition to Specter, three other Republican senators -- Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, and Mainers Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe -- serve on the Republican Majority for Choice advisory council. The question now is whether those senators were paying as close attention to Alito's testimony as the group they advise.

      Don't go there? Oh yes, I'm going there!

      by coigue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:05:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with you (3.76)
    I fully support pleas to call senators, to place pressure, to fight Alito tooth and nail.

    What I dont' support is knee-jerk "Dems are so F)@#$*@#) weak, why won't they fight, if they dont' filibuster I'm never voting for them again, we need a real party" rhetoric.

    I haven't made my mind up yet on whether or not Alito should be filibustered. He's certainly not my choice, but I'm not sure if we can do better. But whether or not a filibuster is warranted, it's still an action that requires a lot of strategic considerations, and Dems not filibustering doesn't necessarily mean they're a worthless party.

    A decision to filibuster has to be based at least in part on expected odds of success, expected outcomes, impact on the election etc.

    If Dems vote "no" as a bloc, but don't filibuster, it's not an inherent sign that they've "abandoned liberalism" or some of the other things I've read around here this week.

    Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

    by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:02:02 PM PST

    •  The worst thing they could do (none)
      Is filibuster without knowing that they have the votes or very close to the votes for it to succeed. I think they should filibuster, but not if its a sacrifice that doesn't bear fruit. They don't have enough stock to justify kamikaze acts of symbolism.

      "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

      by VirginiaBelle on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:16:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we successfully filibuster (none)
      Bush will nominate another conservative, and we'll go through all this again. Bottom line is, we're not winning in the long-term. Bush may not get his first choice, but he'll get a Justice he likes.

      And when we do lose, the people who were screaming for a filibuster will bitch and moan that they didn't get a successful filibuster, so that's a wash.

      The only tangible benefit we're likely to get out of this is more leverage on the Republican "moderates" who will vote for cloture/confirmation, like Chafee.

      Is that enough to take the swing? I say yes, but I can't blame anyone who thinks the potential drawbacks outweigh the potential benefits. No one can predict how public opinion will turn on a filibuster, let alone what will happen during a hypothetical second (third, actually) nominee.

      •  and no one can predict... (4.00)
        at this point how DeLay/Abramoff/Libby/NSA et al. cases will affect public opinion if Bush is forced to nominate another person upon Alito's defeat.

        Bush's position may be significantly weaker in just a few weeks or months and we will be well into the campaign season, too.

        Lots of other stuff happening that will preoccupy the WH if Alito is defeated.

      •  But the clock is ticking (none)
        until the elections this year.

        If we shoot Alito down with a filibuster and Bush nominates another Scalia clone, tie that one up for as long as we can, even (we can hope) shoot it down. The closer to November we can drag this out the better. If we can successfully stop Bush's nominees it will make the Republicans look weak.

        We can then use this battle in our campaign:

        "Bush keeps nominating extremists to the highest court in the land, fortunately for you the Democratic party has successfully stopped these extremists. Bush's nominees clearly demonstrate how little the modern Republican party cares for you and and your concerns. If you value privacy, the environment, strong courts, and a strong legislature, vote Democratic in 2006. If you value a President who functions effectively within constitutional and legal limits, vote Democratic in 2006. If you value corruption and power for power's sake, vote Republican in 2006."

        Just my opinion
        Thorby

      •  You're right and wrong (none)
        First, here's where you're right:

        Nader folk:  Nader wanted Bush to win.  That's why he ran in 2000 and 2004.  Sorry, dear heart, but it's true.

        The thing is, both the fight-or-lose folks AND Delaware Dem are right.

        The Kos diarist is right when he/she says that if the Naderites and others had voted for Gore in 2000, or Kerry in 2004, we wouldn't be staring the prospect of InJustice ScAlito in the face.

        And the other folk are right when they say that we must fight ALL the battles, even the ones that look hopeless.  As the editors from  The Nation say, the argument that "Bush will just appoint someone even worse" isn't as strong as people think it is:

        The White House is banking on fear that if this second nominee goes down, Bush will nominate someone even worse. This argument ignores history: When in 1969-70 President Nixon nominated and lost both Clement Haynsworth and Harrold Carswell, the result was not "someone worse" but the pragmatic, humane Judge Harry Blackmun, who later wrote Roe v. Wade; when Bork was Borked, his replacement was Anthony Kennedy, who in 1992 joined fellow Reagan nominee O'Connor to reaffirm Roe. Alito defeatism also ignores today's political climate: As the midterm elections draw closer, as the Iraq War scandals deepen, Senate Republicans are falling over one another to distance themselves from the Administration and the far right.

               

    •  Why not? We have nothing to lose anyway. (4.00)
      If the Senate goes 'nuclear', all it does reveal to the public that the Republican Senators don't govern with any respect for Constitutional principles or operate in the rule of law. Democrats can't get punished for checking an out of control system.

      All the Democrats have to do is be willing to give up some pork bearing perks of their limited power and vigorously pin the blame where it belongs.

      Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

      by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:20:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How much of the American public will (none)
        understand or care about this Senate rule?

        Yes, it's important to us; we understand it. But to everyday Joe Sixpack - he could really care less, I think.

        Sure, I'm favor of a filibuster - if it makes sense to do so. Trouble is, it may not make much sense at this point.

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:53:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Joe Sixpack was never moved by appeasment. (none)
          When the government grinds to a halt over pushing a kook Joe Sixpack pay attention and then we can put the blame squarely where it belongs, in the thug's lap.

          It's the thugs pushing this overreaching loony. It's the thugs who are allowing the President to do whatever he wants. It's the thugs who own the majority of both houses.

          It's their house, we're just protesting there.

          I don't really think you know what Joe Sixpack wants. Joe Sixpack likes controversy and hates fast-talkin' politicians, but Joe Sixpack is pretty reasonable and likes good government. Joe Sixpack has had about enough of kooks playing games and bilking the treasury dry and ringing the terrar' alarm while his nephew or neice is dodging mortars halfway around the world for Lord knows what reason.

          Shutting down government only for the sake of putting a certified, purebred kook in the highest court in the land is NOT what Joe Sixpack wants.

          As for the Dems, he will likely give the Democrats some credit for having some backbone and Joe Sixpack will remember that in November. Dems just need to have the conviction and caloric burning desire to point the finger at the culprit, sharply and repeatedly.

          Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

          by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:04:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think forcing the nuclear option (none)
        is risky but in our interest. Think about it. Republicans change the rule. Republicans lose the senate in '06 (due to our buddy JackAssbramoff).

        In 2007 and 2008, George Bush can't get one damn thing through the Senate since they can't win a filibuster vote, because of their own damn nuclear option.

        Karma. Filibuster. Impeach.

        Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Joseph Welch, Army-McCarthy Hearings

        by captainlaser on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:07:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not convinced (4.00)
    either about the filibuster. I'm sure the chattering classes will condemn the Dems, but that's going to happen one way or another.

    Like DD, I count anywhere from 55-58 votes for cloture. Could they pry two more away? It's possible. But we might as well take shot, and see what happens. I doubt that it will resonate strongly  with the public in any case.

    •  It depends... (none)
      on what the whip count is on a vote and how accurate that whip count is.  Where it gets interesting is the grey area if it's uncertain that a fillibuster will succeed or fail or whether a "nuclear option" trigger can successfully be pulled.

      If the whip count says a fillibuster will not hold for certain, it strikes me as politically stupid to attempt one.

      •  On further thought... (none)
        the most interesting political scenario is the one in which there is a clear 40+ whip count on a fillibuster, but a clear 50+ whip count for the Republicans on a "nuclear option" vote.  I'm sure there are people here who would say "force 'em to pull the trigger," but IMHO, that would do so much damage to EVERYONE (both sides) that it would be self-destructive to do so.
        •  Why should we give a fart... (3.00)
          ...if it does damage to the politicians? If anything our Representatives should get used to the idea of working for their living. </snark>

          Americans such a low opinion of the Senate that a nuclear Senate would not significantly injure Senatorial Democrats electoral chances.

          Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

          by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:26:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think... (none)
            it would do great damage to not the politicians per se, but the integrity and validity of the federal government as a whole, which, to me, is more significant than any partisan gain.
            •  What Integrity and Validity (4.00)
              of the federal government as a whole?  I know not whereof you speak (see, e.g. Katrina, no-bid contracts, bribes and pay-offs, bad body armor etc).

              "You know you have created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you hate."

              by md jeffersonian on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:19:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's the idea... (none)
                of government as a whole that I think is undermined by the nuclear option.  The old Norquist "drown it in the bathtub" rhetoric?  What this gets the American public to do is hold the government underwater--"a pox on both your houses."  Is the government failing to act when it needs to, or acting in bad ways?  Yes.  But don't discount the PHENOMONAL number of ways in which the government can, should, and must do good.  What the nuclear option does it throw it all out, which is why it shouldn't be acceptable to either side.  

                In other words, if the choice is between putting up a fillibuster and having it "nuked" or not fillibustering at all, I think it's better, in the long run, to not fillibuster at all.

                •  Under Bush? Come ON. (none)
                  "But don't discount the PHENOMONAL number of ways in which the government can, should, and must do good."

                  It won't though.  Not under this dictatorship.  That's an out-of-date argument.  We need to do everything we can to expose and destroy the dictatorship.  Then we can worry about government.

                  Did the Founders worry about politeness and procedure and the integrity of the British government when they started the Revolutionary War?  No, they did not.  Did they worry about such things once they actually had a country to govern?  Yes, of course they did.

              •  Agree (none)
                Bush has now admitted openly to violating the law.

                More than once.

                And he's proud of it.

                And the Republican House and Senate will do nothing to stop him.

                There is no validity in the federal government as of this moment.  Recognize this now.  If you force them to "pull the trigger" you simply help bring them out into the open.

  •  hi DD! In this case, I too have to respectfully (4.00)
    disagree.  Either we have positions and stand up for them even if we lose, or we have already lost.

    Sorry!

  •  I have to agree. (none)
    I think the Dems, by focusing the questions on current scandals in the Bush Administration are doing the right thing. The confirmation may be inevitable, but at least they can get their shots in on national TV for a few days. It's been a pretty good strategy to deny these hearings to be used as a smoke screen.

    hink

  •  clarification (3.00)

    Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties.   And you what, I am perfectly fine with that.   Why?  Am I a Republican now?   No.  But I do believe that elections have consequences.  This is one of those consequences.   The President often stated, even during the debates, that he was going to nominate someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.   Bush wins and guess what....he nominates someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.

    Perhaps you meant that stolen elections have consequences

    •  Don't mention stolen elections to DD (none)
      He'll lable you a crazy fuckwad.

      Wars always bring bigger problems then they settle... It's up to us to have such a good democracy that other people want it too. -Woody Hayes 1986

      by Irrelevant Prolixity on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:15:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now now. (none)
        I will do no such thing.  Remember, the whole Fuck Ohio Flame War started because the Fraudsters called Kos a Republican because he would not cower to their demands of front page coverage of every claim and charge.

        "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

        by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:28:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ah... Mr. "Fuck Ohio" speaks again (3.50)
    It is a fact that a Scalito court will overturn Roe.
    It is also a fact that is more likely that an attempt at a filibuster will prevent Scalito from getting on the court than would not attempting a filibuster.
    Ergo, if the Democrats want this pro-choice voter to ever vote for them again, they will do everything in their power to prevent Roe for being overturned - which means they will filibuster.
    This is game, set, match.

    /and I say this as someone who also hated the damn Nader voters.  What I hate ever more nowadays, is the Democrats apparent desire to prove the stupid Nader voters right.

    Wars always bring bigger problems then they settle... It's up to us to have such a good democracy that other people want it too. -Woody Hayes 1986

    by Irrelevant Prolixity on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:15:09 PM PST

  •  Reluctantly agree in part (4.00)
    No opinion on your views of activists, but I do agree that we've lost the Supreme Court.  In some ways, yes, this is disastrous for many, many people/species/rights.  But, just perhaps, there is a silver lining.  I think we liberals have relied upon the courts too much, that no matter how many actual elections we lost, no matter how much we got out-played in the political discourse of the last 25 years, that we've become accustomed to the federal courts pulling our chestnuts from the fire.  

    The SC was considered a completely reactionary body until Roosevelt and the Great Depression moved public opinion so far to the left that the Court was forced to go along.  It would be just great to think that there is some council of elders gazing down on us benevolently from Washington DC and sticking up for the wronged, but that is not an accurtate decription of the SC for most of its history.  Generally it has been made up of comfortably situated, powerful and unrepresentative Justices, with little sympathy for anyone or thing.

    But, during this time of having a crappy, right-wing Supreme Court, some of the greatest social movements for popular democracy were born: the Abolistionists, the unions, the Suffragettes, etc. because, I would argue, they knew there was no use waiting for the Rich White Men to come to their senses and "do the right thing."  They took it to the streets/soapboxed/ballot boxes.  And, unfortunately, the conservatives learned from us how to do this, how to sneer and jeer at those experts in Washington, how to rile up the home folks by pointing out "unfairness," how to meaningfully communicate with actual working people by, well, practice.  We've put far too much emphasis on retaining lawyers to persuade, but what could be more persuasive than being supported by a majority of the electorate.  They've been running against "activist judges" for years, and taking control of everything else, the even more powerful institutions.

    Yes, of course I am disgusted by the prospect of an Alito on the SC, but I remember also that mediocrity and mendacity and White/Male Supremacy are more the rule than the exception when we consider the history of the court.  That doesn't stop us from fighting for our rights, in fact it may be the kick in the ass we need to start doing so!  And that's where the activists should be celebrated!

    No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

    by Gator Keyfitz on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:18:57 PM PST

  •  Title unknown (none)
    My diary here.  I think that Alito is conservative but not unacceptable.

    Also, crossposted on my website, SmokeyMonkey.org.

  •  You know what... (4.00)
    Every person that has said what you said "It'll take a miracle..." blah blah blah..."the Dems will never be able to filibuster"...blah blah blah...

    You know why? BEcause people like you are NOT activists. Because if MORE people were activists...if MORE people called and voiced their opinion...if MORE people were positive and didn't give into CNN media fucking spin...

    we wouldn't be in the position of watching CNN whack jobs spout that Alito is SURE to be confirmed....WELL...if you keep agreeing with them, SURE, he will be confirmed!

    We need to stand up together...in a unified front...and say "NO, WE DO NOT WANT ALITO CONFIRMED!" And yes, we have to scream it! Because if WE don't, who will?! And if WE don't do all we can to stop him....we can't say we did everything we could!

    WE are the gate-keepers! WE keep Democracy alive by participating in it! If we don't participate, we only have ourselves to blame when we lose.

    So, you can refuse to be an activist all you want...by doing that...you are laying down your weapon...you are allowing your opponent to win...and in this case your opponent wants to destroy EVERY value you have!

    This is a fight to the death for our country! Make calls, write letters, protest, DO SOMETHING! But don't give in...don't EVER say, oh well, "X is inevitable"...because NOTHING is inevitable except death....and I refuse to let democracy die.

    •  actually a filibuster is a tough bet (4.00)
      because Democrats are 10 seats in the minority and the Republicans are holding hte nuclear option over their heads like a guillotine.

      None of that absolutely precludes a filibuster, but it's something people around here need to at least take into account when reaming Democrats out again, and again, and again, and...

      Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:28:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the filibuster is a possibility... (4.00)
        and even if they go nuclear, Reid can shut down the Senate...

        I don't see why we can't do that....THIS is the fight we've been saving up for! We should kick their asses!

        And for people on THIS blog to have such a defeatist attitude...well...that just makes me SO mad!

        •  defeatist (4.00)
          really? Cause I'd say that the people who are the most defeatist oftentimes seem to be the same ones who are demanding a filibuster so loudly.

          "We need to filibuster or else!!! (Of course we won't because Democrats are wimpy, Republican, corporofascist, traitors)"

          Nothing in DD's diary is defeatist. It says "a filibuster may be possible, and it may be right, but it sure as hell better be thought out." I agree with that. A filibuster DOES look unlikely and it DOES look like one would be unsuccessful. Looking that way doesn't make it so, but the unlikelihood of success has to be taken into account. At the very least it has to be discussed. Contemplating the consequences of failure isnt' defeatist to me as much as good planning.

          Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

          by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:43:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read it as defeatist (4.00)
            because the diarist is basically using the same argument here about activism that I hear from people who won't register to vote.

            The "why bother" attitude. And NOTHING pisses me off more than that. THAT is defeatist. Now, I'm not a Senator, but based on those hearings and all the news, I firmly believe that we could filibuster Alito and either force Bush to withdraw the nomination or, (more likely) force the Republicans to go nuclear.

            Either way, never calling your representative...never sending an email to let them know that YOU (the person they are supposed to represent) want them to vote no on Alito....well, THAT is defeatist!

            I am offended by this attitude...not because I disagree that a filibuster should be carefully thought about...it should....but in the meantime, WE should be sending letters...so if they DO decide to filibuster they can say "I got X million letters asking me to filibuster, so I did!" It is our job to give them cover. Coming here and saying "oh well, we've probably lost again" doesn't give anybody political cover. And it is defeatist.

          •  And I'm NOT in the camp of people (none)
            who would say "Democrats are wimpy, Republican...etc. etc. traitors"...although I sometimes say that about Lieberman...but not today...
      •  Over, and over, and over....again! ;) (none)

        'All great change in America begins at the dinner table.' Reagan

        by PhillyGal on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:39:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why are we afraid of the nuclear option again? (none)
        Are we afraid we won't be able to use it if the President nominates a wildly out of step rightwing loon to the Supreme Court?

        Right.  Yep.  That's what we compromised for.  Our strategy on the judiciary has been so flawed, I could break down and cry.  Or else take a blow torch to someone... I just haven't decided who yet.

  •  Political miracles are made (4.00)
    by those who are willing to fight for them.

    You have to make the cause before you get the effect.

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

    WAtR

    by boadicea on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:28:33 PM PST

  •  A Problem With This Approach (4.00)
    Republicans should be scared of Alito getting on the court.  They have built their base, their "thinktanks" (liberals have these things called universities instead), their radio empire, their passion... from losing.  Without Roe, they'll have to invent something else.  We need to learn from this, as we lose.

    The very very important thing for Democrats right now is to HOWL about how a Roberts-Alito change to the courts will hurt America.  This is not because howling, or a filibuster, will change the outcomes right now.  Or five years from now.  Or ten.

    Its because we must be emphatically on record, even in defeat.  When the disastrous results of this new SCOTUS bear their fruit;  when your average Joe finds himself driving his sweet little girl who made just one mistake three states over to save her future;  when a charismatic leader finally unites some group of righteous poor people and the result is a gash in the social fabric;  when the results of this disaster can't be obfuscated by equivocation and "context" arguments;  when America is suffering - and having money can't keep you from noticing...

    Then we need more than Russ Feingold being "deeply troubled."  We need more than Ted Kennedy digging in old records.  We need to have done everything we can to stop this outrage.  

    This nominee may not be stopped, but if we take a long-term view, we better be very clearly NOT COMPLICIT.

    •  I was talking with a lawyer (none)
      friend yesterday about Alito, Roe v. Wade, etc.  He said Roe will never be overturned.  Never.  Why?  The GOP and the Religious Right need Roe in order to rally their base, raise money to "fight" to overturn Roe.  Just think about it for a minute........if Roe gets overturned, the GOP and the Religious Right have nothing.  Nothing.

      They have raised more money and more supporters using Roe than by using the "gay homosexual agenda" thing.  They need Roe.

      If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

      by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:05:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It matters (4.00)
    I get sick inside when I read that it's a done deal.  Alito, one of the great white fathers, making the all the important decisions. This shift in our country is disturbing, but our sense of acceptance is even more so. We are like the proverbial frogs in the kettle of cold water on the stove, sitting and accepting that the water is getting warmer and warmer still.

    A world where my gay friends have no right to bear children? A world where my engineering daughter may not earn the same as her male coworkers? Forced to carry a child she does not want? Air and water full of mercury and god knows what and nobody is responsible for cleaning it up or at least not creating any more fouling?

    To sit and accept fraudulent voting, false excuses for war, maltreatment of the poor and displaced and uninsured in our country AND be burdened with a shitload of debt having to pay for this mess? I'm not going quietly.  Hell no.  

    Judges last a looong time.  I thought of several decent conservative female judges that could have been OConner's replacement.  The hearings have been a sham, a token formality, if nobody gets up and raises hell.

    Why did we bother to beat the Soviet Union if we were just going to become it? Molly Ivins

    by offred on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:36:42 PM PST

  •  We've been sold out (4.00)

    -- by a relatively small number of Democratic corporofascists who know that just by voting with the Republicans on key issues, they can keep a fracture in our party.  

    Of course, they also know that it will be the "libruls" or "leftists" in the Democratic party who will get the blame since its their fault that we can't win and they should just shut up cause they can't seem to just understand that half a loaf isnt better than none.   No matter that the Hillaries and Joe Bidens and others perpetuate the same policies that weaken the plight of the working class and poor at the gain of the rich - though with a little more finesse.

    Delaware, I believe that you are so wrong on so many levels that its hard to respond.  You don't make change by capitulating.  That's what it boils down to.  I fully acknowledge that you and maybe even a large proportion of the current regular democrats are comfortable with what you see and our future prospects with this party.  Your right.  But those of us who see certain realities will not be along with you for this one. I am perfectly willing to take the labels and abuse from the regularcrats when the time comes because I will not keep the ventilator on this corpse of a party.  You may do better recruiting from some of the disillusioned republican rank and file - such as it is - it is closer to your points of view and beliefs than we are it seems.

    Best of luck to you!

    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:36:51 PM PST

  •  Surprised we agree (4.00)
    DD,

    I'm a Nader 2000 voter (from Washington state, for whatever that's worth), yet I agree with a lot of what you've written here, especially this statement:  

    "I prefer a good strategy discussion to a good sit in."

    Hear hear!

    I agree with your analysis of the Alito hearings so far.  I think enough has come out (or really, not come out) to justify the Dems in voting against Alito.  There is little to suggest that he will be other than Saclia or Thomas.  

    Is that enough to defeat him?  I don't know, but I seriously doubt it.  The Dems need to keep their 44 plus Jeffords and peel off 6 Republicans to survive the nuclear option.  I seriously doubt they can do that.

    If defeating him outright is not possible, can they still block him with a filibuster?  Again, the math is basically the same, but the question is different:  will 6 Rs vote to preserve the filibuster for judicial nominees?  I really don't know.

    If defeating him is out, and blocking him is probably out, the Dems need to analyze if trying to block him and losing (i.e. losing the filibuster as a tool) is worth the cost.  I also don't know the answer to this question.

    I'm philosophically opposed to the filibuster because it is an anti-democratic tool that has frustrated liberal causes far more than it has helped them, and it will always serve to do so.  However, I recognize it is a useful tool for Dems who are out of the majority.  It's hard to give up such a weapon on principle when it currently benefits you.

    But what is the cost of losing the filibuster?  Are there that many situations where the Dems could rally 51 votes to preserve the filibuster, but could not muster 51 votes to defeat the nominee in question?  One way of reading the Gang of 14's agreement is essentially:  we agree to let the filibuster be used when the Senate would otherwise vote against a particular nominee.  In that case, the filibuster is really NOT a tool for the Dems because their ability to use it is correlated to their ability to defeat a nominee.

    Again, I don't proclaim to know the answers to these questions, but I do think they merit discussion, and I hope DD would agree these are the essential questions Dems and liberals (activists and otherwise) should be asking.

    Btw, I don't regret my Nader vote, but I would have gladly welcomed a reasoned debate back then (and anytime in the future) that got beyond "Gore is better than Bush."  Ok, but how much better?  Is "better" good?  If not, how do we improve on "better"?  And so on.  But that's better left for another day.

    Thanks for this diary, though, because (the Nader stuff aside) I really agree with what you've said.

    •  we tried (4.00)
      Btw, I don't regret my Nader vote, but I would have gladly welcomed a reasoned debate back then (and anytime in the future) that got beyond "Gore is better than Bush."  Ok, but how much better?  Is "better" good?  If not, how do we improve on "better"?  And so on.  But that's better left for another day."

      The argument was made back then:  Bush and the SCOTUS.  It couldn't have been more simple or clear or reasonable and we are living it now.

      •  talk about single issue voting. (none)
        The reason I depsise the endless ranting about the Nader voters is because it sounds exactly like scapegoating.  How those [insert adjectives here] people who fervently wanted change were led astray by Nader when Gore's campaign kept schmoozing to the center.

        Maybe we didn't think our decision through too well, but a lot of us felt like no one was listening to us.  My political ad would have been a version of Verizon's "Can you hear me now?" ads.

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:30:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it's not a single issue (none)
          when you think about how far reaching SCOTUS decisions are.  It was just the most concise, in your face, what more do you need?, argument.

          As far as feeling no one was listening to you?  Omygosh I can't even deal with that one when I consider how the hell much you could you have possibly ever expected Bush to listen to you.

          •  I didn't vote for BUSH! (none)
            Did you?  Or did you 'waste your vote' on Gore?

            GOD!  I am so tired of all this political bullshit!   Gore lost the election on his own!  GET OVER IT!  Blaming so-called Naderites is whiny and distracting.  There's a whole CONGRESS - you know, the Legislative Branch?  Why don't you blame every race the Republicans won on Naderites, the Green Party and the Libertarians while you are at it?  If it makes you feel better, go ahead and blame people and call them names.  

            We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

            by Fabian on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 06:00:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know (none)
              you didn't vote for Bush.  You threw away your vote on Nader, helping to cost Gore the election, ipso facto handing it to Bush...because Nader was never going to win.  Maybe you need to get over that because your reference to every race Reps win is what's whiny and distracted.
              I really don't like the attitude you've taken with me.  I am not calling anyone names and if you are so tired of all this political bullshit, as you put it, you're in the wrong place.
              •  Just vote for the winners. (none)
                I guess that's the message I should take away.  So the next time I look at a political race, I won't look at the entire slate of candidates for school board or whatever.  I'll just look at the front runners and decide which one of those I want to vote for.  

                We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                by Fabian on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 03:17:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  nope (none)
                  This was and is about the 2000 election for the POTUS.  Specifically one of the major argumnts made for why to vote for Gore and not for Nader.  I don't know why you insist on incorrectly restating what I write.
                  However, if you continue to ignore the dynamics of every election I don't think you are being realistic.  I have often voted for someone unlikely to win, but not when doing so would clearly make it better for a candidate such as Bush.
                  •  Because I'm tired of the mantra (none)
                    That's why.  From now on, whenever anyone invokes the Naderite argument (I have no idea who calls themselves Naderites.) I'll just say "Boo hoo, I threw a pity party for you but no one came.".  

                    So can we get on with our lives and the next elections instead of beating the dead horses of past elections?  I, myself, vowed to get Bush impeached when he won the 2004 election.  I did not moan about Swiftboaters or accuse Diebold of stealing elections.  My response was "Okay, we got the rotten bullshit artist for another four years or as long as he lasts until we impeach him!".

                    We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                    by Fabian on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:58:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Huh? (none)
                      That's why you keep incorrectly restating what I write?
                      I think you're mistaken about who introduced "Naderite" into this discussion.  Maybe you need to review the thread to see a particular comment was not mine?
                      The pattern of you replies getting further and further from addressing my points is tedious.
        •  Yeah, you Naderites really have our attention now. (none)
          We Dems really really really want to hear what you have to say.

          LOL [bitterly]

          No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

          by Shiborg on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:35:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We didn't ASK for a two party system. (none)
            And we aren't "Naderites", that's just one vote we cast.  If you got stupid drunk one weekend would it be fair to refer to you as "that lush" for the rest of your life?

            We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

            by Fabian on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 05:49:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, it wouldn't be fair, because... (none)
              if you married some sleazy hooker in Las Vegas and gave her all your money while you were drunk, I'm guessing you wouldn't try to justify your bender but instead would give up drinking real quick!

              Seriously, though, I understand the appeal of a third-party candidate. In my younger days I voted for John Anderson, a man I much admired (and still do). But however much I think he would have made the best president, I still can't get over the fact that by throwing away my vote I helped elect Ronald Reagan. And if I had to do it over again, I would vote for Carter (who I very much admire now also).

              I'm willing to forgive people who voted for Nader in 2000. Nobody knew just how bad Bush would be. (OTH, people who did it in 2004 are just lunatics.)

              No animals were harmed in the making of this comment (although a chimp may have had his feelings hurt).

              by Shiborg on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:41:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You Missed My Point (none)
        Reasoned debate consists of more than just saying:  "Issue A, therefore I'm right."  The Supreme Court is important, but it is not everything under the sun.

        I can play that game too:  NAFTA, GATT, welfare reform, the Telecom Bill, the banking reorganization bill, the 1993 crime bill (expanding the federal death penalty).  That doesn't include the bevvy of bad legislation many Democrats have supported under Bush.

        Those pieces of legislation are Clinton's legacy.  And Gore offered more of the same.

        To you, maybe the Supreme Court trumps all that.  But then all your saying is that the Supreme Court is always the #1 issue in EVERY election.  In your view we're not voting for president, we're voting for the Supreme Court.  You're free to think that way, but the elected officials of our country have a lot more to do with the day-to-day impact of laws on our lives.  And in 2000 (and to a lesser extent in 2004) that's what I voted on.  

        Take a look at the legislation I list above.  There is little to nothing the Supreme Court can, or ever would, do to change those laws, even if the Court were packed with Laurence Tribe clones.  They don't raise many, or any, constitutional issues for the Court to address.  The Court might engage in some statutory interpretation, but any bad decision in that regard can be remedied by a change to the legislation.  So the bottom line is we're stuck with these laws until a president and congress come along who will change them.  Al Gore was not that president, and the Republicans in Congress were surely not that congress.

        What I am most sad about is that there was little to no debate about these issues in 2000, and there has been precious little debate about it since.

        •  not always most important (none)
          I don't think the SCOTUS is always the most important issue but back in 2000 it was an extremely obvious difference between Bush and Gore and because Nader was not going to win it was an obvious argument for Gore.  You pondered "how much better" Gore was compared to Bush and that was a significant point.
  •  Amen (none)
    Couldn't have said it better myself. After the Gang of 14 thing, I don't see fillibuster on the table unless some wicked smoking gun comes out, and as much as I'd like to see that, it won't happen.

    technology. politics. culture. life. dimensionsix dot net.
    "the christian right is neither." -- moby

    by storm2k on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:41:29 PM PST

  •  you can take your "political reality" (2.75)
    and stick it where the sun don't shine.

    The "political reality" of Europe circa 1938 was that Hitler was gonna take over most of europe.

    If you want to roll over for the Repugs, I have nothing more to say to you.

    You will get zero respect from me.

    Bush deserves nothing.  He deserves absolutely none of his agenda to be fulfilled.  He is a liar, a criminal, a homicidally incompetent power-mad fool.

    He gets NOTHING.  Until 2009 when he's finally out of office.

    •  enough (3.62)
      Equating thinking strategically with "rolling over for the Republicans" (or even worse, impying that DD's diary is akin to not fighting the Nazis) is utterly absurd.

      Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:50:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah? (none)
        I like how far your "let's play ball with them" attitude has gotten us.  

        Fuck.  Them.  

        •  That's a damn good question! (4.00)
          What has Democrats appeasing to rethugs won?

          -The illusion of power by holding onto a tool that the thugs know  have serious no intention of using.

          -Some pro-corporate elected Democrats attempting to reach out to the ever elusive media-engineered middle, even as they betray the charter of their own party, effectively alienating that same ever-elusive middle.

          -Plenty of air-time for above pro-corporate elected Democrats to ineffectively reach out to 'the middle'.

          -Pork, and more pork. Not to mention more campaign contributions. Wait, don't forget more airtime! They've to keep those all important contributors in mind.

          -Poorly thought out initiatives that promote bad wars and intrusions into personal space, debt peonage and a spiraling deficit.

          -Some rather poorly thought out 'free-trade' legislation.

          -Thugs back-stabbing of self-same pro-corporate Dems after aforementioned laws were passed `with bi-partisan' support. By the way, who stood behind Murtha? Hint: It wasn't Hillary.

          -An increasingly disillusioned base. Which, by the way, is needed to win.

          -The above base holding increasing power and wealth, threatening to fracture from the party.

          -The right for a President, no less, to throw his executive privilege in the face of Congressional oversight and every American citizen, making Congress, including the seminal pro-corporate democrats moot while making the need for massive institutional protests glaringly apparent.

          You guys continue that appeasing thing. It's working fine ... for somebody's pocketbook ... somewhere.

          Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

          by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:47:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That is the first time (4.00)
      I have been equated to a Nazi appeaser.  

      Nice.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:09:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so tell me how (3.00)
        doing a filibuster at this point will "damage" the party?

        The party is dead.  It's about as alive as Ariel Sharon right now.  The Democratic Party has absolutely nothing to lose, and by fillibustering it will show some life.

        By demanding resignations it will show some life.

        Sheesh ..... I give up.  

        I'm starting to realize that the Democratic Party is a complete waste of my time.

    •  uncalled for and over the top (4.00)
      .. this is the type of rhetoric that drives people away.

      Anyone who does not agree with your interpretation of how to deal with the opposition is not an appeaser. No matter how emotionally satisfying you may think it is.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:57:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  disagree (none)
        appeasement is the shit that drives people away.

        Why so many people who think the way I do, that I know personally, don't vote at all.

        "If voting could change anything it would be illegal" one of them said to me.

        People respond to fighters and straight talk.  They don't respond to bullshit, waffling, appeasement, and two-facedness.  

  •  I HATE Naderites too but... (4.00)
    ,,, I don't agree with you that if the Democrats get the label of obstructionists, that it is a necessarily bad thing.  In fact, if the media starts to bellow that if they decide to filibuster, I might just embrace the label if I were a Democratic senator.  Because even though we lost the elections and even though elections have consequences, I don't believe that most people wanted what Alito is going to give them.  They don't want to do away with the remnants of the New Deal, they don't roll back privacy rights and they don't want the president to have unlimited power.  They weren't thinking of those things when they pulled that lever.  They were thinking of blood thirsty, decapitating Arabs with nuclear weapons.  
    So, if the Democrats obstruct, great.  When the consequences of the election come back to bite them in the ass, the voters will remember who decided to obstruct.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:49:22 PM PST

  •  Defeatist (3.00)
    Give up on this defeatist attitude
  •  Strategy? (3.71)
    How about disposing with political wonkery and strategy about every ghawddammed thing? Here's an idea, how about doing what needs to be done because it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO?

    Obstructionist? Damn straight, everything this lal-administration does should be obstructed and so what about the names they call us? They control the mass media, they lie about us, they clal us bad names, their hate talk hosts openly engage in eliminationist rhetoric agaist us.

    This is what "strategy" in the conventional sense you endorse has given us. Here's a new strategy:

    Mother fuck these motherfuckers every way we can. Shut the fucker down.

    How about that?

  •  Great Diary DD............... (4.00)
    I'm an activist...and if you didn't know it you do now. I always have been.

    Your point was well placed that activists,like myself, are ramped up for the battle. That is certainly true also.

    Were not so different really. Some do and some teach is what we've always be told. That holds true always. If you ask me the teachers know more but the doers are necessary to carry out the task at had.

    One single activist cannot fight on all fronts. The fight must be taken on or we will lose. You know that. There is no such animal as a lame activist. At least I've never met one....and they wouldn't motivate me too much.

    The old saying "choose your battles wisely" comes to mind. That battle is always going to be current because expedience is of upmost important. Too soon of activism and your overlooked and activism once the war is over is pretty dumb too. So, you always see and hear the voices and activists activity during the main debate.

    Again.....really good diary...

    Just remember that those sit-ins and protests and other activities are just enough throrns in the side of the opposition to cause them to waste time in reacting and counteracting and taking their eyes off their prize to combat the activists. It's a wonderful tool in our democracy to have the right to take such actions on behalf of our greater good.

    "It's Hard Work!" George Bush..."He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Bejamin Franklin

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 03:57:17 PM PST

  •  Activists. (4.00)
    Is that what you call them?

    Are they the people here who can't wait to voice their hatred of the spineless, wimpy, wussie Democratic senators, and then call their offices and demand they do exactly what they tell them?

    Are they the people who threaten to leave the party, never give another dime, vote every single democrat out of power?

    Are they the people who write diary , after diary of what the senators should have, would have , could have said if only the senators were as brilliant as they? if only the senators were not wimpy, wussie, spineless senators?

    Do you call them activists?

    Hmmmmmmm.  Maybe thats why we lose every fucking election.  

  •  There is (none)
    "winning," and there is "doing the right thing." Sometimes they coincide. Sometimes they don't. We each make our choices and we live with them.

    -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

    by John West on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:05:41 PM PST

  •  I'm not an activist (4.00)
    but I think Alito is filibuster-able.  

    (Actually, at this point, he's not.  But he could have been, had the case been made more clearly in committee.)

    I don't know what more they could have done.  Then again, I'm not a US Senator on the Judiciary Committee.  I don't even know much Constitutional law.  I do think Alito's dissent in Casey

    it appears clear that an undue burden may not be established simply by showing that a law will have a heavy impact on a few women but that instead a broader inhibiting effect must be shown.

    was not thoroughly explored.  (If you just torture a few prisoners, not all prisoners, is that still unconstitutional?)

    But alas at this point I think you're right he will be confirmed along a nearly party-line vote.  I don't think it had to be that way though.  And I don't think one had to be an activist to think he could have been filibustered without political harikari.  Alas I think that moment has passed!

  •  We got the neocons on the ropes (none)
    This isn't the time to give them some slack.

    I'd want to hear Scalito's views on warrantless spying.    

  •  People seem massively deluded (4.00)
    on this subject. The only thing people respect is strength. The democrats should stop Alito by fillibuster and do the same with all future neandrathals thereby demonstrating power. The reason people are not flocking to democrats in record numbers in is they don't believe the democrats are strong which means they can't accompllish anything. And they're proving it with their weak stand on Alito.

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:14:01 PM PST

  •  I have to disagree... (4.00)
    I KNEW this was an inevitable consequence of Bush winning the election. THIS was what I was dreading more than anything else, the packing of the Supreme Court.  I cannot just sigh and accept the inevitable  because these 9 people (mostly white, mostly men) are now going to hold my fate, and yours in their hands.  Their decisions will have far more lasting consequences on our lives than I care to think about.  If the Democrats can't fight for this, then I'm not quite sure what they are waiting for.  I know we we're not going to win this, but at least when Alito shows his true colors on the bench, the Democrats can say they TRIED.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:14:06 PM PST

    •  If the Dems never fight ... (none)
      ... they can never win.

      Reagan understood that there are some fights you simply have to take on -- because failing to do so weakens one's credibility -- with both supporters and opponents alike.

      What are we saving up our ammunition for?  Alito is as bad a choice for the court as is imaginable.

      •  That's a perfect way to put it (4.00)
        It's like the fools who said, after Katrina, when I said we should demand Buscho's resignation -- "why bother?  It won't work.  They won't resign and you know that".

        Talk about missing the fucking point

  •  political reality (4.00)
    <div class="blockquote">
    The traditional media and the Republicans will gleefully fill their airwaves with "Democrats are Obstructionist" rhetoric.
    </div>

    This statement implies that the Repugs can always get the traditional media to carry their water.   The problem is that if this is true, the filibuster of Alito will have limited impact on the forutunes of the party because we're pretty much doomed in 2006, 2008 and beyond unless we can stake out some politcal ground where the labels won't stick

    For better or worse, the traditional media creates public opinion in this country.  Remember how in 2000, the media consistantly claimed Gore was a serial exaggerator and thus put out the message that Bush was more trustworthy.  Of course, we see how that turned out with Bush constantly lying and subverting the Constitution.

    If you believe the party fortunes' are going to be sunk by the tradtional media on the filibuster, there are only two reasons I can see for this thinking.  First, filibustering Alito is such a special event that the media will carry water for Repugs this time only. Or second, the traditional media is basically in the Repug's pocket.  If it's the latter, we're going to labled something nasty no matter what we do.

    I believe its the latter and the media will stick us with whatever label Repugs desire.  In this case, I like obstructionist.  For one thing, it is strong since it implies we're active and unyielding.  For another, if the party were to position itself against Alito because of his support of unchecked executive power, then if the shit really hits the fan because the NSA spying, we'll be able to capitialize on it.

    Not filibustering out of fear of the opposition rhetoric will put the party in the same place we are on Iraq.  The party did not take a strong stand against the war because it was thought too polically risky and now even though its a complete and unmitigated disaster, we're not able capitilize on Repug's idiocy for taking the country to war and failure to plan for the occupation.

    Perhaps, I'm too much of an activist in your view but for you to be really convincing to me, you need to show me the ground, you think we should stake out for 2006 and 2008.  If we don't have any, my sense is the poltical reality is that we will lose.  If you got better ground, I'm all ears.

     
  •  Democracy is not a spectator sport. (none)
  •  What you politicos don't seem to get (4.00)
    With all of your triangulations is that the Democratic party is rudderless.  It has no collective consciousness.  It stands for nothing.  Most people want their party to stand for something.
  •  Perhaps you are a bit strong (none)
    as I would not lump all 'activists' into the same camp as this ..

    This is why I and many others screamed and yelled two years ago for all of you independent minded activisits to SYFPH and vote Kerry.   And we did the same in 2000.   It is why many of people like me HATE people who voted for Nader.   Because this is the consequence.

    I consider myself an 'activist'; I was an early supporter of Dean, but I ended supporting Kerry. Much the same with Bradley in 2000, and I ended supporting Gore.

    It would have never crossed my mind to support {as much as I like SOME of his ideas} in the ELECTION Nader in a State when my vote was crucial {and in NH, it most certainly was, in 2000 and 2004}.

    And this is the real problem - that reality  intrudes. If I had lived in MA I would have had a different choice {perhaps}. I would have driven up from MA to NH to work for Gore and Kerry, and perhaps even voted for Nader or someone else in MA!

    But, that's me ..

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:30:05 PM PST

  •  What's pragmatic about NO Demoratic party? (4.00)
    Someone like Alito will threaten the literal existance of the Democratic party itself by helping to use the courts to stifle any opposition to Bush.

    What is the point of saving one's fight for a later day when one may cease to even exist?

    This is a critical issue and its time to bring out the big guns

    •  damn straight! (4.00)
      These people have been at war with us for 35 years now.  They are closer than ever to their dream -- to outlaw us altogether.  

      What more will it take until people actually start to fight?   For God's sake ....

    •  On top of that.... (none)
      ...how does fighting now make it impossible to fight later as well?

      I'd love to see a coach's face if an athlete told him, "Well, I can't practice today because I'm keeping my powder dry for something more important."

      Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
      (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

      by sagesource on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:15:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  is it me, or... (4.00)
    ....have there been an awful lot of diaries lately to the effect of "I think everyone at dkos is fucked up except for me, and this is why....now just try and tell me I'm wrong about it."

    It's getting a little tiresome, folks. Nobody is forcing you to be here.

    undercaffeinated

    by odum on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:34:21 PM PST

  •  My silly view (4.00)
    There must be some things that our representatives stand for...

    ...rather than continue being our representatives....

    ...else they should not continue to be our representatives.

    Surely, torture and monarchism are things we can all agree upon to be against!

    Never let being humane get in the way of being human. And vice-versa.

    by cskendrick on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:36:14 PM PST

  •  Who would you filibuster? (none)
     What nominee is your line in the sand?

     Think hard about that one.

    I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

    by Anderson Republican on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:39:46 PM PST

    •  You see...you don't get it. (none)
      I am not talking about lines in the sand.  I am talking about this situation alone.  Where we stand right now on this nomination.   Not other nominations.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:19:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is the worst possible nominee. (none)
        So what the hell are you talking about?
        •  and we don't have the votes to stop (none)
          him.  

          It is called political reality.

          Accept it.

          "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

          by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 02:19:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The worst form of non-competition (none)
             is to refuse to try.

             Write non-competition large over the species, and we'd still be picking bugs out of our ears.

             Had someone told Ghandi that attempting to free India by nonviolence was 'political reality' - wait, they did that. It did not deter him. It should not deter us if we TRULY believe that this nominee is undeserving.

             A loss is a loss whether you lose by one in the final second or you forfeit. Which one is the better way to fight?

            I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

            by Anderson Republican on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 05:42:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Political reality isn't what you think it is (none)
    Look, we didn't lose 2000, it was stolen.  In all probability so was 2004.  And many of us independent-minded activists would never consider voting for Nader.

    The Republican politicians aren't winning by winning hearts and minds or by winning elections, they're winning by strong-arm tactics.  They oppose democracy; they're a mix of fascists, theocrats, and plain old crooks.

    There was a good description in some book which called the modern Republican Party a "revolutionary movement", and explained what this meant: they don't believe that our government, the Constitution, democracy, or any of our similar traditions are legitimate.  Such a movement must be fought in a completely different way from an ordinary political movement.

    The political reality is that we face a movement determined to end democracy in the US, and so far quite successful at it.  In the face of such an organization, principled opposition, standing tall, strong, and loud, is the only thing which has ever worked.  Whether or not Alito gets put on the Supreme Court, a filibuster is the only politically sane thing to do.  The Republicans will accuse the Democrats of obstructionism, and the sycophant media will support them, if the Democratic Party does anything short of a party-line yes vote; a filibuster does absolutely no political damage relative to this baseline!

    It's clear that you haven't figured this out, because you think Alito will only take us back to the 1920s.  Think "divine right of kings" and you may begin to understand what the issues are.

    The "political realists" you claim to support are the ones who are out of touch with political reality.  Wake up.

  •  Nader drops out when he should (4.00)
    Al Gore is in the White House on the morning of 9/11. Al Gore becomes a hero. Iraq is not invaded. Thousands of people now dead are alive instead.

    Katrina is handled with skill and compassion.

    The Supreme Court is packed with people who value environmental protection, civil liberties, privacy, and the Constitution.

    Gore takes on global warming and leads all nations.

    America is loved and respected around the world.

    My imaginary America.

    •  Well said! (none)
      I hope those who value ideological purity over political reality will heed what you just wrote, but somehow I doubt that they will.
    •  While we are talking about fairy tales... (4.00)
      Mine is of a world where Clinton doesn't sign NAFTA and we still have good paying manufacturing jobs for people.  The health care debate is managed successfully and we now have single payer, universal health care for everyone.  My fairy tale involves a world where welfare mothers are given the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty because Clinton didn't sign a Republican welfare reform bill into law.  This fairy tale concludes with kicking all the fat cat lobbyists out of DC so the people can take power back, instead of power residing in the hands of corporate amerika.
      •  spot on (none)
        You have just articulated exactly my problems with the Clintons.  This doesn't get said nearly enough.

        "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Gandhi

        by midvalley on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:44:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  your world (none)
        is a fairy tale.

        the person you responded to was talking about real consequences of nader's involvement in our political process.

        there will be a global economy.  there will be a global economy. there will be a global economy. there will be a global economy. there will be a global economy.  i am sorry. i will say it again.  like richard harris in "the field" trying to hold back the waves... there will be a global economy....

        so now that one accepts this fact of life, the question becomes:  do you want the transition to a global economy to be managed by repug lite clinton or by swindling bush???

        no difference at all??

        ha!

        •  Of course there is going to be a global economy (none)
          BUT...what sort of economy is it going to be?  One that is driven by the needs of people, or one that is driven by the greed of corporations.

          It is unfortunate that people think when you oppose corporate globalization you oppose "globalization" in general or that you are naive and protectionist.  There is nothing further from the truth.

          People who oppose trade agreements like NAFTA and organizations like WTO and IMF/World Bank have nothing against globalization, it is CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION which we oppose.

          People FIRST
          Corporations SECOND

      •  NAFTA wouldn't save manufacturing. (none)
        Look no further then all the jobs being exported to China and the far east.

        NAFTA doesn't apply there yet they're still heading overseas.

        "We're spending our BILLIONS over there so we don't have to spend them here." - Joon

        by Siberian on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 05:27:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not an activist thoroughbred but (none)
    I am not purely a political junkie.

    By temperment I'm just not the stereotypical activist. Black and white are not my colors. I prefer more shaded, muted tones. There are some principles that cannot be negotiated, but at other times compromise must be considered. That is not to say that I believe strategy is the most fascinating or important part of politics. Instead, I would prefer to move toward 50% of a solution rather than lose a battle altogether and feel morally superior simply because I didn't "compromise" myself.

  •  the more I have read about Alito (none)
    the more I think it is vital for the Dems in the Senate to deny the Bush Administration this victory.

    I think people have to get stirred up, vociferous, emotional, riled - - you know, active! - - to get things going in the media and sway the Senators, let them know we are paying attention and we mean business.

    Storming the Bastille or camping out in Valley Forge: it took emotional fortitude, enthusiasm, p a s s i o n

    Some of the comments and threads on DKos during the past week I have just skipped - - like any week on any topic - - because the posters were crude, shallow, hate-crazed, bigoted, off-target, messianic, whatever.

    Point is, this particular moment is not an orderly march.  More like a spread of pitched battles.  (Iraq, New Orleans, Alaska, Medicaire, Energy, Supreme Court, NSA, Fitzmas, Bungled National Security, etc.)

    We need to win, and we need to let Harry Reid & Co. know that we want a better America "real soon" not in another generation or so.

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies. -- Groucho Marx

    by ornerydad on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:48:21 PM PST

  •  Senator Specter promised... (4.00)
    ...to investigate The Bush WireTap Crime. He should have done this before the Alito hearing. Democrats should filibuster Alito out of the running and then demand the investigation Specter promised. Once that investigation is over, Bush will not be nominating another "knuckle dragger."

    You said: "And even if a filibuster against Alito is successful, and Altio's nomination is withdrawn, does anyone out there think Bush will see the light and nominate a moderate Republican who opposes expanded executive power and is pro-choice?   Please.  

    Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties."

    I disagree on stragigic grounds.

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

    by nehark on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:49:55 PM PST

  •  And... (none)
    ...if you don't know what "stragigic" means, don't ask me.

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

    by nehark on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:51:43 PM PST

  •  I could go off (4.00)
    on a long winded tangent about how wrong you are , but it wouldn't do any good........if an illegal war, illegal wire taps, torture, illegal detention of american citizens, widespread corruption, no bid contracts, tax cuts for the rich, budget cuts for the poor, unfunded education mandates, selling out of american technologies and manufacturing industries, blatant disreguard and contempt of constitutional law, and obvious problems with the environment (in phoenix we have pollution warnings for christ sakes), record high fuel prices while corporations make record profits will not get you off your fence nothing will. I ask you if these things will not get you off your fence, what will? 100,000 dead innocent iraqi civilians didn't do it. Thousands dead do to our governments total lack of response didn't do it.....What will? I can tell you....nothing. Cause like 60% of america your waiting for the bad guy to identify himself so there can be a show down at high noon in front of the okay corral. But that only happens in movies. In real life the bad guys don't identify themselves until nobody can do anything to stop them......and by then it's too late. Don't believe me? Ask the germans.......after all our current presidents grandfather companies supported hitler and the last president bush worked for one of them  The only thing a corrupt government needs its people to do in order to seize power is nothing. Which is exactly what fence sitting is.

    Tell me.....your into political "strategy" when are the fence sitters going to spring their trap? When's the kay moment? When they have the ability to strip citzens of thier citizenship? When they can spy on every aspect of your life? Tell me how your going to have the ability or power to say "NO!" then?

    "Every deal has a patsy. If you don't know who it is, you're it."

    by MrFlesh on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:55:38 PM PST

    •  Thanks, and this part bears repeating. (none)
      ...if an illegal war, illegal wire taps, torture, illegal detention of american citizens, widespread corruption, no bid contracts, tax cuts for the rich, budget cuts for the poor, unfunded education mandates, selling out of american technologies and manufacturing industries, blatant disreguard and contempt of constitutional law, and obvious problems with the environment (in phoenix we have pollution warnings for christ sakes), record high fuel prices while corporations make record profits will not get you off your fence nothing will. I ask you if these things will not get you off your fence, what will?

      Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

      by HunterKiller on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:02:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fine, then make THAT the argument! (none)
      I think there's a reasonable argument to be made that ALL Bush nominees who have been nominated without advance consultation with the Senate Democratic leadership should be filibustered, especially in view of what I agree is the extraordinarily outrageous conduct of this administration.  But if that's the basis, then make THAT the basis for opposition.

      Forget the Vanguard Funds stuff, the CAP stuff (except to the extent that it reflects a willingness to basically try to toady up to those who can advance his career), the "he likes the idea of strip searching 10 year-old girls" stuff.  By seeming too willing to oppose this nomination on any basis that happens to come to hand, whether it's legitimate or not, the Judiciary Committee Democrats weakened the very legitimate arguments against this guy's confirmation, and unfortunately, they were encouraged by the liberal blogosphere to make that mistake.

  •  I hate when everyone is always fretting (4.00)
    that standing up for our most vital core principles will hurt our party politically. This is why Dems are always portrayed as ready to jump on whatever bandwagon comes along.

    If a Dem majority Senate was going to reinstitute the 80% tax rate on the top-earning taxpayers, do you think the Republicans would fret about the political consequences of filibustering it? No. Doing the bidding of the wealthiest americans is their core principle, and they will never abandon it. They do what they have to do and then find ways to sell it. And it works.

    I'm all for spinning the news and our position to make it appeal to as many as possible. But core principles should never be set aside. We need to pay attention to things that might hurt us politically in terms of trying to mitigate political damage from the principled actions we are taking--not in terms of whether we should take the principled action.

    And Americans do not want Dems to acquiesce to this unpopular president's judgment anyway.  The country is focused on the corruption in Washington right now. We are an opposition party, we are expected to oppose. Americans are not now trusting of Bush or the Republicans. If Bush can get Alito confirmed over a Dem filibuster, so be it. But why forfeit before we even try? If we stand up and fight here, whether or not we win, we have one more issue to go to the voters with to say, this is what they did, and we did everything we could to stop it.

    Most Americans are not going to track this debate, and no one will take Republicans seriously when they try to label us obstructionists at this point. There will be no political consequences of a filibuster. Nothing will detract from the culture of corruption meme that will continue to echo from the rooftops come november.  

    Alito does not belong on the Supreme Court.

    Elections have consequences, yes. So do Constitutional Conventions, and so do Senate Rules. A unified minority has the power (as well it should) to keep this loony off the court. We would be insane if we did not try to stop it through every tactic possible.

    Bush may indeed nominate another wingnut after Alito. But if we successfully block Alito, we can block any copy of Alito as well. After we successfully block his replacement, maybe bush will provide a decent nominee simply to prevent us running out the clock on him. The republicans ran out the clock on dozens of Clinton appointees. If we are unified, we really can stop Bush from getting a wingnut on the court. And it's among the most important fights of the decade.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 225-3121. Call your senator and tell him/her to support the filibuster.

  •  The odd thing about the Alito nomination (4.00)
    will only become apparent when SCOTUS attempts to overturn Roe.  They can't really do it, because as with the Reporter Shield laws, the states will immediately begin to pass their own laws protecting the rights of women.

    Those whom the gods would destroy, they answer their prayers and swiftly.  If SCOTUS becomes a partisan extension of the Executive, the nation will demand and get limitations and legislative reversals of SCOTUS.  As another poster sagely notes:  liberal causes were advanced in SCOTUS when the Congress refused to address them.  We can do the same through Congress and the Executive, should SCOTUS become an intransigent body.  The Neocons may be like the dog who caught his tail, and didn't know what to do with it.

    We tend to look at the world through the kaleidoscope of Blue and Red, when the reality is far more Purple.  Slightly more than 50% of this country is women, and they will go Liberal en masse should any SCOTUS decision go against them on reproductive rights.

    Tactically, I am with those who would go with the filibuster, followed by the nuclear option, and a shutdown of Congress.  The knives would come out, and the activists would man the barricades.  Wait the bastards out, and let the media go crazy.  The Republicans have made a hash of their mandate.

    Alito is another Scalia, of that there is no doubt, and we cannot play a chess game here.  This is the moment, it's time to lock and load, ladies and gentlemen, the battle has been brought to us, and we hold the high ground.  We have been lied to, spied on, sent into the hell of an unjust war.  If the Democrats roll over now, they will be kicked to death.

    People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

    by BlaiseP on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:03:24 PM PST

  •  Actually, (none)
    OF COURSE he'd recommend only another knuckle-dragging fascist.  My only real hope at this point is that the Dems can drag this out long enough to let Sandra Day have one more go at making decisions.  That would also put the nominating into mid-year where Dems could and should make great political hay about the extremist views of whatever knuckle-dragging fascist this moron next nominates.  Get the nomination/hearings into the election cycle.

    I AM paying attention, and I am so fucking outraged I can't see straight. Besides, TORTURE and ILLEGAL SPYING ON AMERICANS are not family values!

    by caseynm on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:09:45 PM PST

    •  Actually (none)
      Even among knuckle-draggers, it's hard to find proponents of Presidental dictatorship.  Alito really appears to be more dangerous than many of the extreme right-wingers Bush could appoint.

      Myers was only a proponent of Bush personally, not of dictatorship in general.

  •  Get. A. Pair. (4.00)
    I got through 3rd grade math and I know the numbers are not on our side to kill the Alito nomination, but by God I expect every single Democrat to fight it.

    Why? Because it's the right thing to do.

    Because it's what you do.

    Do you not understand that, as you sit back there on your ass quietly disdainful of and distancing yourself from the people you call 'activists'? Where's your outrage? Where's your moral compass? Where's your fear as to what this will do to generations of Americans to come? Where's your sense of responsibility?

    This is the COURT. This is the definition of the battleground for the Constitution and liberty. If they can't fight there, they aren't going to fight anywhere and need to resign and immediately vacate their offices because they are cowardly pieces of shit.

    It's a matter of integrity. It's a matter of courage. It's a matter of necessity.

    YES, we would lose a filibuster. But we MUST. There is no dishonor in trying and failing. There is nothing but dishonor in failing to even fight.

    I'm nowhere near an activist but neither am I resigned, snivelling, defeatist coward that will take a raping from George W. Bush without a hair-tearing, screaming, biting, punching, kicking fight.

    I'm sure in your complex political calculation algorithms that sort of fight damages the party or isn't workable or some other nambypampy excuse.

    I don't play those games. I go by what's right. And you go by what's political. Oh you've got lots of loud noise telling Kos people to SYFPH but you've got nothing to say when it's time to admonish Democrats to do the right thing. You surrendered when Bush took office again. I started fighting again. I actually never stopped.

    In 10 or 15 years my godkids might ask their crazy old Aunty Kim about how I felt about the horrible things that the Roberts court is doing to the vestiges of democracy, freedom and civil liberties that they enjoy. What am I going to say? "I didn't want to be perceived as a passionate activist by some very calculating Democrats so I didn't fight the fight for you?" I don't think so.

    I can live with my conscience with my passion and my activism.

    God help you if you can.

    •  Precisely the wrong approach. (3.00)
      Fight to the bitter end and go down with the ship!

      Romantic notion and also incredibly stupid. There are times to insist on ideological purity and unabashed declarations of principle. This is not one of those times.

      Bush is doing all he can to hand us the elections in 10 months and there are people like Kimberly calling for losing fights to the death over a confirmation battle that was largely over when Bush picked the capable and very disciplined Alito, a 15 year veteran of the appellate courts with a squeaky clean record.

      We need not yell our principles from the rooftops. We need only be pragmatic and put together an agenda that will win over just 1-2 percent more of the electorate between now and November.

      That is the path to reclaiming political power, not naive proclamations of our inherent superiority and ideological purity. It might feel good, but we'll still be losers.

      •  Dead wrong. (none)
        The elections in 10 months will be stolen if you don't yell now -- what are you doing to guarantee free and fair elections?  Ohio is busy passing a bill to prevent any challenges to whatever phony results they doctor their election machines to produce.

        Remember Bush v. Gore.  Let Alito go with proclamations of how fair he is?  Well then, if we're in danger of winning the Congress, Alito will be there to hand the elections to the Republicans, and we won't even be able to say "We said he was unacceptable".

        Your path is stupid, and it's the path to losing.

      •  Karl, (none)
        get off the White House computers and do some work.
    •  Disagree slightly (none)
      And you go by what's political.

      What's political about surrender?

      Cheap and easy, more likely. An opportunity to sneer at all those silly, misguided fools who get sooooo excited over things that the poster is far superior to.

      I really can't see what the argument against fighting is, other than laziness, snarkiness, and the desire to feel superior. It isn't the Alamo; it isn't Dublin, Easter 1916. No one is going to get killed in this fight. The only sure thing is if you don't fight, you lose. If you fight, all possibilities remain open.

      Keeping the powder dry, you say? You can't do that by piddling on it when Bush says "Boo."

      Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
      (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

      by sagesource on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:10:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goodbye. (n/t) (2.50)
    It's been real and it's been nice but it's now time to get on with whatever remains of this life.

    There is no democracy without a free press and a misinformed population making conditioned responses to a corporate-owned MSM fed stimuli is a poor substitute for even the worst kind of democracy.

    Democracy in this country died as soon as the Republicans and the Democrats, with rare and noble bi-partisan consensus, sold the public airways away to big business allowing then to peddle their lies and misinformation to a public that was to be turned into advertisement jingle conditioned consumers.

    But that was not enough, was it? No, not quite. The corporations, again with bi-partisan support, were given the right to free speech and right to privacy ensuring their monopoly on what exact blend of information and misinformation the consumer was to be fed. Phase "A" complete.

    The Executive is already owned by big business and, as evident from the Abramoff scandal; our representatives in Congress have been bought and paid for too. Only the ones who make a difference need to be bought, of course. Big business did not become that by wasting money on people who do not make a difference.

    The last hope the people have (or had) is the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land interprets the Constitution and that interpretation forms the basis of all laws. With Alito, the packing of this court with judges who invariably rule in the favor of corporations and the government against the individual is almost complete. It never was about Roe v Wade but the red herring did its job. Criminalize mass protests and the only weapon the people have is the ballot box and we all know how transparent and effective that method is. We must all remember to thank the Democrats for their contribution.

    It is all over but the singing so excuse me while I go and get changed for the big finale.

    .................................................................. Can we finally say: Bush Out .

    by Kenyan on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:14:52 PM PST

  •  It's sentiments like this (4.00)
    that will continue to lose elections, every fucking time.

    Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties.   And you what, I am perfectly fine with that.   Why?  Am I a Republican now?   No.  But I do believe that elections have consequences.  This is one of those consequences.

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.  So what is the point of even having an opposition party?  What is the point of people even voting for senatorial candidates?  Because under your conception, King George gets to sit who he wants, when he wants, public sentiment and the Constitution be damned.

    I used to lamblast people who don't vote or held the opinion that there is no difference between the two major parties.  I still object to that sentiment, but opinions like yours make it much more difficult for me to convince others that voting for the Democratic party is worthwhile.

    I am ashamed of your diary.

    •  Be ashamed (4.00)
      that does not change the political reality of our situation.  

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:24:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The reality is, (4.00)
        that we have an opportunity to at least try to stop Alito.  There is no excuse for not doing so, none.  I know my comment was pretty harsh, particularly because you're one of the best commenters here, but the real reality is that voters, when evaluating our party, are going to be looking for leadership willing to fight for their best interests.  Fight and lose if necessary.  Sacrifice.  Stand up and lead even if the public is asleep.

        The Democratic party must do any and everything to stop Alito's confirmation.  If we're not willing to do so, then we have confirmed the worst suspicions of the political cynics who believe neither party is worth a damn.  It's frightening to me that we would even consider not filibustering Alito.

        •  this is the all or nothing attitude (none)
          i think alluded to in the diary.

          40 of 44 dems could vote "no" and then everyone will say the 40 "no" votes were just for show.

          and there's no difference at all between dems and repugs.

          all of nothing.  all or nothing.

          •  I'm sorry, but the Democratic party leadership (none)
            maintains its support largely because of its domestic policy strengths and "party of the working and middle class" leanings.  We need to cobble together a meaningful resistance to Alito (who was clearly, unequivocally nominated in order to pacify wingnuts and pursue an extremist agenda), period.

            We have a tool at our disposal, the filibuster, which was designed precisely so that the minority party gets a say in situations such as this, when a "no" vote is not sufficient to stop an organic harm to our country, be it a piece of legislation or a crazy jurist itching to ascend to the Supreme Court and radically rework the current legal landscape.

            You characterize my opinion as "all or nothing."  I characterize it as common sense.

            •  i characterize this opinion (none)
              as all or nothing:

              "if dems don't filibuster, then all of them are worthless."

              if this is not your opinion, apologies.

              the diarist pointed out three dems we can't count on.

              reid can withold committee appointments.  i see no other real leverage.  do you??

              i will not blame the party as a whole for three out of 44 bad votes.  i will call that a party that reflects my values.  stupid me.

              and i'll continue to point out that a majority is more valuable than purity.

              if we had 55 senators, 7 of them could vote for alito and we'd still be rejecting his confirmation.

              •  It's actually not my opinion (none)
                but my first comment to DD was so harsh, I can see where you might attribute it to me.

                My opinion is that the Democratic party needs to filibuster Alito, period, and irrespective of whether it is ultimately successful.  That's the other "real leverage" that we have here.  We need to show the country that we will risk political fallout to protect their rights and that we can be bold and audacious when fighting for the country.

                •  the leverage i'm asking about (none)
                  is the leverage reid has to get either of the nelsons or pryor or landrieu to flip.

                  We need to show the country that we will risk political fallout to protect their rights and that we can be bold and audacious when fighting for the country.

                  that statement would make more sense to me if it was editted like this:

                  We need to show the democratic party base that we will risk political fallout to protect their rights and that we can be bold and audacious when fighting for the country.

                  we're assuming that the entire country feels the way we feel about the dem party.

                  •  Our leadership isn't merely (none)
                    protecting the rights of its base; they would be protecting the rights of the entire country, regardless of how they "feel" about the Democratic party.
                    •  ok fine (none)

                      but i want to point out that protecting the rights of the base is sometimes a thankless task.

                      protecting the rights of america is ALWAYS a thankless task.  a lot of them would only resent the dem party for doing so.

  •  Consequences... (3.20)
    Being from Iowa, I was there on caucus night 2004 when John Kerry took control of the nomination fight.  Driving home from the caucuses that night, I knew that our fate was sealed because Shrub was going to get four more years.  Now we are experiencing the consequences of nominating John Kerry to challenge Shrub.

    IMHO, DD is correct, the Dems need to pick and choose our fights, and the fight we should choose is regaining control of the Senate in 2006.  

    Don't get me wrong, Alito is going to be a scary Supreme, but we CANNOT win this fight.  Let's get back to focusing on the scandals, the destruction of the middle class and the massive deficit that is being piled up.

    The trouble with Democratic Party, and espcially its presidential nominees, were that they tried to please everyone all of the time.  We need leaders that take a stand.  Leaders like Russ Feingold hammering away at the Patriot Act, and Howard Dean, not afraid to take on anybody.  ANd I have really come to respect Harry Reid.  Heck, even Al Gore, circa 2005.

    We need conviction out of leaders, not nuanced positions.  WE ARE NOW REAPING THE CONSEQUENCES of the 2000 and 2004 election debacles.  This is not the fight to pick, it is the 2006 Senate Races.  

    Dems in 2006!

    •  Amen... (none)
      ...and I swear to god if I hear one more person say "electable" to describe their candidate I'm going to (metaphoricly) bitchslap them.

      You need more than PERCIEVED electability to win elections.  period.  

      I can't wait til they start making us wear armbands.

      by DawnG on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:28:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be shocked if Feingold is the one who (none)
      decides to filibuster, and not because of Roe either.  If he does he's going to tie it into his hammering away at the so-called Patriot Act via this 'Unitary executive' nonsense.  Alito + permanent patriot act = big trouble in little china.

      Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

      by LionelEHutz on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:35:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  one Senator can't decide to filibuster (none)
        that's not how it works. All they need is 60 votes. Reid either decides to filibuster - which he won't - or let's members vote their conscience. There is no way for Feingold to lead anything here.
        •  Feingold can filibuster regardless of what (none)
          Reid or the rest of the Democratic caucus wants.

          Whether he would succeed or not is another matter entirely.  

          It's like when A asks their lawyer if they can sue B.  Sure, A can sue B, but just because A can sue doesn't mean that they will win and it doesn't mean that if they lose that they won't suffer consequences if the suit was frivolous.

          Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

          by LionelEHutz on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:16:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Alito and Bush v. Gore (none)
      Alito is being appointed because he is an advocate for Presidential dictatorship.

      Does anyone really doubt that, in the case of a contested Senate election, he will hand it to the Republican?

      At the very least, we need to announce now that he is unacceptable, so that when he behaves unacceptably we are in a position to say "We told you so!"

    •  spot on (none)
      If the Democrats had Senate control Alito would not have a chance ..

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:34:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The damage was done in '04: but blame the DEMS (4.00)
    Couldn't agree more: there's no way in hell we're getting a moderate judge to replace O'Connor.  Damage was done in '04.

    But the Democractic Party can only blame itself, if you ask me.  

    The constant tug to the center on social issues, on Iraq, and being in bed with Corporations almost as much as the Republicans, makes Democrats Republican-Lite at best.  And why would an Independent choose the Lite version?  

    Voting your conscience is not irresponsible: it is your duty.  If Democrats wanted Nader's votes they should've sought them rather than attack Nader. (that said, I think Nader is an arrogant chump and I didn't vote for him)  And if Kerry had taken a real opposition stance to Iraq I think he would have won.

    Democracy depends on informed activism.

    by Juan Pablo on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:31:40 PM PST

    •  The real blame (none)
      Lies in failing to contest the likely-fraudulent election in Ohio.

      And indeed in acceeding to the Supreme Court's outright theft of the 2000 election in Florida.  That was the time for Gore to call for mass street protests.  To appeal to the UN.  To sue in the World Court.

      Sigh.

      •  Yes that too... (none)
        Or how about sitting for 4 years after 2000 without real election reform.  Maybe that would have prevented the fraud in Ohio.  I do understand it's difficult with a corrupt majority, but the Dems. just don't make enough noise about things like this.

        Democracy depends on informed activism.

        by Juan Pablo on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:47:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with you on just about everything else you (4.00)
    wrote but the filibuster part.  

    Bush is so scandal ridden at this point that there is no reason to permit this guy to appoint anybody else to SCOTUS until, at the very least, there have been hearings on the NSA wiretapping, the Plame scandal, he explains his ties to Abramoff, etc...  

    Whatever legitimacy he may have had (which was dubious to begin with) he's squandered.  Permitting this man to get another SCOTUS appointment without a fight, a man who after Nov 8th could very well be on his way to impeachment (if the votes align just right), is just plain wrong.  

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:32:38 PM PST

    •  Suppose Myers Had Made it In (none)
      Just think about it...

      Remember, all her stuff was before the Spygate scandal, and the Dems actually wanted her in.

      She would have coronated King George.

      "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

      by Heronymous Cowherd on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:45:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She would have been better. (none)
        She was a personal follower of King George.  But as soon as he was replaced by (for instance) Cheney, she probably would have started acting like a real judge.

        Alito believes in dictatorship as a matter of principle.

      •  She was a suckup to Bush but what did come out (none)
        about her didn't point to her as being as bad as Alito.

        That said, circumstances have changed.  IMO, Bush does not deserve the privilege of appointing another person to SCOTUS until the scandals are settled.  His scandals have a constitutional dimension now, they aren't about BJ.

        Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

        by LionelEHutz on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:20:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Feingold would be the man I choose... (none)
    If the Dems choose to filibuster, I hope Feingold leads the charge.
  •  Undecided (4.00)
    Should we filibuster?   I don't know.  I am undecided.

    so you think people who may or may not disagree with your assessment of reality are unrealistic regardless?


    • we have no control of the agenda in the run up to 2006
    • no one but diehards are paying attention to the nomination
    • most americans can't tell you what democrats stand for
    • we have a president who is illegally spying on americans with republican approval--the nuclear option is the least of our concerns.

    democrats have literally nothing to loose by trying to stop a supreme court nominee who wants the government to own every uterus, wants this president to be king, and as a bigot to top it off.  a spectacle will at least give americans a sense of what we're about--individual liberty and unity.  more importantly, it will confirm to the diehard activists that are absolutley needed in fall that democrats will stand and fight for core democratic principles.

    as for the nuclear option--if we are not prepared to use the fillibuster in a situation like this, when should we?  another republican power grab will underscore the evils of one party rule next fall.

    or we can continue to be completely irrelevant and quietly vote "no" with no consequences.  

    we need to energize base voters this year and build a brand long-term.  filibuster.

  •  The reason this approach is stupid (4.00)
    Is because it fails to recognize that confirming Alito would cause serious harm to Democratic Party politics. In any number of ways.

    Your approach is basically "well, since we can't win, we should just let it go." The Dems have been taking that approach for the last 5 years and it has gotten them exactly nowhere. Dems will win nothing and lose everything by not standing up on Alito. They lose nothing, and potentially gain a great deal, by filibustering him.

    Anyhow, your argument that we should surrender because we lost the presidential election is itself an agreement with the Bushist notion of a unitary executive, of a kingly president. The Senate's role was NEVER to meekly go along with the results of a presidential election. Never, never, never, never. The Senate's role was to speak its own piece on a presidential policy or nomination no matter what the president's re-election total was or what his rating in the polls is.

    So you're wrong, quite wrong, and we don't even have to talk about activism to explain how deeply wrong you are. That we can totally destroy your arguments on the field of practical politics is enough to show how bankrupt a strategy it is that you're selling.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:40:46 PM PST

    •  Good God, THANK YOU, Eugene (4.00)
      Let's have some balls, for chrissakes. Some courage of our convictions.

      Geez.

      Filibuster! Yes.

      If not now, when?

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:06:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right (4.00)
      It was probably not a good idea to come to read this thread straight from a book on the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Ireland. I have a certain intellectual sympathy for those who fear the fight will not be won, but total contempt for those who use that as an excuse not to wage it. A lot of the posters could have saved words and made a more graphic and honest presentation of their message by simply posting a photo of urine-filled boots.

      Why doesn't America have an effective left wing? Because too many people who claim membership in the American left are always going to fight valiantly.... tomorrow. Or sometime. Just not now, please, they might lose.

      Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
      (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

      by sagesource on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:58:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not even that (none)
        If you adopt Delaware Dem's centrist perspective - even by that logic a failure to stop Alito is stupid. Democrats simply cannot afford to lose this battle, no matter how you slice it.

        But yeah, from a leftist perspective, it looks even stupider.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:59:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  so glad (none)
    someone said this. I love this site, don't get me wrong, but so often what I read here has no basis in reality.

    Whip counts are whip counts, votes are votes. We can rant and rave about a filibuster but it won't work. If we want our judges on the bench then let's win some fucking elections.

    •  Still missing the point (none)
      Filibuster is the right thing to do politically even if we lose (as we may expect to), because it shows people that we stand for something.  And in the remote chance we win, it can't hurt either, since Alito is as bad as they get.

      On top of that, it's the principled thing to do, since Alito is a proven liar and totally unsuitable as a judge.

      See many many comments explaining these three points.  Added together, it means there's no excuse not to filibuster.  Democrats who break ranks should be disowned.

  •  Great Diary, Strategic Questions For Filibusterers (4.00)
    First off, I don't agree with everything in here, and you didn't have to go off on the Nader tangent (for uh strategic reasons), but this is a fantastic diary.  

    I have some questions for people who are hardliners about filibustering Alito.  Right now I'm agnostic on the question of filibustering him because I want to play out more of the tactical angles in my head.  That's why I'd like some strategic input from those of you who have hardcore pro-filibuster positions.

    1. What precisely do we gain by the filibuster, and how?
    A. I have seen people who say it's good for the brand; I'm definitely sympathetic to this argument, but the counterargument is pretty strong itself.
    B. If we block Alito, I'd give us at best a 10-20% shot at accomplishing this, does Bush respond by nominating someone more moderate?  

    2.  What do you have to say to the people who have argued that we have a slate of great issues to hammer Bush with right now (Sago, Katrina, Iraq, Illegal Wiretapping), and diverting attention to Alito take the pressure off on these other fronts?

    I don't think I buy this argument because I see no reason why we can't keep the pressure on about three or four issues at the same time.  However, it's got a kind of visceral appeal.

    3.  Every course of action has a potential downside.  There's almost no situation where you can make a decision without some risk, however small, that this decision has a negative outcome.  So, filibuster advocates, what are the potential pitfalls of your strategy?  

    It's possible to be both strategic and an activist (how can you employ strategy without being active?), but that means clearly laying out the risk-reward.  So, comrades, help a brother out.

    •  IMO (4.00)
      1a.  We gain because we start to make a record.  Even if the filibuster is not successful, I would really like the Dems to be on record as having tried.  

      1b.  Maybe Bush would respond by nominating someone more moderate - but only if the Dems speak loudly, with one voice, and are backed up by the base.  More likely, he would reach deep and pull out the a true crazy for his next nomination - but, having made a record on Alito, fighting an even crazier candidate should be easier.  

      1.  SCOTUS appointments may not have the same sex appeal to the media as dead people, but the number of future dead people, and the manner of their death, will be directly influenced by the tenor of the Court.  I wish the Dems would work harder on educating the public about just how important the Court is.

      2.  The downside of a filibuster is that it escalates the fight.  Even if successful, it risks the nuclear option.  I would argue, however, that even if the nuclear option is successful (and I have real doubts about that), it is far more easily undone than 35 years of bad jurisprudence by the High Court.

      In the long term, I see little downside to a filibuster.  Short term, it may cripple any Dem action in Congress, but the Party is already on life support, so I'm not convinced it matters.  The Dems are done unless they can take back Congress and that isn't going to happen unless they start to throw some red meat to their base.  

      FWIW - I see the whole Roe issue as a red herring.  I believe the real danger with Scalito lies in the Executive Power issues and the role of the Commerce Clause.  

      But the bottom line for me is the idea that this is not about what is best for the Democrats, this should, no must, be about what is best for the Country.  Bush must be opposed.  To do that successfully, we need support from the Republicans and to get that support, we must make a record so that if it really does all go to shit, we will have the credibility to step up, and work with what's left of the Republican Party, to fix it.

    •  Answer for you (none)
      B. If we block Alito, I'd give us at best a 10-20% shot at accomplishing this, does Bush respond by nominating someone more moderate?  

      Answer: Yes.  It's probably impossible for him to appoint someone less moderate, unless he picks John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, or Dick Cheney.  (Or, God forbid, himself.)  Roe may be toast, but we're very likely to get someone who is not a proponent of dictatorship.

  •  Great diary DD. (none)
    I agree with you.  Alito will be confirmed regardless of what the Dems do.  We just don't have the votes.  And a filibuster will not work, we'd just be wasting our time and energies on that.

    This year is the year that Dems can take back control of either the Senate or the House.  We won't be able to take back both.  Political reality folks.

    We need to get out there and make a difference in the primaries this Spring, and the general election in November.  We need to work hard for our candidates this year.  We can do it!  This is our year!

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:04:24 PM PST

    •  Well then... (4.00)
      ...the least we can do is raise a fucking stink.  I don't see Democraps doing that, and I look forward to giving them the middle finger in 2008 by voting third party if they continue to be the party of LOSERS!  (Sorry, but I don't know any other way to characterize a party that consistently takes the position of, "Oh, golly, we can't possibly win.  Let's just be politically expedient and shut the fuck up while the other guys shred the Constitution and lay the groundwork for a type of tyranny that will make the Nazis look like rank amateurs.")  If the Democraps continue to be a bunch of weak, capitulating assholes, they can kiss my vote goodbye.  BTW, I did not vote for Nader in 2004.  

      In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

      by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:44:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (none)
      Precisely. Well said.
  •  save our powder for "reality" (none)
    Which "reality" is that?  The "reality" of an executive branch out of control--soon to be given a green light by fascists like Alito?  

    I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking. --Cartoon Dog, The New Yorker

    by markymarx on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:29:02 PM PST

  •  Awesome diary! (3.00)
    I love your realist and clear-headed thoughts! Sometimes it seems we get a little too caught up within ourselves and our political/activist circle.
    •  What circle is that again? (none)
      Political activist?  I see very few political activists here.  What I see is a bunch of people who get off by whining on the Internet instead of organizing and doing stuff in the real world.  

      In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

      by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:46:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: What circle is that again? (none)
        I'll be honest with you. On many days I do feel like that, especially when I see so many people attacking each other for fairly minor disagreements. But on the whole, though, I have become a little more active and much more knowledgable about politics since I came to this site.
        •  Fair enough... (none)
          ...but diaries like this one prove my point.  

          It just blows my mind that everyone knows just how dire the situation has become but nobody is willing to do much about it, least of all the Democraps, who have capitulated and commiserated and equivocated us into: an illegal war, an effectively bankrupt nation, a court stacked with right-wing whackos, a Congress dominated by zealots, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  Frankly, I'm beginning to think that the Democraps are even more evil than the Repukes -- at least with the Repukes you pretty much get what you paid for.  

          In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

          by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:57:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Amen! Brother. (4.00)
    I, like you, enjoy reading and commenting on issues put forth by the High Potentates of this site.  But I fail to understand how beating a dead horse over and over again will accomplish what (apparently) is the agenda of the anointed (most visible) writers in this forum.

    The Democratic Party must put together a coherent (and cohesive) strategy for returning to the forefront of government.  Outperforming the opposition in this rigged, theatrical farce called confirmation hearings is hardly strategy...it is dumbed-down, self-defeating tactics.

    I fail to see how this forum (DailyKos) or the Democratic grandstanding of the Judicary Committee will gain converts to the causes of the Left.  It isn't the far right or the far left that wins elections.  A win comes from one side or the other attracting the middle-of-the-roaders to lean right or to lean left.

    The views of the left and the left leaning have no future until a majority of the votes cast say so.  So Democrats, fight the right battles.  Don't waste energy on theatre.

    It is time that the Party developed a message that the majority of Americans will support. The Republicans (as flawed as their thinking and their positions on issues may be) have captured the imagination of a majority of those voting over the past five years.  Their message is selling...the multi-pronged (often incoherent) messages of the Democratic Party are not attracting a majority of the voters.

    We can hate them (the Republicans) for their success...but our hate and our venom is unlikely to unseat more than a handfull of the entrenched Republicans.  For, you see, other than the hardcore Democratic loyalist, Americans turn away when the Party's policies spew about as negative rejoinders to Republican's choreography of what ought be a solemn Congressional event.  It is time for the Democratic Party to do some original thinking.

    It's enough to make an old lady cry.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    by TheRef on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:33:30 PM PST

  •  yes, it would take a minor miracle (4.00)
    with that i wholeheartedly agree.  but i think grassroots activism is a very good source for minor miracles.  see that classic margaret mead quote.
  •  Dem calculations (4.00)
    The problem I see with Dems like DD are they believe in all the calculations and strategy and focus group based game plans which is why the Dems are so INEFFECTIVE. They no longer have courage of convictions and stand up for their values. They are quite willing to roll up and let the other side attack continuously and control the framing.

    One has to give credit to the sheer organizational ability of the Rethugs to wage a domestic political war. Their quick response, their media spin control, their message machine and discipline, their attack dogs, their looting of taxpayer funds to grease the wheels, their goodies and caring of their base, their ability to generate fear among anyone that opposes them.

    This is the reason why they have total and absolute political power. With Alito they would have sealed the complete deal with a highly partisan supreme court doing their bidding.

    The Dem base have a simple choice. Support the status quo leaders or support activist and fighters as candidates in the primaries. Until the Dem base get away from the lesser evil, better "electability" choice the status quo will continue. In retrospect, the Iowan Dem base in the last presidential primaries let down the entire Dem base by not rallying for Dean. He was the only fighter in the race. Even if Dean had lost the election to Shrub, he would have gone down fighting. But more importantly the base would be better organized to fight and take advantage of the political opportunities the Dems have now.

    The Dem base needs to promote from within a new set of leaders who will not shrink from a fight and can provide serious opposition to the totalitarian agenda of the Rethugs.

    •  Paging Dr. ED ZACKLY... (none)
      ...you're needed in surgery, pronto!

      The boot-licking Rethuglickin' Lite "strategy" has been tried for ten years, and it has proven itself beyond the dimmest shadow of doubt to be a miserable failure.  

      In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

      by ChuckLin on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:24:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The good news is .... (none)
    If a Democrat is elected President, Alito will reverse his position on Presidential power 180 degrees.  Count on it.

    Safety in election: not in the court.

  •  You are so right on points (4.00)
    I sat through all the interview, and I am surprised at some of the comments I have been reading in many places (DKos included) chastising the Dems for not asking "tough" question or follow-up questions, and stuff like that.

    The Dems on  that interview panel did the best they could do, IMO. The fact Scarito will be confirm is not due to any ineptitude on the part of the committe members. The fact that they could not "nail" Scarito is not a reflection of "failure" on their part.

    The failure happened in 2004. We knew, going into the 2004 elections, what would be in play. We knew that at least 2 vacancies would be coming up and we knew that the spoils will belong to the winner. We knew that the pretender-in-chief will HAVE to throw some bones to the people that put him in power. We knew all this. Yet, we didn't do enough to win that must-win election. This is one reason I find it hard to entertain (even for a second) the idea of a Kerry-round2. We had a very beatable guy on our hands, and we had 2 supreme court slots riding on a win, and we folded like a pack of cards.

    Cry all you may. Blame whoever you want to for not being "tough enough". It does not change the equation or the reality that our lukewarm attitude and passivity towards participation in elections ARE the reason we are here today talking about people like Alito. Our unwillingness to appear "mean" or "un-stateman-like", our willingness to allow the opposition to define the rule and tone of the debate, and our timidity in aggressively refusing their efforts to define us, all led us here.

    Until we get people energized (or upset) enough to want to bother to vote, until we vote on consistent regularity to take back congress or the White House, until we realize that election is simply a game of numbers, no amount of "tough" questions or aggrssive posture or filibusters will help much.

    •  You got... (none)
      that right.  We should blame the Party that cannot get elected for wrong turns taken in putting new Justices on the Supreme Court.  Woe be unto the vanquished.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:56:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They did nail him. (none)
      Demonstrated that he's an out-and-out liar, and that he isn't willing to come out and oppose torture, won't declare that the President's powers are limited by the Constitution, won't disavow Bush v. Gore.... he's nailed.

      Blame the media for misreporting it.

      sigh

  •  Wow (4.00)
    Suprised to even see this on the Recommended Diaries list.  I would have expected you to be troll rated up to wazzoo and the diary disappeared off the front page.

    I totally get what you're saying here DD.  I don't agree with you, but I get it and its logical.  In fact this whole thing has me torn because frankly I feel similarly about Alito as I did with Roberts.  They are both very, very qualified for the job.  I STRONGLY disagree with their judicial perspective, but that by itself is not really a great reason to deny a judge a position even on the Supreme Court.  I actually was not opposed to Roberts being nominated and confirmed.  I wasn't overjoyed about it either, but I wasn't opposed.  The same would go for Alito if it wasn't for the fact that it will change the balance of the court out of our favor.  Elections do have consequences, and Bush will never choose somebody we would be happy with.  However...

    I just disagree that this will be a loss for Democrats.  I think they should stand up, filibuster and then make the Republicans use the nuclear option.  Crazy you say?  Maybe.  But I think in the end it will benefit the party.  Alito's viewpoints are not in line with the majority of America.  When Roe vs. Wade is overturned or weakened to nothingness, I believe that will backfire on the Republican party.  If the Democrats don't do all they can to stop it from happening, then there will be no benefit to reap politically.  But if they do, there will be and then it becomes our political football and wedge issue.

    Secondly, I think the actual act of destroying the filibuster will provide a good media circus in which the Democrats (if they are media-competent enough...yea I know that's hoping) can take advantage of.  It'll be another notch in the Republican party run amok storyline.  Remember 70% of Americans want his nomination denied if he's going to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

    Letting the nomination go through will not benefit the party at all.  And instead of hurting the party, I believe it could seriously benefit the party if they play their cards right.

  •  why is a smoking gun necessary? (none)
    how can a moderate, even an (R) one, pretend not to see what alito is?

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 06:53:26 PM PST

    •  And these hearings (none)
      have turned into a scripted sham, essentially designed to keep the truth from getting out.

      I would think Chafee for one would be itching to show his progressive cred. But perhaps he's cowed by his primary challenger.

  •  My feelings exactly (none)
    There are so many issues that need to be addressed. This whole week is a major diversion from them. And over something that has an inevitable ending.
  •  SYFPH (none)
    I laughed so hard I almost had to pick myself up off the floor.

    But I agree with you 100%. I guess they get all ramped up so they can motivate others.

    Recommended.

    Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

    by NCYellowDog on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:03:34 PM PST

  •   the 2000 debate over FLA elections (none)
    these people are Supreme morons, incapable of clear thought, or upholding (just) a few basic principles (a fair election).  now we're giving them more of the same, shameful and sad.

    "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

    by agent double o soul on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:06:37 PM PST

  •  Understood (none)
    I tend to agree with you. First of all, it is very unlikely that our fearful leaders will fillibuster, secondly, it would not succeed.  I'm certainly not an Alito fan, but I believe that his confirmation is inevitable.  My biggest fear is that Bush will have the Supreme Court stacked by the time his illegal spying gets there.  Bottom line is that we really don't have any power at this time.  We may in 2006 or 2008, but right now we are screwed.  Seems a better tactic for us is to try to bring the dems back into power.  Hell, even my repug friend thinks that a dem will be elected in 2008.  Just look at the polls.  It is inevitable.  I am just very sad when I think about all the damage that may be done by the repugs in the meanwhile.  On the other hand, we can sit back and enjoy the fall out from Abramoff.

    "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

    by elveta on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:09:05 PM PST

    •  Polls are irrelevant. (none)
      Don't you get it yet?  They could have 0% support and still win the election.  They're stealing the elections.  Electronic voting machines.  Voter suppression.  Ohio's no-recount law.  And of course the Supreme Court is a major tool in this.  And Alito is part and parcel of that.

      The way to bring the Democrats back into power is for the Democrats to fight everything the Republicans do.  Until the Republicans reveal their true colors (as they will), and overreach themselves by attacking the Democrats in such an underhanded way that the American people are ready to lynch them.  Until the moderate or wavering Republicans -- the ones who aren't in on the election fraud -- get frightened enough to drop out.  Until people perceive the Democrats as the party who will fight for them if their elections are stolen.  Until Democrats are the party who will fight if elections are stolen!

  •  Why I basically disagree (none)
    I'm not an activist either - I'm an electronics guy by day, and a truth seeker and troll fighter by night.  I'm liberal, but nowhere near as liberal as some.

    I can relate to some of your thoughts, but I have to disagree with your punchline...IMO we must stop Alito.  No more retreats...no more surrenders.

    We cannot allow the Supreme Court to become any more conservative than it already is.  And if we can't stop this bastard right now, with all that's going on (Bush ratings, Abramoff, Iraq a mess, Delay, yada yada yada), we'll never stop these fuckers.

    The Democratic Party must filibuster his nomination, and keep the argument simple so average, everyday folks can understand it...Roe vs Wade, Roe vs Wade, Roe...

    John

    -4.63/-4.10 Bush is living proof that drugs are bad for you...he's so dumb, he can't even spell Iraq, let alone find it on a map.

    by Bozos Rnot4 Bush on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:25:00 PM PST

    •  But... (none)
      ... no one Bush nominates will be good for Roe v. Wade.... or for anything else. If Alito is successfully filibustered, who will Bush nominate next? I shudder to think of it.

      We shall fight them on the internets. We shall fight in the Starbucks, and in the streets, we shall fight them on the Hill. We shall never surrender!

      by bhlogger on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:38:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The filibuster (4.00)
        would go down in flames to the nuclear option. These guys wouldn't back down. So Bush wouldn't need to nominate anyone else, and Alito would still make the Court. But great theater would be had, Republican Senators would show complete disregard for precedent (highlighting the "abuse of power" theme), and Dems could turn to the voters and say:

        We fought to the bitter end, and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep these guys in check.

        Vote for us, and we won't let you down.

  •  The answer is tell your representative to: (none)
    tell them to filibuster and fight all the way, emphasizing the wire tapping and the fact that Bush broke the law.

    Prowling the internet so you don't have to.

    by The Daily Prowler on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:27:18 PM PST

  •  DD, this has been a great (none)
    discussion here today.  Thank you.  And a thank you to all who have participated.  I read through every post so far until 10:27 PM Eastern.  It's been great reading through all the posts.  We have a lot of passionate Dems here, and that's a good thing.

    Since there are so many of us passionate Dems, let's not forget what we need to do this year.  Go spread the word far and wide, and tell the American people to wake up!  With passion like this here we should be able to pick up the Senate, or the House.

    We all know what we need to do.......so let's go out there and win big this year.  Yeeeaargghhh!

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:30:12 PM PST

  •  Are you even allowed to write this? (none)
    Seriously, I should take your advice.

    My problem is that, to some degree, I rely on this site for news.  Now, I recognize that it's going to come with a decided slant, and try to compensate, just as a I would with a right wing news source (I actually read the New York Post pretty regularly).  But, the problem is, often what I read here is the first take, or sometimes the only take, that I get, which slants my world view.

    So, during these hearings- I can't watch them at work.  So, I follow them here in the open thread areas.  Sure, I should probably try to balance it out by finding a conservative site to get there take- but I don't have a conservative site that I like, and besides, I'm at work, bad enough I'm reading here.

    SO, my entire perspective is shaped by what is written here.

    And, I gotta tell you, what is written here certainly isn't what is being written and said elsewhere.  The AP calls the confirmation pretty much a done deal- here, it's all about the filibuster.

    So, I go around telling people that there's probably going to be a filibuster, and they look at me like I have two heads.

    Then, I read the papers, or listen to the radio (even Air America- a caller stated that Alito was getting confirmed and the host didn't disagree), and I feel quite foolish and out of touch with reality.

    If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

    by JakeC on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:34:20 PM PST

  •  Agree (none)
    I agree with you but couldn't quite explain myself as eloquently as you have.

    Do I like Judge Alito? No. Do I think he's a danger to our democracy as we know it? To a woman's right to choose? Yeah. I do.

    But what do people expect? Bush is in the White House. We control neither the House nor the Senate. We control nothing. Without something major coming up during the hearings, we don't have much to go on in regards to a filibuster. The Republicans will spin it in the media the way they always spin it and we WILL NOT come out looking like heros. We'll come out looking like (as you pointed out) obstructionists.

    So if and when Alito sits on the highest court of in the land, and when the court, with his help, strikes down a woman's right to choose... and when he weakens the power of the people and strengthens the power of the executive, we can say "We did our best to oppose this. Now vote for us and we'll do our best to fix it."

    It's not exactly comforting but it's realistic. We've got to keep our heads in the game... we've got to think positively but not to the extent that we forget that we don't hold the high ground right now.

    We shall fight them on the internets. We shall fight in the Starbucks, and in the streets, we shall fight them on the Hill. We shall never surrender!

    by bhlogger on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:34:48 PM PST

    •  Right or missing the point? (none)
      We have to filibuster because otherwise we cannot say "We did our best to oppose this".

      I don't think it's going to succeed.  But that doesn't matter.  Backing down is a recipe for failure.

  •  the political reality of the Iraq vote... (4.00)
    a few years ago a vote came up in congress to authorize the president to go to war with Iraq.

    facing the 'political reality' of the time (Republicans controlled congress, Bush was popular, the din for war was deafening, etc), a majority of Democrats voted for the authorization.

    even though 'activists' kept telling them and others that the intelligence was bogus, the war would be a quagmire, the cost would be unbearable, we'd make enemies of our friends and all the other things they said.

    Now, after a few years of war, the Democrats who voted for authorization are justly criticized for that vote. Perhaps they wouldn't have won the vote, but today Americans would have a hell of a lot more respect for them than they do now, respect for voting for what they stood for and ultimately being right.

    The political reality is they f'd up the vote a few years ago, they should have voted the way the activists were begging. They'd be respected today and right.

    Today we have a president who illegally spys on American citizens without warrant, a president who signs every bill with a signing statement basically thwarting the legislature's intent, a president who illegally allows the torturing of prisoners and a president who wants extraordinary powers for a war that will last ... forever?

    And now that president wants to appoint a man to the highest court in the land who believes in a 'unitary executive', a man who will probably make everything this president does not only reality, but the law of the land. A man who will help our nation take one more step away from our liberty.

    The political reality is that a few years down the line when the executive has more power than it has had in our history, when Roe v. Wade is near overturned if not overturned, when 'privacy' is not part of the judicial interpretation of the constitution any longer (hello homosexual sodomy laws! anti-contraception laws! good bye choice), American will look back at Democrats and see either...

    1. that they did nothing to stop it once again, lying down in the face of despotic steamrollers, no better than those who drove them.

    2. or that they put up the good fight and did everything they could to stop the steamroller...  and were right.. yet again.. and maybe we should have... and should... listen to them.

    that's the political reality. Lets not lie down again.

    i say Filibuster

  •  Filibuster Alito... (4.00)
    You admitted you dont have the moxie to fight like an activist (then you say ...well, maybe if the time were right but this isn't it). So sit back, watch and cheer from the sidelines if that's what you do best.

    I am 48 years old. I have 2 daughters who live 500 miles sway. They are 21 and 22 years old. I normally get 1 e-mail a week from each of them. This week I have been getting 4 or 5 a day from each of them discussing this candidate for the court.

    Chances are whatever damage Alito and the Radical right SCOTUS majority will do won't affect me in my lifetime. I'm a white middle class male. But the damage a radical right wing court could do in the next 20 years will probably affect my daughters and their children (my first grand daughter is 3 months old)

    I've become an Activist in the past year. The republicans hold 2 branches of Govt and with Alito will take over the 3rd. What then? Do you think you will have a bigger voice once that happens?

    Your thoughts are well written but you seem to think there is a better time to fight off the COMPLETE takeover of our 3 brances of Govt? When is that?

    I'm fighting today and EVERY DAY from now on! Americans have far too much to lose and I will sleep much better at night knowing I did everything I could to give my daughters a better future even if failure is a possibility.

    Filibuster Alito! (or at least try) We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. IF we can stall this court nomination long enough to get hearings on Dubyah's spy crimes then we HAVE won!

  •  Unfortunately, I agree (none)
    I hate to admit defeat.  But Alito is a no win for us.  We lost the election!

    The American public is waking up, but it took them too long.  They are now realizing they were lied to about 9/11, Iraq.  

    I, am hoping that in '06 and '08 the Democratic Party will wake up and take advantage, and remind them of the consequences of not paying attention.  We are losing our civil liberties, we are losing women's rights, congress is not watching out for anybody but themselves and their rich contributors.

    Please America - Wake up.

  •  Well said (none)
    Dude, I'm not surprised that you're getting a lot of heat here, but you're right on this.  If it were possible to defeat an ideological foe simply by being as cutthroat as them, George Bush would be kicking the crap out of al-Qaeda right now.  The commenters out here screaming bloody murder about this need to look in the mirror and realize that you unless we can rationally approach the situation we're in, we're just acting like the neocons did when they felt they had to respond to 9-11 with reckless abandon.
    •  We don't break the rules. (none)
      False analogy.

      Alito is a proven liar with a record of supporting an imperial presidency.  That's legitimate grounds to filibuster.

      They break the rules.  We don't.

      I mean, I don't think we should start blackmailing or bribing Republicans into voting against Alito, although it might work; doing that really would be as bad as the neocons.

  •  What fucking garbage... (2.00)
    Who do you think the people on this site voted for?  Kerry was a piece of shit, but I still voted for him.  This is just another attempt to blame "activists" and "radical lefties" for problems.  Go fuck yourself, seriously...

    This diary is a complete embarassment to this site.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:57:35 PM PST

  •  I respect where you're coming from DD (4.00)
    and I started this diary ambivalent as all heck. But after reading all the comments, I'm coming down on the side of some here who have posted that:
    • We need to show some spine, doing everything in our power to stop this nomination. Not because Alito doesn't have the proper credentials, but because he'll tilt the Court decidedly to the right, so much so that it will no longer reflect the mainstream of American thought and jurisprudence.
    • The Senate isn't intended to just accept nominations from the Executive, even when there's no "smoking gun." This in my opinion trumps the argument that we lost in '04 and therefore just need to vote "no" and call it a day.
    • Putting up the best of all possible fights will allow us to turn to voters this November, with a straight face and a pure conscience, and say: We've got the guts to stand up to these guys, to call them out on their bullshit and their corruption, and to keep your rights protected.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for the diary though. It has prompted a fantastic discussion.
    •  Lose the battle, win the WAR (4.00)
      No, we won't win a filibuster, but it will show voters that Democrats will FIGHT for what they believe in.

      No, we won't win a filibuster, but it will focus media attention on the fact that Republicans are putting a man on the court who will vote against what a majority in this country believes in.

      No, we won't win a filibuster, but it will put on the record that Democrats did everything they could to protect the average American from this extremist.

      We won't win this battle, but by fighting it we will win the war. The only way we can lose is by putting up the white flag of surrender.

      "Mr. McClellan, don't the American people deserve better than this 'orange jumpsuit' ethics policy?"

      GOP = Guilty of Perjury

      Edwards/Clark 2008

      by MeanBoneII on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 12:01:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glad someone said it (none)
    I've listened to this Alito guy a bit, and while he appears to be something of an whacko judge.  That is, when he's confidenct the decision is going to be tried right, he files a dissent just to make some sort of grand standing political point.

    And he's not as smart as what I'd like to see.

    But I haven't seen any reason to filibuster him other than he's going to probably vote down roe v wade.  Well guess what?  Democrats have lost that argument.  American apparently wants roe v wade voted down, or they wouldn't be voting for Republicans.

    So you're fighting the wrong battle here with Alito.  you need to be fighting a battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

    Yeah, I don't like the guy, but what choice do I have?

    (0.00,-3.13) "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

    by Steve4Clark on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:01:35 PM PST

    •  You said it: (3.50)
      "you need to be fighting a battle for the hearts and minds of the people."

      Exactly right! Exactly. Americans will not understand a Democratic filibuster, because the Democrats did not use their time with Alito to any real pupose.  Instead of grandstanding they should have asked questions that would have made their objections crystal clear.  And tried to get Americans to understand and agree with them.  

      I feel like someone watching a loved one trying to commit suicide. The Democratic party is moribund and no one of us wants to believe it. Until we start talking honestly and forthrightly about why Democrats are losing elections, and until we stop chosing weak nominees--like senators WHO CANNOT WIN--then we had better get used to the fascism that is rapidly overtaking this country.  

      I no longer care how damn right we think we are--if the American people see it otherwise, we will keep losing elections.  And, in the process, we will lose our country.

      •  It's time to lose incumbents (none)
        Seriously.  That's the problem I see.

        Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Feinstein, Schumer... all of them... have got to go.

        They are so cookie cutter.  They've been there for so long, the Republicans know exactly what they are going to ask and say.

        What happened to Obama?  I thought he was on the Roberts questioning panel.

        (0.00,-3.13) "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

        by Steve4Clark on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:19:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bush was not elected (4.00)
    That has consequences.
  •  You don't get to have it both ways (4.00)
    You wrote: "I have touched on this difference between activists and me before.  [...]   I view things dispassionately often times.  I prefer a good strategy discussion to a good sit in."

    ...and then had the gaul to write: "It is why many of people like me HATE people who voted for Nader."

    Sorry, you don't get to have it both ways.  If you want to be taken seriously, you can't write all pompously about how dispassionate and logical you are about politics, and then turn around and use the word HATE (all bolded and caps-locked) to refer to many sincere people who frequent this site.  The fact that you do this by proxy ("people like me") doesn't make it any better.  It's just a little more cowardly.

    I voted for Nader for many reasons, some of them good, some of them bad.  I probably wouldn't do it again, even though I wasn't in a critical swing state.  Regardless, it was MY vote -- those Gore supporters who thought they were entitled to MY vote can cram it.

    One good reason I had to vote for Nader was to highlight the need for electoral reform.  I'm seriously pissed off that people like you and your friends who HATE Nader voters choose to drench me in your self-righteous spittle rather than confront the issue logically.  Nader voters aren't the problem; it's the system that needs fixing.

    Sure, it may not be an easy issue that can be wrapped up in a single election cycle.  I see this as at least a twenty year battle.  So yes, we need to be pragmatic about other issues.  However, it's a damn important issue that we need to get started on NOW if we're to make it a twenty year problem rather than a fifty year problem.

    If you are the pragmatist you bill yourself as, you have to recognize that the Democrats need to have a pretty big tent to win back the White House.  That's going to mean including a lot of different people who have a lot of different priorities, some of which may be priorities you don't agree with.  So, I suggest that you stop PISSING US OFF.

    Thank you.

  •  My strategy (4.00)
    I fall between activist and realist/junkie. Here's my strategy:  First you delay the vote a week. That's easy. Then the nomination runs up against the FISA hearings, SOTU, and Patriot Act reauthorization. And you announce you will filibuster. For 3 days. And you use those 3 days to educate the nation (thru floor speeches that the press will have to cover because it's the ONLY thing you will talk about) about the nature of the UNITARY EXECUTIVE and SIGNING STATEMENTS and all the other ways that this administration is attempting to undermine our republic.

    At the end of those 3 days, if the public hasn't rallied (picture torches and pitchforks!), you vote on Alito and hope to god you're wrong about him.

    We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

    by kainah on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:33:23 PM PST

  •  "lost horribly in 2004" (none)
    That is debatable.
  •  It's not that you're dispassionate... (none)
    It's that you just don't give a fuck. And really, that's a major problem with DLC Dems and their ilk. Rationalizing that the dispassionate view is the correct one, and that lack of concern is a virtue is a timeworn tradition in DLC circles. Good for you.

    The problem is not just with activists, though. You see, the average person wants to believe in something, and you dispassionate folk just can't generate any trust or empathy. Many voters would rather have someone in D.C. executing boneheaded decisions with passion and commitment, than someone who seems to have neither, even if their decision-making seems less impaired.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:05:04 PM PST

  •  Personally, I'm with the OP... (none)
    ...and I'll see you later.

    But, please note that during the Miers fiasco I put up a Diary that I still think is the only effective strategic answer to the loss of the Supreme Court.  I thought Miers would be the end - but I was wrong, and it looks like Scalito.  Not much difference there - a lapdog with a different bark...

    So - after we retake the House in 2006 (assuming the possibility of honest elections still exists) - I commend your attention to that old Diary, here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I don't see any other answer.

    JF

    It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you.

    by Jaime Frontero on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:07:09 PM PST

  •  What a Schmarren - (none)
    But what never enters their minds is the political reality of the situation ...

    Simply said, the political reality sucks big time and therefore I don't give a damn about it and would do exactly what I think is right, and if it means to want to fight for "unrealistic" goals, so be it.

    Boy, are you a downer. Why did you write this diary if you "tend to avoid dailykos in weeks like this"? Doesn't look as if you did much of 'voiding to me.

  •  Actually Del (none)
    I'm waiting for Senator so and so, whoever the Democratic leadership pick this week to come in and tell us why nothing, yet again, is being done to seriously fight, or even show that the leadership currently in office has any fight in it.
    One of those, "Time to calm down the peasants" moments.

    Foolish Republicans, now we can spy on your little plans with impunity! Muahahaha!

    by RElland on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:13:05 PM PST

  •  What's a "political junkie"? (4.00)
       Is it someone who thinks that the outcome of political conflicts is vitally important, can shape the future of the country, and concerns stakes that matter to every citizen -- indeed, every person on Earth?

       If so, then there's no contrast between "junkie" and "activist".

        Or, is it someone who thinks of politics as a kind of sport, interesting as providing trivial statistics about who wins and who loses, with equally trivial stakes concerned only with handicapping races and punditly self-congratulation?

        The real question here is whether you think the stakes are real or not.

        I think that, for establishment Democrats, there really are no personal stakes.  They are wealthy and powerful; they benefit from Republican tax cuts more than anyone else; they don't suffer from Republican limits on free speech because they never bother to exercise their free speech; their children go to private schools so they couldn't care less if Republican theocrats impose their shari'ah on public school children; and if their daughters get an unwanted pregnancy, they can always fly them to Canada or Europe for an abortion.  

        Others of us who are not in such great shape don't have those options.  We see the stakes as very real and pressing.  We are concerned personally, not just in the abstract, about losing our rights and freedoms.  We are concerned about corporate malfeasance because it's dirtying our own backyards and killing members of our communities.  We are concerned about wars to oppress foreigners because it is our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who are fighting them; though not the members of the establishment.

        There is a dividing line in America today; and it separates, not so much Democrats from Republicans, as the establishment -- Democratic and Republican -- from the people.

        The handicappers and the pundits, members of the establishment, look at the "activists" with amusement, as if they were deranged followers of a football team who think the world will come to an end if their team loses.  They look at talk about fascism and loss of freedom as so much partisan rhetoric, good for whipping up the masses, but with no reality behind it.  They can afford to think like that -- because they are totally out of touch with the lives that ordinary people lead.  They consider themselves above and beyond the law, because policemen never come to their doors; so they don't really care what the law is, because they hardly expect it will ever be applied to them.  But most of us have no such luck: laws are applied to our communities, with extreme prejudice, and we are vitally interested in what they are.  We cannot afford to be above the fray, collecting statistics.  We need action now.

  •  you can have both (none)
    On some fronts, I'm an activist. I'm wholeheartedly on board with the torpedo-Alito crowd. There are causes for while I'll march and more.

    On others, I'm much more of a political pragmatist. I'm in PA, and I will be voting for Casey on pragmatics, not necessarily principle, but I sure as fuck will be voting for him.

    As with all other things in life, it's about choosing your battles. Sitting out, under any guise, is less and less of an option.

  •  i completely agree (none)
    I dont like Alito, but elections have consequences.

    What if the shoe were on the other foot and Kerry was picking the nominees?  

    I will lobby my Senators to vote no and that's all I can do.  

  •  amen! (none)
    i especially hate these "activist" causes (the borking of scAlito) that we can't possibly win. it makes us look like "the loony left" that the Wingnut Radio Heads claim we are. it's just plain stupid.
    •  Fillibustering Alito... (none)
       is the AMERICAN thing to do. His policies are DANGEROUS TO DEMOCRACY. It is then people like you who place such a stigmatism on us acting like AMERICANS that has put Bush in power... ILLEGITIMATE power at that. Alito is an unconstitutional nomonee, because he was appointed by an illegitmate president who was appointed by the USSC. Since when does the USSC get to pick who is on their court? And what is activism? It is more than carrying asign... it is CARING FOR YOUR COUBNTRY. That is why many of us do what we do every day to make sure extemist assholes don't tear thus Constitution so to shreds that it is unrecognizable. So you and the rest of the Democrats who think we should just sit on our asses while these Fascists take over every facet of our government can continue to do so. I would rather go down FIGHTING than being a conformist coward.
      •  scAlito is going to be (none)
        confirmed no matter how many "activists" stomp their feet in protest.
        there are ways to protest and get in a few shots without making it a frickin' 5-day affair.
        it make those loonies that protest look even more loony. if that's possible. it's time to approve the appointment of this Wingnut, and get on with issues which we CAN make a difference.
  •  Would that you had . . . (3.60)
    Would that you had avoided the Dailykos this week instead of posting this dispiriting bucket of water.  Look, reality is going to hit us in the face like a brick wall _whether we fight or not_.  But there are more reasons to fight than to win.

    One of them, for example, is training.  As I predicted when we failed to rally the troops in the Roberts nomination, we are now seeing mass fatigue and lack of coordination amongst our activists and our activist organizations.

    Every time we kick the ball out from under us, we get weaker, not stronger.

    The Republicans fought and they lost, they fought and they lost, they fought and they fought and they fought until they became so fearsome, that they won.  It's the only admirable thing about them.

    Democrats, meanwhile, are wasting the energy, the good-will, and the lists of voters that they pulled in last election.

    The court is likely lost.  And I too blame Nader for that.  But that is really irrelevant to the situation at hand.  What is going on right now is not about whether or not we can win the bout with Alito.  It's about whether or not we can get off the mat.

    There was a reason, we were told, that we compromised on the judges we successfully filibustered to the federal bench.  We were told that we needed the filibuster for a time like this.  You know, we didn't manage to defeat Thomas' nomination _either_.  

    But we hurt the Republicans on that nomination, and we look like we stood for something.  We must fight.  And if you won't fight, then allow me to respectfully ask you to stop discouraging those who do.

    They don't need to win.  They need to know they have brothers-and-sisters-at-arms.

    And P.S. about that 'elections have consequences' argument.  Yes, they do.  I elected my senator, and as a consequence, I expect her to reflect my values in the Senate.  You know, Maryland elected a Republican Governor, and we could have said 'Oh well, elections have consequences' but today we historically overrode one of his vetoes and enacted a bill to make Walmart pay their fair share of healthcare costs.  Elections do have consequences, but _every_ election does, right down to my little delegate.

    •  Yeah.... (none)
      but Maryland Democrats control the legislature by wide margins.

      What do Federal Democrats control????

      Fucking nothing.

      You activists seem to always forget that we control absolutely nothing on the federal level.

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 02:39:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't forgotten it at all (none)
        To the contrary, it is my belief that if we don't fight, we will continue to control absolutely nothing at the federal level.

        You sound less like a reasonable sage this week, and more like someone overcome with helplessness and depression.  Understandable, but not laudable.

        Thanks for your feedback in any event.

  •  elections have consequences (none)
    It's a rant, sure, but I really like a lot of your points. Especially these:

    Many were demanding, even prior to the hearings, that Alito be filibustered.   Many are still demanding it.   Many, no doubt, will condemn the Democratic Party en toto if there is no filibuster, and I am sure there will be some who will condemn if there is a filibuster, but it is ultimately not successful.  

    Bush will nominate another knuckle dragging fascist who seeks regression to the twenties.   And you what, I am perfectly fine with that.   Why?  Am I a Republican now?   No.  But I do believe that elections have consequences.  This is one of those consequences.   The President often stated, even during the debates, that he was going to nominate someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.   Bush wins and guess what....he nominates someone in the mold of Thomas and Scalia.  

    "you don't have to like what i say so long as i don't have to say what you like"

    by dennisdeveny on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:33:05 PM PST

  •  Voting is the problem? (none)
    I didn't vote for Kerry and if I had the chance I won't again. I voted for the Green party - an actual progressive party.

    If you're going to complain about voting you need to be a little more specific. How does voting for "real" progressive candidates in non-swing states have to do with the surpreme court or Kerry losing? I live in NJ - my vote didn't actually count. So blanket statements about voting trends of progressives pretty much makes no sense thanks to the "electoral system."

    Face it - Roe is going to be overturned because of the Democratic party. They are sitting around arguing with each other about how to dissent politely, while a small coterie of pyschopaths have hijacked this nation. What fucking year is it? I could have sworn Bush has been in office for 5 years and only now Democrats have dared raise their voices??? Too little too late. The shit has hit the fan. Women need to take a good look at their wombs - it will soon become property of the US government.

    Blame Kerry for not winning - blame the democrats for putting forward a joke of a candidate like him - blame the system for having a pointless voting system. Don't blame "activists" or those who don't want to compromise their ethics by voting for those who have blood on their hands (yes Kerry gave support for an illegal war - a crime against humanity).

    Jared's Weekly Political Newsletter: "I love America more than you do!" (email me to sign up)

    by Jaredhw61 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:40:15 PM PST

  •  This Is An Awful Diary. (3.00)
    I just want to go on record as saying that this is an awful, terrible, awful, awful, awful, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, diary.  

    The Democrats HAVE TO FIGHT for what they believe in.   They HAVE to show some effing spine.  

    And enough with the Nader bashing.  Spineless DLC-type fucks don't have the nuts to fight Republicans, but you never miss a chance to kick Nader.

    -N.B.

    "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

    by npb7768 on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:00:17 PM PST

  •  We need to fight like hell everywhere, everyday! (4.00)
    So, just because the odds are against us we shouldn't try all that hard?

    That's defeatist bullpucky.  And it doesn't reflect well on the American spirit to fight the good fight.

    The CAP issue is not clear cut, and there really has not been a "smoking gun" statement as to abortion or anything else that would convince any moderates in the Republican Party to join us.

    Please explain you're notion of "clear cut," or how you could think that Alito's written statement "I don't believe there is a constitutional right to abortion" is NOT a "smoking gun," as you say.  To me, the gun is not just "smoking," it's ablaze.

    Actually, the ONLY thing clear-cut about the CAP issue is only the most important thing:  Alito's complete lack of credibility on the matter.

    We're expected to believe that this man who remembers intricate details of Constitutional scholarship, of case law, of precedent, and details of cases he's issued rulings on or been involved in for the past fifteen years, has NO RECOLLECTION of ANYTHING related to CAP although he had once proclaimed in writing membership in the organization on a federal job application.  He was either lying about his membership then (fraud), or he is lying now (perjury).

    His failure to give a straight answer to many questions and especially his refusal to disavow his 1985 written statement on abortion is the equivalent of reloading the smoking gun.

    "We, the people..." [shall] "establish justice!"

    by trupatriot on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:08:05 PM PST

  •  Your attitude sucks (4.00)
    The Republicans lost the 2000 election, that didn't even stop them from fighting like hell and look whose in power today?

    Your attitude sucks dude. The reason pundits are saying filibuster is unlikely is only because theyre used to dems with your bad attitude.

    Any neutral observer can see serious problems with this nomination. There are several scandals that can be declared smoking guns.

    The moment is ours for the seizing.

    I implore all of you at daily kos, please just don't give up before Alito is blocked or confirmed ok?

    Isn't holding confirmation until we have hearings on the FISA scandal a politically reasonable and realistic option, hell a compromise?

    The GOP rushed us into war, we won't be rushed into Monarchy.

    by Will the Organizer on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:24:28 PM PST

  •  I have read all 557 comments (none)

    I vote to filibuster.

    May God help us all...and I mean ALL if we don't.

    "The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries." Kurt Vonnegut

    by cfk on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:30:56 PM PST

  •  you (none)
    know its getting kind of tiring to constantly go on dkos and find progressives beating up on their own.Especially at a time like this when we are under assault by an increasingly facist Bush regime.

    How can we expect our reps. to form a coherent platform when we ourselves can't agree on whats important to us?

    Too many talk about strategy as if any past strategies have been successful.If we can't unify to oppose Alito,when can we unify?

    Its time to give a little on each of our pet issues and instead focus on that which unites us.If we lose the Supreme Court to a guy who will be the fifth vote on coming challenges to presidential power, US citizen detainee rights,judicial review ,Habaes Corpus,free speech and rights to dissent ,let alone Roe v Wade, we might as well forget 2006 because voters want to see some spine out of democrats.

    Why vote for a party that rolls over every time it is challenged? Just because Biden,Lieberman and Clinton etc don't always act the way we want doesn't mean they are not on our side on most issues that matter most to progressives and have been from way before many here were born...

    Lets not forget that in our zeal to demonise those that fought for the civil rights that gave people like me a voice.

    My civil liberties are non-negotiable.

    by blacklib on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:38:24 PM PST

  •  my answer got so long (none)
    I wrote a separate diary.

    I luv a lot of your stuff, DD, but can't go with you on this one.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:50:09 AM PST

  •  Thank you (none)
    I know it's a difficult stand to take, especially since the most active demo's will be in places like Kos. I think the reality of the situation (as you've defined it) is seen as disheartening. For someone to say 'you disappoint me' is clearly their right. However, I used to be more of a pipe-dreaming demo, but I've seen so much internascine destruction over the abortion issue in my last 22 years as a voter. There is a center to this issue, but few activists on either side are interested in moving that way, as both sides see any move to the center as a betrayal. And they don't even want to discuss it.

    But, thank you for being direct and risking the wrath.

  •  This is the Bravest Diary (none)
    i've seen in a long time.  given the ethos of dkos.

    not sure if it's any consolation but the harsh criticisms of activists only ever applies to what they hear in their mind.

    not what you said.

    keep that in mind.  i'm sure you won't take any of it personally.

    •  I completely agree (none)
      with this and what you said upthread.  

      I think I actually stumbled onto a very unflattering comparison that I will use in the future against those who would call me DLC or Republican.  

      But thanks for your kind words.

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 05:21:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  none (none)
    the people who voted for nader could have just stayed home a not voted at all.

    "The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience but where they stand in times of challenge" - MLK

    by rickpolitic on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 03:55:52 AM PST

  •  you don't know what reality is (none)

    people thinking the way you are thinking, that's what causes the democratic party serves as a boundary marker of the limits of dissent, rather than a genuine opposition party.

    politics is not arithmetic, it is chemistry.  

    alito could easily be staved off.  bush is on the run.  but this nomination, without a unified opposition, results in a leg up for bush.

    and alito is monstrous.  there is plenty of information to show that.

    you just stick with the herd of triangulators, and you will continue to help things stay stuck where they are.

    positive change comes when people actually see what's going on, actually care about it, and actually work with others to accomplish something that really matters.

    the republicans have been so successful because they have not been afraid to fight hard battles.  it is easier to get people to sign up with them, because the ultimate meaning of their whole system is corruption, stealing from the many for the few, and dividing the spoils according to their own rules.

    we only make progress when we have the intensity that they have in their greed, except for the highest principles.

    triangulation, going for meaningless windowdressing changes and turning on those who want real change, that is the ballast that keeps injustice on firm footing.

    •  staving off anything (none)
      when you only have 44 votes in the senate is NOT easy.  it's very rare.

      the repugs have been successful because they are shamelessly exploiting the fears of americans.

      repugs actually wither and cry and point fingers when they are faced with hard battles.

  •  What I See (none)
    What I see is a party so narcissistic and diluted that it has to blame its short comings on Nader voters. Come on, Nader is a megalomaniac but he's not that influential. Or at least he shouldn't be to a party that has its proverbial shit together. Maybe the party should actually examine and address what it is exactly that's pissing so many people off. What is it that is making us so cynical? Let's start with some self-reflection and some listening.

    I wasn't legally able to vote for Kerry in 2004, but I probably would have voted for him, only because I was in a swing state and the sheer number of votes mattered. But I can understand people voting different in heavily blue states. The president would have declared a mandate no matter what.

    People died so my sex could vote, I don't really feel too good about giving it to someone I despise. It's like swallowing your own blood.

    •  Good (none)
      Well said.  There's no reason to single out the Nader voters.
    •  If Nader had kept his word (none)
      in 2000 we would not be here now.  If people who voted for him weren't se brainwashed by his idiotic rhetoric...we wouldn't be here now.  I can forgive someone who realizes they made a mistake, but I am tired of reading that he is not responsible for his choices and I am tired or people defending the totally idiotic idea that Bush and Gore were the same.  Sorry
      •  Wow (none)
        So you actually believe that the reason why we are here now is because of Nader? Such a notion is exactly what I'm talking about in the previous post. It's not logical. You give him way too much credit. Instead of blaming him, why not focus on the real issue: why people are voting for him in the first place?

        It's not that they are simply "brainwashed" as you assert. That's mind numbingly simple. Rather, they are frustrated, as are many. I'm saying the party should listen to people for a change, especially to the frustrated and the less privileged. Maybe then they would understand the cynicism and make moves to correct it. To be a party of the people rather than the "lesser evil."

        It's not that I'm some kind of Nader fan; it's that I'm tired of the party making excuses instead of examining its own actions. It's not the Nader voters, or stupid people that voted against their own interests. If the Democratic Party couldn't connect with the American people in the previous elections then there's no one to blame save for the Democratic Party. We need a new game plan.

        •  sorry, I read this rationalization (none)
          many many times since 1999 and obviously I am not buying it.  You might not think Nader voters were indoctrinated but they were.  I read some of the most unrepentant idiotic points of view on Gore that you can imagine coming from Nader supporters. It was crap then and it's crap now.
          Thenk about WHY people voted for Nader?  I know why, because he is a liar and they are naive.  Do you really think I have not read what you have posted here at least a thousand times by now?  I am not trying to convince you of anything, that would be a waste of time.  I am simply saying this is how it is and I will continue to hold him and his naive and rhetoric indoctrinated supporters responsible for their behavior in 2000.

          FYI...what Nader said in 2000 was not a hairs bit different from what Anderson said in 1980. Anderson was a republican and NOT a progressive.   It the rhetoric of the third party party... people who can't stand to be small and insignificant fish in a larger pond.

          Nader meant to cause a Gore loss and he got what he wanted.  Now where's the green party revolution anyway?  Nader destroyed the Green party and the smartest thing they ever did was ashcan him in 2004.

          •  Right then (none)
            Fine, I wasn't defending Nader by any means, but I was trying to get party stalwarts to examine themselves. But no, that just can't happen can it?

            Nader is the reason the Democrats keep losing and all the people that voted for him are indoctrinated. Nader is the reason the US is the way it is. There is nothing wrong with the party. There is something wrong with the people. Democracy is fine unless people don't vote for us.

            Yes, this is why we lose.

    •  EMRosa (none)
      I agree with you to a point, but Nader voters did pull votes from Gore. However, the fix was already in, and I suspect that even if every Nader voter had voted for Gore, he and we would still have had that election stolen from us in Florida. They needed the 2000 coup to facilitate everything they have done since and continue to do. The one beef I did have with Nader however, was telling people there was no difference between Bush and Gore...I think it is clear now that was a bald faced lie.
      •  Sure it's clear now (none)
        But to be fair, who could have possibly predicted what the US would be like today? Who could have possibly predicted the 11th or the "war"? Any average person saw an incoherent man talking about being "compassionate" in 2000. They also say a robotic man with an inclusive campaign. I couldn't vote in 2000 either, but I can't say if was I would be enthused.
      •  Nope (none)
        If Nader has stayed out of NH and/or florida, Gore would be president.  If only some of Nader's voters had voted Gore in florida Gore would have won by enough to make the election theft impossible.
        FYI, Kerry had votes taken from him here in Pa in 2004.  But not enough to throw it to bush like the did in Ohio.
        •  An interesting rant... (none)
          ...for someone who is obviously on drugs.

          Gore was a sitting VP.  The economy was running fairly well at that point, as the effects of the recession had yet to become clear to the average voter.  Clinton was popular in blue states, especially in Tennessee and Arkansas, yet Gore steered clear of him.  

          And Bush...an idiot who knew so little about national affairs that he needed cheat sheets to give you the capital of Kentucky, defeated Gore.  The walking idiot of Texas defeated Gore, a sitting VP.

          And you blame Nader.

          That is why this party is destined to remain a minority party for some time.  Too many people are in denial.  Gore ran a crap campaign and failed to take advantage of Clinton.  Kerry shit down both legs of his trousers when the muck-rakers attacked him instead of developing balls and fighting back.

          If we keep giving the people candidates like this, we deserve to lose...and will lose every time.

  •  Reality is in the eye... (none)
    of the beholder. We have created our political reality. It is up to us to recreate it.
  •  So DD, stay out of the way (4.00)
    Activists don't lack understanding and perspective, you do.  If you don't like the battle stay away, but don't be patronizing.  We just think every battle is worth fighting and NOT fighting every battle is the reason we are now the minority party.  Nader couldn't have done the damage he did in 2000 if he had been crushed like a bug in 2000. I'll bet his petitions could have been easily chllenged in 2000 just like they were in 2004, but hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
  •  why I am no longer a Democrat (none)
    Interesting.  I was registered Democrat for nearly 26 years.  After Clinton and the Dems in congress rolled over on nearly everything they ever promissed I became an independent.  I am an activist.  The Democrats do not represent the poor and people of color.  They are fighting for the safe center just like the the Repubs.  Until they become a populist party again they will continue to lose elections and this is what we get.  It is not the independents, it is the Democrats march away from the people and into the safe narrow center which has caused them to come to this pass.  And this is were they will stay until they realize they need us (independents) to win.  We do not need them.  If they do not return to being a populist party they will continue to be politically irrelevant as they are now and another party will replace them.

    it is our cares which organize the human mind....

    by wildwisefree on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 06:31:08 AM PST

  •  I wish I could go back in time and vote for Gore (none)
    instead of Nader. It is the defining premier mistake of my early adulthood. I have learned oh so much since then.

    Im sorry, turns out you were right.

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 06:52:04 AM PST

  •  You're exactly right DD (none)
    You're exactly right DD, and I am happy to see this diary have so many recommendations.

    The Democrats either have to have a national agenda that resonates with the majority of American people, or look forward to another two years of Republican control.

    I said in 2004 that if we can't beat that moron Bush, we deserve what we get. And the Dems didn't fail to fail once again.

    Well, it's the middle of January of 2006, another election year, and the Democrats are still only the 'opposition' party and not the party of ideas. I don't know if it is because the moderates can't please the liberals, or the liberals and moderates can't please the 'Left-Wing activists'. And I agree with you that we NEED the activists, but we CANNOT allow them to control the party like the far right religious activists control the Republicans.

    Some might ask, "Why? If the Republicans can win with the religious right controlling their party, why can't the Democrats win with the far left controlling theirs?"

    The answer is simple. The average American is moderate, and will vote for strong, religious radicals every time before they would vote for some complaining radical liberal PETA member. Our party MUST be the party of ideas in the 21st century, we can't just complain about what the Republicans are doing to wreck America.

    So any petitions going out to Senate Democrat ought to be petitions to force those boneheads to get together and develop a national agenda that will resonate with the American people.

  •  As usual, the groupthink police are swarming. (3.00)
    Did any of you radicals even read the whole diary?  Delaware Dem never said back down.  (S)he said stop cutting off your nose to spite your face.  And all you do is sit here and demand more severed noses.

    "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

    by Nineteen Kilo on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:48:02 AM PST

  •  DD is one smart blue hen. (none)
    I tried to write something similar about a week ago but being the prickly type i shortened it to a 2 sentence rebuke of Armando.  Too personal.  Thankfully the back and forth between us has been taken off the site.  It was pretty worthless anyway.  I just can't get intellectually excited about filibustering this guy.  The Republicans won the election and you just have to accept that they are going to get their way on appointments unless we find something really sleazy in his past.  This Vanguard issue was such a dud that I was embarassed by it.  And the CAP thing is probably more significant but that's hard to prove.  There was no smoking gun than linked him to any racist or elitist writings.  He's a conservative and I believe he will likely vote to over turn Roe vs. Wade.  That concerns me but 50.4 percent of the electorate voted for a man who made it pretty clear that this was his intention.  And frankly, I think Roberts will not vote that way meanign that we'll still hav 5 to 4 majority for now.  Maybe I'm being lazy but I can't see going to the matreses over this guy.

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do." Oscar Gamble, 1980.

    by Spider Stumbled on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:48:25 AM PST

    •  not lazy (none)
      but the issue is bigger than alito becoming a justice. This was an oportunity to implement a strategy publically led by Sen Dems, supported by netroots and others and forced upon the media. We need a stratgey to help better define the party--define publically what we believe in and put it out there over and over again. The strategy could have revolved around wiretaps, individual vs. govt rights, presidential abuse, all of the above, but hopefully not abortion--we already are defined by that issue. Altho, with alitio they won't necessarily overturn Roe but they will start limiting abortion bit by bit. that is what will come from the bush court.
  •  I take issue. vote for Narder not vote for bush (none)
    I voted for Nadar in 2000, but I live in VA and he took VA in both 2000 and 2004, even though I and many others who voted Nadar in 2000 voted Kerry in 2004.  At the same time I will admit that I wouldn't have voted Nadar in Florida or any other swing state.

    That said, I take issue with the fact that it is defacto Nadars fault.  Gore won Florida.  Everyone here at dKos with any recollection and understanding of the circumstances on the ground knows he won Florida.  There were too many irregularities in the election:  Gore voters who somehow "accidently" voted for Buchanan, disenfranchisement of African American voters, disappearing votes, etc.  Need I go on.  Furthermore, all Gore needed to do was win either Arkansas (Clinton's home state), his own home state or several other close races that the campaign abandoned as unwinnable.

    As for 2004, are you going to blame that on Nadar, too.  There are lots of reasons Bush won both times, none of them having to do with Nadar.  If you want to blame people, blame a corrupt electoral process and blame all those people who either voted for Bush then or chose not to vote at all.

    •  Nadar's "reasoning" (none)
      There were lots of articles in the runup to 2000 that quoted Ralph as saying that there was no difference between Gore and Bush.  That is, they would be equally bad for the environment.  Even then it was obvious that Ralph was wrong.  But that made no difference to Nadar supporters.  Given the winning margins in many states, Nadar cost Gore electoral votes.

      Did Gore run a weak campaign? Sure.  He should have been able to carry his home state, and you would like to think his margin in Florida would have been larger.

      If Ralph really wanted to make an impact, he could probably have exchanged support for Gore for a Cabinet position with some real power to effect change.

      But apparently Ralph's ego, and his desire to "punish the Democrats", which were both documented by several articles from former friends and co-workers, was stronger than any sense of pragmatism.

      And, very Bush-like, Ralph still doesn't think he made any mistakes...

      •  I mostly agree (none)
        Nadar did cost Gore bottom line votes that would have given Gore an absolute majority in the overall popular vote.  I don't buy, from the electoral standpoint, that Nadar cost Gore the election.  IMHO the other factors I cited were more significant.

        As for Ralph's arrogance, I agree.  That was part of the reason I refused to vote for Ralph in 2004.  He had what I considered to be a valid argument in 2000.  Had I known how bad Bush would turn out to be and what an arrogant ass Ralph has turned into, I would have voted Gore just to increase his overall vote totals.  Though, if I had voted for Gore and if all other Nadar voters had done the same in VA, it still would not prevented Bush from taking VA.

  •  Party time (none)
    I think that there is great confusion about what the appropriate role of political parties should be in the American system. The founders deliberately avoided the problem by excluding the very concept from the constitution, and this, in my view, may be the driving factor behind the confusion.

    As a matter of fact, very few elections above the local level are about individuals; almost all of them are about political parties. This is most definitely true of presidential elections, for example. Was a vote for Gore a vote for Gore, or a vote for the Democracts? Was a vote for Nader a vote for Nader, or a vote for the Greens? In almost every case, the significance of the individual candidate is as a piece of the party as a whole, in my view; a vote for Nader, for example, could probably best be viewed as a vote for a Green party that had Nader as its presidential candidate and certain others as lesser candidates, and that had almost no chance of winning anything significant. A vote for Gore could best be seen in a parallel way: A vote for a Democratic party that had Gore as its presidential candidate, many others as lesser candidates, and that had a 50/50 or better chance of winning.

    My point here is that when you cast a vote for a candidate, you are not simply choosing the best individual for the job, you are also voting for all of those other things, and against all the other things (candidates, positions, ideology) that oppose them.

    There are some individual candidates whose badness is so patent that it outweighs considerations of party, but that is the exception. Most elections are more about the party than they are the individual.

    If we ever get to a long-overdue constitutional convention, I think that there needs to be a rational doctrine regarding political parties added to the constitution in the form of amendments; these should do some defining, and should also contain procedural provisions regarding elections, nominations, and legislation.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  Nader (none)
    I voted for Nader.  I focus on validating my personal beliefs, principles and ideas when I cast a vote.  Voting for a lesser of two evils only delays revolution (s).

    Of course I was in Massachusetts for 2004. I'm now in Louisanna.  I may revist my thinking when I elvaluate the impact of my Vote.

    I enjoyed your piece.   What I agreed or disagreed with, is unimportant.  I enjoyed it.

    Mike

  •  grow a spine! (none)
    i can only speak from my perspective and i am frankly amazed that so many think this is a unwinnable fight.

    Throughtout recent american history,we have faced longer odds than this.We are not getting hosed in the streets,nor having dogs sicced on us.

    Is this the party of MLK and FDR? Just because we lost half the south to civil rights and an overwhelming number to busing,we didn't stop fighting because we knew that to stop would be the end of us.

    Today's progressive are giving up rights that others fought and died for because they got too comfortable with the status quo.Now its reproductive rights and gay marriage,next its the rights to dissent and object.

    Come on people we are better than this! The reason to filibuster is to at least state where WE stand ,and that shouldn't be affected by "oh what are the others going to think" attitudes-Let the repugs call us obstructionist and wear it as a badge of honor that you fought the good fight and at the very least stated our intent to fight every inch of the way.

    I'll tell you how to lose...do nothing.

    My civil liberties are non-negotiable.

    by blacklib on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:27:36 AM PST

  •  This was fun (none)
    We should do it again some time.  

    "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

    by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM PST

  •  One more comment to get it to 700.... (none)
    ...and I am spent.

    "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

    by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 11:20:27 AM PST

  •  Which story is it, DD? (none)
    ..."This is why I and many others screamed and yelled two years ago for all of you independent minded activisits to SYFPH and vote Kerry.   And we did the same in 2000.   It is why many of people like me HATE people who voted for Nader.   Because this is the consequence."

    Tell me again which story I am supposed to preach:

       1. Gore actually won Florida in 2000, but the Supreme Court gave the game to Bush.

       2. Kerry actually won in Ohio in 2004, but Diebold gave the game to Bush.

       3. Nader cost Gore the election by his showing in Florida (which Gore actually won, if we buy #1 above).

    Delaware Dem, get your story straight for God's sake.  It's hard to tell which whine you are offering up for public consumption.

    Oh, and the truth is that there are two people to blame for Gore and Kerry's loss...Gore and Kerry.

    •  Why do you assume they are mutually exclusive? (none)
      Gore actually won Florida in 2000, but the Supreme Court gave the game to Bush.

      I believe Gore won Florida, but without Nader, there is no doubt that Gore wins Florida, no chance to fudge the numbers.  Without Nader, and assuming that at least 30% of Nader's Florida voters vote Gore, then Gore wins Florida by 5 points over Bush.  

      Kerry actually won in Ohio in 2004, but Diebold gave the game to Bush.

      I am Mr. Fuck Ohio, remember?   I have never believed that Kerry won Ohio.  Sure, there were some irregularities, but Bush won Ohio fair and square and we lost that election fair and square.

      Nader cost Gore the election by his showing in Florida (which Gore actually won, if we buy #1 above).

      See above.

      Nader was more of a factor in 2000 than in 2004.

      "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

      by Delaware Dem on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 12:21:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kerry never won Ohio? (none)
        You might want to do a quick Google search on "Diebold" and "decertified" before you jump off this bandwagon.  If you buy the story that Nader cost Gore the election in 2000 on barely credible stories, you really need to check this one out.

        Unlike the Nader/Florida story, this one looks like it may actually hold water.

        •  Kerry never won Ohio. (none)
          I have allowed for the irregularities of which you speak.

          "The problem is that power corrupts, and we simply have too much of it." Rep. Jeff Flake (R- AZ) We Can Change That.

          by Delaware Dem on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:59:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (none)
            So you have allowed for the possibility that the voting machines used there were hacked, and have still come to the conclusion that Kerry definitely lost the state.

            Amazing!

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