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.
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.