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To his credit Ken Salazar has survived red state politics in Colorado by reaching across the aisle and engaging in bipartisan consensus building.  I respect him for it, although I frequently dislike the results.

It is a basic tenet of politics that you can't have it all.  You have to compromise, and half a loaf is better than none.  But there is a point beyond which compromise takes on a life of its own.  It becomes less about settling for a smaller gain, and more about continuing to feed the egos of those in power.  At some point, you will be expected to compromise in exchange for nothing more than the luxury of being able to come back and compromise again tomorrow.  Battered wives understand this concept.

At some point you have to ask when is enough, enough?

Salazar introduced, endorsed, and voted to confirm Abu Gonzales, but legitimizing torture wasn't enough.  Salazar voted for the bankruptcy bill, but restoring indentured servitude wasn't enough.  Salazar voted to confirm Judge Roberts, again, not enough.

Judge Alito?  Well . . . Salazar gave us hope.  On January 19, 2006, Salazar outlined the reasons he would vote against the confirmation of Judge Alito:

    * Judge Alito would place too much power in the hands of the President of the United States, at the cost of the protective system of checks and balances built into our Constitution. . . . This [unitary executive] theory . . . would destroy an important system of checks and balances within the Executive Branch.

    * Judge Alito would close Nation's courthouses to the weakest and poorest among us. . . .

    * Judge Alito would reverse our progress on the laws that promote diversity in our country. Justice O'Connor was the deciding vote in the Grutter case, the 2003 decision that affirmed that diversity is a compelling state interest justifying an admissions process that builds a diverse student body. Justice Alito is very unlikely to agree with Justice O'Connor on this issue, imperiling a decision I believe to be vitally important to the future of our country.  Link

Alito is "a judicial activist on the extreme right wing," Salazar said.  Link

Excessive Executive Powers - check
Erosion of Civil Rights - check

Salazar's condemnation of Alito could have been written by Armando himself.  Yet, when given the opportunity, the proper tools, and a groundswell of support to actually do something to prevent these harms, harms he is certain would result from Alito's confirmation, what does Salazar do?

You may think he merely caved to pressure and whispered "aye" at a most inopportune time.  Allow me to correct the record.  As Salazar himself states in his press release issued after today's vote,

In anticipation of today's cloture vote on Judge Alito, I asked the `Gang of 14' to come together to ensure the bipartisan resolve of the organization is sustained beyond today's actions. It is imperative that as the Senate provides advice and consent to the President's future judicial nominees, a bipartisan consensus will continue to be sought and the American people's values upheld.  Link

WTF?  That's a lot less than half a loaf Senator - that's negative yeast.  You sold us out to protect your ability to compromise again tomorrow.  

When your default position is "how can we compromise?" - eventually someone is going to take advantage of it.  Gross advantage even.  Eventually, someone is going to bend you over so far, that you won't recognize yourself in the mirror when the rape is finally over.  Ken Salazar has hit that point, and if he doesn't yet see it for himself, someone really needs to hand him a mirror.

Originally posted to jlynne on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:15 PM PST.


Ken Salazar

22%9 votes
15%6 votes
52%21 votes
10%4 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great Post! (4.00)
    I got pretty into trying to convince (deadtome) to overcome his invertebrate nature, but alas, to no avail.  See you on the primary trail in 2010.
    I realize it's probably poor form, but I spent most of my alotted blogging time earlier this evening posting a response on an older diary, and some of it seems like it might be appropriate to repost here (apologies in advance if this particular breed of laziness is out of line).  

    We should piss people off, if that's what it takes.  We should nail our colors to the mast, that all who see and hear us know precisely who we are, whether they agree with us or not.  We should take these bastards on in the field of ideas, where we will trounce them every time.  But the only way we can get to the field of battle is through the means dictated by our foe; long ago, weasley Democrats allowed Rethug bullies to set the terms of debate, and now we are all forced to play by their rules.  Fine.  Bring on Falafel Man, or Tweety, or the Oxified One himself; a real Democrat would happily match them bluster for bluster, condecension for condecension, insufferable patronizing bloviation for insufferable patronizing bloviation, until such time as we can force the opponent from his talking points.  That's the point at which we have them, each and every time.  The inability to speak extemporaneously is their Achilles' Heel, and we should fire as many arrows as it takes to get one of Paris' lucky shots.

    Ken Salazar is, regretably, not that sort of man.  He is a bureaucrat, a lawyer who kissed the asses he needed to kiss and quietly climbed the political ladder without attracting much attention.  He remains a milquetoast, flaccid excuse for a man, exactly the sort of Senator who would vote "no" on Alito and "yes" on cloture.  He is a Quisling, and I, for one, will do everything in my power to see that he is unseated in 2010, preferably in a primary challenge - I'd hate to wind up voting for a  Libertarian or a Green, but I won't listen to any of that splitting-the-vote, Nader crap this time around.  Sometimes you just have to do what's right, and let history sort out whatever results.  

    (deadtome) is a DINO, and he should be defrocked.  No longer should he be permitted association with the party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy - let him be banished to some mountainous hinterland, there to be gnawed by marmots.

    After all, was it not the great liberal democrat starship captain Jean-Luc Picard who said, "The line must be drawn he-ah!  This far, and no farther!"  We have compromised every belief that can conceivably be compromised already, and more than that besides.  We must stop being concerned about electability and start focusing on the substance of our message and the strength of our convictions.   The victories at the polls will follow from these things, not from charts and surveys and graphs.  Those things are the tools of the foe; our power lies in populism.

    You may fire when you are ready, Gridley

    by Unitary Moonbat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:41:40 PM PST

  •  Kenny Abu Ghraib Salazar (4.00)
    can go to fuckin hell for all I care.   What a complete waste of a senator.

    FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

    by tlh lib on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:42:32 PM PST

    •  Good to see you here, tlh lib (none)
      Seems like only yesterday we were ridin' herd together on this DINO worm.  And it looks like I got the answer to my question: All hat, no cattle.

      You may fire when you are ready, Gridley

      by Unitary Moonbat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:46:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (4.00)
        I was truly holding out high hopes that Kenny Boy would come through and redeem himself for the Abu Gonzales vote.

        Looks like we got us a 2010 primary to make national.

        FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

        by tlh lib on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:57:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was, too (4.00)
          I thought he might even have him a William Jennings Bryan moment...okay, maybe not that, but wasn't just saying "present" meek enough for him?  Did he really have to seek out the lamest, most pathetic position of all the possibilities available?  What kind of a man does that?  

          You may fire when you are ready, Gridley

          by Unitary Moonbat on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:09:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe he knows what he is doing (4.00)
    When was the last time a Supreme Court Justice was successfuly fillibustered?  Been a while huh?  He was in no position today to vote no on cloture.  Why would he put his political life on the line for a doomed proposition?  Does Supreme Court Justice Pryor sound better to you?  Would you have him fillibuster every nominee until 2008?  

    You should be thrilled that a number of US Senators heard our voice and made a stink.  Believe it or not this is progress.  You don't go from the DLC/Clinton  Democrats to Progressive Kos Democrats overnight.  

    Believe me, they heard us louder then ever before.  Our time will come, but every great achievement takes time.  We have to make it financially and electorally feasable for politicians to share our views.  Luckilly, GW and Dobson are pushing more and more people into our camp.  Hang on for the ride and fight on until we win.  Attacking Salazar may feel good but it's misguided.  

    Take Sen Specter for example.  He is the ultimate politician.  He is not a wingnut by any stretch of the imagination, but when the wingnuts began to control his party he gravitated towards them.  It will happen with the Democrats too once the Progressive base takes back control of our party.  I voted for Specter back in the 80's because he was pro-choice and pro-labor.  He's neither of those things anymore because the Club for Growth stuck a Toomey up his ass.

    Hopefully we can start with Lieberman (or maybe the next guy if we are not powerful enough for Lieberman) and show them that they better pander to us just like the Republicans do to the religious right.  The only way to do that is to stick together and work like hell.  The Republicans are really sticking it to us now, but soon this will all just be a bad nightmare if we continue to expose them for the Dobsonite wingers they have become.  In the mean time, take a deep breath and move on to the next fight.  Ken Salazar is a symptom.  The problem is that pandering to the "center" is all we know.  Change that and the symptoms will take care of themselves.

    Santorum wants to steal your social security. Casey in '06!

    by jah4168 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:50:16 PM PST

    •  I am thrilled that we were heard (none)
      I am also angry at my Senator - not because he took a position I disagree with, but because he refused to stand up for his own stated position - and for what?    so he could maintain a "bipartisan consensus" with the "Dobsonite wingers"?  I'm sorry, that's not enough to justify refusing to fight the confirmation.  

      Success is not the measure of character, nor is defeat, rather character is measured by the means used to achieve either end - me.

    •  Thanks but no thanks (4.00)
      Hopefully we can start with Lieberman

      Salazar voted to endorse torture.   He was already 5 feet into the grave before this vote ever came about.  I have no more love for Salazar than I do Lieberman.

      Ken Salazar is a symptom.  The problem is that pandering to the "center" is all we know.  Change that and the symptoms will take care of themselves.

      Or we can simply take care of "the symptom" on our own in 2010.  

      I get what you're saying and it might apply to some of the "no" votes but when it comes to Kenny Boy, he's dug his grave before now and today's vote was just the etching of the tombstone as far as I'm concerned.

      FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

      by tlh lib on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:02:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This was soooo predictable.... (none)
    As a Mike Miles supporter,  I knew in my heart that Salazar, if elected, would end up doing exactly what he's now doing.

    And I predict all of you will vote for Salazar again.  

    Just wait and see.

    If there's a progressive primary challenger,  he/she will be marginalized by the corporate media as "unelectable"  or "liberal."  Salazar will be bankrolled bigtime, and the outcome will be a foregone conclusion.

    In the general election,  Salazar will face whatever caveman the Repugs dredge up.  

    And we will once again face the very familiar choice between bad  and worse.  

    And we'll all vote for bad.

    •  I am going to try very hard to (none)
      expand those options.  What's Miles up to these days anyway?
    •  Hmm (none)
      "If there's a progressive primary challenger,  he/she will be marginalized by the corporate media as "unelectable"  or "liberal."  Salazar will be bankrolled bigtime, and the outcome will be a foregone conclusion."

      I've got an idea to turn all of that on it's head. It would work. It's right up Colorado's alley too. And, it will be even more poignant by the time Salazar's up for re-election. He's going down, and so is any well-funded Republican they pit against our challenger.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:25:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah what a pity Miles didn't win the primary (none)
      then we in Colorado would have Pete Coors as our junior Senator.

      Hey, Colorado is a redneck, red state. Salazar is about as good as you are going to get.

      •  Not as red as it used to be. (none)
        But your point stands.  The way things are now, we have to take what we can get.  We can win the fight for progressivism.  But it won't be immediately.  

        When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.

        by CO Democrat on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:36:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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