Senator Kennedy just had a conference call with a number of bloggers to update us on his and Senator Kerry's filibuster effort, and to encourage the netroots and the grassroots to keep up our efforts. He's very excited by what he's seeing here and throughout the blogosphere, and gave a great pep talk.
He is encouraging you to contact your Democratic Senators, regardless of what they might have said so far, but specifically mentioned Senators Pryor, Lincoln, Cantwell, Murray, Baucus, Harkin, Levin, Bayh, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Lieberman. In addition, he said to keep the pressure on Republican Senators Snowe, Collins, Chaffee, and Stevens.
Senator Kennedy talked in particular about one thing that I think is critical to keep in mind as we approach our Senators, and for them to keep in mind as they are considering this vote. We need to overcome the media noise machine by letting our Senators know that in voting their conscience, and making it clear that they are voting on principle, on conscience, they will overcome the media noise machine calling them obstructionists. We can help them realize this by letting them know that we've got their backs. That they are voting our conscience as well, and that we will not forget their courage.
Here are some more thoughts on breaking down the Republican talking points we know will be flooding the traditional media from Ed Kilgore:
I can only hope Senate Dems make a serious effort to stay focused on the Big Case against Alito during the debate.... It's especially important that they deal with the GOP "obstructionist" talking point by relentlessly reminding people that Bush deliberately picked this fight by giving conservative activists their very own Supreme Court nominee. And it wouldn't hurt to spend some time exposing the hypocrisy of "pro-choice" Republican Senators who are deliberately giving the anti-abortion movement the fourth vote they need--just one short of a majority--to erode and then overturn Roe v. Wade.
This is, as Senator Kennedy reminded us, a generational battle. Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court could turn back a generation's worth of progress in civil rights, in worker protections, in equality for women, in environmental protection, in the fight of the little guy against the corporation. And Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court will affect the generations to come. We cannot afford to refight the battles of the past 40 years during the next 40 years.
This is an uphill battle, but one in which we can at the very least achieve a moral victory. Approached with principle, with passion, and with vigor, a moral victory is not a hollow victory. As Senator Kennedy told us, "You don't ever lose fighting for principle, for what is decent and right. You don't ever lose when you have the power, the force of being correct."
Now let's get back to work!