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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Black Monday.

The rain here in Portland let up for awhile earlier this afternoon, so I went for a walk. I even [almost] managed to beat the rain home, too. Not a bad day, it seemed.

When I got inside and logged on, though, I saw that the vote to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court had failed. Not only that, but it failed big — by a 72-25 vote. [41 votes were needed to sustain a filibuster.] Given that most predictions I'd heard said that there would be at least 30 to 35 votes in favor of the filibuster, I want to know: What the fuck happened? Where is the backbone in the US Senate?

Yeah, some senators will say that they weren't going to hurt their chances for re-election by supporting a filibuster that couldn't succeed. And they'll point to their vote later this week against Alito's nomination. But, from where I sit, the vote against the nomination is easy. A senator can vote their conscience, knowing that the GOP has enough votes to put Alito onto the High Court. When re-election time comes around, nobody will be able to say that their incumbent senator cast the vote that torpedoed the Supreme Court nomination of that fine jurist, Sam Alito.

But the vote for the filibuster was hard. This was a vote with potential political consequences. And only 25 senators were able to face up to those consequences and cast their vote against absolutism and for the Constitution. The Democrats and moderate Republicans who couldn't summon up the nerve — or conscience — to support the filibuster and slow down the nomination process appear to have decided that their personal political future was more important than acting to protect what's left of our tattered Consitution from the depradations of a president who thinks he's above the law.

Those senators have a lot of explaining to do.

| | Posted by Magpie at 3:12 PM | Get permalink




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