Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hotline Sees Benefits in Filibuster

For John Kerry the filibuster was a matter of principle, as he kept a promise from 2003 to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee who placed abortion rights at risk. His move has brought about a lot of political speculation as to whether the move was beneficial for Democrats. Hotline On Call argues that it was beneficial:

This Week’s Cover Girl — Sen. John Kerry

As cloture was invoked on Sam Alito’s nomination today — it was 72 to 25 — there’s a case to be made that some Dems should whisper their thanks to Sen.John Kerry.

Consider: Sen. Min Leader Harry Reid reportedly cautioned against Kerry’s filibuster push because he was worried about the maneuver’s unintended impact on Dems in GOP-leaning states. But perhaps Reid wasn’t thinking outside that unintended consequences box of his, because Kerry’s 11th hour push actually provided the Mark Pryor’s of the world with the perfect cover. For Pryor, being able to announce that he’s against Alito, but not beholden to liberal interest groups in the same breath (aka against the filibuster) provided him with the ultimate redeemable wherever, no proof of purchase necessary, Get Out of Jail Free card.

The Red state Dems who will endorse Alito now have a “Yes, but I didn’t filibuster” to placate their constituents with in ‘06. And nothing says the perfect moderate man’s out like Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) embracing the tactic. After all, Chafee got to have the best of both worlds today, announcing he opposed both Alito and the Dems’ efforts at a filibuster. Nicely executed.

Just remember to tell Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) , Tim Johnson (D-SD), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ken Salazar (D-CO) that they should address their thank you cards to John Kerry….that’s K-e-r-….[NORA MCALVANAH]


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