Sunday, January 29, 2006

Some Reasoned Dems Oppose Filibuster

I'm in the "If you don't fight, you can never win" camp and support the attempt to filibuster Strip Search Sammy Alito. I also believe that we must take principled stands. This is right. Alito is a right-wing idealogue who has no intention of changing any of his core beliefs against checks on executive power and abortion rights. I am in favor of filibuster because the Constitution is at stake.

There are some persuasive voices on the other side. I don't agree with their conclusion, but I agree with their take on the players and the strategy.

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast: Who said the blogosphere is homogeneous?

Sam Alito, or someone like him, was a foregone conclusion when John Kerry took his $14 million of leftover campaign money and left Ohio, while his running mate was still telling supporters that the ticket would not give up until every vote was counted.


The time for hue and cry was November 2004.

John Aravosis at Americablog: Why I Oppose the Filibuster

4. So the question remains, what possible good comes from the Democrats launching THIS filibuster now? No one has been able to answer that question for me. If you are going to support a filibuster, you support it because you think it is going to, on average, help and not hurt Democrats, when all is said and done. You do not do it just because it feels good. That's political masturbation. It's not politics. It's not smart. It achieves nothing, other than an endorphin high.

I'm here to make a difference in the world, not get high, and not base my political moves on what feels good. I support filibusters, or any other in-your-face political move, when they accomplish something beneficial for our side. I don't support them simply because John Kerry wants to be president, and decides to use the Netroots in a futile, unwise, half-cocked effort that he knows is bad politics, but that he runs with anyway because he wants to win the hearts of the Netroots in order to get our support for his future run at the presidency - to hell with how much damage he does to us.

The man announced the filibuster from Switzerland, people? What, he couldn't get a camera on his windsurfer? If John Kerry were serious about this filibuster he wouldn't go off gallivanting to Swizterland in the middle of it. He'd have stayed in DC, met with the million-dollar groups, met with the blogs and the grassroots, and coordinated a REAL campaign to win this, a REAL campaign to win public support, or at the very least he'd try to lose this in a way that's still "a win."

5. You don't have to win to win, but...
And let me expand a little on that last point. It's not always necessary to win in order to win. You can win by losing. Democrats have a big problem with the public. The public thinks we stand for nothing, and even if we do believe in something, we have no backbone. So, yes, I can see why some people might think this filibuster at this time meet both needs - shows we stand for something and shows we have backbone. But I'd submit to you that neither need is being met by this particular campaign.

Tell me exactly what clear message John Kerry, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the million-dollar non-profits are telegraphing to the public about why Alito is bad? Tell me, seriously, because I haven't heard any clear message at all from any of these people. We know Alito is going to overturn Roe, but the Dems and the groups are terrified to talk about abortion - even though the majority of the public supports OUR position on abortion - so that issue is gone from the debate. So again, tell me, what's the clear anti-Alito message the Dems and the groups are channeling to the public right now - the clear standing-up-for-something position they're standing up for? I can't enunciate it, and neither can you, because they don't have one.

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