Arianna is right. If the Dems tap someone like Virginia's newly elected Gov. Kaine to respond to Bush's State of the Union Address --- simply because he was able to win in a supposed "Red State" and sounds a helluva like Bush on the Iraq War --- instead of someone who represents the mainstream views of America like Rep. John Murtha, then they deserve every just dessert that will come to them.
The same is true in regard to any Senate Dem who refuses to filibuster Alito. They will have lost his/her right to be supported by anybody in this country. An illegitmate Presidency only lasts eight years (maximum). The Supreme Court is for a life time.
If Alito is worth voting against for confirmation (and he is), then he is worth doing everything in ones power to keep off of the Supreme Court. To that end, anything short of a filibuster to keep someone like Alito, nominated by a criminal like Bush --- who has lost all credibility, every "benefit of the doubt", along with a supposed "right" to appoint anybody to the Highest Court in our land --- is spineless, pathetic, fruitlessly pandering, and ultimately providing of a perfectly justifiable reason for any voter to refuse to support any such Dem ever again.
If Dems would begin Impeachment Hearings on George W. Bush immediately, if only they had the numbers in Congress to do so, then why, in the wildest stretches of anyone's imagination, would they defer to him the singular power to shift the balance of the court for decades beyond his shameful, criminal, and illegitimate reign?
There are many reasons to filibuster Alito. No matter what the Conservative Media tells you repeatedly. Those are the same folks, after all, who also told you that "John Kerry would be much tougher than Dean to defeat as a Presidential Nominee." And you believed them. While there are few reasons not to fillibuster Alito, aside from what those very same Wingnuts have hypnotized you Dems (again) into believing.
For the moment, however, I'll point to just one reason, as described in this study of Alito's prevarications about and claims of "Unitary Powers of the Executive" as compiled by the good folks of the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition. They, correctly, conclude thusly:
Further, many clouds currently surround President Bush and the Executive Branch relating to the legal and constitutional authority by which they claim to have for several questionable actions and policies. The Oregon VRC therefore questions the wisdom of the U.S. Senate considering any candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court nominated by President Bush at this time. We insist, as the Senate Judiciary Committee's (Republican) Chair originally suggested, that the confirmation process of a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court be deferred until a criminal investigation is completed on President Bush. Only if and when the President is cleared of any and all criminal actions can the people feel confident in his choice(s) for the U.S. Supreme Court.
I've been out of town for a bit, and on and off line in the bargain, so haven't compiled an authoritative list of actions for folks to take if they agree that Dems should filibuster Alito. Come what may. So I'll leave it to folks in comments here to offer links to email petitions, phone numbers, and other such campaigns to help get the message to Senate Dems that the time for "playing it safe" is over. The time for stepping up courageously to do the right thing for this country...for our country --- fallaciously perceived political costs be damned --- is now here.
Do it Dems, and you will deserve every kudos. Do not, and you deserve every bit of disdain that will come your way from those who might have otherwise supported you to the ends of the earth. Either way, I promise, you will receive very same the slings and arrows from the Right. That's what they do for a living. But if you attempt to pander to the non-existant "middle" yet again --- as the Wingnuts have tricked you into believing actually exists --- I hope you'll not wonder why your base may justifiably turn their backs on you when you may need them most.
Fool you a dozen or so times...shame on you.
UPDATE 1/20/06: Dick Durbin says 'Filibuster now possible'! Details here...
UPDATE 1/22/06: Guest Blogger Pokey Anderson builds the case for filibuster...