Saturday, January 28, 2006

Do the right thing!

It's amazing how often members of Congress decide what they will do by considering appearances and political advantage and how seldom based on what they think is right. They seem to have internalized the notion that to not go along is somehow being "obstructionist" i.e. disagreeing just to be disagreeable or partisan and that one looks weak if one loses. Whatever happened to the idea: do the right thing? or stand up for what you believe in?

Regarding the Alito nomination, Senator John Kerry is planning to lead a filibuster and it seems to be gaining some traction. But why should that be a surprise? Alito's a dreadful choice from the perspective of any progressive person. So why not stand up and object to someone that you find objectionable? It's not about winning, it's about doing the right thing.

So go do it...!

Why is that some Democrats seem to think losing will make them look tougher than will winning?


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."

-- mcjoan at DailyKOS

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

--Abraham Lincoln

"Now you know that in this environment if a Democratic president nominated a pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-government secrecy judge to the high court that many Republicans would want to filibuster. Sometimes politicians do things out of conviction and many Democrats are supporting a filibuster because they really believe that he should not be on the Supreme Court."

--Bob Beckel

The Democrats shocked Washington today by holding together, dropping a mighty turd in the punchbowl of the Bush administration, dealing a deadly blow to his nomination of Alito. The president won't be too happy tonight as he gives the 2006 state of the union speech.

--Atrios (prediction for headlines the day after the SOTU speech)

Update Jan/29/2006:

Georgia10 at DailyKOS writes a Dear Senators letter which cites a new poll with encouraging numbers for Democrats:

With numbers like those screaming out to you that Americans want Democratic leadership and Democratic opposition to Bush's policies and choices, why in the world would you be afraid of being labeled "obstructionist"? You do not win elections by cowering from the fight. You win by proving to the American people that no amount of spin, no amount of intimidation, and no amount of taunting by the opposition can make you compromise your principles.

You may think a vote against cloture will hurt your campaigns; I say it will invigorate them. Because with that single vote, you will prove yourself not as a politician, but as a true civil servant. And that entire body of energy and spirit you saw displayed this weekend in your inbox and voicemail, we will use that to your advantage during your campaigns. Moreover, by standing up against this power-hungry Executive--even in the face of failure--you will prove to America that there is such a thing as "Democratic leadership." And that, Senators, is how we truly regain our majority status: by proving to America we're willing to fight every battle, even if we're destined to lose the war.


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