Hear, hear, for John Kerry.
Finally, a Democrat willing to take a principled and courageous stance against Alito, and to do what needs to be done: and that’s to filibuster.
Though New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, in an ostensible news story, mocked Kerry for “hobnobbing” in Davos, Switzerland, during the early parts of the Senate debate, millions of progressives are cheering Kerry on—and Ted Kennedy, for that matter, who also has endorsed the filibuster tactic.
The filibuster was designed for just such an occasion.
The majority party is trying to railroad through one of the most reactionary judges ever nominated to the Supreme Court, a judge who has been consistently hostile to abortion rights, a judge who advertised to the Reagan Administration that he belonged to a racist and sexist organization in college, a judge who lied to the Senate years ago when he said he’d recuse himself from cases involving his own investments.
Most grievous of all, this is a judge who doesn’t seem to believe in the powers of the judiciary or the powers of Congress when they conflict with the powers of the Presidency.
Today, we have a President who is carving out the most gargantuan slices of power all for himself. This is not the time to confirm a justice who will applaud that carving.
In announcing his decision, Kerry presented the strong case against Alito: “He will take America backwards,” Kerry said, adding: “He’s consistently made it harder for the most disadvantaged Americans to have their day in court.
“He routinely defers to excessive government power regardless of how extreme or egregious the government’s actions are.
“And to this date,” Kerry said, Alito’s “only statement on record regarding a woman’s right to privacy is that she doesn’t have one.”
Kerry and Kennedy can’t pull off this filibuster by themselves.
They need the support of every Democrat who opposes Alito. They need the support of Minority Leader Harry Reid, who should step down, as buzzflash.com insists, if he can’t unite the caucus around such a pivotal battle. They need the support of any Democrat who aspires to lead the party in 2008, and that includes Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Russ Feingold.
This is put up or shut up time.
And progressives will not look favorably upon those who don’t have the courage of their convictions at this critical moment.