Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Kerry's Pointless Opportunism

I have to agree with the chorus calling Kerry a cynical opportunist. As I wrote last week, I don't think this is the right time to wage a sure-to-be-defeated filibuster, triggering the nuclear option and the loss of the Dems' ability to filibuster next time.

However, if you are going to filibuster, at least do it right. Kerry's maneuvers are offensively transparent.

It will be interesting to see what Hillary does. A harbinger of the rest of her buildup to the nomination. How far to the right can she afford to tack?

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  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    You may or may not have seen this already. (It was linked to from the biggest lefty blogs around.) It argues that a losing filibuster is politically way better for the Democrats than an up-or-down vote, for two main reasons:
    It puts a lot more pressure on moderate Republicans in close reelection races, especially Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chafee. A filibuster makes it absolutely necessary for them to vote for Alito in a very high-stakes situation (the last vote or 2 to 60), whereas an up-or-down vote makes their votes essentially meaningless.

    Look, clearly Kerry is a dope. It doesn't really matter whether he's making this call cynically or not: he was in fucking Switzerland, which makes him look like an idiot either way. But it appears pretty clear that Democrats don't have the votes to sustain a filibuster, which means the nuclear option won't be triggered anyway. They might as well try for one for the reason above, and because not even making the attempt would be totally dispiriting for people like me who are already wondering what the hell they're supposed to be good for. I mean, why vote for Democrats if they're not even going to put up symbolic fights that cost them nothing? Is there a downside to a losing filibuster?

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Okay, that wasn't two main reasons. It was just the one.

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    And incidentally, Hillary has now come out for the filibuster.

  • At 11:20 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Hm, OK, I guess I didn't anticipate some of the secondary effects. However, there might be some unintended negative consequences, too, depending on who wins the spin wars.

    All I know is that when I was going through the conservative cable shows last night and then surveying some conservative blogs this morning, they were all over the moon about Kerry's filibuster (though I missed this Red State blog). Maybe they're totally misjudging it, but their track record at gauging the public mood is a little better than that of the Dems.

  • At 1:59 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Why were they excited about it? Just because the Dems will lose? So what? They are the minority party; it's a damn long shot for them to sustain a filibuster. I really don't see what Democrats have to lose either strategically or tactically by filibustering, even if it fails miserably, and there are some important potential upsides.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Well, here and here are some pretty decent explanations of the downsides.

  • At 2:24 AM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    I wonder if Beavvis and Butthead had had a blog, if they would have sounded like you guys? I'm not sayin you sound dumb--quite the contrary. I'm sayin that I imagine when you talk to one another privately you say things like "heh" and "Fire!" and then when you get on the blog youre all Public Intellectuals. Like SG is Norman Mailer and ABH is, um, that other Public Intellectual. Irving Howe, maybe. Dont get me wrong, I like it.

  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    You how how they say that Kay-Oh-Pec-Trate stuff is for diarrhea? Well one time I took it for like a week and I didn't have diarrhea once. And then two days later this brick pooped out of my butt.

    Heh. That's pretty cool.

    Yeah, you wanna see it?

    You kept it?

    Yeah, it's in my sock drawer.

    Beavis, I'm going to pretend we never had this conversation.

  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Sometimes I like to imagine that Sir Mix-A-Lot is my real dad.

    Don't be stupid, Beavis, your dad is probably that roadie from the Marshall Tucker Band.

    Well he's probably your dad too, Butt-head.

  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh heh. You said tuck.


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