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Like many liberal Democrats, I was stunned When Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein announced that they would vote for Mukasey, despite the fact that Mukasey had lied about the legality of waterboarding in his testimony, condoned torture, and actually claimed that the Bush administration actually has a constitutional right to break the law.

Many of us didn't think even those two "Democrats" could sink so low. There was a protest outside of Schumer's Brooklyn residence. I also joined liberal New York voters who flooded the Schumer offices with calls, emails, etc. demanding that Schumer not give a de facto endorsement of torture by voting for Mukasey.

As usual, Schumer gave liberal, New York Democrats the middle finger.

Thanks to Dusty for collecting information on who voted for Mukasey. Here are the "Democrats" who mocked their oaths of office to uphold and defend the constitution by voting for the Mukasey nomination.

Bayh (D-IN)
Carper (D-DE)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Nelson (D-NE)
Schumer (D-NY)

A look at the full roll call vote gets even more disturbing. 7 not-so-illustrious Senators couldn't even be bothered to vote.

Alexander (R-TN)
Biden (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

In other words, none of the Democratic Presidential candidates even voted. It looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a dirty deal to push the vote through, according to Talking Points Memo.

According to sources inside and outside the Democratic leadership, Harry Reid allowed a vote on Mukasey because in exchange the Republican leadership agreed to allow a vote on the big Defense Appropriations Bill, which contains $459 billion in military spending but doesn't fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reid had wanted to get this bill passed before the end of this week, and in fact, the defense bill did come up for a vote late last night and was passed after the Mukasey vote.

Some might want to justify the absence of the Democratic Presidential candidates by saying they did not have adequate notice of the vote. Reid deserves criticism of his repugnant decision, but the line of reasoning fails on two grounds.

1) Moral: Those Senators should have been in Washington, leading the fight against the Mukasey nomination. If they are unable or unwilling to lead the fight against an Attorney General nominee who displayed utter contempt for the rule of law in his confirmation testimony, are they really capable of leading the country?

2) Practical: An irony of this is that if Obama, Clinton, Dodd, or Biden led a filibuster fight against Mukasey, that display of integrity would have helped their campaigns more than glad handing and baby kissing.

The Independents did worse than the Democrats, splitting 50/50. Sanders voted against the nomination while Lieberbush voted for Mukasey. Every GOP Senator who voted chose to betray the country by supporting Mukasey.

Looking at the Mukasey confirmation outside of its broader context would obscure much of the dissatisfaction with the Democrats among liberals in the party. Democrats in the Senate have a history of allowing heinous Bush nominees to go through, including anti-Constitution Supreme Court justices Roberts and Alito.

Pundits like to go on about how the Senate supposedly is very jealous of its powers and determined to protect them. Yet, both parties have abandoned their advise and consent powers and responsibilities since Bush took office.

The Senate Democrats have been playing a sneaky game, arranging things to where most Democrats vote against the most unconscionable of Bush's nominees, but enough Democrats support those nominations to give Bush exactly what he wants. It really is like pro wrestling.

Liberal Democrats are starting to catch on.

3 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  
  3. Christopher Says:
  4. Harry Reid is a punkass, motherfucker.

    I'm sick of all the DINO Dems.

     
  5. Me too ! And i am sick of the Clinton Machine. I will vote Kucinich. Gawd see below and Bluebloggin..i was actually thinking about Ron Paul and NO NO NO i have returned to my senses. (smacks own self) I will never vote for Paul..not if he was the last candidate on earth. Same thing goes for Hillary - i want to sleep at night.

     

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