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The Gross National Debt

Monday, January 30, 2006

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

Although a diary I did over the weekend slid by over at Daily Kos without much notice (current events have been dominating the attention at dKos, as they should), the subject was well-received here.  I believe it might grow to be a series for me.

Go back and read it if you like - this one will make more sense if you have an idea of the first one.

After all the blustering, pontificating and hand-wringing, it appears the Alito cloture vote has come to a literal close without even what I would consider token resistance by the Democrats.

It's time to plan.  Make the jump.

I referenced the Alito nomination in my inaugural American Grief diary.  To wit, I said:

American grief rises to the fore of my consciousness as I watch Sam Alito bob and weave during his SCOTUS confirmation hearings while a majority of Senators from either party posture and pontificate and bluster.  Very few were the real expressions of impact on American lives.  Content to make a political statement that would solidify Senatorial electoral power, the message of Sam Alito's America was lost - an America that steps on the little guy.  An America that believes women should be forced back into some bizarre second-class citenzenry.  An America that believes in rewarding the powerful with more power.

It was one of many examples of my singular American grief.

I have, for the past two weeks, considered the filibuster a an outside chance.  Way outside.  But I've participated - made the calls to vote "no" on cloture.  I've burned a lot of phone time and, over the weekend (when the offices were largely empty), a lot of fax time registering my deman for a "no" vote on cloture.  One by one they came to the Senate floor and here's the Yes and No votes as I have them so far (I will update as more are clarified):

Yes to Cloture:
Nelson - FL
Nelson - NE
Salazar
Landrieu

Chaffee
Gregg
Bauchus
Chambliss
Thune
Demint
Shelby
Liebermann
Roberts
Voinovich
Cantwell
Snowe
Hutchison
Specter
Kyl
Cornyn
Santorum
Brownback
Talent
Hatch
McCain
Sessions
Grassley
Kohl
Frist
Lott
Bingaman
Cochran
Byrd
Coburn
Coleman
Akaka

No to Cloture:
Reed - RI
Schumer
Biden
Kennedy
Kerry
Levinbr>Bayh
Clinton
Mikulski
Murray
Lautenberg
Reid

Absent:
Ensign

Not.  Even. nbsp;Close.

But I'm not surprised.  Nor did this especially enrage me, the Demorats who voted "yes" to cloture.  I'm so worn down and my expectations of my Democratic leaders are so low, I suppose.

But something did enrage me.  The Senators, as they vote, come to the well of the floor of the Senate.  On this day, a day that surely spelled the death of any hope for the little guy, a day that spelled the death of women's rights, a day that spelled a blank check on executive power, the Senators stood there and talked.  And laughed.  And slapped each other on the back.  And they milled around and talked some more.  And laughed some more.  And slapped a few more backs.  Republicans to Republicans, Democrats to Democrats, Republicans to Democrats, and Democrats to Republicans.

As if nothing was the matter.

These guys must party at funerals - because if it were me and I was a Democratic senator, not only would I vote "no" to cloture and to confirmation, but I would stand, DEFIANT AND ENRAGED on the floor of that Senate apart from all the back-slapping and busines-as-usual-ing.  I would adopt the body language and facial expression of one upon whom news of a great tragedy had just descended and would not carry on in my collegial-Senatorial good humor.

There is nothing to smile about, Senators.  Certainly those who voted "no" to cloture shouldn't be smiling.  And out of respect for the untimely death of our rights and all we hold dear, those Democrats who inexplicably voted for clotures should wip the smile off their faces and keep their hands in their pockets.

More and more each day I believe only one thing will bring about an appropriate air of gravity in our Democratic leaders:

Revolution.  Rebellion.  Resistance.

On this day, my American Grief overflows.



posted by RenaRF at 5:52 PM 0 comments links to this post

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