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Fighting the Good Fight, Knowing When to Pick Your Battles

by Pamela Leavey

There’s been a some chatter in the blogosphere and the MSM about John Kerry’s timing in announcing a filibuster on the Samuel Alito nomination to the Supreme Court. I find that curious, as typically Senators do not announce a Filibuster until close to the final vote on a bill or nomination.

You have to know when to choose your battles, and you have to know when to keep your cards close to the vest. When you are fighting the good fight, there are times when you plan and strategize, and there are times when you announce your intentions to stand and fight. And timing is everything in life and politics.

John Kerry said it yesterday, “The Time To Stand Is Now.”

This is not the vote of Monday afternoon. This is a vote of history.

How we stand and fight this fight, will be determined by those who are willing to stand beside Kerry, Kennedy and the other Democratic Senators who understand that fighting the good fight, means making a stand at the right moment in history.

This is the choice for the Court now. I reject those notions that there ought to somehow be some political calculus about the future. This impact is going to be now. This choice is now. This ideological direction is defined now.”

The WaPo noted in a piece today about the liberal blogosphere, that “Liberal activists seemed to have slightly more influence with their campaign to persuade Senate Democrats to filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr.”

It’s really imperative if the liberal blogosphere is to be a force in fighting the good fight, that liberal bloggers get on board with the fight and stay on message. Now is not the time to bemoan what determined when the fight was announced, now is the time to stand and fight together with everything we have got.

Repeating from my post here yesterday… The players in this fight…

Leading the Fight:
John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy.

Committed to Filibuster:
Barbara Boxer (D- CA), Dianne Feinstein (D- CA), Christopher J. Dodd (D- CT), Richard J. Durbin (D- IL), Debbie A. Stabenow (D- MI), Robert Menendez (D- NJ), Harry Reid (D- NV), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY), Charles Schumer (D- NY), Ron Wyden (D- OR), Russell D. Feingold (D- WI).

Who to keep the pressure on…

Undecided – Needs Pressure:
Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D- AR), 202-224-4843
Joseph I. Lieberman (D- CT), 202-224-4041
Thomas R. Carper (D- DE), 202-224-2441
Daniel K. Inouye (D- HI), 202-224-3934
Tom Harkin (D- IA), 202-224-3254
Barack Obama (D- IL), 202-224-2854
Evan Bayh (D- IN), 202-224-5623
Barbara A. Mikulski (D- MD), 202-224-4654
Paul S. Sarbanes (D- MD), 202-224-4524
Carl Levin (D- MI), 202-224-6221
Mark Dayton (D- MN), 202-224-3244
Max Baucus (D- MT), 202-224-2651
Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ), 202-224-3224
Jeff Bingaman (D- NM), 202-224-5521
Jack Reed (D- RI), 202-224-4642
Lincoln D. Chafee (R- RI), 202-224-2921
Patrick J. Leahy (D- VT), 202-224-4242
Maria Cantwell (D- WA), 202-224-3441
Patty Murray (D- WA), 202-224-2621
Herb Kohl (D- WI), 202-224-5653
John D. Rockefeller, IV (D- WV), 202-224-6472
James M. Jeffords (I- VT), 202-224-5141

Against Filibuster:
Mark Pryor (D- AR), 202-224-2353
Ken Salazar (D- CO) , 202-224-5852
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D- DE) , 202-224-5042
Bill Nelson (D- FL), 202-224-5274
Daniel K. Akaka (D- HI) (1,), 202-224-6361
Mary Landrieu (D- LA) (1,), 202-224-5824
Byron L. Dorgan (D- ND) (1,), 202-224-2551
Kent Conrad (D- ND) (1,), 202-224-2043
Olympia Snowe (R- ME) (1,), 202-224-5344

Supporting Alito:
Ben Nelson (D-NE) 202-224-6551
Tim Johnson (D- SD) , 202-224-5842
Robert C. Byrd (D- WV) , 202-224-3954

It’s not unheard of that Senators will change their vote at the last minute, so don’t rule out calling, emailing and faxing those who have said they will support Alito or are against a filibuster.

13 Responses to “Fighting the Good Fight, Knowing When to Pick Your Battles”

  1. the Democrtas do not have any strategy for a long time (since the Clintonian era of Carville and Begala).
    They have plenty of self-proclaimed (and well paid) “Democtartic Strategists”.
    But no strategy whatsoever. None. Nada.
    No wonder the other team keeps wining…

  2. It’s just as well that the other team has won so much because now the truth about them is exposed. Their failure at governance is more than obvious. The Dems were in control for many years and the pendulum swung, revealing shocking characteristics. This will bring their demise more than any strategy, although strategy is part of it. It will come at the right time.

  3. Yoni

    Points well taken. Time to get on the stick it seems. Meanwhile, when we have an issue battle like this – time to stick together.

  4. I truly do hope that all the various factions stand as one, on principle, for this issue.

    We must not cede the judiciary to this band of corporate raiders and robber barons.

  5. Yoni

    I think Kerry has a strategy. In 2004 he had to concentrate on a hard fight for the nomination before turning attention to winning the national election.

    Republicans know that national elections are not won in the final months of a campaign, but by laying out the groundwork years ahead. Kerry is now doing that for the 2006 and elections.

    Kerry is looking at what has worked for European opposition parties. Kerry is also keeping alive the fight for liberal principles when so many others are advocating moving towards the center.

    Triangulation may have worked for Clinton, but it is not the best policy long term to win elections.

  6. Really totally shocked and disappointed to see Frank’s name on the undecided list. I assumed he be a given! Going to have to give his office an earful after all. I know Jon wouldn’t have hesitated! I’m glad to see his new replacement Robert Menendez stepped up at least. Still not familiar with him but he just went up in my book(even though I’d hoped Jon was going to appoint Rush to fill his vacated Senate seat)

  7. BTW, Biden against a filibuster? I figured he of all people would love the additional opportunity to be able to talk on and on and on. ;-)

  8. I think Biden is going for the better version of a conservative hawk, with a little triangulating for president.

  9. We all know what Bush is going to say Tuesday night, and how he’ll say it. What’s more we know that immediately afterward Karl “turd blossom” Rove will get the propaganda machinery running at full speed to paint a rosy picture for that brain-dead 42 percent of the electorate who eagerly swallow this Fascist filth whole.

    There’s one way to affect the news coverage of the upcoming Bush/Rove tap dance. And that is when Bush begins his SOTU lies, every Democrat in the chamber should simply get up and walk out. No shouting, no banner waving. Just a silent and dignified protest against Bush’s attempt to destroy the founding fathers’ conception of balance of power, judicial review, and congressional oversight.

    Yes, I know. This will never happen. Bush will blather, and the conventional media’s stenographers will just repeat his bullshit as if it isn’t bullshit.

    And then back to business as usual.

  10. the word is bush is going to talk about the toxic atompshere in washington and a need for bi-partisianship and considering the rethugs and bush and rove in particular have destroyed any chances of bi-partisianship I have to agree with John- it may not happen but I would love to see the dems walk out when he starts foaming at the mouth about bi partisanship, need to wiretap americans and dare we say anything on ethics.

    I hope if the dems don’t walk out they at least don’t stand up and don’t applaud. I’m sure Ben Nelson, and a few of his ilk will applaud anything coming out of bush’s mouth.
    I got to give it to the brits, they will boo blair in a minute although he can dish back to them to.

  11. Supreme Court is an indepentent Insitution under the Consitution. And the vote for this nominee is a vote of allowing the Supreme Court to become a political agency or a watchdog for this administration. Filibuster is to stop the effort of this transformation.

  12. What green bean said.

  13. […] ng When to Pick Your Battles Blog Name: The Democratic Daily Blog Article Title: Fighting the Good Fight, Knowing When to Pick Your Battles There’s been a some chatter in the b […]