Friday, January 27, 2006

UPDATED: The Anti-Alito Game Plan for Fri., Jan. 27 (Ver. 1.1)

UPDATED 2:21 PM PACIFIC TIME: Cloture vote is Monday, 4:30 pm Eastern. Breaking news: after saying she wouldn't support a filibuster, then going back on the fence, DiFi has committed to vote no on cloture!! Good on us!! Similarly, Clinton is back on the good side.

On the dark side, Conrad has announced he's anti-filibuster and might be pro-Alito. Punish him. Remarkably, Chuck Schumer has been using MoveOn to ASK voters to flood the switchboards in support of a filibuster, to bolster the weak-kneed!!

Bold Senators below are my "hot buttons" to call now. Lists below are updated.

Thanks, readers, for all the input!!

OVERVIEW: Senate Minority Leader made a huge blunder by telling the Democrats that Alito is a “conscience vote” instead of calling for party unity. Nevertheless, John Kerry is considering leading a filibuster – but wants to know he has 41 votes first. The current vote count says he’d lose: we don’t have 41 votes to avoid cloture. We need to help him find those votes.

So, here's the game plan:

First, sign and e-circulate the John Kerry filibuster petition.

Second, start making phone calls. The Capitol switchboard, toll-free, is: 888-355-3588. Even over the weekend, fill the voicemail boxes. Then we'll start with emails (I'll post those links later).

Call the right people, tell them you want a filibuster of Alito, and that you’re paying attention to which Democrats really fight and which ones just pay lip service. Ask for a filibuster even if there aren’t a guaranteed 41 votes against cloture, because at least we could see clearly which Democrats are real fighters, and which ones are Vichy accommodationists who need to be replaced in their next primaries.

Here are the details of how the key Senators break down:

Weak-Kneed Scotus-Lickers:
Three Democratic Senators have announced they will vote to confirm Alito. I doubt they can be convinced BOTH to change that vote AND to support a filibuster, so don’t waste much time on them, but one call to give them a ration of shit might be worthwhile. They are:

Nelson, Ben (V-NB)

Johnson, Tim (V-SD)

Byrd, Robert (V-WV)

Pasty-Polled Fencesplitters:
Six Democratic Senators now are splitting the difference, suggesting in various ways that they oppose Alito BUT WON’T SUPPORT A FILIBUSTER. We need to work hard to change their minds, because a vote for cloture (i.e., against filibuster) IS a vote for Alito. Hammer them with calls and emails. These “I was against Alito before I was for him” Senators are:

Obama, Barack (D-IL). Obama is "rumored" to be OPPOSING any filibuster for "strategic reasons." We must tell him to stop fighting Kerry and SUPPORT a filibuster.

Landrieu, Mary (V-LA)

Salazar, Ken (V-CO) (Late Friday: Staffer insists he's definitely not supporting a filibuster. Pester him for the hell of it but don't waste much time. He makes the Vichy list of Dems to unseat for being unresponsive to his base.)

Joe Biden (DE) (remind him that if he wants to be President, he needs our votes in the primaries, and WE WANT A FILIBUSTER NO MATTER WHAT.

Dorgan, Byron (ND)(Actually, Dorgan says he OPPOSES A FILIBUSTER and MIGHT EVEN SUPPORT ALITO. Hammer him.)

Conrad, Kent (ND), who was undecided, said on Ed Schultz that he is AGAINST filibuster and MIGHT EVEN SUPPORT ALITO. Let's punish him. Remind him of Tom Daschle, who took an “accommodationist” stance and lost his seat as a result.

Unknown Quantities: Make Them Take A Stand:
Several other Democratic Senators MIGHT oppose a filibuster; we just don’t know. We need to call their offices, ask whether they’ll support a filibuster, and pester them until they commit to it. (If you get a firm answer one way or another from any of these, please post it here as a comment and I’ll update the list.) These “question marks” are:

Bayh, Evan (IN)(Remind him: if he wants to be President, he needs our support!)

Cantwell, Maria (WA)(Should be low hanging fruit -- liberal D, blue state)

Dayton, Mark (MN)(no on Alito, but undecided on filibuster. LOW HANGING FRUIT!)

Levin, Carl (MI)(no on Alito, undecided on filibuster. LOW HANGING FRUIT!)

Lincoln, Blanche (AR) (opposes Alito, undecided on filibuster. LOW HANGING FRUIT!)

Nelson, Bill (FL): No on Alito but an intern says he opposes filibuster. LOW HANGING!

Pryor, Mark (AR) undecided on both Alito and filibuster.

Lautenberg, Frank (NJ)

Menendez, Bob (NJ) America’s newest Senator: let’s urge him to start right!

Rockefeller, Jay (WV)

Hey, Anyone Might Be Saved If They Hear the Gospel...
Three Republican Senators haven’t announced yet whether they’ll support Alito and are moderate enough that they might be worth a phone call. They are:

Lincoln Chafee (RI)

Susan Collins (ME) (? If anyone knows whether she’s declared, please tell me.)

Olympia Snowe (ME)

Presidency-Seekers We Hope Are Sufficiently Sycophantic:
Finally, we need someone to actually do a filibuster. John Kerry is thinking about it, but needs to be convinced to do it EVEN WITHOUT 41 VOTES. Other Democratic Senators who are considering running for President, and who therefore need to build up their base by showing some spine and should be pestered about helping a filibuster, are:

Russ Feingold (WI)

Finally, Harry Reid needs to be told (a) to rescind his “conscience vote” directive, and to make Alito a party unity vote; and (b) to back a filibuster EVEN IF there aren’t 41 votes to support it.

Muchas gracias to Bob Fertik and his commenters at for a lot of good info and ideas I stole and updated here.

Now, go get ‘em!!


Anonymous said...

Ever since Rita I have been buying certain food products from my local market that are from Louisiana. In my mind that is one of the best ways to help the state by supporting a business that pays taxes in that state. I have been debating all day as to calling them to ask them to put pressure on Landrieu. their number is at the bottom of their page. The products aren't that great but the kids eat them.
Another is they have a contact us link. Also not great but ok.

There is also Tyson chicken and the Arkansas dems.

What do you think of this approach?

As a woman, who brings and cooks all the food in my house I don't feel like supporting any business that does not support women.

Anonymous said...

Some Repulican senators were at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. SO WAS KERRY! Both the dems and the republicans are tied to the big business interests in DAvos, let's not forget that...

NYMary said...

As per Thers's request, I am posting this email I received after emailing my senators. I think they want to be buried in phone calls tomorrow. Schumer seems to have forwarded my message to MoveOn:

Dear Mary,

In just a few days, the Senate will cast the historic final vote on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Here's the bottom line: with over 50 Republicans pledging to vote yes, this nomination can only be stopped by a Democratic filibuster.

Democrats in the Senate have still not announced if they will lead a filibuster attempt but, despite the media spin, this is not a done deal. Every Democrat in the Senate will be making their own decision in the next 48 hours, and this is the moment to weigh in.

Please call Sens. Schumer and Clinton and tell them the time has come to stand up and do everything possible to keep Samuel Alito off the Supreme Court—and that means filibuster.

Senator Charles Schumer
Phone: 202-224-6542
District Offices:
Albany: 518-431-4070
Binghamton: 607-772-6792
Buffalo: 716-846-4111
Melville: 631-753-0978
New York: 212-486-4430
Red Hook: 914-285-9741
Rochester: 585-263-5866
Syracuse: 315-423-5471

Senator Hillary Clinton
Phone: 202-224-4451
District Offices:
Albany: 518-431-0120
Buffalo: 716-854-9725
Hartsdale: 914-725-9294
Lowville: 315-376-6118
Melville: 631-249-2825
New York: 212-688-6262
Rochester: 585-263-6250
Syracuse: 315-448-0470

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Today, the New York Times came out with a blistering a editorial, called "Senators in Need of a Spine," that made the case for filibuster. Here are some highlights:

It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle... is indefensible for...any other senator who has promised constituents to protect a woman's right to an abortion to turn around and hand Judge Alito a potent vote to undermine or even end it...

...The judge's record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else ....

...A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

You can read the whole editorial here:

We fought hard together all last year to defeat the Republican "nuclear option" and preserve the right of the minority party to filibuster because we knew the Supreme Court was on the line. If George Bush is able to replace Sandra Day O'Connor with Samuel Alito, it may become his most damaging legacy: a President who can spy, detain and torture at will, and a Congress left powerless to protect workers, women, the environment, and to combat discrimination.

41 Senators must decide to fillibuster to actually block the nomination. There are 44 Democrats in the Senate. We know that many would like to filibuster, and they are urgently gauging support from the public and gathering headcounts of other senators. It's moments like this, when Washington is searching for leadership, when your voice matters the most.

Please call Sens. Schumer and Clinton today and ask them to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito.

Thank you for all that you do,

Ben, Justin, Marika, Adam and the Political Action Team

Anonymous said...

More from Mary, cut from Atrios:

MoveOn responded to an email you sent to Schumer. Do I have that right?

Yes. Submitted to the form at his .gov site. And the reply came from Schumer's office, but definitely signed by MoveOn.


Anonymous said...

Bring on the filibuster you spineless liberal kooks. Bring on the filibuster and you WILL get the nuclear option, not only on the senate floor but at the ballot box as well. Liberals are losing their last stronghold. Their agenda can't come close to making it through congress so the only way for them is through liberal activist courts. But not anymore. Liberals advocate the murder of innocent babies, but are against the death penalty for CONVICTED murderers. And you say liberals aren't insane. Liberalism is the gateway to Hell.

Hecate said...

Stabenow supports the filibuster

markg8 said...

Don't know if it's been mentioned in comments already but Clinton's office told me she does support the filibuster.

markg8 said...

Biden's office says he'll vote no on Alito but won't support a filibuster as 4 Dems have said they'll support Alito.

markg8 said...

Bingamon and Carper will vote against Alito, no word on when they will announce their position on the filibuster.

markg8 said...

Cantwell and Pryor haven't announced yet how they'll vote on Alito let alone if they'll support a filibuster.
Get the filibuster, if Frist uses the
nuclear option then let the Repubs spend the next year explaining how they corrupted 200 years of Senate precedence and procedure to get this phony nominee passed.

jenny said...


Anonymous said...

Awesome feedback, guys. I think there are a couple of other Senators I need to add to my "must call" list but it will take an hour or two to get to it. Damn work. Don't my clients know my REAL job is to help save America?

Anyway, thanks a ton, folks!

If any of you would like posting privileges on Vichy Dems when this is over, please just put your email in a comment and I'll send the blogspot "team member" invitation. (Then I'll delete the email, which you should "disguise" by putting spaces around the @ anyway.)

Anonymous said...

yah jsut heard you on Young Turks

? said...

heey u stole my 10!!!!!!!!

flory said...

T2 -- called Cantwell's Seattle office about 3 PDT. She still hasn't made up her mind. She has to be one of our best shots to turn away from the dark side. She's in a blue state after all.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great how a PRO CON like MTI can come to a "Liberal" blog and waste his/her precious time
on convincing LIBERALS how terrible the world is with LIBERALS in it. All the while you get banned and shouted down on any CON blog or CON political forum.
I'll take the LIBERAL way over the CON way anytime. IT IS STILL THE USA for now... Maybe the CONS should say what the those LETERS USA mean outloud. UNITED ....UNITED yes UNITED states....of AMERICA.....LEst you forget 200 some odd years ago people left in droves from the opression you [CON] are so in favor of. Most CONS do not know their own history yet favor OPRESSION of FREEDOMS all the while they espouse the right to own their GUNS. Hmmmmm maybe they have a plan to shoot all LIBERALS for not THINKING like their Limbaugh programmable mindset.

Anonymous said... Thanks so much for the non-fictional read on your life.

It might belong on Oprah's book club alongside Mr. Frey's most recent LIE. You seem to forget that Mr. REAGAN LIED and SAID HE DID NOT TRADE ARMS FOR HOSTAGES and BUSH 1 LIED >>> NO NEW TAXES. Maybe that is like UMLimited. Oh I see. NO New WAXES. okey dokey! AND BUSH 2 LIED. WMD's blah blah blah Saddam Saddam, Blah terrorists,,blah blah 911, ,, Saddam, ,, 911 ,, WMD's ,, Mannnn somebody wiretap me please for my security for cryin out loud. WIRETAP ME I beg of you!! I may be part of a terrorist network with out MY KNOWLEDGE. So dangit WIRETAP ME and don't even take it to court for any LEGAL RIGHT I may have TO PRIVACY guaranteed in those OLD and OUTDATED BILL OF RIGHTS. For cryin out loud it's the 21st century those crusty old Bill of Rights things are outdated says

No loss of RIGHTS nor LIES are important enough to make a difference to No siree. Mr. has his/her eyes on the big problems like Clinton getting a BJ in office and Senator Kennedy's PERSONAL problems. Thank you to You and Bill O'Reilly for watching out for US and insuring that we have Bush 2 in office.

BTW, it is very evident you are a younger CON still in training and so you do have a minor excuse since you don't have the full Rove Playbook memorized yet.

Let me know how that skipping down the road to the magical world of OZ is for you while you search for your brain

Follow, Follow, Follow that yellow brick road. It surely must be a blissful life.

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