Bob Novak says:

WASHINGTON — Pressure from liberal activists to oppose confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court has been so intense that Democratic senators may be trapped into a filibuster that they do not want to wage.

Despite the consensus that Alito performed well in his confirmation hearings, leaders of liberal organizations opposing him — Ralph Neas, Nan Aron and Wade Henderson — demand that Democrats vote against him. Consequently, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska is the only Democrat at this writing who has announced in Alito’s favor.

That means the number of senators voting “no” will be well over the 41 needed to prevent cloture. Pressure groups then could ask why no filibuster had been launched. But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid may not want to risk causing Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist to set a precedent by using the “nuclear” option: to end a filibuster by simple majority vote

If we have the votes, and it appears we do, we need to filibuster. Will the Republicans respond by using the nuclear option? Maybe. But I am sure that they do not want to go nuclear. The public is beginning to feel uncomfortable about the amount of power the Republicans have. This is best expressed by the following poll :

“By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge’s approval, according to a new poll commissioned by…

If the Republicans change the Senate rules and eliminate the filibuster it will only increase the perception that they have too much power and are out of control. This is an election year and the Republicans are already burdened with the Plame investigation, the Abramoff scandal, the trial of Tom DeLay, and hearings over the illegal NSA surveillance. The last thing they need is a fight over the filibuster.

The Democrats have nothing to lose. Filibustering will make their base happy, and they will win the political battle if Alito is put on the court in a nuclear way.

If you have not yet written your Senators, please do so this weekend.

0 0 votes
Article Rating