“You’ll feel better…” My friend Other Lisa wrote that above her e-mail with Digby’s, “It Is The Only Way We Can Live” post below.

I’m less pissy about the cloture vote yesterday. I turned off the computer early last night, and watched Amy Goodman’s marvelous interview of the lifelong fighter, Harry Belafonte, who’s never given up. Never given up. And he won’t give up. That means something. Especially to us today. He’s personally felt what we fear today: His conversations with Martin Luther King were wiretapped by the FBI in the 1960s. His closing words for Amy, and us, yesterday:

I cannot believe that that which we have achieved in this country, nothing could have been darker than the time of slavery. We extricated ourselves from that. Nothing could be darker than a century of apartheid and oppression. We extricated ourselves from that. The Second World War was not winnable by the onslaught of the German forces. We won that. I think in the final analysis, the people are the true frontier, and I think people will save this nation. But it is only people who can do it.

This morning, I read Nag‘s stirring, hilarious “let-me-pump-you-up!” prose:

Yup, you’re right, Susan… now it’s on to the next battle. When the shit hits the fan from 5 different directions, you put on your mental slicker, hose off and learn how to duck. Hopefully, you also learn how to fling a little poo of your own. I’ll live to fling another day, and that makes me realize that life is pretty good.

Then there are the thanks we owe to these Senators for voting against cloture. Let’s all write them today:

Those who voted for filibuster:

   Bayh, Ind.; Biden, Del.; Boxer, Calif.; Clinton, N.Y.; Dayton, Minn.; Dodd, Conn.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Obama, Ill.; Reed, R.I.; Reid, Nev.; Sarbanes, Md.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Wyden, Ore. And Jim Jeffords, Vermont (thanks to Karen Backman of Democracy for Washington! for e-mailing the list)

And, yes, Alito was just confirmed but only by 58 to 42 … but we have many people ON OUR SIDE who are stirring us with their words today …

A snippet of Digby, who also quotes Kevin Drum’s fine comments:

“It Is The Only Way We Can Live”

by digby

So we only got 25 Senators to vote for a filibuster of a Supreme Court
nominee who, if defeated, would be replaced by someone just as bad by a
president in the pocket of his radical right wing. Well.

Do you know how many votes the Republicans managed to get when uber
wingnut Antonin Scalia was confirmed? 98. And Democrats had a majority.
We didn’t have to even think about a filibuster. We couldn’t defeat
Clarence Thomas and we had a majority, a huge push from women’s groups
and a very dramatic set of hearings that went into the wee hours of the
morning. It is very, very tough to do.
Kevin Drum says:

The lefty blogosphere has spent the last week trying to fire up
support for a filibuster of Samuel Alito. This campaign was never
likely to succeed, and today it failed as expected. But that’s not all:
it failed by the embarrassingly lopsided margin of 72-25.

I’m glad the filibuster took place, because even in failure it puts
a marker down for future court fights. Still, even given the amateurish
way that Senate Dems handled it, I expected it to get more than 25
votes. So here’s today’s assignment: In 5,000 words or less, what does
this say about the influence of the lefty blogosphere?

I didn’t expect it to get more than 25 votes and I’m frankly stunned
that we did as well as we did. Indeed, something very interesting
happened that I haven’t seen in more than a decade.

When it became clear that the vote was going against the filibuster,
Diane Feinstein, a puddle of lukewarm water if there ever was one,
decided to backtrack and play to the base instead of the right wing.
That’s new folks. Given an opportunity to make an easy vote, until now
she and others like her (who are legion) would always default to the
right to prove their “centrist” bonafides. That’s the DLC model. When
you have a free vote always use it to show that you aren’t liberal.
That’s why she was against it originally — a reflexive nod to being

Obama had to choke out his support for a filibuster, but he did it. A
calculation was made that he needed to play to the base instead of the
punditocrisy who believe that being “bold” is voting with the
Republicans. Don’t underestimate how much pressure there is to do that,
especially for a guy like Obama who is running for King of the Purple.
The whole presidential club, including Biden joined the chorus.

The last time we had a serious outpouring from the grassroots was the
Iraq War resolution. … read it all

Oh sure. There’s the usual tripe from the Dana Milbanks of the netherworld:
Tasting Victory, Liberals Instead Have a Food Fight.” Fuck him. Fuck the Washington Post (except E.J. Dionne (he’s on fire (!) about the budget today!) and — bless his heart — Dan Froomkin).

Oh, but surely didn’t this make Alan and Andrea and Cokie and Steve titter over their morning coffee and dry toast this morning?

Right on cue, liberal activists including Cindy Sheehan and Ramsey Clark gathered yesterday at the Busboys & Poets restaurant and bookshop at 14th and V streets NW for what they billed as a forum on “The Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.” But the participants, while charging the administration with “crimes against humanity,” a “war of aggression” and even “the supreme international crime,” inevitably turned their wrath on congressional Democrats, whom they regarded as a bunch of wimps. …

Fuck Milbank. Oh, I said that already.

Let’s hear it from the man, Meteor Blades:

For now, I’m laying off the recriminations. Instead, the first thing I’m doing as soon as this is written is to call my two Senators – Boxer and Feinstein – to tell them I appreciated their “No” votes. And I urge others to do so as well. But, more important, I urge others to put their energy into a new fight. Because the Alito nomination is all over but the final vote, and we need to invest the next week into making something useful out of next Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on “Wartime Executive Power and the NSA’s Surveillance Authority.”

Given what an atrocious job most of the Democrats on the committee did in querying Samuel Alito, particularly bad when it came to follow-up questions, and in framing the issues of concern raised by Alito’s extensive judicial record, it is incumbent upon us to try to ensure that Democrats ask tough questions at these hearings. We need to push the Dems away from playing enabler for what is sure to be Attorney General Gonzales’s efforts to make the hearings nothing more than a forum for the idea that the Administration’s evasion of FISA is being done to protect us from the bad guys. … READ ALL!

He ends with this:

… The war against Big Brotherization is as crucial as that for abolition, for women’s suffrage, for civil rights.

In every case, the warriors in those wars suffered immense setbacks, repeatedly so, and found it hard to get the politicians to speak up and stand up for them. Eventually, however, because they refused to surrender, and because they took the fight beyond the electoral arena, they won.

We will, too.

WE WILL! Or we’ll die trying … we have to. For the sake of future generations. We have to.

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