Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Gonzalez, Torture, the GOP and Democratic Resistance

Hi Everyone,

This is turning into a very active day for The Citizens. I guess some of us are feeling a little oppressed and need to vent today.

The U.S. Senate today voted on whether to confirm Alberto Gonzalez of Texas as the next Attorney General of the United States. Gonzalez was the White House lawyer who took the lead in justifying the use of torture in the "war on terror." He was also linked to some back room deals to keep then Governor Bush from having to report for jury duty for fear of having his DUI records made public. Gonzalez has been accused of committing perjury in that affair - a charge as yet unexplored and unrefuted. The Republicans all voted for confirmation so Gonzalez will replace John Ashcroft who is soaring off into retirement. That's the bad news.

The good news is that the Democratic Party came very close to voting as a solid bloc against Gonzalez. Democratic Senators voting against confirmation included the following: Reid (D - Nevada), Bayh (D - Indiana), Lincoln (D - Arkansas), Dorgan (D - North Dakota), Johnson (D - South Dakota)

Three Democratic Senators were absent from the vote: Baucus (D - Montana), Conrad (D - North Dakota) , Inouye (D - Hawaii)

Baucus and Conrad were shadowing Bush's tour of their states. Not one Republican voted against confirmation. But Burns (R - Montana) was absent, probably traveling with Bush.

The only Democrats who voted to confirm Gonzalez were: Landrieu (D - Louisiana), Lieberman (D - Connecticut), Nelson (D - Florida), Nelson (D -Nebraska), Pryor (D - Arkansas), Salazar (D - Colorado)

The bad news is that the vote was 60 Yeas, 36 Nays. That's enough to break a filibuster had their been one. What this means is that the Democrats have to get very tough with the weak links in their fold. Salazar might have been voting his ethnicity rather than his principles - not cool. Lieberman is a lost cause. Pryor was probably playing it safe since he comes from conservative Arkansas as were Landrieu of Louisiana and Nelson of Nebraska. But Nelson of Florida really doesn't have much excuse unless the former Batista supporters down in South Florida have convinced him that torture is OK as long as you're pretty sure the victim is a communist or something.

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