Tuesday, October 23, 2007



Without the efforts of Nelson, Alito wouldn't be on the Supreme Court

I don't recall any netroots or grassroots activists making a stink last year when the absolute worst and most reactionary Democrat in the Senate was up for re-election. No, I'm not talking about Joe Lieberman. First of all he's a member of the CFL (Connecticut For Lieberman Party, not the Democratic Party). And secondly, compared to Ben Nelson (D-NE), Lieberman almost looks... well... looks less reactionary. Nelson's lifetime voting score at Progressive Punch is a dismal 50.28, showing he votes as much with the Bush Regime on their toxic agenda as he does with Democrats. But no one said boo and he was re-elected with much less fuss than he's earned. We'll have another 6 years of this reactionary butthead undermining progressive values every step of the way.

Today he is scurrying around the Senate like a rat trying to gather the votes to close down a Democratic filibuster on Bush's Southwick nomination, a vote expected tomorrow. Today's Congressional Quarterly reports that he is "working behind the scenes to line up enough Democrats to force a confirmation vote on a contentious appellate court nominee, while winning concessions from Republicans in return." He's coordinating efforts with Trent Lott (R-MS) and two Democrats who are rumored to favor the KKK candidate, Ken Salazar (CO) and Robert Byrd (WV).
Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson is trying to corral at least 11 Democrats and nine Republicans for a deal that would in some ways echo the “Gang of 14” effort that averted a Senate implosion over judicial nominations in 2005. This time, though, Nelson has broadened his effort.

Nelson is trying to persuade Democrats to vote against a filibuster of the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. But he also wants Republicans to agree, in return, that they will not stand in the way of Senate action on fiscal 2008 spending bills.

Another putative Democrat, Mark Pryor (AR), whose voting record is nearly as bad as Nelson's-- and who is up for re-election in 2008-- has already announced he will be voting to shut down the debate so Bush's latest and perhaps worst judicial nominee can be confirmed.

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