The Right Coast
January 30, 2006
By Maimon Schwarzschild
The cloture vote was a thumping 72-25. The liberals' feckless filibuster means that this was the decisive vote on Alito: tomorrow's actual confirmation vote will be an anti-climax. Alito will get fewer votes for actual confirmation, of course, so the effect of the would-be filibuster is that the vote people will remember, the decisive vote, is the more favourable one for Justice Alito.
Of the 25 Democrats who voted to filibuster, fully twenty were from states where both senators are Democrats; and 16 of the nays (to cloture) are pairs of senators both from the same state voting to filibuster. An indication, no? that most Democrats in less-than-safe seats decided that to filibuster would be to walk over a political cliff.
No doubt the 20 Democrats who voted not to filibuster are grateful to those -- the leftist pressure groups, their own floor leaders, and of course Sen. Kerry (D. Davos) -- who boxed them into the position, in effect, of voting to confirm Alito.
Andrew Sullivan hates President Bush as much as anyone (well, not as much as anyone: but a lot). But Sullivan is surely right in saying, post-cloture: "George W. Bush is one of the luckiest men alive. And in no department is he luckier than in his choice of opponents at home and enemies abroad."