FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Democrats’ Alito Debacle

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

The pathetic failure of Democrats in the Senate to stick together and block the appointment of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court — a man committed to the idea of a president with unchecked, dictatatorial powers, and who favors corporations and the state over the individual — shows that it won’t just do to have Democrats take over Congress in November.

The Democrats who are still in Congress — especially the leadership, but even the rank-and-file members — are so spineless and habituated to caving in to Republican threats that they don’t even know how to stand on principle.

This means it won’t be enough to simply pick up 16 new Democratic seats in the House and six in the Senate in November. Those new seats will have to be filled by people who do stand for something. And the fake Democrats like Max Baucus (D-Montana), Kent Conrad (D-N. Dakota), Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) — there were 19 Democrats who voted for cloture, ending the chance of a filibuster, and one, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) who abstained — need to be challenged in primaries by real progressives, and punished for their betrayal of the Constitution and the hopes of those who sent them to Washington.

Impeachment of the criminal and power-mad President Bush will not even be possible as long as these frauds continue to dominate the Democratic Party. Only a grass-roots revolt among progressives during the primaries in support of candidates like Cindy Sheehan, who has announced plans to challenge Feinstein, will produce the kind of political shift that could turn around the country’s slide into authoritarianism.

Notice how as soon as Sheehan mentioned running against Feinstein in a primary, Feinstein, who had been dissing the idea of a filibuster, suddenly became a vote against cloture. There’s a lesson here.

And how about Sen. Byrd, who voted with the cowards? Up for election in November, this senator who has written so passionately about the Bush administration’s abuse of power and of the Constitution, and who has admonished his colleagues to stand up for the traditions of the Senate, showed himself to be just a coal-company-financed gasbag, endorsing the appointment of a nominee who lied at his confirmation hearing, and whose rulings and writings show he considers Congress to be, at best, a vestigial inconvenience to an all-powerful Executive.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail