Let's PRIMARY Democrats Who Oppose Alito Filibuster
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Based on the statements collected by Bob Geiger below, I'm feeling reasonably optimistic that 40 Senate Democrats will decide to filibuster Big Brother Sam when they meet next week.
My biggest concern is the defection of some of the Democratic members of the Gang of 14.
Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut
Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia
E. Benjamin Nelson, Nebraska
Mary Landrieu, Louisiana
Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
Mark Pryor, Arkansas
Ken Salazar, Colorado
Activists across the country - including these states - have pressured their Senators for weeks to Stop Alito. But the 7 Democrats on this list have screwed us before, and they might screw us again.
Three of them are up for election in 2006: Lieberman, Byrd, and Nelson. Now might be a good time to look for primary opponents who might oppose them if they oppose the filibuster.
Lieberman may face a primary from Ned Lamont, a wealth businessman opposed to the Iraq War. That may be why Lieberman has not been sabotaging filibuster efforts so far.
I would be astonished if Byrd opposed a filibuster. He is the Senator who is most passionate both about stopping an Imperial Presidency (which Alito personifies) and about preserving Senate powers, including the filibuster.
Ben Nelson is another story. He votes with Republicans more than any other Senator, and said he has not seen any "disqualifying issue against Judge Alito." Is there a popular progressive Democrat who could challenge him in a primary?
In 2008, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor will have to face the voters. It's not too early for a primary opponent to step forward for those races. Are there any popular progressive Democrats in Louisiana and Arkansas who could put some heat on these two?