January 27, 2006

Clinton, Cantwell and Alito

Senator Hillary Clinton in Seattle, Jan 27, 2006Senator Maria Cantwell in Seattle, Jan 27, 2006

Senator Maria Cantwell hosted Senators Murray (D-WA) and Clinton (D-NY) at a Seattle fundraiser for her re-election campaign today. The only mention on stage of Judge Alito was Sen. Murray's regretful sounding comment early on that he would likely be the next Supreme Court Justice. Both Senators Clinton and Murray praised Cantwell for her nationwide leadership on clean energy policy and holding back drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, though she has yet to commit to opposing a judicial candidate who has refused to prosecute environmental offenders.

When I shook Senator Cantwell's hand at the rope line and asked her very politely to please filibuster Judge Alito, she froze, went blank and turned away to the next person without saying anything. She said on stage that she admired Senator Clinton, so with any luck (and perhaps more constituent phone calls), maybe she'll take a cue from her and decide to filibuster Alito, whether it works or not. I hope she'll decide to fight.

Posted by natasha at January 27, 2006 03:59 PM | Law/Justice | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

In a close race with McGavick I would think she would vote for Alito.

However, she is known as someone who doesn't use politics for advantage. She is seen as someone who is kind and does a lot of policy, not politics. I think that if she did vote for Alito she would lose a lot of support...

I don't know what to think. The best thing for Cantwell is if she votes no, but enough other Democrats vote yes to not count as a filibuster. But then we have Alito.

I like Cantwell... I hope she chooses to do the right thing.


I'm very happy that most Republicans are backing away from approaches like this. I would really doubt that they will try this sort of thing again.

It'll end up helping the Democrats. I think the Dems will vote their main bill into law, and then a couple of Republican sponsored ones and there will hardly be any fallout. Then I expect Dems to talk about the Economy for the next 7 months.

All looks good from here on, hopefully.
Gerald T.

PS: Can you add my link to your website? I added yours. Thanks!

Posted by: Gerald at January 27, 2006 09:59 PM

Please excuse the strange 2 paragraphs in there. I accidently pasted it in.


Posted by: Gerald at January 27, 2006 10:00 PM

Can we finally stop pretending that Maria "Bride of Lieberman" Cantwell has a progressive bone in her body? Being an environmentalist alone does not make one 'progressive'. It must also include working for the working class and taking a strong position against the war. Maria has done neither. She is far to the right of her constituency. It is time for the left to oppose her.

Posted by: samdinista at January 28, 2006 12:36 PM


I don't care where you go in the primary as long as you're willing to come back in the general election. But McGavik won't even be a no vote. He'll be much more supportive of the war. And he'll let the environment go to hell.

Posted by: Carl Ballard at January 28, 2006 12:42 PM

Not since DIXIE LEE RAY has Washington state had such a pitiful democratic candidate to support . Hasn't 6 years of her apathy towards Washington state issues been enough to turn the most blind supporters into believers that she is just a Republican in Dem's clothing .
She declares war on Alaska , then she declares victory , just like Bush . Only the war was in Maria's mind and the ANWR was going nowhere .
She helps Snohomish PUD with damning evidence , but how will that positively affect ratepayers to sue a bankrupt corporation . Good old Maria , fighting the good and meaningless fights , while the war , our social security , and our homeland security are risking any positive social change as she willingly bankrupts the nation .

Posted by: spitintheocean at January 28, 2006 01:18 PM

Mr. Ballard,
I absolutely will not support Cantwell in the general. If she loses, she has no-one to blame but herself. For me there is one issue that trumps everything else, and that is Iraq. On moral grounds, I am unable to vote for anyone who is not actively and publicly working to end the bloodshed. I am in agreement with The Nation magazine and it's November editorial vowing not to endorse any candidate who does not make an end to the war in Iraq a central part of their platform. Until Cantwell comes around on this issue and joins the majority of Americans, and an even larger majority of Washingtonians in calling for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, she does not deserve our support. I do not believe that one is able to consider themselves to be 'progressive' while supporting an invasion of a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us, and that has resulted in the deaths of approximately 100,000 civilians. On the domestic front, Cantwell failed to work for working people when she voted for the bankruptcy bill and for CAFTA. She is, as I write this, dragging her heels and testing the wind on the confirmation of Samuel Alito. While Kerry and Kennedy work tirelessly to bring about a filibuster of the most extreme judicial nomination in our lifetimes, Cantwell has not publicly said whether she will vote "nay" or "yea". Please, help me understand - why would a 'progressive' senator even have to think about whether they would vote 'nay' in this circumstance? I can accept, ( and would expect) a careful deliberation on her part about whether to filibuster. But I can't accept that she refuses, this late in the game, to say how she plans to vote.

To everyone within range of my keyboard: I implore you, first thing Monday morning, to call Senators Murray and Cantwell and ask them to join Kerry and Kennedy in filibustering the nomination of Alito. I called both every morning last week. Stopping Alito is the second most important issue facing America right now. Please let our Senators know how we feel.

Posted by: Samdinista at January 28, 2006 08:02 PM


It's that kind of thinking that gave Bush enough votes for his war in the first place. It'll be that kind of thinking that gives Bush the votes he needs to have a free hand in Iran. Hell you probably said the same crap about Kerry and now you're begging our Junior Senator to be more like him. If you want a candidate who agrees with you on everything, run yourself. But until you're willing to step up to the plate, even the best of people will have serious flaws. And maybe you could refrain from bad mouthing someone who actually did step up to the plate (giving up the chance to add millions of dollars to her personal wealth) and actually beat one of the most regressive backwater people in the Senate. And you're now begging to replace her with someone far to the right of her on pretty much every issue. The far right has gotten pretty much everything it wants from this Congress and this President because they didn't abandon the people who actually had the power to make change, even when they didn't like their policies.

And good luck influencing Maria on Alito if you've already foresworn any possibility of voting for her.

Posted by: Carl Ballard at January 28, 2006 08:24 PM

Mr Ballard,
I am confused by your first sentence. How, exactly, did 'my type of thinking' give 'Bush enough votes for his war in the first place?'. I am trying to make sense of that statement, but it does not compute. Please elaborate, I am interested.

I had disagreements with Kerry, but I voted for him. Be honest, there were plenty of things about the Kerry campaign to bitch about. It was a muddled, incompetent effort mired in indecisive rhetoric. Really, who is to blame for Kerry's loss? Does the former leadership of the DNC walk away from the losses of 2000 and 2004 with a clean slate? The GAO says the blame most likely rests with fraud in Ohio. Do we really continue with the silliness of blaming a handful of Naderites with 'throwing' the election?

I am not looking for a candidate who agrees with me on everything, and in any case McDermott seems to have no interest in the Senate: )

I have re-read my post, and nowhere in it did I "bad mouth" Senator Cantwell. I offered my critique of her performance, which I find to be lacking. I don't see how a one day pissing match with Stevens should earn her any kudos. She is a Democrat on the energy committee - She should have a dust-up with that A-hole every morning, before breakfast.

My point about Cantwell is this. She is not a progressive candidate. She is, however, probably susceptible to pressure from her constituency. After Liebermans constituents in Connecticut formally called him out, he began to act a little scared. I think we need to do the same to Cantwell. Politics is, after all, about applying pressure. If we do not apply pressure to fence sitters like Cantwell, than we end up with the sort of spineless, directionless "followship" (the opposite of leadership) that we are now enduring.

Posted by: samdinista at January 28, 2006 09:03 PM


We had a majority in the Senate at the time of the vote if you count someone elected as a Republican. But if our majority wasn't so tenuous it would have been easier to have a victory. And I'm sure there were good Democrats who would have opposed the war because people like you had lytmus tests on abortion, or trade, or whatever it is.

You agree with everything about McDermott? Our Congressman voted for the WTO, NAFTA, FTAA, and pretty much every other outragious trade pact. I guess you're Mr. NAFTA? I don't know how you felt aout Kosovo (er, now I do, pro!), but I remember the Greenies complaining about his support of that to no end. It was a deal breaker for plenty of people and it would have been no matter if it was a close district or the 7th. Again, nobody's perfect. Nobody's going to agree with you 100%. You have a fine challenger and a fine incumbant vying for the Democratic nomination.

Posted by: Carl Ballard at January 29, 2006 03:02 PM


"We had a majority in the Senate at the time of the vote if you count some one elected as a republican."

That is about as clear as mud. Again, I have no idea what you are trying to say. I believe 99 Senators voted to give Bush 'authority' to invade Iraq. How did 'my type of thinking' lead to that result? I am still interested.

"I am sure there were good democrats who would have opposed the war because people like you had litmus tests..."

Huh? Again, I am unable to decipher what your point is.

Note the smiley face thing after my McDermott comment. Generally used on message boards to denote an attempt at humour or sarcasm, commonly referred to as "snark." It was, I admit, a clumsy attempt, and the intent of the comment is unclear. Sorry. That said, I do have far more respect for McDermott than Cantwell, and no, I don't really agree with him 100% time. I won't hesitate to vote for him, however. But McDermott is not the issue. Cantwell is.

The majority of all Americans support an end to the Iraq war.
A larger majority of Washingtonians support an end to the war.
An even larger majority of people who would be expected to vote for Cantwell support an end to the war. It is a mainstream position. Cantwell is outside the mainstream on the Iraq war.

I Still have not seen any statement from Maria on the confirmation of Alito. The majority of her constituents want her to vote "no". A very sizeable portion of the Democrat base is calling Senators across the nation asking them to filibuster Alito. Where is Cantwell? Why is she unable to ever take a stand on an issue? I say cowardice and opportunism.

Posted by: samdinista at January 30, 2006 09:33 AM

My God Carl what have we become ? Maria Cantwell is such a powerful progressive that any alternative is far worse ? Sounds like the battered voter syndrome to me. Maria Cantwell votes for a few whoppers , beats the shit out of Washington state constituents and you wake up the next morning making excuses for her bad behavior . Just because her and Hillary say they are progressive , does not make them progressive . Carl , Get your head out of the sack before she goes after things you may value .
You confuse the true issue every time you attack a person with an opposing view . Remember , the only reason her $$$10 million$$$ in campaign contributions she has collected in the last 6 years are not illegal is because congress has created the law that supposedly self polices these junkies of power . If she does not vote the way the people who elect her want her to vote , then what good is she to a progressive agenda .
Looks like Lenin all over again , have a bunch of useful idiots praising the tomorrows Maria can not even articulate in a useful way . sorry Carl the lesser of two evil is still evil , and this sorry excuse for a progressive Senator has to stand on her record , we already swallowed the promises last time around . The last thing she needs is to be encouraged for her outrageous and immoral behavior .

Posted by: spitintheocean at January 30, 2006 09:46 AM

Who will step up and run against Maria? Connecticut has Ned Lamont stepping up to the plate against Lieberman... Who will put Maria in her place? Nominations? How about Pelz?

Posted by: samdinista at January 30, 2006 10:24 AM

About Alito, how could Senator Cantwell vote against Roberts and not Alito, and given the higher stakes, not filibuster? How could she? Because she appears to engage in symbolic votes for cynical political reasons.

However she votes on Alito, she does not have my support either in the primary or the election because of her position on the Iraq war.

"Regime change" is the after-the-fact justification for the Iraq war, which before the vote on the Iraq resolution was sold as necessary to remove a threat to the American people by disarming Iraq.

Senator Cantwell voted for the Iraq resolution based on the WMD lies. She now states she does not regret her vote, because she long supported regime change in Iraq.

Senator Cantwell did not mention regime change when she voted for the war. In my book, she is tacitly approving the administration's lies, and in fact is party to those lies.


Thursday, January 19, 2006 Last updated 6:56 p.m. PT
Cantwell: No regrets over Iraq vote

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Sen. Maria Cantwell said Thursday she has no regrets over her vote to authorize the war in Iraq, but hopes major progress is made this year in turning that nation over to the Iraqis.

"No, I don't think it was a mistake," the Washington Democrat told The Associated Press in an interview during a visit to the state Capitol.

The P-I article continues:

"Cantwell, who recently visited Iraq and has supported wartime defense budget requests, said that ever since she was a U.S. House member in 1993, she favored a regime change in Iraq."

She is tacitly saying it was just fine for the Bush administration to lie to the American people, as regime change was not the justification given by the administration, nor was it the justification she gave, disarmament:


This makes Senator Cantwell herself a party to the Bush mal-administration's lies.

I was foolish enough to vote for Cantwell in 2000. No more.

Posted by: betrayed at January 30, 2006 12:49 PM

And now Cantwell has completely sold us out and voted to end debate on Scalito. So tell us again, Cantwell supporters, what a great progressive she is. On second thought, best we now keep our fucking pie-holes shut as our corporate whore of a senator has now legitimized the new police state. FUCK MARIA CANTWELL!!!!

Posted by: samdinista at January 30, 2006 02:28 PM


Akaka, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Chafee, Conrad, Corzine, Daytonm, Durbin, Feingold, Graham, Inouye, Jeffords, Kennedy, Leahy, Levin, Mikulski, Murray, Reed, Sarbanes, Stabenow, Wellstone, and Wyden are only one person?

Also, you think a Kennedy led Judiciary would let the next person as right wing as Alito get to the floor? Please. A vote against Cantwell (or Wilson) is a vote for the last two years of Bush nominees sailing through committee. Again, I haven't decided who I'm voting for in the primary, but the price of admission in the primary is that you don't throw a hissy fit when you lose. You get out there and you work for and you vote for the most liberal person who has a shot of winning on the ballot. You wanted Maria to vote for cloture, but would have provided her no cover if she had. So again, why the hell should she listen to you?

Posted by: Carl Ballard at January 30, 2006 06:22 PM

Hate to say it, but Bush nominees are already sailing through committee. The only ones that we've managed to rid ourselves of was the incompetent Harriet Myers, and then only because the Republicans didn't want her, either. Now look where we are.

A Democrat who won't stand for anything is just as much use as a Republican.

Posted by: natasha at January 30, 2006 09:12 PM