See the update below.
The Senate confirmed Mukasey as Attorney General last night. There was no filibuster. None of the President candidates who are Senators even showed up for the vote. It could have been stopped if even one Democrat had the courage to fight.
This was entirely about principles Mukasey himself would have been an acceptable candidate, even though a right-winger. But then, during the hearings, he hedged on torture.
You’ve heard it said over and over that it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. That is because the Repubicans have filibustered almost every single Democratic bill.
But not this time. There was no “60 votes are required to pass anything in the Senate” this time. Why not?
Glenn Greenwald:What happened to the Senate’s “60-vote requirement”?
Every time Congressional Democrats failed this year to stop the Bush administration (i.e., every time they “tried”), the excuse they gave was that they “need 60 votes in the Senate” in order to get anything done. Each time Senate Republicans blocked Democratic legislation, the media helpfully explained not that Republicans were obstructing via filibuster, but rather that, in the Senate, there is a general “60-vote requirement” for everything.
My buddy James Boyce atDaily Kos. (and click to recommend this diary),Hey Chickensh**s, Stand Up And Vote.,
The problem with Mukasey, in a nut shell, is that he is going to be the top law enforcement officer in the United States, and he is unwilling to commit that waterboarding, clearly illegal and clearly torture, is something that he will stand up against and persecute those guilty of doing it.
. . . Well, it’s hard to stand up as a country to have a moment like that when your United States Senators can’t stand up.
Not Voting – 7
Alexander (R-TN) Biden (D-DE) Clinton (D-NY)
Cornyn (R-TX) Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ) Obama (D-IL)
Hmm, I notice a pattern here. Anyone else?
You’re going to be President of the United States? You’re going to answer the call of duty and make the tough decisions?
UPDATE – OK, they were not given a change to GET back to vote. Part of the reason was because of fears that at least Dodd and maybe others would filibuster. Please read these two posts: post one and post two.