Hey, is this another Circus of the Spineless?

Remember these names when Alito screws us over. These are the ones who didn’t even try to stop him.

Akaka, Daniel K. (Coward-HI)

Baucus, Max (Doormat-MT)

Bingaman, Jeff (Toady-NM)

Byrd, Robert C. (Ditherer-WV)

Cantwell, Maria (One-termer-WA)

Carper, Thomas R. (Lickspittle-DE)

Conrad, Kent (Stooge-ND)

Dorgan, Byron L. (Loser-ND)

Inouye, Daniel K. (Pawn-HI)

Johnson, Tim (Milksop-SD)

Kohl, Herb (Flunky-WI)

Landrieu, Mary L. (Parasite-LA)

Lieberman, Joseph I. (Sycophant-CT)

Lincoln, Blanche L. (Puppet-AR)

Nelson, Bill (Candy-ass-FL)

Nelson, E. Benjamin (Lowlife-NE)

Pryor, Mark L. (Chicken-AR)

Rockefeller, John D., IV (Weasel-WV)

Salazar, Ken (Dissembler-CO)

(Actually, it’s very unkind of me to compare these wimps to invertebrates. I like invertebrates.)


  1. Mnemosyne says

    At least Dianne Feinstein has finally woken up and realized that California is a lefty state and she’d better vote as a goddamned Democrat instead of a Republican-Lite.

    Expect a pretty rough challenge to her from the left in the next election, though. A lot of us California Democrats are pissed at her appeasement tactics.

  2. llld says

    For some perspective, you might want to include the Republicans on this list. Don’t they have the real power.

  3. says

    As a citizen of the state of WA, I am embarrassed. Today, Sen. Maria Cantwell lost my vote. She is facing a tough candidate, a former CEO of Safeco Insurance, from the Republicans. I will not cast a vote for here.

    I hope the Green party puts a candidate forward…I’d hate to note vote for anyone.

  4. Jess says

    Where are you getting this list? I tried to find anything about Maria Cantwell’s vote on Alito and all I got was a pledge on her site that she would oppose him.

    (I miss the scientific anti spam words)

  5. Graculus says

    On the other hand, I’m looking forward to having a bunch of US academics move up here as the Reich-wing move in on your universities.

    McMaster has a reactor in mothballs if there are any physicists interested in the Great Not-So-White North.

  6. Brent T. says

    As frustrating as it is that we are being run by a bunch of fanatics (mostly democratically elected, not unlike Hamas), let’s be honest. Those that voted for the filabuster did so mainly because it will help them make money, and those that voted against the filabuster did so mainly because it will help them make money. The outcome was predetermined and it was forced by people who wanted to make this “show” vote, so this vote had much less to do with principle than it did with convenience. Those that actually vote to confirm are another story, and they are more worthy of scorn. The sad thing is that most of the votes that Democrats make are more about appealling to a particular group than they are about principle, since few votes really force Senators to go out on a limb.

  7. Anonymous says

    You’re right, worms have more spine.
    I’m not a big Kerry fan, but there ain’t a lot of other Dem leadership on offer. AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

  8. toddaa says

    There is no moral victory in this. We’ve got six years of moral victories and nothing but a cryptofascist theocratic state to show for it.

    Until we start voting these “triangulators” out of office, we will never win. If you only appeal to the 2% swing voter, you only appeal to 2% of the voting population. Get rid of them.

  9. says

    Actually, I feel that the Democrats just did a poor job on the filibuster effort and probably shouldn’t have tried in the first place. If they had worked towards it for months, I’d say go for it, but they instead just did it like a college student writing a paper the night before its due. I just wrote an entry about it in my blog if you’re curious what I mean.

  10. Harry Eagar says

    Alito doesn’t strike me as great material for an associate justice but he’s no worse in that department than, say, Souter.

    And as for his fascist leanings, you’re all beyond paranoia. Feinstein said he was against liberty, which is deranged. His credentials against liberty are way short of the Kluxer Hugo Black’s.

    And he was a Dem.

    I’ve been voting since 1964, and the gas station politicians in that election and every one since have bitched that if X is elected, there’ll never be another election. Y’all are just like those goobers.

    Grow up.

  11. says

    To say something very short, it’s entirely possible there are extremely good reasons of local politics why a vote for the filibuster would have been damaging to local Democratic politics, and absent keen knowledge of local conditions in each state, I’d suggest a bit of humility in passing judgment might not be unwise.

    Certainly this is the case for Colorado, for a long list of reasons I don’t propose to expand upon in this space.

    And the bottom line here is that it would have been one thing if there was the remotest chance in hell of actually blocking Alito, and it’s, in my view, another thing entirely to engage in an act that would be very damaging to the local Democratic situation for a pointless gesture whose only purpose is to make Democratic activists feel good about themselves. Which is, I’m sorry to say, all this was.

    And that’s all I’ll say about that here. Heresy, I know. But I’m interested in winning lots of elections in 9 months, and being able to actually block federal judicial nominations, and not in political masturbation that would damage that possibility. Sorry.

  12. says

    “I hope the Green party puts a candidate forward…I’d hate to note vote for anyone.”

    This is how George W. Bush got “elected” in the first place, of course. Brilliant.

  13. says

    Well, the fact of the matter is that because we have a semi-monarchial President and weak Legislature (by design — the Constitution was basically written to make George Washington the new King of America, except George I didn’t want to be King so made them call him “President” and stand for election), any minority party in America is powerless. This is not the case in parlimentary systems such as Canada, where even though they now have a right-wing government, their right-wing government only has a plurality, not a majority, and must rule via consensus with a coalition of minority parties. This ensures that the minority parties have a part in governance, and eliminates the sort of situation we have here where it’s not even worth voting for a 3rd party because 3rd parties are powerless. (As vs. the socialist NDP and left-ish Bloc Quebecois in Canada, which, despite being the two smallest parties, are fundamental to any ruling coalition, thus Harper can’t piss them off by going George W. Bush type nutso or they’ll balk, get back with the Liberals, force a vote of confidence, and that’s the end of Harper’s government).

    There is a reason why every strongman dictatorship-pretending-to-be-a-democracy has a “strong President” type of government, while virtually every functioning democracy on the planet has a parlimentary type of government — parlimentary democracies are simply more effective at giving everybody, not just the majority, a voice in the governing of the nation.

    This is a fundamental flaw in the American system, and one which will be fixed when cows fly. Australia and Britain, despite having no Bill of Rights, still have as much freedom as the United States because their form of government has built-in checks and balances to protect minority views that the U.S. “strong President” form doesn’t have.

    So for the moment, I suggest that the best thing to do is take over the Democratic Party and make it the majority party. A third party simply isn’t going to work, because we live in a semi-monarchial republic, not in a democracy.

    – Badtux the PoliSci Penguin

  14. Anonymous says

    My senators aren’t on the list! Not that it makes any difference. Come to think of it, neither of them is up for re-election until 2008, so they have two more years to regret trying to block Alito.

    BTW anyone who does not believe the US can turn into a tyrannical (sp?) state doesn’t really understand history and cultural patterns. Currently, we are ruled by corporate interests, those interests will simply take over the government and nothing will stand between them and more profits! Wealth consolidation is a major threat to our republic as are the right wing and the absolute ignorance of a major voting block (right-wing Christians). We’re in the period of excess right before the Barbarian hordes conquer us. Hmmm….

    In another hundred years this country will be a cultural and technological backwater. Everyone remember that Bagdad used to be the center of learning in the Western World

  15. Cyde Weys says

    I’m happy to say that both of my senators (from Maryland) voted “No” to cloture. I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the letter I sent to each of them urging them to vote in such a manner, but it can’t have hurt!

  16. Zarquon says

    Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating once called the Australian Senate ‘a conga-line of suckholes’. Try using that to cheer yourself up.

  17. Kelley says

    P.Z., I LOVE your blog!! You’re a voice of sanity and reason!! Now that the Dark Ages have settled over the US, I note that humanity’s inexorble progression to freedom has been halted in its tracks (my apologies for mangling the quotation). I’m deeply saddened. Freedom has just died.

  18. Harry Eagar says

    I don’t think Baghdad was ever the intellectual capital of the WESTERN world.

    We all applaud Professor Myers’ crusade against the fascist GOVERNMENT. He didn’t quit when he was fired from his GOVERNMENT job. Even when the GOVERNMENT presented him to the Stevens County Grand Jury for seditious libel, he didn’t give up. Not until the jackbooted thugs dragged him out of his house one night did Pharyngula shut down.

    You guys don’ appreciate liberty because you don’t have any idea of what it is.

  19. minimalist says

    Tell us, Harry, how being willing to fight against even the possibility that freedoms will be restricted means we “appreciate” them any less than you do. Seems like just the opposite to me, but what do I know? I’m just an immature LIE-beral.

    Is it something like “If you love liberties, you will give them away; if they come back they are yours forever etc.”?

  20. spencer says

    But I’m interested in winning lots of elections in 9 months, and being able to actually block federal judicial nominations, and not in political masturbation that would damage that possibility.

    Yes, Gary, because if there’s anything we’ve learned over the last six years, it’s that voters simply do not respond to politicians who come across as principled fighters. Instead, they absolutely worship those who are most adept at “political calculus.”

    If you think this is going to help Democrats win elections, you are clueless. Sorry.

  21. lt.kizhe says

    About Canada & Harper:
    Yeah, we got a Conservative minority out of last week’s election, which means things aren’t as bad as they could be (for those of us to the Left). But that’s not a sure thing — we usually (at least in my life-time) elect majorities of one party or the other. If Harper manages to please a few more people in Ontario and Quebec, and the Liberals fail to find a convincing new candidate for PM (many of the Well Known Names are scrambling to decline the honour), Harper could be sitting on a majority within two years. (Which is still not as bad as it could be — at least AFAIK he’s not a religious nut a la Bush, or even Stockwell Day).

    But the point is, even parliamentary systems do elect majorities, who then have free rein for four or so years, given that we use a strict riding system. The only permanent preventative is to go to Proportional Representation, which among its disadvantages has the fact that it will never happen, as it’s not in the interest of either of the two main rivals for governance. They’ll never vote for anything that so weakens their future power.

  22. Graculus says

    It’s the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

    They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

    Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws–that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds–so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

    All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

    Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: “All that Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said:”The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouseholes.” And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

    And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

    You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

    Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!” So they put him in jail.

    But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.

    The fable of Mouseland, as told by Tommy Douglas (CCF & NDP). Leftist, liberal, and preacher.

    Well, mice?

  23. the amazing kim says

    Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating once called the Australian Senate ‘a conga-line of suckholes’.

    Nah, he didn’t. That was the former Opposition leader last year. Keating called them “unrepresentative swill”. Though my favourite was the classic “Like an Easter Island statue with an arse full of razor blades”.

    Sweden looks better every day.

  24. Harry Eagar says

    minimalist, anybody who thinks he’s living in a fascist dictatorship in western Minnesota in 2006 obviously doesn’t have any coherent definition of liberty.

  25. Graculus says

    anybody who thinks he’s living in a fascist dictatorship in western Minnesota in 2006 obviously doesn’t have any coherent definition of liberty.
    Anyone who thinks that a fascist dictatorship can’t happen in a Western society doesn’t have a coherent view of history.

    Hitlere started small, too.

  26. Harry Eagar says

    Hmmm. I wouldn’t call a party controlling all three branches of the most powerful government in the world ‘starting small.’

    You would think, though, that if a fascist dictatorship were on the agenda, after five YEARS in office, they’d have at least managed to suppress the noisy criticism of one of their own EMPLOYEES. Or to have gotten farther along with the pipeline across Afghanistan that — so the leftists told me, I haven’t forgotten — was the motive force of Bush’s foreign policy.

  27. Graculus says

    The thing I think that is missing is the fact that each fascism has an outward form that’s unique to the country it’s in… fascism is a form of diseased nationalism.

    Like the Roman emporers, if the US goes that road many of the forms will remain.. hollowed out, stuffed and mounted, to be sure, but they’ll be able to point to them and say “see, we aren’t fascist”.

    I F Stone called them the crypto-fascists. I think that’s a useful term.

  28. Harry Eagar says

    Calling Bush fascist reads you out of the grown-up discussion of politics.

    Calling Bush fascist for doing what FDR did without anyone even mentioning it is beyond childish.

    Everybody take a cold shower, read some Walter Laqueur and start over.