Dems Who Twice Confirmed Alito Previously Now Cite Own Support As "Extraordinary Circumstance"Dodd, Lieberman, Biden, Inouye, Harkin, Sarbanes, Mikulski, Kennedy, Kerry, Levin, Baucus, Reid, Lautenberg, Bingaman, Conrad, Leahy, Byrd, Rockefeller, and Kohl say ealier unanimous votes "big mistake"
Alito: back-to-back, 100-0
confirmations could be his undoing
Washington--As the political donnybrooking over the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court heats up, many senate democrats feel their only and best defense against the nominee is their unanimous support for him on two previous occasions.
Alito was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, as well as unanimously confirmed by voice vote by the U.S. Senate for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. There was no debate, and the vote for the latter position lasted only fifteen minutes. Experts say this kind of unanimity bodes badly for the nominee.
"The chances of the Democrats even acknowledging their earlier votes is all but non-existent," said one democratic insider. "We all know that new positions rule the day in spite of previous support."
Massachusetts Senator, Ted Kennedy indicated he has "reservations" about the nominee, says his previously-documented praise for the nominee was "spoken during a period of time when I was not under the influence of mind-altering booze."
Eighteen other extant democratic legislators, Dodd, Lieberman, Biden, Inouye, Harkin, Sarbanes, Mikulski, Kerry, Levin, Baucus, Reid, Lautenberg, Bingaman, Conrad, Leahy, Byrd, Rockefeller, and Kohl, were a part of the original unanimous votes, today reassured their constituents that they would not "ever again allow themselves to vote twice for someone whose ideas are so far outside of the mainstream."
"Many believe Kerry should be the rapier thrust that send the "gang of nineteen" to head this nomination off at the pass," said one key democrat. "At least he'll be able to say 'yes, I voted--twice--for Judge Alito. Now I'm going to vote against him. "'
The nineteen democrats are expected to use their previous support to engender grassroots opposition to Alito.
"This is an extraordinary circumstance," said one senator. "We supported him. And now it's time to throw down the gauntlet and make Mr. Alito answer for that support."