Is it okay that I take the meaning to be a broad repudiation of Kerry and Kennedy by the members of their own party?
Why, certainly, that’s a quite acceptable alternative interpretation…
Not correct, and not correct. Mark, are you implying that without the deal, there would have been 7 Republican senators voting against cloture? The 7 Democrats in the Gang of 14 voted for cloture, and so did 13 more, anyway. Without the Gang of 14 there couldn’t be a filibuster, to be sure, but it’s misleading to phrase it as you did in the post, especially because there were 17 more votes for cloture than for confirmation.
No, I am saying that the deal imposed the new ‘standard’ of extraordinary circumstances that ensured the well-qualified Alito would be approved. To quote Mickey Kaus:
From the [sic] today’s Alito coverage:
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the only GOP senator who has not said how she would vote on Alito’s nomination, agreed. “I find it regrettable that there are those who are trying to resurrect a filibuster even as there is clearly nothing in the record that constitutes extraordinary circumstances,” she said.
The way Snowe is talking, you’d think “extraordinary circumstances” was a clause written into the Constitution (like “probable cause” or “high crimes and misdemeanors”) instead of a banal fudge-phrase sealing a temporary deal among a few Senators a few months ago. … And why should their deal bind anyone who isn’t a party to it? …
The point of Mickey’s frustration is that even non-Gang members felt their hands were tied by this new standard…
I like Fargus’ take better because it supports my preferred scenario that the cloture vote was a repudiation of Kerry’s and Kennedy’s cynical filibuster attempt – at least in my head – rather than a simple assertion by the Gang of 14 to enforce the new standard for a filibuster.
I don’t like the take, but it’s true. 25 Democrats voted against cloture, and 41 Democrats voted against Alito. That means 9 more than the 7 from the Gang of 14 voted against cloture.