In A Triumph Of Demagoguery-- Debo Adegbile's Nomination Goes Down In Flames
It doesn't surprise me that all Republicans-- including fake "moderates" like Susan Collins, Dean Heller, Kelly Ayotte and Mark Kirk-- voted against confirming Debo Adegbile as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. As People for the American Way pointed out when the disgraceful 47-52 vote came down, "Today’s vote is a triumph of demagoguery… Unfortunately, this nomination has been swept up in the poisonous atmosphere that’s engulfed Capitol Hill. Instead of praising Debo for taking on important, challenging issues in our justice system, his opponents rushed to twist and distort his record." And, of course, Republicans… As Rick Santorum pointed out, conservatives like Collins because even if she has to fake it and make believe she's a moderate from time to time, in the end she's always a team player for the far right. This morning, her progressive Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows, told us that "Yesterday's vote is another example of Republican obstructionism of civil rights and voting rights. Debo Adegbile has a distinguished record on civil rights and voting rights and should have been confirmed. It is disappointing that Republican Susan Collins voted yet again with her party over the interests of Maine's civil rights community to block a key Obama appointee."
The problem, though, wasn't just because of Republicans like Collins. Debo was defeated because 7 conservative Democrats joined with the Republicans to defeat him. These 7 conservative Democrats:
• Bob Casey (PA), ring-leaderNo one told that ugly story better than Philly journalist Will Bunch-- who didn't let Casey get away with his fecklessness unscathed.
• Chris Coons (DE)
• Joe Donnelly (IN)
• Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
• Joe Manchin (WV)
• Mark Pryor (AR)
• John Walsh (MT)
On Friday, the day of the week preferred by cowards for revealing their cowardly decisions, Casey announced that he could not support Adegbile. In addition to feck, Casey is also apparently lacking is something that the journalists Laker and Ruderman were able to display, which is cojones. Faced with the choice of voting for a good man or responding to the bullying tactics of the Fraternal Order of Police, Casey wilted. I don't know why that's a surprise. Spinelessness has been a trademark of Casey's career; even when one agrees with him, as I did on gun-buyer background checks, you start asking yourself: Where the heck did that come from? What does Bob Casey stand for?President Obama was more diplomatic in his criticism than either Chris Hayes (watch the video up top) or Will Bunch: "The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications are impeccable. He represents the best of the legal profession, with wide-ranging experience, and the deep respect of those with whom he has worked. His unwavering dedication to protecting every American’s civil and Constitutional rights under the law-- including voting rights-- could not be more important right now. And Mr. Adegbile’s personal story-- rising from adversity to become someone who President Bush’s Solicitor General referred to as one of the nation’s most capable litigators-- is a story that proves what America has been and can be for people who work hard and play by the rules. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice-- and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant."
Cowards tend to congregate, and so Casey's chickenry encouraged six other feckless wonders-- Pryor, Walsh, Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly, and Coons (say it ain't so, Chris)-- to join in and torpedo Adegbile, whose nomination went down today on a 47-52 vote.
The weirdest thing of all is that Casey doesn't even have to face the electorate until 2018, when for all we know the burning issue will probably be same-sex marriage between robots. Was he really afraid of voters, or just afraid? It probably did nothing for Casey's career, but he just ruined the career of a good man named Debo P. Adegbile, who must be sitting somewhere tonight wondering what the feck just happened.