I realize it could hurt us, but if Johnson is in trouble in 2008, the progressive community should not lift a finger to help him. There's no reason to support someone just because he/she has a "D" behind their names if that person will not vote to protect our vital civil liberities. Two years is a long time in politics, and Johnson could have afforded to vote "NO". That he didn't is inexcusable.
The Democrats who deserve our THANKS for standing up to Scalito's Right Wing Agenda on the Supreme Court and could have rough 2008 re-election fights are:
- Mary Landrieu - Louisiana
- Max Baucus - Montana
- Mark Pryor - Arkansas
Those Democrats who voted against Scalito and are up for re-election in 2010 in tough states are:
- Evan Bayh - Indiana
- Byron Dorgan - North Dakota
- Blanche Lincoln - Arkansas
- Ken Salazar - Colorado
Not all of these Senators voted to sustain the filibuster led by Kerry and Kennedy. I don't blame them for not triggering the nuclear option, but the Democrats should have come together enough to plan who would vote to end the filibuster, so that ONLY the 60 votes needed to end the filibuster would have been recorded. Having 72 Senators on record to end the filibuster was a political mistake, I think. But if it gave cover to Senators, especially those listed above, to vote NO on Scalito, then I'm OK with it.
Friends in the progressive world, remember those who voted against us on this, and in the case of Tim Johnson, make him feel the consequences. Also remember those who took a "risk" in supporting us on Alito, and help them out if they are in a tough spot when they are up for re-election.