the gonzales no-confidence vote

The Senate no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales apparently just failed to get the support it needed to move forward. Some are blaming Reid for the failure. I think, on the whole, the attempt was probably worth the effort, regardless of the outcome. At least now, we have an official record as to which Senators support his tenure as Attorney General. In case you’re interested, Specter and six of his fellow Republicans joined the Democrats in supporting the measure against Gonzales. Not surprisingly, the only Democrat to vote in favor of Gonzales was Lieberman, who also made news today for wanting to go to war with Iran.

For what it’s worth, the measure, even if it had gone forward in the Senate, wouldn’t have had any teeth. As Bush said this afternoon, “They can have their votes of no-confidence but it’s not going to make the determination about who serves in my government.”

No word yet as to whether Republicans still plan to move forward with their retaliatory attack against Schumer.

I don’t have any brilliant insight to share on the subject, but it just amazes me that Gonzales is still in office. I understand that it’s not easy to unseat someone as Attorney General, but with his record on civil rights and the recent revelations concerning his role in the dismissal of 8 U.S. Attorneys for strictly political reasons, I would have thought that the Democrats could have pulled it off.

(Does anyone know how many more votes the Democrats would have needed to have moved today’s measure forward? If Lieberman’s vote would have made the difference, I’m going to be really pissed.)

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  1. Robert
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    They needed another 7 votes. 8 senators didn’t vote. 5 of those 8 are announced candidates for President*. Those 5 probably didn’t see it as a good idea to be on record with a vote, unless their vote were to make the difference one way or another . Had the count been closer without them, you probably would have seen all five trying to get as much press as possible for being the ‘deciding vote.’

    Present – 1
    Stevens (R-AK)

    Not Voting – 7
    Biden (D-DE)*
    Brownback (R-KS)*
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Dodd (D-CT)*
    Johnson (D-SD)
    McCain (R-AZ)*
    Obama (D-IL)*

    I think Stevens didn’t take a stand because his attitude on the matter contradicts that of the vast majority of his constituents. He would have voted if he had to, and his vote would have been nay.

    Biden, Dodd, Johnson, and Obama were all certainly yea votes.

    Brownback and Coburn were almost cetainly nay votes.

    I’m guessing McCain would have been a wild card.

    The unofficial count was therefor probably 57 or 58 (of 60 needed).

    Lieberman would have not made the difference alone, but with McCain and one other Republican nay vote brought over to yea, they could have had cloture.

  2. Robert
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Here is a list of the senators and the real reasons they voted as they did, or didn’t vote at all.

    Voted “yea”:
    53 Dems – because our Attorney General is a corrupt, incompetent stooge.
    Coleman (R-MN) up for re-election in 2008
    Collins (R-ME) same
    Hagel (R-NE) same
    Smith (R-OR) same
    Specter (R-PA) same
    Sununu (R-NH) same
    Snowe (R-ME) SANE

    Would have voted “yea” but didn’t vote:
    Biden (D-DE) busy campaigning but would have returned to cast the ‘deciding’ vote
    Dodd (D-CT) same
    Obama (D-IL) same
    Johnson (D-SD) busy recovering but would have returned to cast a needed vote

    Voted “nay”:
    38 Republicans – because they are also corrupt and/or incompetent stooges.
    Lieberman (I-CT) reason:(R-CT)

    Would have voted “nay” but didn’t vote:
    Stevens (R-AK) (Present) up for re-election in 2008
    Brownback (R-KS) busy campaigning but would have returned to cast the ‘deciding’ vote
    Coburn (R-OK) freak!

    I don’t know how he’d vote, and he didn’t:
    McCain (R-AZ) all of the above

  3. be OH be
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    That’s pretty great analysis, Robert, and probably dead on.

    And that Bush quote really stings. Especially the last two words. What a dick.

  4. Posted June 14, 2007 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    What be OH be said…I blipped over that paragraph because I probably saw the words “Bush said” and realised I didn’t want to know. Then went back to read it after seeing bOb’s comment.

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