Ration Nation USA
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Today the Senate rejected President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the DOJ's civil rights division. In a surprising 47-52 vote seven democratic senators joined republicans to deny Mr. Adegbile confirmation.
This defeat highlights the break with the Obama administration and Senate leadership by more moderate centrist democrats. In what is developing as a tough election cycle for democrats seeking reelection to the Senate this defeat only adds to the democratic parties potential difficulties in holding the Senate.
From THE HILL:
The Senate rejected President Obama’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division on Wednesday in a stunning 47-52 vote in which seven Democrats abandoned their leadership.
The vote was all the more remarkable for the five Democrats in tough reelection races this year who voted in vain to move Debo Adegbile’s nomination forward.
Their votes now become ammunition for Senate Republicans, who argued Adegbile was unfit to serve because of his legal work in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing Philadelphia
police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.
The vote was a stinging defeat for the White House that showed President Obama is politically out of step with some centrist Democrats heading into the midterm elections.
Obama labeled the vote a “travesty” based on “wildly unfair” character attacks.
Every Republican voted against the nomination, forcing Reid to secure the support of at least 50 members of his 55-person caucus. Vice President Biden presided over the vote and would have been available to break a tie, but his vote was not needed.
It was the first time a nomination has gone down since Democrats changed the Senate’s filibuster rules to require simple majority votes on many procedural motions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) insisted the vote was not a sign that Obama is losing support among Senate Democrats.
“The vast majority of Democrats voted to confirm him so I don’t think it says anything about the president,” said Reid, who switched his vote from “yes” to “no” in a procedural move that allows him to bring the nomination up again for a future vote.
Democratic leaders immediately faced questions about whether it was wise to schedule a vote without knowing for certain the nominee could attract enough support.
“These 2014 Democrats can’t be happy with their leadership over the Adegbile vote. They all walked the plank while others got to vote ‘no,’ ” said a Senate GOP leadership aide.
A senior Democratic leadership aide said the White House and Adegbile were informed that he might fall short of the 50 votes needed to advance his nomination but both wanted to roll the dice and proceed.
Abu-Jamal has long been a cause célèbre in leftist political circles who argue his case exposed racism in the criminal justice system — he even has a street named after him in Paris. But Republicans say he was an unrepentant cop killer and noted there was overwhelming evidence he shot and killed Faulkner at point-blank range.
GOP senators claimed Adegbile’s record of “left-wing advocacy” would further politicize the Justice Department.
The choice of Adegbile split civil rights and law enforcement groups and put Democrats in an awkward position of having to pick a side.
“It was a tough one because you had the NAACP on one side and police officers on the other so people voted the best they could given the circumstances,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who voted for Adegbile.
Complete article BELOW THE FOLD.
Sometimes reasoned moderate heads within the Democratic Party act to do the right thing. Hope springs eternal...