Nora McAlvanah over at National Journal‘s Hotline On Call blog makes a very astute point. John Kerry’s attempt to filibuster Alito actually provides cover for Red State Dems.
They can now tell their constituents, “Yes, I voted against Alito – but I also voted against filibustering him because I thought he deserved a fair vote.”
In politics, your message has to be simple and easily understood. Now, thanks to Kerry, Republicans who run against these Red State Dems in ’06 won’t get a clear shot at them based on the Alito vote. The Dem response will be, “I opposed the filibuster of Judge Alito.”
In short, this “muddies the waters” and makes it harder for Republicans to gain traction on the Alito vote.
I’m sure Kerry wasn’t thinking this far ahead, but if he was, it was brilliant. Leave it to Kerry to help Dems say, “I actually voted for Alito before I voted against him…”