I was very excited when we picked up Kent Conrad’s vote for Alito, yesterday. But just when you thought it was safe to go back to the prairie, North Dakota’s other Senator — Byron Dorgan — announced he will vote against Judge Alito’s confirmation.
Of course, there are two possible reasons why North Dakota’s Democrat Senators might disagree over Sam Alito’s qualifications: Conrad is up for re-election this November, so he may have voted for Alito to prove he is a "moderate" Democrat. In short, it may have been strictly a political decision. The other possibility is that Dorgan is truly an out of touch liberal, even within his own party, and that Conrad is simply more moderate than Dorgan.
Byron Dorgan will be up for re-election in four years. I hope the conservative donors who have diligently worked to fund these highly-effective pro-Alito efforts won’t forget Dorgan’s "no" vote when 2010 rolls around. Wow, that does sound like a long time. …No wonder Dorgan isn’t too worried.
Today, America will have a new highly-qualified member of the Supreme Court. But the big question states like North Dakota must face is whether or not they can trust these Red State Dems — in a non-election year.