MAKING LIEBERMAN LOOK LOYAL BY COMPARISON…. Did you happen to catch Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska on Fox News yesterday?
President Obama said on Saturday that a Supreme Court nominee is coming soon, but Republicans in the Senate have spent weeks working to frame the type of judicial resume that would be unacceptable on the bench. On Sunday, the GOP got what could be a bit of a boost, as a key moderate Democrat left the door open to filibustering a possible Obama Court nominee.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Ben Nelson warned the president against appointing an activist judge to replace the retiring David Souter. In the process, the Nebraska Democrat acknowledged that the scenario could present itself where he joined the GOP in voting against cloture.
“I think that’s the test, will they be an activist or not?” Nelson said. “And I would hope that there wouldn’t be any circumstances that would be so extreme with any of the president’s nominees that the other side would feel the need to filibuster or that I might feel the need to filibuster in the case of extraordinary circumstances.” [emphasis added]
Nelson added that he wants to see Guantanamo detainees incarcerated in other countries (“I don’t want to see them come on American soil”) and said he’s open to maintaining Bush-era torture policies (“What we need to do is make sure that the intelligence information that’s gathered is accurate, that we do everything within our power to get good intelligence, and it may or may not consist of coming from enhanced techniques”).
This comes about a week after Nelson voiced his support for a Republican filibuster of Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to head the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel — because she has the audacity to be pro-choice — taking a much harder line on Obama nominees than Bush nominees.
Whenever you hear talk about Dems having a “filibuster-proof majority” after Al Franken is seated, remember that Ben Nelson is one of the 60, and he’ll betray his allies whenever it suits his purposes.