I’ve never really wanted to vote for Max Baucus. Every time I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve held my nose and voted for him–because I didn’t want to be responsible for helping elect an Allan Kolstad or a Denny Rehberg. I don’t think I’ll being doing it again. There’s only so much passion that you can muster for a candidate who is marginally better than the other guy–and Baucus, at best, is moderately better than a centrist Republican.
Tomorrow, Baucus will no doubt vote against Samuel Alito, a move that will exemplify his political pattern: managing to stand for two things while not believing in either of them. Don’t buy it; don’t let him off the hook for this one. While voting ‘no’ tomorrow might give Baucus political cover, he and the Liebermans and the Salazars lost any claim to caring about the reproductive rights of women, the legitimate claims of workers against corporations, or the unbelievable power grab of the Executive under this administration, when they refused to stand in support of the filibuster of a man who clearly does not belong on the Supreme Court.
Wiser heads might argue that it’s preferable to continue supporting Baucus, lest the Republicans gain another seat. But what is the point of regaining the majority if you lose the beliefs that define your party along the way?
I won’t be supporting Senator Baucus again. It’s time to clear the way for a real supporter of the rights of ordinary Americans, not a politician so afraid of being a Democrat that it’s often hard to tell he is one.