I don’t know that the Mukasey nomination is the best place for Congressional Democrats to take a firm stand against torture. But I know that someplace is better than no place, and so far they haven’t been able to get a handle on the problem.
The defections of DiFi and Schumer guarantee that the Mukasey nomination will hit the floor. Lieberman, naturally, joined the Dark Side early. This is not a vote Ben Nelson of Nebraska is likely to stand firm on. The same may apply to Nelson of Florida and Landrieu. But six from 51 leaves 45, the last time I checked, and we only need 41 to sustain a filibuster. Nor is it obvious that McCain would do the wrong thing; he can duck, and not showing up for a cloture vote is the same as voting “no.”
So if I were a Senator, I’d be inclined to go for a filibuster. And if I were Barack Obama, I think I’d be inclined to lead one.
This is probably not a winning issue in a general election. But I’m pretty sure it’s a winning issue among Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats.