Dems get it right
In a somewhat surprising show of principle, all eight Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary committee voted against confirming Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General. Especially interesting was Russ Feingold's vote against, since he is normally in favor of allowing wide discretion for a sitting President to choose their appointees. Insofar as the vote against Gonzales is understood by the public as a vote against torture, I think this was the correct choice politically, as well as morally. Despite some worries, most polling data shows the strong public opposition to torture and prisoner abuse. It's also fairly clearly the right decision as a matter of principle, since Gonzales work did have a substantial affect in muddying the waters on what is and isn't proper treatment of detainees. Also, it creates a counterpoint to claims that the Democrats are always calculating politically, rather than standing up for what they believe in. In this case it's obvious that Gonzales will be confirmed, and yet the Democrats are signaling their opposition to torture anyway. It's a shame they didn't take steps on this issue earlier, like during the campaign. Congratulations to Senators Leahy (VT), Kennedy (MA), Biden (DE), Kohl (WI), Durbin (IL), Feinstein (CA), Feingold (WI), and Schumer (NY).