03.06.2014 0

How come only 7 Senate Democrats voted no on cop killer defender Adegbile?

Officer_FaulknerBy Robert Romano

7 Senate Democrats had the good sense to dodge a political attack ad nightmare when Debo Adegbile was defeated to be the next Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Obama’s nominee for the Justice Department post is best known for acting as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s litigation director as it defended one of the most notorious cop-killers in our nation’s history, former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, to keep him off of death row for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.

The NAACP’s appeals succeeded, and the death sentence was overturned, and Abu-Jamal still sits in prison to this day.

What is remarkable is that only 7 Democrats voted no. Too bad for Harry Reid he can’t count to 50.

If Reid had known that the vote was going to fail, he might have advised Mark Begich of Alaska, Al Franken of Minnesota, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Jon Tester of Montana, and Mark Udall of Colorado that they were being asked to catch a live buzz saw.

We know Reid thought the nomination was going to succeed because they brought Joe Biden to the Hill as a failsafe, and Reid initially voted yes before switching to no in order to be able to bring it up again by asking for reconsideration.

Therefore, the aforementioned senators needlessly voted for a nominee doomed to failure. And to what benefit? What was the upside?

If ever evidence was needed that Harry Reid is nothing more than Obama’s errand boy, the Adegbile vote provides it. It was in Senate Democrats’ interests that this vote never happen.

As Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens noted, “A vote for Abegdile was a near certain political death sentence as evidenced by the endangered Democrats who joined Senate Republicans in opposing his nomination.”

They were Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Chris Coons of Delaware, John Walsh of Montana, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Of course, after a cascade of votes embedding Obama’s radical agenda, a few Democrat senators finally listening to their constituents is hardly praiseworthy, unless it is followed up by a wholesale change of behavior.

But it may already be too late as voter attitudes set in for 2014 election cycle.

Still, perhaps one should not underestimate Harry Reid’s capacity to make things worse for his caucus in what promises to be his toughest political battle since reclaiming the majority in 2006.

The only thing worse for Begich, Franken, and Hagan would be voting not for this controversial nomination once, but twice.

Special praise for defeating this nomination goes to Senate Republicans led by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who managed to keep the entire GOP conference united against Adegbile. Not one Republican voted yes.

Of course, without the grassroots outrage against Adegbile, the opposition both on the Republican and Democrats sides of the aisle would have most assuredly failed.

In a statement, Sen. Chuck Grassley praised the outcome and thanked grassroots activists for persuading his colleagues to do the right thing: “Today’s broad bipartisan opposition to the nominee based on his involvement in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case some 25 years after his conviction and sentence, among a host of other political causes, makes it clear that Mr. Adegbile was not the right pick for this important post.  The grass roots played an important role in helping alert individual members of the Senate to the considerable concerns their constituents had with Mr. Adegbile.”

Robert Romano is the senior editor Americans for Limited Government. 

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