Monday, June 11, 2007

Gordo Quick Hitter #1--Cloture Vote on Gonzo No-Confidence a Mystery

Here's a little nugget for you on Gordon Smith as it relates to one of today's national topics--the vote on SJR 14, declaring a simple vote of 'no-confidence' against the sitting Attorney General. Let's flash back about three months, as the lies began to pile up, and see what Gordon had to say when someone stuck a mike in his face:
"'For the Justice Department to be effective before the U.S. Senate, it would be helpful' if Gonzales resigned, Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., told USA TODAY this afternoon." (USA Today, 3/15/07)
Obviously if the Justice Department is not "effective before the US Senate," and having Gonzo resign would be helpful, you don't need a very thick Sharpie to draw the line between believing his resignation's a good thing, and having no confidence in him.

Like the glutton I am (and after already calling once in reference to Gordo Quick Hitter #2, coming later), I called in to Gordo's DC office to see how he'd vote. I was told by the staffer that they expect the debate and vote to begin in about an hour from now...but Smith hadn't said how he would vote. I reminded the staffer of the above quote, and he claimed that the Senator's position had not changed...but he has not said how he would vote. I tried to frame that response in such a way as to helpfully point out how ridiculous that was: obviously if he still feels that way, it would be pretty odd to go ahead and vote against cloture (which effectively becomes a vote of confidence for Gonzo)..."I understand where you're coming from, but the Senator just hasn't told us how he plans to vote." I thanked the minion and he went on his way.

So just to pre-alibi Gordo for you, my expectation is that he will vote against cloture, but then defend himself by saying that he doesn't have confidence in Gonzo, but he didn't think the vote was the right way to express that dissatisfaction--that the vote is just a political stunt. It's such a classic Gordo fence-rider position that it seems foolish to bet on any other outcome, but we'll see what happens later today.

Update, 330pm--
Vote was just held. Wyden voted Aye (to invoke cloture to vote on no-confidence). Smith also voted aye, as did six other GOP Senators: Spector, Collins, Coleman, Snowe, Sunnunu, and Hagel. The final vote--which failed to invoke cloture, thus killing the bill--was 53-38, and one "present." Joe Lieberman voted in support of the Attorney General, if you're wondering. Remind me again why Democrats in the Senate opted to let him hang around after betraying his party last year?