“Real State of U.S. Foreign Policy 2006” — Airing on C-Span at 8 p.m.


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I don’t have much time at the moment, but I have been told that all or part of our morning forum, “The Real State of U.S. Foreign Policy 2006” will be airing on C-Span just after 8 p.m. C-Span will probably air the progam in segments as there were four sections to the conference (yours truly haunts all of them — but is primarily in the first).
On other fronts, this is sad news. I have mixed feelings about this last minute filibuster, that should have been planned a month ago.
Alito will contribute to a vast expansion of Executive Power, and this will seriously harm our democracy. No one “owned” this battle in the progressive community, and those who rallied troops at the end were encouraged by the cynical electioneering stances of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and others. I believe Ted Kennedy’s opposition was real, as was Pat Leahy’s — but the machine against Alito should have been launched day one.
David Frum and Bill Kristol were out within minutes of Harriet Miers’ nomination — while many of the leading Dems were off getting seduced by Davos.
Dems will rue the day that they let Alito pass; so will moderate Republicans; and so will independent-minded Americans who value our system of checks and balances. I think that there have been some real heroes doing their best against Alito — but the Democratic establishment is still inchoate and without the backbone to fight consistently against the White House.
Quite unbelievably, Alito’s win reverses the lame duck status of the Bush presidency, the night before the State of the Union address.
An honest accounting puts Bush back in the game with a lot of juice — and Dems and Republican moderates have to figure out how to throw him off-balance again. It will take a while.
I’m off to a black tie Nixon Center Awards Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel honoring Senator Pete Domenici and James Schlesinger tonight and am going with CNN’s cool blog mistress and Situation Room producer Jacki Schechner.
At 9 p.m. eastern (and middle of the night in the UK), I am doing BBC Radio’s “Five Live” show on DC Blogs and the President’s State of the Union Address.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons