The Spectacle Blog

Jumping on Patty’s Wagon

By on 10.3.05 | 2:24AM

I saw somewhere on that Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow were "the only senators from the same state belonging to the same party" who split their votes in the Roberts confirmation last week. Actually, that's not so. Washington state's scintillating Democratic duo, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, did the same thing, Murray like Levin voting to confirm, Cantwell like Stabenow to oppose.

Unlike Red state Democrats who voted to confirm because they're running for re-election next year, Blue staters Stabenow and Cantwell, who are also up for re-election in 2006, voted to oppose. Does that tell us anything, other than that they're obnoxious?

Though maybe not as obnoxious as Maryland's Paul Sarbanes, who is retiring this term and voted against Roberts apparently just for spite. He gave no explanation that I'm aware of.

In view of her Year of the Woman origins, Patty Murray's yes vote was clearly a surprise. If Washington state editorial reactions are any indications, she's received no flack. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer praised both Washington senators and said "each of them was right," which is another way of saying whatever a liberal senator decides is fine so long as she's a liberal. The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington, went even further, hailing both Murray and Cantwell as "conscientious," and said "both voted correctly, albeit differently." The Columbian's editorialists also kept their eye on the big picture, noting there were some who "might have felt uncomfortable that [Roberts] would become the fourth Catholic (most ever) on the court." What strange prejudices lurk in the hearts of provincial liberal man.

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