Baucus may oppose Sotomayor confirmation

posted at 9:29 am on July 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

After the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Senate floor on almost a party-line split (except for Lindsey Graham), Barack Obama’s first pick for the Supreme Court was widely expected to win confirmation easily.  After all, Democrats control 60 seats, and Republicans have discarded the idea of a filibuster.  If Democrats all stick together, Obama will look like a mainstreamer on judicial philosophy and have a big win under his belt.

Turns out that the if was bigger than we thought:

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Thursday he hasn’t made up his mind on whether he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Baucus this summer has infuriated liberals on and off Capitol Hill by working to strike a deal with Republicans on healthcare reform. A “no” vote on Sotomayor would be adding fuel to the left’s fire at the Finance Committee chairman.

Baucus on Thursday twice told The Hill he is undecided on next week’s floor vote on Sotomayor. …

A Baucus “no” vote against President Barack Obama’s high-court nominee would attract national headlines. It would also create a politically awkward situation with the White House as it is trying to prod Baucus to produce a healthcare reform bill.

Awkward?  Yeah, just a bit.  If Obama can’t even convince his own caucus to give him blanket support for Sotomayor, it underscores just how off the mainstream she is — and that Obama occupies that same spot on the spectrum.

That won’t stop Sotomayor from taking her seat on the court, however.  Baucus is thus far the only Democrat to hint at opposition, while a handful of Republicans will vote in her favor.  The value even in the waffling is purely symbolic for Republicans, who can use it to hammer Obama in 2010, especially in Senate races.

I assume this is about health care and not Sotomayor.  Democrats have played hardball with dissenters in their ranks.  Baucus may be letting them know that he can play hardball as well.


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I can’t imagine Obooba not packing the court eventually.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

56 – 62 votes, it doesn’t really matter.

Vashta.Nerada on July 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Trade you 1 Baucus for 1 Grahamcracker.

james23 on July 31, 2009 at 9:35 AM

LMAO. Baucus needs to join the conservative caucus – as a Democrat.

He’s obviously occupying philosophical territory well to the right of several liberal Republican Senators. What a delicious kick in the nuts that would be to the RINO douches like Rove, who supported Specter, and plan to support douchemeister Mark Kirk in Illinois for Senate.

Jaibones on July 31, 2009 at 9:35 AM

That’s okay, one of my GOP Senators is going to vote for her. It’s a freakin’ wash.

ladyingray on July 31, 2009 at 9:36 AM

That’s okay, one of my GOP Senators is going to vote for her. It’s a freakin’ wash.

ladyingray on July 31, 2009 at 9:36 AM

She’ll get confirmed, but any Dems who vote no will be a major slap in the face to Obama.

Doughboy on July 31, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Baucus is probably listening to folks back home. Montana is big on gun rights, and the NRA is “grading” this vote. If he can get away with waffling, perhaps even a symbolic no vote, it goes a long way to getting himself reelected.

JamesLee on July 31, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Well, Baucus was the guy who was trying to get Republican support with a tax on Cadillac health care plans. That would have generated a ton of revenue for anything that they wanted to pay for health care related (and it would have likely lowered costs of health care as people would be tied to how much they are paying for health care).

Obama wouldn’t budge because the Unions don’t want to be taxed on their benefits. Their benefits are the best in the nation and they’d be hit by the Cadillac tax (appropriate) more than anyone.

Eventually the Unions will run out of their VEBA money and be on a government plan anyway. The unions are paying WAY TOO MUCH for their health benefits. . . but it isn’t managements’ problem anymore after they fund the VEBA.

ThackerAgency on July 31, 2009 at 9:47 AM

I trust none of ‘em. His vote simply has a larger price tag.

bloviator on July 31, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Max Baucus is someone who would have probably ran as a Republican in previous years. I do not want to rehash the arguments on other threads, but the debate about the GOP starting to be a regional party would be appropriate.

firepilot on July 31, 2009 at 9:47 AM

No he won’t.

This is similar to the blue dogs’ threat against ObamaCare. They will all vote for it. Baucus will vote for the Wise Latina.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 9:48 AM

JamesLee on July 31, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Yep. Same with Sen. Nelson here in Nebraska. He said he hasn’t made up his mind yet on the judge. Everyone here knows that’s his way of begging for votes in a red state. Nelson jumped on the Obama bandwagon early, so it’s not as if our senator is, in fact, conservative.

NebCon on July 31, 2009 at 9:51 AM

he saw how well this tactic worked for the blue dogs. not to worry, he’ll get what he wants and then get back in line

gatorboy on July 31, 2009 at 9:52 AM

I already predicted 72 votes. For now, I’ll stick with that. :-\

Abby Adams on July 31, 2009 at 9:53 AM

We must not forget to pray every day for the good health of Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and, yes, even Kennedy.

TXUS on July 31, 2009 at 9:53 AM

This is probably more triangulation than pure vote buying. The guy is no fool and recognizes that there will be a place to run between Obama and conservatives in 2012.

The anti-O Democrat will be a hot commodity in the near future.

MMW on July 31, 2009 at 9:57 AM

That’s okay, one of my GOP Senators is going to vote for her. It’s a freakin’ wash.

ladyingray on July 31, 2009 at 9:36 AM

At least you have one. If I Have one in 2011 it will be Cap-n-Kirk. I rather complain about that, than have a hard core liberal D that IL wil produce otherwise.

WashJeff on July 31, 2009 at 9:58 AM

firepilot on July 31, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Are you suggesting that Baucus didn’t run as a Republican because a lot of Republicans won in the South?

I can’t believe that YOU believe that. Montana is as Southern as the South in terms of the peoples’ attitudes toward guns (outdoors stuff) and religion. They ain’t city folk in Montana.

I’m trying to figure out what you mean by:

but the debate about the GOP starting to be a regional party would be appropriate.

it seems like you are suggesting that if the South were all Democrats, he’d be a Democrat.

From Bill Clinton, to Al Gore and John Edwards. . . the South is pretty ready to be Democrat if you think that would help the Republican party.

ThackerAgency on July 31, 2009 at 9:59 AM

As the economic news gets worse and worse (front page of Drudge: REVISED: ECONOMY 2X WORSE), the trend will be for democrats to “all of a sudden” start distancing themselves from Obama, or flip to outright opposition. Especially those facing reelection.

Rebar on July 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM

it seems like you are suggesting that if the South were all Democrats, he’d be a Democrat Republican.

ThackerAgency on July 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Skip Gates might have something to do with this…

mjbrooks3 on July 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM

I don’t know Baucus, but in the tradition of the ONE, he is just trying to get some “DEAL”. Does he want to be an ambassador? Is there a bill the administration has been hesitant to support?

I DON’T think he is acting stupidly. I think he is acting corruptly.

barnone on July 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM

The anti-O Democrat will be a hot commodity in the near future MMW on July 31, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Think you may be right about that. The way things have been going, he could end up more un-popular than Bush was with his own Party.

jeanie on July 31, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Also remember Montana voted for McCain but barely 51/48.

Montana like Nevada and Arizona has been infested by Californians who turned their state in a shithole, then left for greener pastures only to vote in liberals who have/are/soon will do the same thing to the new host state.

Missoula,MT gives Cambridge, and Berekeley,CA a good run for the title of most looney leftist town in America.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:01 AM

As a Montanan, this is probably nothing more than a play to get Baucus back in good stead with Montanans. Senator Baucus is in trouble here due to his voting record which has been in lock step with the Obama agenda, as well as his involvement with the Obamacare scam.

Senator Baucus is not representing Montanans, he is representing the ultra Liberal agenda of this president. Most everyone here in Montana is aware of this lil fact. We’re not very happy with Senator Tester and his voting record as well.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Max Baucus is very good at playing hardball.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Up for reelection hey Maxs.Trying to fool the people back home again.You phony after checking with good old Harry. He said we have votes to spare go ahead Maxs fool the dumb voters back home we have good old Lindsey Grahams vote he,s not up for 5 more years.

thmcbb on July 31, 2009 at 10:06 AM

The B tool will get his deal and vote for the chica.
Right on, Keemo. Tester answers my emails with the dem talking point of the day. Don’t think the man has ever had an original thought.

Kissmygrits on July 31, 2009 at 10:07 AM

For me, the ideal vote would be for Sotomayor to be confirmed 50-50, with Biden breaking the tie.

If she’s defeated, Obama gets a chance to try again, and this time he might pick someone who is both liberal, and competant. The chances of him ever picking someone who is not liberal are nil.

MarkTheGreat on July 31, 2009 at 10:07 AM

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Right about MIssoula you are, that’s about it.

College towns tend to be Liberal. Montanans voted for McCain-Palin by a comfortable margin. Senator Burns was ousted here due to corrupt behavior. Republicans blew it here in Montana with corrupt behavior, and the people flipped them the bird. With a population of around a million, a few hundred Californians haven’t made much of a difference with voting patterns. Corruption is corruption, and some key Repbulicans flat out blew it.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Baucus may be letting them know that he can play hardball as well.

You’ll have to ‘splain that one to me again.

How is Baucus voting against Sotomayor playing hardball? Just makes him look like a cry-baby, if anyone even notices.

Maybe I’m not following you. What “pressure” does this put on Blue-dogs? Don’t tease me – spell it out.

connertown on July 31, 2009 at 10:09 AM

A democrat voting against a latino? See I knew it. That PROVES democrats are latino hating racists!

ihasurnominashun on July 31, 2009 at 10:10 AM

One fear I have is if the Dems lose big in 2010 they will run amok in the lame duck session. Their leaders are completly off the sanity express and if you think Pelosi will go quietly –

If you think I’ll sit around as the world goes by /
You’re thiking like a fool cause its a case of do or die /
Out there is a fortune to be had /
You think I’ll let it go you’re mad /
You’ve got another thing coming

- lyrics by Judas Priest

you’ve got another thing coming.

Jed_Eckert on July 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM

I assume this is about health care and not Sotomayor. Democrats have played hardball with dissenters in their ranks. Baucus may be letting them know that he can play hardball as well.

I saw one pundit who was talking about how much pressure Baucus was getting for doing the numbers and not simply jumping on the fairy-tale math of the administration. Apparently in a push to get something out of the Senate, there has been some serious strong-arming going on. I think this is all about playing hardball on a nominee that will sail through the confirmation process.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I don’t live there but have a lot of family that does and have kind of taken an interest in the place. It’s more than a few hundred Californians. On my wife’s side of the family there are 9 ex-Californians now living in MT alone. All liberals. An ex-colleague of mine from Seattle moved to Bozeman with his family last year. Big time liberals also.

You have 2 dem senators and a dem gov an obama was a couple of thousand votes awa from winning the state. Dont fool yourself, you are the new Nevada.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

One fear I have is if the Dems lose big in 2010 they will run amok in the lame duck session.

Jed_Eckert on July 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM

There are a couple factors working against that including the calander during from election day through the end of the Session. Congress never met a holiday that they didn’t make into a two-week vacation. Secondly, all those fired Democrats would need to figure out what to do next. Most importantly, the Senate would end up blocking most of the true excesses by their very process.

Still, the look on Pelosi’s face as she has to turn over the gavel to the GOP would be priceless.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Isn’t Montana the State that passed the law saying they weren’t obeying ANY Federal Gun laws anymore on firearms and ammunition manufactured in Montana?

In other words – you can own a fully auto machine gun in Montana as long as it was manufactured in Montana so that it’s not involved in any inter-state commerce?

Doesn’t sound like a very Blue State to me.

HondaV65 on July 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Keemo, you have a Democrat governor and two Democrat senators, right? Didn’t Baucus just get re-elected last November? So there is some strategery at work here other than re-election politics.

Terrie on July 31, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Baucus for President

Don’t laugh, our own twits don’t have the brass ones needed to stand up to Obama. How sad is it that it takes a DEM to do what Ms. Lindsey & Co. won’t. I’m going to go hang my head in shame and hope Ronnie is too busy to see what we’ve done to this Republic.

Laura in Maryland on July 31, 2009 at 10:19 AM

HondaV65 on July 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM

guns is the exception…for now anyway.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:21 AM

I have a lot of respect for Baucus. He’s taking his legislative role more seriously than anyone else on his side right now (possible exception of Kent Conrad).

If his health care bill passes, it’s more his legacy than Obama’s — and he’s telling Obama “don’t f*** with my legacy and I won’t f*** with yours.”

DrSteve on July 31, 2009 at 10:22 AM

what baucus is telling the avg American is this “we don’t all love obama”. naturally, they’ll vote with him anyway, but the point is, maybe some of the avg 52% of Americans that voted for bambi will begin to see some erosion in bambi’s support & begin to feel it is ok to question the Won.

kelley in virginia on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Terrie on July 31, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Our Democrat Governor has done a great job…

The biggest dynamic going here politically, is Republicans got caught with their hands in the corruption jar, and that’s what lead most people to giving the other side a chance. Montanans are hard working Conservative thinking family oriented people. Republicans will once again have their chance here in this state, but that doesn’t take away from the reasons/causes they got booted.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:30 AM

In other words – you can own a fully auto machine gun in Montana as long as it was manufactured in Montana so that it’s not involved in any inter-state commerce?

Not totally correct, as there are already Montana state laws restricting full auto, at least as I understand it. This whole deal with that is a big game of “chicken” with the Feds, where the feds are actually overstepping their authority.

Several states are doing this as well, and it will be interesting how it turns out. Do the Feds play bully, and try to force authority, or do they back down and drastically reduce their own power by default?

Most likely, I’m afraid, is that States will be subtly blackmailed as usual, and back off themselves to avoid losing “highway money” or some such nonsense.

JamesLee on July 31, 2009 at 10:31 AM

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

You assume much my friend. I moved my family here from So. Cal. (4) years ago. My move from Ca. brought (4) Republican votes to this state, as well as a family that works with Republican grassroots efforts. Yes, Liberals have bought ranches here in Montana, as this was a Hollywood elite thing for a while. Most of them will be gone soon enough.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM

it underscores just how off the mainstream she is — and that Obama occupies that same spot on the spectrum.

Which makes all these Republicans voting for her all the more ridiculous.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2009 at 10:36 AM

I assume this is about health care and not Sotomayor. Democrats have played hardball with dissenters in their ranks. Baucus may be letting them know that he can play hardball as well.

Yep. They’re trying to smear him as a toady of the insurance industry and he’s tossing it back in their faces.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072003363.html?hpid=topnews

RobertE on July 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM

You have 2 dem senators and a dem gov an obama was a couple of thousand votes awa from winning the state. Dont fool yourself, you are the new Nevada.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Max Baucus has been a senator for over twenty years. I voted for him when I was in college a long, long time ago. But I think he knows his time is waning. I have had two pollsters call me basically asking “If Max votes this way, will you vote for him?” Tester was elected because the republican candidate was corrupt. Our dem governor is on his last term. He has had his moments, but overall he has done good for Montana. Last I heard he is gearing up to go against Washington again over the Stillwater Mine contract.

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 10:41 AM

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Might I also mention my (2) best friends and families that moved here at the same time I did; Conservative families that vote Republican as well.

Migration is a constant dynamic in our country. Not limited to Liberals only.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

IF MAX VOTES NO IT’S ONLY WINDOW-DRESSING FOR THE CONSERVATIVES BACK HOME; WHILE HE TOILS AWAY MAKING OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AND 15% OF OUR ECONOMY SOCIALIST.

reliapundit on July 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM

I hope you’re all right. I’m just looking at election results:

2 Dem Sens – quite liberal ones at that, Baucus is the author of ObamaCare

a Dem gov

48% voted for Obama

This does not sound to me like a conservative state.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I hope you’re all right. I’m just looking at election results:

2 Dem Sens – quite liberal ones at that, Baucus is the author of ObamaCare

a Dem gov

48% voted for Obama

This does not sound to me like a conservative state.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Since I have lived here all my life, the people here generally vote for the person running not the letter behind his name. Baucus has been good to MT. Schweitzer has been good to MT. Tester wont be reelected. He was only elected because Conrad Burns was corrupt.

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Oh and PS angryred, we have one dem senator, a long time senator and one dem rep (a flipping idiot). Not two senators.

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Missoula, Bozeman, & Helena are all typical Liberal cities that have the ability to swing an election. As is the case in Ca., most of Montana votes Red but can be out numbered by the cities. Thankfully, Billings trends Republican. With a population around one million, and Liberals making up the majority in most of our cities, this is a purple state.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Baucus is worried otherwise he would tote the party line.

This is actually a big thing – he is an incumbent. Montana is a BIG 2nd Amendment State.

http://conservativeamericanvet.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/hr-45-blair-holts-firearm-licensing-and-record-of-sale-act-of-2009/

Think about it he is feeling insecure enough politically about his incumbent seat he won’t just rubber stamp Sotomayor.

Folks there are cracks developing…..

The population of the U.S. is 300 Million those are some big numbers for even progressive bureaucrats to pen in.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Oh Yeah he has problems remember when the media said Obama would carry Montana?

http://logisticsmonster.com/2009/05/03/the-montana-gun-law-you-will-never-hear-about/

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I am from Missoula there are Conservatives as well. University of Montana is like an old hippy dumping ground :) But there are many blue collar folks who don’t vote Liberal otherwise Montana would not have been RED last election.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:14 AM

http://www.msl.state.mt.us/districts/district50.pdf

Bill Nooney is Republican my niece is married to his brother.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:17 AM

No he won’t.

This is similar to the blue dogs’ threat against ObamaCare. They will all vote for it. Baucus will vote for the Wise Latina.

angryed on July 31, 2009

He’s just waiting for the right payoff from Ogabe.

SKYFOX on July 31, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Thanks! I’m glad to see he’s parsed the entire bill now.

Here is Baucus’ “white paper” on healthcare.

Buy Danish on July 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:13 AM

My youngest son will be attending college in Missoula. I’d love to hook up with you for lunch some time. A mini hotair meeting in Montana.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Why are most of you in a tizzy about Sotomayor? Do you think that she is more of a leftist liberal than Souter who was nominated by the senior Bush? The time to sweat is if Kennedy steps down. He is the guy that both the conservatives and liberals on the court try to woo to vote their side. Obama gains nothing and loses nothing if the other three liberals retire. Now, children, give me one example of a major conservative ruling that was upheld due to Souter’s support? The guy I despise the most is former Repub Sen. Warren Rudman who was responsible for Bush giving us Souter.

Big Nicholas on July 31, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Google Montana and Tea Partys

http://www.kpax.com/Global/story.asp?S=10072152

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

I bet Baucus noticed the Tea Partys.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Must have you there for that lil hotair meeting also!

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

this is a purple state.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Agree. However I think the trend is towards more and more blue over the next decade. Montana is a relatively poor state so the Dem message plays well. Add the infusion of liberal transplants and it seals the deal for the Dems.

In 2000 and 2004 Bush won around 60%. In 2008 McCain won 51%. If I were to bet I’d say Obama wins MT in 2012.

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Must have you there for that lil hotair meeting also!

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Thanks for the invite, I am on the other side of the state though! I have plans to retire to the western edge though!

Do you really think Helena is liberal? I also thought of it as more red.

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

angryed on July 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

We’ll see come 2010. I’m involved with grassroots efforts, and I see more energy to stop socialism than I have at any time over the (4) years I have lived here. Montanans don’t want-like anything leaning towards the working class giving it all to the sitting class.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Keemo I am in Texas right now, this was my spouse’s last duty station we retired here. We may move if the economy ever picks up. I do have an elder sister living in Missoula but she is on of those hippies I was referring to :) She went to and retired from the University of Montana. The Nooneys are independent oil folks, they have a company “Hi Noon Petroleum” they own casinos and stuff. They are fun people if I had to categorize Bill Noonney Jr., I would say he is a Moderate Republican. The Liberals in the state give him a hard time refer to his McMansion ect.

There are folks who work for the timber industry , trucking and some recreational tourist industry but the environmentalist have done their best to block the tourist industry at every turn same with the timber industry not everyone is a Liberal in Missoula. Montana has a right to carry in the open law mostly it’s to cover hunters folks have gun racks in the rear window of their pickups.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

The information I’m getting is Helena now leans Liberal 51% to 49%… With a guy like Obama leading the Liberal Party, those numbers could swing back to the GOP very soon, if they already haven’t.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Enjoy your retirement in Texas friend. Maybe we’ll get a chance at that lunch some day here in Montana.

Off to work I go folks. Have a great day, and a great weekend.

Keemo on July 31, 2009 at 11:34 AM

There are a lot of rural areas in Montana and people are raised to be self sufficient not dependent. The state did get a big influx of California transplants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h79LDW65fCc

Dr Evil on July 31, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Dr Evil, you are right with all of those groups in Western MT wanting to avoid dems at all costs. In the East, our major business is health care. If this bill passes, we lose alot of our revenue and jobs. Which is why I dont think Baucus will be voted in again. Conrad Burns spent his time in Washington building up the Billings Health Care system. For Baucus to pull it down….not good.

Keemo, I did not know that about Helena. I havent been there since 85, it was really red then. Just one more reason I am glad I left!

akerralls on July 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Pipe dream… he’ll cave… unless his own polling is dreadful in Montana.

These people chose to be Democrats for a reason.

mankai on July 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM

100-1 against Mad Max voting against Castromayor.
Not.Gonna.Happen.

He doesnt need the cover back home and, like 99% of all Senatecritters in BOTH parties, he lacks the huevos rancheros to actually pull the NO lever even if he doesnt think she’s qualified.

ANY Senate DEM who opposes Chavezmayor will be treated as the proverbial turd in the punchbowl.

Mike D. on July 31, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Don’t be surprised if more dem senators vote against her. They see a shift in the tide and many see her for the racist bigot she is.

dogsoldier on July 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I’ll bet anyone that Baucus–after careful deliberation, and painstaking soul-searching (Just like Liebigman did regarding Slick Willie’s impeachment)–votes to support Soto’s confirmation. I’ll give anyone wantever odds and stakes they want. I’d wager all my earthly possessions against even a penny in return … and it would be the easiest, surest penny ever fleeced in a bet.

clark smith on July 31, 2009 at 2:23 PM

2 likely possibilities:

1. This is only some kind of grandstanding on his part. Looking for a deal to come his way from leadership.

2. Leadership might be ok with this. If they feel any seat may be threatened back home and they have plenty of votes for confirmation, why not allow a ‘take one for the team’ vote to keep the seat?

anuts on July 31, 2009 at 3:59 PM

In response to some of the above comments:

Montana is really not at all like the South, except perhaps in terms of attitudes about guns. Election issues in Montana sometimes revolve around which candidate is a more avid hunter.

There are actually quite a lot of liberals in Montana. Yes, politically speaking, Missoula (second largest city) is probably comparable to San Francisco, Seattle, etc. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Missoula — but I think there are about 5 Republicans here….) Overall, Montana is a lot less conservative than most of the surrounding states, but I’d estimate probably about equivalent to Colorado or Nevada. Far less conservative than Wyoming and Idaho.

Many liberals in Montana think that Baucus is a DINO. On some issues he isn’t very “progressive.” He’s fairly moderate in the areas over which the Finance Cmte. has jurisdiction. Really, though, when push comes to shove, he’s a solid D. I will be very surprised if he votes against confirming Sotomayor.

He will be reelected forever until he retires. The GOP has trouble even fielding serious candidates against him.

acasilaco on August 1, 2009 at 7:04 AM