In a vote of 53-40, Michael Mukasey was confirmed with the help of democratic senators Schumer and Feinstein.
For democratic votes, it was a shocking and disheartening betrayal of the campaign to confront torture. From the outset, the fix was in on the nomination. As in the past, Democrats refused to filibuster. Both even those who voted against Mukasey like Senator Leahy (who has been very strong publicly on torture and this nomination), refused to delay the vote to allow opposition groups to organize. These senators quietly moved to protect Bush from a confrontation where it would be confirmed that he ordered criminal acts that have been defined as war crimes. Now, we can expect the type of window dressing legislation that we have seen in the past from the democrats. Schumer and Feinstein will call for a ban on waterboarding — that is prospective. It will be written to actually protect the president as they did on the surveillance program. The result will be that waterboarding will become arguably lawful before the legislation.The 53-40 confirmed more than a nominee. It confirmed that politics in Washington is entirely about these members and their insular interests. Principles, even the most basic opposition to torture, have become foreign and alien to both parties.
For the full vote, click here