Want to know why some Democratic senators will fight so hard to stop the Alito nomination? Yesterday, MoveOn.org launched what it calls an “emergency petition” drive to kill the nomination, hoping to get 250,000 people to sign the following statement:
The nomination of Samuel Alito poses a grave threat to the protections Americans count on, including basic workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights. We call on the Senate to stand up for all of us and reject the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court of the United States.
As of 9:00 a.m. EST, MoveOn reports that 203,843 people have signed the petition. A response like that might not win elections — just look at last year — and it most likely won’t stop Alito, but such numbers can turn into lots and lots of money for those Democrats who most assiduously court the MoveOn vote. Last Spring, when MoveOn put its weight behind Sen. Robert Byrd as he led the filibuster fight against Bush judicial nominees, a flash fundraising drive netted Byrd more money in a few days than he had raised the entire year before. So now, when MoveOn talks, a lot of Democrats listen — very intently.