March 5th, 2014

A first? Enough Democrats in the Senate say no to Obama…

to defeat his nominee for the head of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, Debo Adegbile, a choice that raised an unusual amount of criticism because Adegbile had defended convicted cop-killer and leftist darling Mumial Abu-Jamal.

The LA Times calls the vote “a surprising defeat” and, strangely enough, that’s not hyperbole. It actually was surprising. There are a number of reasons why, the first being that Harry Reid doesn’t usually bring something up for a vote till he knows he’s got it in the bag. The other reason is that (at least as far as I know, and I could be wrong on this), although in the past Democrats have sometimes defected from the party line if it would be politically expedient in their state for them to do so (Obamacare would be a prime example), the number who defect is usually strictly controlled to make sure the desertions don’t defeat the bill.

This time somebody left the reservation unexpectedly, and nobody seems to know who it was. Well, nobody in the press, that is; the senators themselves must know (my guess is Coons).

By the way, this is one of the first confirmation votes that’s occurred since the filibuster was ended. Under the old rules, Adegbile’s nomination would probably never have even gotten to a vote, and Obama would have had to find someone a little less objectionable. The end of the filibuster for nominees must have emboldened him to choose Adegbile, but thinking he had the extra leeway may have backfired on Obama.

According to the LA Times, Adegbile’s nomination had been expected to pass “until recently.” My guess is that in this case “recently” means “until the vote itself.” Even before that, they knew it would be close, however; Joe Biden was standing by to vote in case he was needed to break a tie. But he wasn’t needed; even his vote would not have been enough to get Adegbile through.

This action today may or may not mean much. It really depends whether it will be followed by any more defiance of Obama’s wishes. Is it the first sign (however slight) of a revolt by moderate Democrats who are fed up with being sacrificial lambs for Obama, or is it just a one-shot deal?

In a fairly humorous side note, Harry Reid had earlier warned Republicans that “if Adegbile lost there would have to be a ‘broad discussion’ of civil rights in America.” This, of course, is because the topic of civil rights has never been brought up before, especially during Obama’s years in office.

In an ironic move, Reid changed his own vote to “no” at the last minute because he realized even with his vote the nomination would not be confirmed, and voting “no” apparently preserves (for technical reasons) his right to call another vote on the same subject later. I can only imagine the sorely twisted arms some Democratic senators will be enduring as he tries to persuade them a change of vote in the future might be a really good idea for them.

[NOTE: Adegbile, by the way, has an unusual resume in addition to his Mumia defense:

Born Adebowale Patrick Akande Adegbile in New York City, Adegbile is the son of a Nigerian father and an Irish immigrant mother. He was raised by his single mother. He also was a child actor on the children's TV show Sesame Street during the 1970s, playing the character Debo and performing in episodes for nine years.

On a personal note, let me say that I don't hold against Adegbile that fact that he filed "an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in 2009, arguing that [Mumia's] conviction was invalid because of racial discrimination in jury selection.” At the time, Adegbile was a lawyer for the NAACP, and that organization was in Mumia’s corner. If you believe in our legal system, someone had to defend Mumia and help him appeal his case, and it’s hardly surprising that the NAACP—and therefore Adegbile—would be part of that process. [See "ADDENDUM" below.]

However, if you want to protest Adegbile’s nomination because he worked for the NAACP and the NAACP has become a leftist, kneejerk, racemongering, divisive institution, that seems more valid to me. And, as Democratic Senator Coons said, to explain his vote of “no”:

…[A]t a time when the Civil Rights Division urgently needs better relations with the law enforcement community, I was troubled by the idea of voting for an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who would face such visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job…

Coons added that it was the toughest vote he’d taken as a senator. I don’t doubt it. And the story’s not over yet.]

[ADDENDUM: I just noticed this:

The widow of [slain] officer Danny Faulkner along with police organizations and other groups, objected to the nomination, arguing among other things, that Adegbile became a champion of Abu-Jamal beyond being his appellate lawyer.

That makes a great deal more sense to me as an objection than that Adegbile merely was Mumia’s appeals lawyer.

Here is part of the widow’s statement:

Mr. Adegbile previously led the Legal Defense Fund at the NAACP. In that position, Mr. Adegbile chose to throw the weight and resources of his organization behind Abu-Jamal. Attorneys working under Mr. Adegbile’s supervision have stood before rallies of Abu-Jamal supporters and openly professed that it was “an extreme honor” to represent the man who put a hollow based bullet into Officer Faulkner’s brain as he lay on the ground wounded, unarmed, and defenseless.

So Adegbile was an especially eager defender of Abu-Jamal, the guy in charge of the NAACP’s decision to defend him and to do so vigorously. Here’s the text of the widow’s entire statement.]

25 Responses to “A first? Enough Democrats in the Senate say no to Obama…”

  1. Ann Says:

    Obama is apparently furious about this vote going against him.

    Sen. Coons is very tight with Joe Biden. Biden even did fundraising gigs for him when he ran for the Senate, and Coons said in January that he’d be 100% behind Biden if he chose to run for the presidential nomination in 2016.


  2. Eric Says:

    Neo: [quoting from LI] “Adegbile became a champion of Abu-Jamal beyond being his appellate lawyer.” – That makes a great deal more sense to me as an objection than that Adegbile merely was Mumia’s appeals lawyer.”

    I agree. Dedicated criminal defense of bad people, including cop-killers and terrorists, is in itself a necessary and even honorable part of our legal system. As criminal defense attorneys counsel law students who are uncomfortable representing vile human beings, a thorough defense preserves the principle of innocent until proven guilty and serves as a check on the State. In effect, every criminal trial puts the State on trial as well as the defendant.

    There is a gray area, though. Lawyers are ethically bound to zealous advocacy of their clients. Travelling outside of the court proceeding into public opinion and lobbying often becomes a de facto component of zealous advocacy.

    That’s how Lynn Stewart type line-crossing happen.

    So what Adegbile did was understandable, not illegal, unlike Lynne Stewart, and not even necessarily unethical, but it is fair to hold him to account for his current nomination regarding his advocacy actions taken outside of the clear parameters of criminal defense.

  3. parker Says:

    No matter why these senators crossed over to the nay side, its refreshing and wonderful to see BHO get pissed off by what he considers to be his own personal senate. Joe is going to be called to the carpet on this one.

  4. Don Carlos Says:

    Baraq the Tight-Lipped deems Adegbile a dedicated Public Servant, when in fact the ONLY Public Service job this half-Nigerian ever held was as staff counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013.

  5. Eric Says:

    Perhaps Obama has a radical, but less-radical than Adegbile, candidate in mind who’s his real nominee who he can now present as a moderate candidate.

  6. neo-neocon Says:


    I wouldn’t doubt he has a backup plan.

  7. Cornhead Says:

    Can’t believe Barack would stake his credibility and whatever political capital he has left on this guy.


  8. Steve Says:

    Video: RT Anchor Quits on the Air

  9. Mike Says:

    It has nothing to do with their true feelings (they love the guy and absolutely everything he stands for and and y Dem who says otherwise is lying. Don’t believe them.) and everything to do with November elections.

    To complete the job of destroying America and enslaving Americans they need to maintain control of the Senate.

    They will do anything to that end. Anything. Lying is a foregone conclusion. It is certain there is more rotten stuff they are doing behind the scenes.

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    I certainly never suggested their votes weren’t completely politically motivated.

    My point is that they did break with what Obama wanted in order to save themselves. Reid did not know this was going to happen, or he would not have brought it to a vote.

    People are speculating that Obama may deal with it as a recess appointment, which is certainly interesting. He’s done that before, but never (as far as I know, anyway) to go over the votes of his own party members.

  11. Don Carlos Says:

    Why is Mumia a leftist darling? Why? How can a coldblooded no-mistake-about-it killer be a leftist darling? Reminds me of Pete Seeger, “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night”, a fine and moving song. But Joe was a murderer, executed for it, which never comes up in the song, ’cause he was a union man.
    What gives with these people? Killing is good?? Are they all Bill Ayers? Is it a virus? Why is it contagious?

  12. Francesca Says:

    Is the defeated nominee Muslim? Could that explain why Obama is so firmly in his corner? Just wondering . . .

  13. Beverly Says:

    Well, Adogpile is a LOT worse than you may think. Here’s the skinny, from Frontpage. Better don your respirator:

    Frontpage also has a blistering account of the insanities of the Wesley Cook “Mumia” trials. First, Mumia’s brother, William Cook, was driving and committed a traffic infraction. Daniel Faulkner was the 25-year-old police officer who stopped him.

    Former Black Panther Wesley “Mumia” just HAPPENED to be in the same stretch of street in his taxicab (he was a cabbie) Right Behind his brother. (This, by the way, stinks of other Black Panther ambushes of white cops, but that wasn’t brought up in the trial. Still, what are the odds?). Daniel handcuffed William, and “Mumia” jumped out of his cab, took his pistol out of its shoulder holster, and shot Daniel IN THE BACK.

    Daniel, going down, managed to get one shot off in self-defense, wounding “Mumia” in the chest, but not seriously. “Mumia emptied his pistol into the defenseless young man, finishing with a bullet into his BRAIN as he lay on the pavement.

    There were THREE eyewitnesses to the shooting, all of whom said he did it.

    At the hospital, “Mumia” yelled repeatedly, “I shot the motherf****er, and I hope the motherf****er dies!” TWO cops and a security guard heard him and testified to the same.

    Ballistics, gun, bullets, etc., all matched.

    AND William has never, to this day, testified that his brother did NOT shoot the policeman.

    Oh, that jury? It was racially mixed, AND Wesley “Mumia” Cook had a hand in selecting it!

    Since then, “Mumia” has become a darling of the Rancid Left, and has had numerous appeals, going all the way to the Supreme Court (which refused to hear the case, it was so ridiculous). NO one has been more lavishly praised, petted, lionized, given his own radio show (good old swine at Pacifica Radio, natch!), published author, etc.

    This racist murdering thug is the guy Adogpile decided to champion. He’s no better than Louis Freakin’ Farrakhan. This “appointment” is on a par with appointing Kevin Jennings, pedophilia advocate, as “safe schools czar.”

  14. Beverly Says:

    Here’s a bit about the noisome Kevin Jennings:

    >>President Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar,” already a target of social conservatives for his past drug abuse and what they say is his promotion of homosexuality in schools, is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic.

    The group under fire is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which Kevin Jennings, now the assistant deputy secretary for safe and drug-free schools in the Department of Education, founded and ran from 1990 to 2008.

    One GLSEN-recommended book is titled “Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade.” On pages 43 through 45, writer Justin Chin tells of how as a 13-year-old, he went along with “near-rapes” by older men, but “really did enjoy those sexual encounters.” Chin also recounts each sexual action he performed with an “ugly f*** of a man” he met on a bus.

    In another book, “Passages of Pride,” the author writes about a 15-year-old boy’s relationship with a much older man.

    “Near the end of summer, just before starting his sophomore year in high school, Dan picked up a weekly Twin Cities newspaper. Scanning the classifieds, he came upon an ad for a “Man-2-Man” massage. Home alone one day, he called the telephone number listed in the ad and set up an appointment to meet a man named Tom…. Even though Tom was older, almost twice Dan’s age, Dan felt unthreatened by him. Dan admits Tom was a ‘troll’ in every sense of the word — an older closeted gay man seeking sex with a man much younger. But Dan says he was not intimidated by the discrepancy in their ages. ‘He kind of had me in a corner in that he knew I didn’t have access to anything I wanted.’ says Dan. ‘But everything was consensual.’”

    On Page 13 of a third book, “Reflections of a Rock Lobster,” the author recounts his sexual encounters in first grade.

    “By first grade I was sexually active with many friends. In fact, a small group of us regularly met in the grammar school lavatory to perform fellatio on one another. A typical week’s schedule would be Aaron and Michael on Monday during lunch; Michael and Johnny on Tuesday after school; Fred and Timmy at noon Wednesday; Aaron and Timmy after school on Thursday. None of us ever got caught, but we never worried about it anyway.”

    “Reflections of a Rock Lobster” was recommended in 1995, the year Jennings became GLSEN’s first executive director; “Passages of Pride” made the list in 1997 and “Queer 13″ in 1999. Those are just three out of over 100 books that GLSEN has recommended for students in grades 7-12 since 1990, and all three remain on GLSEN’s recommended reading list.

    Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, says the content of the books is shocking, and it raises concerns about Jennings’ judgment.

    “The graphic sexual content of these books is so extreme that I think any average parent or citizen, regardless of how they feel about homosexuality, would be shocked at these books being recommended to young people,” Sprigg said.<<

    Can we call them perverts Now? is Anything beyond the pale any more? or is everyone too cowardly to take a stand? I'm no bluenose, folks, but I cannot believe that our nation is such dire straits.

  15. Francesca Says:

    Adegbile is apparently a supporter/admirer of the Muslim Brotherhood. Interesting, eh?

  16. waitforit Says:

    A “how can you do this” outrage and defense is only viable when there is outrage and outrage is an indication of moral violation.

    So much outrage and the ants scurry around the upon the stomped on home until the ants adopt a different mode of resistance necessarily.

    This putative appointment follows the addiction pathway: more is needed and will be receive with less effect.



  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Why is Mumia a leftist darling? Why? How can a coldblooded no-mistake-about-it killer be a leftist darling? “ Don Carlos

    It supports the narrative. Mumia killed an ‘agent of oppression’. And the narrative with its memes is more important than any standard of decency, of reason, logic or truth. The end justifies the means.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain and Don Carlos:

    Why a leftist darling? He’s black, therefore oppressed, therefore a victim of racism, therefore if he says he was framed because of racism he was. To say otherwise would be to side with the oppressors.

    And, as with all such situations, some on the left may know him to be guilty and don’t care, because the cause of leftism is favored by declaring him framed. If Mumia himself isn’t innocent, then someone else like him was, and therefore it doesn’t matter if he’s guilty or innocent because he can be used as a symbol of something the left actually believes is true.

    On the other hand, some on the left (and liberals, especially ones who don’t know that much about the case and are just following what the leaders and spokespeople say) actually believe he’s innocent.

    As usual, it’s a mixed bag, and I don’t know the relative proportions of each group.

  19. Dan D Says:

    Mumia was actually a radical activist and radio journalist for public radio prior to his killing of Officer Faulkner. He had made a name for himself for decrying what he termed racism and oppression, especially by the establishment and particularly the Philadelphia Police force. The Philly police were known in the 1970s for a very hard-nosed approach to high crime black neighborhoods and an in-your-face sort of racist personal interactions in that very crime-troubled city.

    His post-arrest period and trial featured his immediate refusal to accept the legitimacy of the authorities and claims of oppression as an exemplar of the black community. There were many on the Left who rallied to him, as they had to the Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and such other centers of attention as Angela Davis and the like. Many apparently justified his cold-blooded murder as some kind of heartfelt, despairing reaction to institutional oppression of all blacks and those in the urban underclasses.

    It’s an old story, not unlike the Sacco and Vanzetti case in the 1920′s, Joe Hill, and other radical chic causes.

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left is allied with Islamic Jihad. People don’t want to believe it? Don’t worry, the Left will convince you, whether you like it or not.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    No matter how many zombies the left raises, all you need do is take this blade and cut.

  22. Don Carlos Says:

    The Left: Murder is ahh, not really good, but necessary and therefore good.
    Which is why the Left will win. Once it has won, it will start murdering its own.

  23. Richard Saunders Says:

    Apparently, His Barryness has become so infatuated with himself that he no longer remembers (or doesn’t think it applies to him) what any Chicago pol should know — you don’t throw away the votes of over 300,000 good union Democrats (the Fraternal Order of Police and other cop unions) to appoint your buddy to a high office.

    If Tip O’Neill or Dan Rostenkowski were still around, that nomination would never have made it to the Capitol. Fortunately for us, the boundlessly stupid Harry Reid is in charge.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Saunders:

    If Tip O’Neill were around, I don’t think Obama would be asking his opinion, either, because Obama knows better.

  25. Richard Saunders Says:

    Very true, very true. It must be difficult being the “smartest man ever to be President,” with all those little minds cluttering things up and getting in the way!

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