Harry Reid

So unlike Dingy to make baseless accusations that slander Republicans as racists . . . yeah, maybe not.

WASHINGTON — The Senate filibustered President Obama’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, with seven Democrats joining Republicans Wednesday in arguing his past history defending a convicted cop-killer made him the wrong man for the job.

The defeat of Debo P. Adegbile, who as a lawyer for the NAACP filed a brief arguing that former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal’s murder trial was tainted by racism, is a major blow to Mr. Obama. It comes even after Democrats changed the rules last year to overcome filibusters with just 50 votes — but on Wednesday Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t even muster all of his own troops.

A furious Mr. Reid hinted that Republicans’ opposition was based on racism, pointing to to several other black nominees that GOP senators had opposed earlier. But in the case of Mr. Adegbile, his defense of Abu-Jamal was too much for even some Democrats.

The Senate blocked Mr. Adegbile on a 52-47 vote, with eight Democrats voting along with Republicans for the filibuster. One of those was Mr. Reid, who had to change to vote for the filibuster in order to be able to ask for an eventual re-vote — which he did. […]

Mr. Reid, though, said Republicans’ opposition was based on worries that Mr. Adegbile would be too effective at the Justice Department. He accused the GOP of trying to limit voting rights, and said Mr. Adegbile had distinguished himself on those issues.

Mr. Reid went further, listing a series of black nominees from Mr. Obama that he said Republicans had opposed, including Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Todd Jones and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.