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Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The GOP Collapses on Judicial Nominations

The House of Lords (U.S. Senate) continues to disgust me. The next four years are going to be as bad as the last six with that house.

Like an jelly doughnut - the Senate had the potential to be good at one time, but it is now old, stale, and squishy in the middle. The moderates reign - Lott couldn't control them. Daschle couldn't control them. Frist is doing better, but he can't control them. On the judicial nominees, Frist stepped back to allow the moderates to cut the deal, I believe with the hope that is now able to maintain the appearance of holding the hard line for conservatives (he's running for President by-the-way). Risky move - he can be seen as either having helped get the Senate to move or as someone who gave up control.

Everyone of the Lords sees themself as President someday, forcing them to try to be everything to everyone, but scared of their own shadow. This egotism provides them with no compass and a horrible guide for performing their job.

I wasn't a poli sci major - is there something I'm missing? (TJ?) From a higher plane - Is this how the system of checks and balances is supposed to work? I hear "the Senate is supposed to be the great moderating factor in the legislative process", and while the deal cutting and nebbishness has gone on in legislative bodies forever, it has become increasingly frustrating. I suppose a study of our history will show that this time in history is not unique and I have to keep reminding myself that our system isn't perfect and never will be...

From this morning's news - "The agreement, which applies to Supreme Court nominees, said future judicial nominations should 'only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances,' with each Democratic senator holding the discretion to decide when those conditions had been met." .....?????? What kinda crap is that? Some deal!! The hardliners on the right better be ready to pull out the "nuclear option" again pretty soon. The Dems are going to be no easier to work with.

Dr. James C. Dobson said the agreement "represents a complete bailout and a betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats."


Both parties were sold out, partially. I think the democrats have the better of the deal, but only because they fell one to two votes short. If push came to shove, and Frist tried to excercize the nuclear option -- can we be 100% certain that these same squishes wouldn't have bailed out on us?

Frist and McCain are done. The fact is, there is no "history" of filibustering judicial nominees on the floor. None. Zip. The closest you can come is Fortas, and he lacked the votes on the floor to win... the filibuster was the result of severe ethical questions that led members of both parties to block him, not a temper tantrum on the part of the minority.

The problem we have is our Senators continue to equate public opinion with elite opinion as expressed in the NYT editorial pages. The fact is, Bush won. The GOP won a solid majority in the Senate. The Dems have changed the rules to basically impose a new supermajority requirement -- not on an occasional nominee -- but on scores of them.

It should not stand. The Dems broke because they lost the fight and wanted to fight another day. Our side allowed them to not only live another day, but to have terms that gave them a rhetorical (though not moral) advantage when the fight comes up again. As soon as the stakes get high enough (cough. Supreme court. cough.) they will break the spirit of the agreement and declare any conservative candidate to be "exceptional circumstances."

Look for McCain to run with Lieberman on a third party line in 2008. Mark it down. Neither of them have a future in their own parties.
I could not be more unhappy about the 'Compromise.' It still allows the Dems to filibuster in extraordinary circumstances.

Although I think Frist should have exercised the nuclear option, that would have been risky. The pros are obvious....and are even better considering a couple of SC nominations are undoubtedly coming up. Plus the Dems would slow business to a crawl, which is horrible PR for them.

However, I fully expected squishy GOP senators (know of any TIBS?) to cave in and go with the Dems if Frist went forward. The press would label these the GOP 'Courageous' senators. Of course, if any Dem senators voted with the GOP, they would be traitors, out-of-touch, etc.

I agree with TJ - McCain is running on a 3rd Party ticket. Word is he's hired Dem staffers with presidential campaign experience, and I couldn't name one conservative (except maybe Scott)who would vote for him.
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