The time for the GOP to drop the hammer on filibustering judicial nominees is close at hand. Seems it does not matter to the dems if a nominee has an ABA most qualified rating. Since the Bush nominees are, gasp, conservatives, that is all the dems need to block them. In days gone by, whether a nominee was conservative or liberal, the ABA most qualified rating was enough for the Senate to confirm the nominee. Now it is all about politics and the dems are using the filibuster to prevent these nominess from getting up or down vote in the Senate they deserve. With this rule change looming, the dems led by Harry Reid are threatening to slow down or even shut down the Senate. John Podhoretz explains why the is the dems' suicide plan.
For the past two years, Democrats in the Senate have used the filibuster in a new and highly controversial manner — to block consideration of appeals-court and district court nominees who would otherwise be confirmed by the full Senate. (Yes, past judicial nominees by both Republican and Democratic presidents have been held up in the Senate. But those were due to "holds," a different and even more dubious Senate maneuver by which a senator anonymously threatens to consider a filibuster.)Just like little kids, the dems in the Senate are going to hold their collective breath until they turn blue in the face. All because they cannot have their way on judicial nominees. Just a note to Harry and the dems: If you want nominees to the federal bench that you think will be sympathetic to your ideology, elect one of your own President and elect enough members of the Senate to control that body. Try and get over the fact that you are the minority party.
The Republican plan is being called "the nuclear option," ostensibly because it will break with 46 years of tradition and alter a rule that's been in place in the Senate since 1949. But there's nothing really "nuclear" about the rule change itself, or the spate of new judges who will be confirmed in its aftermath. The only "nuclear" explosion that will occur is the response Democrats are vowing to unleash in response.
Democrats say unambiguously that they will gum up the Senate works in response. They will make it impossible for Republicans to take up legislation, to pass bills, to do much of anything.
The American people don't like it when politicians announce that they're going to see to it that nothing happens. Voters don't elect senators to do nothing.Knowing the arrogance of the left, I am sure the dems think that they will be immune from any criticism for taking this drastic action. Of course unlike the GOP in 1995, the dems will have the MSM siding with them. This is, however a new age and the MSM no longer packs the influence they once had, nor do they have a stranglehold on the dissemination of information.
Republicans learned this lesson to their sorrow in the fall of 1995. They went into confrontation mode with President Bill Clinton by sending him budget bills they knew he wouldn't sign. When he vetoed the bills, the federal government was forced to shut down.
The GOP hoped the public would blame Clinton, since he had vetoed the bills. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, "We want the country to understand that the only way the government will close tomorrow is that President Clinton is determined to close it." That's not the way it went down. Because the GOP had provoked the showdown, it got blamed for the shutdown.
The entire business was a political calamity for Republicans. They appeared to be acting out of pique, keeping the government closed in order to force Clinton to bow to their wishes. And Clinton went after them for it, constantly saying he wanted the government to go back to work to serve the American people.
If Reid's Democrats effectively shut down the Senate, they will open themselves up to the same criticism that the GOP received back in 1995. They too will be crosswise of a president — in this case, George W. Bush, who will be able to play the same "get back to work" card that Clinton played.Reid and the dems are playing a very dangerous game for thir party. The American people have a senese of fairness that plays to the GOP simply wanting each nominee to have that Senate up or don vote. Threatening contnued obstruction will not play well at all. There are serious issues facing the nation, and the American people expect that the politicians in DC go about doing the people's business. - Sailor
The Republican argument on behalf of the rules change is far simpler and easier to understand than the Democratic argument. Bush and the GOP will say all they've done is to allow a candidate a fair, up-or-down vote instead of all this fancy footwork designed to delay that vote indefinitely.
So go ahead, Harry Reid. Make George W. Bush's day. If Democrats go into an active and public stance of truculent obstruction, they will hand Bush a giant stick to beat them with when 33 senators — including 6 very vulnerable Democrats — face the voters in their states in 2006.