Sunday, April 17, 2005

More about the Senate filibuster thing

Hat tip to my brother and Captain's Quarters, among others. . .

So the debate about how the GOP should handle the Senate filibuster is all the rage on the conservative side of the blogosphere these days. It can be basically boiled down into two parties: those who are frustrated that the GOP leadership has not pressed the issue as yet and appear to have been outmanuevered by Harry Reid, et al, on the issue; and those who urge patience on the issue.

Count me as one of the former.

I am frustrated by the developments in the Senate for a couple reasons. For starters, and as Captain's Quarters points out brilliantly, this debate is about more than just a party exercising its electoral power in the immediate aftermath of an overwhelming victory in November. On some level, the appointment to a federal bench has GOT TO BE abour rewarding conservative-minded jurists for their dedication to our cause (most of them in a charged and largely unfair atmosphere) by granting them ascension to the highest positions within their chosen profession. These are good people -- good people who were promised by Pres. Bush, among others, that they should get an up-or-down vote by the entire Senate. Period. The longer the "filibuster" is allowed to proceed (is it even a filibuster at this stage? It sounds increasingly like a long series of sophomoric pranks to me), the longer these good people are left exposed to "cheap shots" launched at them from the left. With barely a finger being lifted in defense of these good people by the GOP, this "debate" has turned one-sided in the worst ways. And IF one of these good people suddenly loses patience with the process and withdraws their name from consideration. . .well, then the Senate GOP will have failed the President. Even worse, it will have failed the country by allowing the Dems to establish a precedent of bullying and low-brow tactics to get "their" mission accomplished. For such a precedent to be established during a clearly GOP-controlled session would be an embarrassment too great for words.

Secondly, and more into the "big picture" arena, I don't buy any argument that is presented to allow business to continue as it is now with a big debate on judicial nominees in the unspecified future. Why would the Dems play with the GOP at a later date? Undoubtedly, one of the Dem's goals this session was to get less conservative judges appointed to the federal bench AS WELL AS a host of other legislation. IF all the other legislation has been addressed as we creep towards the end of the session, WHY do we think that suddenly the Dems will engage in a debate about judicial nominees? Let us remember here: THEY DON'T WANT THESE GUYS APPOINTED! If they can get the rest of the Senate "business" done while avoiding appointments of THESE judges they will have met their mission with flying colors. There would be no need to engage the right on the hot-button topic of the day.

Observation: if I'm sitting at home as a moderate-minded observer of politics, and I watch the Dem caucus get all sorts of legislation processed in this increasingly bi-partisan atmosphere while the supposed "priority" of the GOP caucus sits outside in the rain waiting to be invited inside to play BY THE DEMS, I know right then and there which party actually gets things done in this country. And the right can bemoan the tactics until they're blue in the face, but the bottom line is that at the end of the day/session, the parties are going to have to take stock of how they used this session to accomplish their goals. And IF the party in power--by an enormous margin, I might add--can't say that they accomplished their #1 mission, then that party doesn't deserve to be in power any longer. At least, that's what a moderate-minded observer of politics might think.

It can be said that the Dems are not the best minority party in the history of the world--in fact, PowerLine is running a series of articles along those lines as I write this. However, I believe the opposite side of that incompetence coin is (at least) equally as true: the GOP continues to show that they have no idea how to be the majority party in Congress. If Frist and company can't get their act together and start engaging on the TOP PRIORITY of this Senate's session, then I feel that this Congress will be a great opportunity that was largely missed.


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