Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm back!!! (revisited)

I don't plan on blogging frequently for the next. . .oh, several years or so. As such, I don't expect faithful readership or anything like that. But sometimes, sometimes a guy just has to have a place to go to vent, and that place, for me, is here. And there are many fumes circulating in my brain that need venting, so I begin now:

The "compromise" that was created by the moderate Senators last night was worthless for the GOP. From the conservative standpoint, all we know now is that the "moderate" Dems realized that filibustering Brown and Owens was a bad move that they couldn't really support. Throw Pryor into the mix as an easy approval and it makes the "majority" look like they accomplished something, right? But what about the other two? NO promises are made about them--in fact, it's a good bet that at least one and maybe even both of them (Saad and Myers) will be filibustered.

And when that filibuster happens, the GOP will be powerless to do anything about it--unless, of course, they are able to sway 2 Dem Senators to their side in an effort to break the filibuster through the use of the Byrd option. Since that is a highly doubtful future, the 7 GOP Senators that signed this MOU last night effectively ended the hopes of Saad and Myers to reach a floor vote.

For future nominations, essentially all bets are off. Of course, the Senators are SUPPOSED to carry out their advice-and-consent responsibilities in good faith. . .which I'd like to think is how this highest body of deliberative politics in the best democracy in the world would carry out their duties on a day-to-day basis. The fact that such "good faith" needs to be spelled out blows the smokescreen off of that line of crap.

Here's my least favorite part of the MOU: "We believe that , under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of the government to consult with members of the Senate, both democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration".

The choice of the words I highlighted above is very revealing. Whereas a more appropriate (from my standpoint, at least) writing might have been ". . .with regard to the decisions to be made by the President in his nominee choices", the line that actually appears calls into question the use of the "power" to make nominations--a power granted in no uncertain terms in the "advice and consent" clause of the U.S. Constitution. So the President, according to these 12 "moderates", needs to consult with the Senate prior to fulfilling his responsibilities to nominate people to fill vacancies in Offices of the United States? That can't be right--it's the President's JOB to make these nominations.

And for the record, once the President submits a name, the Senate's JOB is to provide advice about that nominee--not shut down talk of that nominee entirely. It's awful hard to see how the absence of any talk of a nominee can be considered "advice".

12 people last night did nothing other than reach for the limelight. 7 GOP senators last night did nothing more than that and scuttle the hopes of two qualified jurists to get a full-floor vote on their nomination. And Pres. Bush lost two of his nominees for federal benches AND still has to face the specter of a filibuster on his next round of nominees.

Nice going, GOP.

And I'm really a little perplexed that these 12 "moderates" would dare try to limit the President's functions. That's a little power-hungry, even for that body.