Skip to comments.A Compromised Party
Posted on 05/25/2005 4:26:58 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher
The Senate Democrats hung tough and the Republicans wimped out. The Republicans had the votes but they didn't have the guts.
That is the bottom line on the compromise agreement that will allow votes to proceed on judicial nominees without a filibuster, except in "extraordinary" cases. In other words, the Democrats will filibuster only when they feel like filibustering, since they will define what "extraordinary" means to them.
Although the Republicans have more votes in the Senate, and also have Vice-President Cheney to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, the Democrats stuck together. None of them went around wringing their hands in the media about how hard it would be for them to support their party if it came to a vote.
Unity often beats disunity, even when the side that is unified is smaller.
This is not a unique situation. Democrats have long understood that they are in Washington to represent the people who voted for them. Too many Republicans seem to think that they are in Washington to make deals with the Democrats.
Some people welcome all compromises, domestic or international, on grounds that these compromises "ease tensions" and "avoid confrontations."
You can always ease tensions and avoid confrontations by surrendering. You can always postpone a showdown, even when that simply lets the problem fester and grow worse.
Some Republicans may take comfort from the fact that they still have the option of changing the Senate rules in the future if the Democrats violate the spirit of their deal. But, once you have had the votes to win and wimped out instead, there is little reason to think that the weak sisters and opportunists on your side will be with you the next time high noon rolls around.
While members of both parties are trying to put a good face on this political deal and the media have gushed about this "bipartisan" agreement, Republican Senator Charles Grassley was one of the few who called a spade a spade, when he characterized what happened as "unilateral disarmament" by the Republicans.
If it was just the Republican Party that lost in this confrontation, that would be a minor partisan matter. What is of major importance is that the American people lost a golden opportunity that may not come again in this generation.
That opportunity is -- or was -- to set in concrete both the Senate's right to vote on judicial nominees and the American people's right to govern themselves, instead of being ruled by judges who increasingly take decisions out of the hands of elected officials and impose their own personal policy preferences.
It is not just a question of the merits or demerits of particular issues and decisions by the courts. The most fundamental decision is: Who is to decide? Democratic self-rule is what Americans have fought and died for, for more than 200 years.
People who say that the Senate compromise will now enable Congress to get back to the "real" issues seem to think that whether the voters' votes become ever more futile in a judge-ruled world is less important than deciding what kind of goodies the federal government hands out.
In the short run, the Senate compromise on judicial nominees seems to give everybody something. The Republicans will be able to get a vote on three nominees -- Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor -- people who represent the view that judges should enforce the laws passed by elected officials.
Fine. But a lot more such judges need to be put on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to change the current pervasive judicial activism. Is that likely now?
The net effect of the Senate compromise is that this President and future Presidents will be under pressure to choose nominees who can get through the confirmation process without rocking the boat.
That is how conservative Republican Presidents in the past loaded the Supreme Court with liberal judicial activists from William J. Brennan to David Souter and wobbly Justices like Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy.
Somebody has to stand up for an end to this trend. As Ronald Reagan used to say, "If not us, who? And if not now, when?"
Yup. And now Frist can't do it even if he wanted to. All this dithering, all this time wasted.
What a bunch of useless, worthless dorks. God help our country.
Are you back home?
Astute observation from Sowell that Pubs don't seem to think they are in DC to represent the people, but only to be croneys and make backroom deals. New tagline.
They HAD the votes as of last week, but a few of the "7" changed their minds, it would seem.
We've been had. Every one of us who thought they were voting for a conservative has been given the shaft with this sell-out deal.
As Laz once said, "The GOP is the France of politics."
So, why are we suppose to vote for a Republican if the idiot gives away the store?
Someone please try to remember to ping me if an article comes down the pike that directly addresses the "stolen FBI file" issue. I really, really wish this would become the focus of conservative media.
It's time to tell it like it is. Bring it out in the open and put a spotlight on it. Rush, are you listening? (You were great yesterday, btw!)
... but Frist hangs tough on 'nuclear'
...Let me be very clear. The constitutional option remains on the table, Frist said to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (Nev.) yesterday morning on the Senate floor, using the Republican-preferred term for the controversial tactic...
...It remains an option, Frist said. I will not hesitate to use it if necessary....
Our disdain should be properly directed toward the RINO 7. Frist (and 47 other Repubs) did not sign on to the agreement. The jury is still out on what will happen in the event the Dems try another filibuster.
I'll believe it when I see it, I'm sorry to say.
Frist issues new warning on filibusters
Will seek rule change if Democrats block other nominees
In the afterglow of the bipartisan accord announced Monday night to avert a Senate showdown on changing the filibuster rule, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist emphasized Tuesday that he wasnt a party to the deal and would quickly try to implement the rule change if Democrats resumed use of the filibuster to derail President Bushs judicial nominees...
Yeah. I'll believe it when I see it too. The pubbies have squandered any goodwill I had left. Cowards, pure cowards. Big spenders. Big government.
They do this because the 3 letter networks are allowed to set the agenda and frame the debate. He who frames the debate wins it. This is a punchline, but this really is Bush's fault. He goes to the 3 letter networks whenever he or his underlings need publicity, and mostly snub the new media that is likely to give him a fair hearing. He needs to change this but he won't, not ever. Can you imagine Karl Rove on Drudge? Or Sean Hannity, to whom George owes his second term?
One very good thing came out of this - Frist was stunned at the reaction, he didn't think anyone was even watching this clown show. He was on Hannity last night, a whipped dog. Pickering was on, too, smart man, he needs to be renominated.
It's necessary right now Senator Frist ... invoke it NOW and let's see if the seven Republican conspirators have the courage to put the final nail into their political coffins.
The 7 Dems have set the bar whereby conservative judges such as Brown, Owen, and Pryor are acceptable. What will those 7 Dems do if a filibuster is invoked for similiar nominees? What will the 7 RINOs do if they do NOT see appropriate behavior from the 7 Dems? Given that situation, what will the 7 RINOs constituents do if they do NOT see appropriate behavior from their Senators?
These 14 Senators have definitely mucked things up. But they have also put themselves in a precarious position.
This is still up in the air.
Useless dorks BUMP.
Any DC Chapter Freepers care to weigh in? I'm speculating the "Constitutional Option" has only been postponed. Read my previous replies.
No. The failure of Sen. Frist to maintain internal discipline in his own party has mucked things up. He now has to get up on his hind legs, act like a man, and impose consequences upon these 7 Republicans.
He wanted to put off to tomorrow what should have been done today so Katie Couric would call him a "nice guy." Now everybody holds him in contempt, including his voter base.
I think Frist's words yesterday are in response to the angry calls overwhelming the Capitol switchboard. Of course we will all have to wait and see, but I don't have much confidence that "nuclear" will be used if the Dems renege on the deal.
P.S. There never should have been a deal in the first place. Frist should have used the power of his leadership position to hold his party together; i.e., threats of loss of funding for pork projects in the squishes' districts, etc.
But I know nothing of the machinations of being a politician.