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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dems Threaten Shutdown

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/19/2005

(H/T to Kennedy v Machine)

We know that they have been talking about it. Now that the filibuster of judicial nominees is nearing its overdue end I thought it would be good to talk about the Democrats response.

Tom Curry writes about Sen Reid's (D-NV) planned response to the merciful end of nominee-bustering:
Surrounded by 37 Democratic senators on the steps of the Capitol, Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada threatened Tuesday to shut down the Senate over the issue of filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominations. Reid would exempt from his shut-down only national defense matters and spending needed to ensure ongoing federal operations.

Now, we have been hearing in conservative circles the glee in how the Democrats are imploding on themselves. The election of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as the House Minority Leader, the choice of John Kerry to run as the Anti-Bush instead of as John Kerry, the election of Howard Dean as the DNC chair...these are all decisions the further entrench the Dems in a position of being contrary to the mainstream of America. These decisions simply push the Dems into further disfavor with the middle-of-the-road people.

With Reid's leadership the Dems will go from an obstructionist party without any agenda of their own (being anti-Bush is not one's own agenda) to a party that will have the shutting down of government essentially as their agenda.

Great. That worked well in the public's opinion for the GOP in the 1990's.
Reid called on Americans to “oppose this arrogant abuse of power” and accused Bush and his Republican allies in the Senate of trying to “break down the separation of powers and ram through their appointees to the judicial branch.”

Look, you hyperbolic putz, the sepataion of powers is safe. The Executive still appoints the Judiciary appointees. The Judiciary appointees still have to be qualified as checked through the Legislative branch. In order for Reid to be accurate (a trait not generally linked to Senate Democrats) Frist would have to get rid of all advise & consent. Frist would have to remove the Legislative branch from the whole process.

And just to be sure that we understand this point I will spell this one out. The Democrats have been screaming that the "voice of the minority will be quieted" when the filibuster on judicial nominees (circa 2003) is ended. Considering that you babies are the minority voice and considering that Reid is being quoted more than Frist on this issue (on most issues really) I would say that the voice of the minority is under no threat.

Now the left has been trying to marginalize the impact of their filibustering. "only 10 of 214 nominations have been turned down." blah, blah, blah. Here is the fact.

1) Most of those preside over trials and do not do Constitutional Review. Huge difference between a judge that sits over murder or drug cases (no need to block conservatives there, really) versus a judge that rules on appeals like they do in Appeals Courts and the Supreme Court.

2) Of the 51 nominated for Appeals Courts there have 45 to make it out of Committee. (Killing a nominee in Committee has been a long practiced, though slimy, imho, method used by both parties for a long time.) Of those 45, 22% have been blocked with a filibuster. That's right, almost a quarter of the nominees have been block by a filibuster.

3) Those 10 are the first ones in history to be blocked by a filibuster even though they may have been confirmed. Abe Fortas had his nomination to be Chief Justice by FDR blocked by filibuster...but that was by supporters who did not want the vote to occur because Fortas was going to lose. In other words, these 10 nominees are the first in history to be filibustered by opponents.

So, in the end I say let them shut down the Senate. And let them do it as retaliation to the ending of nominee-bustering. Look at the following passage from the article:
Reacting to Reid’s threat, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas said, "When the American people realize that they are threatening to shut down government because we want to restore majority rule in the United States Senate, I think it’s going to backfire on them terribly.:

Cornyn said the 2004 election results, which gave the GOP a net gain of four Senate seats, were driven largely by voter opposition to Democratic filibustering of Bush’s judicial nominees.

"If we don’t do this (lower the filibuster threshold), I think those people who gave us the large majority and re-elected the president are going to think that we have been ineffective, and you know what happens to people who voters think are ineffective: They get unelected," he said.

Cornyn said he was confident there are enough Republican senators to get the 50 needed to approve the parliamentary move to lower the filibuster requirement.

This all bodes well for the GOP in 2008, methinks. That nuclear option...press the button!!!


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