Thursday, May 19, 2005

Congressional Brinksmanship

The Modo Blog has been conspicuously silent on the judge nomination debate currently at the fore. Here's the moderate take as I see it.

The fact that the filibuster rule itself as it applies to judge nominations is in contention tells us the rule has never been set one way or the other. In other words, if nobody has tried to filibuster a judge nomination, and nobody has prohibited it, the rules of the Senate remain to be set.

We're as free as the founding fathers in 1776 to set up the process as we think best.

So to those who would see the filibuster banned, I would point out that the Founding Fathers really did see the Senate as a moderating force in government, and that it would seem to be in the spirit of the chamber to extend the right to filibuster to all Senate actions. Remember that the Constitution requires a supermajority of the Senate for other nonlegislative functions, such as passing treaties.

To those who would bring the business of the Senate to a standstill, I would remind them that the electorate will not look kindly on a do-nothing Congress in a time of international emergency.

The only reasonable option is compromise. Bring a few judges to a vote, agree to drop a few, and let's dispense with outrageous statements like Sen. Santorum's:


"I mean, imagine, the rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and the audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you break this rule? It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.'"

[Thanks to Charging RINO for the quote]

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