Thursday, April 28, 2005


I've had it with the debate over the filibuster of judicial nominees. It's time Senator Frist & Co. do what needs to be done and change the Senate rules. A number of arguments have been made about why this would be a bad idea, but I'm not buying them.

You shouldn't abandon over 200 years of Senate tradition.
Two hundred years? Not quite. According to the Senate's own website, the first continuous filibuster took place in 1841. The cloture rule to end filibusters was adopted in 1917. A two thirds majority was needed to end debate (for those of you who may be mathematically challenged, that's sixty-seven votes). This rule was changed in 1975 - when the Dems ruled the Senate - so that sixty votes could end the filibuster. Why, you ask, did the Dems abandon "tradition" in 1975?
In 1975 the Senators changed the filibuster requirement from 67 votes to 60, after concluding that it only takes a simple majority of Senators to change the rules governing their proceedings. As Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) said at the time: "We cannot allow a minority" of the senators "to grab the Senate by the throat and hold it there." Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Byrd, and Biden, all agreed. Nearly a decade ago, Lloyd Cutler, the former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton, concluded that the Senate Rule requiring a super-majority vote to change the rule is "plainly unconstitutional."

There could be negative political fallout.
So? If doing the right thing was easy, everybody would do it. If you do the right thing you could lose your office, and we need you in office so you can do the right thing. Which you won't do, so as not to lose your office. Am I the only one who finds that "logic" asinine. If we're going to wind up with Democrat-style results anyway, why do we need Republicans in office? Make your case to the American people and then do what needs to be done. If you lose your next election, so be it. Victory belongs to the bold. There's no room for pussies in the winner's circle.

If we change the rules, the Dems will shut down the Senate.
Again, so? Let them. They saw that strategy backfire on Newt and the boys in the 90's. They'll have a tough time picking and choosing what to shut down and what to let through. Besides, Dems are even bigger pork addicts than Repubs, let 'em go cold turkey on pork for awhile and see how long they last. This threat is a lot like a child threatening to hold his breath if he doesn't get his own way. He might make good on the threat, but he can't hold his breath forever. The Dems will cave quickly enough without their snouts in the trough.

Dems will look to get even when they are in the majority again.
A strategy designed to cushion your defeat is a sure way to guarantee that defeat. Besides, what Republicans do now is irrelevant to how Dems will treat them in the future. First the GOP had the nerve to "sieze control" of the Congress in 1994, then they "stole" the election in 2000. The Dems have gone ballistic. The GOP has committed a mortal sin; they took power from them. There can be no atonement for this sin. No matter what Frist & Co. do, no quarter will be give to Republicans if the Dems ever get back in control of the Congress.

The filibuster is a good idea.
No, it's not. What is it? Unlimited debate? Thorough debate can be a good thing. Unlimited debate is a good way to avoid doing anything. Filibusters aren't usually used for debate anyway. They are used to stall action. And now they are being used to obstruct. The filibuster is a trick. The folks in power have enough tricks to thwart the will of the people. Let's chuck this one.

Trivia(from C-SPAN)
The term filibuster comes from the early 19th century Spanish and Portuguese pirates, "filibusteros", who held ships hostage for ransom (how appropriate).

Dick Morris wrote an excellent column today on this subject. His idea is to force the Dems to help make it easier to nuke the filibuster.
Frist just needs to end the “virtual” filibuster and make the Democrats stage a real one, replete with quorum calls, 24/7 sessions and truly endless debate covered word for word by C-SPAN for all the nation to see — and ridicule.

Frist should bring up a judicial nomination of little consequence for the nation — say Charles Pickering — and let the Democrats explain, at tedious length, why they are tying up the entire nation over a judgeship for Mississippi. While the public would possibly tolerate a filibuster over a Supreme Court nomination or over a particularly important piece of legislation with enormous consequence, they would never allow a filibuster over so inconsequential an item, and the backlash would be fierce.

To force the Democrats to filibuster over such a matter would be akin to the way President Clinton forced the Republicans to shut down the government in the budget fight. In the era of 24-hour news and cable TV, the Democrats will find that they cannot stage a real, red-blooded filibuster without hurting themselves politically each day they talk.

This is a great idea. I can just see FOX News playing video clips of Teddy Boy or Sheets Byrd reading from the phone book on the Senate floor. I hope Senator Frist read Morris' column.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Last night I wrote a post about the death of several American civilian contractors in Iraq last week. More specifically, it was a rant about this comment over at the Daily Kos website. The post took me over an hour to write. Blogger dumped it on me (dammit!!!) I am disinclined to write it again, but suffuce it to say that this commenter - if it is indeed a commenter, and not a sock puppet for Kos (looking to avoid another "screw them" controversy) - doesn't know jack sh*t about the military, defense contractors, and Special Operations personnel. It scares me to think of how many people with limited military knowledge read this excrement and believe it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


According to Michelle Malkin's April 13th column, Senator Hillary Clinton was in Minnesota preaching to the faithful recently :
Singing from the same hysteria-promoting hymn book in Minnesota this week, Sen. Hillary Clinton further stoked Democratic madness. Sarcastically praising the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, Sen. Clinton pounced: "I believe that the right to vote and the obligation to count all the votes should be promoted not just in the Middle East, but in the Middle West! And in the Northeast! And in the Southeast! And in every. Corner. Of. The. United. States. Of. A-MEH-rica!"

The crowd went wild. Sen. Clinton continued: Too many minorities and college students have been "denied an equal right" to vote, she exclaimed.

Malkin also includes a recent quote from Senator John Kerry:
''Last year, too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated.''

There you have it. Two Senators who believe that everyone should have the right to vote. That being the case, why don't these two champions of enfranchisement lead the charge in ending the filibuster on judicial nominees in the Senate. After all, what is a filibuster? It's disenfranchisement, plain and simple. Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, are being denied the right to vote on President Bush's judicial nominees. Don't like the nominees? Then vote them down. But don't steal the vote from those who disagree with you. Not only have the Senators been disenfranchised, their constituencies are being disenfranchised. Why should the people send a Senator to Washington if said Senator won't be allowed to do the people's bidding.

They say that charity begins at home. Maybe justice does, too. It's about time Hillary & Co. start practicing what they preach.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Damn. It's been over a month since I last posted on this blog. I had LASIK surgery last month, and it made it difficult to read anything on the computer screen for any length of time. I got a mile behind in my grad course. When I finally got back to using the 'puter, the blog had to take a back seat to schoolwork. Hopefully, I'll be back to regular posting now.


Dick Morris was just on Hannity and Colmes discussing one of my State's Senators. Alan Colmes asked Morris why he is dedicated to preventing Hillary Clinton from being elected. His answer: "Because she would be an awful (emphasis placed on the word by Morris) President." Not a positive thing coming from someone who knows Hill well.

Later Colmes said to Morris, "Maybe she (Hillary) is not shrill, dishonest, and partisan. Did you ever consider that?" Morris replied "only if you don't know her."

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