Monday, April 04, 2005

Senate going 'nuclear' by end of month

The LA Times reports that Senate Republicans plan to abolish the filibuster by the end of the month. The article reports that "even privately, it's hard to find anyone on Capitol Hill who can envision a deal that could defuse the conflict." Geez, can no one envision simply nominating non-devisive judges? Is it really impossible for Bush to find candidates who would be acceptable to Democrats? If indeed that's the case, it is only becase Republican activists have decided that any judge capable of garnering Democratic votes is unacceptable simply by virtue of the fact that she or he would be acceptable to Democrats. This makes a sick sort of sense, of course: any nominee capable of garnering even five Democratic votes is obviously more "liberal" than a candidate incapable of getting those Democratic votes--and therefore not as extreme a candidate as the Republican Party activists might hope for.

It's also worth pointing out how misleading it is to compare the Democrats' current threaten to shut down the Senate with the Republicans' 1995 government shutdown. In fact, both situations are a result of majority party truculence. In 1995, the congressional Republicans controlled what kind of a budget would get sent to Clinton to approve--and they refused to send a budget he could approve. Likewise in 2005, the Republicans (Bush) control who gets nominated to the bench--and (again) they are refusing to send something the Democrats can approve.

In both cases it is a case of the majority party trying to insist that it doesn't need to consult or compromise at all with the minority party.

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