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The increasing debate on judges and the Senate filibuster is not really about these few judges.  It's about getting a radical Supreme Court nominee this term, with a simple up or down vote.

We keep hearing over and over from the right about how the nation needs Bush's judges approved, or that the judiciary is some 'activist' bunch that answers to no one.  This is all just groundwork for ending the filibuster before the opportunity comes to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.  

That's why this group of judges were re-nominated together. It takes the heat off their awful individual records, and it guarantees a stand-off since they've already been nominated before.  And their records are important: if the ongoing filibuster looks reasonable, ending it looks more radical.

This strategy goes hand-in-hand with the increasing anger that jugdish describes  Increasing conservatives' visible anger also increases their ability to play victim, which ironically still seems to work for these guys.  

This is a multi-pronged attack designed to focus attention on lower and less-critical issues.  The temporary end of the judicial filibuster is the real target here, not the approval of the individuals that Dubya has put up again.  Packing the lower courts is just a handy side effect and a rallying cry for short attention spans.

Remember, this group will NEVER discuss their real agenda until after it's too late, or the public will oppose it.  This is true for every major thing this administration has spent any energy on.  It is no different here.

Any upcoming Supreme Court nominations will get some media attention, and Bush doesn't want a Bork.  He wants NO debate, and to still get his radical.  The real goal is to get the filibuster out of the way before a justice retires.  Once a retirement is announced, then ending the filibuster option might start looking as radical as it really is.

This strategy has the potential to get one or two justices on the court that do not believe in precedent, and do not believe in the constitutional legality of the New Deal.  That would be a tremendous victory for the far right, and has been a long-term goal.

The right WANTS these pawns filibustered so that they can focus on the filibuster itself now.  So far they're succeeding with the focus.

Originally posted to jrcjr on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent & Recommended (none)
    Keeping our eyes on the larger picture is essential to knowing what our strategy should be today....thanks.

    sign the petition at

    by DrKate on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:58:50 AM PDT

  •  Good diary! (none)

    He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

    by Boppy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:05:06 PM PDT

  •  Recommend (4.00)
    I've read a helluva lot of print on this topic, and you're the first I've seen to tie it to packing the Supreme Court with radicals via up-or-down votes as the end goal.  Forcing a filibuster of the renominated judges... Terri Schiavo... DeLay and Cornyn... these are all coordinated efforts to build public opinion protection into the nuclear option strategy.

    I don't doubt, either, that radical Republicans are looking to FDR's court-packing effort as a blueprint for dismantling the same New Deal he sought to protect.  Why else would Dubya Quixote tilt around the hustings at Social Security windmills, and endure a 10 percent drop in his poll ratings?

    Seventy years of social progress are in the crosshairs.  A radical Republican Court will be the wrecking ball.  No sense in being shy about saying so.

    •  exactly (4.00)
      I've heard my whole life how the new deal is the worst thing that ever happened to this country.  (my folks don't believe that anymore, but used to, and said so often)

      It's the key target, and many on the far right often call it unconstitutional.  they believe congress overstepped its bounds there in much the same way they did during desegregation, and this is the real dogwhistle when the right talks about states' rights.  no one hears it but their base.

      Also, the Schiavo mess, DeLay, Cornyn's recent comments, I believe those are definitely part of the same strategy, as you mentioned.

      Unfortunately in this case, just because someone's a nutcase doesn't mean they're not smart or patient.

    •  Where have you been? (none)
      That strategy and purpose have been clear from the get-go.  They never made any secret of it.
      •  You wouldn't know it to listen... (4.00)
        to the Dems or the media. I haven't heard any of them add up all the pieces like jrcjr did even once (at least not to a large audience).

        If it's not a secret in the general-public, I'm one of the only people who hasn't been let in on the joke yet.

        Political Physics - A non-party-identified, open source community blog

        by cgilbert01 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:36:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think "get-go" is a recent phenomenon (none)
        The pipe dreams of the Grover Norquist wing were just that prior to January 20th.  And the combination of chutzpah, dementia and misanthropy necessary to engineer such a strategy were ephemeral in the earliest days of Bush's second term.

        The delusion of the Schiavo memo flipped a switch for me that made me think in my heart, not just my head, that a tactical, 100-year assault on the judiciary is reaching a denouement.  The diarist is the first I've seen to say so since Inauguration Day AND tie in the daily news.

        The diarist moved me past knowing what they wish for, and actually believing the effort is on.  Getting there has required me to accept that irrationality has taken hold of our governing elite and cowed the bureaucracy.

        I guess a shortcoming of cynicism is that it presumes a rational foil.  So I'll plead guilty to that.

    •  as is my motto (none)
      C'est le Guerre!

      Progressives are like deer in the headlights.
      We need


  •  ummm, tip jar? (3.98)
    my first diary, so is this how it works?
    •  yes (none)
      And good diary. I also recommended it.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - FDR

      by Vitarai on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:53:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great first diary . . . now, unfortunately (none)
      you'll have to give us more!


    •  But (none)
      dont they want to end the filibuster just to approve these judges only? I mean if they change the rules, isnt that temporary? Or is it permanent until they change them again like you say?
      •  I hadn't heard that (none)
        I've never heard anyone say it's just for these judges.

        I remember seeing Bill Frist tell Jim Lehrer a couple weeks ago, "We don't want to be having this discussion when there's a Supreme Court nominee", or something to that effect, but I couldn't find it on the NewsHour site.

        Perhaps I heard it on another show- at any rate I can't find a link to it, so I didn't put it above--if I find it I'll update.  

        But that's when I started thinking this was all really about the high court.

      •  Not temporary. (none)
        I've not seen anyone, anywhere claim that this would be temporary. Nor would it square with their claims that the filibuster is unconstitutional.

        They are claiming that they're only interested in eliminating the filibuster with respect to judicial nominations, but don't let that confuse you. It's not just these nominations they're interested in.

        Nor should you be misled into thinking that Senate procedure in any way forbids the extension of the "nuclear option" to any other nomination, judicial or otherwise. Nor, for that matter, to the filibuster of routine legislation, which the GOP "promises" not to touch.

        The logic behind the "nuclear option" does not distinguish between judicial nominations or any other kind of Senate business. The basic claim is that the Senate has the right to ignore Senate rules requiring a 2/3 vote for rules changes. Judicial nominations is just the convenient issue they've chosen as a starting point.

        They may or may not have any serious interest in eliminating the filibuster for legislation or anything else besides judicial nominations. But the point is that if the logic of the nuclear option is upheld -- and it never has been before in the entire history of the Senate -- then the door is open for all of these things, no matter what the Republicans say now.

  •  funny (none)
    just saw a 'save the fillibuster' commercial on CNN. "Because America Works Best When NO One Party Has Absolute Power"

    the web site

    Commercial sucked actually - real guy, not an actor. But interesting anyway - don't see non-Bush advertising of any kind very often.  

    It's not hypocrisy - it's unadulterated evil.

    by wabegg on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:00:55 PM PDT

    •  I liked the ad: Jimmy Stewart in (none)
      Mr. Smith Goes to Washington --- a common-sense Republican firefigher --

      It's the sane Republicans who do oppose this for the obvious reason that the political pendulum will swing again and Dems will regain power; two-edged sword, and all that.

      Democratic opposition isn't nearly enough -- have to reach out to sane Republicans.

      After checking out the site, I signed their petition, you betcha.

      ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

      by PhillyGal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:30:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Smart. (4.00)
    When Republicans speak it is always sensible to look in the opposite direction to where they are pointing. When they were determined to overthrow Saddam, they had us talking about weapons of mass destruction. When they want to destroy social security, they have us talking about private accounts. So as we all talk of the fillibuster and appeals court judges, it makes sense that their larger goal is the supreme court.

    These people are passionate about their goals, and they are determined to meet them before they run out of steam. Unfortunately, we do not have the same passions, and only play defense in trying to hold the line.

    Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

    by Lords on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:25:32 PM PDT

  •  exactly (none)
    They would rather have this fight when the public isn't paying attention, as opposed to on a SCOTUS nominee, when everyone will be.  

    At some point, we need to come to an agreement with these people so that when a Dem president takes over, we can get our more ideological nominees in as well.

  •  I don't think any Supreme Court judges WANT (4.00)
    to retire with Bush in office.  

    Just my view, but when Bush v. Gore was in the Supreme Court, I remember reading that Sandra Day O'Connor was very concerned because she wanted to retire and would not retire with a President Gore.  Well, Bush was definitely far from certain of reelection, and I didn't see her retire.  Scalia and Thomas are not going to retire and Rehnquist seems to be hanging in there.  

    I think these Supremes know what they have created and look on their handiwork with horror.  What do you think they were saying to themselves as DeLay went on about activist judges getting what is coming to them?  I would not be surprised to see Rehnquist try to hang in there, and the others sit tight too.

    Of course, I have no clue what is really going on.

    •  I agree.... (none)
      with your assessment.

      Maybe they really are  ashamed of what they have done.

    •  They've found against (none)
      this white house on a majority of the cases that have come to them. When O'Connor said that, I think she didn't know what a new conservative was. They're probably as scared as I am.

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:26:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The credulous (none)
        Average citizens like you and me been aware of the neocon/theocrat alliance for years (and we're called alarmists, radicals, loons)--and yet so-called sober minds (from Supreme Court judges to our intelligent, moderate Dem friends who privately think we're trippin') have been utterly, shamefully clueless. How did this happen? What is missing in the pattern recognition abilities of the eternally credulous who keep apoligizing for this administration, urging inexhaustible equanimity, caution, and prudence?

        Is nothing secular?

        by aitchdee on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:42:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hasty post, many spelling errors (none)

          Is nothing secular?

          by aitchdee on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:44:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What's missing (none)
          in the middle is attention. The media have, for at least 20 years, distracted everyone while the oligarchy took over the country. The people you're talking about kept getting more and more money and it was sooo nice for them. It has to wait for the beast to walk right up and demand its due before they realize what's happening. Picture Alec Guiness in Bridge on the River Kwai standing in the water holding onto the fuse and saying "My god, what have I done?"

          Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:23:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's One With a Perfect Excuse (none)
      --yet he's still on the job. Surely he's not fearing some hippie would replace him.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:28:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rehnquist (none)
      I wouldn't mind seeing Rehnquist retire.  He could be replaced with the nutjob the Thugs are pining for without upsetting the balance of the court much.  The Dems could say "OK.  We gave you your nutjob.  See.  The Thugs appoint nutjobs."  It would be an easy "give" for Dems and would take some heat off of the issue.  

      Meet me in Cognito, baby

      by out grrl on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 05:32:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your diary is like a laser beam (4.00)
    "It's about getting a radical Supreme Court nominee this term, with a simple up or down vote."

    The repuglicons definitely have a strategy here. Schiavo, the Coryn comments, etc. All part of a plan.

    I can only hope that this backfires on GWB.

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:51:25 PM PDT

  •  All (none)
    All together now ...

    Hold on Justice Stevens, hold on ..
    Hold on Justice Stevens, hold on ..

    And if you can't hold on, let the next one be a Souter.

    Meet me in Cognito, baby

    by out grrl on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:11:41 PM PDT

  •  Lower Courts are probably more important (none)
    The Supreme Court only decides a handful of important cases every year. As important as they are, the lower appellate level courts decide far more in the way of Constitutional law. I suspect the filibustered judges really are more important to Bush and the Congress than any Supreme Court nominee. Just remember everything has to be under the radar.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:29:21 PM PDT

    •  Depends how radical your agenda is.... (4.00)
      Truly controversial cases usually end up in the Supreme Court's lap. There's no other arena in which the monstrous "Constitution-in-Exile" -- also known as "The Death Of Legal Precedent" -- can become reality. And that's the point of this exercise. The neoconservatives could care less about abortion, gay rights, or the other topics of demagoguery that have driven us to this abyss.

      Bush crammed a whole lot of bad nominees through the process in his first term. If he only wanted more partisan judges in the lower courts, he'd have a better chance with ten fresh candidates. No, it's clear that the filibuster itself is Bush's target. And a radical Supreme Court justice must be his ultimate goal.

      I think jrcjr's analysis is absolutely, terrifyingly correct. Our fight to stop a neoconservative Supreme from taking the bench absolutely depends on keeping the filibuster intact.

      At some point the Bush Administration must decide whether it can count on Republican majorities after 2006. I don't think it can. If Rove and the boys reach the same conclusion, things are going to get very "nuclear" very fast.

      We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

      by Valentine on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:07:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  importance (4.00)
      I do think it is a hugely important side benefit to them, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it's the Holy Grail, like the Supreme Court nominees would be.  A lower court wouldn't be too likely to rule that the New Deal was unconstitutional, for example.  There are many people who could've been nominated; the fact that Bush chose to renominate several people points to a real desire to make the filibuster the issue.

      The frustrating thing is that the perceived strategy for all of this ALL leads to important side benefits.  but if we're focused on those little battles, we could miss the long-term goal, which I strongly believe is the repeal of the New Deal.  (Privatization of SS is an alternate strategy for the same thing, of course, and would be irrelevant in this scenario.  So, it gives cover to the drive to eliminate it.)

      Not that the supremes would rule on that specifically either for quite some time, but it's an important part of the far-right vision for the country.  These justices would potentially be in place for a long time, giving extremists years to regroup and push progressive achievements back a little further, chipping away year after year.  (If in fact there were a need to regroup--elimination of the filibuster would eliminate much debate and therefore may not be much political fallout from the nomination of an extreme radical.)

      You're right, though, the lower courts will be very, very important in this.

      •  And the repeal of the New Deal (none)
        it's vital to note, is among the primary goals of both neocons and theocrats, albeit for very different reasons.

        Very simplistically:

        • neocons hate the New Deal because it's "communist," and any communal sharing of wealth means they get less.

        • theocrats hate the New Deal because it's "communist," and God hates communism, and Jesus won't return to rule and reign on earth until everything God hates is laid waste.

        It's also important to note that while both ideologies (sometimes complimentary, sometimes opposing) want control of domestic policy, the theocrats want it more and will stop at nothing to get it.

        Is nothing secular?

        by aitchdee on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:05:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't confuse neocons with greedheads (none)
          What you called 'neocons' are actually corporate greedheads. Real neocons hate the New Deal because it means less money for military spending - this viewpoint is expressed well in an this anti-European FrontPageMag article at (no direct link for Google purposes)
          •  yes, you're right, (none)
            neocons will tread working Amercia underfoot as a matter of course but it's not a specific target, concerned as they are with foreign policy first (treading the world underfoot). The modern day Robber Barrons, or the Greedheads as you call them, do target working America/domestic policy specifically--you're right. There's some overlap, too; many Reagan/Moyinhan Republicans of the eighties have evolved into a neocon and greedhead hybrid, a.k.a. global-greedheads (a.k.a. unredeemable bastards). Frankly the theocrats scare me more than either of these groups. Have you read What's the Matter With Kansas?

            Thanks for the link.

            Is nothing secular?

            by aitchdee on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 01:18:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Robber Barons (none)
              I'd define this term more strictly to mean "corporate bosses who sabotage their own companies in the name of personal enrichment".  For example the British "Phoenix Four" or the Enron bosses...
          •  "abolish the EU" says Robert Locke (none)
            Again my thanks for this informative, revealing article; I oughta read conservative opinion pieces more often, with that quote about keeping your enemies close(er) in mind :)

            Is nothing secular?

            by aitchdee on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 01:35:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Neocons are anti-European, not just anti-EU (none)
              Many go do far as to claim that Europeans are so decadent and hypersecular that the whole continent will be crushed beneath the sharia jackboot a few decades down the line as its native populations die out and are replaced with Muslim immigrants.

              You can read more about this anti-European mentality at WE WANT EURABIA!

    •  Depends On How Close You Are to the (none)
      finish line.

      Bushco from the moment of Appointment has been sprinting for the tape. I've contended all along that they have not been crazy or even mistaken.

      This is endgame.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's an even bigger goal. (4.00)
    Make no mistake: the removal of the filibuster for judicial nominations will devolve into a prohibtion against  filibustering ANY wingnut legislation.

    That's right -- no more pesky need to curry the favor of sane Republicans like Snow, McCain, and Chafee.

    No need even to bother with Dino Lieberman.

    Just 51 increasingly radical right-wing votes to do all kinds of mischief to our consitution and our country.

    God help us all; why do they hate freedom?

    "The government is and me!" -Theodore Roosevelt

    by Republic Not Empire on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:49:48 PM PDT

    •  And moreover... (4.00)
      we have not lost this battle yet.

      I know the stormclouds are upon us, and we have been battered senseless by countless losses,

      but we must not lose sight of the importance of the removal of the filibuster.  This is THE issue for the health of our country, I believe, now that the Mr. Torture  Gonzales appointment fight is over.

      The ramifications of the removal of the filibuster will be  profound.

      There are a few moderate Republicans (I recall from a previous diary) that may not go along.  They need to be given much pre-emptive love and pleading:

      Snow (ME)
      Collins (ME)
      Chafee (RI)
      McCain (AZ)
      Gregg (NH)
      Sununu (NH)

      Do you know of any others?

      If you are a constituent of any of these Senators, or indeed of any Republican Senator, NOW IS THE TIME to get on the phone, or write an email, or a letter to the editor.

      I want to weep when I think of what may happen if we lose this.  Imagine a laundry list of legislation, every one as odious as the bankruptcy bill.

      "The government is and me!" -Theodore Roosevelt

      by Republic Not Empire on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Others (4.00)

        The thing to remember is this... The Republicans, in this scenario, only need 50 Senators. Because "Fuck You" Cheney is the tiebreaker vote, and if they lose the White House, their wingnuttery can be Veto'd anyway.

        So this assault on the filibuster is just as much a problem for non-neocon Republicans (including plain and simple whores, like McCain) as it is for Democrats - it means the Republicans don't need them anymore.

        Monsters think it's all right to be a monster, after all. - Hitherby Dragons

        by RHunter on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:08:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  never, EVER forget (4.00)
    that karl fucking rove ALWAYS plans at LEAST 4-5 moves ahead... thanks for spotting this one... i'm sure you're spot on...

    The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt. - Ronnie Earle, Travis County DA, Texas

    by profmarcus on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:50:52 PM PDT

  •  Just a thought... (none)
    ...replacing Rehnquist with another conservative doesn't shift the balance of power the way it would if Stevens retired. I'd be concerned to see them replace O'Connor as well, because even though she is Repub, she seems old-school Repub, not a NeoCon(artist).
  •  Lose - Lose, Perhaps (4.00)
    I think it's important to look beyond short-term political interests, and give some thought to the long haul. It wasn't that long ago that the unambiguous liberal postion was that the filibuster was an anachronistic, anti-majoritorian device that should be eliminated, and that a majority of the Senate had the power to do so. That was the position of Hubert Humphrey, Gene McCarthy, Joe Clark, Paul Douglas, Jacob Javits, and even Ted Kennedy in his younger days when the threat of filibuster was a major roadblock erected by Southern Democratic segregationist Senators to block civil rights legislation. Even during his Majority Leader tenure, Senator Byrd pushed through some changes to the filibuster rule under the threat of making more sweeping changes by a mere majority vote.

    In light of that history, I'm not sure Democrats will have that strong a case that restricting the filibuster of judicial nominations is a terrible idea. The public doesn't view the filibuster all that favorably, and most polls show large majorities think qualified candidates should get an up or down vote. If that's how it plays out, it's probably a lose-lose situation. If filibustering judges is eliminated, Bush's nominees get an easier path. If it doens't go through, Democrats may lose public support, particularly in Red States where Democratic Senators would face electoral consequences for backing a partisan filibuster of nominees deemed qualified nonpartisan groups like the American Bar Association.

    I think the bottom line is that when you have a minority in the Senate, your power to block things is limited, even if the rules give you more leverage than you'd have in the House. While there is much talk here of filbustering a Bush Supreme Court nominee, I'd be surprised if that actually happened absent a truly horrendous nomination since there would be considerable fallout for blocking such a high-profile nomination.

    The other thing the pro-filibuster folks may want to consider, is where would that leave Democrats if they won an election? Would we really want a Democratic President, bouyed by a Democratic Senate, having his judicial nominees blocked by GOP filibusters?  I may not like the judges that are going to be nominated in the next 4 years, but I don't like creating a precedent that will plague the nomination process for decades to come.

    •  The problem is (none)
      there have always been alternative ways to block really poor judges. Priscilla Owens would, almost certainly, be rated "not qualified" by the ABA if they were still using them. Blue slip holds were the mechanism that blocked most of Clinton's judges. They've changed the rules several times now to get to this point. I'm not at all sure that there's a price to pay for fighting back in these circumstances.

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's "short-term?" (none)
      Doubtless someone told Humphrey, McCarthy, Clark, Douglas, Javits and Kennedy the same thing: one day you'll be on the other side of this and change your mind.

      And they did.

      And now you see that that advice has stood the test of time. And, in fact, that a view that goes beyond short-term political interests advocates precisely the opposite position from the one you're backing.

      You're right, though. It was once the liberal position tht the filibuster should be eliminated. And they never really succeeded in doing it, yet the civil rights laws they were immediately concerned with did pass. And here we are.

      And yes, Senator Byrd used the threat of a maneuver similar to what we now call the nuclear option, but he never actually did it. Because the threat was enough to convince a bi-partisan bloc of Senators to change their minds. That was also the case with the changes made earlier under Humphrey, McCarthy, etc. Jacob Javits was a Republican.

      It's also important to note that all previous incarnations of the nuclear option were attempted at the beginning of a new Congress, under the (tenouous) theory that new Senates need not be bound by the rules of the past. That was also the unambiguous position of Humphrey, et al. And of Javits. And of Nixon.

      Only Frist thinks it's permissible to pull the nulcear option at will, at any time, regarding any rule.

      I think the bottom line is that having a minority in the Senate is not and has never been like having a minority in any other body, anywhere in the world. The Senate is uniquely designed to protect minority rights. The House is the majoritarian body, and the Senate is its counter. The House renews itself every two years, and the Senate constantly retains 2/3 of its membership.

      The thing I think you need to consider is not so much what would happen if Democratic nominees were once again being blocked, but rather what the long-term implications of turning the Senate into the House really are. Strict majoritarianism was never part of the plan for the Senate. Look to Louise Slaughter's report on the abuse of House Rules by "reformist" Republicans for a glimpse of the future in the nuclear-enabled Senate. Because the only thing standing between the first-time-ever ratification of the nuclear option and a Republican majority's ability to define the rules as whatever they say they are at any given time is Bill Frist's "promise" that he really, really means it this time.

      Bill Frist has a whopping 12 years in the Senate, and he's on his way out the door in a year and a half. Do you really think it's wise to allow what amounts to a relative drive-by in that body really ought to be able to leave behind a legacy of forever changing the dynamics of the legislative branch? When the shit hits the fan, Bill Frist will be long gone. He has no skin in this game.

    •  Let it happen. (none)
      There is no way they could possibly be more obstructionist on judges than they were under Clinton. Let it happen.

      Nobody lends money to a man with a sense of humor -- Peter Tork, "Head"

      by Field Marshall Stack on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 07:10:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a filibuster that will bust........ (4.00)
    the filibuster busters.

    Democratic Senators speak for 10 minutes each about each of the 200 judges that have already been approved.  200 judges at 10 minutes each adds up to 2000 minutes.  2000 divided by 60 = 33 hours and 20 minutes.  That's 33+ hours of Democrats describing how obliging and cooperative they have been with this president.  It's bulletproof in that the Thugs can hardly complain that the Dems are being obstructionist when the whole "news event" is a 33 hour demonstration of the Dems' cooperation.  

    Sen. Harry Reid speaks:

    "And the reason it's taking us so long, Chris (or Tim, or Shepard) is that we have been so damn cooperative with this president that it takes 33 hours to describe how cooperative we have been.  Perhaps Senator Frist would like to suggest which of the president's previous 200 approved nominees we shouldn't be discussing?"

    I'd lay in extra popcorn and burn a sick day to watch that.

    They don't want their kids to pray in school. They want your kids to pray in school!

    by roxtar on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:15:40 PM PDT

  •  I agree with the diarist here and most (none)
    of the comments, but I would take it all a step further.

    This assault on the filibuster is about the supreme court vacancies that are sure to arise, and it isobviously apponting the extremists the wingnuts want.

    Worse even than all of this, however, is that this is about "simple majority" one party rule. And one party rul like this, even when masquerading behind the thin veneer of democracy, is always a precursor to tyranny and fascism. Once installed the one party system can change anay and all rules it wants, without opposition.

    History is replete with this same sad story of democracies brought low in part by utilizing these methods. Germany, Chile, Iran, Argentina, (the old) Iraq, guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, etc.

    This is the true scope of the assault, of which this filibuster attack is only the tip of.

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:46:28 PM PDT

  •  My feeling (none)
    is that it isn't pro-life judges they want,
    it is pro-business judges. Judges that will uphold
    and enact more and more unscrupulous business
    practices....anti-environment, anti- union, anti-labor, and pro those giant big money mergers like Conoco and Unical.

    While we weren't looking.

    This is so pre-Nazi era. Hitler did the same thing.

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:00:27 PM PDT

  •  Not just Roe (none)
    Conservatives would love to overturn Roe v. Wade, but there are other key decisions that could fall too.  A few off the top of my head include the Betamax case and the death penalty for the mentally incompitent and juveniles.
  •  DUUUHHH! (none)
    My mouse slipped as I was "tipping" causing a 3 instead of my intended 4...I am the bad tipper.  (commence self-loathing) I gave you a 4 somewhere else.  I'm new-ish and don't know how to undo other than to re-tip.

    I'ts a great diary!

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