Saturday, May 14, 2005

A sad commentary

I had a pretty long talk tonight with a friend of a friend about our current political situation, and it was very wide-ranging. It gave me pause, though, to hear this line, "Look, I just care about my side winning, and if that means breaking tradition or even violating the Constitution, so be it. All of that is pretty outdated. We need a new revolution in this country."

Now, he's very liberal about how we treat drugs, jails, etc., but he thinks Bush and the GOP should get their way on judges no matter what. I guess he's a libertarian conservative, but the attitude is kind of scary. One of the things that makes our nation great is rule of law. Look at the Ukraine. They held a new election after the controversy of the first. We had Bush v. Gore. Both eventually worked out, but ours was more orderly, and no troops were ever needed. If we chuck that to get our way in political disputes, then we are setting ourselves up for the end of America as we know it. There's more that the comment made me feel, but I just don't know how to express it right now.


Blogger E. M. Zanotti said...

People are often tolerant of poor practices when things go their way, while condemning them when the ball is in the other court. Judicial activism is a great example of this. People applaud decisions like the recent juvenile death penalty cases, they love Brown v. Board of Education but these are all examples of judicial activism--a situation where the social change should have been left to the people, rather than the judiciary. We applaud those, but Conservatives frown on Roe v. Wade , or Griswold or Casey . If you ask many of my fellow pro-lifers if they believed that a Supreme Court decision outlawing abortion would be wrong, they would say "no" emphatically, even though such an action is, simply, judicial activism.

The same is true for filibustering judges. "Filibustering," per se, doesn't have much of a history, however, the Republicans found other ways to hold up nominees during the Clinton years. The Democrats bitched about it endlessly, they attacked Gingrich who invented the whole darn thing, and they whined constantly about ridding the country of the filibuster--Leahy even volunteered to side with then governor, George W. Bush, in efforts to stop holding up appointments. But now, they can't talk enough about how important it is to keep the filibuster, how much of a right it is to debate judges.

I say, keep the filibuster--the Republicans don't seem to see that by getting the "nuclear option" now, as soon as they lose control of the White House, they will be screwed, because it will be the Democrats who will be able to get appointments through w/o debate. I agree with Dick Morris--get rid of this silly "sign-off" principle. If people want to filibuster the judges, make them stand up on the Senate floor for ages and read from the Betty Crocker cookbook, and embarass themselves on C-Span. Not only will it give the Republicans the protection that they need, but it will give the Democrats an opportunity to show that there is real heart, and not just partisan politics, behind the blockages. If they really believe in what they're doing, they'll put their money where their mouths are.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Desi said...

This post made me do a double take on what part of MI you're from, and sure enough. Oakland County. The land of giant SUV's with Bush/Cheney bumperstickers and plenty of road rage. [a side note, but also beware if eminem's ex Kim is out of rehab, beware all big, black Escalades! She's a menace!]

Would it help if we started a drive to ban all Kool-aid sales in the state?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Thad said...

I agree that Democrats should go right ahead and participate in an actual filibuster. However, in the 106th Congress, three Clinton judges were filibustered and cloture had to be voted on. The document can be found here: 2002 Senate document. There's also a quote from Bob Smith, which you might have found downthread which ties into this.

8:34 PM  
Blogger E. M. Zanotti said...

I had to take all of the comments off of that post on my page because a classmate of mine decided it would be funny to log into my Haloscan account and alter the comments as a "goodbye gift," so I'll reply here...

I honestly have no idea who is being hypocritcal on this. The GOP wants the filibuster but used it, the Dems didn't want the filibuster, but when they see it potentially disappearing, they fight to save it like there is no tomorrow. I think the "nuclear option" is extreme. I think most Senators would agree. (Something like only 13 of the polled GOP Senators would like to see it pass, but something like 32 would vote for it to get the judges through). Everyone deserves an "up or down" vote. And that means everyone, not just Republicans. There needs to be a solution to this problem, but to abolish the filibuster isn't it.

I don't get bogged down in the "who filibustered whom" argument. There are sooo many aspects to Senatorial procedure, and both sides are taking credit and denying.

P.S. That's funny. I went back and looked at the comment that I originally left on Prying's blog, and it was in response to something that I think you may have said in his comment section. I didn't connect the dots, or follow the link at the time.

9:09 PM  

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