Monday, May 23, 2005

So, the Senate Democrats are going to let the judges go forward.

I just love this paragraph from CNN:

"Unable to garner the 60 votes necessary to end a filibuster -- a form of extended debate that has been part of Senate rules since the early 19th century -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, has put into motion what some call the 'nuclear option.'"

"Part of Senate rules since the early 19th century". I just love that phrasing. Filibustering used to mean that you talked and talked and talked, and refused to yield the floor. Think Huey Long, or Strom Thurmond. I haven't seen any extended speeches. I have seen Democrats refuse to allow cloture votes. What we're seeing now is a completely new innovation, not something out of the ealy 19th century.

Is it any wonder that the mainstream media's reputation continues to sink, and contempt for it continues to rise?

Fox News, that bastion of right wing exremism, shows its puckish sense of humor:

"Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada welcomed the agreement — although he hastened to say he remains opposed to some of the nominees who will now likely take seats on the appeals court.

'We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical right of the Republican party an undeniable message ... the abuse of power will not be tolerated.'"

Fold. Like. A. Cheap. Suit.

UPDATE: The Democrats have only agreed to let three judges through. They reserve the right to start their "filibuster" again if they deam any judicial nominee "extraordinary." In other words, the Democrats took this to the edge, and then slipped away when they knew they would lose. They certainly know power better than the Republicans.

Or do they? I mean, what we have here is a bit of asymmetrical warfare. The Democrats can always depend on a fawning, lickspittle press to cover for them, while the Republicans can't. If you're a Republican, you have to act like an adult, knowing that your actions will be judged in the harshest light by those who write the first drafts of history. If you're a Democrat, well, free pass.

So. I don't know. I think that having given once, further gives will be easier. I give this to the Republicans by a split hair. The Democrats have had to let some nominees through, so they've learned a bit of helplessness. The Republicans can always fight this again. And they will. Over the Supreme Court. Soon.

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