Wednesday, May 04, 2005

David Espo gets it

Analysis: Senate Shifts on Filibusters

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Time was, Republicans buried Bill Clinton's judicial picks by the dozen in the Senate Judiciary Committee and Democrats indignantly demanded a yes-or-no vote for each.

That was then.

This is now, when Democrats block a far smaller number of President Bush's court nominees - and Republicans heatedly insist the Constitution itself requires a vote.

"Give them a vote. A vote up or down," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said recently, speaking of seven appeals court nominees Democrats have vowed to block. "That's what we've always done for 214 years before this president became president."

Except for more than 60 nominees whose names Clinton sent to the Senate between 1995 and 2000.

Republicans didn't resort to filibusters in many of those cases. They didn't need to.

They controlled the levers of Senate power at the time, and simply refused to schedule action on the nominations they opposed. Hatch, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, played a pivotal role in the blockade.

Espo's piece isn't a big wet kiss to the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy; he also takes care to point out how the Dems have jumped sides over the years. But he seems to realize that being "fair and balanced" doesn't necessarily involve unzipping Republican trou.

Incidentally, as I write this, a poll accompanying this piece on AOL (you know, that infamous mouthpiece for MoveOn, Media Matters and the like) indicates that 84% of their closeted-commie subscribers think Frist's push to ban the filibuster is all about politics rather than principle, and two-thirds oppose a rule change.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the AP story with your byline posted on, the concluding line mentioned the Republicans' frustration over the 10 nominees who had been blocked (and the 7 of those renominated). No mention was made of how many appointees were confirmed. I don't suppose you can control how your stories are edited, but this one ended (as many do) with the important omission of the fact that those 10 were the extreme remnants of a long list of confirmed appointees. People read this and conclude that there is something in the endless Rovian mantra about all appointees deserving "up or down vote"--which of course is just a cover for the slam dunk appointment that that would mean--and the trifecta domination of all branches by one party. What the heck, let's have done with it and declare a fascist nation. What miserable American times we live in. I can only hope that the deal that avoided the nuclear option was worth it. I fear that what most people (or at least the 52% and growing of FoxNews-swayed) will hear is that the spoiled Democrats were given a bone to chew that they didn't deserve (and that another such confrontation is just around the corner).

7:22 PM  

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