Fat Steve's Blatherings

Saturday, May 21, 2005

More Nonsense

      This time on the filibuster.

      Instapundit notes two people who say the Democrats will "win" the filibuster fight.  Bosh.

      In both cases, the commentators pretend that there is some sort of principle involved on the Democratic side.  Walter Shapiro implies that the Republicans are one day going to want to filibuster judicial nominations by a Democratic president.  They don't, and they've repeatedly demonstrated that they will allow a nominee a floor vote if there is a reasonable expectation the person will have a majority.  So the statement that:
      the next Democratic president be giggling at GOP folly when she or he starts nominating federal judges in 2009 or 2013,
is just nonsense.

      Shapiro further claims:
      if the filibuster is eliminated for judges, it will be philosophically hard to maintain it for legislation.
  Bullstuff.  The filibuster was never used to block judgeships, but was used on legislation.  It can be again.  And if the Democrats move to eliminate the filibuster for legislation, they will lose a weapon they dearly value for blocking legislation that has majority support in the Senate.
      So unless the Democrats completely abandon their belief in activist government in a new bout of triangulation, the Republicans will someday loudly lament losing a major procedural weapon the next time a president tries to provide health care for the uninsured.
Hillarycare was not defeated by a filibuster, it was fought on the merits, and the Congress refused to pass it.

      What this is really about, imao, is a combination of last-minute desperation and preemptive spin by Shapiro.  Shapiro wants the filibuster retained until the Democrats regain control of the Presidency and Senate.  Once that happens, the Donkey Party will not hesitate to abandon its current support for the filibuster.  Democrats are a party of principle, the principle being 'We're the good guys, so we don't have to follow any rules if they'd make us lose.'  Winning by any means necessary is the only consistency to be expected from them.

      Meanwhile, Kevin Patrick displays ignorance of the way the filibuster fight goes now.  He wants to force the Donkeys to actually stand up and speak against the nominees.  That can't be done under current rules, and changes in the rules would require sixty votes.  Mickey Kaus had several posts on what would actually take place if this was tried (visit Kausfiles and search the past few weeks).

      Frist should detonate the bomb this week.



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