SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

MORE ON THE SENATE REPUBLICANS COMPROMISED---ER, "COMPROMISE." Following up on my last post, two more articles have caught my attention. The first is Hugh Hewitt's Daily Standard column, "Non-nuclear Fallout." Hewitt gives a rundown of the winners and losers--mostly losers--who emerge from this deal. I concur with Hewitt that Sen. John McCain's prospects for the Republican nomination just took a major hit.

Looking to the Senate Democrats and the consequences of the recent deal that was struck, Hewitt provides the following analysis:

[Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry] Reid and his colleagues cannot be blamed for trying to load up the poorly drafted memorandum with their spin. If they can sell a waiting-to-be sold media on the idea that the GOP gave up the Byrd/Constitutional/Nuclear Option, then the coming summer clashes over one or more Supreme Court vacancies will be tilted from the start towards Democratic talking points.

The Senate Republicans appear to have given away the high ground. They had a principled case to make against the anti-majority rule that has come govern the Senate concerning the confirmation of federal judges. The compromise gives the impression that they have traded in their principled case for a mere pragmatic deal to get a few judges in and avoid further discomfort to themselves.

I known little about Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney and whether he or newly-elected Senator John Thune have Presidential aspirations. But I do know that both of these respective leaders have faced serious issues and shown moral courage and a sense of priority. The same can not much be said for those who capitulated to the Senate Dems tar 'n feathering of well-respected, highly-qualified nominees to the federal judiciary.

Next, Thomas Sowell's latest, "A Compromised Party," gives a somber assessment of the situation in the Senate. Notes Sowell:

...Democrats have long understood that they are in Washington to represent the people who voted for them. Too many Republicans seem to think that they are in Washington to make deals with the Democrats.

Dr. Sowell is spot on in his observation. Abandoning a President and qualified judicial nominees and avoiding "conflict" in the Senate is not the work of statesmanship, but of crass politics. Sowell provides another clear-cut observation:

You can always ease tensions and avoid confrontations by surrendering. You can always postpone a showdown, even when that simply lets the problem fester and grow worse.

And its probably more likely than not that things will get worse for the Senate Republicans who want to confirm solid nominees for the federal bench. Unfortunately, I must concur with Hewitt's sentiment:

The disfigured filibuster is a constitutional horror, and only the left's babblers pretend otherwise. Writing in a super-majority to the advice and consent clause of Article Two, Section 2 is simple willfulness by a deeply distressed political party, a naked power grab which should have been struck down immediately upon its introduction in 2003, and one which gains false credibility with every day it's left alive.

Perhaps the Senate Republicans who capitulated will find the courage to stage a comeback. Perhaps Democratic fillibusters of future appellate court nominees or U.S. Supreme Court nominees will give them the opportunity to redeem themselves. Or perhaps not.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


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