The Electric Commentary

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Well, at least they printed this letter

In the NYT letters section today, just in case you missed it:

To the Editor:

"The Senate on the Brink" (editorial, March 6) supports the "historic role of the filibuster," which is a curious position for a newspaper that 10 years ago said filibusters were "the tool of the sore loser" and should be eliminated ("Time to Retire the Filibuster," editorial, Jan. 1, 1995).

Federal judicial appointments have certainly been controversial, but surely all Americans can agree that the rules for confirming judges should be the same regardless of which party has a majority.

Now you praise the filibuster as a "time-honored Senate procedure." In 1995, when Bill Clinton was president, you called it "an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose."

You disparage the Republicans' view that 51 votes should be enough for judicial confirmation. Yet the 51-vote rule is a consistent Senate tradition. By calling for an end to filibusters, the Senate is simply contemplating restoring its traditions by traditional methods you disparage as "nuclear," even though they were once endorsed by such leading Democrats as Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Charles E. Schumer and Robert C. Byrd.

John Cornyn U.S. Senator from Texas Washington, March 7, 2005

What do I think about this?
1. The NYT looks pretty wishy washy (and biased) here.
2. The filibuster has never been used to oppose judicial nominees prior to this administration.
3. The Democrats should not have started this trend. It is bad policy now, and it will bite them later.
4. The Republicans blocked many Clinton nominees, but not with the filibuster.
5. Republicans should not use the so-called "nuclear option," abolishing the filibuster for judicial nominees. It will not play well publicly, and it will be turned on them in the future.
6. That being said, I will not be surprised if they do it, and I can't really blame them.
7. So, basically they're all a bunch of babies.
8. By the way, there is a shortage of judges on the Federal Bench right now due to this pissing match.


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