Friday, April 15, 2005

Judicial Confirmation Nonsense

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I posted about this below. Things have gotten worse since then. It's hard to have much more to say when so many bright, creative people are all over this issue. I'll do what I can.

To me and many others, this is the essence of the issue: Judicial nominations -- primarily to the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court-- were, in the minds of GOP "base" voters, second in importance only to the war on islamofascism. I say that as one who donated to John Thune's campaign solely because I agreed with Hugh Hewitt: We had to (a) remove Daschle in order to open the path for President Bush's nominees to get floor votes, where they would undoubtedly be confirmed, and (b) send a message to Democrats that there would be a heavy price to pay for Daschle-type tactics.

So far, so good. We won! Bush re-elected! The Supreme Court safe from John Kerry! A bigger GOP Senate majority! Remember? Man, were we all feeling great, or what?

But now, look what's happened. The unimpressive Harry Reid is proving just as effective as Daschle in stymieing the process. And it appears the GOP senators now have the issue on top of them, instead of being on top of the issue.

If you're not focused on this problem yet, read Ed Morissey. He'll fire you up. Here's a stinging excerpt, in which Ed refers to "a complete lack of action for the first three months of the new session on the issue:"

The Republicans thundered to unprecedented gains in Bush's re-election, gathering an 11-vote advantage over the Democrats after specifically campaigning on judicial nominations. In the case of Tom Daschle, the entire campaign focused on nothing else but Daschle's obstructionism, and the GOP took down the sitting Minority Leader. The issue of judicial activism is one of the few that unites the base and the libertarians, the right and the center of the party.

And what did Bill Frist do? He dithered while Harry Reid demonstrated that he had no intention of treating the Senate like a "club", the preferred environment for which so many GOP Senators appear to pine. Reid went to war, first with the Electoral College vote -- issuing the first challenge since Samuel Tilden -- and then allowed his caucus to rip Condoleezza Rice in the most personal of terms, a precedent-breaking performance for the "clubbiness" of Senate tradition.

If Frist wants to join a club, let him apply to the BPOE. He gave away the momentum on this issue to play Mr. Nice Guy with people who have never played nice in their lives. Leadership? I call that idiocy.
Ouch.

Doug TenNapel gets to the core of the issue. Read what he says about the Constitution.

Finally, browse Hugh Hewitt, who's made it his personal mission (for now) to rally support for taking action. You can't go anywhere on Hugh's site without hitting good information on how to respond to the Democrat obstruction of Bush judicial appointments.

Write to the Senate! Contact information is here.

GOOD NEWS: The Washington Post reports that Senator Frist is getting the message. Read the article; it's quite informative. Some worry that if the GOP changes the Senate rules to disallow filibusters of judicial confirmation votes, conservatives will suffer when the Democrats are back in the majority. To those people, I ask this: Do you really believe that when power shifts back to the Democrats, they will not make the same rule change in a New York minute?

UPDATE: Power Line shares good, solid thinking about the judges being blocked, from a respectable and trustworthy source-- Jonathan Turley of George Washington Law School in D.C. Professor Turley is a bit left of center but is intellectually honest and has great integrity.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work. Thank-you. I have e-mailed the senator's on the fence, plus more. I urge everyone to do there part, and I agree the stakes could not be higher!!!! 

Posted by Intensive Care

Friday, April 15, 2005 8:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Tendentious Gastropod's post, which I acidentally deleted but found saved elsewhere:

I don't know why you're so prickly over judicial nominations.

FACT: George Bush has a better record of having his judicial nominees approved than any President in the past twenty-five years. Only ten of 215 nominations have been turned down.

As for Utah history (1891), I don't know whether accounts of church members being arbitrarily assigned party affiliation by LDS leaders are folklore or fact, but the prevailing realpolitik zeitgeist of that era suggests the claims have credibility.

"In the year 2000, observers speak with concern about Utah being dominated by one political party. It's not the first time.
In the 1890s. . .as Utah neared statehood. . .national political leaders had the same complaint, with a twist.
Utah and its Mormon population were viewed as nearly 100-percent Democrat.
Because of the strong anti-polygamy stand of the Republican Party, very few members of the Mormon Church wanted to join the GOP.
Realizing a gesture of balance had to be made, Mormon Church leaders sent apostle John Henry Smith on the stump to convince Mormon congregations that it was possible to be a good Latter-day Saint, and a good Republican."

http://www.voteutah.org/moments/07.html

"Seeking statehood for Utah, Church leaders instructed Utah Saints to join the national political parties and become Democrats or Republicans."
http://ldsfaq.byu.edu/emmain.asp?number=221

"NEARLY ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, IN SEPTEMBER 1891, there occurred, in Huntsville, Utah, a very strange scene for a town in the United States. Almost exactly 100 years before, in 1791, this country had ratified a unique and daring Constitution. The framers, at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, had believed that their document, then but a government in words, could only succeed because of "the genius of our people," by which they meant the average American's independent political wisdom and love of their independence. But here, in an American town, on a bright Indian summer morning with the young cottonwoods and Lombardy poplars turning bright yellow along the streets and pockets of gold aspen and deep-red maples visible on all the surrounding hills, Church leaders were going from door to door, assigning one acquiescent family to be Democrats, the next to be Republicans."

EUGENE ENGLAND, professor of English, Brigham Young University


Posted by Tendentious Gastropod
 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, April 16, 2005 1:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religious baiting? If you know nothing of Senator Reid's devotion to his religion then may I humbly suggest that you may be putting politics ahead of the church. Perhaps you should take the Searchlight exit on the first Sunday of the next month and attend sacrament meeting there. I sincerely doubt that were you to have the opportunity to hear Senator Reid speak of his testimony that you would dismiss the man as unimpressive. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, April 16, 2005 1:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religious baiting? If you know nothing of Senator Reid's devotion to his religion then may I humbly suggest that you may be putting politics ahead of the church. Perhaps you should take the Searchlight exit on the first Sunday of the next month and attend sacrament meeting there. I sincerely doubt that were you to have the opportunity to hear Senator Reid speak of his testimony that you would dismiss the man as unimpressive. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, April 16, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I don't think any Senator's religion has anything to do with this debate. What was unimpressive about Senator Reid was when he went on Meet the Press and while attacking Clarence Thomas got some key facts flat-out wrong. Maybe some members of the Senator's staff are just overpaid. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, April 16, 2005 1:56:00 PM  

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