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June 24, 2005

Forget filibusters... Dems seek VETO on Bush judicial nominations

Well, maybe "veto" is too strong a word, but why else would they demand that the president "consult" with the Democrats before submitting nominations?

The attitude of the Democrats, as represented by this quote from Ted Kennedy (D-P.R.Mass.), is breathtaking in its arrogance:
"It doesn't take much to get our consent," Kennedy said. "All the president has to do is seek out his preferred non-ideological choices, ask us about them, and listen to our answers."
Does anyone doubt for a moment that "non-ideological" means "agrees with Democrats on most issues"?

And... how would they have reacted to a similar demand by Republicans during the Clinton administration? We'll never know, because back then the Senate still respected the centuries-old tradition of letting the president decide who he was going to nominate.


Andrew J. said...

I don't mean to offend you because I to am a constitutionalist, but I feel that this blog is very ill-informed. I believe that when you wrote:
Does anyone doubt for a moment that "non-ideological" means "agrees with Democrats on most issues"?
it is essentialy true. The same would be true if it came from a republican. Lets be non-partisan and admit that both parties will phrase things deceptively. A good example is your next phrase (We'll never know, because back then the Senate still respected the centuries-old tradition of letting the president decide who he was going to nominate.) this is straight out of the republican distract and deceive playbook (don't get me wrong. when put into the same possition the democrats will and have done the same thing.) look up the facts, don't just regurgitate the party line. The republicans did every thing they could to stop nominees during Clintons era. As a mater of fact this has been going on for a long time by both parties. This is intentional by our Constitutional framers as a means for the minority to prevent total domination by the majority. Bush has been more successful than most with his nominees, so he sould not play the victim. A good article on the subject might be "the top ten filibuster falsehoods on mediamatters.org". As constitutionalist we have to keep our eye on both parties. we have to check their statements and claims against facts. Both of these parties are flourishing in our tv sound bite culture and know damn well that americans are lazy and believe whatever they hear on tv without bothering to check the facts. Now don't everbody get into an uproar because I am generalizing here. there are people who do try to get the truth but most don't. those that do are the real patriots, regardless of what the tv calls them. I do not mean to offend you or anyone else but I need to be candid. Our constitution is in danger and those of us that love it need to leave behind the deceptions of both political parties.

Tim said...

Thanks for your comments, AJ. For the record, I might be annoyed by constructive comments that disagree with what I wrote, but I won't be offended. :-)

That said, I'd like to remark on some of your remarks. First: Have the Republicans ever used parliamentary maneuvers to prevent a vote on a nominee who clearly had majority support? If so, that was wrong. In the quarter century that I've been a registered voter, I don't recall any such occurrences, but I'm willing to be educated.

Second: Have the Republicans ever demanded that a Democrat president in essence get the GOP's permission to submit a nominee? That's the issue that got my ire up in this post.

The GOP has occasionally engaged in tyranny of the majority, to my knowledge it has not engaged in tyranny of the minority, as the Dems have done from the moment they lost the Senate.

When you note the high rate of confirmation of the Bush nominees, you overlook the Dems' strategy. Pretty much all of their obstruction is directed at appellate court nominees -- because that's the most common source of USSC justices. The federal appellate courts (including the USSC) are where the left does all of its end runs around the Constitution. There's no way the left wants GWB sending his kids to play on their playground. The confirmation rate of Bush's appellate court nominees is lower than that of his recent predecessors.

Third: If you want me to respect your claim to be a constitutionalist, please don't back up your arguments with an article from the leftist site mediamatters.org. :-)

I agree that we need to keep an eye on both parties. Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm more than ready to tear into the GOP (both Congress and GWB) when the situation merits.

Andrew J. said...

Hello again, I am glad that we can have these discussions even though we may disagree. To start with the article that I mentioned lists an example of how the clear majority argument does not work. Besides our constitution established the rules on filibuster to combat possible tyranny of the majority. So as a constitutionalist I believe that it is perfectly exceptable to oppose the clear majority in this manner and I don't fault either party for doing it, both of which have.

Second, I don't know if the GOP have made such demands on permission but the constitution sets the rules on this issue and it says that the president must ask permission from the congress which includes the Democrats. This is a mute point and simply a distraction in order to get us thinking and argueing about some stupid comment that something made and not the constitutionality of it all. Our society is in such political disarray that we don't attack issues we attack people and comments. This allows anyone who wants to sneak some bad legislation by us to do it because we are to busy with what he said or she said and not the actual wording of the bill and its implications.

Third, The appellate court argument is false also. I believe that 35 of 52 of Bushes appellate court nominees have been approved and 35 of 51 of Clintons nominees have been approved. The assertion that either party are doing end runs around the constitution through the courts is crazy also. The courts are there to decide constitutionality. Some decisions I agree with and some I don't. Sometimes the courts are liberal and sometimes they are conservative. Also 35 to 35 doesn't seem like anybodys playground. I will not claim that the courts are on my side and conservative or on the other side. It would be interesting to get all the data and come up with a decision on that, but that is a lot of data and way to much time. You watch the next time a couple of conservative votes come in everybody on the other side will be screaming the same things. When will we learn that Republicans will appoint Republicans and Democrats will appoint Democrats. Do we have to argue this every time, regardles of who is on what side?

Third, and most importantly, am I not a constitutionalist because I got some information from a leftist site mediamatters.org. That is utterly insane. Do you claim that only righty sites have real information. Silly rabbit! Why do americans fall prey to this silly notion that one side is absolutely right and the other side is absolutely wrong? These lables and name calling hurt America more than anything right now. It is a method by those who wish to divide us. These labels are a method of demonizing people so that no one will listen to their message. If a person can't develop their argument using all the facts from all angles then they don't have an argument worth listening to. Sure they have a bias. Do you expect me to believe that the other side doesn't. They are putting out all kinds of half truths and lies. Don't trust either side! They are their for one purpose:control. very few on either side are looking out for you and me. I leave you with this:

A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.

Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775