Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Phil A. Buster

A few days ago I was really starting to get sick of hearing about the filibuster ordeal in Washington. It’s not that I don’t realize how important it is because, trust me, I do. It’s just that I was tired with how drug-out it was becoming and was hoping that soon the pundits could start talking about something else! But now it all seems to have come to a head with the recent compromise.

The only thing I really have a strong opinion on right now is the fact that yes, the GOP party will someday be in the minority again and, if we really do need the filibuster, it would be nice to keep it in place, but (big BUT) I doubt conservatives would ever use the filibuster in the same manner as the liberals have. I often think that conservatives err in being TOO nice. It’s the conservatives who tend to respect the rules and the process, even when in the minority and regardless of any tactics previously used by their counterparts. It’s the conservatives who know that the senate is there to “advise and consent” the president’s nominees. It’s the liberals, however, who are willing to be more belligerent and obstructionist to push their agenda. It’s the liberals, in my opinion, who always seem much more willing to disregard order and tradition to get their way. And it’s most definitely the liberals who rely on judges to violate separation of powers – legislate from the bench and reinterpret the constitution – to achieve their goals. Conservatives generally understand the importance of respecting separation of powers and believe that judges are there to interpret the law, not reinvent it. So, frankly, I can’t foresee anytime in the near future that conservatives would abuse the filibuster in the same manner, and to the same extent, that liberals have. For that reason alone, I wish the nuclear option had been utilized.

If what the democrats are doing now is not right, then it wouldn’t be right for the republicans to do it (in the future) either.

Every judicial nominee should be debated over – and all the negative information, if it exists, should be brought out against that nominee. But, in the end, every nominee should get an up or down vote. “Advise and consent.” That’s what our constitution says. That’s it.


Kevin said...

Most people (myself included, until today) think that the "nuclear option" means suspending all filibuster privileges entirely. However, that's not the case (as I just learned today). It would still exist, but in order to filibuster, the dems would have to use the old-fashioned, Mr.-Smith-Goes-to-Washington method of keeping the floor until you pass out. Even if they had used the "nuclear option," what's wrong with that?

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