Not only is there a bright side for conservatives in the recent Senate “compromise” on Presidential appointments, but it’s hard to find any reason at all to justify celebration by liberal Democrats.
President Bush’s long-stalled 5th Circuit nominee, Priscilla Owen, now sits on that federal bench, and confirmations of capable conservatives Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor are soon to follow. Even the prospective nominations of William Meyers and Henry Saad have been sidetracked in thought only. Make no mistake – the dam has cracked and its eventual collapse is as easy as ever to see.
The seven Republican signatories have been called sellouts, but if that’s true, the transition occurred long before this Faustian bargain. But what is new is that we finally have some Democrat sellouts who have now compromised what had been the monolithic bulwark of liberal obstructionism of Presidential appointments.
Not only have the seven Republican compromisers compromised their own ability to oppose changing Senate rules when the Dems act up again, but more significantly, the seven Democrat “moderates” have discarded much of their cover from opposing the filibuster when the inevitable well-qualified Supreme Court nominee comes on the scene. For the thinnest of upsides, either merely delaying a vote for a rule change or having a chance to desperately claim an “extraordinary circumstance,” the latter seven have swapped their power to impede in exchange for forever compromising their standard for who qualifies as an acceptable circuit court judge – and by extension, an acceptable Supreme Court justice. Even the value to the libs of the phrase “extraordinary circumstances” has been gutted by their colleagues agreeing to cloture on three clearly conservative, originalist jurists.
The dishonestly named “nuclear option” is not only still intact, but the political fallout from its still-possible use – which will be more justified than ever if it’s needed – will no longer contaminate Republican electoral strategy.
The radical Senate Democrats having again delayed the vote for Ambassador John Bolton within three days of this deal – on the flimsiest of excuses – exposes more than anything in recent memory that spiteful and disingenuous children have commandeered the once-great party of honest men such as Harry Truman. The comical leftist claim that, “Oh, we meant just that we wouldn’t filibuster the President’s judicial appointments” rings so hollow that it reduces the Senate Dems to playing word games reminiscent of the Clinton years, when even the meaning of 2-letter words was beyond the grasp of these jokers.
The unintentional result of such nonsense may be a wake-up call for a pivotal portion of the US electorate.
There is no Constitutional basis for filibuster of Presidential appointments or for the procedure at all, for that matter. But the arcane rules of the Senate and, sadly, Constitutional content, has largely fallen out of the knowledge of the general public. What voters will see, however, is that the venality of ousted South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle is so ingrained in his lefty former colleagues, that they should be similarly discarded at the first possible occasion.
There’s a golden opportunity here, and President Bush appears to be slipping on lighter gloves. There may yet be some justified celebration over the aftermath of this agreement, but in November ’06, it’s likely to be on the right side of the aisle.