Imagine it is 2007. Imagine further that the leftists’ hopes and dreams for the decimation of the GOP congressional majorities has happened.
Can you see the beehive of activity that ensues? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) are presiding over their new committee chairmen who are busily attempting to dismantle anything that has the faint aroma of the GOP agenda.
Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) is holding hearings to roll back the tax cuts that have driven the unheralded economic boom of late and spends his nights making lists of endless new taxes to collect from anything bigger than a breadbox, dead or alive.
International Relations Chairman Tom Lantos (D.-Calif.) creates a nice gift basket for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il with autographs from Hollywood stars, plenty of spicy photos and a note that says, “Let’s chat.”
Intelligence Chairman Alcee Hastings (D.-Fla.) is defunding any and all intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D.-Mich.), in conjunction with Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D.-Calif.), is building his impeachment case and drawing up subpoenas for everyone with an “R” behind their name. Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Kucinich is designing his new bureaucratic boondoggle, the “Department of Peace.”
On the Senate side, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) is liberating all labor unions from any financial reporting whatsoever and reviving the Hillary plan to nationalize healthcare. Kennedy has also dropped a bill to grant citizenship to anyone who puts a toe on American soil, disband the Border Patrol and demand that every form of communication be translated into 24 languages.
Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd (D.-W.Va.) is in hog’s heaven, renaming every department, agency and staple gun after himself and moving it to West Virginia.
Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) is working tirelessly against new drilling or building new refineries anywhere on the North American continent and we all are mandated to ride bicycles while holding our breath to stop the looming global warming disaster.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chairman John Kerry (D.-Mass.) is supporting entrepreneurial activities by introducing a subsidy for his pet program “Marry for Money” and letting entrepreneurial tax collectors, regulators and trial lawyers loose on any successful small business owners.
Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) is crafting legislation to bring all troops home and have them each personally issue an apology to the “freedom fighters” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And then, the call comes that Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D.-Vt.) has been waiting for. The news tickers explode with the headline that a new vacancy on the Supreme Court has just opened.
Normally, the advice and consent process would kick in and the President of the United States would make his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
But this is a brave new world in 2007, and the previous demands from the left to dictate the choice of a judicial nomination have now become the rule. Senators Teddy Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin crowd a podium in front of the fawning press to describe their “ideal” nominee. The word of the day is “mainstream,” which in liberal-speak is defined as a nominee who agrees with them. The reality is that Kennedy could not find the definition of the word “mainstream” unless it had a flashing neon “open bar” sign on it.
Doesn’t matter, however, because “advice and consent” has now become “demand or destroy.” In other words, the President, held hostage by a Senate controlled by hostile extremists, must bow to the leftists’ collectivist whims. If the President does not capitulate to their demands, the nominee, no matter how qualified, brilliant or fair, will be destroyed simply because he hasn’t passed the Kennedy/Schumer/Durbin ideological litmus test.
Leading the charge, and many senators by the nose, will be the well-funded, merry band of extremist puppeteers to include Ralph Neas, Medea Benjamin, Kim Gandy, Nan Aron, George Soros, Howard Dean and the new socialist in the caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
If any of this brings bile to your throat, please realize that this is not a drill. It could be our reality on Nov. 8, 2006. Voting has never been more important given that the Supreme Court literally hangs in the balance. Every issue that we conservatives care about—from the War on Terror to immigration, from gay marriage to property rights—either starts or ends in courthouses across the nation. Any legislative or ballot initiative could end up in a courtroom where one black-robed judge can, with the awesome coercive power of the federal bench and the strike of a pen, overturn whatever good the people’s will has designated.
Therefore, it truly matters who wields the gavel and whether or not they are judicial activists or judges who will apply the law as it is written, not as they would like it to be. It also matters who is doing the confirming and the obstructing.
Senators such as Rick Santorum (R.-Pa.) led the Senate, sometimes kicking and screaming, to do their duty and confirm judges. He spent countless hours on the floor of the Senate defending nominees from withering, baseless, cruel attacks by the obstructionists on the left. Several other senators in the GOP caucus up for re-election, such as Senators Jim Talent (R.-Mo.), George Allen (R.-Va.), Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio) among so many others tirelessly fought for worthy nominees whose reputations were being unfairly savaged for political sport.
Re-electing these constitutional warriors is a critical element to stop the leftists bent on escalating the obstruction, particularly if there is another Supreme Court nomination in the next two years that would conceivably shift the balance of the court away from judicial activism and toward restraint.
Judicial nominations are consistently cited as one of the main successes of the past few years. This did not occur in a vacuum without the assistance of several senators dedicated to a fair judiciary. And it certainly did not happen under the auspices of a Leahy chairmanship.