Tuesday, May 24, 2005

When we all win some see a loss

Filibuster Follies
May 23, 2005

In the comments on the above post Jeff is asked why the filibuster compromise is being spun as a loss for the Republicans? Jeff then says,

"It's being seen as a loss because it ties the Republicans' hands during the Supreme Court fights, which is what this was always about."

My reply to Jeff:
How does a simple piece of paper tie their hands? What is to stop the Republicans from applying the nuclear option, or the more politically correct "constitutional option", for a specific Supreme Court nominee. If the Democrats use their extraordinary case filibuster option then the Republican leader, and his faithful, can simply make the case that this does not meet the criteria of an extraordinary case - the fight will again be on because the contract will be null and void.

Then, with the Republican base fully energized over getting one of their own on the Supreme Court the count down to that much desired right wing nuclear winter will have begun and in short order be realized.

One point was made very clear with the winding ethical path that the Republican leadership cut to circumvent the 214 year filibuster tradition - No standing rule, no precedent, no piece of paper can stand in their way when they continue their mission to do what is right for all of America.

What reasonable argument can be made, with what has transpired over this last few weeks, that a piece of paper, signed by moderate and rational minds, will prevent what 214 years of tradition almost failed to do? There is no reasonable agrement that will support this case because nothing about the last few weeks has been about reason and rationality - it has been about ideology and power.

What you and many other team sport Republicans and Democrats have been missing is the real statement that is being made by the rational 14 - the idea that the federal government is here not only to give a voice to all of the people but to hear that voice. The picture that you seem blinded to is the one painted by the questions that were raised by the rational 14. Questions such as: "Why can't the Legislative and Executive branches attempt to serve all of America?"; "Why don't we try, as the founding father's intended, to serve both the majority and the minority in this republic?"; "Why can't the Executive Branch make an honest attempt to confer with all parties in the Legislative Branch before submitting the names of non-elected life time appointees?"; "Why, in this democracy, is it worthy of any majority party to impose their rule on everyone without first attempting to reach a meaningful consensus?"

You see Jeff, in the end, the words written on a piece of paper only have meaning to people of honor and principle. As I see it the only way a 214 year tradition could disappear in one vote on an average American day, with all the extreme challenges that our country has been through in these last two centuries, is if at least 50 senators and one vice president fell very short on the scale that measures the honor and principle of men. Thankfully 14 men and women showed the higher levels that this scale can reach.