Friday, November 14, 2003
As I write this, there is a talk-a-thon going on across the river in Washington. Seems the Republican led Senate has finally decided to use the filibuster rule against a bunch of whining left wing liberal Democrats. Good for them.
I have but a few points to make on this issue.
First, I’m tired of the whining. W has made judicial nominations, as is his constitutional responsibility and duty. Then Senate has a constitutional duty to advise and consent to these nominations. This duty is what the filibuster is all about.
A filibuster is a Senate legislative tool that allows one or a group of senators to hold the floor and talk about anything they want for any length of time. Over the history of the Senate, this rule has been used many times, often going on for hours and days at a time. The late Strom Thrumond holds the record for his action, talking non-stop for some 24 hours with out even a bathroom break. His was a cast iron bladder.
In order to end a filibuster, 60 votes are required. Democrats are using this tool to block, at last count, four qualified jurists from taking the federal bench.
There are constitutionally mandated actions that require 2/3 super majority votes. Treaties, Constitutional amendments, adding states, are some of these actions. No where in the constitution is 60 votes required to confirm judicial appointees. I checked. So did the Senate Parlimentarian.
Democrats claim they are doing nothing they have not already seen the Republicans do. They claim Senate Republicans blocked several Clinton nominees from taking the bench, and they are just following the example they saw.
Sorry guys, no dice.
You see, Republicans ran the Senate for all but two years of Clinton’s sorry excuse for an administration. Running the joint means you set the rules, you decide what comes up for a vote, even who gets a hearing. It is the right of the *majority* to do this. All Clinton nominees that were reported out of the Judiciary Committee received a Senate vote. Most were confirmed. Some were not. That’s the way it works. Not one Clinton nominee reported out of committee was filibustered on the Senate floor. Not one. I checked.
So, my dear Democrats, stop the damn whining. Especially you, Mr. Leahy. If you want to set the agenda, you need to be in the *majority*. If you want to be in the *majority* you need to do something you haven’t done in a very, very, long time.
Win some elections.
That’s how a representative republic works.
Here endeth the lesson.