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Old 05-24-2005, 04:07 AM   #1
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Filibuster compromise

So what do you all think about the filibuster compromise just made? Perhaps a generalized discussion about the filibuster, the judiciary, the meaning of Advise and Consent, and whether you find all branches in control of one party (either one) dangerous.
(I'm a political process junkie--I just hate politics).
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:01 AM   #2
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We'll see if it works, then . Good for them. I hope that one day I'll have the wits about me to be able to compromise for the good of the people.


That sounded cheesy but its the truth.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:03 AM   #3
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Phew.

This on one hand is very inspiring. It shows that a handful of people on both sides had the guts enough to listen to the American people and go behind closed doors, in defiance of their respective parties, and hammer out a compromise. These brave 14 people realized that the bickering HAD to come to an end and that they and they alone had the power to stop it. Just 14 votes taken out of the equation made all the difference. Even though the rest of Congress appears for the moment to be still perching with teeth and fists bared, they realize they are caught in a bind. This is "an army of one" personified. "Listen to us," they're saying, "This is your last chance to avert disaster."

On the other hand, there are two reasons why nobody should be openly celebrating just yet. The first one depends on whether you're a left or right winger. It's hard to say just who "won" on this deal. Priscilla Owen, the Texas judge, was at the top of Bush's appointee list and the worst of the worst, if you are a Democrat. In addition to being the extreme right wing personified, on every issue--in some cases she makes Clarence Thomas look like a patsy--she is also controversial in that she is willing to challenge existing law. Even conservative Newsweek called her controversial in this regard. If she became a Justice it would be one of the biggest disasters in American history--IF you were a Democrat.

Plus, this doesn't solve anything yet, because if Renquist dies, and she took his place, the fundamental balance of the Court would not change. Real change could only come if more than 2 of Bush's nominess were confirmed--and at least one other Justice retired or died in office, in the next 3 years. Apart from Renquist, we don't see that happening--yet. O'Conner was supposed to retire 2 yrs ago but she changed her mind and she's staying until her dying breath. Bush is under pressure to deliver real "change" to his religious right base but he can't wave a magic wand and pressure Justices to retire. Not the 4 left-leaning ones/moderates anyway. And I'm sure the moderate O'Conner decided to stay because she looked ahead and saw what was coming.


If Bush left office without the fundamental balance of the Supreme Court changed, then in the Republican mind it would be a huge and historic loss and a waste of his office.

The Democrats are cautious about this compromise becuase it's no guaruntee that Bush will change his ways and actually treat the minority party as if its actually exists. The Republicans are exremely upset that a handful of the faithful deserted their leader when he needed support the most, and they are going to punish those people (Graham, etc.) I think everyone is shell-shocked and caught off guard. Nobody seems to be happy, even though both parties are putting a brave face on it. Nobody, but esp not the Republican, expected "defections." And in the face of those defections, there's not a damned thing either party can do. In the next few days both parties are going to have to be doing some serious soul-searching, but out of the two, the Republicans are going to have to do more. Reid had hinted of a compromise before. Frist did not budge. It's the Republicans who have the upper hand, and they've been sailing along from victory to victory treating the other party as if they didn't exist. Are they going to listen to these brave individuals? No. I think not. Instead they are going to treat them like "Anonymous news sources" in the government..hunt them down in private and threaten them.
At this point, nobody knows where it will go.

THe Democrats can now say, "We compromised once, we were willing to do a deal. So why are you putting this pressure on us again? Now, we have no choice." The Republicans can say," Here we go again." I think they will be the bigger users of the compromise as political capital, even though I suspect they were the more adverse to the whole thing.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:07 AM   #4
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Wow, awesome analysis.

It explains why McCain led the charge...many within his own party already hate him, and he might have figured he had nothing to lose.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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it's nice to see a few adults in the Senate.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:32 AM   #6
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I don't think it will change much, other than getting a few of these judges that have been sitting around for the past few years finally going to vote. I can pretty much guarantee that the next *new* people that Bush nominates will be filibustered because the seven Democrats and Republicans who signed the deal said future nominees should be filibustered only under "extraordinary" circumstances, with each senator retaining the right to decide if that condition had been met. This is way too broadly interpreted and the Democrats will nit-pick about any little thing they don't like, especially when if a Supreme Court candidate comes up - GUARANTEE IT.
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Old 05-24-2005, 01:58 PM   #7
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good analysis, I agree that it's not over yet. While I am happy there will be no nuclear option, it still seems a shame (to me) that the Dems have to back down and let some loonies through just to protect their minority rights. It shouldn't be necessary, imo, although I highly respect the 14 senators who saw that there really was no other option in this case. I'm not an expert on this stuff, but it seems fishy that the party in control can just change the rules if they can't "win" with the current ones.

bonosloveslave---that is the one promising part of the deal (for me at least!), that they've reserved the right to filibuster in future cases, even if its only under "extraordinary circumstances" (whatever that means). Sort of puts my mind at ease about the Supreme Court.
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Old 05-24-2005, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it's nice to see a few adults in the Senate.
there'll be one more in 30 years or so when i'm elected
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Old 05-24-2005, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Leaders of the Religious Right, who had made ending the filibuster their battlecry, expressed fury at the seven Republicans, calling them traitors
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:56 PM   #10
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Further, this as it stands right now may actually be a bigger victory for Democrats. They may have lost the battle (giving Federal Court appointments to 3 of Bush's "loonies" but they may yet win the war. As Focus on the Family lamented, the filibuster optrion for Bush's Supreme Court nonimees is still open--and from now on, the Republicans CAN'T change the rules on Filbusters becuase they'd be breaking their own promise. Of the two compronmises, the language of the Republicans regarding the "nuclear option" was more explciit and less open to interpretation than the vague "extrorinary circumstances" language the Dems offered to go by. And in their mind, a Supreme COurt nominee vote is easily an "extroridnary circumstance." And in the long term, that's what this is about.
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:57 PM   #11
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PS AMEN Democrat. And a U2 fan besides.
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Old 05-24-2005, 07:09 PM   #12
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Apparently, in the middle of all this, a coalition of centrists have taken over the balance of power in the Senate. Not looking good for Bush!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/krwashbureau...s_centrists_wa

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Old 05-24-2005, 07:13 PM   #13
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Actually, I would have gotten a bigger kick out of it if the Democrats filibustered the "nuclear option" vote.

What everyone forgets is that the GOP held up hundreds of judicial appointees during the Clinton Administration. They're hypocrites of the highest order and are only interested in stacking the judiciary with religious fanatics.

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Old 05-24-2005, 07:43 PM   #14
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Teta040...it definitely seems like a bigger victory for the Dems, no doubt. But what exactly is preventing the Republicans from "breaking a promise." It's not a law. Seems like there are an adequate number of level-headed Republicans who would vote against a law to ban judicial filibusters in the future, just on principle. But what about 10 years from now? It still sort of worries me that there aren't more safeguards against the "if you don't like the rules, change em" mentality.

melon, i had the same idea about filibustering the judicial filibuster vote! now that would be good television, i'd be tuned into c-span round the clock!
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:57 PM   #15
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Enjoyed the analysis Teta040.

Too bad you can't filibuster a rule change.

It seems the definition of activist judge (for both sides) is one who rules against your position and a constitutional judge is one who rules in favor of your position. Term is pretty useless. Like whoever is defining "Advise and consent" at the moment.

I'm delighted to see the moderates take control of the Senate. I like McCain more and more, although I don't agree with all of his positions. Moderate's become a dirty word unfortunately, but these are the people who on a whole are going to think independently and act on what they think is good for the country and the Senate. They're the wild card. It was the moderates that ruled the day in the impeachment trial. Same with the moderates on the Supreme Court. It doesn't take too many to force a compromise.

It's why I've always been against term limits. You've got some natural moderates. Other times, you need the seasoning and the experience with what works and doesn't that comes with time to become more statesmanlike in your reasoning. You need to respect the institution you represent and the good part of its history. That's why I've never had much use for the House of Representatives and favored the Senate. After a time, they don't have to pander so much (They become more of a call girl than a street whore). Of course, this Senate still scares me a little, but I'm breathing a little easier than I was. I'll watch and see. Maybe Americans are waking up a little. (Suspect they'll just yawn though and go back to sleep)
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