It seems that Professor Bainbridge and I have pretty similar takes on the issue:
Will somebody please get these folks some cheese to go with their whine? I find these reactions not only short-sighted but also surprisingly unconservative. They reflect a willingness to put possible short-term partisan gain (and I emphasize the word possible) over both principle and long-term advantage…
They aren’t conservative. They aren’t even the same reactionary extremists that used to be the fringe of the Republican party ( I like reactionaries- they aren’t running around proposing bullshit, they are trying to stop it). The extrem right in Congress is a group of radicals with a big government, and decidedly unconservative, agenda.
The filibuster is a profoundly conservative tool. It slows change by allowing a resolute minority to delay – to stand athwart history shouting stop. It ensures that change is driven not “merely by temporary advantage or popularity” but by a substantial majority. Is it any wonder that it has usually been liberals who want to change or abolish the filibuster rule?
Proponents of the “nuclear option” claim to believe that abolishing the filibuster could be limited to judicial nominations. It’s a coin flip as to whether this is naive or disingenuous. It’s a slippery slope to abolishing the filibuster as to Presidential nominations or even legislation. Would the GOP be tempted to abolish the filibuster if necessary to put John Bolton at the UN? Or to ram through social security reform? Even if the GOP resisted that temptation, what happens the next time the Democrats control the Senate? A GOP-established legislative and institutional precedent for abolishing the filibuster as to judicial nominations would make it all that much easier for the Democrats to do the same as to nominations or legislation.
They don’t care, and they are being disingenuous. No need to flip a coin. At any rate, read the whole thing.
*** Update ***
One more time for the slow. I find the notion that Republicans are pursuing the ‘nuclear option’ out of deference to the Constitution to be completely laughable. Period.
This group of phonies on both sides of the aisle have shown time and time again that they are willing to not only shit all over the Constitution, but to wipe with it when they are done. The idea that they are now pursuing this option for the sanctity of the Constitution is utter nonsene. They are doing it because they want their judges confirmed.
If Republicans were so damned concerned with the Constitution, they may have been able to make a persuasive argument when they were in the minority all those years. Instead, they were quite content to use the rules in place to blue-slip and kill legions of Clinton appointees, all without a whit of concern for the Constitution or any mention of a President having a right to have his nominees voted on.
That they have managed to convince some in the wingnut base to adopt this language and attitude may be one thing, so when you see them huffing and puffing in the blogosphere about the Constitution, you know why. But it doesn’t make them right, and it doesn’t mean the Senators pushing this really give two hoots in hell about the Constitution, either.
This was about power, pure and simple. Not, as some would have you believe, the Constitution.
The radicals are the ones who would ignore the Constitution in the persuit of political power and disregard the foundations of the nation’s rule of law. The Democrats and those who attempt to usurp the Constitution are to be dispised only less than the RINOs who trampled on the Constitution. But what is to be expected of McCain and his ilk who brought us McCain Feingold which was the greatest assualt on the 1st amendment this country has ever seen.
Such tactics are perfectly legal within the context of the Constituion. Even th casual observer will realize that any presidential appointee does not require a 60 vote approval, only a majority as specified.
Wthi respect T.J., do you understand that, as imperfect as the process of the passage of laws ans the approval of judges is, it has worked for a very long time. The consequences of killing the filibuster are a complete unknown and once done, would have been a nightmare to repair. Who would ever agree to it first?
“only a majority as specified”
Specified where, TJ?
I find the notion that Republicans are pursuing the ‘nuclear option’ out of deference to the Constitution to be completely laughable.
Well, I’m grateful John Cole shares his “finding” with us, which only demonstrates a certain slowness on his part, as well.
Because he shows a shocking insoucience about the Democrats will to rule, and what that will entail when the pendulum does swing.
The Pubbies may find a President H. Clinton, or Barak Obama, proposing an “extraordinary” extremist to the bench (say, another Ginsburg). Watch how long the GOP fillibuster will last.
Gone in the blink of an eye, and 108year-old Senator Byrd will again claim to have rescued the Constitution, and Senate Tradition.
And increasingly starkers John Cole will–again–believe him. Sad.
The only reason Republicans would have to filibuster is because they themselves got rid of the blue-slip rules and all the other protections.
Any mud you fling in this invariably comes back to a Republican source, unfortunately.
Bullcrap. Do you even remember Robert Bork? Let alone Nixon’s nominees Haynesworth & Carswell? (Only one of those two was a serious nominee; the other was nominated by Nixon as an F.U. to the Democratic senate).
For the record, blue slips suck, and an earlier, and I feel much superior, compromise would’ve eliminated the practice. It’s a point of principle with me that any nominee–by Clinton or by Bush– should get a vote. “Extremists,” or the unqualified/underqualified and the corrupt wouldn’t pass, it should go without saying.
No, the Democrats can always, with confidence, expect pubbie craveness. And should they return to a majority, and encounter some shocking GOP spine, well, the KKKonscience of the Senate will just change the rules again. In the Great Tradition. Praise from the usual suspects will surely follow.
Both you and Mr. Cole need to examine Article 2, section 2 clause 2 of the Constitution. If you aren’t aware of what the Constitution requires then you might bother to read it.
As for the argument of ending the filibuster exactly what is to be gained from it? It is unconstitutional in this specific event. So are you advocating we thrash the Constitution to advance partisan agenda. By all means alter the Constitution if this benefits the nation but what we see today demonstrates that we are not a nation of laws but dwarfs.
What has been solved?
“”Extremists,” or the unqualified/underqualified and the corrupt wouldn’t pass, it should go without saying.
Oh, I wish it were so… In these days of Republican majority (by a healthy enough margin) and lockstep loyalty/obedience, I have no faith in true votes of conscience…there is no quality filter in place at the front end (Bush), the committee level or the final vote.
Right you are. Seems the Supreme Court just overturned a convicted murder’s sentence because the convicted criminal appeared in court, gasp, shackled! When the seven idiots who voted to overturn the murderer of two elderly individuals guess who they were.
Yes indeed when idiots like Breyer can make it onto the supreme court one realizes that indeed a significant portion of the senate goose steps uin perfect lock step. We saw it again yesterday as they trampled the Constitution. Its too bad Mr. Cole finds that document too insignificant to follow. It is indeed about power pure and simple.