Wednesday, November 10, 2004

51-50 and Fight

Hugh Hewitt offers a comprehensive summary of his posts regarding Specter:

We are already deep into an age of bitter politics, where every maneuver is justified by the ends being pursued. The decision in the last couple of years --led by Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy-- to radicalize judicial nominations even beyond the terrible precedents of the Bork and Thomas nomination battles was one of the most irresponsible ever taken, and now the prospect of filibusters and smear campaigns seems inevitable. The only chance of repairing this process is for a united and determined GOP caucus to demand a return to past, pre-Bork practices, and failing to obtain that demand, to launch and win a great debate leading to new rules on judicial nominations. That debate would be ferocious and would lead to an up-or-down vote on a package of rule changes on the floor. This so-called "nuclear option" was not attempted in the last few years because GOP leadership doubted that it had the votes. With a caucus of 55 and some sober Democrats across the aisle, the threat of that option might be enough to calm the Democrats and undo the knots which they have tied. The Specter debate is giving exactly the wrong signal, and forcing the very confrontation that might have been avoided.

Perhaps some folks welcome the battles. I think it is better to win quietly than it is to emerge with a nominee confirmed by a single vote of the Vice President, the nominee's reputation scarred by the slanders of an out-of-control left, the country even more polarized, and two or three more nominations to go. These are the circumstances upon which the fever swamp and the Michael Moore caucus of opportunists feed.

Jeffords, Jeffords, Jeffords.

I'll settle for consistent victories on judicial appointments.

Sure, I'd love to have loyalty from moderate Senators, generosity from Senate Democrats, accuracy from the MSM, sanity from the fever swamp, and amity from the Left. But, we're talking about loyalty from a man who Hewitt thinks is for sale at the price of a chairmanship; generosity from people who violated over 200 years of tradition to filibuster federal judges; accuracy from people who said Fallujah would be another Hue City, as if the memory of Hue was a dark shadow; sanity from people who shriek that an ill-fitting jacket proved Bush cheated to lose a debate; amity from people talking about secession from the Union because they lost an election.

The 229th birthday of the Marine Corps suggests an analogy: It would have been better to win by warping up to the docks at Saipan and Tarawa and Iwo Jima, and walking down the gangplanks to accept the surrender of the Japanese garrisons. Since they refused to cooperate, our victory required hard fighting.

We talk about judicial reform in absolutist terms because the opposition made them absolutist. No ban of abortion. No restrictions on abortion. No discouragements to abortion. Period. Exclamation point! Either that arbitrary fiat stands or it doesn't. Given our lifetime judiciary, we can't pick our moment to fight; we must act when vacancies occur or concede the issue.

And a number of bloggers have noted: First we couldn't reverse Roe because we didn't have the White House and the Senate. Then it was because we didn't have the votes in the Senate. Now it's because we don't have enough friends in Hollywood and the MSM to prevent calumny of strict constructionists? We never will!

"[A] nominee confirmed by a single vote of the Vice President, the nominee's reputation scarred by the slanders of an out-of-control left, the country even more polarized, and two or three more nominations to go" represents a success, a judge or Justice with an appropriate understanding of the Constitution to counter the foriegn-consensus and emanations-and-penumbras cliques. A success with looming opportunities for further successes.

I don't want a Democrat agreement to renounce the judicial filibuster, without forcing the issue with the "nuclear option". Such agreement could be reversed anytime they felt like it.
I want them--and every other future minority--explicitly barred from trying such stonewalling ever again.

Since we agree we could win, why not win?

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