May 11, 2005


An awkward GOP spring (Tony Blankley, May 11, 2005, Townhall)

The Democrats are powerless to do much of anything in national politics of a functional nature. All they can do is malfunction and hope to induce the Republicans to join them in their malfunctioning. By using angled light, the Democrats have been able to spend the winter and spring casting a larger shadow than their actual stature would justify.

Slowly, the Republicans have come to notice that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself. As FDR explained: "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." Finally, the advance has begun.

First, the House rallied around DeLay and started to fight back much to the discomfort of minority leader Pelosi, DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel and at least two dozen of their quickly retreating flock who are too busy correcting their own ethical lapses to give full throat to phony charges against DeLay.

Then the White House restiffened the spines of the Republican senators who are now ready to confirm John Bolton to his ambassadorship in the United Nations. It will bring a grateful smile to many a Republican face (and a rueful grimace to Sen. Biden and his Democratic associates) in the coming months and years whenever Bolton is prominently quoted saying needed, if unpleasant, things to the corrupt rabble posing as diplomats at the UN. And given the prominence of his confirmation process, his quotes while in office also will be more prominently reported than they otherwise would have been.

Next week should see the official trigger pulling in the Senate to kill the judicial filibuster. Then for the next three and three-quarter years, President Bush, needing only 50 votes (plus the vice president's) will be able to nominate and have confirmed solid, smart conservative judges most of them under 45 years old. He may replace up to four Supreme Court justices and a broad range of circuit justices. It will be a historic policy accomplishment that will last at least 30 years.

Even Social Security reform has been clarified for Republicans as they have been put on notice that Bush does not intend to back down. So they have to decide whether to fight with him or against him. My guess is they will fight with him to force passage of some meaningful fiscal reform. Now that the fighting spirit has been reengaged, Republicans will prefer to take the odd wound in the chest fighting for something, rather than a wound on the backside running away from their responsibilities.

It's best never to count on the political courage of congressional parties, but it's worth noting that during this supposedly difficult period they also passed a series of major measures like tort reform.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2005 9:40 AM

Tort reform and the bankruptcy bill were good.

The former was the first of 4 or 5 bills dealing with the issue. It helped corporations. Reform affecting consumers of medical care should pass this summer. The bankruptcy bill and ANWR also did not directly affect rank and file Republicans.

While the grass roots like what has been done, they are edgy because the Econons are feeding first.

Posted by: David at May 11, 2005 12:03 PM

April 28, 2005
Republicans Redefine 'Majority' to Fit Current Usage
by Scott Ott

(2005-04-28) -- Republicans in the House and Senate today introduced bills which would redefine the word "majority" to mean "a group compelled to do the will of a smaller group."

The change in definition is designed to bring the word back in line with current usage and practice, according to an unnamed Senate source.

The new definition of majority should help Republicans "deflect criticism from staunch conservatives who believe the antiquated, intolerant concept that 'majority rule' requires the more numerous group to prevail," the source said.

"When Republicans go to the polls in 2006," he added, "they must understand that victory for conservatives consists of getting the privilege to serve in the federal government which our Democrat colleagues created, not in changing that government to suit our own narrow ideology."

In the short term, experts said, the redefinition of 'majority' should clear up controversies about judicial confirmations, Rep. Tom DeLay's alleged ethics breaches and John Bolton's nomination as U.N. Ambassador.

"Republicans value results," said the Senate source. "If that means we have to adopt the Democrat agenda to get things done, then so be it. At least we'll get results."

Posted by: Genecis at May 11, 2005 1:47 PM

That's the "mis"-definition of majority rule that I was taught in school.

Posted by: Dave W at May 11, 2005 5:34 PM