February 25, 2008


Filibuster fight among grudges conservatives bear against McCain (Carl Hulse, February 25, 2008, NY Times)

Back in 2005, Senator John McCain of Arizona and fellow members of the so-called Gang of 14 were hailed as heroes in some quarters when the group fashioned an unusual pact that averted a Senate vote on banning filibusters against judicial nominees.

Now McCain's central role in that effort, which cleared the way for confirmation of some conservative jurists, is cited as one reason for lingering distrust of him among many conservatives.

...Maverick was, unforgivably, right about the deal, which made them look bad. Liberals are supposed to be guided by emotions and ignore results, not the Right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2008 3:14 PM

He got some judges and two justices through and he preserved the filibuster on judges for Republicans. He was dead right in opposing the nuclear option (which in retrospect would have been the kamikaze option). They hate it because he was right and he refused to kiss up to them. They wanted to nuke so bad! They wanted to rub the Democrats nose in it so bad! and he denied them that sweet, sweet moment of victory.

And spared them months of agony when the Democrats eventually took the majority.
And he had the gall to be right!

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 25, 2008 4:10 PM

Show me where the Constitution gives the Senate the right to filibuster judicial nominees. The result of the deal was to get less than 5 judges through and throw everybody else overboard. Dozens of Bush nominees are languishing because the GOP led Senate until '06 couldn't get a simple up or down vote on these nominees. The Dems would not have filibustered Supreme Court nominees. The deal had a negative impact on GOP turnout in '06. And saying it is good the filibuster stayed becuase the GOP is now in the minority is permanent minority position thinking.

Posted by: AWW at February 25, 2008 8:04 PM

Article One, Section 5.

Posted by: oj at February 25, 2008 9:10 PM

I believe Republicans are more comfortable being the minority party in congress. Takes the heat off doing anything and you still get invited to the best parties.

Posted by: erp at February 25, 2008 9:49 PM

AWW - polititical parties swap majority and minority positions. It is a fact of life and deny it as you will it has happened before and will happen again. Failure to take reality into account leads to things like the call for the 'nuclear option'. How big is the Democratic majority in the senate? what are the odds of truly expanding that or the Dems slipping back into minority status?

The Senate's rules may be stupid, arbitrary, and irritating, but breaking them may have unintended consequences.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2008 9:47 AM