January 21, 2005


G.O.P. Irate Over Delay on Rice Vote: Republicans in Congress seethed Thursday over Democrats' refusal to allow a quick vote on Condoleezza Rice's
confirmation as secretary of state. (CARL HULSE, 1/21/05, NY Times)

Republicans in Congress seethed Thursday over Democrats' refusal to allow a quick vote on Condoleezza Rice's confirmation as secretary of state, a dispute that provided a quick reality check about the partisan divide on Capitol Hill just hours after President Bush was sworn in.

"If this is the kind of comity we can expect for the rest of the session, we are not getting off to a good start," said Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, a member of the Republican leadership. "It is churlish."

Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, said, "You want continuity in this country, and this is a senior cabinet minister." He added, "This didn't win them any merit badges." [...]

"I think we ought to put the pedal to the metal," said Senator George Allen, Republican of Virginia, saying Republicans should be aggressive about using their greater numbers to overcome Democratic opposition.

One of the more maddening things about being a Republican is that Democrats behave in the ways that we are told Republicans mustn't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 7:26 AM

Replace the committee chairperson with someone who knows how to control the committee and who's on the same page as the president and do it with every committee chairperson who forgot who won the election.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2005 9:38 AM

Replace committee chairmen with prople who are on the same page as the president and know how to control the hearing. That'll fix things up pronto.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2005 9:40 AM

Jettison the filibuster and go full steam ahead.

Posted by: Bart at January 21, 2005 1:45 PM

Imagine the hue and cry if Strom Thurmond had held up one of Clinton's black nominees.

Posted by: Timothy at January 21, 2005 1:58 PM

The "sad past" (Nancy Pelosi's words) of a liberal is to be overlooked, while it is not if the person is a conservative.

Posted by: Dave W. at January 21, 2005 2:09 PM

The solution is simple: have the Republican caucus hold up a sheet (complete with cap) on the steps of Capitol Hill, tell the public the Robert Byrd is trying to fill it out again, and then vote immediately, using the nuclear option if necessary. And then go after Pelosi until she breaks down like Pat Schroeder.

Bush can afford to be graceious; Frist cannot. And neither can the nation. Besides, some fireworks can only help the GOP.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 21, 2005 4:56 PM

"Jettison the filibuster and go full steam ahead"


In the euphoria surrounding control of Congress and the Presidency, I would hate to see the traditions of the Senate be overturned so quickly. A mere 10 years ago, our entire health care industry would have been nationalized if not for the filibuster, or the threat anyway. I think the Republicans can get Rice approved in short order, without the nuclear option.

If the Democrats were able to filibuster Rice successfully (which I doubt they can) there are other ways to "get even" without getting mad.

Posted by: h-man at January 22, 2005 7:32 AM


The traditions of the Senate, or for that matter most things, don't mean doodly-squat to me.

I believe, with HL Mencken, that democracy is the system of government where the people get what they want and they get it good and hard. The elimination of the filibuster will force people who actually propose legislation to consider its consequences, not merely to propose crap and then say when one of the inertial Senate rules, that they knew beforehand would be applied,is applied that it isn't their fault only those damn (fill in the blank). The same goes for the Court system. If the justices can frustrate popular will or impose their own societal view on the country without any hesitation, then our elected idiots and criminals can claim that it wasn't us it was that horrible Supreme Court that made us do it.

Just because Cleopatra Jones is an icon of American humor doesn't mean that we should ever tolerate variations on the theme of 'The Debbil Made Me Do It.'

The filibuster, the absence of a line item veto, the confirmation process, the obscenity of judicial review, and judicial legislation all combine with the permanent bureaucracy to frustrate popular will. And the clowns, imbeciles, illiterates, sleazeballs, self-dealers, and failed used car salesmen that make up our elected official class want to keep it that way, because they are insulated from the effects of their behavior and their rhetoric. We've had to deal with the abortion issue for 4 decades because of this and we had a Civil War over slavery because 8 decades of political spinning of wheels got us precisely nowhere.

Assuming the Senate even has the merest scintilla of value today, a dubious assumption after the direct election of Senators, the bogus traditions of what is little more than a gaggkle of mafiosi should not be respected. They are at best mores or folkways, courses of dealing. They were never subjected to the approval of the electorate and hence have zero legitimacy.

Posted by: Bart at January 23, 2005 9:33 AM
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