by John Hawkins | May 4, 2006 6:36 am
Surely, the Democrats couldn’t be this thickheaded:
“After months of relative quiet, senators raised the prospect yesterday of a return to bitter battles and a possible filibuster over judicial nominations, as the White House urged confirmation of two conservative nominees who have sought approval for years.
Democratic leaders said they certainly would filibuster one of the nominees, Terrence W. Boyle, and might filibuster the second, Brett Kavanaugh, if Republicans refuse to call him back for a second hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The partisan rhetoric was the strongest signal yet that the Senate might revisit the brinkmanship that brought the chamber to the edge of crisis a year ago, when a bipartisan group of 14 members crafted a temporary cease-fire.
The “Gang of 14″ pact cleared the path for confirmation of several appellate court nominees whom Democrats had filibustered in President Bush’s first term, and it doomed the chances of a few others. It also narrowed the Democrats’ tactical options for opposing Bush’s two appointees to the Supreme Court last year. But the Kavanaugh and Boyle nominations may test its resiliency.”
The “Gang of 14” compromise was dumb, dumb, dumb for the GOP. Republicans were handed a golden opportunity to take judicial filibusters off the table and John McCain and the rest of the “Team RINO” crew up in the Senate blew it.
But, here’s the rub: the deal is no longer applicable after November and if, as expected (or at least, as I expect right now), the GOP loses seats, but not the Senate, the Democrats will be able to filibuster until their heart’s content and the GOP may simply not have the votes needed to implement the nuclear option.
Keep in mind that 4 of the 6 Republican seats that currently look to be in danger are Senators who would have voted for the nuclear option last time around (Santorum, Burns, Talent, and Frist’s seat will be open). If, let’s say, 3 of those seats were to disappear without replacements, it seems unlikely that the GOP could muster the 50 votes needed for the “Constitutional Option” next year.
So, it would be a godsend if the Democrats were actually foolish enough to filibuster a nominee before November, when DeWine, Graham, and McCain would likely flip their votes and bring the total up to 51 votes. That’s why the GOP should use some strategery and refuse to compromise in any way, shape or form on Boyle and Kavanaugh in hopes that they can bait the Dems into filibustering before the numbers in the Senate are likely to shift to their advantage.
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