The Nuclear Option In A Nutshell

From a conversation I had yesterday morning with another blogger on instant messenger, the chat was edited just a bit for clarity’s sake and to clean up the grammar:

Blogger X: Remind me again why we want to change the Senate rules in a way that would prevent Republicans from blocking liberal nominees in a future, Democrat-majority, Senate. I’m not being facetious…just trying to think through the long-term ramifications.

John Hawkins: Sure! 1) Whether we do the nuclear option or not, they can still do it in the future 2) Republicans would never filibuster anyway (there has been 1 done by us ever) 3) The liberals who get confirmed — like Ruth Bader Ginsberg — are already such radical libs that it wouldn’t make any difference if they put Ted Kennedy in there.

Blogger X: Ok. Isn’t it frightening that the defense of this option is that Republicans are the only party that has the dignity and character to follow the Constitution. I mean, we’re pretty much saying that Democrats are slimeballs who will do anything to get their way.

John Hawkins: Yeah, basically.

Blogger X: Are you sure we aren’t just “demonizing” the left and justifying ourselves?

John Hawkins: Yes. The Senate tradition is not to have filibusters of judges. (The GOP is) preserving the constitutional role proscribed for the Senate and 200 years of Senate tradition, not getting rid of it with the nuclear option.

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