Monday, May 23, 2005

Filibuster III: Revenge of the Frist

Well, so much for the opposition party.

Republicans were threatening to destroy the Senate's filibuster rules, as they apply to confirming Presidential appointments. See, the Republicans have a majority, but not the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster and take all nominees to a "yay" or "nay" vote in the full senate, which would usually go according to party lines.

Never mind that the Republicans, as a minority Senate party during the Clinton years used all sorts of procedural rules to stop Clinton's nominees. This is the new era and history means nothing.

If Republicans got rid of the filibuster, a key weapon for minority parties (if they're a slim minority) then Democrats said they'd shut down the Senate by becoming procedural nitpickers. We were heading for all out war.

Then the Democrats caved in to a ridiculous compromise. We won't get rid of the filibuster, said the Republicans, if you don't filibuster nominees except in extreme cases. Of course, we have no idea what constitutes an "extreme case." It probably involves a nominee who hisses, shoots lightning from his finger tips and screams "You don't know the power of the Dark Side!"

That means that Priscilla Owen, who once waited a year and a half to rule on a case between a dying patient and his insurance company, so that the patient had died by the time she delivered her verdict (in favor of the insurance company) and was thus, being dead (let's call this habeas corpsus) was unable to appeal... will face an easy confirmation vote so that she can take her seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nice.

C'mon, Dems, I know Senate politics are a matter of collaboration. But when your role is always "bend over" then there's a problem.

This just in: on hearing the news, Priscilla Owen aprently laughed evilly, shot lightning out of her finger tips and hissed, "you don't know the power of the Dark Side!" At least it gets Dick (Palpatine) Cheney hot.


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