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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

An issue of leadership

I've got mixed, but generally pretty negative feelings on the judicial compromise. When I first heard of the agreement, I commented to my wife how disappointed I was. I don't like that any nominees were thrown overboard, and the undefined 'extraordinary circumstances' clause will likely be used in circumstances simply ordinary. I hold out minimal hope that the 7 Republican members of the gang of 12 will recognize when this happens, call the Democrats on their betrayal of the agreement and immediately move to readdress the judicial filibuster. The only possible positive side of this is that most of our nominees will move out of their long purgatory to a vote and confirmation.

I'm left to realize that the fact that this compromise happened is simply a failure of Republican Senate leadership. Sen. Frist hemmed and hawed on this issue, threatening it, but delaying before pulling the trigger, which only gave the Democrats time to work on a basically unacceptable compromise. I'm reminded of the UN's method to confronting world problems, and then compare it to the approach used by President Bush. No one doubted his resolve. Frist failed, and failed miserably. He has a majority, yet governs like a minority.

The only sure casualty of yesterday's agreement was Sen. Frist's Presidential ambitions, and it's likely that McCain's and Graham's went up in smoke as well.

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I'm not sure Frist has a majority. That is, while there is a Republican majority in the Senate, there is not a conservative majority. A whole bunch of Republican Senators just aren't that Republican. They are much better than Democrats, but not that Republican.

I guess the question to judge Frist is: what would have happened if he forced a vote on curtailing filibusters and lost?

1:39 PM, May 24, 2005  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I think the initial reaction by conservatives to this deal is totally wrong. First, people are overreacting to the language "extraordinary circumstances" and are assuming that it is a hollow term. We should remember, however, that this term was agreed to by centrist Democrats and Republicans, not by Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer. The term will be much more meaningful to this group than a leftist Senator who cares nothing for tradition.

Second, I think the deal ends democratic filibusters for good. The deal is well crafted because it looks like the Democrats got something, when in reality it is almost a total defeat for the filibuster strategy (its not a total defeat because two previously nominated judges were casualties of the deal).

To claim "extreme circumstances" you need at least 6 of the 7 republicans in the coalition to agree that it is exreme (to avoid the constitutional option).

I think as time goes by, Republicans will realize that this was a good deal and almost a total loss for Democrats....that is if Bush doesn't become a wimp in his nominations.

2:02 PM, May 24, 2005  

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