Re: The official armchair QB's filibuster thread.
If you love the parlimentary maneuver, the spin and the bluster and the PR... grab a beer and join in.
[Appreciative burp from my German armchair]. Sorry about that, but I just got that Weissbier
off my car, and it's still kind of warm. [Grabs a handful of peanuts]
If you are good, someone should not be able to tell who you support from reading this thread.
What? I can't even yell YEAH!!! when my team strikes someone out? What kind of armchair quarterbacking is that? But fine, it's your thread, you're the boss. Anyhow .... do people here have an opinion on what sport it is we're watching? I mean, is it an honest game like baseball or football, where the teams seriously try to win against each other? Or is it a rigged game like wrestling, where the teams agree on the moves and the outcome over a cheeseburger offstage, then go on stage and fake
a tough fight? I keep changing my opinion on this one, and my opinion this minute leans to the "wrestling" side.
The Senate opened a long-awaited debate on whether to ban filibusters of judicial nominees with vividly partisan attacks yesterday, as a small group of moderates worked behind the scenes for a compromise to avert the showdown.
Yeah, that's wrestling all right. See today's Washington Post
The New York Times has this to report
about the maneuvering:
Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, opened the debate on Wednesday morning by declaring that "this new precedent cannot stand in Congress," as events began to unfold along deeply partisan lines.
Lame. I think he's using George Bush senior's line from when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuweit. "This agression will not stand" etc. (See J. and E. Cohen: The Big Lebowski
, Hollywood (1998)). Surely the Democrats can do better than that? "Day of Infamy"? "Ask not what justice can do for your party, ask what your party can do for justice"? Let's hear it!
In his opening remarks, Dr. Frist said Democrats had "radically" altered the traditions of the Senate by blocking votes on 10 of 45 appeals court candidates put forward by Mr. Bush. [...] "If Republicans roll back our rights in this chamber, there will be no check on their power," said Senator Reid (of the Democrats, T.). "The radical, right wing will be free to pursue any agenda they want.
Okay, so both sides try to portray each other as radical. That was predictable. [Yawns]
Trying to point out weaknesses in the Republican argument against filibusters, Democrats cited an exchange on the floor on Wednesday between Dr. Frist and Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. Mr. Schumer pressed Dr. Frist over his vote in 2000 not to cut off debate on the nomination of Richard Paez, a Clinton nominee.
But Dr. Frist said there was a distinction. "It's the partisan-leadership-led use of cloture votes to kill, to defeat, to assassinate these nominees, and that's the difference," Dr. Frist said.
His spokesman, Bob Stevenson, later noted that Mr. Paez eventually received a vote and was confirmed, and that many of the same Democrats now arguing to protect the filibuster have supported eliminating it in the past on all matters, not just judicial nominees.
Okay, and both sides accuse each other of hypocrisy. I'd say nothing special so far. [Flips channel]