May 20, 2005

Double my displeasure, double your speak

You are perhaps already aware that Senator Rick Santorum compared Democrats, with their efforts to save the filibuster, to Adolf Hitler occupying Paris. Not that Democrats are exempt from such rhetorical puffery -- Robert Byrd pulled much the same trick in March. The noteworthy part is that Rick Santorum condemned him for it.

But that's standard Senate hot air. The thing that really galls me is the way the GOP twists and turns to justify breaking the rules of the Senate (that is, bypassing the supermajority required for a legitimate Senate rules change in favor of a bogus claim that filibustering a judicial nominee is unconstitutional, which only requires a majority vote). In particular, Senator Santorum said:

We shouldn't go mucking around in this institution and changing the way we've done things, particularly when it comes to the balance of powers between the three branches of government. And the independence of one of those branches of the judiciary. We must tread very carefully before we go radically changing the way we do things that has served this country well..."

I know, you're thinking, wait, is he defending the filibuster? Oh heavens no. He's saying that the Senate shouldn't change the way it does things as an argument for changing the way the Senate does things.

...and we have radically changed the way we do things here. Some are suggesting we're trying to change the law, we're trying to break the rules. Remarkable, remarkable hubris.

Yes, remarkable hubris indeed. And I haven't so much noticed the press do a great job of calling the GOP on its attempts to publicly rewrite history. (Although I'd be happy for someone to send me citations.) Does anyone actually need reminding that the GOP was blocking Clinton nominees even when they were the minority party in the Senate? Does it not enter into the debate at all that the only reason Priscilla Owen is even up for a federal judicial post is that the Senate blocked all of Clinton's nominees for the same position?

Posted by Francis at 12:11 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?