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May 24, 2005

Non-nuclear

Well, I’m confused. I hadn’t written about the “nuclear option” because (a) every possible angle seemed to have been covered, and (b) a last-minute compromise always looked likely. Which is what has now happened, but I don’t really understand why Democratic bloggers are so ecstatic. Sure, Frist was made to look an idiot (not hard), and it’s great to see the theocrats squirm… but Priscilla Owen gets a free pass, which ought to nauseate any Democrat with a pulse. In fact it’s hard to disagree with Russ Feingold:

This is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people. Democrats should have stood together firmly against the bullying tactics of the Republican leadership abusing their power as they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Confirming unacceptable judicial nominations is simply a green light for the Bush administration to send more nominees who lack the judicial temperament or record to serve in these lifetime positions. I value the many traditions of the Senate, including the tradition of bipartisanship to forge consensus. I do not, however, value threatening to disregard an important Senate tradition, like occasional unlimited debate, when necessary. I respect all my colleagues very much who thought to end this playground squabble over judges, but I am disappointed in this deal.

I guess, as Kos says, it’s better than the alternative—a Supreme Court nominee controlled by James Dobson. Plus it will be fun to watch the Republicans tear themselves up in the weeks ahead. As Dobson himself said of a possible compromise earlier this month:

“If the Republicans consent to this disaster, they’ll not only be abandoning the men and women who put them in office, they’ll be demonstrating that they do not deserve the leadership entrusted to them.”

Actually, none of us deserves that.

Posted by Stephen at 12:01 AM in Politics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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