Sunday, February 27, 2005

Vox Blogoli 2.2

Hugh Hewitt ran another virtual symposium over the weekend, and this time the question was:

McClellan or Grant? Should the GOP leadership in the Senate push to a confrontation with the Democrats over the filibustering of judicial nominees,and if the Dems filibuster even one judicial nominee, should the GOP move to the "nuclear option" of a rule change, even if Harry Reid threatens a Senate shutdown?
Some may want to read Hugh's entire post (linked above) to get the McClellan/Grant reference, Civil War history fans will recognize it straight away. Hugh actually asks two questions, the first is whether or not the GOP should force a Senate confrontation. I say yes, and I see very little downside risk.

The GOP has been slowly picking up Senate seats for years. Some theorize that it is because of Democratic obstructionism, a voter backlash if you will. Recent GOP fund-raising drives have also focused on that obstructionism. Momentum is on the GOP's side, especially after the November elections. President Bush is spending his "political capital," and Republican Senators should do the same thing. Hugh notes the possibility that the GOP will not hold their 55 seat majority or even gain seats in 2006. Though I think the latter will happen, there are never any guarantees when it comes to future politics. Now is the time to act.

If Senate Republicans "press the bet" on judicial nominees, it will further solidify their base. Keeping the base motivated is crucial to adding more seats in 2006. Forget about courting Democrat voters. They hate Republicans no matter what the GOP does, so we might as well stack the courts while we can. Another reason why now is the time to act.

Pressing the bet in judicial terms is important because of the tremendous upside potential versus the relatively low risk. I believe, as many on the right do, that judicial activism is the single greatest threat to individual freedoms and the traditions of our country. With control over two branches of government, and a chance to make it a tri-fecta, take the nuclear option.

Forget about the MSM, they too will howl no matter what the GOP does. Though the MSM may cover the issue of judicial filibusters with the same fervor as they would a Supreme Court nominees confirmation hearings, I don't think the public will pay as close attention.

There is no guarantee that there will be any Supreme Court openings right away. Getting Senate rules squared away now, will make it seem like ancient history in a few months. It would be nice to have new parliamentary procedures in place well before Rehnquist steps down.

Last, I originally wanted to get this posted in time to participate in Hugh's Vox Blogoli 2.2. I had a real problem concentrating over the past few days. Getting any thoughts out in a way that I felt was "worthy" of such a discussion made me want to rename the discussion Vox Blockheadoli, because something wasn't clicking in my brain. After some real good exercise this evening, the blogjam has cleared. So I'm actually posting most of what I had written before, with a few minor changes. Oh well, there will be plenty of future discussions in which I'll be able to look the fool. For now, this can just be between us.....Heh.
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