Monday, December 27, 2004


This Hubris Will Back Fire

GOP sets up Senate collision on judges

In my book, if you score 90% plus on any task or test, your doing quite well. But 90% success rate doesn't seem to be enough for the President or Majority Leader Frist when it comes to judicial appointments. Majority Leader Frist is again threatening to overturn the filibuster rule in the Senate that has been around since the founding of our Republic. Frist's hubris on this issue will be his undoing.

First, the President has announced a worthy and ambitious legislative agenda that includes reforming immigration laws, social security, holding the line on spending and looking at comprehensive (if incremental tax reform). An agenda that even the cynical and skeptical Elephant can get behind. But most of these efforts will require astute legislative skills and support across the party spectrum. Starting off by telling the minority party (and 49% of the voters) that their views don't matter and that the GOP leadership in the Senate doesn't care to find consensus is a sure way to doom any agenda. With Daschle gone and the Dems severely weakened, an accomplishment deficit in the 109th Congress will fall solely on Frist's shoulders. The good doctor should think about what's more important, adding a conservative stamp and reforming some of the largest entitlement programs in government or cramming few a handful of justices. Oh yeah, and some point in the future (possibly sooner than we expect) the GOP will again be in the minority and will have to live by the rules their about to lay down.

But then again, when Pres. Bush was elected with the House in GOP hands, followed shortly after by the Senate, many of us working in the trenches expected nothing short of a revolution. What we got was nothing, just a bunch of power hungry politicians doing anything, spending any amount to cling to power. It reminds me of the Fat Cat democrats back in the early 1990s and yearn for the days when the GOP cared about actual policy issues.

But then, we'll always have the true Republican's like McCain, Hagel, Warner and others who will cringe at the total lack of respect for our democratic traditions and balk at any such measure...or at least I hope so.

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