Friday, April 22, 2005


Weekend Reading:

Tilting Toward Theocracy

Something funny is happening here in DC, many of my lobbyist colleagues (from a broad spectrum of right and right leaning organizations) seem to be feeling the same level of disgust as Elephant that the so called republican revolution has gotten so far off track, it's draped itself in the mantle of the far right (Dobson, Schafley, et. al) and is moving so much to the right many of its ideas and policies are more akin to the far left. Anyway, the underlying importance of this is that trade associations (groups representing all sorts of interests from businesses, to private clubs, to home builders) are suffering from absolutism fatigue. Trade associations pump money into issue advocacy and campaign contributions in support of Republican or Democratic proposals that would be helpful to their constituencies. But the approach by the White House - you're only a friend if you support us, without question, on everything, is alienating many. As a result, our collective enthusiasm for supporting this current crop of leaders is waning as fast as the 2006 elections are approaching. Hello Majority Leader Reed.

Anyway, this week's weekend reading is an advanced requiem for the judicial filibuster, just in case the mad plans of Senator Frist prove successful.

Senate GOP Closer to Showdown With Dems
Republicans are moving the Senate toward a final confrontation with Democrats over the blocking of President Bush's judicial nominations, even as internal polling shows that most Americans don't support their plan to ban judicial filibusters.

Filibuster and Cloture
Using the filibuster to delay debate or block legislation has a long history. In the United States, the term filibuster -- from a Dutch word meaning "pirate" -- became popular in the 1850s when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent action on a bill.

What about the values and traditions of our democracy?
The Senate is considered the greatest deliberative body in the World. It's a truly painful concept if you job, like mine, requires you to pay close attention to what's going on, but it's role is critical to the checks and balances that are fundamental to our democracy.
(Third posting down)

Senate GOP Sets Up Filibuster Showdown
Moving the Senate closer to a historic confrontation, the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee yesterday endorsed two of President Bush's most controversial nominees to federal appellate court, and Democrats vowed once again to use the filibuster to block their confirmation.

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