When are Republican politicians going to wake up and quit playing
footsie with obstructionist Democrats? Come November, how will
Republicans credibly be able to make the case that they deserve to
be reelected to majority status when they have unilaterally
surrendered their current majority position?
Based on their repeated behavior, these Beltway politicians
couldn't possibly comprehend the degree of angst, disgust and
frustration swelling in the conservative base of the Republican
The tepid, feckless reaction of Republicans to the Senate
Democrats' latest assault on President Bush's judicial nominations
is a perfect illustration of their recurring abdication. More and
more they think like Democrats, act like Democrats and get in bed
with Democrats. And why? Democrats do not come to them bearing
Like the unmitigated minority bullies they are, Democrats are
threatening to filibuster White House aide Brett Kavanaugh,
President Bush's nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and
Judge Terrence Boyle, his nominee for the 4th Circuit.
Democrats are grossly politicizing Kavanaugh's appointment, using
it as yet another platform to paint the administration as a sadistic
torturer of terrorist detainees and an enemy of the 4th amendment
through its NSA wireless surveillance program. Democrats are
alleging that since Kavanaugh has been a White House staff member,
he must have approved of these dastardly policies and must not be
allowed anywhere near the federal appellate bench, where he would
vote to constrict our civil liberties.
As for Boyle, Democrats are pretending to be concerned that he is
riddled with conflicts of interest and has heard cases involving
companies in which he had a financial interest. Sound familiar?
Remember a few months ago when they made a similarly bogus charge
against Judge Alito concerning his interest in Vanguard?
Senate Judiciary Committee members have a lot of gall to be
throwing around ethics charges when the very substance of those
charges is unfounded and fraudulent. Which is more unethical: for a
judge to hear a case involving a party in which he has a financial
interest, but whose interest cannot possibly be affected by the
outcome of the case — as in Vanguard? Or, for United States
senators to level unfounded allegations — bearing false witness —
against judicial nominees of stellar character?
Senate Democrats have proven themselves to have no credibility when
it comes to assessing the character of President Bush's judicial
nominees, who they routinely slander with actual malice — that is,
knowing their charges are false, or having reckless disregard for
whether they are true or false. When will Republicans quit
tolerating this and begin to condemn these Democratic senators for
their tortious conduct, quit trying to compromise with them and plow
forward full speed ahead with these nominations?
Why would the Democrats' filibuster threats even bother
Republicans? They should welcome the showdown. And if Republican
members of the Gang of 14 want to continue their charade of
colluding with these obstructionists, target every last one of them
for defeat in the primaries, no matter how secure their seats. Make
them pay for defecting in the name of collegiality.
Why do Republicans always run for the tall grass every time the "f"
word is whispered rather than calling their bluff and forcing the
Democrats into a real filibuster, instead of idle threats of one?
As I wrote at the time, the Gang of 14's agreement that averted the
Republicans' invocation of the "nuclear option" was a great
betrayal, because it legitimized judicial filibustering. Republican
Gang members insisted the concessions they secured, such as the
Democrats' agreement to allow nominees Janice Rogers Brown, William
Pryor and Priscilla Owen to get a full floor vote of the Senate —
big whoop — outweighed any negatives. Plus, they boasted, Democrats
agreed that henceforth they would only filibuster judicial
appointees upon the existence of "extraordinary circumstances."
Nonsense! As we knew at the time, "extraordinary circumstances" was
undefined and left open to each member of the Gang to define for
himself. Result: The judicial filibuster remained alive and well.
And since that ignoble "bipartisan" treaty, we've seen the Democrats
threaten the filibuster time and time again.
This cannot go on. The Republicans' acquiescence to the Democrats'
demand for a delay on the hearings on these nominations is just
another straw. When will the elephant's back be broken? How long
will Republicans continue to allow themselves to be walked on?
Whether it's their shameless joinder with Democrats in demanding
investigations of oil companies, their acute tone deafness on the
growing immigration crisis, their refusal to bring discipline to
spending, or their willingness to let the tail wag the dog on
judicial appointments, the Republicans are begging for a drubbing in
Grassroots frustration is growing with a vengeance, and someone in
charge better wake up and show some leadership. Yesterday.