Monday, May 23, 2005

Averting a Crisis? - Let the voting begin.

So the Senate has found a compromise regarding the showdown on the vote to end the Senate rules to prevent the vote on judges. And no one is happy. Well, the first truism in negotiations is that if no one is happy, then it is a good compromise.

But wait, are there those who did not want to go the distance on forcing the vote? Is this why we have watched this dog and pony show regarding the vote to confirm judges since February? Or as usual, is there more there than what meets the eye?

Let's recap. The Democrats do not want certain judges appointed because they are, or at least the Democrats believe they are, against abortion and think that Roe v. Wade is bad law. Now aside from the fact that any good constitutional lawyer, professor or judge KNOWS that Roe v. Wade is one of the most poorly reasoned decisions in the history of jurisprudence, the Democrats are locked into this position because of a segment of their base, (the extreme left, the extreme liberal women's groups, and their allied companions) wants them to stop these appointments. The rhetoric has really stretched to the limits and the Democrats are left with nowhere to turn. If the vote tomorrow went against them, then they were doomed, at least on this question.

Meanwhile there are some Republicans who do not like the idea of "tampering" with rules, unless they happen to deal with campaign finance reform - then they like to mess with the rules - but I digress. Further they do not like the corner that their friends on the left have found themselves. Finally while some of these Republicans vote conservatively, they do not like being lumped into the term "far right" and remember - anyone right of Kennedy and Kerry are "far right" because after all Mr. Kerry represents the fondest hopes of the middle class and the heartland of America. ( For those slow- that is sarcasm). So here is what the "mod squad" says to each other. We need to save face, avoid a vote, so we can continue to stay in the center of attention, make our respective leadership tell the two "extremes" that they cannot tell the senate what to do. And of course, the Republican leadership gets skewered because certain people do not want Senator Frist cornering the conservative Christian vote. And one may add that this all could have been discussed and voted on in February as opposed to May.

But what is the bottom line.

We actually won although no one will admit it from either side.

Understand that all of this showed a lack of principled leadership as the effort was made to find cover from the dreaded conservative right.

Still we have not lost anything except the typical spin in the press.

Why do I say that?

First - there are three reasons:
Owen, Brown, Pryor.

Then there is another reason: There will be have to be votes on Meyers and Saad. And Griffith, and the others. They are not the ones that the left fears. They will all most likely be confirmed.

And then there is another reason: Can anyone define "extraordinary reason"?

Finally - Can Howard Dean or Ralph Neas or any NOW activist be happy with Owens, Brown and Pryor on the bench? I don't think so.

I agree with most of the pundits that do not like this compromise. Frankly I wanted a vote to see if we really had the muscle. But apparently some do not want the test of strength now. As for having the fortitude to force a vote, apparently it is not there.

Now I am not sure that I would like being told by some of my party's more nuancedmembers that I have been made a party to a deal. Indeed personally I may have been very upset that we did not get this issue resolved. Yet if we can start the voting and get them confirmed, then it does not matter who "wins" the "spin."

I saw a lot of this while I was in D.C. last week attending the second annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. We talked about this issue regarding the judges. Indeed it was on everyone's mind. The president spoke (Although glancing at the Arizona papers, who would have known). Archbishop Chaput gave the keynote address. 1600 people crammed into the Hilton to remind themselves that there is an awful lot of work to be done.

So while the pundits talk, call your Senator and demand the voting begin now - not next week - not next month - now. Let us put some fine people on the bench. And then lets nominate some more fine pro life jurists who believe in the constitution and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Force the issue now.

As I just checked the news, the vote to close debate and move toward final confirmation on Priscilla Owen passed 81 -18. Frist needs to move them all through as soon as possible.

Let the voting begin.
Let the voting continue.
Let the senate vote up or down on all the nominees.

Then all shall have done their duty.


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