It appears that a Byrd Option showdown now looms as inevitable. I hear that a few more wobblies may need to be counseled and consoled, but ... let's get to it. There is a part of me that thinks, no matter how this comes out, that I love making the Senate actually go on record and vote on a key issue.
The excruciating agony of self-absorbed politicos considering the myriad dire ramifications to befall them as a result of their being forced to take a controversial position on an important issue is just outstanding. Bring it on.
Yes, there is something to be said for consensus and compromise. For sure. But there is also something to be said for the principle that we can't all agree in a free society. There must be winners, and there must be losers on issues. Sometimes the issues are big. Like this one.
I have to laugh at the "compromises" that keep floating around. There are several plans the Demos have floated to get the Republicans to scrap some of the current list of seven appellate court nominees. The Demos have now offered their final "compromise", which was for the Republicans to scrap three of the nominees. And ... oh ... the opportunity to filibuster future nominees, including S.C. picks, would not be allowed except in "extreme circumstances." This is no deal. But it is at least funny. C'mon, laugh.
Let me explain. Okay, where do I start? The seven current judicial nominees that are held up are being held because they are ... let me get this right ... yes, "too extreme". We have heard this mantra over and over by the likes of Kennedy, Schumer, Reid, et al. Yes, the Demos are taking a very principled stand against judicial "extremism" in the likes of Justices Owen and Justice Brown.
I must say, if one is committed to stopping judicial extremists, however, could you ever let even one on the bench? I would hope not. So, why are the Democrats willing to now let four of the extreme 7 make it to prime time? Politics. That's why. These are not extremists. If they were, these nominees wouldn't have made it to their respective positions as state supreme court justices, federal district court judges, and the like.
But now the Demos will take the "extreme" measure of accepting four "extremists" to the appellate bench.
And ... they will only reserve the right to filibuster in "extreme circumstances", like the next time an "extremist" (i.e., a judicial conservative who is a conservative Catholic or evangelical) is nominated for the bench. Sometimes things don't make sense because they don't make sense.
So, Greenjeans and Co. better get ready to debate these nominees (you know, blurting out stuff from FBI files ... Demo-approved tactics for the War on Extremism). Because they are coming.
Sen. Reid complains that the Republicans have "given nothing". They insist on all or nothing, with Pres. Bush's nominees assured of a floor vote.
I say give them something. The Byrd.