Thursday :: Dec 2, 2004

Mr. Will Goes To Washington


by pessimist

You know it's a cold day in Hell's kitchen when I agree with George Will. There are times - too few in number, to be sure - when he remembers what a conservative's role is supposed to be in our society. This article is one such instance:

Shock and Awe In the Senate

Evincing what historian Richard Hofstadter called "the ruthlessness of the pure in heart," Republicans might change Senate rules to make filibusters of judicial nominees impossible. Some Republican senators' hearts are about as pure as the driven slush after the treatment they dished out to some of President Clinton's judicial nominees.

Karl Rove must now be plotting Will's 'retirement'!

In 2003, after many years of stoutly defending the filibuster, this columnist, his reason unhinged by the unconscionable filibuster against Miguel Estrada's confirmation to an appellate court, endorsed changing Senate rules to prevent such things.

Now to make amends, herewith a credo:

The filibuster is an important defense of minority rights enabling democratic government to measure and respect not merely numbers but also intensity in public controversies. Filibusters enable intense minorities to slow the governmental juggernaut. Conservatives, who do not think government is sufficiently inhibited, should cherish this blocking mechanism.

Furthermore, it is a short slide down a slippery slope from the postulated illegitimacy of filibustering judicial nominees, to the illegitimacy of filibustering any sort of nominees, to the illegitimacy of filibusters generally. That is not a position conservatives should promote.

Someone should puncture Republicans' current triumphalism by reminding them that someday they will again be in the minority. Besides, before resorting to parliamentary shock and awe, Republican senators should notice that the military version of that policy did not produce peace in Iraq.

Anyone know how to get this in front of George's nose before Karl can get it removed from the Web?


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