What The Nuclear Option Is All About And Why Democrats Should Fight It
On a day when a new AP/Ipsos poll done through last night shows that by more than a 4-1 margin Americans want the Senate to take an assertive role in reviewing each of Bush's judicial nominees, the GOP moved ahead with plans to neuter the Senate of such a role and turn it into a rubber stamp.
Look, the comments by John Cornyn today tell you what the nuclear option is all about. Cornyn trashed the efforts of Senate moderates of even his own party to fashion a deal to stave off a vote to eliminate judicial filibusters. But at least he's honest about what he, Mullah Frist, George W. Bush, and the American Taliban are after here: they want no filibusters of Supreme Court nominees. They want to own all three branches of the government, and have the bonus of already owning the media and K Street to boot.
They want to install Bill Rehnquist's successor with only 51 votes, and to be able to fill any additional Supreme Court vacancies the next three and a half years with only 50 votes plus Dick Cheney. That's the whole ballgame for the GOP. How they get there, and what they trash in the process doesn't matter.
Since Cornyn has stated it so clearly, this is exactly why the Democrats should refuse to give up the filibuster. There is no reason for Democrats to negotiate anything on this. Why? Because we are talking about nominees:
-to the highest court in the land;
-who get lifetime appointment;
-nominated without any attempt at bipartisanship;
-by a man with approval ratings well below 50%;
-who won office allegedly with only 51% of the vote;
-pushed by a party wholly-owned by religious fanatics.
And we are talking about the GOP changing the rules after they acquire all the levers of power.
Those are reasons enough. And if this is what the American Taliban want, then Hillary Clinton will be quite happy to benefit from their largesse and stack the courts beginning in 2009. Thanks to the American Taliban, George W. Bush, John Cornyn, and Bill Frist, there won't be anything the GOP can do to stop her.
We will have long memories on this. I have a simple message for the GOP: after this and especially in 2009, your lectures on bipartisanship and the need for moderate or center-right judges will fall on deaf ears and will no longer have any traction. Forget four-year delaying tactics against moderate Hispanic judges, or bottling nominees up in committee like you did during Clinton's second term.
Goose, meet gander.