A Senate Fight over Judges

Some time back, Senator Reid and Senator McConnell came to a personal agreement on how many judges would be cleared this year.  Senator Reid made a very clear commitment, but he very quickly started backtracking on that.  His reasoning is clear, if lacking in integrity: why keep your promises about judicial nominations in this session of Congress when you might have more votes and a more favorable President in the next session of Congress.

Senator McConnell has had his eye on this for some time, and today he has put his foot down on it.

McConnell has essentially shut down the Senate floor this afternoon by forcing the Senate clerk to read aloud the entire 500 page global warming bill. ... McConnell (R-Ky.) believes Reid (D-Nev.) has backtracked on a promise to clear a significant number of Republican judicial nominees, but Democrats are becoming more and more hesitant to give Bush judges a lifelong appointment to the federal bench in the waning months of this White House.

I've got audio of the floor speech and question/answer session, and I've uploaded it to GoEar.com (follow the link - the embedded player doesn't work) so you can hear McConnell calmly explaining to Democrats that they can vote on judges or...stop everything else and talk about why they won't vote on judges.

There are costs and benefits to having a fight about judges right now.  

  • Cost: As Daily Kos' Kagro X notes, Democrats didn't want to do anything this year, anyway.  They'd rather run out the clock this year, waiting for a better legislative environment next year.   Now...they can't do anything.  And they get to blame it on Senator McConnell and Republicans.
  • Benefit: Do Democrats really want to talk about judges going into 2008?  That will only lead to more Republican turnout...and questions about the Democratic judicial agenda.   Had McConnell done this last year, it would have been forgotten by now.  But right now - with the Democratic nomination finally locked up - putting judges front and center benefits Republicans.

 If Dems continue to ignore judges, the rest of this session is going to be riddled this kind of thing by the Senate Republicans.   The Right is perfectly happy to have a fight about judges.

 

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Comments

Rush mentioned this today

about 1.5 hours after he interviewed McConnell re:  the proposed  rape and pillage of the American economy based on feel-good fake science, AKA Warner-Lieberman.  I'm glad the Senate Republicans are finally showing some stones!  I suspect McConnell knows he has to start doing this or the Senate will be lost for decades.  We conservatives are watching every move our "leaders" make, and we are spoiling bigtime for a fight.  This focus on judges works for starters.

When folks want to force an issue to a head.....

often times it is because they are convinced their position will deteriorate if they remain engaged on that front very long. 

That had to have been the thinking

behind Grahamnesty/Shamnesty a year ago.  Slip it in over the transom quick while none of us was looking, because they knew it could not stand the light of day.  Didn't work because we demanded that our leaders fight.  If they don't fight this garbage we won't support them and all really will be lost.

From now until election day, the Republicans in Congress had better do a whole lot more of this.  I suspect they've started to figure that out.

Hugh Hewitt played several cuts of Barbara Boxer

repeatedly asking for the reading to cease.  She was shut down every time by a Republican objection.  Hugh thinks they'll be reading all 491 pages until about 10 pm tonight.  It was thrilling to hear Republicans fighting the good fight to block Boxer's manipulative statements to stop reading because her bill had already ensured the safety of the planet from the ravages of global warming. 

Finally!

Somebody found some brass and is using it!  My hat's off to Senator McConnell for his standing up to Reid....it's about time the GOP stood up to be counted for something.....they need to continue this through election day in November....