Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Checks and Balances

Former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell contributes a simple and direct op-ed to the NYTs today, arguing the legitimacy of the filibuster to prevent up-and-down votes on judicial nominees. And surprise, the current theocrats aren't being honest, claiming the Democrat's use of the filibuster is new (and therefore evidence that Democrats are "against people of faith.")
Between 1968 and 2001, both parties used filibusters to oppose judicial nominees. In 2000, the last year of Bill Clinton's presidency, Republican senators filibustered two of his nominees to be circuit judges. They also prevented Senate votes on more than 60 of Mr. Clinton's judicial nominees by other means.
But there's a better statistic to show the current GOP's megalomaniacal pursuit of power.
[Senate Republicans] claim that their actions are justified because the filibuster is being used unfairly to stop the confirmation of President Bush's nominees. But 208 of the president's 218 judicial nominees have been approved. That's right: the Senate has confirmed 95 percent of Mr. Bush's judicial nominees. That's a higher percentage of approval than any of his three predecessors achieved.
95%? Damn those obstructionist Democrats!

This isn't politics as usual, but a party contemptuous of the processes that ensure our republican form of government.