The Byrd Option
On Wednesday of this past week, the agenda was laid out in the Senate to bring 7 Circuit Court of Appeals nominations to a vote. Debates began on Thursday, as did the Democrat filibuster with Chuck Schumer of New York's reading of a list of Bush appointments that have previously been confirmed. This issue is not about judges already confirmed, nor is it about the overall number of them which is considerably less that the Democrats claim, but about the 7 nominees waiting to be confirmed. There were 10 but three chose not to be dragged through the mud by Democrats and withdrew.
Why are Senate Democrats so opposed to these seven? Because they are being considered for the Appellate Court which puts them one step away from the Supreme Court where they will fill vacancies left by retiring left wing activist judges who have been perverting our society with rulings based on their agenda instead of the Constitution and making law that usurps power from the Legislative branch of the Government, one of the two branches that the people voted into office. They fear the overturn of Roe vs. Wade and other liberal court made laws if conservative judges are appointed to the Superior Court regardless of their qualifications, record, and support from their home states. Some Senate Democrats have even admitted that they “haven’t looked at the nominees records on court cases” but are judging them on ideology alone.
The voters chose to give power to the republicans because they prefer the direction the Republicans laid out in the campaign. The voters expect the Republicans to make good on their promises and to lead the country in the that direction. The dems think the country should be pulled in two directions at the same time and that they have the right to put their agenda through as well, even though it was rejected by the voters. I keep hearing "the Republicans have taken everything away from the Democrats and all they have left now is the filibuster". Wrong! The Republicans took nothing away from the Democrats, the voters did! And that's what they just can't accept or admit. Voters rejected the Democrats and supported Republican efforts to reform national policy and restore constitutional rights and laws to the country.
Democrat leaders continue to imply that they speak for "most Americans" such as Howard Dean saying; "I think most Americans see this a an abuse of power", or Harry Reid saying; "Republicans are trying to trash 200 years of Senate tradition" when Senate tradition has always been just the opposite of what the Democrats are doing. In fact "most Americans" don't see this as an abuse of power at all, but rather as a countermeasure to the Democrats abuse of the power of filibuster. They say because of the Republican controlled Senate, the President can do anything he wants. Wrong. The President submits policies to the Senate but the Senate still has to approve them with a majority vote. Democrats still have the option to filibuster any policy they don't like and require a super majority vote of 61 or more to break the filibuster and allow votes on policy issues. The President cannot do anything he wants, only what a super majority of the Senate allows him to do and that includes both Republicans and Democrats. Again, it was the voters' choice and that is what democracy is all about.
But the use of a "super majority" by the Senate is limited by the Constitution and does not apply to judicial nominations. The President has the constitutional responsibility to appoint judges to fill vacancies, and the Senate has the constitutional duty to approve or deny those appointments. Requiring Democrats to stop the filibuster and comply with their constitutional duty is not an abuse of power.
They are making themselves look ridiculous to the people and the further down this road they go, the more ridiculous they look. They still don't get it or see what they are doing to themselves. They just keep selecting the worst of them to represent their party, and those democrats with any sense are leaving. There seems to be less support for the democrat party today than there was last November, and I fully expect this decline to continue all the way to 2008. They're fooling less and less people all the time with their lies and distortions of the facts. It's amazing how Dingy Harry Reid and others can stand in front of the Senate and say the things they do when they know full well that everyone there knows better. Are they just preaching to the cameras and hoping someone out there in tv land will believe them? Must be. It's a complete waste of the Senate's time. As I said before, we don't have time for this nonsense, there is too much work waiting to be done and the Republicans have to stop being so polite to the Democrats and get to work to do what they were elected to do.
Bill Frist and Senate Republicans don't want to have to change Senate rules to enforce Constitutional law on Democrats but it's come to the point where they have no other choice. They have been patient and have negotiated and tried to work out an agreement but Democratic leadership refuses to allow these nominees to be brought to a vote. Democrats are determined to obstruct constitutional process in the Senate so on Tuesday of this week, the issue of rules change will be brought to the Senate floor and no doubt will be passed by a majority vote. Harry Reid has stated that if this happens, he and his party will then obstruct all Republican legislation for the rest of the congressional term. He says that the rules change will only lead to further elimination of the use of filibuster by Democrats. If he does what he is threatening to do, then he just might be right.
It was only a few years ago that it was the Democrats who wanted to do away with the filibuster so when they complain about "trashing 200 years of tradition" and defend the filibuster with their lives saying what an important tool it is to democracy, they are lying. It is only being used now to impose minority partisanship on the majority. Not only on the Senate majority, but on the voter majority as well.
In 1979 it was Robert Byrd who wanted to end the filibuster completely to get his way.
"Let the Senate vote on amendments, and then vote up or down on the resolution. ... If I have to be forced into a corner to try for a majority vote, I will [change the rules] because I am going to do my duty as I see my duty, whether I win or lose."(Sen. Robert Byrd, Congressional Record, 1979, pp. S144-45)”
"Mr. Byrd led the charge to change the rules in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1987, and, in some cases, to do precisely what Republicans are now proposing."(Editorial, "Sen. Byrd On Filibuster-Busting," The Washington Times, 3/7/05)
This is why the proposed rules change is now being called “The Byrd Option” in addition to the “Nuclear Option” by Democrats, and the “Constitutional Option” by Republicans. The “Constitutional Option” because it forces Democrats to do their constitutional duty. The “Nuclear Option” because Democrats want you to believe that it will destroy the Senate and a Senate tradition that never existed in the first place. Of course, they want you to also believe that the rules change is a total elimination of the filibuster altogether, rather than just effecting confirmation of judges. If there is to be a “Nuclear Option” it will be the Democrats who detonate it by blocking all Senate business as they have threatened to do and proving once again that the “Party of No“ is the “Potty of Obstruction“.
Did you ever wonder why liberals complain so much about giving up some personal privacy as a result of the Patriot Act, but don't have a problem giving it all up for a socialist state and government dependency? Just something to think about.