Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hooray for Centrists! Moderates in the Senate have once again fashioned a fragile compromise, an ancient tactic which guarantees that neither side will ever be satisfied and which manages to delay inevitable confrontation for at least a day or two.

The deal, as I understand it, gives an up-or-down vote on three of the judicial nominees, ignores two other nominees, and guarantees that the filibuster will not be nuked anytime soon. Both sides have declared victory, which means that both sides will try to undermine this deal as soon as possible.

I've stayed out of this debate, mostly because it bores me. But I don't want to see the filibuster go away. Sometimes a political body, such as the Senate, lets passion or partisanship get the best of them, leading to bad decisions. The filibuster helps prevent that. Also, I find in general that I like my government the most when it's not doing anything at all.

As for the judges, both parties are guilty of the recent arms race of appointing the most ideological extremists to the federal bench. The fiefdoms of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just make up their own reality as they see fit, as far as I can tell. Anything that requires a broader consensus for lifetime appointments sounds like a safe plan to me.

I haven't studied these particular Bush nominees. I understand that the Democrats don't like them because they are really, really conservative. But it's difficult to separate legitimate concerns from scare tactics. Once again we're hearing that if we do what Bush wants, then we will lose all our civil rights, our liberties, and our first born child. So far this has not happened, and the Left needs to stop crying wolf.

It's important to remember that the moderates created this compromise without support of either party's leadership. I don't see Bush backing down from getting all of his nominees confirmed, and I don't see the Democrats letting them all go through the process. And I don't see myself caring about this issue for very much longer.


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