April 28, 2005
Judicial filibusters: High Noon For conservativesBy Christopher G. Adamo
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is in big trouble. At least that is what one might believe from the liberal press accounts of his participation in a Family Research Council—sponsored event last Sunday.
By appearing at the gathering (albeit in a videotaped speech), Frist ostensibly violated the 'separation of Church and State.' According to the latest liberal Constitutional interpretations, political office holders are forbidden to address public issues in churches, unless they happen to be Democrats on the campaign trail.
As with the Tom Delay and John Bolton controversies, whatever charges Democrats can concoct are asserted as defining factors of an individual's propriety and fitness for office. Yet identical charges suddenly evaporate into irrelevance the moment any Democrat becomes suspect. Nevertheless, it is not Democrat hypocrisy but Republican acquiescence that enables these outrages to continue.
Liberal Democrats will say anything on any occasion in order to claim the 'moral high ground.' The entire Anita Hill 'sexual harassment' controversy was never about protecting the rights and dignity of women. Rather it was about undermining the confirmation of Clarence Thomas. But when very real cases of harassment and intimidation threatened to derail Bill Clinton's Presidency, the matter was suddenly relegated to his 'private life.'
Unfortunately, Republicans continue their vain attempts to gain traction with the public by considering or intellectually refuting each ensuing argument put forth by the left. It is imperative that they recognize the futility of this critically flawed 'strategy,' and simply stay on message, particularly in relation to matters of the Constitution.
Democrats will take any side of the issue of Constitutional law as it suits them. Usually, they are all for trashing it (the true interpretation of their term 'living document'). Yet when such sanctimony suits them, they suddenly become its champions and guardians by way of filibustering judicial nominations.
They support judicial supremacy and activism (under the auspices of an 'independent judiciary'), but condemn the 'activism' of pro—constitution judges. They oppose any pro—life 'litmus tests,' while insisting that they will prohibit any judge from being confirmed who does not support 'a woman's right to choose.'
The truly appalling aspect of this situation is not that they will tell any lie, reverse any stance, and level any accusation as the circumstances require (and regardless of how hypocritically they contradict their former assertions). Rather it is that all too often, Republicans allow them to get away with doing so.
Worse yet, Republicans not only treat each ensuing statement as legitimate, they frequently attempt to abide by such absurdities. Thus they continually lose political fights because they fight like losers.
Columnist David Limbaugh properly characterized the filibuster battle by stating
'What is at stake in this ongoing fight over judicial nominations is nothing less than the integrity of the Constitution, the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers, and ultimately, the preservation of popular sovereignty.'
Clearly, the Democrats know this, which is why they persevere with such resolve and venom. The side that triumphs will thus be positioned to determine the future direction of the country. So why are few if any among Republican Senators making their case in these stark, yet entirely accurate terms?
Not wanting to sound 'extreme,' they revert instead to some insipid bilgewater about how 'The president should be allowed his choice of appointees.' That is what liberals claimed when Clinton was president. Sadly, too many on the Republican side of the aisle accepted the premise.
The entire debate ought to have been about the Constitution back then (meaning that Republicans should have rejected a good percentage of Clinton nominees), and should be about the Constitution now. This would result in a no—holds barred fight to get this President's nominees confirmed.
Were Republicans to unwaveringly explain the situation in such terms, regardless of the latest Democrat accusations against them, the message would eventually get out that Republicans fight for the Constitution, while Democrats are fighting to get around it. This is absolutely the case. So why doesn't anybody on our side have the courage to simply say so?
It was through massive grassroots efforts last fall that Republicans were able to enjoy overwhelming victories, including those in the United States Senate. If Republican political operatives hope to benefit from any similar level of support in 2006, 2008, and beyond, now is the time for GOP Senators to prove that those efforts were not in vain.