May 26, 2005
America betrayed: the judicial filibuster 'compromise'By Christopher G. Adamo
It will be some time before the full impact of this week's sellout by seven so—called 'moderate' Republicans in the U.S. Senate becomes completely apparent. The plan to break Democrat filibusters of judicial nominees was, in reality, no less than a Republican fight to restore the integrity of the Constitution. But in the face of the Republican defections, Democrats will now credibly claim to have protected it, and the nation as a whole, from the ravages of Republican 'extremism.'
Despite media spin, this arrangement was no agreement among 'centrists' from both parties. The seven Democrats who participated in the deal acted as devoted foot soldiers for Senate Minority leader Harry Reid, loyally doing his bidding.
In contrast, the seven Republican participants knowingly betrayed their own party's leadership. Were Newsweek magazine to objectively cover the event, it might show them flushing a U.S. Constitution down the toilet.
In return for their complete abandonment of efforts to restore Constitutional integrity to the judiciary, Republicans essentially got nothing. The 'concession' by Democrats to 'allow' (any doubts as to who is in control?) floor votes on nominees Brown, Owen, and Pryor, amounts to little more than the worst sort of tokenism.
Furthermore, Democrat promises to only revert to judicial filibusters under 'extraordinary circumstances' are an insult to the intelligence of any cognizant Republican (of which there are admittedly few).
Democrats have already shown the degree to which they can torture new meanings out of such straightforward terms as 'is' and 'sex.' In their minds, the traditional values of mainstream America already easily exceed the boundaries of 'extraordinary.'
In truth, Monday's surrender was only the latest in a long series of such capitulations by Republicans at critical moments in the country's political discourse.
Former Senator Bob Dole (R.—KS) ushered in the present era of GOP backtracking when he uttered his famous 'enough is enough' retreat on the budget battle of 1995, unconditionally surrendering to Bill Clinton.
Far worse was the manner in which Republicans, including several real conservatives, abandoned their core principles and rallied to the side of ultra—liberal New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman in her razor—thin 1997 re—election bid. Coming to her aid to a degree rarely displayed in any gubernatorial race, Republican and conservative leaders essentially told the entire 'moderate' (read: liberal) wing of the party that it can always expect blind loyalty from the right.
Whitman repaid conservatives four years later by siding with liberals at a crucial point in the campaign of her potential successor, Bret Schundler, helping secure victory for his Democrat opponent, Jim McGreevey. But were her actions really contrary to her well known ultra—liberal political and moral philosophies?
Last year, President Bush helped set the stage for the sellout of his own judicial nominees by aiding one of the Republican Party's most contemptible Senate 'Trojan horses,' Pennsylvania 'moderate' Arlen Specter. By his actions, the President clearly made a statement that no matter how antithetical to conservatism Republican office holders might be, in a pinch they can count on conservative support.
Though Specter did not directly participate in the 'compromise agreement' devised by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, his vocal endorsement of such efforts certainly emboldened those Republicans who did.
So, should anyone be surprised when 'moderates' fearlessly undermine valiant conservative efforts such as Senate Majority leader Bill Frist's fight to restore a constitutional judiciary? What has the party leadership, and indeed the President himself, ever shown them they might have to lose by such duplicity?
The only glimmer of light at the end of this dismal tunnel is that conservatives may have finally awakened to the fact that, by their consistent support of traitors in their midst, they have helped degenerate the situation to its present state. This approach to achieving 'majority' status has been an utter disaster. Thus, a change in political strategy is the first step towards rectifying the situation.
Three Senate Republicans who engaged in this week's treachery, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, and Mike Dewine of Ohio, are up for reelection next year. Conservative activists should immediately begin to organize efforts to see them defeated by any candidate who runs against them.
Conservatives had better come to grips with the fact that fifty—two real Republican Senators would constitute a better majority than fifty—five who think they can engage in such disloyalty with impunity. Otherwise, they must resign themselves to the grim prospect that such people do indeed run the country.