No Filibuster For You


Over at ThinkProgress, Judd Legum catches Bill Frist in a bit of a bind. Frist, you will recall, wants to take away the Democrat’s ability to filibuster Bush’s judicial nominees—because it’s “unfair” or “unconstitutional” or some nonsense of the sort. But as it happens, Frist himself voted to uphold a filibuster of one of Bill Clinton’s nominees, Richard Paez, in 2000. When asked about this by another senator this morning, Frist said:

The president, the um, in response, uh, the Paez nomination – we’ll come back and discuss this further. … Actually I’d like to, and it really brings to what I believe – a point – and it really brings to, oddly, a point, what is the issue. The issue is we have leadership-led partisan filibusters that have, um, obstructed, not one nominee, but two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in a routine way.

Um, um, um. One filibuster is okay and perfectly constitutional but not two or three or four? That’s quite the standard.

At any rate, for a truly confused look at the filibuster issue, see the editors of the National Review this morning. To be honest, I can’t even tell what they’re saying. Something like: “The filibuster is constitutional, true… but that doesn’t mean it’s constitutionally required, see?… but then it’s also true that the constitution doesn’t require judges to be confirmed along a majority vote, either… but Democrats are bad… but aaahhhh! nuclear option good!” Um, okay. The basic issue, though, is clear: Frist is trying to break Senate rules so that Democrats can’t use against Bush’s nominees the very maneuver he himself once used against Clinton’s nominees. Law and order means nothing.

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