Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Stephen Bainbridge has an excellent post up about the filibuster and its essentially conservative nature. He rightly blasts today’s partisan right wingers – as opposed to genuine conservatives – who are seeking to get rid of it purely for short term political gain. After linking to everyone from Michelle Malkin to James Dobson freaking out about the deal to avoid the nuclear option, he writes:

Will somebody please get these folks some cheese to go with their whine? I find these reactions not only short-sighted but also surprisingly unconservative. They reflect a willingness to put possible short-term partisan gain (and I emphasize the word possible) over both principle and long-term advantage…

The filibuster is a profoundly conservative tool. It slows change by allowing a resolute minority to delay – to stand athwart history shouting stop. It ensures that change is driven not “merely by temporary advantage or popularity” but by a substantial majority. Is it any wonder that it has usually been liberals who want to change or abolish the filibuster rule?…

BTW, any honest conservative must admit that the only reason we’re having this debate over filibusters is because of Orin Hatch’s changes to the Judiciary Committee rules and procedures on matters like blue slips, hearings, and so on, which deprived the Democrats of the tactics that the GOP used to bottle up a lot of Clinton nominees in committee.

It’s nice to see an honest, consistent conservative make the point that the partisanship that masquerades under the name “conservative” these days is anything but.

Comments

  1. #1 GeneralZod
    May 25, 2005

    I am new to this whole appointing judges stuff. I am also completely ignorant as to what the GOP did to Clinton’s nominees (e.g. how many did they block? how many got thru? how does this compare to the democrats’ record on Bush’s nominees?) Any info here would be much appreciated.
    BTW, how did hatch change the committee rules and how can they be changed back?

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    May 25, 2005

    GeneralZod wrote:

    I am new to this whole appointing judges stuff. I am also completely ignorant as to what the GOP did to Clinton’s nominees (e.g. how many did they block? how many got thru? how does this compare to the democrats’ record on Bush’s nominees?) Any info here would be much appreciated.

    They blocked 65 Clinton nominees, as opposed to 10 of Bush’s. As Bainbridge notes, much of the Democratic attempts to filibuster have been solely for reasons of retribution for this and have little to do with ideological disagreements of concerns about a particular nominee’s fitness. The committee rules can only be changed, as far as I know, by a majority vote of the committee, which means the Democrats would have to get control of the Senate back to change the rules.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.