Regarding the so-called Nuclear Option coming to the US Senate, where the Republicans will be able to stop a filibuster of Pres. Bush's judicial nominees with 51 votes instead of the current number of 60, I had asked my buddy Rosemary from My Newz 'n Ideas if I could use this excerpt from a piece she posted:
"I also learned that it used to be 67 votes needed to break a filibuster. Apparently, one of our Democrat Senators was getting very frustrated because he couldn't get his bills passed, so he threatened to change the rules! He would settle for 60 votes if the Republicans agreed. Otherwise, he would change it to 50+1. Who was this, you ask? None other than Sen. Robert Byrd. This happened in the 70's."
As usual, her info was right on the money! Byrd was not alone among Dems when it came to threatening the same rule change they are now calling a "nuclear option." I received this from Townhall.com, written by Jeff Mazzella of the Center for Individual Freedom:
"The often hypocritical Senator Ted Kennedy recently issued an intense call defending the Democrats’ obstruction of President Bush's judicial nominees.
But what Senator Kennedy neglected to mention is that he voted in 1995 and in 1975 IN FAVOR of a Nuclear Option and called the filibuster, 'the shame of the Senate and the last resort of special interest groups.'
Senator Robert Byrd also railed against the Nuclear Option on the Senate Floor.
But -- just like Kennedy -- Byrd failed to mention that he led the charge in the Senate to stop filibuster tactics in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1987.
You see...one thing that is not really being mentioned in this debate is that the Nuclear Option is NOT A NEW IDEA.
In fact, Senate Democrats tried for years to implement the Nuclear Option REPEATEDLY, especially when they held the majority.
Truer words could not be said.
I wrote a post about the Dems' tactic of calling these judges extreme, and while they're still trying that, it's not flying. Now they've taken to calling this rules change the "nuclear" option. Could anyone come up with a more negative term for what is actually the "constitutional" option? Personally, I've been rooting for this since Pres. Bush's first term, knowing well that congressional Republicans didn't have the backbone for it. Now that it looks like they will do it, watch the Dems fall back to smearing these fine judicial nominees as racially insensitive homophobes that are against the environment. Rush Limbaugh pointed out those three smears are already being used today. That goes beyond the generic "extremist" label that I wrote about. The problem with doing this is that by making specific, absurd claims about people almost always backfires these days. The new media always get in the way by pointing out the facts. For instance: One of these nominees didn't want to bring his kids to Disneyland on "gay day." How many average Americans would? Or if they would, how many of them would hold against him the fact that he wouldn't? That's not homophobia, that's sheltering your children from things you don't want them to learn about yet. (I don't see gun owners railing about parents that don't teach their kids how to use a gun, calling them "ammophobes" or something.) Further, what does it have to do with his views on gays' civil rights? Do they think he will use his power to end "gay days" at Disneyland? Look at the man's record on the bench, or in other public policy positions if you want, but his parenting choices? I'll read up on these nominees as they go through the congressional grilling process, and will keep posting about it.
PS:A tip of the hat to My Newz 'n Ideas (thanks Rosemary), and to Townhall.com and Mr. Mazzella, though I admit that I rarely read anything but the columnists in Townhall's emails. Most of all, to Maha-Rushie, that well of conservative inspiration!